AFL Squad Improvement
In our special feature this week, we have taken a look at which squads have improved the most over the season to date. We have done this based on the improvement from our TipBetPro player rankings at the start of the year and after Round 9 for every player who has taken the field so far in season 2016. Now obviously this disadvantages those sides that were highly rated as season start (i.e. Hawthorn and West Coast) and the lower ranked sides have more scope for improvement. However, we still feel it gives a guide as to which sides are improving the most and it has proved useful in seasons gone by as a forward indicator to sides moving into a premiership window.
So, what does it say? Well the Doggies premiership window is opening … fast! The Dogs were relatively highly rated at the start of the season (8th best squad) and their squad has improved the most rapidly since then. The Dogs have had enormous gains both from their rookies such as Marcus Adams and from players who have been around a few years like Marcus Bontempelli, Lachie Hunter, Mitch Wallis and Jason Johannisen.
The other big mover in a surprise to many is Sydney. The Swans were “supposed” to be on the way down in 2016. Certainly we projected them to be a big slider and I don’t think we were on our own. However four super impressive youngsters (Callum Mills, Tom Papley, George Hewitt and Isaac Heeney) have emerged and the continued improvement from very good to elite by Dan Hannebery, Luke Parker and Kurt Tippett have seen the Swans race up the rankings in 2016.
The Giants, Suns and Dees are the best of the rest albeit coming from lower starting points than the Dogs and Swans makes their squad improvement ranking a little more in line with expectations.
As always interested in your thoughts and happy to disclose on who the big improvers on the TipBetPro model for each club have been.