With a little over 1 day to go before the start of the 2019 AFL season, and only a handful of hours before the Richmond team to take on Carlton is announced.
After watching both JLT rounds and keeping an eye on training reports, I believe that there will be 3 new players donning the yellow and black in Round 1.
My 22 for Round 1 is:
B: Astbury – Rance – Grimes
HB: Short – Vlastuin – Houli
C: McIntosh – Cotchin – Balta
HF: Rioli – Edwards – Riewoldt
F: Prestia – Lynch – Higgins
FOLL: Nankervis – Lambert – Martin
INT: Broad – Graham – Weller – Butler
IN (from Prelim): Lynch – Weller – Butler – Balta
OUT: Grigg (inj) – Caddy (inj) – Castagna (inj) – Conca (traded)
As mentioned in a previous article, I like Balta lining up on the wing. He can run and would be able to provide pressure running forward or helping out down back with his height. He will provide a headache for the opposition this year as whoever plays on him will need to match him for speed and in the air. I acknowledge the fact that he will need a few games under his belt at the senior level before he becomes the player that we are all hoping he grows into.
I believe that Mav Weller did enough in JLT 1 to earn reduced time in JLT 2 as he had already cemented his spot in the senior side. I see him as replacement for Caddy as someone who will be able to line up forward and run through the middle when required. If he plays well enough, Caddy may have to force his way into the side as a midfielder which I believe is his preference.
Of the others, I didn’t think that Ellis did enough in JLT 1 and misses out this time. I’d have him as one of the emergencies along with Callum Moore, Jack Ross and Ivan Soldo.
If Lynch isn’t available for selection, I’d go with Moore to fill that spot.
What’s your starting 22 this week? I found it really difficult to select, which is a great problem to have don’t you think?