AFL DT 2010 From Left Field - Phil Davis

As regular readers will know, I have been doing a series of posts profiling potential 2010 Dream Team recruits. Since Dream Team Talk launched their 52 players in 52 days preseason guide which will cover all the obvious picks, I will be moving to the left field selections, especially those I (as both an Adelaide fan and a North Adelaide Roosters fan) have inside knowledge about.

Phil Davis is a key defender. He can also be selected as a forward. He is not quite what you would call a left field selection for those who have done their research already. Before you run to the hills in fear of a 30 average, he is a creative type player, in the vein of S. Fisher or Bock. He can also play forward. Last year, he was knocking so hard on the door of the Crows defence that almost any other team in the league would have been playing him. But at Adelaide, he had three major roadblocks taking the key defence roles in Bock, Rutten and Otten (2nd in the rising star). However, for 2010 Otten is out with an ACL knee injury leaving a spot free for Davis.

There are two worries for Davis on getting his spot. Scott Stevens could be thrust back into the defence to plug the hole. This is unlikely in light of Davis' form over last year and Adelaide's need to find some key defenders to take over after Bock and Rutten. The other faint possibility is that Daniel Talia finds some excellent form over the NAB Cup and leapfrogs him. Again, considering what Davis showed last year this is unlikely.

Phil was a first round draft pick before last season, showing his potential. Playing in an Adelaide defence which likes to share the ball around, he should be capable of putting up similar numbers to Otten last year, probably averaging around 60. By the end of 2009, his SANFL coach Daniel Healy claimed he was 'the best tall defender in the competition' and was a regular emergency for the Adelaide side. He will be priced at regular draftee price in 2010, making him a lock for your defensive bench.

Edit: Looking at Phil's 2009 SANFL stats, he averaged 58 DT points, with 3 scores from 18 games over 70. He looks like a Scarlett type scorer who has occasional massive scores when he is let free, but cannot maintain these. He averaged 16 touches and 5 marks with a greater number of handballs than kicks. Or he could just be showing glimpses of his potential at this stage. He should get the ball shared to him more at AFL level due to the higher possession gamestyle of Adelaide. In any case, anyone who can consistently play as a DT back at base price is a solid pick.

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