Chol a long way off being an elite defender. Very dodgy reading the play and tracking the ball in flight esp. on windy days. Too slow to react when around quick forwards.As well as the lack of some upper body strength, Chol lacks the three most important things for a key defender, desperation, the ability to make multiple efforts, and also a bit dodgy reading the play.
What happened to Balta after a few good games in AFL? Don't think he dominated the VFL. Did he play like he'd made it and stopped working hard enough? I may be misjudging him but I feel he plays too much for Noah and not enough for Richmond. Work to do on his attitude and endurance fitness to make it as a top defender.Leppa taught Rance everything he knows apparently.
Balta should be next in line at the Leppitch School for Elite Defenders.
He played ruck/forward in the AFL then went back and played mostly in defence, with the odd release into the ruck and forward. Didn't dominate but played some pretty good footy. Is developing nicely. Marking improved significantly over the year, which puts him ahead of Rance in that department at the same age.What happened to Balta after a few good games in AFL? Don't think he dominated the VFL. Did he play like he'd made it and stopped working hard enough? I may be misjudging him but I feel he plays too much for Noah and not enough for Richmond. Work to do on his attitude and endurance fitness to make it as a top defender.
Sorry I meant to say predominantly unlike Rance. Has had a go in the backline but not where he played most of the time. Played alot of ruck in middle part of the season on was forward alot his last 5 or 6 VFL games. I'm not tagging him as a defender just yet and not sure the Tigers are either.Yes, he has.
You probably have never watched Rance and Balta train.I think Balta can be whatever he wants, certainly a key defender in the Rance mould.
Probably the best equipped physically of any AFL player ever, just needs to harness it.
I'd like to think I'm quite informed actually, and I have seen them both train.Misinformed supporters think because Rance came off a seemingly low base and turned into a superstar, anyone can do it. Exception, not the rule.
He's played more back than any other position.Sorry I meant to say predominantly unlike Rance. Has had a go in the backline but not where he played most of the time. Played alot of ruck in middle part of the season on was forward alot his last 5 or 6 VFL games. I'm not tagging him as a defender just yet and not sure the Tigers are either.
I must have been watching different games to you. He played 13 reserves games, played back early in the season but majority of his games later on were in ruck rotations and managed quite a few goals too. In AFL he played 13 games and I can't remember him playing much back at all, 1 game against the Cats I remember. In fact he had 39 inside 50s and 13 rebound 50s. All I'm saying is I'm not convinced he's being earmarked as a backman. I think he has alot more potential to be used up the ground more and has been trialled in many positions unlike Rance who spent most of his time early in the backline (had a short stint forward).He's played more back than any other position.
The club has trialled him all over the place, trying to get a feel for where he fits best, as well as where he's most required.
For the second half of the year he was playing 3 quarters of a game back, one quarter either forward or ruck.
He also played predominantly back in his last few games in the firsts.
I'd also suggest he can use his attributes best as a running half back. There's a solid argument that he's played his best footy on the ball, but the fact that he keeps starting back despite this suggests where the club wants him.
I don't think it's a big stretch to say the club will play him as a backman now that's where the need is.
Firstly apologies as I wasn’t inferring that you personally were misinformed however my point being directed to those specifically comparing Balta directly with Rance due to athletic profile.I'd like to think I'm quite informed actually, and I have seen them both train.
There's a bit in your post that I think is quite tough on Balta but before I explain why, let's get straight from the outset that we are comparing someone who is discussed as possibly being the best defender of the modern era, if not the century so the odds Balta will reach that level is remote. What we can hope is he becomes a serviceable or better AFL player.
Where I disagree with you is your questions over him based on training, especially the suggestion that in his third preseason he should be further advanced.
When new draftees come into the system they always have a fitness spike. They have been working towards being drafted and generally do massive cardio loads so when they come in their times are pretty good.
Where they lack is size and strength and developing the physical profile to have the strength to compete in AFL terms and having the durability to be able to withstand the training loads required.
It takes a significant time to adjust their body composition to meet the demands of the sport and for a big guy who relies heavily on strength it is an even longer process, hence big players generally take more time.
For a player of Balta's profile 2 training years is tiny. You would expect him to need 4-6 before he is where he needs to be physically, which is about the stage Rance started to play good footy.
The other thing with training years is the more you have the longer it takes to lose fitness and the quicker you regain it. Big blokes like Balta in their first few seasons lose condition quickly over break and take longer to get it back. Once they get more years under the belt that ceases to be an issue.
The other thing is that the training you see is only one facet of performance. A large part of the work they do is individual and unseen by most people, and there are plenty of guys who just don't get up for things like time trials.
Balta might not win a 300 at training but I guarantee if I hold it with a footy and and open goal at the MCG he finishes top 3. That's far more important for me.
One of the issues with young players now is they are so exposed to the public people's expectations have gone through the roof. A kid used to get three years on the list before anyone knew he existed, now the day they are drafted we know what they have for breakfast and which hand they hold a pen in.
Balta is very much a baby in KPP terms. Don't stress about training habits and fitness issues yet, give him 2 more training years and then see. Remember though they all end up fit, only some have the talent to match it. Balta has that in spades.