From worst to best
After five rounds, Freo lead the AFL in kicking efficiency, running at an average of 68.7 per cent. St Kilda also rank highly in the stat, with an efficiency of 66 per cent, the seventh best in the AFL.
While it’s still early in the season, it’s a big turnaround in the stat from 2019. Fremantle had the worst kicking efficiency in the AFL last season, running at just 60.9 per cent.
Freo are more likely to move the ball forward by foot under Justin Longmuir. They have recorded only 27 kicks backwards this season, which is the second fewest in the AFL.
Making a mark
Freo’s 109 marks against Adelaide was the fourth-most in a game of any team in 2020 and significantly higher than their average of 70 per game from the opening four rounds. Their kick-mark style, mostly going forward or on the 45 degree angle, helped Freo move the ball forward efficiently against the Crows.
Overall, Freo rank seventh for marks per game with an average of 78. St Kilda lead the league, with an average of 82.
St Kilda’s league-leading 82 marks per game is largely due to thier tendency to retain possession while moving the ball by foot. St Kilda rank third for effective kicks, first for short kicks and 16th for long kicks.
Midfielder James Aish cost Freo a future third-round draft pick but the former Magpie and Lion has already proved to be an astute pick-up.
Aish was the no.7 pick in 2013 and according to Champion Data, the 24-year-old could be putting together a career-best season. His average of 78 ranking points per game is higher than any of his previous six years in the AFL – and that’s before we take into account the shorter game time.
Aish averaged 16.5 disposals in 2019 and has increased that to 17 per game in 2020 - equivalent to around 20.5 for a ‘normal’ length game.
Freo’s Hill to climb
As a Doig Medallist, we’ll give Bradley Hill the respect he deserves. We miss him!
Hill’s impact at St Kilda has already been noticed, from his 25-disposal effort in a loss against Collingwood to his sprint through the middle of Marvel Stadium that led to him running into an open goal against Richmond.
While Hill’s had great moments he’s yet to fully hit his straps this season, averaging 16.6 disposals (approx. 20 disposals to account for shorter games) in 2020 compared to his 25.1 at Freo in 2019.
Hill was limited to just eight touches in St Kilda’s three-goal win against Carlton in round five, so expect him to be hungry for a big one against his brother Stephen Hill and former teammates.