2019 Starting Price: $437,600
2018 Avg. 80.6
2018 End Price $455,000
High Score: 133 (Round 1 Brisbane)
Low Score 47 (Round 6 Hawthorn)
This article is designed for those who love to live life a little different, for those who don’t always kick down the guts, those who love hand balling out of defense, those who always think outside the centre square!
2017 Jack Billings finished the season as a top 10 Fwrd with an average of 92.7 and looked poised to be the one to take his game to the next level in 2018.
One would need to assume that we got sucked in to his last 5 games and the hype train of Billings or maybe we had just been robbed with a talented young kid being played out of position, whatever excuse we choose to find the reality is that when 2018 hit we all crashed and burned with the pain that came with owning Mr Billings.
So why could 2019 be any different?
JLT 1 is out the way and Billings had 2 goals, 20 disposals and 100 sc points to just dangle the carrot in our face, his midfield minutes looked to be up and this is a 23 soon to be 24 year old that could just be hitting his prime.
Now I’m not even remotely comparing the two here (kind of am) but I remember early days of the Dangerfield hype train picking him year in year out for the crows to tell myself never again im sick of this, before he eventually shot into supercoach relevance and never looked back.
if we look at the stages of their playing timelines the two share very similar numbers, its even scarier to think the season before Dangerfield did go BANG his numbers were so similar.
We could probably relate some of these poor scores to a couple of STK factors also
Ill never defend Billings kicking since joining the AFL ranks, known as such an elite kick on both feet at the junior/TAC (see draft prospect notes below) its incredible how poor his ball use can be at stages.
In 2018 he kept his Champion Data “Elite” rating for a general forward in categories such as Disposals, score assist and score involvements however his kicking rating dropped to the worst its ever been at a -5% a below average rating for his position,
His shot at goal accuracy of a dismal 36% since 2014 is by far the lowest of any of the top 100 AFL goal kicker at this stage!
The great thing about being on the bottom….. you can only go up and surely with the skillset Jack has on both feet if he can manage to improve his shot on goal accuracy and his ball use around the ground complimented in a rise of midfield minutes, Billings could become supercoach relevant and a competitor for a top 10 position once again?
With his sticky overhead marking and elite skills on both feet, Billings has a couple of strong weapons that separate him from his peers. As a forward he can take a pack mark as easily as crumb a contest, and through the midfield it's not unusual to see him gather the ball, break away from a stoppage and then deliver the pass. Because his skills are so good, Billings looks like a finisher. But he is more than that: good in traffic, can feed the ball out with quick hands, and seems to always find space. At TAC Cup level, he came back from injury and played strong games, and although under duress with his knee, picked up 26 possessions then followed it with 32.
I want to finish with a couple of key STK/Billings facts and stats that I believe they’ll work on attempting to turn around:
2016/17 out pressured their opponents 32/44 games – managed to only out pressure their opponents in 9
STK played on at a rate of 36% - (10% higher than the AFL average)
STK had the lowest Kick to Handball ratio at 1.14 which fell to 1.05 in their def half, ranking the worst in the AFL
Averaged a dismal 74 metres gained per game by handballs (Richmond averaged 483 per game as a comparison)
Kicked a goal from only 19.8% of their entries inside the forward 50 (Ranking the 5th worst result of this stat in champion data history)
Never forget it was only 12 months ago that Billings only just rated outside of the “Elite” category and only missed due inaccuracy at goal holding him back.
Billings has a fantastic mark and can kick on both side of the body, I believe that his talent and lovely ability to use the ball will outshine the woes and the pressure and hell be able to turn his game around.
I don’t think his one at the price tag I’m willing to bet my season on, however one ill monitor closely if big scores will start to come.