Throughout the year, Bound For Glory News will complete a series of articles evaluating trades made in 2013. Each trade will be tracked at multiple points throughout the year, ending with a final evaluation at the end of season 2014.
DOM TYSON VS. JOSH KELLY – part one
One of 2013’s most talked about trades saw former number three draft pick Dom Tyson move from Greater Western Sydney to Melbourne in exchange for pick two in the National Draft. At the time, the general consensus in the football world was that the Demons had got themselves a bargain.
They had redressed their previous draft failings by taking an already established midfielder, as well as acquiring a top 10 selection. However, when GWS used pick two to select boom youngster Josh Kelly, Melbourne’s decision didn’t seem so cut and dried.
So, four rounds into the season, how can we assess this trade so far?
Averaging 29 disposals and eight marks a game so far this season, Tyson has shown just why he was originally taken as pick three in his draft year. His ability to rack up possessions has been welcome in a Melbourne midfield that was last year devoid of classy ball winners, Nathan Jones aside. His efficiency – ranked fourth in the AFL in effective disposals per game this season – has also been a welcome benefit.
In addition, the leadership he has brought to the Demons’ young and rather inexperienced midfield has been of great value to the team. Although young in both age, at 20, and football terms, having played only 16 games in three seasons largely due to injury, he is one of the most senior players in Melbourne’s midfield.
From being surrounded by other young, inexperienced players at GWS to being one of the most senior at Melbourne has been a different experience for Tyson. However, he seems to be relishing the support he has been getting from Jones and other experienced Melbourne players.
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY
Kelly got his first taste of senior football in GWS’ second game of the season against the Saints. Understandably, coach Leon Cameron gave Kelly the green vest to help him acclimatise to the occasion. However, such was Kelly’s impact in limited game time that Cameron remarked after the game that there was “no way” Kelly would be made the starting sub again the following week. In less than one quarter of football, Kelly gathered 11 disposals, and impressed with his disposal by foot.
His second game saw him go to another level. Against Melbourne no less, Kelly earned the round three Rising Star nomination for gathering 17 disposals and kicking a goal. With fellow GWS young gun Lachie Whitfield missing the game due to injury, Kelly provided poise, run and class through the Giants’ midfield.
VERDICT SO FAR
At this stage of the season, it is, of course, too early to make a definitive assessment of the trade and who has come up trumps. In exchange for pick two, Melbourne received Tyson, pick nine and pick 53. The player they selected with pick nine, Christian Salem, is yet to play a game, and Viv Michie, received from Fremantle in exchange for pick 53, has shown talent, but is yet to fully establish himself, currently sidelined with a fractured jaw.
However, in Tyson, Melbourne has the young, experienced, classy midfielder it desperately needed to inject into its side. GWS, on the other hand, used the second pick it acquired in the trade, pick 20, in a complicated three-way deal with Brisbane and Port Adelaide that saw them acquire pick 14, used on young forward Cameron McCarthy, who has yet to play a game. In Kelly, however, GWS has a 200-game midfielder.
So far, it appears that the trade has paid off for both teams, but Tyson’s ability to add leadership to Melbourne’s young midfield has the Dees with the edge. Just.