One of the eternal arguments for footy fans and analysts is that of talent against system. Would Player X at Club Y be as successful at Club Z, or is the style of play at Club Y critical to how good he looks on the field. Does a champion player shine wherever he goes, or does the work of the coaching and tactical staff play a big role in the success of any player.
At this point it’s very hard to tell whether the players that occupy the intercepting tall defender role at the Crows in the past five years (Lever, Doedee, Keath) have been incredibly talented in their own right, or that the system that they operated in has helped them look good. Standing next to a stellar anchor defender like Daniel Talia helps everyone else look better, and supporting talent such as Laird, Kelly and Smith can cover their players and get the ball out of defence.
The Dogs, by trading for Keath, are taking a fair sized punt on the latter. The former cricketer (drink) has shown plenty of promise in his limited game time since converting to full time football (drink), but it’s hard to tell how much of that is the favourable situation that he has been placed in.
The Dogs have a real need for that exact type of player, and despite Keath’s age they need to take a shot if they are to take another step back up the ladder.
The Dogs have bid slightly higher than Keath’s value, indicating that they think he might do well in a side that needs his skill set.
Right now, the Dogs will be better on field from this trade, as Keath will very likely produce more than any third round pick.
At 27, Keath may not get much better, but the current version of Keath might be exactly what the Bulldogs need.
Or, he is just the product of the Crows system.
Verdict: Dogs bet on the short term, Crows play a slightly longer game.