Reports in the last week suggest Port Adelaide has yet to put a contract offer to Angus Monfries for season 2017. Monfries’ manager Nigel Carmody has confirmed that Monfries is keen to continue his career at Alberton next year and is hopeful of a positive outcome before season’s end.
Monfries will be turning 30 before the start of the 2017 season so Port Adelaide will need to make a potentially tough call on his future and no doubt list management discussions would be taking place now. Should Angus Monfies be offered a new deal?
Certainly Monfries had his form issues in 2015. Many pundits and fans were questioning Monfries output and the club obviously agreed because Monfries found himself dropped to the SANFL after a return of five goals in seven games. It was the first time in three years Monfries had been dropped since crossing to Port Adelaide from Essendon.
Monfries quickly found himself back at AFL level however and his two best goal return games for 2015 took place in round 20 & 21 when he kicked 3 goals against GWS and Hawthorn. It should also not be underestimated how difficult the preparation was for both Angus Monfries and Paddy Ryder last season. Both unable to play any of the Pre-Season games due to the Essendon supplement saga. A less than ideal preparation for an AFL footballer.
Unfortunately the one year suspension for Monfries this year could not have come at a worse time. While age may potentially count against him, not playing for a full season and coming out of contract complicates the situation even more.
The small forward role that Monfries plays isn’t an easy one. It does involve putting pressure on the opposition and spending time up the ground. However impacting the scoreboard is still of significant importance. Monfries kicked 39 goals in 2013 which is the highest goal tally in his career. In 2014 he kicked 21 goals in 17 matches and in 2015 a return of 23 goals in 19 matches.
Certainly Aaron Young has been the surprise packet for Port Adelaide this season. Young has found his niche in the forward line and has kicked 21 goals in 9 matches while averaging 16.1 disposals per game. Young himself is out of contract at the end of the season and Port Adelaide need to also finalise this deal.
Port Adelaide has tried to get games into younger players such as Karl Amon, Jarman Impey and Jake Neade. A comparison between Monfries and Neade is interesting from a statistical point of view. While many think Monfries had his worst ever year at Port in 2015 his overall output that season is ahead of Neade thus far in 2016. Neade does average more tackles per game at 3.8 to 2.5 a game. But Angus Monfries averages more kicks, marks, handballs and goals. While people love the energy and pressure Neade applies, he only averages 11.4 disposals per game and has only kicked six goals in 10 matches for the year.
So what does Port Adelaide do? On one hand the club are trying to develop the squad towards their next assault at a Premiership. Aaron Young has certainly taken his opportunities so far in 2016 and has performed beyond expectation. Whether Karl Amon, Jarman Impey and Jake Neade have done enough when playing forward is certainly debatable. The club may also think that Monfries’ best football is behind him.
Essendon made the decision that all their listed players serving a ban would be offered new contracts for season 2017. On face value Port Adelaide probably should follow suit with Angus Monfries. The leadership Monfries has provided since being at the club has been invaluable. A one year deal at relative low cost certainly appears to have more pros than cons.