The footy is back and with it we see the annual emergence of hundreds of thousands of fans, trying their hand at taking a fantasy AFL team to supreme glory. Whether you are in it to demoralise your mates or to take on the rest of the nation, you are bound to run into a bunch of coaches with their own recognisable style. Here are nine types of fantasy footy coaches you will probably come across this season. See if you can put a familiar face to any of them.
This coach comes into a new season with a swagger usually reserved for rock-stars and ball players. After winning the title last year, The Champ can afford to have an air of arrogance about him and this can be seen in his forum taunts, his straight-up asshole trade offers (“How about I give you Kepler Bradley for Dane Swan and Gary Ablett?”) and his constant undermining of your team’s best players. His team is always going to be pretty good (you don’t win without knowing what you’re doing) but don’t let him get in your head; crushing him like an ant will be a moment to savour.
A personal favourite for the more serious coaches, The Rookie is that friend you have who hasn’t even played fantasy football before and essentially ends up just donating his money to the prize pool with no hope of reclaiming it. He knows his football, but doesn’t understand the differences between a good fantasy footballer and a good real-life footballer. Luke McPharlin might be one of the best defenders in the league, but you know there is no use in picking a bloke who is only going to get 10 touches a game. Luckily for your wallet, The Rookie doesn’t.
This coach is a diehard fan of one particular AFL team and as a result his selection judgement is severely clouded. His presence is a godsend for other coaches as his inability to acknowledge that his real-life team may actually not be a Supercoach goldmine leaves him picking underperforming chumps, who he is convinced will have a breakout year.
Every league has that guy that goes through the year honestly believing he is a contender, but actually fails to deliver any results. This then leads to him quickly inform everyone who is in a ten-kilometre radius that he only lost because his back-up substitute’s understudy who he had on his bench was unfairly treated by the umpires all day. Everyone loves to beat this guy and fortunately they usually do.
This coach is that mysterious unknown guy who is in the league to fill that last open place. Usually a co-worker, distant friend-of-a-friend or just a random bloke who has been auto-assigned to your league, this bloke could be a convicted murderer for all you know. This outsider usually winds up with a pretty good team, but owing to the fact that he doesn’t have a clue who you are he usually gives up caring after about Round 5 and only comes back every few weeks to make some slight changes before slinking back into the shadows.
The Guy That Hasn’t Paid Yet
What better way to keep everyone interested than putting a little bit of prize money up for grabs? Everyone chips in some cash at the start of the season and the winner goes home a richer man. All good, right? Unfortunately not,because you are friends with a tight-arse. Your interactions with this guy consist of him telling you that he is getting paid “in just a few more days” and that his “internet banking is down for maintenance”. Write him off as a bad debt and remember to leave his name off the list for next year’s competition, because this penny-pincher is more trouble than he is worth.
The Unlucky Guy
Not to be confused with The Excuse-Maker, The Unlucky Guy is that coach who drafted a really good team to start the season with and had a few rounds of excellence before being decimated by a raft of injuries, suspensions, and late changes. Left with his star players sitting on the sideline for multiple weeks, this coach is forced to play a bunch of spare-parts players and blow a lot of trades trying to get his season back on track. You feel for him, you really do, but you are still going to willingly take his cash at the end of each year.
The Guy Who Just Doesn’t Care
Sure he agreed to be in the league, took part in the draft, and selected a competent team, but if you are looking for anything more than that from this coach, you have come to the wrong place. Whether he is too lazy to check, forgot his password or just doesn’t give a rat’s, The Guy Who Just Doesn’t Care will simply not look at his team or make any changes for pretty much the whole year. You should beat him because he will leave his injured players on the field, but the fact that he has four gun footballers sitting helplessly on the bench while their coach hasn’t bothered to log on for 10 weeks is a perennial frustration for other teams.
We all know the basic mainstays of fantasy AFL: who to pick and who to avoid. But The Visionary is that coach in your league who uses his late round picks to take a player that you have most likely never heard of because he apparently had a really good quarter in an under-18s trial game in country Victoria three years ago. The Visionary gambles on a bunch of these players to fill his team and it results in him either vying for the crown with a team of surprise superstars or taking home a wooden spoon after a torrent of miserable scores.