Fremantle’s midfield is beginning to look quite thin, after losing Lachie Neale during the 2018 Trade Period and Connor Blakely during the pre-season. This had led many to believe that the Dockers will look to give their youngsters more of a run through the midfield in 2019. Could former No. 5 draft pick Adam Cerra be one of the major beneficiaries?
Player: Adam Cerra
Games played in 2018: 21
2018 average: 60.7
100+ scores: 1
80+ scores: 4
Cerra is very highly rated by officials at the Dockers. This was demonstrated by the urgency they showed in locking the young gun down to a long-term contract until 2021.
Considering the faith they have in Cerra, it would be no surprise to see him play a larger role for the Dockers this season, as they look to push up the ladder. Fremantle coach Ross Lyon has already stated that Cerra will get a larger run through the middle in 2019, which could be great for his SuperCoach prospects.
If Cerra’s larger role in the guts eventuates, he could see a massive improvement to his SuperCoach scoring and break-out; similar to guys like Zach Merrett, Jack Macrae and Andrew Gaff in their second seasons.
Those players also work as a great comparison for Cerra’s potential this season, since they recorded numbers in their first year that are incredibly similar to his. All of them received a larger midfield role in their second season (like Cerra has been promised) and went on to flourish.
Now Cerra is unlikely to see as great an improvement as those superstars, since he’ll have to split time with youngsters such as Andy Brayshaw, but I can easily see him pushing into the 80-point range and providing a great stepping stone to a premium after the bye rounds.
Cerra has also had a promising pre-season thus far. Despite a delayed start due to off-season shoulder surgery, Cerra has returned to the club with a much bulkier frame and impressed during match simulation; particularly during stints on at half-back.
We’ve already seen guys like Luke Ryan and Nathan Wilson score well in that rebounding role for the Dockers, so any time Cerra spends there can only be seen as another positive heading into 2019.
The biggest question mark with Cerra has to be his scoring potential. Last season, Cerra only scored greater than 90 in one game. Apart from that, Cerra largely scored around the 50-80 range for most of the season.
Now sure he’s only a rookie so you can’t expect huge numbers from him, but when taking a risk on a break-out candidate, you’d really like to see more evidence of their potential.
Similarly, when trying to predict a breakout, many coaches consider the player’s end to a season, think Toby McLean. If you apply this to Adam Cerra, the signs are rather worrying. From his last five games, Cerra scored no more than 54 points in a game and averaged only 42.6.
You could accredit this drop-off to the niggles Cerra experienced at the end of 2018, but it is still something to keep in mind nonetheless.
With the promise of more midfield minutes, Cerra appears to be a great candidate for a second-year breakout in 2019. He could easily have a 20+ point improvement this season and be a late season upgrade to a premium such as Devon Smith or Sam Menegola.
For me personally, he’s currently locked in at F4 and will be one I keep a close eye on throughout the JLT Series.
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