Dean Towers won't be this year's Michale Barlow, but he will be a handy acquisition.
Photo: Getty Images
2013 position: Midfielder
2013 price: $107,200
Bye: Round 12
Last year's average: N/A
Last year's high score: N/A
Four reasons to have him in your team
1) The Sydney Swans have a tremendous record with their mature-age recruits and Towers, at 22, fits the bill. The fact the Swans spent their first-round pick (No.22) on the VFL star indicates they haven't recruited him as a depth player. Rather, he should play early and play lots if he gets up to speed on the training track.
2) Just as the Swans' experienced recruits have a proud history, so too do Towers' fellow Fothergill-Round Medallists. The winner of the VFL's best under-23 player has regularly gone on to star in the AFL the following year, with Michael Firrito (2002), Aaron Davey (2003), Robin Nahas (2008), Michael Barlow (2009), Michael Hibberd (2010) and Ahmed Saad (2011) all forging decent careers in the big league.
3) While Towers didn't rack up huge possession tallies with North Ballarat, AFL football - and particularly the Swans' style - will suit his strengths. Towers has been likened in some quarters to Hawthorn flanker Isaac Smith, in that he loves to grab the ball and run with it. Smith wasted little time in cementing a place in the powerful Hawks outfit and Towers has the tools to do the same.
4) The Swans love tall, running defenders of Towers' ilk - think Tadhg Kennelly and Martin Mattner, who it seems he has been drafted to replace in the long run. He has plenty of pace, an excellent leap and is a strong mark. Even if Towers starts the season in the Swans' reserves, Mattner and fellow defenders Rhyce Shaw and Nick Malceski are spring chickens no longer. Opportunities will come and he is experienced enough to make the most of them.
It is often harder for new draftees to break into strong teams than those struggling at the bottom of the ladder. The Swans are well stocked with running defenders, with Shaw, Mattner, Malceski, Alex Johnson and Nick Smith all able to play down back. If that quintet starts the season fit and firing, Towers could find himself on the outer until injury strikes. That's clearly not ideal for Dream Team purposes.
We mentioned earlier that Towers' powerful style of play is well suited to AFL, but it doesn't necessarily translate to big scores. Granted, regular tons aren't what you generally expect from first-year players but you should be aware that Towers is unlikely to emulate the gobsmacking feats of fellow VFL alumnus Michael Barlow in his debut season.
Risk rating: Towers has all the tools to make an impact in Dream Team footy this year; he just needs to get the opportunity. Rather than relying on him to fill a position in your starting 22, stick him on the bench or put him on your shortlist for an early trade. Either way, the damage will be limited by his bargain-basement starting price of $107,200. Two Alan Didaks.
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