To paraphrase the famous song, “Mondays I’ve got Thursdays on my mind…”
Thursday games are back, and they’re here for a while to come. We haven’t had one since the first game of the season but, starting this week, we have four Thursday night games in a row (and then no more Thursday games for the rest of the season). In order, they are:
- Round 14: Adelaide v North Melbourne
- Round 15: West Coast v Essendon
- Round 16: Port Adelaide v Hawthorn
- Round 17: Sydney v Hawthorn
With so many in a row, we need to know what this means for us – the issues to be wary of but more cheerfully the opportunities that it brings.
For SuperCoach it’s not too much of a change as we already have a full rolling lockout each week anyway. The main point of difference is that you won’t be able to reverse trades once the Thursday night game has started (i.e. treat the Thursday night games as if they were a normal Friday night game), so if you’re a cautious trader then I’d recommend not doing your trades until later in the weekend once full Sunday teams are available, unless your trades include players from the Thursday and/or Friday games. Remember also that players will be locked into position as is once these games start, so for example in the Round 15 Thursday night game anyone rocking the Leuey/Grimley combo will have to choose which one is in the rucks and which is in the forwardline by the start of that match, and also whether they’re on field or emergencies.
Real Dream Team
RDT gives us a partial lockout for all Thursday night games. As our whole weekend is normally locked as of the Friday game, this means loopholes. It first and foremost means the Captain/Vice-Captain loophole. Essentially, of all the players from the Thursday night game that are in your team, pick the one you want to gamble on to get a big score and slap the VC on them. If they don’t score well enough then name a Captain as normal from the rest of the weekend and move on. If you want to keep it (eg if Sloane bangs out a big 130 tomorrow night) then you’ll need to slap the C on somebody on field who definitely won’t play. The VC will then get doubled instead. In Rounds 14-15 this should be easy as most/all will have someone in their 22 who has the bye. For the other rounds, it’ll be a balancing act but the simplest may be simply to slap the C on a Grimley type at R2, with a premium ruck at R3 with the Emergency on. Something like that.
Emergency loopholes will also be in play if you wish to try them. For Rounds 14-15 you probably won’t have excess players to bother with it anyway. For Round 16-17 you may choose to name a Kade Stewart, for example, as mid Emergency. If he knocks out big enough score then you might gamble on throwing a non-player at M8 that week and taking his score. That’ll leave you with a zero should one of your other 7 Mids be a late out, and you might have a full premium lineup by then anyway, but the option is there. If your loophole emergency scored a big 120 or so then it’s something to look at, so planning for it could be handy.
As with SuperCoach, you will not be able to reverse trades once the Thursday night game starts so be aware of this.
AF is similar to RDT, except that it also states that you should be able to reverse trades on the Friday as long as no trade you’re reversing was impacted in any way by a player from the Thursday game. Personally, I’d just not take the risk and would treat it as for RDT and not do any trades prior to Thursday that I didn’t have to, but if you really need to then the option should be there for you.
Specifically for Ultimate Footy here, if your league option is that lockout is as of the first game of the round then your team must be set and locked in by the start of the Thursday game. This may mean only an hour or so after Thursday teams have come out, so you will need to be on the ball here. If your league is set to lockout as of the first Saturday game then this is a bonus as you’ve now got four teams from which to attempt a captain/emergency loophole if you wish, rather than just the two Friday night teams. All the same, don’t get caught out with your Thursday players on field if they’re not playing (eg if Wells misses this week then get him off your field by the start of the game tomorrow night).
Thursday games create more opportunities to be bold so I’d suggest taking advantage of that – if you don’t then others will. Choosing high risk/high reward VCs like Tom Mitchell in Round 17 could potentially pay off huge for you, and if you don’t have anyone from one or more of the four Thursday games then perhaps take that into account with your final upgrades – if you’re 50/50 on two guys then perhaps choose the guy who will allow you to have a crack at a VC loophole. If you’re aware of what needs to be done and by when, then be organised, take advantage of it and then settle in to watch Thursday Night Footy!