James Sicily is a lock on the backline. Picture: Getty Images
James Sicily is a lock on the backline. Picture: Getty Images

Jonathan Brown reveals his SuperCoach AFL team

I've been red-hot on Rory Sloane all pre-season.

But with Round 1 here, he's been sacrificed. Sorry, Rory, it's not you, it's me. Well, it's actually that bloody SuperCoach salary cap.

Downgrading Sloane to Tom Liberatore has freed up $225,000 and that's helped finalise Browny's Bruisers.

Even though Sloane looks to have had a very good pre-season, he's shown over the past couple of years he's susceptible to a tag.

Liberatore has looked like the 2016 version this year and, with his new set of Simpsons tattoos, my theory is he would only be showing off fresh ink if he had supreme confidence in his body.

I know I've been bullish about Joe Daniher as my speculative pick, but even the most ardent Essendon supporter couldn't carry him for six weeks while he's on the sidelines with a calf. In comes Lincoln McCarthy for Daniher to complete the forwards.

In defence, I love James Sicily. He's an intercept marker, a good kick and, under Al Clarkson he would have matured this off-season.

His new teammate, Jack Scrimshaw, also gets a game in my team. Scrimshaw never settled at the Gold Coast but back home in familiar surrounds he's impressed, particularly against Richmond in the JLT.

At a good height he seems to be able to find the footy and he can take some marks.

My No. 1 rule for picking defenders is to find intercept markers and designated kickers under the new kick-in rule.

Joe Daniher hasn’t made the cut in Jonathan Brown’s SuperCoach team. Picture: Getty Images
Joe Daniher hasn’t made the cut in Jonathan Brown’s SuperCoach team. Picture: Getty Images

Brodie Smith and, at times, Michael Hibberd fall into this category. Smith has the added bonus of injecting speed into the Adelaide midfield.

My old mate Tom Rockliff had a calf injury last year and missed his first pre-season at his second club.

But after a full summer and in familiar surrounds I expect him to return to be the SuperCoach stud he used to be.

I've got three Port Adelaide boys on my bench as cash cows - Xavier Duursma, Zak Butters and Willem Drew - and have been swept up by the Michael Gibbons love-in.

Finding rookie forwards was hard work but after Mark LeCras' retirement and Jamie Cripps' injury I expect Jack Petruccelle ($123,900) to have an impact as a high pressure forward early.

Adelaide's top pick Chayce Jones looks very composed and I like his tackling pressure. It'll be hard to get big midfield minutes but he looks like he can contribute straight away as a forward.

Jon Brown's SuperCoach column Round 1, March 20
Jon Brown's SuperCoach column Round 1, March 20

I couldn't afford both premium ruckmen and have gone with Max Gawn over Brodie Grundy, purely because he's had a healthier summer. I think premiership ruckman Scott Lycett can have an impact at Port, particularly with Paddy Ryder injuring a cheekbone.

Lycett is my fifth Port player so I'll be intently watching when they run out on the MCG on Saturday.

Let's hope I can keep chief salary cap investigator Ken Wood at bay throughout the year.

News Corp Australia