26 Jul 2022
3 min read
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Michelle Dillon was such a strong believer in her team and defied all expectations in 2021. Her picks were actually the source of mocking from other Team Managers immediately after the draft, but she proved to be far more astute than people gave her credit for.
She also proved to be a nurturing mentor. Certainly she helped create the best environment for Beth Potter to perform, and sculpted a team morale in the men’s ranks that saw Hayden Wilde and Vasco Vilaca pulling together and visibly working for each other’s success.
While the pre-season data suggested the Sharks would finish rock bottom of the leaderboard, they came third and challenged the Scorpions for second.
Very hard to judge, but we will find out when the 2022 draft takes place as there is one very key question.
Will Dillon keep her approach of simply picking the best athletes rather than discipline specialists or change tactics after seeing the success of Tim Don in 2021?
There is little doubt that Dillon just picked the best overall athlete in her view each time she had a pick last time out. Admirable maybe, but her athletes, Taylor Reid aside, were rarely contenders for the swim Short Chute, and therefore had to work hard to pick up bike or run Short Chutes.
Given the ability for athletes to win them for the team in 2022, you sense she may change tactics, but Dillon is, like many managers across the spectrum of sport, strong willed and may aim to stick with the underdog mentality that served her and the Sharks so well in 2021.
Surely yes and yes. Hayden Wilde is an absolute dead cert. He and Dillon also really hit it off in 2021. He is her leader and her star man.
The same could certainly be said for Beth Potter. The question will remain as to whether Potter can challenge for the overall title, but, and it’s a big but, if Dillon can find the right bend of athletes to win Short Chutes on Potter’s behalf then it could be a total game changer for both her and the Sharks.
Dillon has to focus on Potter and Wilde. They will both struggle to pick up Short Chutes themselves, particularly in the swim, and so she needs to find them teammates who can help them in that respect, and in the process deny other teams from bagging them.
If she can do that she will boost their overall chances, and also in the process rack up discipline points. Of course, the same is true for every team, but it feels more stark for the Sharks than anybody else.
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