Shinboner Program Guide: Finals & Trade Period

We’re approaching the business end of 2022, which means production on The Shinboner is about to ramp up tenfold.

Instead of vague outlines on what’s to come, the purpose of today’s post is to lay it all out.

By the end of this, everyone will know exactly what’s to come between the end of Round 23 and the end of trade period.

Here are the four pillars of the next two months.

(And a reminder that North Melbourne content exists in its own little world)

First up is the return of Finals Dossiers.

Long-term readers will remember the 2019 and 2020 editions. For those who aren’t aware, a few links to get up to speed:

2019 Finals Dossier: West Coast
2019 Finals Dossier: Richmond
2020 Finals Dossier: Geelong
2020 Finals Dossier: Port Adelaide

The plan is for these pieces to encapsulate everything about each of the top four sides. When I say everything, it’s not an empty word – I really want people to finish with the sense they know a team inside and out. It’ll be the above examples taken to another level.

That means stats, trends, game style, strengths, weaknesses, matchups; you name it and it’ll be there.

It also means Patreon subscribers have a lengthier period of time where they’re the only ones with access. Here’s how the release schedule looks:

Next, in an ongoing series throughout September, will be every team’s season wrap and look ahead. I’ll think of a catchier name before they’re published, but the goal with these is provide a snapshot of where a team is at and what they can fix over the off-season.

Ideally it avoids the standard, ‘player x had a breakout season, while player y was interrupted by injury’ template and provides proper tools to analyse a list with.

That means the contracts, demographics and minutes by age will make an appearance in each piece. In addition there’ll be league rankings and progress in key areas – along with big picture analysis – just to name a few topics.

This will run concurrently with the finals series, posted during the week. The theory behind not starting it immediately after Round 23 is to gain an inkling of a team’s plan via their first set of list changes.

Here’s how the release schedule and Patreon subscriber access looks:

The third pillar is the bread and butter of The Shinboner every week during the season, but now it’s extended to the rest of the league.

Every North Melbourne match gets the proper, in-depth treatment detailing what went wrong, what went right and digging deep into reasons for the result.

During September, that process will be replicated for all nine finals. It’ll be a detailed look at every single angle of a game and much like the finals dossiers, the plan is when both sets of fans close the article tab, they understand exactly what happened to their team in the game. And neutrals too I guess.

For a non-North Melbourne example from earlier in the year, I point you to how Fremantle beat Melbourne in Round 11.

Here’s how the release schedule and Patreon subscriber access looks:

Which brings us to the fourth and final pillar: a plan for free agency and the trade period.

There will be a post for every move that involves a player – pick swaps won’t get the same distinction unless it’s a key part of an important puzzle.

Naturally some posts will be longer than others. For instance if the Luke Jackson move happens it’ll demand a more in-depth breakdown than fringe player X for future third round pick.

In an ideal world the post will be online the day of each transaction. It may be a tight squeeze to execute perfectly on deadline day, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Here’s the plan visualised, and Patreon subscriber access:

Then, apart from key points off the back of trade period and any large breaking news, that will be it for The Shinboner until March 1.

For Patreon subscribers, the next couple of months look like this:

And for those who are keen to sign up right now, here’s the link to do it.

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