Draft Night

One of the best footy nights of the year, when we put our football nerdiness to the test and choose our fantasy football teams for the upcoming season. Ten players this time around, but the ever-sapping effect of emigration means that only six of us were in Cape Town last night, with the other four being spread across the rest of the world in four different countries, on three different continents, and in several different hemispheres. That meant that there were 19 hours between the first and last time zones: one living miles into the future, the other still almost in the 20th century.

I got drawn tenth in the draft, which meant that I got the last pick of the first round and the first pick of the next. Was this a disadvantage? No, obviously not: the draft system is ALWAYS FAIR AND EQUAL.
(Yes, I would have liked to have been in the top 3.)

The pressure of choosing each player within 60 seconds doesn’t sound too bad, but when the guy in front of you takes the striker you wanted right before your go, you have to start thinking fast. And then if you are at the end of the draft order (I was) you have to choose another one immediately afterwards.

Those are some of my excuses, anyway.

So, here’s who I ended up with:

Aaron Ramsdale – Arsenal

Wesley Fofana – Leicester City (but on his way to Chelsea, allegedly)
Tariq Lamptey – Brighton & Hove Albion
Virgil van Dijk – Liverpool
Ben White – Arsenal
William Saliba – Arsenal

Bruno Guimar√£es – Newcastle United
Morgan Gibbs-White – Wolverhampton Wanderers
Thiago – Liverpool
Joelinton – Newcastle United
Neeskens Kebano – Fulham
Yves Bissouma – Tottenham Hotspur

Luis Diaz – Liverpool
Luis Sinisterra – Leeds United
Raheem Sterling – Chelsea
Che Adams – Southampton

Some established names, some new names, a couple of leftfield choices that might have great seasons or might disappear from the team roster very quickly. We’ll see. In fact, looking again this morning and given some of the names that surprisingly didn’t get picked up last night, I’ve already booked in a few changes which should go through before the season starts.

As a side, I think that it looks OK. The only thing between me and inevitable fantasy football glory in May next year is the other 9 teams which looks equally good or better.
Well, apart from one of them – you know who you are.

I’ll keep you all updated. Assuming things go well, that is. Otherwise, you’ll hear nothing.

Fantasy

For one reason or another (but mainly one reason), I haven’t been checking out much of the pre-season football that’s been occurring over the last few weeks. This has left me rather behind the curve with the annual fantasy football draft night coming up this week. And that’s why I have hijacked the TV for the afternoon and am doing some swift reconnaissance watching Manchester City and Liverpool.

Early days? Sure, but I think that it’s fairly clear that I won’t be selecting any Liverpool defenders -or midfielders – because apparently they simply don’t exist. Or maybe they’re just still on holiday. Either way, I can’t see them making a big splash early on in the season if they’re not even going to turn up.

That group of individuals aside, I do have a strategy for picking my players this year. And obviously, I can’t give that away just yet. Although, given my performance in previous seasons, I doubt that it would make any difference anyway.

Draft night is always a fun occasion, full of power banks, pizza and pisstaking. This season, with our league spread across four continents (although only three for the actual event), will surely be no different.

I’ll let you all review my team once it’s set in stone, so you’ll be able to predict just how routinely disappointing my fantasy season will be.

Draft night update

Last night was a lot of fun. Bit of a depressing drive home, if I’m honest, but I guess you can’t have everything.

Reality is a bummer, hey?

I ended up with some players from top clubs like Spurs, Liverpool, Man City, and a few from the also-rans like ManU, Chelsea and Arsenal.

My cosmopolitan team features some top names from three continents, and is ready to lose play its first match this weekend.

There was actually more interest in this than I thought (basically one person sent an email), so here’s the starting squad for the Regal Beagles on Fantrax.

Shotstoppers:
Hugo Lloris
Fabri

Big D:
Serge Aurier
Leighton Baines
Stephan Lichtensteiner
Ashley Young
Danilo

Midfield Maestros:
David Brooks
Fabinho
Jorginho
Riyad Mahrez
Jack Wilshere
Pedro

Up Top:
Laurent Depoitre
Firmino
Kelechi Iheanacho

On paper, I think it looks like a pretty decent team.
Sadly though, I’ve just been informed that most of the games this season will be played on grass, not paper.

I still have high hopes ready to be dashed.