MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 06: Tom Mitchell of the Hawks handballs during the round 20 AFL match between the Richmond Tigers and the Hawthorn Hawks at Melbourne Cricket Ground on August 6, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Ayden Potter took home last year’s SuperCoach crown and $50,000 for his troubles, and Potter is back this year to defend his title, although he’s willing to let fellow coaches in on some of his secrets.

After years of mistakes and teams that weren’t good enough, Potter’s main rule is to resist a stacked midfield. 

“In previous years I’d gone in with too many premium midfielders, too top heavy,” Potter told the Herald Sun.

“I’m looking for more value this year, I’ve gone in with too many high-priced midfielders before and it’s burnt me.

“Trades are crucial, if you don’t get your balance right, then you can burn through them early, which hurts.

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“This year is pretty open (for premiums) … [Tom] Mitchell will definitely be in there and I think Dusty [Martin] will be at some stage when he’s cheaper.

“Danger [Patrick Dangerfield] is still a wait and see with Gaz [Gary Ablett] there.”

With Dangerfield’s price at a staggering $749,800, coaches should be weary of his inflated price and what his breakeven could be.

Potter then turned his attention to the ruck stocks, and has confirmed something many coaches were thinking, believing Max Gawn and Nic Naitanui were the two locks for the on-field positions.

“Gawn is just too cheap to pass up,” he said.

“I think it’s set-and-forget in the rucks depending on Nic Nat’s pre-season, if he plays in the JLT, he’s in.”

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Potter also believes players like Christian Petracca and Isaac Heeney are ready to become elite scorers, and has also run his eye over an impressive rookie.

He’ll be keeping a close eye on the JLT Community Series, although Potter believes you can forget about scouting the AFLX for star players.

“I don’t think the AFLX will translate to SuperCoach but it will be good to see which young players are pushing their case,” he said.

“I think if Jack Higgins is named for Round 1 he’s a must-have and can score really well for a first-year player.”