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Season Review: Liam Picken

westernbulldogs.com.au reviews Liam Picken's 2017 season.

8:36am  Oct 20, 2017

'We move on pretty quick'

Dogs not using prospect of back-to-back flags as motivation

8:10am  Dec 31, 2016

'We move on pretty quick'

Dogs not using prospect of back-to-back flags as motivation

8:07am  Dec 31, 2016

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Senior List

42

Liam
Picken

Height
184 cm
DOB
01-08-1986
Weight
83 kg
Debut
2009
Games
2017
22
Career
198
Goals
2017
24
Career
87
2017 AFL Fantasy Points
Total
1676
Avg
76
LiamPicken

Player Bio

At a Glance

Junior Clubs:
Clubs: Western Bulldogs
Debut: Rd 2 2009 (North Melbourne)
Recruited from: Hamilton/North Ballarat U18/Williamstown
Brownlow Votes: 11

Player Sponsors

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Tenacious and unselfish, Liam Picken continues to win admirers with his approach to football, becoming one of the most well respected taggers in the competition. Picken’s persistence has never been questioned, transitioning from a mature aged rookie in 2009 (selection 30 overall) to polling third in the Best and Fairest in 2012.

Picken is one of the Club's most durable players, having not played less than 20 games in a season since debuting in 2009.

After building a reputation is a tagger, Picken has taken his game to a new level under Luke Beveridge as an offensiveand ball-winning midfielder, averaging over 23 disposals per game.

Picken played every game in season 2016, and was instrumental in the Club's stellar post season run to its first AFL Premiership in 61 years. Picken was subsequently named the Club's player of the finals series.

Season By Season

Season in short

The picture of consistency, Liam Picken has played 20 or more games in every season since his debut in 2009.

In 2017, Picken led the club’s goal-kicking tally, finishing with 24 majors for the season.

He kicked a career-best six goals in round 18 in Cairns to sink the Gold Coast Suns. He also kicked three goal hauls on three occasions (Round 23 vs. Hawthorn, Round 20 vs. Lions, Round 14 vs. North Melbourne).

Stat that mattered:

Picken signed a new two-year contract extension in April until the end of 2019.

What they said:

“The ability to play more in the forward line helped me throughout the year. To be able to do that and kick some goals was nice.

“I enjoyed it. When you get the ball and hit the scoreboard, it’s always good. We had a lot of different guys go through there (forward line), it was challenging but it was good to see some new guys down there.”

- Liam Picken, September 2017.

Season in short

Dour stopper to goal kicking midfielder in two seasons – the Liam Picken story is well told, so it was fitting that he put the exclamation point on the Bulldogs season with the final goal of the grand final.

Picken’s finals series was one of the great runs.  While his per game averages weren’t that different from the home and away season, it was on the scoreboard where he had the most impact, kicking eight goals in four games, including three in the grand final.

A tenacious two way player, Picken was fourth at the Club for score involvements, tackles and marks and second for contested possessions.

Recently turned 30 but looks to be getting better.

 

The stat that mattered

Picken’s 22 handballs against Geelong in round 19 was a career high.

 

What they said

“I was just sort of chugging along with a couple of ups and downs there but I finished off strongly which was great and I couldn’t be happier how it ended.

"It’s been amazing, the whole western suburbs were behind us. The feel from the fans that have supported us for so long – there’s been a lot of heartache over the years – so to be able to finally share it with them was amazing.”

Season in short:

Perhaps the ultimate beneficiary of Luke Beveridge’s attacking game style, Liam Picken was given a new role in 2015.

The former tagger developed into a more offensive midfielder, winning his own football and finishing the year with 497 disposals – his best output from seven seasons.

Most impressively, Picken didn’t compromise his hard-edged defensive style, averaging four tackles – 10th in the league.

One of the most consistent performers, Picken finished 10th in the Sutton Medal count.

The 29-year-old’s best performance came in the gritty round five win, suited to Picken’s strengths.

He gathered 33 disposals, four marks, 12 tackles and two Brownlow votes, guiding the Dogs to arguably their best win of the year.

 

Stat that mattered:

Picken notched up a career-high 36 disposals in round 15 against the Suns.

 

What they said:

“It was really exciting, it was a really good opportunity to do something different from what I’ve been doing, playing as a defender or a run-with player. The new role was great, to be able to fit in and contribute was great. I’m happy to play wherever, it was a great role this year, football’s always changing though so it throws up different things, you’ve got to keep an open mind.” ­– Liam Picken, September 2015

 “He’s probably the older statesman of our mid group and just to see him, and see Bevo set him challenges about the type of player he thought he could be and things that he could do for us offensively. We just love Picko’s competitiveness, his hardness and his athleticism, I think how good he is as an athlete gets understated…

“He’s so strong above his head in the air, you saw him go forward, take grabs and actually be a goal-kicking mid for us as well. He’s been super impressive from a coaching point of view about his improved leadership. You can just tell he really cares about his teammates and his Club.” – Steven King (Western Bulldogs Assistant Coach), September 2015

Season in short:

Picken has established himself as one of the most feared taggers in the game. With a close-checking style, Picken built on those skills in 2014 shutting down some of the game’s best.

Playing all 22 games in 2014 and overcoming Gold Coast’s Gary Ablett and North Melbourne’s Lindsay Thomas – Picken put in a consistent season.

Most impressive was Picken’s ability to win his own ball, averaging 18 disposals for the year, including a pleasing performance in the Dogs 63-point loss to Sydney in round 22. Picken amassed 25 disposals, 10 marks and six tackles. 

 

The stat that mattered:

Although stopping some of the game’s best in 2014, Picken managed to average 18 disposals, showing he has the ability to hurt sides on the attack.

 

What they said:

“He just plays it as hard and as tight as he possibly can and that’s not always the case with people playing that position.

“He’s a very important part of our side. He’s a lot more versatile than people give him credit for.” – Bulldogs senior assistant coach Brett Montgomery on Picken in August 2014.

Season in short:

The tough-nut midfield stopper put in some fine performances in the early part of the season. At his typical tenacious best, Picken frustrated opposition midfielders while gathering plenty of contested ball from aerial and ground contests. In addition to containing the likes of Cyril Rioli, Jeff Garlett and Tom Mitchell, Picken averaged 22 disposals of his own. His 27 touches, five inside-50s and a goal against Carlton in round 20 provided a memorable highlight.

Stat that mattered:

At the end of round 21 only two shut down players had kept their direct opponent (of 30 minutes +) to under 16 touches on average per 100 minutes – Picken and North Melbourne’s Taylor Hine. The Bulldogs hard nut’s feat was even more impressive as he accumulated over 15 possessions himself over the same time period. From 18 games he had 12 run with assignments, claiming the scalps of some of the competition’s most damaging players.

What they said:

““I actually trained a lot with Picko (Liam Picken) – tried to mimic the way he trains, how professional he is. That is one of the things I identified at the start of the pre-season, that I want to train harder and more consistently and so I just latched onto him.”

- Christian Howard ahead of round two

Going from strength to strength, Picken executed his role in season 2012 with skill. Ranking third in the Charlie Sutton Medal he also took out the Brad Johnson Best Team Player Award, a special honour given that both players and coaches influence its appointment. One of Picken’s main strengths is his tackling pressure which sees him rank first at the Club for tackles (119) – with 32 tackles more than the 2nd placed Matthew Boyd. He also saw a career best in disposals (28) and equalled his personal record with 13 tackles on multiple occasions this season.

Season By Season

The hard-at-it tagger had a standout season, playing all 22 games in a variety of defensive roles and finishing eighth in the best and fairest. Had a career-high 27 possessions and laid eight tackles against St Kilda in round 12. His uncompromising, fearless attack on the ball makes him one of the first players picked each week.

Stats

By the numbers

  • 2017 Season Average
    Games Played 22
    • Kicks 9.0
    • Handballs 9.7
    • Disposals 18.6
    • Marks 3.8
    • Hit-Outs 0.0
    • Tackles 3.0
    • Goals 1.1
    • AFL Fantasy 76.2

2017 Highlights

Statistics Best Opponent Round
Kicks 15 Sydney Swans Rd 2
Handballs 16 Geelong Cats Rd 9
Disposals 26 Brisbane Lions Rd 5
Marks 8 Gold Coast Suns Rd 18
Hit-outs 0 - -
Tackles 7 Geelong Cats Rd 9
Goals 6 Gold Coast Suns Rd 18
AFL Fantasy 111 Gold Coast Suns Rd 18

2017 Season Breakdown

Rd Opponent Result K H D M HO FF FA T G B AF
1 Collingwood W 86 - 100 12 8 20 8 0 1 0 4 2 0 105
2 Sydney Swans W 110 - 87 15 6 21 6 0 3 1 2 2 1 96
3 Fremantle L 89 - 73 3 8 11 2 0 1 0 0 0 1 33
4 North Melbourne W 86 - 89 13 12 25 6 0 2 0 4 0 1 100
5 Brisbane Lions W 122 - 90 13 13 26 4 0 0 0 4 1 1 100
6 GWS Giants L 75 - 73 4 11 15 3 0 0 0 4 0 1 60
7 Richmond W 80 - 75 13 5 18 5 0 0 0 3 1 1 83
8 West Coast Eagles L 69 - 61 12 13 25 2 0 0 1 3 0 0 77
9 Geelong Cats L 104 - 81 4 16 20 4 0 0 0 7 0 0 84
10 St Kilda W 90 - 50 8 13 21 3 0 1 2 4 1 0 76
12 Sydney Swans L 88 - 42 13 10 23 2 0 1 0 3 0 0 78
13 Melbourne L 56 - 113 8 15 23 3 0 3 2 6 1 0 90
14 North Melbourne W 107 - 106 7 10 17 4 0 0 1 0 3 1 69
15 West Coast Eagles L 80 - 87 6 10 16 2 0 0 1 2 0 0 49
16 Adelaide Crows L 104 - 45 9 5 14 1 0 1 1 2 0 1 47
17 Carlton W 62 - 82 9 9 18 6 0 0 1 2 1 1 75
18 Gold Coast Suns W 110 - 56 14 1 15 8 0 1 0 1 6 2 111
19 Essendon W 127 - 97 9 8 17 3 0 1 0 5 0 1 74
20 Brisbane Lions W 89 - 103 6 11 17 2 0 0 1 1 3 0 65
21 GWS Giants L 57 - 105 3 10 13 3 0 0 0 2 0 0 46
22 Port Adelaide L 79 - 96 8 11 19 3 0 1 0 4 0 0 72
23 Hawthorn L 99 - 90 8 8 16 4 0 1 1 4 3 2 86
TOTAL W: 11 - L: 11 197 213 410 84 0 17 12 67 24 14 1676

By the numbers

  • Career Average
    Games Played 198
    • Kicks 8.9
    • Handballs 9.1
    • Disposals 18.0
    • Marks 3.3
    • Hit-Outs 0.0
    • Tackles 4.6
    • Goals 0.4
    • AFL Fantasy 74.2

Career Highlights

Statistics Best Opponent Round
Kicks 20 Gold Coast Suns Rd 15, 2015
Handballs 22 Geelong Cats Rd 19, 2016
Disposals 36 Gold Coast Suns Rd 15, 2015
Marks 10 Sydney Swans Rd 22, 2014
Hit-outs 2 Adelaide Crows Rd 4, 2015
Tackles 13 Carlton Rd 17, 2012
Goals 6 Gold Coast Suns Rd 18, 2017
AFL Fantasy 151 Gold Coast Suns Rd 15, 2015

Career Breakdown

Season Club K H D M HO FF FA T G B AF
2017 Western Bulldogs 197 213 410 84 0 17 12 67 24 14 1676
2016 Western Bulldogs 300 294 594 121 2 29 26 107 17 11 2345
2015 Western Bulldogs 248 249 497 94 2 25 14 135 13 9 2136
2014 Western Bulldogs 217 185 402 85 0 22 21 88 3 6 1611
2013 Western Bulldogs 181 146 327 67 2 16 14 66 1 3 1285
2012 Western Bulldogs 197 207 404 70 1 17 33 119 9 6 1670
2011 Western Bulldogs 166 164 330 50 1 29 27 117 4 4 1421
2010 Western Bulldogs 127 158 285 37 1 34 25 104 8 5 1237
2009 Western Bulldogs 120 190 310 52 0 35 22 98 8 2 1307

Legend

K
Kicks
H
Handballs
D
Disposals
M
Marks
HO
Hit-outs
FF
Frees For
FA
Frees Against
T
Tackles
G
Goals
B
Behinds
AF
AFL Fantasy points

Awards

AFL Awards

International Rules Series
2010

Club Awards

Western Bulldogs Best Finals Player
2016

Western Bulldogs Third Best and Fairest

2012

Western Bulldogs Best Team Player
2012

AFL NAB Cup Western Bulldogs Premiership Side
2010