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Season Review: Mitch Wallis

westernbulldogs.com.au reviews Mitch Wallis' 2017 season.

4:48pm  Sep 14, 2017

For the love of the game

Mitch Wallis has fallen back in love with the game

8:35am  Jul 7, 2017

Pocket Profile: Mitch Wallis

Mitch Wallis answers some quick fire questions for the AFL Record.

9:47am  Jun 21, 2017

Senior List

3

Mitch
Wallis

Height
186 cm
DOB
24-10-1992
Weight
85 kg
Debut
2011
Games
2017
12
Career
105
Goals
2017
7
Career
48
2017 AFL Fantasy Points
Total
897
Avg
75
MitchWallis

Player Bio

At a Glance

Junior Clubs: St Bernards
Clubs:
Debut: Rd 5 2011 (Fremantle)
Recruited from: Calder Cannons
Brownlow Votes: 13

Player Sponsors

Barry & Cheryl Harvey
Enovee Innovations
Hollywood Plumbing
Pelican Sands Bed and Breakfast
Williamstown Podiatry Services Pty Ltd



Predominantly playing as an inside midfielder early on in his career, Wallis has also excelled when given a number of run-with assignments in recent years. The father-son recruit was already a true professional the day he walked into the kennel, and when he faced some challenges in his young career, Wallis worked extremely hard to overcome them. So much so, Wallis has become one of the team's most important members, after successfully adjusting to a defensive midfield role, where he has claimed some of the games' biggest scalps.

Season By Season

Season in short

After having his 2016 season cruelled late by a broken leg, Mitch Wallis made his return to AFL in the Bulldogs' Round 9 loss to Geelong at Simonds Stadium.

Wallis averaged 20.7 disposals over 12 matches in 2017 and celebrated his 100th game when the Dogs travelled to Adelaide to take on the Crows in Round 16.

Wallis missed the final two matches of the season, playing with the Club’s VFL side, Footscray.

The stat that mattered:

Wallis had a career high 12 clearances against Geelong in his first senior match since Round 18 2016.

What they said:

“I was pretty pleased and proud that I got back so quickly after a long stint on the sidelines."  

“I notched 100 games which to finally get there was a good thing but at the end of the day we set out to be part of September action and we didn’t get that.

“I haven’t had a full pre-season in a couple of years with a foot, wrist and leg injury. To be able to attack a pre-season next year with a clean bill of health will be great.”

- Mitch Wallis, September 2017.

Season in short

A leg injury suffered against St.Kilda in round 18 will likely define Mitch Wallis’s season, but before that Wallis continued to develop as a key cog in the Bulldogs midfield, sitting second behind only Liam Picken in time spent in the middle of the ground.

According to Champion Data, Wallis was in the thick of it 65% of the time, and the stats show he was having a decent impact while in there especially when it comes to the grunt work.

At 10.4 contested possessions per game, he ranked fourth at the Club behind Marcus Bontempelli, Tom Liberatore (tied), and Luke Dahlhaus, and second in clearances behind Liberatore.

His three goal, 25 possession outing in the round 17 win over the Gold Coast Suns in Cairns would show what the 23-year-old is capable of as he continues to mature as a player.

 

The stat that mattered

Wallis spent 35.2% of his time in the forward line in 2016, the most since his rookie year in 2011.

 

What they said

“To be honest I had high expectations going into the new season and I probably didn’t reach them. 

“Obviously I was injured for a big part of the season but I was probably a bit more inconsistent than I would have liked to have been.  

“But I’ll come back in December and the new year with new vigour.”

Season in short:

In the absence of Tom Liberatore, Mitch Wallis stepped seamlessly into a new attacking midfield role in 2015.

Having previously spent much of his career as a run with player, Wallis was given more freedom by coach Luke Beveridge and rose to the challenge.

He averaged 23 disposals, four tackles and three marks, including a career-high 36 disposals in round nine against the Giants.

In that same match Wallis collected seven marks, seven tackles and a goal in undoubtedly his most impressive output for the season.

Such was the midfielder’s influence in 2015, he finished atop the Bulldogs leader board in the AFL Coaches Association Player of the Year award, with 43 votes, ahead of Marcus Bontempelli, Jake Stringer and Robert Murphy.

Not only did the 22-year-old’s on-field credentials rise this year, but his leadership qualities have continued to emerge and has strengthened pundits’ opinions of him as a future leader of the Club.

The stat that mattered:

Wallis finished the year ranked 16th in the league for clearances and 20th in contested possessions, highlighting his impact around the contest.

What they said:

“I’ve been given a license to bring my own strengths to the game and play forward as well as in the midfield and I’ve loved it. It’s been a great learning curve for me this year but I’ve just really enjoyed the opportunities I’ve been given by Bevo (Luke Beveridge), Kingy (Steven King) and Joel (Corey).” – Mitch Wallis, September 2015

’I’ve been really impressed with Mitch’s year. He’s brutal around the footy, the way he cracks in but he’s actually added more to his game. He’s had the freedom to play which has been significant but also for him just to improve his outside game, so you’ve seen him spend more time as a forward. He’s starting to become an all-round mid now, with his outside game starting to complement his grunt. The one thing about Wal which a lot of people don’t see, is just his ability to lead within the Club.” – Steven King (Western Bulldogs Assistant Coach), September 2015

Season in short:

At 22-years old, it’s hard to fathom that Mitch Wallis is an old head in the Bulldogs midfield, but it’s true.

With a maturity belying his years, Wallis consolidated his role as a key-ingredient in the Bulldogs midfield mix before a foot fracture cut short his season in round 18.

A month back in the VFL early in the year helped recalibrate Wallis’ on-field radar, returning with a ferocious defensive ethic.

While not as prolific finding the ball as previous years, it was his blocking, tackling and ability to clear space around the stoppages that allowed his teammates to reap the benefits.

Wallis’ injury against Essendon perhaps best illustrated his value to the Bulldogs side. Restricting Bomber play-maker Dyson Heppell to just14 disposals to three quarter time, Wallis coming from the field at the final break saw Heppell gather eight final term touches and lead the Dons’ seven-point come-from-behind win, after they trailed by 21-points.

A 28-disposal, eight clearance performance in the Bulldogs’ 28-point victory over the Gold Coast Suns was arguably Wallis’ most influential of the year. He also negated the influence of Suns’ star midfield pair Dion Prestia and David Swallow.

Playing 13 games in season 2014, Wallis played his 50th game in the Dogs’ round 12 loss to Brisbane.

The stat that mattered

80% of Mitch Wallis’ possessions in season 2014 were under pressure, the highest percentage in the competition, highlighting his pivotal role for the Bulldogs midfield in and around the contest.

What they said:

“It’s very exciting from a player, who has only been there four years, but feels like there’s so much youth underneath him.” Mitch Wallis (17 July, 2014)

Season in short:

While a promising start gave way to a quiet patch mid-season, four weeks spent with Williamstown evidently worked wonders for Wallis. The much-lauded third-year midfielder began to show the Bulldogs faithful what can be expected in seasons to come, adding a more defensive side to his overall game. Taking the scalps of some of the competition’s biggest stars late in the season, the likes of Marc Murphy (Carlton), Patrick Dangerfield (Adelaide) and Daniel Rich (Brisbane Lions) all succumbed to the young Dog. But his greatest performance came against Sydney in Round 19, when Wallis racked up 29 disposals and 13 tackles, while holding Sydney superstar Josh Kennedy to just 18 touches.

What they said:

''[I’m] cooked, absolutely cooked… I think it was the story of the day - the pressure they applied, I just felt like I had no room to move.”

- Josh Kennedy after playing against Mitch Wallis in Round 19, SMH

The stat that mattered:

Wallis’s increased defensive responsibility has seen him rise in the Bulldogs' rankings, finishing the season fifth in average pressure acts (14.2). A culmination of corralling, chasing, closing in on opponents, implied and physical pressure, the 20-year-old has been honing his defensive craft and it's paying dividends on field. The increased pressure has been an integral factor in his growing ability as a run with player. He also ranks second at the Club – behind only Tom Liberatore (8.7) – in physical pressure acts (7.6).

Named amongst the best players in six of his 19 AFL appearances, Wallis’s jump in form can be clearly seen on the stats board. Averaging ten more disposals and almost four extra clearances per game, the Calder Cannons recruit certainly looked more comfortable at the highest level this year. Accumulating the third most disposals, fourth highest number of clearances and fourth most tackles at the Club this season, Wallis capped off his second AFL season ranking third in this year’s AFL Rising Star Award.

Season By Season

The son of former skipper Steve Wallis played six games in his debut season, highlighted by his 18 disposals against Fremantle in round 24 and nine tackles against Geelong in round nine. Shows great maturity for a 19-year-old and has improved his strength and endurance in an impressive campaign over summer.

Stats

By the numbers

  • 2017 Season Average
    Games Played 12
    • Kicks 7.2
    • Handballs 13.5
    • Disposals 20.7
    • Marks 3.1
    • Hit-Outs 0.0
    • Tackles 3.6
    • Goals 0.6
    • AFL Fantasy 74.8

2017 Highlights

Statistics Best Opponent Round
Kicks 11 North Melbourne Rd 14
Handballs 21 Gold Coast Suns Rd 18
Disposals 28 St Kilda Rd 10
Marks 7 Brisbane Lions Rd 20
Hit-outs 0 - -
Tackles 9 Melbourne Rd 13
Goals 2 West Coast Eagles Rd 15
AFL Fantasy 97 Melbourne Rd 13

2017 Season Breakdown

Rd Opponent Result K H D M HO FF FA T G B AF
1 Collingwood W 86 - 100 - - - - - - - - - - -
2 Sydney Swans W 110 - 87 - - - - - - - - - - -
3 Fremantle L 89 - 73 - - - - - - - - - - -
4 North Melbourne W 86 - 89 - - - - - - - - - - -
5 Brisbane Lions W 122 - 90 - - - - - - - - - - -
6 GWS Giants L 75 - 73 - - - - - - - - - - -
7 Richmond W 80 - 75 - - - - - - - - - - -
8 West Coast Eagles L 69 - 61 - - - - - - - - - - -
9 Geelong Cats L 104 - 81 8 18 26 0 0 4 1 6 2 0 97
10 St Kilda W 90 - 50 7 21 28 2 0 3 0 4 0 1 89
12 Sydney Swans L 88 - 42 10 14 24 3 0 1 1 2 0 0 73
13 Melbourne L 56 - 113 8 15 23 3 0 1 1 9 0 0 97
14 North Melbourne W 107 - 106 11 8 19 6 0 3 0 3 1 0 88
15 West Coast Eagles L 80 - 87 8 5 13 3 0 1 1 1 2 1 58
16 Adelaide Crows L 104 - 45 6 12 18 3 0 1 0 2 0 1 61
17 Carlton W 62 - 82 7 18 25 3 0 3 1 3 1 0 84
18 Gold Coast Suns W 110 - 56 5 21 26 3 0 1 1 4 1 1 87
19 Essendon W 127 - 97 6 12 18 4 0 0 1 3 0 0 63
20 Brisbane Lions W 89 - 103 9 10 19 7 0 0 2 4 0 1 79
21 GWS Giants L 57 - 105 1 8 9 0 0 0 2 2 0 0 21
22 Port Adelaide L 79 - 96 - - - - - - - - - - -
23 Hawthorn L 99 - 90 - - - - - - - - - - -
TOTAL W: 11 - L: 11 86 162 248 37 0 18 11 43 7 5 897

By the numbers

  • Career Average
    Games Played 105
    • Kicks 8.2
    • Handballs 12.2
    • Disposals 20.4
    • Marks 2.7
    • Hit-Outs 0.1
    • Tackles 4.2
    • Goals 0.5
    • AFL Fantasy 76.0

Career Highlights

Statistics Best Opponent Round
Kicks 17 Gold Coast Suns Rd 17, 2016
Handballs 22 North Melbourne Rd 22, 2015
Disposals 36 GWS Giants Rd 9, 2015
Marks 10 Hawthorn Rd 16, 2012
Hit-outs 1 GWS Giants Rd 9, 2016
Tackles 13 Sydney Swans Rd 19, 2013
Goals 3 Gold Coast Suns Rd 17, 2016
AFL Fantasy 147 GWS Giants Rd 9, 2015

Career Breakdown

Season Club K H D M HO FF FA T G B AF
2017 Western Bulldogs 86 162 248 37 0 18 11 43 7 5 897
2016 Western Bulldogs 155 233 388 45 5 21 12 57 11 6 1356
2015 Western Bulldogs 205 263 468 66 1 35 16 95 15 13 1810
2014 Western Bulldogs 77 137 214 19 0 11 20 57 2 2 755
2013 Western Bulldogs 140 192 332 28 0 20 14 89 6 1 1259
2012 Western Bulldogs 167 257 424 68 0 21 8 79 7 3 1577
2011 Western Bulldogs 34 38 72 17 0 2 1 25 0 2 330

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

NAB AFL Rising Star Award – Third place
2012

Club Awards

Western Bulldogs Most Improved Player
2012