Expert Q&A: 18th-placed SuperCoach Mumma reveals her secrets to success

Em Challis, affectionately known as SuperCoach Mumma, has a track record which would be the envy of most SuperCoach players and she’s backed that up in 2021, currently sitting in 18th spot overall.

The Geelong supporter and mother of three finished 660th in SuperCoach 2018, while she was 54th in SuperCoach BBL in 2020 too.

Em’s side, titled SuperCoach Mumma, has tallied 11,382 across the first five rounds, including a whopping 2,303 last round to be within 101 points of the leader, so Honeyball decided to have a chat about how she does it.

HB: You’ve had a great start to the 2021 SuperCoach season and you’ve done this before with top 1000 finishes. What do you credit that with?

Em: I do really love SuperCoach. There is something about investing millions of (fake) money that I really enjoy. I started playing SC when I was on maternity leave in 2013 and I got hooked pretty quickly. I have always loved watching footy and reading footy statistics and SC just added another layer.

I really do enjoy the problem solving, the planning and the buzz when the plan actually works. Over the years I have listened to many podcasts, read a lot of articles and been in lots of forums. I have soaked up a lot of knowledge from a range of amazing SuperCoach players.  I do believe a bit of luck is in play, however, I have developed my own playing style. A mix of playing conservatively but also going with my gut.

When I started playing I thought picking PODs was the answer to success, I even selected Chris Mayne at one point. However now I think the POD can be a little overrated, especially players in 5% or less in teams. SC players are smart, picking a POD for example in 3% of teams is saying that you know something that 97% of coaches don’t and that’s a big call. I think there is value in selecting lower owned players however it is a fine balance. This year the biggest POD in my starting team were Walsh at 8% and Ridley around 10%.

Also learning how to effectively loophole players, being selective with my VC/C and learning to trade with dual position players has helped elevate my game.

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HB: Can you talk to us about your original team layout and your approach? How many premo/keepers/rookies?

Em: I decided to develop my SC team quite slowly this year, I made the backbones of my team and then deleted the app on my phone for a week or two. I tried to make sure that every change was purposeful. I made one change and then would put my team away for a couple of days. I decided early on that I couldn’t afford Lachie Neale, Max Gawn and Brodie Grundy in my team. After the Rowan Marshall news, I decided that I needed the Grawndy combination which meant no Neale. I also tried to avoid players who had a recent injury history, so chose to not select Jake Lloyd or start with Clayton Oliver.

I ended up with 10 premium keepers and three hopefuls in Sam Walsh, Zak Butters and Tim Taranto. I decided to go with four defender premiums, Rory Laird, Jordan Ridley, Jayden Short and Tom Stewart. DrSC were pretty hot on Ridley and thought the new man on the mark rule would help his scoring. I also loved having him in my team last year. I decided to risk the rookie roulette and had a rookie defender in my D6 and Jordan Clark in my D5. Coming into Round 6 I definitely have a lot of issues in my defence!

I also thought the new rules would benefit Jackson Macrae so he was my M1. I missed out on Zac Merrett last year and decided I needed to start him this year. Patrick Dangerfield was my M3 who I thought was a must-have! Walsh was my M4 and he was one of my first picked. I firmly believed he would go to the next level this year. I had Matt Rowell in my team until the pre-season game and switched him to Taranto as my M5.

I decided early that Josh Dunkley was a must-have too as my F1 and Butters was my F2. I then went with Jack Ziebell and Jarman Impey mainly because of the rookie shortage. Impey over Paddy Dow was a 50/50 decision and I literally just preferred Impey’s pre-season game. Chad Warner was one of the last inclusions in my team and glad I listened to the people telling me he was worth it.  I managed to nearly get all of the successful rookies which has saved me some trades.

HB: Best starting player this season?

Em: Before the last round, I would have said Ridley was my best starting player, however, with his concussion I would have to say Dunkley is my best starting player. Averaging 128, five straight tons, he’s just a machine.

HB: Have you had a blessed run with injuries/suspensions or had to do some shuffling?

Em: I have probably been quite lucky comparatively with injuries so far but have had to do some shuffling. I had to trade Danger in R2 due to suspension who I traded to Tom Mitchell however, I actually wish I traded Danger to Dusty Martin instead and pocketed the extra $70k. I also had to trade Butters last round who was amazing to own and was pretty shattered by his injury. I downgraded James Jordon to Alec Waterman and brought in Oliver for Butters.

HB: What guides your decision making with trades?

Em: I have found a bit of a routine, I usually listen to lots of different opinions but also do my own research. Brice Mitchell’s spreadsheets on Twitter are my best friend! But ultimately I have learnt to make my own decisions and try to go with my gut. I have started to try and mull over my trades instead of reversing my team 55 times. This also teaches me to respect the trade button, due to the 24-hour team sheets we are trading more and more during the rolling lockout. I usually try to think ahead with my trades and ask several questions such as; how many rookies on the bubble next week? How many trades do I plan to do next week? Does that player have an injury history? Which premium has a bargain low price? Which premium has a huge break-even? What’s my bye structure looking like?

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HB: Best trade you’ve made this season?

Em: To be honest I don’t love any of my trades, as I said I regret getting Mitchell at his high price. I hope I will look back and be pleased in getting Oliver earlier than I had planned.

HB: How do you pick a VC/C each week and do you have a VC threshold?

Em: As a beginner player I tended to pick the firecracker VC that hopefully get me a 170 but usually only gave me an 80 and then I had to frantically pick a captain. I now am trying to pick a more reliable VC, someone who is one of my top scorers. My VC threshold is around 125/130, however this season I am trying to cash in my VC as much as possible due to the fact of high amount of injuries that are happening this year. Ridley’s 31 is a great example of what can happen to a premium player when they get injured early. I really try and pick 2-3 players and rotate them into a VC/C according to the fixture, this year I have tended to VC/C Macrae/Gawn and Grundy.    

HB: Final piece of wisdom?

Em: A few dot points here.

  • Try and not chase points,
  • Try not to side trade premiums,
  • Try and reserve trades, injury carnage probably will continue to happen!!
  • Don’t rush your trades and avoid trading five minutes before lockout.

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