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swampy

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  1. swampy

    Time to go Mark Neeld

    Hi. First post. I'm from Geelong and so have followed Neeld's career for a while. Melbourne supporter for 45 years. There was a moment after the drawn Grand Final when Neeld was the midfield coach (I think) for the Pies. A minute or two after the final siren, the TV coverage was zooming in on players and coaches in shock, trying to deal with the fact that they had another week to go. The camera then panned past Neeld and he already had his midfield group in a huddle and he was busy preparing them for the following week. Meanwhile Buckley, Malthouse et. al. were falling about looking helpless. I said to myself then that Collingwood would win the following week... If you track his coaching career, he's had nothing but success. 4 consecutive premierships at Ocean Grove. He turned Western Jets from perennial whipping boys (could barely win a game) to finalists in three seasons. In between he was at St. Josephs in the GFL for a year and he completely turned over the list and went with youngsters but then was offered assistant positions at Bulldogs and Collingwood. Wherever he's been he has won friends and made enemies - because he is clear about what is needed for clubs to be successful and he just goes for it. Players liked him at Collingwood. He identified a soft culture at MFC - a whole host of players who were just happy being AFL players (win, lose or draw. He's given them a chance to show that they want to win and those who haven't shown enough have been shown the door. There'll be more. Not exactly a recipe for making friends. I sense (I don't know) that there are still players who are dark on him for having lost mates from the club. For Neeld, he wouldn't care less. His job is to find a group of players who will work hard together to become successful. That's my take on him. He's made mistakes but he won't die wondering. Stick with him. Give him his three years. On Sunday I saw a far more competitive effort by a group who were hopelessly outclassed and still low on confidence. We need another go at the draft table for Neeld to assemble the kind of group that he'd be happy with. Leave him be. Support the club. When the wins come, enjoy them.
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