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Scoop Junior

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Scoop Junior last won the day on February 17 2015

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About Scoop Junior

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    Mighty Demon
  • Birthday 11/07/1982

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  1. Scoop Junior

    Is Goodwin the right guy....

    You've got to be joking! Neeld won 5 games in 1.5 years and had a huge number of blowout losses. Who can forget the 2012 Round 1 debacle against Brisbane (7 goal loss at the MCG)? What about Round1 2013, a 14-goal loss to Port at home? What about Round 2, 148-point loss to Essendon at the MCG, our worst MCG loss ever? What about the 15-goal loss the week after to the Eagles at the MCG? The 10-goal loss to the Suns at the MCG? The 90-point loss to Freo in Perth, backed up by another 90-point loss to Hawthorn the week after? The 83-point loss to the Pies on QB? We've really had only one blowout loss under Goodwin and you are saying the performances are similar with Neeld's team? Yet we have won 14 of 26 under Goodwin, including beating WCE in Perth and Adelaide in Adelaide last year. Absolutely ridiculous
  2. Scoop Junior

    Bomb it long!

    Obviously our game plan revolves around winning the clearance (particularly centre clearance), getting the ball forward quickly, if not scoring then locking it in with a high press to play the game in our forward half and getting repeat entries through pressured opposition disposal out of the backline. In that context it is pretty easy to see why, on occasion, the chaos ball or torp is being used as a Plan B or C when nothing is on. The other tactic I was thinking of was the intentional free against when the opposition are able to get out of our press and look to break up the ground. It's occasionally used in soccer when a team looks to counter-attack and gets beyond the high press of the opposition. The problem with soccer is you can get carded and then sent off for repetitive fouling. But not in footy. The idea would be to stop the quick break of the opposition while our defenders are in an aggressive press position and allow them to re-set. We seem to leak goals easily when teams break on us from half back due to our aggressive pressing. If we gave away a free, forcing a player to go back over the mark, stop and look up for options, it allows us time to re-set and get in position. We seem to set up and defend the slow ball movement really well and have good intercepters across half back - what gets us is the fast clean rebound ball when we are caught out of position.
  3. Scoop Junior

    Farewell Jack Watts

    How easily 2013 is forgotten. A time when we would regularly lose by 10+ goals, when matches were over at 1/4 time, when supporters came to games knowing we had almost no chance to win, when drafting and development of players had been shambolic, when many players were wanting to leave, when no players from opposition clubs with any modicum of talent wanted anything to do with us, when the culture was so poor that players didn't even know the level of work required to be a professional AFL player, when the talent on our list was so far below AFL standard that Terlich and Jones finished top 4 in our best and fairest... This club was in an extremely precarious position only four years ago. I'm not going to go into the things Roos has done, but in the space of four years (one year under Goodwin) we are now a team that is attractive to elite young talent, players want to stay, is expected to play finals, tough and competitive, has exciting young talent, can develop young players and can beat any opposition side on any given day. The turnaround is quite remarkable and anyone of us would have grabbed this in a second if offered it back in 2013. It's not just Roos. And Roos has never said it was just about him - he was very quick to point out it's about having good people. But Roos was a significant part of the turnaround and did everything we could've expected from him. The "easiest coaching job in the world". Funny that, because at the time Roos was appointed it was being described as one of the hardest and one to avoid if you wanted a career in coaching. As I said, just think back to what we were in 2013.
  4. Scoop Junior

    2017 Post Mortem

    Obviously the overriding feeling is extreme disappointment. Just when you think Melbourne have finally found a way to deliver something back to the fans who have stuck with them through what has been one of the darkest periods in the history of the club, they go and do that and find a new way to break our hearts. It's difficult to be rational in times like this but if I try my hardest I think this season needs to broken down into two components - 1) getting into the position where we could make finals and 2) what we did once in that position. In relation to the first, I must say I have been impressed by our ability to stick it at with what we had to go through. I reckon I thought it was "season over" (from a finals perspective) on a number of occasions - when Gawn went down in Round 3, when we lost our back up ruckman in Round 5 (after dropping winnable games v Dockers and Tigers), when we lost to North in Round 9, when Hogan was out for an extended time, after the Sydney game when we lost Viney on top of our other injuries, etc. But we kept finding a way to win games and stay in the hunt to the point where were strong favourites to make the finals. This shows some resilience and spirit in the group and needs to be acknowledged. But then there's the second point, having got into the position we did. Make no mistake - this was a choke of absolutely monumental proportions. Having the bottom side on the ropes at home, 5 goals ahead with valuable percentage up for grabs, we choked. Even retaining that 5 goal lead would have seen us play finals. But we let them back in and fell over the line. Then we choked again on the weekend. Playing a side with nothing to play for and with about 8 players out and we find ourselves 6 goals to 1 down at quarter time. Some say we didn't come to play or we just expected it to happen. I cannot believe that to be the case - the players knew finals was up for grabs. For mine, it was a choke - we got nervous, froze and didn't know what to do. The signs were there - Garlett's rushed snap, Hibberd's rushed snap and skill errors - skilled players who normally do better but froze in the moment. 3 tackles in 20 minutes. Outnumbered around the ball. You can't say our players didn't care as players clearly want to play in finals. But it was symptomatic of a nervous team that lost their heads and panicked. While we recovered somewhat and were reasonable after that - we won the rest of the game by 3 goals - the damage was done in that first quarter. And that brings up another point. What on earth is going on against bottom sides? We had a 7-5 record against the top 11 and a 5-5 record against the bottom 7. Even in the games we won against the bottom 7, it was a struggle and we were usually behind at some point. 5 goals down against Gold Coast and Pies on QB, trailing Carlton during the 3rd quarter in Round 2 and 4th quarter in Round 16 (albeit with a depleted side), and falling over the line against the Lions. Not once did we easily account for a bottom 7 side. Can this simply be put down to attitude? That we don't show up against the lower sides? I don't think this is the only reason. It can't be - it can't possibly be that our blokes are so dumb that it's groundhog day every time we go into a match as favourites. For mine, it's more to do with personnel. We are an effort and intensity based team - our best performances for the year have been when we were underdogs and were able to summon up an intensity and defensive work rate that overwhelmed the opposition. We were the hunters on each occasion. But it is unrealistic to expect this every week. It's only natural that your intensity fluctuates and that against lower teams you are going to be the hunted rather than the hunter. To win these games you need to stay in the game and limit the damage when the opposition are on top (particularly early in games) and then you need your class to come to the fore. And on these two aspects we have failed miserably. The Hawthorn, North (in Round 9) and Collingwood losses saw the opposition 5 goals up at quarter time - an absolute failure to stay in the game. If you can hold firm and go into the break say 2 goals down, you give yourself the chance to settle down and then kick away after half time. I've got no doubt if we were only 2 goals down at quarter time on the weekend we would've won that game. But if you give a lower side a big early lead, they get confidence and a sniff and then you are pushing the proverbial uphill the rest of the game. And the second aspect is class. Class should allow you to get over an inferior opponent when you're not at your best. Perfect example is the way GWS have won games this year with lots of players and out and playing well below their best. I understand their list is stacked with quality, but I also feel we have built a side high on aggression and competitiveness but currently low on class. We make too many basic skill errors and poor decisions. In fact, we have probably been outclassed by both Brisbane and Collingwood in the last two weeks. So essentially what happens when an inferior side hunts us and matches (or betters) our intensity is that we don't have the quality to fall back on to get over the line. We come back, which shows we have resilience and competitiveness, but we make basic errors and fail to capitalise on our control of the ball, which makes it very hard to kick away from a team. Unfortunately while there were many positives in the season, the overriding taste of the season is sour and what will be remembered is that we completely bottled it when it mattered. This team must accept that they are currently seen as bottlers, a tag no sportsman wants to be associated with. It will be up to them to summon up the mental strength required to overcome this - and the only way to do it is to perform when it counts.
  5. Scoop Junior

    Match Review Panel Farce

    I hope he gets off. It would be very helpful for us if the Cats beat the Swans. Perhaps that's the third category of suspensions from the MRP: 1) If you are a Melbourne player, you get rubbed out. 2) If you hit a Melbourne player, you get off. 3) If you are playing a competitor for Melbourne's position on the ladder, you get rubbed out.
  6. Scoop Junior

    Demonland Player of the Year - Round 12

    Surprised so many have rated Watts' game over Oliver's. We were getting belted in the clearances in the first half and Oliver was one of the keys for us in getting the ascendancy in that area in the second half. His last quarter was fantastic. With enormous pressure, fatigued bodies and a greasy ball, he was one of the few who could cleanly pick it up off the deck in traffic and get the ball going forward for us. As for Watts, I thought it was more of a "moments" game from him, especially the last quarter goal and then the touched ball on the line. He was also on Howe in the first half and was beaten. I'm not saying he didn't contribute, he had a decent game and did well to come back from an early injury. And no doubt his class in the key moment in the last quarter was telling. But for me it was the turnaround in the contest and at the stoppages (and then the run from guys like Hunt) that turned the game around and Oliver was a big part of this.
  7. Scoop Junior


    The most annoying thing is how predictable it all is. Come out half-hearted against an out-of-form side, allow them early goals to get their confidence and belief going and find ourselves well behind early in the game. Then turn it on when hope seems gone, come roaring back into the match but fail to finish the job and lose a nailbiter. I reckon I've seen this movie 20 times. I hated it the first time and I hated it today. We keep coming back for more but the script doesn't change. Over and over and over again we play teams near the bottom who are down on confidence and we fail to come out switched on from the outset. I would love to be surprised for once and to see us land some big blows early against these sides but it doesn't happen. We lost to drug-banned Essendon last year but learned nothing and we continue to fail to show up when expected to win. There are some real attitude problems that we just cannot, at the moment, get over. We've improved our list, our talent, our skill (not there yet but better), our hardness, etc. But we really are miles off it mentally. I said the same thing after the Freo game when we failed to get men back in the last few minutes. Great teams find a way to win, we simply find ways to lose. We are just so good at it. If the aim in football was to extract defeat from winnable positions we'd be the reigning triple Premiers. And it's no surprise our best quarter was the third. The pressure was off as there was no expectation to win being 6 goals down. Then once again as soon as we drew level in the last and the expectation was we would run over them, we fail to go on with it. I'm sick of the youth excuse. We had enough senior players out there today to lead the way. They've had these lessons before and they've learned nothing. I'm quite happy with our physical development so far this year but mentally we are really falling well short of the mark. We need to find some answers.
  8. Scoop Junior


    We've got an interesting recent history against Essendon. In four of the last five games against them, the strong favourite has lost. We beat them in 2012 when we were pretty dire and then again in 2014 when we were improving but only won 4 games for the year. The 2014 win was a robbery - they squandered chance after chance and we played one good quarter at the end and won by a point off Salem's match-winning goal. In 2015 they beat us at the G despite being thrashed in recent games and approaching the end of the Hird tenure. They were close to a rabble at the time but we kicked poorly in the wet. Then last year, without half a side, they somehow knocked us off. Essendon will be strong favourites this time around. It's difficult to be optimistic for this one but let's hope the recent trend of results against them continues. We definitely owe them for the last two embarrassing losses against them.
  9. Scoop Junior

    Changes v Essendon (Round 6)

    Yep, agree - it's the mature body that is key. Not so much an issue at centre bounces where you can jump, but at around the ground ball ups and boundary throw ins a young body will get rag-dolled, particularly late in games. Watts was serviceable at stoppages until the last quarter in the Geelong and Richmond games. He was out on his feet and he has done 8 or 9 pre-seasons! I remember a game in 2013 when we beat the Bulldogs (1 of 2 wins for the year). A young Max Gawn (5th season on the list) rucked against Will Minson. Gawn played a really good game but was spent at 3/4 time and was rag-dolled by Minson in the last quarter. The Dogs came back from about 7 goals down and lost by 3 points. We need a fit, strong, mature body and a second year player coming off an ACL and one game at Casey is not currently the answer.
  10. Scoop Junior


    Yep - three really frustrating losses in a row. At least with the Geelong came we could blame our poor kicking for goal and the Freo game our third quarter, but I feel as though last night was just taken away from us by factors totally outside our control. We did so much right for three quarters and you could see the frustration on the faces of the Richmond supporters as their side was once again falling apart in the big moment. To then see them being able to celebrate a win and enjoy being 5-0 while we go home losers and three games behind them - it was a devastating loss. And to see us just get destroyed in the last quarter by hitouts to advantage (same versus Geelong), when we know with Gawn fit that this is our greatest strength, is painful to watch. It won't get better any time soon, either.
  11. Scoop Junior


    There are some seriously silly posts on this thread. How can anyone have a go at the players for losing that one. "Injuries no excuse"...are you serious? This is a game played by humans, they are not robots. In a high intensity, high pressure game, to lose two players before half time and have another one hobbling in the goal square, it makes it extremely difficult. Add in the fact your no1 ruck is out, then your second ruck goes down before half time, how can you possibly compete on a level playing field? And they are not playing mugs, they are playing a team of elite professional athletes, with 22 fit players. There was nothing more predictable than Richmond running over the top of us. You could see it late in the third. By all means be frustrated. I am. It's excruciating to know you have a good side, a side in my view that is clearly a class above Richmond, but due solely to bad luck they have beaten us. We outplayed them for three quarters despite our injuries and they only crept past us at the end. Richmond should get no credit for tonight. That was a Steven Bradbury win if I've ever seen one. Them being 5-0 and us 2-3 is about as illusory as ladder positions get. Unfortunately we've just copped a shocking run of luck so far this year and in an even competition it can be the difference between finishing 5th or 15th. We finally have a good side capable of getting results and we just haven't had a fair go. But be frustrated at that. Don't just assume this was an avoidable fade out that the players should take responsibility for. They were fantastic tonight and deserved the four points.
  12. Scoop Junior


    There were clearly a lot of mistakes at the end and that's what angered me the most. Despite playing fairly poorly for most of the day, having two pivotal players out in Gawn and Hogan and conceding 7 goals without reply in the third quarter, the fact is we hit the front with three minutes to go in the game. And we still couldn't close it out. They talk about learning and development but what have we learnt in terms of holding onto leads? Two years ago we couldn't even hold onto a lead with 40 seconds left against St Kilda. Montagna walked into an unguarded goal and kicked the winner. Of all the types of goals that can be kicked, the one that just should not happen in those circumstances is an open goal from the goal square. We failed to put numbers back and threw the game away. They said we'd learn from that and not make those mistakes again. Yet how did Freo score their last goal? McCarthy runs onto the ball at the back of the pack and into an open goal square. How can you leave the defensive side of a defensive 50 contest open when you are a few points up with under 2 minutes to play. It's just inexcusable at Under 12s level let alone AFL. I'm not saying we should have sent 5 men back, but surely you stick two players back, with one sweeping up defensive side of the contest. In these situations you simply have to force the opposition to do something special to win the game - take a pack mark, kick a 55m goal, etc. If Sandilands marks over four players and kicks the match winner, well you just have to cop it. But letting them run onto a loose ball and into an open goal is unfathomable. So it seems we learned nothing from the St Kilda game. Did anyone in the backline call players back after we hit the front? Did Jones or Viney yell at a few forwards to go down into defence? Do we even have plans to deal with these situations or do we just play aggressively all the time? We have been hard and tough this year and have shown great effort, but we are a long way away in terms of footy smarts and composure.
  13. Scoop Junior

    Glen Jakovich v Chris Connolly

    The relevance of Carlton is to illustrate that another club engaged in similar conduct yet were never investigated like we were. I think your suggestion was that we took it to comical levels - but the argument is that Carlton already did this and they were not investigated, so why were we?
  14. Scoop Junior

    Glen Jakovich v Chris Connolly

    Exactly right. You cannot re-write history by applying today's thinking to the public sentiment back in the mid 2000s. Not only was tanking not seen as evil, it was actually described by many to be the only logical course of action for clubs in that position. I remember reading newspaper articles containing comments such as "it would be bordering on negligence for [relevant Club] to win an irrelevant end of season game and miss out on another top 5 pick" and "it is in the best interests of [relevant club] to lose its remaining few games and help set up their future with elite young talent". Ironically these same journalists then condemned us a few years down the track for doing exactly what they were telling us to do. Not only did the AFL set up the inducement through the priority pick system, but they allowed "tanking" by failing to address it when clubs started taking advantage of the system. Instead, we were told by the AFL that tanking does not exist and that it is okay to send players in for season-ending surgeries halfway through the year (Collingwood), play players out of position (Fremantle) and drag your match-winning full forward from the ground when he looked set to win you the match (Carlton). It could have all been dealt with by a simple change to the rules to remove the inducement as well as an acknowledgement that there was a strong perception of tanking that the AFL did not want and the rule changes would help remove this. But the AFL did nothing. To allow it to go on and then selectively investigate (and punish certain officials from) one of the clubs that did it is nothing short of disgraceful.
  15. Scoop Junior

    Brisbane gets priority pick

    You mean we did what 5-6 other clubs did around that time, that was ruled by the head of the AFL as being acceptable, and in a time where the wider footy public would say comments such as "why would you want to win a meaningless game at the end of the season?"