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Key Deefender

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  1. Key Deefender

    Daniel Menzel

    Daniel Menzel has elite talent, no question. Jack Watts has elite talent also, as does Jeff Garlett. What none of them have is ability or desire to apply the forward pressure required in today's game. In Menzel's case, he may never have had it, I don't know, but four knee reconstructions mounts a case as to why he may not have enough confidence in his knees to do it. Ex- Geelong players at our club, Matthew Egan, Max Rooke, maybe even Shannon Byrnes and Brendan McCartney may know him well enough to know. Simon Goodwin has a game plan very much built around forward pressure. Jack Watts is gone, Garlett is teetering and yet both have more talent than say the likes of vandenBerg, coming off a longterm injury and Spargo, a kid who doesn't yet get enough off the ball, who while deficient in some areas, perform the non-negotiables of tackling and applying pressure. If a player in the 22 doesn't perform these non-negotiables, then the fabric of the team starts to fray at this one seam and then the rest can begin to rip and has to be patched as Watts and Garlett have found out the hard way. I have much respect for Daniel Menzel's elite talents and admire how he has been able to resurrect his career, however I don't think he fits what we are trying to build and would send a wrong message to the rest of the list. Having seen him interviewed, as a person he comes across as likeable, humble and grateful to those who have supported him on his journey and I really hope he finds an AFL lifeline somewhere.
  2. Key Deefender

    Farewell Jack Watts

    Correct me if I'm wrong - but if Watts has a contract and he wants to stay, the club has to keep him and can't trade him against his will. Having said that he may decide to move on rather than stay under a coach who doesn't want him. For all the speculation and with absolutely no insight, I can't help but feel this is reverse psychology being used to try and stoke his fire although I know some will argue that there is no fire left to stoke. He would not be the first AFL player to be on the brink and then stay. He still may be of greater value to us than what we can get for him and as the best ball user and decision maker with ball in hand in the team, I hope he stays.
  3. Key Deefender


    After the shattering loss to Collingwood, I am perversely pleased we didn't get there in the end. To rely on other teams, West Coast and Essendon losing to sneak us in, would have been a travesty after our insipid game against the Pies. The players need to learn that nothing can be gifted and that they need to do it themselves for themselves and also for us, their long suffering supporters. I actually think that this will stand them in better stead for next year rather than having limped in, likely gone out in Week One and then feeling like they had achieved something. As the enormity of this lost opportunity sinks in, hopefully the disappointment will galvanize them all to have the pre-season of their lives and to work as hard as hell on the skill and mental deficiencies that left us where it did. Nothing but hard work and that burning in the gut will redeem what might have been this year. The determination to make next year the year they really arrive should be their sole focus and mantra. Simon Goodwin will have learnt much about the list under his first full season as Senior Coach playing the game style that he is drilling into them - as well as assessing this game style and evaluating his own performance as coach and the coaching panel in general. The trade and draft periods will also be crucial as holes are filled and not wall-papered over. Having said all the above, we have made giant strides this year under often trying circumstances and let's not forget that. Jesse Hogan had the season from hell yet gave us a lazy 6 coming back from a busted collarbone to remind us not only of his talents, but his desire to succeed and contribute to the team as they pushed for September. Jack Viney played under duress most of the season, particularly in the final few rounds before succumbing - and a tilt in the finals potentially without these two (or playing them injured) would have got us nowhere. They can both now have a rest and full pre-seasons. Losing Gawn and Jones and others for significant periods also didn't help yet unlike previous years we didn't really fall away. The talented younger end of our list is improving and perhaps ready to explode. We are still mostly a very young playing group who have not played many games together. We won two more games this year than last and should have won at least three others and were in winning positions in the last quarter in all our losses bar one or two. The loss to North in Hobart was my biggest disappointment bar the last game. Our percentage remained over 100% all season and when on song we played some exhilarating football. However most teams no doubt lost games they could have won and this should be factored in. However it was our inability to bury teams when in a position to do so that really needs to be addressed, particularly against the lower teams - which good sides do bury. We will need to keep improving and significantly - as all the teams below us, except maybe Fremantle and Gold Coast, also seem very capable of pushing upwards next year. The competition is ruthless, nothing is a given - as the players have now found out the hard way. It is in their hands to make sure that the football world knows that they really do have what it takes to succeed and that the ultimate disappointment of this year was only part of the learning curve and merely a blip on their way to greatness. I await their response.
  4. Key Deefender

    2017 Player Rankings

    Thanks for the detailed analysis of this year's rankings - you have put much thought and work into it. I would just like to seek to clarify your rankings. Are they based on output to date this season or by importance to the team, with an eye on any future development - or even a combination of the these? While I agree with many of your rankings, Max's output has been decimated by his injury so number 3 is too high based on output, however his importance to the team and what we may have achieved had he not been injured makes him arguably 1, 2 or 3 in importance. And poor old Cam Pedersen has been relegated to 30 on your list but based on output to date since he came in and his importance to the structure, particularly in the absence of Gawn and Spencer, would have him rocket up the list to perhaps ahead of Bernie Vince. You qualified your ranking of him by inferring that if he was 20, then he may have been rated higher, but if we are looking purely on 2017 alone and not on past or likely future performances, then he has to be much higher on your list. He has also played one more game than Jesse Hogan who is ranked 11, who for various and obvious reasons has not performed as well as Pedersen. Again it's performance versus importance versus potential. Of all your other rankings, you could argue for players to be placed one to a handful of rungs above or below where you have them, but for me anyway, the Pedersen one is the only big anomaly. Well done though on a great exercise, and it will be interesting to see, albeit with half a season to play out, how this aligns with the B & F placings and whether your own rankings change much after the season is over - hopefully deep in September!
  5. Key Deefender

    Help! Demonland Downtime Today (1/5)

    I've just taken out the Lifetime Subscription and should have done it ages ago. I don't contribute much but read the site daily and really happy to support the massive work you do for us diehards (deehards?) Thanks for giving us all the forum to voice, to vent and to celebrate.
  6. Key Deefender

    The Jesse Hogan Panic Room - all contract talk here

    I think there are a few psychologists that do follow this club.
  7. Key Deefender


    I have absolutely nothing to base this on, and have also been on the Darcy Parish bandwagon, however I'm now wondering whether Sam Weideman is in the frame for pick 3. I think Jesse Hogan would love to have another big young tall come through the ranks with him, forming in time a lethal tandem attack. To my mind Weideman is unlikely to still be there at pick 7 and he also appears to be another competitive beast in the Hogan mould and thereby may help excite Jesse enough to sign long term. Preliminary discussions with Jesse apparently laid out the club's future strategy which were according to that article received positively by him, and I would bet it included the key signing of a partner-in-crime. Weideman may be an injury risk from his own article, but hey - so was Joel Selwood at his time of drafting. We wouldn't need to rush him till he is physically ready anyway - and just develop him properly as we now have the scope to do. We just can't wait another 12 months to add a key forward that may not be there anyway unless you trade for one - and who would unlikely be an A grader - we need to develop our own, like Jesse Hogan - and hopefully Sam Weideman. With Dawes not performing and much older, Pederson handy but not the future, Watts not competitive enough and more a third tall anyway, TMac while a possibility in the forward line - probably needed elsewhere, OMac, Frost and King still very much unproven, we need to bite this bullet the more I think about it. This pick number 3 needs to be something out of the box, hopefully setting us up for a generation in the key tall forward department with Hogan, and as much as Darcy Parish looks impressive and will be a top player, his kind is more available and his lack of size may also count against him. Weideman from the recent article has also played alongside Petracca and there seems to be a rapport there too. Taylor may be prepared to risk Parish getting through to pick 7 which he won't - and instead be more than happy to take Clayton Oliver who likely will slip to at least 7 and is probably more the size of the new midfield prototype anyway. He has stormed through the field after a sluggish start to take the Morrish and looks to have a great upside to work with - and is another big competitor! We just need an outright specialist key forward and an outright specialist midfielder in this draft. As I said I have no real idea - but after consulting the tea-leaves, this to me anyway now logically makes some sense. But who knows what the recruiters think? And they have done far more homework than I have!
  8. Key Deefender

    Watt's going on?

    Hence the exclamation mark so that that part could be seen as a bit tongue-in-cheek - but hey that's ok. As far as Watts and others being eligible to play for Casey tomorrow, I'm guessing that as both the seniors and Casey are playing this weekend there is still a natural selection process even though Casey's game is a final. This wouldn't usually occur but the AFL finishes a week later this year. It would be the case for all VFL teams if so. So maybe the number of games to qualify rules don't apply this weekend. As I said I am guessing though so perhaps KC or someone could clarify. And as stated above, a late change could well bring Jack Watts back into the team tomorrow. Nathan Jones must be highly doubtful for one.
  9. Key Deefender

    Watt's going on?

    Conspiracy theories will abound over the coming weeks that Jack Watts may well be put up for trade. However to me it seems a little strange to drop him for the last game if trying to maintain his trade value. Jeremy Howe could similarly have been dropped several times for indifferent form during the season but wasn't. Again theories on keeping up Howe's trade worth were touted as reasons for not doing so if he chose to leave - or the club wished to move him on. My theory on Howe was that they were keen to get him to 100 games in case a spring-heeled baby with a great work ethic came along and we could take him as a father-son! My theory on the dropping of Watts is that while his form has been better in the second half of the season, he still has some work to do over the summer and the clear message is for him to not get too comfortable in his own skin. McCartney and Goodwin have put alot of work into him in terms of improving his competitiveness and the results were starting to show. He is such a great decision maker and user of the ball, I would be disappointed to let go what the team has been crying out for in that regard. This may also send the same message to the rest of the playing group that there is still much to be done and everyone needs to improve. If Jack was sick or sore for this week's game, I think he would have been listed as such. His eligibility for free agency next year and Roos' views on potentially trading away a year before only adds intrigue to the situation. I hope he stays.
  10. Key Deefender

    Jack Watts

    I know someone who knows the Watts family. I was with him at the game with yesterday and it was touch and go whether Jack would play. He was being assessed right through till game time. However I was also told it was more a migraine than the flu for him.
  11. Key Deefender

    Delistings/trades at end of the season

    I can't fathom those of you who still want to trade out Jack Watts. I agree his form since day one has fluctuated wildly and his lack of hardness has been rightly criticized along the way, however I believe over the past few weeks he has been finally making inroads to eliminate this glaring chink in his armour. There has still been the odd hiccup, but he now appears to be consciously making every effort to impact a contest. However almost even more importantly than this, is that he is still the best finisher in the team. Some of his decision-making and executions are sublime and he rarely either picks a wrong option or fails to deliver on that option. We have had a team of ball butchers for way too long and most, if not all, these serial offenders should be rightly moved on, perhaps leaving a couple for depth and great clubmanship - eg: Grimes - if he wants to stay. From what I have read here on these boards, but not from what I know, it seems Brendan McCartney, one of the games best developers, has taken him on as a bit of a project. He has had him now for just 11 games and part of a pre-season. Maybe it is beginning to bear some fruit and Jack is finally getting the proper coaching development he has never had. For a team that is trying to eliminate turnovers, the ability to seek and find a teammate in a position to hurt the opposition is a priceless commodity that should not be traded out lightly if at all - especially in a guy 196cm tall and likely still growing into his body. I think Watts is finally removing some of the basketballer's lack of physicality but retaining the elements of that sport's ability to read the play and have the peripheral vision and skillset to deliver perfectly to a teammate. It is certainly early days, in terms of consistency with his new found physicality and urgency. There will still be times when we will think he should have gone harder, and we need to accept that he will never be one of the game's real hard men, however I sense Jack Watts may now be finally coming into his own. I will watch the rest of his season with interest and then expect and back a further full pre-season under the tutoring of Brendan McCartney to finally enable him to deliver on his undeniable talent. Why trade that away?
  12. Key Deefender

    celebrity supporters from all clubs

    Another couple of musos: Bruce Woodley - The Seekers (have seen him in the Members at the G donned in a Dees scarf) Jim Keays - The Masters Apprentices (R.I.P. Also saw him at games in our colours)
  13. Key Deefender

    Aaron vandenBerg

    As others have already named him - Van Demon works for me (obviously a la Van Dieman's Land). Looks a ready made player and already a favourite of a few here.
  14. Key Deefender

    Jake Lever

    I have far greater faith that our current recruiting department as against those who went before them, have what it takes to make the right decision based on all the information at their disposal. Brayshaw appears to be a lock and then the fun begins with the other pick. We can argue cases for and against each of the prime candidates (which is surely what Demonland is all about!) and I enjoy reading the parries and thrusts between posters - mostly. I have absolutely no inside or outside knowledge of any of the prospectives other than what I have read and the vision I have seen in clips. The problem is that each of them have their pros and cons and we need bits or lots of what each can bring. 3-4 draftees into one draft position just doesn't go. I will be disappointed not to get each one of the ones we don't get and rapt to get the one we do. For what it's worth, the thought of a two pronged Hogan and McCartin combo is salivating, however the adage of drafting for mids and trading for talls resonates with me. The highlights package of Laverde was the most impressive of the lot, however for him to be in the 4-10 bracket perhaps indicates something missing somewhere. Lever's biggest concern is obviously his knee, however all the other attributes accredited to him including leadership, possibly makes him the safest bet (injury aside) as he seemingly has the combination of talents also found in the other two. Competitiveness, marking and strength - McCartin; athleticism and footy smarts - Laverde. People say he is a defender as well as a potentially untried midfielder. Could he also be a potentially untried forward? No one seems to have mentioned this. Could he be a rebounding defender a la Fyfe or Heppell when they started - or a big midfielder a la Bontempelli, or as someone suggested, Mundy - or could he also be that big competitive key position forward like a Hogan or McCartin have been touted to become? He is young enough to be moulded into a body shape that will enable him to be any of these. He therefore may be the one which gives us the best combination of all three - assuming any unnamed others are out of the picture. His knee is a risk (all due diligence no doubt being done here), however he could almost be that 3 in 1 draftee who could help fulfill a number of needs in the one pick with the flexibility and scope to be a forward, back or mid. So I guess it's Jake Lever for me - but will trust those in the know to pull the right rabbit out of the hat.
  15. Key Deefender

    Post Match Discussion - Round 19

    While that was one of the worst games of football skill-wise I have seen, the AFL and/or Etihad management need to take some responsibility for this. How they can even contemplate leaving the roof open on nice sunny days is beyond belief. The contrast between light and shade and the fact the ground faces north/south to the MCG's east/west, means players are constantly shading their eyes from the glare when facing north, promoting errors and making a mockery of the supposed skills of the game. Sure it is the same for both teams, and some of their mistakes were as bad as ours with the sun being responsible for a fair number of them. While this has been an ongoing argument at all levels, today's game was living proof that the roof should be closed regardless of the weather. The sun in your eyes is the sun in your eyes regardless of how good bad or atrocious you are as a player or team. The fact the ground was built facing the wrong way should not mean that players or fans should have to suffer the consequences. That said, we were terrible today and I couldn't believe we were ahead at any stage of the game.