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Found 40 results

  1. Was that season defining enough for us?
  2. Please cast those votes people 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 ...
  3. MATCH REPORT - Round 16

    ESCAPE FROM JAIL by George on the Outer The Demons rightly got out of jail today against the Blues at the MCG in a game in which many supporters of the Red and Blue were at one stage thinking they were in for a repeat of Round 22 of last year when Carlton put paid to Melbourne’s slim finals hopes for 2016. The Demons were in the top eight and playing against the team sitting 16th. Other games prior to the 3.20pm start on the weekend had already determined that Melbourne could slip outside the top eight should it lose, and then have to face up to three of the top four sides in the coming month. Things weren't looking so good, especially with co-captains Nathan Jones and Jack Viney along with Dom Tyson, Jack Watts, Christian Salem and Tomas Bugg all among those missing through injury or suspension. And just coming back from the rehab were Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Joel Smith and not so long ago Max Gawn - hardly a situation to feel confident about especially since Carlton had already defeated Sydney and GWS Giants this season and took ladder leaders Adelaide to within two goals. With a midfield that wouldn’t set the world alight and a lot of underdone players, the Demons were ripe for the pickings once again! And so it was almost to be as Carlton jumped Melbourne in the first quarter to lead by three goals at the first change. The Blues play the old “rope-a-dope” style of game and if you give them freedom they will just chip the ball around and then surge forward. A stern word from the coach and a change in game style saw the end to that and by half time the Demons had pulled back the deficit to be within one point thanks to Tom McDonald's goal after the half time siren. Injuries to Cripps and White placed Carlton in jeopardy of running out of legs, and it certainly looked to be the case as Melbourne hit the front early in the third term through Tom McDonald's third and by ¾ time it had extended its lead to nine points. By that time, the elder McDonald had kicked his fourth; for the second time in three matches his goal kicking exploits made a world of difference in keeping his team out of jail. A series of stupid and costly mistakes by a few Melbourne players handed the momentum back to Carlton and by 10 minutes into the final quarter they led by nine points. The game then became an arm wrestle and the Demons willed and dragged themselves to a two point lead with only minutes remaining. The wrestle continued and in the telling stages of the match, Neville Jetta took the critical mark in the Carlton backline that denied them an opportunity to take back the lead. The ball moved to the other end and Alex Neal-Bullen marked with a minute left in the match and using up his full 30 seconds, he passed to Jordan Lewis rather than shooting for goal. Another 30 seconds was used up and Lewis converted after the siren for the Demons to run out winners by eight points. Melbourne did get out of jail in the end but it did so through hard work and effort which is now their modus operandi in almost every game it plays. The question now is whether it can carry the team through the next month? We can only wait and see ... Melbourne 1.2.8 7.4.46 11.5.71 14.6.90 Carlton 4.3.27 7.5.47 9.8.62 12.10.82 Goals Melbourne T McDonald 4 Garlett 3 Neal-Bullen Wagner 2 Hogan Lewis Melksham Carlton Silvagni 3 Curnow Murphy Wright 2 Casboult Kreuzer Petrevski-Seton Best Melbourne T McDonald Oliver Lewis Petracca Neal-Bullen Frost Carlton Kreuzer Gibbs Murphy Curnow Docherty Casboult Changes Melbourne Nil Carlton Nil Injuries Melbourne Nil Carlton Cripps (left leg) White (left knee) Reports Melbourne Nil Carlton Nil Umpires Deboy, Williamson, Ryan Official crowd 47,266 at the MCG
  4. The Demons rightly got out of jail today against the Blues at the MCG in a game in which many supporters of the Red and Blue were at one stage thinking they were in for a repeat of Round 22 of last year when Carlton put paid to Melbourne’s slim finals hopes for 2016. The Demons were in the top eight and playing against the team sitting 16th. Other games prior to the 3.20pm start on the weekend had already determined that Melbourne could slip outside the top eight should it lose, and then have to face up to three of the top four sides in the coming month. Things weren't looking so good, especially with co-captains Nathan Jones and Jack Viney along with Dom Tyson, Jack Watts, Christian Salem and Tomas Bugg all among those missing through injury or suspension. And just coming back from the rehab were Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Joel Smith and not so long ago Max Gawn - hardly a situation to feel confident about especially since Carlton had already defeated Sydney and GWS Giants this season and took ladder leaders Adelaide to within two goals. With a midfield that wouldn’t set the world alight and a lot of underdone players, the Demons were ripe for the pickings once again! And so it was almost to be as Carlton jumped Melbourne in the first quarter to lead by three goals at the first change. The Blues play the old “rope-a-dope” style of game and if you give them freedom they will just chip the ball around and then surge forward. A stern word from the coach and a change in game style saw the end to that and by half time the Demons had pulled back the deficit to be within one point thanks to Tom McDonald's goal after the half time siren. Injuries to Cripps and White placed Carlton in jeopardy of running out of legs, and it certainly looked to be the case as Melbourne hit the front early in the third term through Tom McDonald's third and by ¾ time it had extended its lead to nine points. By that time, the elder McDonald had kicked his fourth; for the second time in three matches his goal kicking exploits made a world of difference in keeping his team out of jail. A series of stupid and costly mistakes by a few Melbourne players handed the momentum back to Carlton and by 10 minutes into the final quarter they led by nine points. The game then became an arm wrestle and the Demons willed and dragged themselves to a two point lead with only minutes remaining. The wrestle continued and in the telling stages of the match, Neville Jetta took the critical mark in the Carlton backline that denied them an opportunity to take back the lead. The ball moved to the other end and Alex Neal-Bullen marked with a minute left in the match and using up his full 30 seconds, he passed to Jordan Lewis rather than shooting for goal. Another 30 seconds was used up and Lewis converted after the siren for the Demons to run out winners by eight points. Melbourne did get out of jail in the end but it did so through hard work and effort which is now their modus operandi in almost every game it plays. The question now is whether it can carry the team through the next month? We can only wait and see ... Melbourne 1.2.8 7.4.46 11.5.71 14.6.90 Carlton 4.3.27 7.5.47 9.8.62 12.10.82 Goals Melbourne T McDonald 4 Garlett 3 Neal-Bullen Wagner 2 Hogan Lewis Melksham Carlton Silvagni 3 Curnow Murphy Wright 2 Casboult Kreuzer Petrevski-Seton Best Melbourne T McDonald Oliver Lewis Petracca Neal-Bullen Frost Carlton Kreuzer Gibbs Murphy Curnow Docherty Casboult Changes Melbourne Nil Carlton Nil Injuries Melbourne Nil Carlton Cripps (left leg) White (left knee) Reports Melbourne Nil Carlton Nil Umpires Deboy, Williamson, Ryan Official crowd 47,266 at the MCG
  5. RETROMANIA by JVM There are two ways that things can go for the Melbourne Football Club in the wake of last Friday’s embarrassing loss to Sydney, the Tomas Bugg punch and suspension, the continuing injury crisis and revelations about sanctions against four players after they ignored a directive not to drink alcohol after a Casey match. Up or down. The club was on a ten year high less than a week ago and then it hit the wall against the Swans with its insipid performance. Simon Goodwin's job of orchestrating the club's fifth winning game on end and thereby securing it a top four position was made so much more difficult for being hamstrung by the unavailability of the four players suspended from playing in the AFL on Friday night. Three of them had strong credentials for selection in team that was obviously weary in the face of their fourth game in 18 days. Dean Kent would have made the perfect fill-in for the injured Jeff Garlett but in his absence, the decision was made to replace him up forward with Jayden Hunt. Although Hunt managed to mark and goal in the first quarter, his game tally of seven possessions was the lowest of his 33-game career and only the second time he has failed to reach double figures. His presence in the backline was sorely missed. Jay Kennedy-Harris and Ben Kennedy were both in scintillating form for Casey and the presence of at least one of them would have been a boon for a team labouring under the strain of a succession of six day breaks and an interstate trip. And one cannot estimate the effect of all this on the psyche of the remaining players knowing that the stupidity of their teammates had left them in a position where the best team could not be selected for an important game. So now Melbourne faces Carlton for the second time this year - the third if you count JLT pre season games. If the team had available to it the personnel of those earlier games, my prediction about the outcome of this match would have been a no-brainer. The Demons by the length of Bourke Street. Now I'm not so sure. In truth, even the 22-point victory scored by Melbourne when the two sides met in Round 2 this season unimpressive. The young Blues have been inconsistent but have acquitted themselves admirably at times. They beat Adelaide and GWS Giants earlier in the season and gave Adelaide a run for their money last week. On that basis, their current form is much better than that of the embattled Demons who are moving in a retrograde motion for what is the Retro Round. I'll give them one chance and once chance only. Melbourne by 1 point. THE GAME Melbourne v Carlton at MCG Sunday 9th July, 2017 at 3.20pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Carlton 117 wins Melbourne 90 wins Drawn 2 At MCG Carlton 50 wins Melbourne 50 wins Past five meetings Carlton 3 wins Melbourne 2 wins The Coaches Bolton 0 wins Goodwin 1 win MEDIA TV - Channel 7, Fox Sports 503 live at 3.00pm RADIO - TBA THE BETTING Carlton $2.30 to win - Melbourne to win $1.63 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 13.10.88 defeated Carlton 9.12.66 at the MCG Round 2, 2017 The Demons looked in control early but seemed to stop midway through the second quarter and some undisciplined acts and poor play saw them hand the lead over during the third quarter. The team regrouped in the last but the 22 point win flattered them. Clayton Oliver and Dom Tyson were the team's best. THE TEAMS CARLTON B: Sam Docherty, Liam Jones, Lachie Plowman HB: Simon White, Jacob Weitering, Dale Thomas C: Kade Simpson, Patrick Cripps, David Cuningham HF: Jack Silvagni, Levi Casboult, Sam Kerridge F: Zac Fisher, Charlie Curnow, Matthew Wright FOLL: Matthew Kreuzer, Bryce Gibbs, Marc Murphy I/C: Jed Lamb, Harrison Macreadie, Sam Petrevski-Seton, Ciaran Sheehan EMG: Ciaran Byrne, Nick Graham, Harry McKay IN: Jed Lamb, Harrison Macreadie, Sam Petrevski-Seton OUT: Ciaran Byrne (omitted), Caleb Marchbank (shoulder), Liam Sumner (omitted) MELBOURNE B: Michael Hibberd, Oscar McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Jordan Lewis, Sam Frost, Bernie Vince C: Jayden Hunt, Christian Petracca, Mitch Hannan HF: James Harmes, Cameron Pedersen, Alex Neal-Bullen F: Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Tom McDonald FOLL: Max Gawn, Clayton Oliver, Jake Melksham I/C: Dean Kent, Joel Smith, Billy Stretch, Josh Wagner, EMG: Jay Kennedy-Harris, Jack Trengove, Sam Weideman IN: Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Dean Kent, Joel Smith OUT: Tomas Bugg (suspended), Dom Tyson (knee), Jack Viney (foot), Mitch White (omitted) I HAVE YOUR NUMBER by Sam the Stats Man They talk about lies and damn statistics but the analysis below tells us that the Demons have been hit hard to both key and depth players this season. 1. Jesse Hogan MFC games 4, goals 9 This hasn't been his year. Suspended for two matches in Round 2, then missed a week mourning the loss of his father and then diagnosed with cancer. 2. Nathan Jones MFC games 12, goals 10 The tough skipper led from the front but is now out for a month with a groin. 3. Christian Salem MFC games 12, goals 5 Has raised his game a level whether playing in midfield or defence but is currently out with a hamstring injury. 4. Jack Watts MFC games 12, goals 20 After a less than encouraging pre season period, Watts hardly put a foot wrong as a forward or back up ruckman until he injured his hamstring against the Bulldogs. 5. Christian Petracca MFC games 14, goals 20 Has made good progress and is living up to his high draft selection. 6. Jordan Lewis MFC games 11, goals 4 A great acquisition for the club, providing inspiration and leadership but with one major blemish being his suspension for 3 matches after a brain fade in Round 2. 7. Jack Viney MFC games 15, goals 5 Made a slow start to the season and was coming back to his damaging best when injured against the Swans. Now expected to be out for a month. 8. Heritier Lumumba Retired without making a start to the pre season. 9. Jack Trengove CD games 11, goals 2 The question all year has been whether he will ever get another opportunity to play at the highest level? 10. Angus Brayshaw MFC games 2, goals 1, CD games 3, goals 1 Troubled by concussion issues and his short term future remains in doubt. 11. Max Gawn MFC games 5, goals 1 Injured in Round 3 and underwent hamstring surgery after the game, the All Australian ruckman's presence in the ruck was sorely missed. Will be an important player now that he's back. 12. Dom Tyson MFC games 7, goals 1 Form was a little inconsistent but he's been really important when up and running. Another of the currently injured brigade. 13. Clayton Oliver MFC games 14, goals 2 The young midfielder is having an outstanding second season. Is probably leading the club's best and fairest and even spoken of as a possible All Australian but super important now that the midfield has been decimated. 14. Michael Hibberd MFC games 10, goals 1, CD games 2, goals 0 A prolific ball winner with great delivery skills and a good stopper in defence. Already an important player with the Demons after missing the early games with injury. 15. Billy Stretch MFC games 7, goals 3, CD games 6, goals 2 After a good start, his form dropped off ever so slightly and he found himself out of the side. Seems to be struggling at the moment. 16. Dean Kent MFC games 4, goals 6, CD games 8, goals 6 Has paid the price for poor form and an off field misdemeanour and must now wait for his next chance. 17. Sam Frost MFC games 11, goals 1 Came back from some pre season injury worries as a much improved player in defence. 18. Jake Melksham MFC games 11, goals 4, CD games 2, goals 4 Had some good moments and has shaken off a suspension incurred at Casey to become a regular in the AFL team. 19. Mitch Hannan MFC games 13, goals 18 Has been good in his debut year at the club and well and truly earned his spot in the side. 20. Colin Garland Suffered an ACL injury before the start of the season. Sidelined for 2017. 21. Cameron Pedersen MFC games 9, goals 9, CD games 2, goals 3 Has worked hard against tough odds and taller opposition as a fill in ruckman/forward. 22. Aaron Vandenberg Yet to take the field during the regular season due to a heel injury. 23. Bernie Vince MFC games 13, goals 1 Played some great tagging roles and was terrific on Rory Sloane. Needs to take a further step up this week. 24. Jay Kennedy-Harris MFC games 3, goals 0, CD games 8, goals 4 Had an unimpressive three match stint after a long period out through injuries and found himself back at Casey where he's starred. Drinks with the boys cost him a return last week. 25. Tom McDonald MFC games 14, goals 14 Strong leader in defence who has also gone forward and played on the ball during the club's ruck crisis. Kicked a match winning 5 goals at Domain Stadium recently against the Eagles. 26. Sam Weideman MFC games 6, goals 3, CD games 6, goals 9 Dropped from the team after the club's loss to North Melbourne and has been unable to fight back in despite a six goal haul at Box Hill a fortnight ago. 27. Liam Hulett CD games 9, goals 5, CD DL game 1, goals 0 Struggling in the Development League at the moment - sure sign that his future at the club is doubtful. 28. Oscar McDonald MFC games 12, goals 0, CD games 2, goals 0 His form was patchy early but has shown great improvement after a brief stint in the VFL. 29. Jayden Hunt MFC games 14, goals 5 Having a wonderful season highlighted by his blistering pace, adventurous running and athleticism. 30. Alex Neal-Bullen MFC games 11, goals 7, CD games 2, goals 2 Had is moments this year and starting to establish his place in the team. 32. Tomas Bugg MFC games 10, goals 7, CD games 1, goals 5 His career is on the brink after a reckless punch against the Swans saw him suspended for 6 matches. 33. Jake Spencer MFC games 2, goals 0, CD games 4, goals 0 Waited a long time to get an opportunity at AFL level but suffered a shoulder injury in just his second game. Now back at Casey. 34. Mitch King CD games 8, goals 0, CD DL games 1, goals 1 King is a developing player coming back from an ACL and is being given time at Casey. 35. Ben Kennedy CD games 10, goals 6 Struggling to gain a spot at Melbourne, Kennedy has been working on his game down at Casey and was close to MFC selection before his involvement in the after-game drinks. 36. Jeff Garlett MFC games 13, goals 29 Dangerous forward having a terrific season and finally gaining recognition for the value of his role to the team. 37. Dion Johnstone CD games 11, goals 3 Speedy forward who can lay a tackle is learning the trade in the VFL. 38. Tim Smith ® MFC games 2, goals 1, CD games 3 goals 1 Unlucky to suffer a broken rib in his second game which was followed by a navicular bone injury just as he returned. 39. Neville Jetta MFC games 14, goals 3 Steady as a rock playing the small defender's role. 40. Patrick McKenna A hamstring tear has prevented him from playing at either AFL or VFL level. 41. Mitchell White ® MFC game 1, goals 0 CD games 9, goals 2 Rewarded for his hard work as a defender at Casey with promotion off the rookie list and a game v the Swans. 42. Josh Wagner MFC games 5, goals 0, CD games 3, goals 1 Had some injury woes in the pre season and his form has been up and down ever since. 43. James Harmes MFC games 9, goals 9, CD games 3, goals 0 Lost his place in the Melbourne team but bounced back with a strong performance at Casey last week. 44. Joel Smith ® MFC games 1, goals 0 CD games 1, goals 0 Was going along nicely in defence on debut when he suffered an injured shoulder and missed most of the first half of the season. Made a strong first up return at Casey last week. 45. Declan Keilty ® CD games 11, goals 3 Rookie spare parts man getting experience as a back up ruckman with key position roles in the VFL. 47. Lachlan Filipovic ® CD DL games 5, goals 0 Project ruckman was getting game time in the Development League with the Casey Demons but has been out recently with a hip flexor injury. 48. Corey Maynard ® CD games 9, goals 2 Apart from a fortnight off after concussion has been doing well and performing better than expected in the Casey midfield.
  6. RETROMANIA by JVM

    There are two ways that things can go for the Melbourne Football Club in the wake of last Friday’s embarrassing loss to Sydney, the Tomas Bugg punch and suspension, the continuing injury crisis and revelations about sanctions against four players after they ignored a directive not to drink alcohol after a Casey match. Up or down. The club was on a ten year high less than a week ago and then it hit the wall against the Swans with its insipid performance. Simon Goodwin's job of orchestrating the club's fifth winning game on end and thereby securing it a top four position was made so much more difficult for being hamstrung by the unavailability of the four players suspended from playing in the AFL on Friday night. Three of them had strong credentials for selection in team that was obviously weary in the face of their fourth game in 18 days. Dean Kent would have made the perfect fill-in for the injured Jeff Garlett but in his absence, the decision was made to replace him up forward with Jayden Hunt. Although Hunt managed to mark and goal in the first quarter, his game tally of seven possessions was the lowest of his 33-game career and only the second time he has failed to reach double figures. His presence in the backline was sorely missed. Jay Kennedy-Harris and Ben Kennedy were both in scintillating form for Casey and the presence of at least one of them would have been a boon for a team labouring under the strain of a succession of six day breaks and an interstate trip. And one cannot estimate the effect of all this on the psyche of the remaining players knowing that the stupidity of their teammates had left them in a position where the best team could not be selected for an important game. So now Melbourne faces Carlton for the second time this year - the third if you count JLT pre season games. If the team had available to it the personnel of those earlier games, my prediction about the outcome of this match would have been a no-brainer. The Demons by the length of Bourke Street. Now I'm not so sure. In truth, even the 22-point victory scored by Melbourne when the two sides met in Round 2 this season unimpressive. The young Blues have been inconsistent but have acquitted themselves admirably at times. They beat Adelaide and GWS Giants earlier in the season and gave Adelaide a run for their money last week. On that basis, their current form is much better than that of the embattled Demons who are moving in a retrograde motion for what is the Retro Round. I'll give them one chance and once chance only. Melbourne by 1 point. THE GAME Melbourne v Carlton at MCG Sunday 9th July, 2017 at 3.20pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Carlton 117 wins Melbourne 90 wins Drawn 2 At MCG Carlton 50 wins Melbourne 50 wins Past five meetings Carlton 3 wins Melbourne 2 wins The Coaches Bolton 0 wins Goodwin 1 win MEDIA TV - Channel 7, Fox Sports 503 live at 3.00pm RADIO - TBA THE BETTING Carlton $2.30 to win - Melbourne to win $1.63 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 13.10.88 defeated Carlton 9.12.66 at the MCG Round 2, 2017 The Demons looked in control early but seemed to stop midway through the second quarter and some undisciplined acts and poor play saw them hand the lead over during the third quarter. The team regrouped in the last but the 22 point win flattered them. Clayton Oliver and Dom Tyson were the team's best. THE TEAMS CARLTON B: Sam Docherty, Liam Jones, Lachie Plowman HB: Simon White, Jacob Weitering, Dale Thomas C: Kade Simpson, Patrick Cripps, David Cuningham HF: Jack Silvagni, Levi Casboult, Sam Kerridge F: Zac Fisher, Charlie Curnow, Matthew Wright FOLL: Matthew Kreuzer, Bryce Gibbs, Marc Murphy I/C: Jed Lamb, Harrison Macreadie, Sam Petrevski-Seton, Ciaran Sheehan EMG: Ciaran Byrne, Nick Graham, Harry McKay IN: Jed Lamb, Harrison Macreadie, Sam Petrevski-Seton OUT: Ciaran Byrne (omitted), Caleb Marchbank (shoulder), Liam Sumner (omitted) MELBOURNE B: Michael Hibberd, Oscar McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Jordan Lewis, Sam Frost, Bernie Vince C: Jayden Hunt, Christian Petracca, Mitch Hannan HF: James Harmes, Cameron Pedersen, Alex Neal-Bullen F: Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Tom McDonald FOLL: Max Gawn, Clayton Oliver, Jake Melksham I/C: Dean Kent, Joel Smith, Billy Stretch, Josh Wagner, EMG: Jay Kennedy-Harris, Jack Trengove, Sam Weideman IN: Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Dean Kent, Joel Smith OUT: Tomas Bugg (suspended), Dom Tyson (knee), Jack Viney (foot), Mitch White (omitted) I HAVE YOUR NUMBER by Sam the Stats Man They talk about lies and damn statistics but the analysis below tells us that the Demons have been hit hard to both key and depth players this season. 1. Jesse Hogan MFC games 4, goals 9 This hasn't been his year. Suspended for two matches in Round 2, then missed a week mourning the loss of his father and then diagnosed with cancer. 2. Nathan Jones MFC games 12, goals 10 The tough skipper led from the front but is now out for a month with a groin. 3. Christian Salem MFC games 12, goals 5 Has raised his game a level whether playing in midfield or defence but is currently out with a hamstring injury. 4. Jack Watts MFC games 12, goals 20 After a less than encouraging pre season period, Watts hardly put a foot wrong as a forward or back up ruckman until he injured his hamstring against the Bulldogs. 5. Christian Petracca MFC games 14, goals 20 Has made good progress and is living up to his high draft selection. 6. Jordan Lewis MFC games 11, goals 4 A great acquisition for the club, providing inspiration and leadership but with one major blemish being his suspension for 3 matches after a brain fade in Round 2. 7. Jack Viney MFC games 15, goals 5 Made a slow start to the season and was coming back to his damaging best when injured against the Swans. Now expected to be out for a month. 8. Heritier Lumumba Retired without making a start to the pre season. 9. Jack Trengove CD games 11, goals 2 The question all year has been whether he will ever get another opportunity to play at the highest level? 10. Angus Brayshaw MFC games 2, goals 1, CD games 3, goals 1 Troubled by concussion issues and his short term future remains in doubt. 11. Max Gawn MFC games 5, goals 1 Injured in Round 3 and underwent hamstring surgery after the game, the All Australian ruckman's presence in the ruck was sorely missed. Will be an important player now that he's back. 12. Dom Tyson MFC games 7, goals 1 Form was a little inconsistent but he's been really important when up and running. Another of the currently injured brigade. 13. Clayton Oliver MFC games 14, goals 2 The young midfielder is having an outstanding second season. Is probably leading the club's best and fairest and even spoken of as a possible All Australian but super important now that the midfield has been decimated. 14. Michael Hibberd MFC games 10, goals 1, CD games 2, goals 0 A prolific ball winner with great delivery skills and a good stopper in defence. Already an important player with the Demons after missing the early games with injury. 15. Billy Stretch MFC games 7, goals 3, CD games 6, goals 2 After a good start, his form dropped off ever so slightly and he found himself out of the side. Seems to be struggling at the moment. 16. Dean Kent MFC games 4, goals 6, CD games 8, goals 6 Has paid the price for poor form and an off field misdemeanour and must now wait for his next chance. 17. Sam Frost MFC games 11, goals 1 Came back from some pre season injury worries as a much improved player in defence. 18. Jake Melksham MFC games 11, goals 4, CD games 2, goals 4 Had some good moments and has shaken off a suspension incurred at Casey to become a regular in the AFL team. 19. Mitch Hannan MFC games 13, goals 18 Has been good in his debut year at the club and well and truly earned his spot in the side. 20. Colin Garland Suffered an ACL injury before the start of the season. Sidelined for 2017. 21. Cameron Pedersen MFC games 9, goals 9, CD games 2, goals 3 Has worked hard against tough odds and taller opposition as a fill in ruckman/forward. 22. Aaron Vandenberg Yet to take the field during the regular season due to a heel injury. 23. Bernie Vince MFC games 13, goals 1 Played some great tagging roles and was terrific on Rory Sloane. Needs to take a further step up this week. 24. Jay Kennedy-Harris MFC games 3, goals 0, CD games 8, goals 4 Had an unimpressive three match stint after a long period out through injuries and found himself back at Casey where he's starred. Drinks with the boys cost him a return last week. 25. Tom McDonald MFC games 14, goals 14 Strong leader in defence who has also gone forward and played on the ball during the club's ruck crisis. Kicked a match winning 5 goals at Domain Stadium recently against the Eagles. 26. Sam Weideman MFC games 6, goals 3, CD games 6, goals 9 Dropped from the team after the club's loss to North Melbourne and has been unable to fight back in despite a six goal haul at Box Hill a fortnight ago. 27. Liam Hulett CD games 9, goals 5, CD DL game 1, goals 0 Struggling in the Development League at the moment - sure sign that his future at the club is doubtful. 28. Oscar McDonald MFC games 12, goals 0, CD games 2, goals 0 His form was patchy early but has shown great improvement after a brief stint in the VFL. 29. Jayden Hunt MFC games 14, goals 5 Having a wonderful season highlighted by his blistering pace, adventurous running and athleticism. 30. Alex Neal-Bullen MFC games 11, goals 7, CD games 2, goals 2 Had is moments this year and starting to establish his place in the team. 32. Tomas Bugg MFC games 10, goals 7, CD games 1, goals 5 His career is on the brink after a reckless punch against the Swans saw him suspended for 6 matches. 33. Jake Spencer MFC games 2, goals 0, CD games 4, goals 0 Waited a long time to get an opportunity at AFL level but suffered a shoulder injury in just his second game. Now back at Casey. 34. Mitch King CD games 8, goals 0, CD DL games 1, goals 1 King is a developing player coming back from an ACL and is being given time at Casey. 35. Ben Kennedy CD games 10, goals 6 Struggling to gain a spot at Melbourne, Kennedy has been working on his game down at Casey and was close to MFC selection before his involvement in the after-game drinks. 36. Jeff Garlett MFC games 13, goals 29 Dangerous forward having a terrific season and finally gaining recognition for the value of his role to the team. 37. Dion Johnstone CD games 11, goals 3 Speedy forward who can lay a tackle is learning the trade in the VFL. 38. Tim Smith ® MFC games 2, goals 1, CD games 3 goals 1 Unlucky to suffer a broken rib in his second game which was followed by a navicular bone injury just as he returned. 39. Neville Jetta MFC games 14, goals 3 Steady as a rock playing the small defender's role. 40. Patrick McKenna A hamstring tear has prevented him from playing at either AFL or VFL level. 41. Mitchell White ® MFC game 1, goals 0 CD games 9, goals 2 Rewarded for his hard work as a defender at Casey with promotion off the rookie list and a game v the Swans. 42. Josh Wagner MFC games 5, goals 0, CD games 3, goals 1 Had some injury woes in the pre season and his form has been up and down ever since. 43. James Harmes MFC games 9, goals 9, CD games 3, goals 0 Lost his place in the Melbourne team but bounced back with a strong performance at Casey last week. 44. Joel Smith ® MFC games 1, goals 0 CD games 1, goals 0 Was going along nicely in defence on debut when he suffered an injured shoulder and missed most of the first half of the season. Made a strong first up return at Casey last week. 45. Declan Keilty ® CD games 11, goals 3 Rookie spare parts man getting experience as a back up ruckman with key position roles in the VFL. 47. Lachlan Filipovic ® CD DL games 5, goals 0 Project ruckman was getting game time in the Development League with the Casey Demons but has been out recently with a hip flexor injury. 48. Corey Maynard ® CD games 9, goals 2 Apart from a fortnight off after concussion has been doing well and performing better than expected in the Casey midfield.
  7. THE LAST TIME THEY MET

    We were a lot closer to full strength in Round 2 than we are now:- MELBOURNE B: Jayden Hunt, Oscar McDonald, Jake Melksham HB: Neville Jetta, Tom McDonald, Nathan Jones C: Christian Salem, Jordan Lewis, Billy Stretch HF: Clayton Oliver, Sam Weideman, Jack Watts F: Christian Petracca, Jesse Hogan, Jeff Garlett FOLL: Max Gawn, Angus Brayshaw, Jack Viney I/C: Mitch Hannan, James Harmes, Alex Neal-Bullen, Dom Tyson EMG: Ben Kennedy, Dean Kent, Jake Spencer IN: James Harmes, Ben Kennedy, Dom Tyson OUT: Joel Smith (shoulder), Bernie Vince (suspended) CARLTON B: Jarrod Pickett, Caleb Marchbank, Lachie Plowman HB: Harrison Macreadie, Sam Rowe, Sam Docherty C: Matthew Wright, Bryce Gibbs, Kade Simpson HF: Jack Silvagni, Levi Casboult, Charlie Curnow F: Simon White, Jacob Weitering, Sam Petrevski-Seton FOLL: Matthew Kreuzer, Patrick Cripps, Marc Murphy I/C: Dennis Armfield, Ed Curnow, Nick Graham, Sam Kerridge, Harry McKay, Billie Smedts, Dale Thomas EMG: Nick Graham, Sam Kerridge, Harry McKay NO CHANGE
  8. MATCH REPORT - Round 22

    AN END TO THE DREAMING by George on the Outer Carlton put paid to the Demons' chances of playing in the 2016 finals series, or more correctly Melbourne threw away its chances of being there in September. From the first bounce it was obvious that the “bad” Melbourne had turned up to play a game that was reminiscent of that against Essendon earlier in the year. Before the supporters could build their hopes, the game was over as Carlton put on four goals in the opening quarter from nine shots, while the Demons could only manage four shots on goal with only two majors resulting. This was a Carlton side that had lost its previous nine encounters, while the Demons were coming off a three game winning streak, its longest for nearly ten years. The mids were comprehensively beaten to everything that Max Gawn sent their way, and when they weren’t first to the ball, the effectiveness of their disposal was appalling. Dom Tyson despite 30 touches needs to be sat down and told to kick the ball instead of trying to handball first, when it is raining. The same happened against Hawthorn first up, then Sydney and again today. Handballing in close is a dry weather option, and it was evidenced that he only managed two clearances for the whole day! Jack Viney battled all day, and produced eight clearances from fewer possession. The difference between statistics and effectiveness. The backs were simply magnificent and without the efforts of the MacDonald brothers and Neville Jetta combined with the sorry skills of most Carlton players, the result would have been much worse. Tom did a particularly damaging job on Levi Casboult who only had 9 touches for the whole game, while Neville just kept intercepting and spoiling the Carlton forward thrusts. The 1%ers statistic had Tom with 14, Oscar with 8 and Neville with 5 with no other players on the field doing better. Bernie on the other hand was simply atrocious and is not a backman. He was moved up the ground after the first quarter, but he continues to do silly things and provide turnovers to the opposition advantage. At least after ¼ time the damage was further up the field. Jayden Hunt provided that thrill and enthusiasm that was so much needed in this game, but without any assistance his was a lone hand. Up forward the selection committee again erred as it brought in an undeveloped Weidemann in favour of Pedersen. Today Hogan needed a big body to provide a second option, and it simply wasn’t there. While the further development of Weidemann is appreciated, one has to wonder whether winning the match was a priority. Hogan led the Demons with his 14 marks including 5 contested, but his kicking for goal remains a real point of concern. He wasn’t alone as not even Jack Watts was able to nail a set shot from 30m which normally would be written down before it left his boot. And the final quarter of 1 goal 6 behinds, most of which were from set shots or easy open shots was the difference between a win, keeping the hope alive, or being beaten by a side which had lost 9 straight! Again the commitment to winning wasn’t evident as the coaches continued to play an extra man in defence, even in the last quarter, when the game had to be won. We had to score, not defend as we were already 4 goals behind. Carlton appreciated the lack of pressure in our forward line, as that spare man was able to mop up successfully time and time again. And with Hogan always double teamed, he had little chance. Small wonder the kid gets frustrated. Viv Michie has almost certainly determined his future despite 20 touches. His lack of vigour is a hallmark, especially when his direct opponent in Dylan Buckley managed 3 goals. Likewise ANB was underwhelming with a mere eight touches and only one to half time. Once again the selection committee has to be questioned about the suitability of these players in a match that HAD to be won. At Melbourne we had a dream. It might have been only a slim hope, but it caused more Demons supporters to turn up to watch on a wet wintery day than had been seen in Round 21 for many a year. So for all those dreaming supporters, the words of Fantinefrom the musical Le Miserables seem so poignant: I had a dream my life would be So different from this hell I'm living So different now, from what it seemed Now life has killed the dream I dreamed Melbourne 2.2.14 4.8.32 6.10.46 7.16.58 Carlton 4.5.29 7.8.50 10.10.70 11.12.78 Goals Carlton Buckley 3 Graham 2 Cripps Everitt Jones Phillips Sumner Wright Melbourne Bugg Gawn Hogan Hunt Neal-Bullen Oliver vandenBerg Best Melbourne Viney Hunt N Jones T McDonald O McDonald Jetta Carlton Cripps Gibbs Buckley Docherty Simpson Changes Carlton Silvagni (soreness) replaced in the selected side by Graham. Kerridge (illness) replaced in the selected side by Everitt Melbourne Nil Injuries Melbourne Watts (right eye), Kent (right leg) Carlton Buckley (head), Curnow (left knee) Reports Melbourne Nil Carlton Nil Umpires Donlon, Rosebury, Mitchell Official crowd 40,693 at MCG
  9. Carlton put paid to the Demons' chances of playing in the 2016 finals series, or more correctly Melbourne threw away its chances of being there in September. From the first bounce it was obvious that the “bad” Melbourne had turned up to play a game that was reminiscent of that against Essendon earlier in the year. Before the supporters could build their hopes, the game was over as Carlton put on four goals in the opening quarter from nine shots, while the Demons could only manage four shots on goal with only two majors resulting. This was a Carlton side that had lost its previous nine encounters, while the Demons were coming off a three game winning streak, its longest for nearly ten years. The mids were comprehensively beaten to everything that Max Gawn sent their way, and when they weren’t first to the ball, the effectiveness of their disposal was appalling. Dom Tyson despite 30 touches needs to be sat down and told to kick the ball instead of trying to handball first, when it is raining. The same happened against Hawthorn first up, then Sydney and again today. Handballing in close is a dry weather option, and it was evidenced that he only managed two clearances for the whole day! Jack Viney battled all day, and produced eight clearances from fewer possession. The difference between statistics and effectiveness. The backs were simply magnificent and without the efforts of the MacDonald brothers and Neville Jetta combined with the sorry skills of most Carlton players, the result would have been much worse. Tom did a particularly damaging job on Levi Casboult who only had 9 touches for the whole game, while Neville just kept intercepting and spoiling the Carlton forward thrusts. The 1%ers statistic had Tom with 14, Oscar with 8 and Neville with 5 with no other players on the field doing better. Bernie on the other hand was simply atrocious and is not a backman. He was moved up the ground after the first quarter, but he continues to do silly things and provide turnovers to the opposition advantage. At least after ¼ time the damage was further up the field. Jayden Hunt provided that thrill and enthusiasm that was so much needed in this game, but without any assistance his was a lone hand. Up forward the selection committee again erred as it brought in an undeveloped Weidemann in favour of Pedersen. Today Hogan needed a big body to provide a second option, and it simply wasn’t there. While the further development of Weidemann is appreciated, one has to wonder whether winning the match was a priority. Hogan led the Demons with his 14 marks including 5 contested, but his kicking for goal remains a real point of concern. He wasn’t alone as not even Jack Watts was able to nail a set shot from 30m which normally would be written down before it left his boot. And the final quarter of 1 goal 6 behinds, most of which were from set shots or easy open shots was the difference between a win, keeping the hope alive, or being beaten by a side which had lost 9 straight! Again the commitment to winning wasn’t evident as the coaches continued to play an extra man in defence, even in the last quarter, when the game had to be won. We had to score, not defend as we were already 4 goals behind. Carlton appreciated the lack of pressure in our forward line, as that spare man was able to mop up successfully time and time again. And with Hogan always double teamed, he had little chance. Small wonder the kid gets frustrated. Viv Michie has almost certainly determined his future despite 20 touches. His lack of vigour is a hallmark, especially when his direct opponent in Dylan Buckley managed 3 goals. Likewise ANB was underwhelming with a mere eight touches and only one to half time. Once again the selection committee has to be questioned about the suitability of these players in a match that HAD to be won. At Melbourne we had a dream. It might have been only a slim hope, but it caused more Demons supporters to turn up to watch on a wet wintery day than had been seen in Round 21 for many a year. So for all those dreaming supporters, the words of Fantinefrom the musical Le Miserables seem so poignant: I had a dream my life would be So different from this hell I'm living So different now, from what it seemed Now life has killed the dream I dreamed Melbourne 2.2.14 4.8.32 6.10.46 7.16.58 Carlton 4.5.29 7.8.50 10.10.70 11.12.78 Goals Carlton Buckley 3 Graham 2 Cripps Everitt Jones Phillips Sumner Wright Melbourne Bugg Gawn Hogan Hunt Neal-Bullen Oliver vandenBerg Best Melbourne Viney Hunt N Jones T McDonald O McDonald Jetta Carlton Cripps Gibbs Buckley Docherty Simpson Changes Carlton Silvagni (soreness) replaced in the selected side by Graham. Kerridge (illness) replaced in the selected side by Everitt Melbourne Nil Injuries Melbourne Watts (right eye), Kent (right leg) Carlton Buckley (head), Curnow (left knee) Reports Melbourne Nil Carlton Nil Umpires Donlon, Rosebury, Mitchell Official crowd 40,693 at MCG
  10. GAMEDAY - Round 22

    The forecast is for some rain in the afternoon which shouldn't worry us greatly. In fact, for a club that has stood on the edge of the abyss so many times in the past ten years, nothing should worry us. The experience of being in contention this far into the season is something we should savour. This is a glimpse into our future.
  11. OVER THE RAINBOW by Whispering Jack There is a theory that the story behind "The Wizard of Oz" was inspired by Australia. After all, we know the country is often colloquially referred to as "Oz" and in the book upon which film was based, Oz is an island continent somewhere to the west of California with inhabited regions bordering on a great desert. That iconic movie was the inspiration that moved young people of a generation or two to dare to dream, to overcome adversity and to triumph in hard times. The theme of dreaming for better times must have a familiar ring for Demon fans after experiencing a decade of despair but in recent weeks, the skies seem to have cleared, turned to blue and produced rainbows all around. Suddenly, their team's season has come alive. The road map to the finals is very much a straight line. They need to beat Carlton this Sunday at the MCG, prevail at the Cattery a week later and hope that the two New South Wales teams beat the currently eighth-placed North Melbourne by enough to turn around the Kangaroos' narrow percentage advantage of 3.7 per cent. That's all. It sounds so simple and by no means a fantasy, but this is real life and dreams don't always come true. Standing between the Melbourne Football Club and the dreams of its fans this week is Carlton. Since that groundbreaking end of season contest in late 2007 that came to be known as the Kreuzer Cup, the Demons have struggled against the Blues and there have been some disastrous results for them over those years. Carlton has emerged victorious in eight of the last nine matches between the clubs and four of those wins have been by more than 50 points. Despite their poor record, Melbourne came into their last encounter at around the this time last year as firm favourites but they couldn't raise a gallop. They were terrible. This time around, Carlton is struggling, having lost nine on the trot, while Melbourne's season is just gathering momentum. They have the competition's dominant ruckman, an emerging midfield with Dom Tyson striking a rare vein of great form and the team is chockfull of young running footballers who don't stop. And things can only get better if Jesse Hogan, who has been battling for the past month, hits his straps. This is the moment for the Demons. There are no happy little bluebirds around to spoil their dreams - it's their turn to fly. Melbourne by 23 points THE GAME Carlton v Melbourne at MCG Sunday 21st August, 2016 at 1.10pm. HEAD TO HEAD Overall Carlton 116 wins Melbourne 89 wins Drawn 2 At MCG Carlton 49 wins Melbourne 49 wins Past five meetings Carlton 4 wins Melbourne 1 win The Coaches Bolton 0 wins Roos 0 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Footy Channel Live at 1.00pm RADIO - Triple M 3AW THE BETTING Carlton to win - $4.10 Melbourne to win - $1.24 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Carlton 12.6.78 defeated Melbourne 7.13.55 at the MCG Round 21, 2015 At one stage late in the second quarter, Carlton held a 53 point lead and had kicked 10 goals to a single Demon goal. Some might have found consolation in the comeback that saw the team score five goals to Carlton's two in the second half and to finish with a slender advantage in scoring shots over the Blues but in truth, their performance was rubbish. THE TEAMS CARLTON B: Zach Tuohy, Sam Rowe, Jacob Weitering HB: Dylan Buckley, Lachie Plowman, Sam Docherty C: Kade Simpson, Sam Kerridge, Ed Curnow HF: Jack Silvagni, Liam Jones, David Cuningham F: Matthew Kreuzer, Levi Casboult, Matthew Wright FOLL: Andrew Phillips, Patrick Cripps, Bryce Gibbs I/C: Dennis Armfield, Liam Sumner, Dale Thomas, Simon White EMG: Blaine Boekhorst, Nick Graham, Andrejs Everitt IN: Liam Sumner OUT: Blaine Boekhorst (Omitted) MELBOURNE B: Sam Frost, Tom McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Jayden Hunt, Oscar McDonald, Tomas Bugg C: Billy Stretch, Bernie Vince, Dom Tyson HF: Angus Brayshaw, Jack Watts, Aaron vandenBerg F: Christian Petracca, Jesse Hogan, Dean Kent FOLL: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney I/C: Viv Michie, Alex Neal-Bullen, Clayton Oliver, Sam Weideman EMG: Colin Garland, James Harmes, Cameron Pedersen IN: Viv Michie, Alex Neal-Bullen, Sam Weideman OUT: Jeff Garlett (illness), James Harmes (omitted), Cameron Pedersen (omitted)
  12. There is a theory that the story behind "The Wizard of Oz" was inspired by Australia. After all, we know the country is often colloquially referred to as "Oz" and in the book upon which film was based, Oz is an island continent somewhere to the west of California with inhabited regions bordering on a great desert. That iconic movie was the inspiration that moved young people of a generation or two to dare to dream, to overcome adversity and to triumph in hard times. The theme of dreaming for better times must have a familiar ring for Demon fans after experiencing a decade of despair but in recent weeks, the skies seem to have cleared, turned to blue and produced rainbows all around. Suddenly, their team's season has come alive. The road map to the finals is very much a straight line. They need to beat Carlton this Sunday at the MCG, prevail at the Cattery a week later and hope that the two New South Wales teams beat the currently eighth-placed North Melbourne by enough to turn around the Kangaroos' narrow percentage advantage of 3.7 per cent. That's all. It sounds so simple and by no means a fantasy, but this is real life and dreams don't always come true. Standing between the Melbourne Football Club and the dreams of its fans this week is Carlton. Since that groundbreaking end of season contest in late 2007 that came to be known as the Kreuzer Cup, the Demons have struggled against the Blues and there have been some disastrous results for them over those years. Carlton has emerged victorious in eight of the last nine matches between the clubs and four of those wins have been by more than 50 points. Despite their poor record, Melbourne came into their last encounter at around the this time last year as firm favourites but they couldn't raise a gallop. They were terrible. This time around, Carlton is struggling, having lost nine on the trot, while Melbourne's season is just gathering momentum. They have the competition's dominant ruckman, an emerging midfield with Dom Tyson striking a rare vein of great form and the team is chockfull of young running footballers who don't stop. And things can only get better if Jesse Hogan, who has been battling for the past month, hits his straps. This is the moment for the Demons. There are no happy little bluebirds around to spoil their dreams - it's their turn to fly. Melbourne by 23 points THE GAME Carlton v Melbourne at MCG Sunday 21st August, 2016 at 1.10pm. HEAD TO HEAD Overall Carlton 116 wins Melbourne 89 wins Drawn 2 At MCG Carlton 49 wins Melbourne 49 wins Past five meetings Carlton 4 wins Melbourne 1 win The Coaches Bolton 0 wins Roos 0 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Footy Channel Live at 1.00pm RADIO - Triple M 3AW THE BETTING Carlton to win - $4.10 Melbourne to win - $1.24 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Carlton 12.6.78 defeated Melbourne 7.13.55 at the MCG Round 21, 2015 At one stage late in the second quarter, Carlton held a 53 point lead and had kicked 10 goals to a single Demon goal. Some might have found consolation in the comeback that saw the team score five goals to Carlton's two in the second half and to finish with a slender advantage in scoring shots over the Blues but in truth, their performance was rubbish. THE TEAMS CARLTON B: Zach Tuohy, Sam Rowe, Jacob Weitering HB: Dylan Buckley, Lachie Plowman, Sam Docherty C: Kade Simpson, Sam Kerridge, Ed Curnow HF: Jack Silvagni, Liam Jones, David Cuningham F: Matthew Kreuzer, Levi Casboult, Matthew Wright FOLL: Andrew Phillips, Patrick Cripps, Bryce Gibbs I/C: Dennis Armfield, Liam Sumner, Dale Thomas, Simon White EMG: Blaine Boekhorst, Nick Graham, Andrejs Everitt IN: Liam Sumner OUT: Blaine Boekhorst (Omitted) MELBOURNE B: Sam Frost, Tom McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Jayden Hunt, Oscar McDonald, Tomas Bugg C: Billy Stretch, Bernie Vince, Dom Tyson HF: Angus Brayshaw, Jack Watts, Aaron vandenBerg F: Christian Petracca, Jesse Hogan, Dean Kent FOLL: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney I/C: Viv Michie, Alex Neal-Bullen, Clayton Oliver, Sam Weideman EMG: Colin Garland, James Harmes, Cameron Pedersen IN: Viv Michie, Alex Neal-Bullen, Sam Weideman OUT: Jeff Garlett (illness), James Harmes (omitted), Cameron Pedersen (omitted)
  13. THE LAST TIME THEY MET

    This game from late last season was one of the MFC's most painful and humiliating defeats of the 2015 campaign because we went into it as hot favourites and were blown out of the water in the first quarter and a half. We fought back but we were wasteful and painful - the defeat made us almost a laughing stock. May it never happen again. CARLTON B: Zach Tuohy, Michael Jamison, Sam Rowe HB: Dylan Buckley, Sam Docherty, Matthew Dick C: Marc Murphy, Andrew Carrazzo, Kade Simpson HF: Tom Bell, Andrejs Everitt, Blaine Boekhorst F: Andrew Walker, Levi Casboult, Troy Menzel FOLL: Matthew Kreuzer, Ed Curnow, Patrick Cripps I/C: David Ellard, Kristian Jaksch, Jason Tutt, Mark Whiley EMG: Nick Holman, Clem Smith, Matthew Watson IN: Levi Casboult, Troy Menzel, Jason Tutt Out: Lachie Henderson (omitted), Nick Holman (omitted), Clem Smith (omitted) MELBOURNE B: Colin Garland, Lynden Dunn, Jeremy Howe HB: Daniel Cross, Tom McDonald, Christian Salem C: Billy Stretch, Bernie Vince, Heritier Lumumba HF: Viv Michie, Chris Dawes, James Harmes F: Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Jack Watts FOLL: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney I/C: Angus Brayshaw, Jack Grimes, Alex Neal-Bullen, Ben Newton EMG: Rohan Bail, Mark Jamar, Aidan Riley IN: Ben Newton, Christian Salem, Billy Stretch
  14. During the week, the Melbourne supporters were regaled with the near weekly promises of “improved performances more focus, tougher and harder”. It all means nothing because we have been promised this for at least the past seven or eight years and at the end of it we can barely muster half a dozen wins in a season. We all remember Cameron Bruce trotting out the same mantra, over 5 years ago, and we can be sure that Jack Watts or Max Gawn or Tom McDonald will be called out this week to perform a similar task. Honestly the club must think we supporters are sheep, deserving of nothing better. Worse is now this week, the Coaches have taken up the mantle of spin-doctors. Jade Rawlings promised us that: “We’ve certainly amped the players up this week for what we expect and with the chats they’ve had among themselves – they certainly know what to expect from each other.” Paul Roos promised us this week: “From our point of view, we’ve got to reset for the three [remaining] games,” And the players response to being reset and amped up … another five goal first quarter deficit, two lousy goals to half-time and a seven goal match total ….again! And this, against the bottom side on the ladder who had only managed three wins this season. It was a good thing they came into the game so fired up, or the result would have been a lot worse! What we the Fans want now is an apology. Demonland has rightly demanded this after yet another wasted season of miserable performances and downright disgraceful efforts. Do these same players think that we cannot see you running at half-pace while your opponents run away freely? Do you think we cannot see when you prefer to avoid a marking contest? Do you think we cannot see how slow you are to move the ball? Do you think we cannot see when you don’t honour the hard work of others to get to space? If there was ANY sort of positive from today it is with the likes of Brayshaw, Viney, Hogan, Jones and Vince. They are the only true footballers in the side today. Sadly three of them are mere kids who should have been rested long ago in this hard season, but we have no-one to replace them. NO-ONE! When Casey has the likes of Fitzpatrick, Jamar, Riley, McKenzie, Bail, M Jones and Terlich running around, unable to get into a side like ours at the moment, you start to appreciate the extent of the problem. When we have to play Stretch, Harmes, ANB, and Newton in our starting 18 then the problem is of even greater magnitude, as these kids should be undergoing an apprenticeship not being destroyed at senior level. Sadly, Daniel Cross has reached the end of the road, despite his big heart and efforts. Another hole that we should be filling for next year. Garlett despite a good haul of goals for the year, simply goes missing for most of the games he plays in. Chris Dawes cannot take a mark and is useful only as a big body. The holes in the playing list are monumental and potentially getting worse. Where is the hope for the future that a Club needs to sell to supporters? Nathan Jones is obviously carrying an injury and has been for a good part of the season. However, it doesn’t stop him trying his guts out every week. It must break his heart to see the efforts of others in his side that are simply not up to AFL standard. Jack Watts put in a more than serviceable game with 9 marks, 3 tackles and 19 disposals. Viv Michie probably saved his career with a 21 disposal effort. Tom McDonald was simply fantastic as once again he was thrown into the ruck to relieve Gawn, and finished up playing a ruck-rover type of role for the greater part of the game. How long has it been since a Melbourne player took 10 marks in a game? Max Gawn has cemented his ruck role in the side as number 1 with another 39 hit outs against the much vaunted Matthew Kruezer. When he builds a bigger engine, he will be a really potent force, but without decent support around him, it will all be for nothing. With next weeks game against Fremantle in Subiaco potentially being another shellacking, the only real hope is that Fremantle rest a dozen or more of their side as they have done in the past, in the lead up to finals. They cannot lose their top 2 spot, but even with half a side they should still easily defeat the Melbourne side that has been turning up for the past couple of months. No more promises, just apologise. *Apologise to those on the bus who travelled from south Gippsland to watch the day's performance. * Apologise to the young Chinese family decked out in Demon colours who want to be part of our Australian culture. * Apologise to the tired old blokes in faded Demon outfits who have been watching the game since Ron was running around the field. * Apologise to those kids who will be laughed at and taunted tomorrow at school, again. AND DON’T MAKE ANY MORE PROMISES … BECAUSE YOU DON’T DELIVER! Melbourne 1.2.8 2.3.15 6.9.45 7.13.55 Carlton 6.2.38 10.2.62 11.3.69 12.6.78 Goals Melbourne Dawes Garlett Gawn Grimes Jones Newton Watts Carlton Kreuzer 4 Walker 3 Cripps Everitt 2 Watson Best Melbourne McDonald Michie Watts Newton Viney Carlton Cripps Kreuzer Tutt Curnow Murphy Docherty Changes Melbourne Nil Carlton Casboult (knee) replaced in selected side by Watson Injuries Melbourne Heritier Lumumba (ankle) Carlton Menzel (shoulder) Murphy (shoulder) Jamison (concussion) Kreuzer (back) Substitutes Melbourne Heritier Lumumba (ankle) replaced by Alex Neal-Bullen in the second quarter Carlton Marc Murphy (shoulder) replaced by David Ellard in the third quarter Reports Melbourne Nil Carlton Nil Umpires Foot Ryan Hay Armstrong Official crowd 33,962 at the MCG
  15. GAME DAY - Round 21

    The Demons step out onto the MCG for the final time this year in the eight anniversary commemoration of the infamous Kreuzer Cup game from 2007. Fittingly, Matt Kreuzer will be on hand to play in ruck for the Blues after what has so far been an injury ravaged career and Chris Judd who was another Carlton prize from its tanking spree will be parading around in a motorcade to celebrate those many years in the wilderness his club went through and millions spent after they secured him in the farcical selection drama they set up at the time. Given that Juddy was paid a fortune to promote the environmental friendliness of an organisation that was once fined $36m over price fixing, one hopes that the vehicle carting him around the ground will be an electric model but I wouldn't put my house on that. As for the game itself - meh. The result will probably be the same as it was eight years ago although it wouldn't surprise me if Levi Casboult suddenly discovered his kicking boots and scored seven or eight straight (unlike Lance Whitnall who did such a fantastic job shanking shots at goal from 15 meters out). I hope somebody had the foresight to invite Travis Johnstone to join the motorcade as well to celebrate his 42 uncontested possessions from that very memorable day/night occasion.
  16. THAT'S WHY THEY CALL IT "THE BLUES" by Whispering Jack The Carlton Football Club and all those associated with it must be collectively heaving sighs of relief about the events at Essendon. They came in the week after the Blues managed only three goals after quarter time in an 83-point turnaround that saw them capitulate to fellow wooden spoon contender Brisbane by 64 points. Former player Mitch Robinson added to the humiliation by sticking it to his old club with a display that saw him amass 34 disposals and lay 15 tackles. It was an unspoken gesture that spelled out "bruise-free" if there ever was one. Had it not been for the troubles at Essendon which, earlier on the same day lowered its colours to Adelaide at Etihad Stadium by 112 points and a few days later parted company with coach James Hird in strange circumstances, the media would have been all over Carlton. And if not Carlton, it would have had far more to say about Melbourne's pitifully weak and inept performance against the Western Bulldogs which saw another bloodbath at the Docklands, giving the stadium under the roof a combined losing margin from two AFL games of 35 goals. If that's not a very good advertisement for our game then I would like to know what could be worse than those two results and how the AFL managed to sell six years of broadcast rights in their aftermath for $2½ billion. Even if you leave Essendon and its drug issues aside, if Gillon McLachlan can pull off that sort of thing then what price the Sydney Harbour Bridge? Which brings us to this week's game. Well actually ... er, um no. The garbage served up by both teams last week won't bring many people to the MCG to watch the slopfest of embarrassing, coach killing skill errors and the kaleidoscope of half-hearted weak efforts that we saw from both these teams last weekend. What more can you say about a match between teams where a 98 point last start loser is a firm favourite to win according to the betting agencies? In fact, the match up is threatening to revive the horrors of that game between the two sides on the same ground eight years ago which lives in infamy and is known as "The Kreuzer Cup". We know who won that because it was one of the few games in AFL history where the loser got the four points. The man after whom it was named will be turning up for that game's winner this week. Despite what was obvious to all and sundry at the time, his team was strangely enough, never really investigated for bringing the game into disrepute. And on form, we can expect more on-field disrepute this week although this game has one thing going for it - the fact that the two leading contenders for the NAB Rising Star award, Melbourne's Jesse Hogan and Carlton's Patrick Cripps, will both stand out as quality footballers among a fairly dismal lot. THE GAME Carlton v Melbourne at MCG Sunday 23 August, 2015 at 3.20pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Carlton 115 wins Melbourne 89 wins Drawn 2 At MCG Carlton 48 wins Melbourne 49 wins Past five meetings Carlton 4 wins Melbourne 1 win The Coaches Barker 0 wins Roos 0 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Sports Channel 3 @ 3.00pm live RADIO - THE BETTING Carlton to win - $2.80 Melbourne to win - $1.44 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 12.9.81 defeated Carlton 7.15.57 at the MCG Round 4, 2014 Carlton was on top early but the Demons slowly wore their more fancied opponents down and provided an early season upset. James Frawley was on fire for the Demons with 24 touches and Rohan Bail had 10 tackles. Both kicked a couple as did Chris Dawes and Jack Watts. Strangely enough, Carlton had more disposals, marks, scoring shots and inside 50s but still lost. THE TEAMS CARLTON B: Zach Tuohy, Michael Jamison, Sam Rowe HB: Dylan Buckley, Sam Docherty, Matthew Dick C: Marc Murphy, Andrew Carrazzo, Kade Simpson HF: Tom Bell, Andrejs Everitt, Blaine Boekhorst F: Andrew Walker, Levi Casboult, Troy Menzel FOLL: Matthew Kreuzer, Ed Curnow, Patrick Cripps I/C: David Ellard, Kristian Jaksch, Jason Tutt, Mark Whiley EMG: Nick Holman, Clem Smith, Matthew Watson IN: Levi Casboult, Troy Menzel, Jason Tutt Out: Lachie Henderson (omitted), Nick Holman (omitted), Clem Smith (or mitted) MELBOURNE B: Colin Garland, Lynden Dunn, Jeremy Howe HB: Daniel Cross, Tom McDonald, Christian Salem C: Billy Stretch, Bernie Vince, Heritier Lumumba HF: Viv Michie, Chris Dawes, James Harmes F: Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Jack Watts FOLL: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney I/C: Angus Brayshaw, Jack Grimes, Alex Neal-Bullen, Ben Newton EMG: Rohan Bail, Mark Jamar, Aidan Riley IN: Ben Newton, Christian Salem, Billy Stretch OUT: Neville Jetta (neck), Matt Jones (omitted) The thought of two struggling clubs facing off at the end of a long season doesn't really inspire but you can hardly feel sorry for either of them - both clubs have made mistakes along the journey and though the Blues appear to have a dismal future, they must have someone at the top looking after them. Apart from escaping scrutiny for their list management as alluded to above, they managed to get the Lion's share of lucrative Friday night matches which deliver clubs huge financial bonuses in terms of gate receipts and sponsorships. It was recently reported in the Herald Sun that having a few of these fixtures each year can add as much as $1.2m to a club's bottom line but the Demons have had only one in the past three years and that was the 2015 ANZAC Eve away match against Richmond. So much for equalization in the AFL. Anyhow, financial matters will be of little concern and well in the background this Sunday. The Demons surely couldn't be as listless as they looked against the Bulldogs and they will respond to Paul Roos' suggestion that the team is already in holiday mood in Bali and they should win - unless the airlines cancel their flight back home due to another run of nearby volcanic activity. Dees by 10 points.
  17. The Carlton Football Club and all those associated with it must be collectively heaving sighs of relief about the events at Essendon. They came in the week after the Blues managed only three goals after quarter time in an 83-point turnaround that saw them capitulate to fellow wooden spoon contender Brisbane by 64 points. Former player Mitch Robinson added to the humiliation by sticking it to his old club with a display that saw him amass 34 disposals and lay 15 tackles. It was an unspoken gesture that spelled out "bruise-free" if there ever was one. Had it not been for the troubles at Essendon which, earlier on the same day lowered its colours to Adelaide at Etihad Stadium by 112 points and a few days later parted company with coach James Hird in strange circumstances, the media would have been all over Carlton. And if not Carlton, it would have had far more to say about Melbourne's pitifully weak and inept performance against the Western Bulldogs which saw another bloodbath at the Docklands, giving the stadium under the roof a combined losing margin from two AFL games of 35 goals. If that's not a very good advertisement for our game then I would like to know what could be worse than those two results and how the AFL managed to sell six years of broadcast rights in their aftermath for $2½ billion. Even if you leave Essendon and its drug issues aside, if Gillon McLachlan can pull off that sort of thing then what price the Sydney Harbour Bridge? Which brings us to this week's game. Well actually ... er, um no. The garbage served up by both teams last week won't bring many people to the MCG to watch the slopfest of embarrassing, coach killing skill errors and the kaleidoscope of half-hearted weak efforts that we saw from both these teams last weekend. What more can you say about a match between teams where a 98 point last start loser is a firm favourite to win according to the betting agencies? In fact, the match up is threatening to revive the horrors of that game between the two sides on the same ground eight years ago which lives in infamy and is known as "The Kreuzer Cup". We know who won that because it was one of the few games in AFL history where the loser got the four points. The man after whom it was named will be turning up for that game's winner this week. Despite what was obvious to all and sundry at the time, his team was strangely enough, never really investigated for bringing the game into disrepute. And on form, we can expect more on-field disrepute this week although this game has one thing going for it - the fact that the two leading contenders for the NAB Rising Star award, Melbourne's Jesse Hogan and Carlton's Patrick Cripps, will both stand out as quality footballers among a fairly dismal lot. THE GAME Carlton v Melbourne at MCG Sunday 23 August, 2015 at 3.20pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Carlton 115 wins Melbourne 89 wins Drawn 2 At MCG Carlton 48 wins Melbourne 49 wins Past five meetings Carlton 4 wins Melbourne 1 win The Coaches Barker 0 wins Roos 0 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Sports Channel 3 @ 3.00pm live RADIO - THE BETTING Carlton to win - $2.80 Melbourne to win - $1.44 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 12.9.81 defeated Carlton 7.15.57 at the MCG Round 4, 2014 Carlton was on top early but the Demons slowly wore their more fancied opponents down and provided an early season upset. James Frawley was on fire for the Demons with 24 touches and Rohan Bail had 10 tackles. Both kicked a couple as did Chris Dawes and Jack Watts. Strangely enough, Carlton had more disposals, marks, scoring shots and inside 50s but still lost. THE TEAMS CARLTON B: Zach Tuohy, Michael Jamison, Sam Rowe HB: Dylan Buckley, Sam Docherty, Matthew Dick C: Marc Murphy, Andrew Carrazzo, Kade Simpson HF: Tom Bell, Andrejs Everitt, Blaine Boekhorst F: Andrew Walker, Levi Casboult, Troy Menzel FOLL: Matthew Kreuzer, Ed Curnow, Patrick Cripps I/C: David Ellard, Kristian Jaksch, Jason Tutt, Mark Whiley EMG: Nick Holman, Clem Smith, Matthew Watson IN: Levi Casboult, Troy Menzel, Jason Tutt Out: Lachie Henderson (omitted), Nick Holman (omitted), Clem Smith (or mitted) MELBOURNE B: Colin Garland, Lynden Dunn, Jeremy Howe HB: Daniel Cross, Tom McDonald, Christian Salem C: Billy Stretch, Bernie Vince, Heritier Lumumba HF: Viv Michie, Chris Dawes, James Harmes F: Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Jack Watts FOLL: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney I/C: Angus Brayshaw, Jack Grimes, Alex Neal-Bullen, Ben Newton EMG: Rohan Bail, Mark Jamar, Aidan Riley IN: Ben Newton, Christian Salem, Billy Stretch OUT: Neville Jetta (neck), Matt Jones (omitted) The thought of two struggling clubs facing off at the end of a long season doesn't really inspire but you can hardly feel sorry for either of them - both clubs have made mistakes along the journey and though the Blues appear to have a dismal future, they must have someone at the top looking after them. Apart from escaping scrutiny for their list management as alluded to above, they managed to get the Lion's share of lucrative Friday night matches which deliver clubs huge financial bonuses in terms of gate receipts and sponsorships. It was recently reported in the Herald Sun that having a few of these fixtures each year can add as much as $1.2m to a club's bottom line but the Demons have had only one in the past three years and that was the 2015 ANZAC Eve away match against Richmond. So much for equalization in the AFL. Anyhow, financial matters will be of little concern and well in the background this Sunday. The Demons surely couldn't be as listless as they looked against the Bulldogs and they will respond to Paul Roos' suggestion that the team is already in holiday mood in Bali and they should win - unless the airlines cancel their flight back home due to another run of nearby volcanic activity. Dees by 10 points.
  18. LAST TIME THEY MET

    Remember Shannon Byrnes? It was so long ago since we played Carlton that I was surprised to discover he was dropped from the team for Round 4 last year. Amazing. CARLTON B: Andrew Walker, Michael Jamison, Zach Tuohy HB: Andrejs Everitt, Sam Rowe, Dylan Buckley C: Kade Simpson, Ed Curnow, Dale Thomas HF: David Ellard, Levi Casboult, Bryce Gibbs F: Chris Yarran, Lachie Henderson, Mitch Robinson FOLL: Robert Warnock, Patrick Cripps, Marc Murphy I/C: Andrew Carrazzo, Kane Lucas, Troy Menzel, Heath Scotland EM: Tom Bell, Nick Graham, Matthew Watson IN: Levi Casboult, Patrick Cripps, Kane Lucas, Heath Scotland OUT Tom Bell, Jeff Garlett, Jarrad Waite, Simon White MELBOURNE B: Alex Georgiou, James Frawley, Lynden Dunn HB: Jack Grimes, Tom McDonald, Dean Terlich C: Jack Watts, Bernie Vince, Daniel Cross HF: Jordie McKenzie, Cameron Pedersen, Jack Viney F: Jeremy Howe, Chris Dawes, Rohan Bail FOLL: Jake Spencer, Nathan Jones, Dom Tyson I/C: Dean Kent, Jay Kennedy-Harris, Michael Evans, Matt Jones EMG: Jack Trengove, Shannon Byrnes, Daniel Nicholson IN: Chris Dawes, Jordie McKenzie OUT: Shannon Byrnes, Jack Fitzpatrick
  19. THE RIGHT RESULT

    THE RIGHT RESULT by The Oracle Until this meeting, Melbourne had not tasted victory over Carlton since the infamous "Kreuzer Cup" affair in the final round of the 2007 season and to this day, I'm still not sure if that game was a victory (it must have been because the AFL which claims that "integrity" is one of its strong suits still records this sham of a farce as win for Melbourne). Anyway, we're in a new age now and neither of the protagonists has come out of that period in their respective histories with the fruits of their endeavours in list management, culture and team building. This game might have been billed by some as the "Wright Cup" but one can only hope that we go the right result this time. The start wasn't very promising and I recall sitting there cringing at about the five minute mark when the Blues already had two goals on the board while hardly a Demon player had touched the ball, let alone have the ball in attack or effect a score. As I uncupped my head from my hands, I thought I might capture this moment for posterity and this screenshot from my AFL IPhone App says it all:- Then something unusual happened and it was the turning point of the season. Instead of accepting the situation and fading away into complete insignificance as it did a fortnight ago against West Coast, Melbourne went into resistance mode and fought back. At the midpoint of the quarter, the sun suddenly burst through the clouds and the gloom and doom enveloping the MCG and the club to which the ground rightfully belongs lifted. From that time on, Melbourne turned a 12-point deficit into a shock 23-point win and pushed Mick Malthouse and his men into deep crisis. And after the game magnanimous Mick praised the victors and vainly tried to reassure what was left of the Carlton faithful that all was well in the world and that for seven years he has coached his teams into finals. Sorry, Mick but Demon fans know plenty about seven years of famine and we can see what's coming. The interesting thing about this game is that it was a mirror image of the team's season opener with the Blues bursting out of the blocks with two quick opening goals and the Dees fighting tooth and nail to get back into the game by quarter time. This time it was Carlton that suffered the early injury (and more of those came as the game wore on), Melbourne hit the front early in the second term (with a ripper of a goal from the skipper) and never looked back while the hapless Carlton kicked itself out of any chance of getting back into the game. As in the opening match of the season, it was the skipper of the winning team who shone like a beacon in gathering 28 disposals and, at the same time performing a near perfect blanket job on his Carlton counterpart Marc Murphy. It's high time that his (Jones, I mean) elite status is afforded due recognition and I hope the club starts pumping him up for All Australian status some time soon. Well, perhaps I'm being a tad premature but let's see how he fares against his fellow nude nut and opposition skipper next week. The game was certainly a scrappy affair with the odd highlight but this is the way of Paul Roos in the early stages of building a side. The presence of Chris Dawes and James Frawley up forward made a world of difference in that it gave the team some focus going forward. They picked up two goals each and were matched by the same number from Rohan Bail and Jack Watts who were both handy. The addition of Jordie McKenzie and Jack Viney gave Melbourne the advantage in close and Daniel Cross continues to provide inspiration to the younger Demons. Don't underestimate the role of Dom Tyson who was afforded the honour of being tagged in just his fourth game at the club, yet still made a meaningful contribution while his teammates were freed up to assist in the team effort. Despite holding a handy lead at the final break (considering it was a low scoring game), it took the Demons a long time to shake off the errant Blues to record their 12.9 (81) to 7.16 (58). A lot of that was also due to Jake Spencer's lion-hearted performance in the ruck after being towelled up last week by Shane Mumford. His part time assistant Cam Pedersen also defied the critics and plucked out the miracle goal that put the game beyond the opposition's reach. And so, the sum of all of our fears that the club would go through 2014 has been allayed and the monkey is now on someone else's back. The result result was achieved this time. Melbourne 3.2.20 6.7.43 10.8.68 12.9.81 Carlton 3.4.23 5.9.39 6.11.48 7.16.58 Goals Melbourne Bail Dawes Frawley Watts 2 Dunn N Jones Kennedy-Harris Pedersen Carlton Ellard Yarran 2 Casboult Henderson Murphy Best Melbourne N Jones Frawley McDonald Watts Grimes Bail Carlton Yarran Curnow Walker Gibbs Changes Melbourne Nil Carlton Mitch Robinson replaced by Nick Graham Injuries Melbourne Terlich (hamstring) Carlton Menzel (left thigh) Thomas (left shoulder) Jamison (shoulder) Reports Melbourne Nil Carlton Robert Warnock for striking Jake Spencer Umpires Jeff Dalgleish Jacob Mollison Andrew Mitchell Attendance 37,323 at the MCG
  20. 6 to Malthouse (only kidding but I can't wait to see his presser).
  21. GAME DAY - Round 4

    The question on everyone's lips. Which team will win the replay of the Kreuzer Cup?
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