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Found 22 results

  1. Such a bummer. Nothing to say. Going to bed.
  2. MATCH REPORT - Round 17

    DARWIN DREAMING by George on the Outer TIO Stadium in Darwin, the location of Melbourne's match against Adelaide on Saturday, was an absolute picture. With the sun setting over the bay behind the grandstand and the temperature in the low 20’s the conditions were perfect for football. Don’t let anyone perpetuate the myth about humid conditions: they simply weren't there and there will be no effects from this trip. But in the Land of The Dreaming, for the Demons to have any pretensions about beating league leaders Adelaide, it was truly too much of a stretch to expect anything other than the result which eventuated. The Crowd were at full strength, while Melbourne were without arguably six or seven of their top 22 players, and were certainly lacking considerably in the midfield without the likes of Nathan Jones, Jack Viney, Christian Salem. and Dom Tyson. To replace them we had Christian Petracca, Clayton Oliver, Alex Neal-Bullen and Jay Kennedy-Harris, all who had barely played a much footballing in that area at the start of 2017. And so it showed with the stronger Adelaide bodies taking control from the first bounce and continuing on to have a six goal lead at quarter time. It was to be a difference that remained to the end. In past years this sort of start would have led to a 100 point blow out but not the current Demons side, however undermanned they have been. Slowly they pegged the lead back over the next two threatening to sneak an unlikely win. But it was all to much and the bigger bodies of the Crows against the tiring bodies of the young Demond side eventually saw them with a 46 point victory as they topped the game off with a couple of junk time goals. It was a strange game to watch live as the crowd have no idea of what is happening on the field, since it is more of a social gathering. Eyes were fixed on the big screen more often than not, and most of the “not” time was on their small screens or taking a trip to the beer stands or just catching up with friends. If you come up next year to watch the football, get yourself a seat, as the locals won’t give you the chance to watch it in peace otherwise. However, the 12,000 socialites who turned up did turn it into a worthwhile event for the MFC as a home game, because this was a sellout match, probably a first for that arena. More were turned away, as they expected to roll up and buy entrance at the gate, and couldn’t do so. On field for the Demons there were also those who didn’t turn up in time. Jesse Hogan was hopelessly outpointed and while returning from difficult times for himself, he is simply not playing good football as a forward. Positioning behind the defenders simply gave them first dibs at the ball as it came forward and Ottens and Lever had a field day. Then combined with shocking kicking and dropped marks, he truly had a night to forget. Max Gawn came up against Sam Jacobs who ran him ragged. It is good to have Max back and he was able to get his hands on the ball plenty of times, but around the ground his fitness was lacking. Without him being able to get to marking contests, we simply are behind when we are looking for that tall target. Then Adelaide have a surfeit of talls in Jacobs, Jenkins, Lynch and Ottens and Lever, so it became even more pronounced. Bernie Vince will be spending time with the MRP again and can look forward to more time away from the game with an almost certain suspension for a hit on Betts. Tom McDonald was almost unsighted this week and likewise Cam Pedersen. With Hogan making up our tall forwards, they simply failed to provide anything of value and a solitary goal between the 3 of them represented their total output. The mids did their best and Jordan Lewis probably played his best game for the Red and Blue with 33 touches, while Oliver and Jay Kennedy-Harris contributed 27 and 28 respectively. They gave the forwards enough chances and even up to ¾ time Melbourne had more inside 50 chances. The backs were magnificent all night. There are no longer questions around Oscar McDonald with 10 1% ers and 3 rebound 50’s, more than double anyone else in the side. Michael Hibberd continued his courageous form with 32 touches and his general toughness in tight situations is telling. Josh Wagner played brilliantly and is complementing the rest of the backline with his dash, while Hunt almost pulled off the play of the day with a 60m kick after the ¾ time siren to bring the Demons back within striking distance. It is a dream to make finals this year and that is still a strong possibility. But to fulfil that dream we need the players to do the job, and it just seems to get harder. Dean Kent popped a shoulder and will not play next week, Bernie will be suspended again and we can only hope for the return of Jack Watts and Dom Tyson. One step forward and yet one back. Can the dream be revitalized? Maybe, and maybe the opponents in the final weeks of the season will give us the necessary wins. But as this game showed, without a respectable midfield the story of the 2016 season may just become the by-line of Darryl Kerrigan in The Castle ... "tell them they are dreamin' …” Melbourne 1.3.9 5.3.33 9.7.61 10.10.70 Adelaide 7.2.44 11.6.72 12.11.83 17.14.116 Goals Melbourne Melksham 3 Gawn Hunt Kent T.McDonald Neal-Bullen Oliver Petracca Adelaide Walker 4 Lynch 3 Betts McGovern Mackay 2 B.Crouch Jacobs Jenkins Knight Best Melbourne Hibberd Vince Lewis Kennedy-Harris Hunt Neal-Bullen Adelaide B.Crouch Walker Lynch Laird M.Crouch Cameron Changes Melbourne Nil Adelaide Nil Injuries Melbourne Dean Kent (left shoulder) Adelaide Rory Sloane (concussion) Jake Lever (hamstring) Reports Melbourne Bernie Vince for rough conduct on Douglas in the second quarter Adelaide Nil Umpires Donlon, Rosebury, Ryan Attendance 12,104 at TIO Stadium
  3. TIO Stadium in Darwin, the location of Melbourne's match against Adelaide on Saturday, was an absolute picture. With the sun setting over the bay behind the grandstand and the temperature in the low 20’s the conditions were perfect for football. Don’t let anyone perpetuate the myth about humid conditions: they simply weren't there and there will be no effects from this trip. But in the Land of The Dreaming, for the Demons to have any pretensions about beating league leaders Adelaide, it was truly too much of a stretch to expect anything other than the result which eventuated. The Crowd were at full strength, while Melbourne were without arguably six or seven of their top 22 players, and were certainly lacking considerably in the midfield without the likes of Nathan Jones, Jack Viney, Christian Salem. and Dom Tyson. To replace them we had Christian Petracca, Clayton Oliver, Alex Neal-Bullen and Jay Kennedy-Harris, all who had barely played a much footballing in that area at the start of 2017. And so it showed with the stronger Adelaide bodies taking control from the first bounce and continuing on to have a six goal lead at quarter time. It was to be a difference that remained to the end. In past years this sort of start would have led to a 100 point blow out but not the current Demons side, however undermanned they have been. Slowly they pegged the lead back over the next two threatening to sneak an unlikely win. But it was all to much and the bigger bodies of the Crows against the tiring bodies of the young Demond side eventually saw them with a 46 point victory as they topped the game off with a couple of junk time goals. It was a strange game to watch live as the crowd have no idea of what is happening on the field, since it is more of a social gathering. Eyes were fixed on the big screen more often than not, and most of the “not” time was on their small screens or taking a trip to the beer stands or just catching up with friends. If you come up next year to watch the football, get yourself a seat, as the locals won’t give you the chance to watch it in peace otherwise. However, the 12,000 socialites who turned up did turn it into a worthwhile event for the MFC as a home game, because this was a sellout match, probably a first for that arena. More were turned away, as they expected to roll up and buy entrance at the gate, and couldn’t do so. On field for the Demons there were also those who didn’t turn up in time. Jesse Hogan was hopelessly outpointed and while returning from difficult times for himself, he is simply not playing good football as a forward. Positioning behind the defenders simply gave them first dibs at the ball as it came forward and Ottens and Lever had a field day. Then combined with shocking kicking and dropped marks, he truly had a night to forget. Max Gawn came up against Sam Jacobs who ran him ragged. It is good to have Max back and he was able to get his hands on the ball plenty of times, but around the ground his fitness was lacking. Without him being able to get to marking contests, we simply are behind when we are looking for that tall target. Then Adelaide have a surfeit of talls in Jacobs, Jenkins, Lynch and Ottens and Lever, so it became even more pronounced. Bernie Vince will be spending time with the MRP again and can look forward to more time away from the game with an almost certain suspension for a hit on Betts. Tom McDonald was almost unsighted this week and likewise Cam Pedersen. With Hogan making up our tall forwards, they simply failed to provide anything of value and a solitary goal between the 3 of them represented their total output. The mids did their best and Jordan Lewis probably played his best game for the Red and Blue with 33 touches, while Oliver and Jay Kennedy-Harris contributed 27 and 28 respectively. They gave the forwards enough chances and even up to ¾ time Melbourne had more inside 50 chances. The backs were magnificent all night. There are no longer questions around Oscar McDonald with 10 1% ers and 3 rebound 50’s, more than double anyone else in the side. Michael Hibberd continued his courageous form with 32 touches and his general toughness in tight situations is telling. Josh Wagner played brilliantly and is complementing the rest of the backline with his dash, while Hunt almost pulled off the play of the day with a 60m kick after the ¾ time siren to bring the Demons back within striking distance. It is a dream to make finals this year and that is still a strong possibility. But to fulfil that dream we need the players to do the job, and it just seems to get harder. Dean Kent popped a shoulder and will not play next week, Bernie will be suspended again and we can only hope for the return of Jack Watts and Dom Tyson. One step forward and yet one back. Can the dream be revitalized? Maybe, and maybe the opponents in the final weeks of the season will give us the necessary wins. But as this game showed, without a respectable midfield the story of the 2016 season may just become the by-line of Darryl Kerrigan in The Castle ... "tell them they are dreamin' …” Melbourne 1.3.9 5.3.33 9.7.61 10.10.70 Adelaide 7.2.44 11.6.72 12.11.83 17.14.116 Goals Melbourne Melksham 3 Gawn Hunt Kent T.McDonald Neal-Bullen Oliver Petracca Adelaide Walker 4 Lynch 3 Betts McGovern Mackay 2 B.Crouch Jacobs Jenkins Knight Best Melbourne Hibberd Vince Lewis Kennedy-Harris Hunt Neal-Bullen Adelaide B.Crouch Walker Lynch Laird M.Crouch Cameron Changes Melbourne Nil Adelaide Nil Injuries Melbourne Dean Kent (left shoulder) Adelaide Rory Sloane (concussion) Jake Lever (hamstring) Reports Melbourne Bernie Vince for rough conduct on Douglas in the second quarter Adelaide Nil Umpires Donlon, Rosebury, Ryan Attendance 12,104 at TIO Stadium
  4. GAMEDAY - Round 17

    There was a time when I had some issues about giving up home games for the 💵 but these days, our record at the G isn't all that flash. We've only beaten Carlton (twice) and Collingwood there and have had costly stumbles against others who were outside the top 8. On the other hand, we're unbeaten at interstate venues and have done well away from home losing only to Geelong at Etihad when Max and Tim Smith both went down with injury and we ran out of gas. I don't have high expectations tonight but getting the points would probably cement us in the finals race, albeit with lots of work to do.
  5. ON THE ROAD AGAIN by Whispering Jack I like the fact that Melbourne is still standing four months into a season that has been so badly interrupted by injuries, illness, suspensions and some of the disappointing early losses that occurred at least partly as a result of the disruption that these things brought with them. The Demons are still standing particularly because in recent weeks they have found ways to win close games that tested their nerve and their depth which is one of the ingredients needed for them to become a great side. I'm not suggesting the club is anywhere near such lofty heights right now but if it wants to aspire to the level of greatness in this sport at any time soon then what happens over the next four weeks will be a guide as to how far this team can possibly go. This Saturday night the Demons face the Crows in Darwin, then it's Port Adelaide at the MCG, North Melbourne at Blundstone Arena, Hobart and the GWS Giants in the national capital. Three road trips is an enormous task in light of the fact that the co-captains Nathan Jones and Jack Viney might miss all of those games and other key midfielders like Christian Salem, Angus Brayshaw and possibly even Dom Tyson are likely to miss some, if not all of them. And that's not to mention Jack Watts whose lingering hamstring strain continues to place a question mark on the timing of his return. But let's go back and do what all good football people do and that is take things one game at a time, starting with the last one - that very lucky victory over Carlton. A narrow win over a 16th placed side, albeit by an undermanned team, is not particularly inspiring even allowing for the Blues' wins this year against the two Sydney teams and their recent close encounter with the Crows. Surprisingly, the Blues had the edge in both age and experience (games played +259) and with three of last year's top four best and fairest winners out (and the other underdone after coming back from a long injury break), the Demons belied their favoritism going into the game. Most good sides would have beaten Melbourne last Sunday. This week's opponent Adelaide is a very, very good one and a hard one to beat when you're without most of your best midfielders. Jones, Viney and Salem all starred when the Dees beat the Crows in Adelaide two months ago so it's going to be a tough ask expecting them to repeat the dose with another six day break and a trip to the hellishly hot and humid Top End. The forecast for Saturday is a maximum of 33 degrees. By nightfall, it will only be a few degrees cooler. The circumstances of the game will no doubt weigh heavily on the minds of the selectors who know that the team will also need to be refreshed for the week following when they take on Port Adelaide in another vital match up. But now I'm getting ahead of myself and ignoring my message about taking things a week at a time. On that score, the club has to take great credit for quickly defusing the matter between Clayton Oliver and that goading Blues fan by getting the Demon youngster to apologise for his behaviour. I like to call it the "Clayton's Apology". Oliver has been in great form despite the ribbing he and others have been getting from the media and opposition supporters which demonstrates that the club has finally shaken off the "loser" tag. I will be back after team selection to look at whether the Demons can take it one step further to upset the ladder leaders on the road in Darwin. THE GAME Melbourne v Adelaide at TIO Stadium, Darwin Saturday 15 July, 2017 at 7.40 pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall - Melbourne 13 wins Adelaide 23 wins At TIO Stadium - Melbourne 0 wins Adelaide 0 wins Past five meetings - Melbourne 2 wins Adelaide 3 wins The Coaches - Simon Goodwin 1 win Don Pyke 0 wins MEDIA TV - Channel 7, Fox Sports 3 Live at 7.30pm RADIO - SEN THE BETTING Melbourne to win - $3.00, Adelaide to win - $1.39 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 17.5.107 defeated Adelaide 9.12.66 Round 15, 2017 at the Adelaide Oval The Demons stunned the Crows and the football world when they turned a 28 point deficit at the 18 minute mark of the second term into a 41 point victory. The turnaround came about thanks to the dominance of midfielders and co-captains Nathan Jones (25 disposals) and Jack Viney (30 touches) and emerging star Christian Salem (31 disposals), none of who will be out on the field on Saturday night. Michael Hibberd (34 possessions) was superb in defence while Bernie Vince, playing against his old club, celebrated his 200th AFL game by closing down the dangerous Rory Sloane. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Michael Hibberd, Oscar McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Josh Wagner, Sam Frost, Bernie Vince C: Alex Neal-Bullen, Jordan Lewis, Mitch Hannan HF: Christian Petracca, Tom McDonald, Jayden Hunt F: Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Cameron Pedersen FOLL: Max Gawn, Jake Melksham, Clayton Oliver I/C: James Harmes, Jay Kennedy-Harris, Dean Kent, Joel Smith EMG: Billy Stretch, Jack Trengove, Sam Weideman IN: Jay Kennedy-Harris OUT: Billy Stretch (omitted) ADELAIDE CROWS B: Rory Laird, Jake Lever, Andy Otten HB: Luke Brown, Daniel Talia, Jake Kelly C: Rory Sloane, Richard Douglas, Brodie Smith HF: Riley Knight, Taylor Walker, Charlie Cameron F: Eddie Betts, Josh Jenkins, Mitch McGovern FOLL: Sam Jacobs, Matt Crouch, Brad Crouch I/C: Rory Atkins, Hugh Greenwood, Tom Lynch, David Mackay EMG: Jonathon Beech, Jordan Gallucci, Paul Seedsman IN: Hugh Greenwood, Tom Lynch OUT: Wayne Milera (calf), Scott Thompson (omitted) Once it was clear that they were not ready and that Dom Tyson and Jack Watts were therefore not going to make the trip to Darwin, the team selection for the Adelaide Crows game was fairly predictable. Jay Kennedy-Harris received another chance to revive his career at the expense of Billy Stretch who has been disappointing of late. Kennedy-Harris' form at VFL level has been outstanding since he was dropped earlier in the season and he might well have been welcomed back a fortnight ago but for that well-documented drinking incident with a few of the boys after a recent Casey victory. His selection makes sense for a game in muggy heat and under lights that calls for smaller players with pace rather than the bigger types. However, the story is not all about the diminutive Demon youngster who showed promise in his debut season but has been severely curtailed by injuries ever since. The selectors would have dearly loved the option of bringing in more fit players for the team's fourth six-day break (and second interstate) game in five weeks but the cupboard was decidedly bare as a result of having those midfielders in the infirmary recovering from the ailments of recent rounds. Compounding matters is the fact that the Casey Demons had only three players in their last game who have played at AFL level this year and none of them fits the requirements in terms of their size. Simon Goodwin is however, extremely confident that the next tier of mids can step up to the plate: "We train all our players up to play a certain way, so it really isn't personnel based. Clearly we've got some really good midfielders out of the team. "But that's provided a great opportunity for guys like (Christian) Petracca, Mitch Hannan and James Harmes to come into the midfield and … last week (they) were very good in that area." Much the same could be said of the team when they met the Crows at Adelaide Oval in round eight and recorded their best win of the season. They did so without Max Gawn and Jesse Hogan but others stood up in their absence. This is exactly what Goodwin is asking for on Saturday night. The two teams are first and second for contested possessions so that battle will be crucial. If the Demons can contain the likes of dangerous forwards, Eddie Betts, Josh Jenkins and Tex Walker who are the Crows' heaviest goalkickers, then half the job will be done. I can't be entirely convinced that this will happen and that Melbourne will kick enough goals on the night so I'm going to sit on the fence and tip a draw.
  6. I like the fact that Melbourne is still standing four months into a season that has been so badly interrupted by injuries, illness, suspensions and some of the disappointing early losses that occurred at least partly as a result of the disruption that these things brought with them. The Demons are still standing particularly because in recent weeks they have found ways to win close games that tested their nerve and their depth which is one of the ingredients needed for them to become a great side. I'm not suggesting the club is anywhere near such lofty heights right now but if it wants to aspire to the level of greatness in this sport at any time soon then what happens over the next four weeks will be a guide as to how far this team can possibly go. This Saturday night the Demons face the Crows in Darwin, then it's Port Adelaide at the MCG, North Melbourne at Blundstone Arena, Hobart and the GWS Giants in the national capital. Three road trips is an enormous task in light of the fact that the co-captains Nathan Jones and Jack Viney might miss all of those games and other key midfielders like Christian Salem, Angus Brayshaw and possibly even Dom Tyson are likely to miss some, if not all of them. And that's not to mention Jack Watts whose lingering hamstring strain continues to place a question mark on the timing of his return. But let's go back and do what all good football people do and that is take things one game at a time, starting with the last one - that very lucky victory over Carlton. A narrow win over a 16th placed side, albeit by an undermanned team, is not particularly inspiring even allowing for the Blues' wins this year against the two Sydney teams and their recent close encounter with the Crows. Surprisingly, the Blues had the edge in both age and experience (games played +259) and with three of last year's top four best and fairest winners out (and the other underdone after coming back from a long injury break), the Demons belied their favoritism going into the game. Most good sides would have beaten Melbourne last Sunday. This week's opponent Adelaide is a very, very good one and a hard one to beat when you're without most of your best midfielders. Jones, Viney and Salem all starred when the Dees beat the Crows in Adelaide two months ago so it's going to be a tough ask expecting them to repeat the dose with another six day break and a trip to the hellishly hot and humid Top End. The forecast for Saturday is a maximum of 33 degrees. By nightfall, it will only be a few degrees cooler. The circumstances of the game will no doubt weigh heavily on the minds of the selectors who know that the team will also need to be refreshed for the week following when they take on Port Adelaide in another vital match up. But now I'm getting ahead of myself and ignoring my message about taking things a week at a time. On that score, the club has to take great credit for quickly defusing the matter between Clayton Oliver and that goading Blues fan by getting the Demon youngster to apologise for his behaviour. I like to call it the "Clayton's Apology". Oliver has been in great form despite the ribbing he and others have been getting from the media and opposition supporters which demonstrates that the club has finally shaken off the "loser" tag. I will be back after team selection to look at whether the Demons can take it one step further to upset the ladder leaders on the road in Darwin. THE GAME Melbourne v Adelaide at TIO Stadium, Darwin Saturday 15 July, 2017 at 7.40 pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall - Melbourne 13 wins Adelaide 23 wins At TIO Stadium - Melbourne 0 wins Adelaide 0 wins Past five meetings - Melbourne 2 wins Adelaide 3 wins The Coaches - Simon Goodwin 1 win Don Pyke 0 wins MEDIA TV - Channel 7, Fox Sports 3 Live at 7.30pm RADIO - SEN THE BETTING Melbourne to win - $3.00, Adelaide to win - $1.39 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 17.5.107 defeated Adelaide 9.12.66 Round 15, 2017 at the Adelaide Oval The Demons stunned the Crows and the football world when they turned a 28 point deficit at the 18 minute mark of the second term into a 41 point victory. The turnaround came about thanks to the dominance of midfielders and co-captains Nathan Jones (25 disposals) and Jack Viney (30 touches) and emerging star Christian Salem (31 disposals), none of who will be out on the field on Saturday night. Michael Hibberd (34 possessions) was superb in defence while Bernie Vince, playing against his old club, celebrated his 200th AFL game by closing down the dangerous Rory Sloane. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Michael Hibberd, Oscar McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Josh Wagner, Sam Frost, Bernie Vince C: Alex Neal-Bullen, Jordan Lewis, Mitch Hannan HF: Christian Petracca, Tom McDonald, Jayden Hunt F: Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Cameron Pedersen FOLL: Max Gawn, Jake Melksham, Clayton Oliver I/C: James Harmes, Jay Kennedy-Harris, Dean Kent, Joel Smith EMG: Billy Stretch, Jack Trengove, Sam Weideman IN: Jay Kennedy-Harris OUT: Billy Stretch (omitted) ADELAIDE CROWS B: Rory Laird, Jake Lever, Andy Otten HB: Luke Brown, Daniel Talia, Jake Kelly C: Rory Sloane, Richard Douglas, Brodie Smith HF: Riley Knight, Taylor Walker, Charlie Cameron F: Eddie Betts, Josh Jenkins, Mitch McGovern FOLL: Sam Jacobs, Matt Crouch, Brad Crouch I/C: Rory Atkins, Hugh Greenwood, Tom Lynch, David Mackay EMG: Jonathon Beech, Jordan Gallucci, Paul Seedsman IN: Hugh Greenwood, Tom Lynch OUT: Wayne Milera (calf), Scott Thompson (omitted) Once it was clear that they were not ready and that Dom Tyson and Jack Watts were therefore not going to make the trip to Darwin, the team selection for the Adelaide Crows game was fairly predictable. Jay Kennedy-Harris received another chance to revive his career at the expense of Billy Stretch who has been disappointing of late. Kennedy-Harris' form at VFL level has been outstanding since he was dropped earlier in the season and he might well have been welcomed back a fortnight ago but for that well-documented drinking incident with a few of the boys after a recent Casey victory. His selection makes sense for a game in muggy heat and under lights that calls for smaller players with pace rather than the bigger types. However, the story is not all about the diminutive Demon youngster who showed promise in his debut season but has been severely curtailed by injuries ever since. The selectors would have dearly loved the option of bringing in more fit players for the team's fourth six-day break (and second interstate) game in five weeks but the cupboard was decidedly bare as a result of having those midfielders in the infirmary recovering from the ailments of recent rounds. Compounding matters is the fact that the Casey Demons had only three players in their last game who have played at AFL level this year and none of them fits the requirements in terms of their size. Simon Goodwin is however, extremely confident that the next tier of mids can step up to the plate: "We train all our players up to play a certain way, so it really isn't personnel based. Clearly we've got some really good midfielders out of the team. "But that's provided a great opportunity for guys like (Christian) Petracca, Mitch Hannan and James Harmes to come into the midfield and … last week (they) were very good in that area." Much the same could be said of the team when they met the Crows at Adelaide Oval in round eight and recorded their best win of the season. They did so without Max Gawn and Jesse Hogan but others stood up in their absence. This is exactly what Goodwin is asking for on Saturday night. The two teams are first and second for contested possessions so that battle will be crucial. If the Demons can contain the likes of dangerous forwards, Eddie Betts, Josh Jenkins and Tex Walker who are the Crows' heaviest goalkickers, then half the job will be done. I can't be entirely convinced that this will happen and that Melbourne will kick enough goals on the night so I'm going to sit on the fence and tip a draw.
  7. THE LAST TIME THEY MET

    Off to TIO Stadium, Darwin to play Adelaide. Does anyone know if we've played them there before for premiership points? The last time these teams met was a mere two months ago just after Jesse Hogan's illness was diagnosed but not yet divulged publicly. We were also without any tall ruckman but we beat them anyway by dominating the midfield. This time around, it's the opposite - our entire centre line who were so instrumental in the win will be missing. ADELAIDE B: Jake Kelly, Daniel Talia, Luke Brown HB: Rory Laird, Kyle Hartigan, David Mackay C: Rory Sloane, Richard Douglas, Brodie Smith HF: Tom Lynch, Josh Jenkins, Wayne Milera F: Andy Otten, Taylor Walker, Eddie Betts FOLL: Sam Jacobs, Rory Atkins, Matt Crouch I/C: Charlie Cameron, Brad Crouch, Curtly Hampton, Troy Menzel EMG: Jordan Gallucci, Hugh Greenwood, Reilly O'Brien IN: Wayne Milera Troy Menzel OUT: Riley Knight (corked gluts) Jake Lever (hamstring), MELBOURNE B: Michael Hibberd, Tom McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Jayden Hunt, Sam Frost, Bernie Vince C: Nathan Jones, Jack Viney, Christian Salem HF: Christian Petracca, Jack Watts, Clayton Oliver F: Jeff Garlett, Sam Weideman, Mitch Hannan FOLL: Cameron Pedersen, Jordan Lewis, Dom Tyson I/C: Tomas Bugg, Dean Kent, Oscar McDonald, Josh Wagner EMG: Alex Neal-Bullen, Billy Stretch, Sam Weideman IN: Dean Kent Sam Weideman OUT: Jesse Hogan (ill) Jay Kennedy-Harris (omitted)
  8. I'm calling it now - season over. We can't withstand pressure. And we need another key forward.
  9. MATCH REPORT - Round 15

    ANOTHER WHAT IF? by George on the Outer Sunday's loss against Adelaide at the MCG has put an end to the Demons' finals aspirations for 2016. It was a game that could have been won, but for a few critical phases and individual failings during the course of the match. What if Dom Tyson had not spilled a simple chest mark from Jack Watts 30 metres out of goal? What if Nathan Jones had looked before he hand passed blindly to an Adelaide player, missing the Melbourne team-mate clear only meters out from goal? What if the team had come out with even half the endeavor shown in the second quarter, in the first four minutes of the third only to see Adelaide kick four unanswered goals? Yes the Demons lost the game. It was a loss of only 22 points against a side that has now had six wins on the trot and is probably going to go deep into September. Adelaide really didn’t win the game, it was gifted to them. Were the Demons competitive? They certainly were, and after the catastrophic performances that we have witnessed in the past couple of years, it was light-years ahead of where they have been. But as another supporter noted after the game ... we played as if we thought we were Hawthorn, but the players simply aren’t (at least yet). And it is those little errors at critical junctures in the game that are the difference between winning and losing. Hawthorn wins this type of game and we don’t - yet! And that remains the hope for the supporters. All too often we have seen the same this year. What if we had beaten Essendon, North, St Kilda and now Adelaide? All these games had the same flavor. We could have won. We should have won….but we didn’t. The pity is that we haven’t won any of these. Even half of them would have kept us in contention this year. But we still have a long way to go. Strangely, after the bye, there were too many Melbourne players who chose to put in well below par performances. Chris Dawes was a standout in this ignominious category and simply provided nothing up forward. Nine disposals (a team low) and only two marks were matched by his treacle like movement around the ground. Pity is that we have little to replace him, as Cam Pedersen is still out for another week with a shoulder injury. Bernie Vince put in a lacklustre performance as he played off half-back and took kick outs. However, his mere 17 disposals and those four clangers cost us dearly. The real contrast to these old stagers was the emergence of Jayden Hunt. He simply turned the game around in the second quarter with a spectacular intercept mark and a couple of courageous efforts to frustrate and deny the opposition goals. It was no surprise when he was cheered wildly by the crowd when he left the ground for a well-deserved break. Up forward and as stand-in ruck Jack Watts was simply superb. He has truly taken another step forward this year, and his placement in the ruck seems to mean that he is much more aggressive at ball and opponent. He was rewarded with three goals including one that came from a solo effort that epitomized his changed character. Unfortunately, the coaching box failed again after ½ time as it took them a whole quarter to wake up to the Crows placing Charlie Cameron or Eddie Betts at half-back for centre bounces, who ran past to receive and break open into their forward line. Our spare sat on the wing, which was pointless if the ball went to the wrong side of the pack. Worse still was that Max Gawn kept hitting the ball forward to ... you guessed it ... Cameron or Betts. And once again, the overuse of handball cruelled the team with costly turnovers. The ability to get meterage with kicks is critical so when the opportunity exists, it has to be taken, the way football is being played today. More so in the middle where we try to be too smart instead of scrubbing it out whatever way we can and give the forwards that we now have the chance to show their wares. Dom Tyson with 6 kicks and 18 handballs simply has to reverse those numbers, because the handballs are not effective. We are that close to becoming something truly competitive. But we will not get there until the attitude shown by the likes of Viney and Hunt and Jetta become the norm for all the team. We won’t be playing in September, and Paul Roos will now have the opportunity to give more games to the players at Casey who MAY provide something in the future. We need to get the likes of Brayshaw, Oliver, Viney and Petracca playing together in the middle to give them a foundation for next year. We now need to see what Weideman and Hulett can produce up forward. We simply cannot be asking the same “what if’s…” next year. There can be no more questions. We are due for answers. Melbourne 2.3.15 10.4.64 14.5.89 15.8.98 Adelaide 5.2.32 8.5.53 15.8.98 18.12.120 Goals Melbourne Gartlett 4 Hogan Watts 3 Hunt Harmes N Jones Kennedy Kent Adelaide Betts Douglas Walker 3 Cameron Jenkins McGovern 2 Atkins Lyons Lynch Best Melbourne Watts Hunt Jones Hogan Garlett Jetta Adelaide Laird Walker M Crouch B Crouch Cameron Douglas Changes Melbourne Nil Adelaide Nil Injuries Melbourne Nil Adelaide Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Adelaide Nil Umpires Chamberlain, Hay, Meredith, Harris Official crowd 29,133 at the MCG
  10. Sunday's loss against Adelaide at the MCG has put an end to the Demons' finals aspirations for 2016. It was a game that could have been won, but for a few critical phases and individual failings during the course of the match. What if Dom Tyson had not spilled a simple chest mark from Jack Watts 30 metres out of goal? What if Nathan Jones had looked before he hand passed blindly to an Adelaide player, missing the Melbourne team-mate clear only meters out from goal? What if the team had come out with even half the endeavor shown in the second quarter, in the first four minutes of the third only to see Adelaide kick four unanswered goals? Yes the Demons lost the game. It was a loss of only 22 points against a side that has now had six wins on the trot and is probably going to go deep into September. Adelaide really didn’t win the game, it was gifted to them. Were the Demons competitive? They certainly were, and after the catastrophic performances that we have witnessed in the past couple of years, it was light-years ahead of where they have been. But as another supporter noted after the game ... we played as if we thought we were Hawthorn, but the players simply aren’t (at least yet). And it is those little errors at critical junctures in the game that are the difference between winning and losing. Hawthorn wins this type of game and we don’t - yet! And that remains the hope for the supporters. All too often we have seen the same this year. What if we had beaten Essendon, North, St Kilda and now Adelaide? All these games had the same flavor. We could have won. We should have won….but we didn’t. The pity is that we haven’t won any of these. Even half of them would have kept us in contention this year. But we still have a long way to go. Strangely, after the bye, there were too many Melbourne players who chose to put in well below par performances. Chris Dawes was a standout in this ignominious category and simply provided nothing up forward. Nine disposals (a team low) and only two marks were matched by his treacle like movement around the ground. Pity is that we have little to replace him, as Cam Pedersen is still out for another week with a shoulder injury. Bernie Vince put in a lacklustre performance as he played off half-back and took kick outs. However, his mere 17 disposals and those four clangers cost us dearly. The real contrast to these old stagers was the emergence of Jayden Hunt. He simply turned the game around in the second quarter with a spectacular intercept mark and a couple of courageous efforts to frustrate and deny the opposition goals. It was no surprise when he was cheered wildly by the crowd when he left the ground for a well-deserved break. Up forward and as stand-in ruck Jack Watts was simply superb. He has truly taken another step forward this year, and his placement in the ruck seems to mean that he is much more aggressive at ball and opponent. He was rewarded with three goals including one that came from a solo effort that epitomized his changed character. Unfortunately, the coaching box failed again after ½ time as it took them a whole quarter to wake up to the Crows placing Charlie Cameron or Eddie Betts at half-back for centre bounces, who ran past to receive and break open into their forward line. Our spare sat on the wing, which was pointless if the ball went to the wrong side of the pack. Worse still was that Max Gawn kept hitting the ball forward to ... you guessed it ... Cameron or Betts. And once again, the overuse of handball cruelled the team with costly turnovers. The ability to get meterage with kicks is critical so when the opportunity exists, it has to be taken, the way football is being played today. More so in the middle where we try to be too smart instead of scrubbing it out whatever way we can and give the forwards that we now have the chance to show their wares. Dom Tyson with 6 kicks and 18 handballs simply has to reverse those numbers, because the handballs are not effective. We are that close to becoming something truly competitive. But we will not get there until the attitude shown by the likes of Viney and Hunt and Jetta become the norm for all the team. We won’t be playing in September, and Paul Roos will now have the opportunity to give more games to the players at Casey who MAY provide something in the future. We need to get the likes of Brayshaw, Oliver, Viney and Petracca playing together in the middle to give them a foundation for next year. We now need to see what Weideman and Hulett can produce up forward. We simply cannot be asking the same “what if’s…” next year. There can be no more questions. We are due for answers. Melbourne 2.3.15 10.4.64 14.5.89 15.8.98 Adelaide 5.2.32 8.5.53 15.8.98 18.12.120 Goals Melbourne Gartlett 4 Hogan Watts 3 Hunt Harmes N Jones Kennedy Kent Adelaide Betts Douglas Walker 3 Cameron Jenkins McGovern 2 Atkins Lyons Lynch Best Melbourne Watts Hunt Jones Hogan Garlett Jetta Adelaide Laird Walker M Crouch B Crouch Cameron Douglas Changes Melbourne Nil Adelaide Nil Injuries Melbourne Nil Adelaide Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Adelaide Nil Umpires Chamberlain, Hay, Meredith, Harris Official crowd 29,133 at the MCG
  11. GAMEDAY - Round 15

    Looking at the ladder, it's clear that this is a last chance saloon event for the Melbourne Football Club. For weeks, we've been meandering just outside the top but today, we need to pull a rabbit out of a hat just in order to stay in touch.
  12. STONE THE ... by The Oracle The Demons are coming off their biggest loss for the season and a bye only to run into the undoubted form team of the competition, the Adelaide Crows who have won their last five games on end. They are in supreme form and are a credit to their new coach Don Pyke who took over a club that tragically lost its coach around twelve months and then lost their champion player to another club at the start of the season. Since the Crows lost their Friday night home game against the Cats some 6 weeks ago, they demolished the Suns (75 points), beat the Giants (22 points), crushed the Saints (88 points), overran the Eagles in Perth (29 points) and toppled the Kangaroos (33 points). That's an enviable record, one that the Demons have struggled to emulate for over a decade. The question is whether Melbourne can turn things around after its poor last up performance in the slog in Sydney when the young team was overwhelmed by the stronger Swans and in the end produced barely a whimper in difficult conditions. That 55-point deficit in those conditions translates into a complete beat mugging. Can the Demons come back and thereby keep in touch with the top 8? They do have a few things going for them, home ground advantage for starters. The Crows don't play against Melbourne often at this ground - it's been a few years and the last time was when the Demons were at their lowest ebb. The next thing that Melbourne has in its favour is the competition's in form ruckman in Max Gawn who has his eyes on the scalp of Sam Jacobs. In his last up start in the deluge up in the harbour city, big Max amassed more than fifty hit outs but that huge number was nullified by the conditions which prevented his on ballers from taking advantage. This week should be kinder to him and his midfield headed by Nathan Jones, Jack Viney, Bernie Vince and Dom Tyson. They face some tough opposition with Rory Sloane and Scott Thompson leading the way and feeding a formidable forward line including the likes of Tex Walker, Josh Jenkins, Tom Lynch and Eddie Betts. I can't see Melbourne's young and inexperienced defence holding all of Adelaide's forwards to the point where they can win. Adelaide by 35 points. THE GAME Melbourne v Adelaide at the MCG Sunday 3 July, 2016 at 3.20 pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 12 wins Adelaide 22 wins At MCG Melbourne 7 wins Adelaide 6 wins Past five meetings Melbourne 1 win Adelaide 4 wins The Coaches Paul Roos 0 wins Don Pyke 0 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Footy Channel Live at 3.00pm RADIO - Triple M 3AW SEN ABC ABC Grandstand THE BETTING Melbourne to win - $3.15 Adelaide to win - $1.36 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Adelaide 12.8.80 defeated Melbourne 7.13.55 Round 3, 2015 at Adelaide Oval The 25 point win by Adelaide was somewhat misleading because the Demons were well into the game until they dropped off the pace in the final term against the more accurate Crows. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Sam Frost, Tom McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Jayden Hunt, Oscar McDonald, Tomas Bugg C: Aaron vandenBerg, Dom Tyson, Bernie Vince HF: Christian Petracca, Chris Dawes, Billy Stretch F: Jack Watts, Jesse Hogan, Dean Kent FOLL: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney I/C: Jeff Garlett, James Harmes, Matt Jones, Ben Kennedy EMG: Jack Grimes, Viv Michie, Jack Trengove IN: Jeff Garlett, James Harmes, Matt Jones OUT: Clayton Oliver (omitted), Jack Trengove (omitted), Josh Wagner (knee) ADELAIDE CROWS B: Jake Lever, Daniel Talia, Rory Laird HB: Brodie Smith, Kyle Hartigan, Luke Brown C: David Mackay, Rory Sloane, Rory Atkins HF: Mitch McGovern, Josh Jenkins, Richard Douglas F: Eddie Betts, Taylor Walker, Tom Lynch FOLL: Sam Jacobs, Scott Thompson, Jarryd Lyons I/C: Charlie Cameron, Kyle Cheney, Brad Crouch, Matt Crouch EMG: Ricky Henderson, Wayne Milera, Andy Otten NO CHANGE
  13. STONE THE ... by The Oracle

    The Demons are coming off their biggest loss for the season and a bye only to run into the undoubted form team of the competition, the Adelaide Crows who have won their last five games on end. They are in supreme form and are a credit to their new coach Don Pyke who took over a club that tragically lost its coach around twelve months and then lost their champion player to another club at the start of the season. Since the Crows lost their Friday night home game against the Cats some 6 weeks ago, they demolished the Suns (75 points), beat the Giants (22 points), crushed the Saints (88 points), overran the Eagles in Perth (29 points) and toppled the Kangaroos (33 points). That's an enviable record, one that the Demons have struggled to emulate for over a decade. The question is whether Melbourne can turn things around after its poor last up performance in the slog in Sydney when the young team was overwhelmed by the stronger Swans and in the end produced barely a whimper in difficult conditions. That 55-point deficit in those conditions translates into a complete beat mugging. Can the Demons come back and thereby keep in touch with the top 8? They do have a few things going for them, home ground advantage for starters. The Crows don't play against Melbourne often at this ground - it's been a few years and the last time was when the Demons were at their lowest ebb. The next thing that Melbourne has in its favour is the competition's in form ruckman in Max Gawn who has his eyes on the scalp of Sam Jacobs. In his last up start in the deluge up in the harbour city, big Max amassed more than fifty hit outs but that huge number was nullified by the conditions which prevented his on ballers from taking advantage. This week should be kinder to him and his midfield headed by Nathan Jones, Jack Viney, Bernie Vince and Dom Tyson. They face some tough opposition with Rory Sloane and Scott Thompson leading the way and feeding a formidable forward line including the likes of Tex Walker, Josh Jenkins, Tom Lynch and Eddie Betts. I can't see Melbourne's young and inexperienced defence holding all of Adelaide's forwards to the point where they can win. Adelaide by 35 points. THE GAME Melbourne v Adelaide at the MCG Sunday 3 July, 2016 at 3.20 pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 12 wins Adelaide 22 wins At MCG Melbourne 7 wins Adelaide 6 wins Past five meetings Melbourne 1 win Adelaide 4 wins The Coaches Paul Roos 0 wins Don Pyke 0 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Footy Channel Live at 3.00pm RADIO - Triple M 3AW SEN ABC ABC Grandstand THE BETTING Melbourne to win - $3.15 Adelaide to win - $1.36 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Adelaide 12.8.80 defeated Melbourne 7.13.55 Round 3, 2015 at Adelaide Oval The 25 point win by Adelaide was somewhat misleading because the Demons were well into the game until they dropped off the pace in the final term against the more accurate Crows. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Sam Frost, Tom McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Jayden Hunt, Oscar McDonald, Tomas Bugg C: Aaron vandenBerg, Dom Tyson, Bernie Vince HF: Christian Petracca, Chris Dawes, Billy Stretch F: Jack Watts, Jesse Hogan, Dean Kent FOLL: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney I/C: Jeff Garlett, James Harmes, Matt Jones, Ben Kennedy EMG: Jack Grimes, Viv Michie, Jack Trengove IN: Jeff Garlett, James Harmes, Matt Jones OUT: Clayton Oliver (omitted), Jack Trengove (omitted), Josh Wagner (knee) ADELAIDE CROWS B: Jake Lever, Daniel Talia, Rory Laird HB: Brodie Smith, Kyle Hartigan, Luke Brown C: David Mackay, Rory Sloane, Rory Atkins HF: Mitch McGovern, Josh Jenkins, Richard Douglas F: Eddie Betts, Taylor Walker, Tom Lynch FOLL: Sam Jacobs, Scott Thompson, Jarryd Lyons I/C: Charlie Cameron, Kyle Cheney, Brad Crouch, Matt Crouch EMG: Ricky Henderson, Wayne Milera, Andy Otten NO CHANGE
  14. LAST TIME THEY MET

    It was round three of last year and we should have beaten them but we didn’t ... ADELAIDE CROWS B: Luke Brown, Daniel Talia, Rory Laird HB: Jake Kelly, Kyle Hartigan, Brodie Smith C: Ricky Henderson, Scott Thompson, Matthew Jaensch HF: Cam Ellis-Yolmen, Taylor Walker, Charlie Cameron F: Eddie Betts, Patrick Dangerfield, Tom Lynch FOLL: Sam Jacobs, Rory Sloane, Nathan Van Berlo I/C: Richard Douglas, Josh Jenkins, David Mackay, Matthew Wright EMG: Matt Crouch, Mitch Grigg, Jarryd Lyons IN: Jake Kelly, Scott Thompson OUT: Kyle Cheney (hamstring), Mitch Grigg NEW: Kelly MELBOURNE B: Colin Garland, Lynden Dunn, Jeremy Howe HB: Neville Jetta, Tom McDonald, Christian Salem C: Daniel Cross, Heritier Lumumba, Sam Frost HF: Dean Kent, Jesse Hogan, Bernie Vince F: Jeff Garlett, Chris Dawes, Jack Watts FOLL: Mark Jamar, Dom Tyson, Nathan Jones I/C: Angus Brayshaw, Jay Kennedy-Harris, Ben Newton, Aaron vandenBerg EMG: Jack Grimes, Viv Michie, Jake Spencer IN: Jay Kennedy-Harris OUT: Jack Viney (leg)
  15. TIRED

    TIRED by The Oracle For the first quarter and a half of the Demons' farewell to favoured son Brad Green, things were going well. When Jared Rivers' goal put them only five points down, they looked a substantially improved outfit to the one which stumbled through most of the first half of the season. Green himself had featured prominently in his team's impressive start with two first quarter goals and he could easily have set his retirement match alight had he not missed two easy shots that presented themselves in the second term. His final tally of goals sits at an impressive 350 from 254 matches but this one was not to be the fairytale ending that most would hope for after giving so much for his team. The Crows made the most of a few Demon turnovers and other errors kicking the last four goals of the half to lead by 31 points at the main break. The problem with this young team decimated by injuries and loss of form was that it was travelling on two cylinders while the opposition, winning in the ruck and midfield, with two dominant key position forwards in fine marking form and a final four finish in its sights, put on the afterburners in the third quarter and that was that. The Crows kicked ten goals for the term to take a 74-point lead into Green's last quarter and, though the Demons looked tired and dispirited they fought on gamely to narrowly win the final term. Colin Sylvia who started the season with a broken back and had to contend with injury and criticism as to his attitude has kept his best games until near the very end. Nathan Jones was his usual self as the battering ram midfielder and Jeremy Howe did well, taking a few marks to add to the album. Sam Blease did a few nice things and the co-leaders worked hard for a lost cause. Their team is playing as if it is in the middle of a long, hard pre season. It looks tired and in need of a rest as much as its supporters. Melbourne 3.4.22 5.7.37 8.10.58 11.15.81 Adelaide 5.3.33 10.8.68 20.12.132 22.18.150 Goals Melbourne Green Rivers Sellar 2 Blease Howe Jones Spencer Watts Adelaide Callinan Walker 4 Dangerfield Tippett 3 Douglas Johncock 2 Petrenko Reilly van Berlo Wright Best Melbourne Sylvia Jones Howe Grimes Bail McKenzie Adelaide Walker Dangerfield Tippett Thompson Wright Petrenko Jacobs Callinan Changes Melbourne Nil. Adelaide Nil. Injuries Melbourne Nil. Adelaide Nil. Reports Melbourne Nil. Adelaide Nil. Umpires Wenn Leppard Fleer Official Crowd 18,450 at MCG
  16. TIRED

    TIRED by The Oracle For the first quarter and a half of the Demons' farewell to favoured son Brad Green, things were going well. When Jared Rivers' goal put them only five points down, they looked a substantially improved outfit to the one which stumbled through most of the first half of the season. Green himself had featured prominently in his team's impressive start with two first quarter goals and he could easily have set his retirement match alight had he not missed two easy shots that presented themselves in the second term. His final tally of goals sits at an impressive 350 from 254 matches but this one was not to be the fairytale ending that most would hope for after giving so much for his team. The Crows made the most of a few Demon turnovers and other errors kicking the last four goals of the half to lead by 31 points at the main break. The problem with this young team decimated by injuries and loss of form was that it was travelling on two cylinders while the opposition, winning in the ruck and midfield, with two dominant key position forwards in fine marking form and a final four finish in its sights, put on the afterburners in the third quarter and that was that. The Crows kicked ten goals for the term to take a 74-point lead into Green's last quarter and, though the Demons looked tired and dispirited they fought on gamely to narrowly win the final term. Colin Sylvia who started the season with a broken back and had to contend with injury and criticism as to his attitude has kept his best games until near the very end. Nathan Jones was his usual self as the battering ram midfielder and Jeremy Howe did well, taking a few marks to add to the album. Sam Blease did a few nice things and the co-leaders worked hard for a lost cause. Their team is playing as if it is in the middle of a long, hard pre season. It looks tired and in need of a rest as much as its supporters. Melbourne 3.4.22 5.7.37 8.10.58 11.15.81 Adelaide 5.3.33 10.8.68 20.12.132 22.18.150 Goals Melbourne Green Rivers Sellar 2 Blease Howe Jones Spencer Watts Adelaide Callinan Walker 4 Dangerfield Tippett 3 Douglas Johncock 2 Petrenko Reilly van Berlo Wright Best Melbourne Sylvia Jones Howe Grimes Bail McKenzie Adelaide Walker Dangerfield Tippett Thompson Wright Petrenko Jacobs Callinan Changes Melbourne Nil. Adelaide Nil. Injuries Melbourne Nil. Adelaide Nil. Reports Melbourne Nil. Adelaide Nil. Umpires Wenn Leppard Fleer Official Crowd 18,450 at MCG
  17. GAME DAY - Round 22

    All set for a big afternoon/evening after a round that had already seen the demise of heavyweights Carlton, Collingwood and Essendon. Looking forward to a big day of farewell to a club icon in Brad Green. Also to Jeremy Howe's 9th mark of the year nomination.
  18. THE GREEN MILE

    THE GREEN MILE by Whispering Jack The last home game of the season is to be played at the ungodly hour of 4.40pm on a Sunday night in late winter and, because it's against Adelaide and the forecast is for a shower or two, one wonders whether a crowd will turn up to farewell Brad Green who will play his 254th game proudly wearing the number 18 guernsey for the last time in a distinguished career with the Melbourne Football Club. It would be a shame if the Demon faithful fail to turn up to celebrate the occasion. This season has been a long, hard and eventful one but for all the wrong reasons. While the passion and the generosity of the Melbourne fans at Tuesday night's Foundation Heroes Dinner was encouraging, the curtain will come down this week on the difficult era in which Green played in a pall of gloom but, as always, there is hope for better times on the horizon. Brad Green arrived at the Melbourne Football Club at another low moment in its history at the end of the last century. The Demons had recently admitted to breaching the AFL's salary cap and, as a consequence, were sanctioned by way of fines and the loss of their first draft pick at the 1999 National Draft which would have been selection five. Ironically, that pick was given to Fremantle who selected Leigh Brown of the Gippsland Power who is currently an assistant coach at Melbourne. The club's first pick that year became selection 19 and it chose wisely when it named young Brad Green from the Tasmanian Under 18s. Green was a versatile young all round sportsman who had played representative cricket and soccer as a teenager, captaining the Australian under-15 cricket team. He was scouted by Manchester United and spent time in training at Old Trafford before deciding to concentrate on our game. Years into his career, commentators would always reprise the connection with the great soccer club whenever they were caught short for words while Green was present on the playing field. Things immediately turned around for the club in Green's first year as it rose from 14th to make the 2000 Grand Final where it fell to a great side in Essendon, a tough, match-hardened team brim full of experience that lost only one game that year and took the opportunity to maul its younger opponents into submission on its way to the premiership. The young Green, who was a star in the other finals and had booted four goals in the semi final against Carlton was bashed in the throat and ended in hospital. He hadn't lasted a quarter in the season's ultimate game. It was ironical that when Melbourne's current coach spoke at this week's Foundation Heroes Dinner, he highlighted the fact that the team he now has at his disposal suffered from its inexperience of an average of roughly sixty games per player against the leading clubs whose make up is nearly double that figure - a differential of two to three seasons per player on average. This was not dissimilar to the gulf between the two participants that one day in September, a dozen years away in a year in which Green, Cameron Bruce, Paul Wheatley and Matthew Whelan were all introduced to the club from a draft in which it was deprived of its first pick. Green grew with the club and established himself in a number of roles. He was equally adept in the middle, in defence, on a wing, half forward or deep in the forward line where his accurate kicking for goal was a feature of his game. The club was strong enough to contest the finals in most of those early years under Neale Daniher but never enough to make it to the last two weeks in September (actually, that 2000 grand final was played in the first week of September due to the forthcoming Olympic Games in Sydney). In 2006, the Demons finished fifth but were the highest placed of all the Victorian teams. Off the field, the club had endured in-fighting when two separate factions emerged in the wake of the dismissal of Joseph Gutnick as its chairman and further controversy affected its fortunes when Gabriel Szondy suddenly resigned amid accusations of incompetence and mismanagement of the CEO. Rarely during the past decade or so have the Demons been without some form of off-field wrangling and controversy which still manages to dog them to this very day. At the start of 2007, hopes for the team were high but it fell into a form of football recession, one from which it is yet to emerge. Wooden spoons and early draft picks followed and these have led to charges of cheating and the current round of tanking allegations. On the ground, the club has failed to rise above twelfth position in the past six seasons and it currently sits close to the foot of the ladder. Through all of the gloom, Brad Green stood out like a beacon in a stellar career that has now spanned more than 250 games and 348 goals (hopefully, he will make it to 350 on Sunday evening). In 2010, he had his best season, kicking 55 goals and taking 153 marks. He made the All-Australian squad and won the Keith 'Bluey' Truscott Medal along with the Ron Barassi Leadership Award and the "Heart and Soul" Award stamping him as the ideal successor for the captaincy of the Demons, after the retirement of James McDonald. He skippered his country in the round ball 2011 International Rules series against Ireland and was the only Australian to kick a goal during the series with many commentators describing this goal as a "captain's goal". His leaving is soured to an extent by the club's recent history. When the club fell on hard times and was close to broke during its 150th season in 2008, a new Board headed by the legendary Jimmy Stynes took over to lead its fight for survival. The debt was broken and the club was ultimately able to provide its players with better facilities and an upgrade in the amount of personnel available but some discontentment in the background culminated in the now infamous loss at Geelong on 30 July 2011 that led to the sacking of coach Dean Bailey. In the wash up that followed the appointment of the new coach, Green lost the captaincy and his place in the leadership group for this year and was then struck by injury and loss of form that wiped out most of the first half of his current and final season that even saw him playing a few games with the Casey Scorpions. He returned in the way that great players do and recently kicked a bag against Gold Coast as the team stormed to a seven goal win at the MCG. And so the time has come for Brad Green and one suspects, some of the other club elders as a new generation emerges to take up fresh challenges in changing times. I look upon the end of his illustrious career in much the same way as that of the biblical Moses who took a whole generation through the wilderness but never made it to the Promised Land. THE GAME Melbourne v Adelaide at the MCG 26 August 2012 at 4.40pm (AEST) HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 11 wins Adelaide 19 wins At MCG Melbourne 7 wins Adelaide 5 wins Since 2000 Melbourne 6 wins Adelaide 11 wins The coaches Neeld 0 wins Sanderson 0 wins MEDIA TV Fox Footy Channel – live at 4.30pm. RADIO SEN ABC774 3AW Triple M THE BETTING Melbourne to win $6.00 Adelaide to win $1.13 LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 22.17.149 defeated Adelaide 8.5.53 at the MCG Round 7, 2011 Less than 20,000 fans (actually 19,987) turned up to watch the Demons demolish a poor Adelaide outfit at the MCG but the game turned out to be a disaster for the Demons even though they won by 16 goals. Jack Grimes injured his foot only minutes from the start and missed the rest of the year and Mark Jamar was also injured during the game and forced to miss several weeks. Jack Trengove was reported and suspended for a sling tackle on Patrick Dangerfield. Ricky Petterd, Colin Sylvia kicked four goals each and Liam Jurrah three while Brent Moloney was his team's best. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE Backs Joel Macdonald Colin Garland Tom McDonald Half backs Jack Watts, James Frawley, Lynden Dunn Centreline Jack Trengove Jordie McKenzie Jack Grimes Half forwards Sam Blease Jared Rivers Rohan Bail Forwards Jeremy Howe Brad Green Neville Jetta Followers Jake Spencer Colin Sylvia Nathan Jones Interchange Daniel Nicholson James Sellar James Strauss Luke Tapscott Emergencies Matthew Bate Tom Couch Jordan Gysberts In Daniel Nicholson Out Tom Couch Milestone: James Frawley 100 games ADELAIDE Backs Graham Johncock Ben Rutten Sam Shaw Half backs Brodie Smith Daniel Talia Michael Doughty Centreline Bernie Vince Nathan van Berlo David Mackay Half forwards Jared Petrenko Taylor Walker Richard Douglas Forwards Jason Porplyzia Kurt Tippett Matthew Wright Followers Sam Jacobs Scott Thompson Patrick Dangerdfield Interchange Luke Brown Ian Callinan Brent Reilly Aidan Riley Emergencies Josh Jenkins Tom Lynch Jarryd Lyons In Jason Porplyzia Aidan Riley Brodie Smith Out Chris Knights Josh Jenkins Rory Sloane (elbow) The Demons have already played their part in the downfall of one premiership contender earlier in the year when they caused a major shock in beating the Bombers. Ever since that game Essendon has been in freefall and if you composed a ladder for the second half of the year it would sit below Melbourne in the pecking order. Now it's the moment of truth for Adelaide whose credentials in the top four have been questioned because its fixture looked much easier than the other contenders. A week ago, the Crows were coasting towards a top two finish and a home final in the first week of the finals with Brisbane, Melbourne and Gold Coast left on their roster but their shock loss to the Brisbane Lions after holding a 38 point quarter time lead has served as a wake up call. They now need to win both remaining games and do so by reasonable margins to strengthen their position going into the finals. Melbourne has languished through the season without showing much credibility and will be aiming to finish the season strongly to hold it in good stead for the future. The Demons' record against the Crows on the MCG is good and the last time they met, it was an easy 16 goal win for the home side. Times have changed but with Adelaide suddenly shaky, Melbourne has another opportunity to upset a premiership contender. And what a great way that would be to send of a great servant of the club like Brad Green? For the Demons to get over the Crows they must get on top in the midfield against an opponent that boasts the dynamic Scott Thompson and Patrick Dangerfield together with an array of foot soldiers who can run and spread as well as any in the land. It is their midfield, its improvement and its consistency that has been instrumental in lifting them from the depths under the adept coaching of Brenton Sanderson. It also has a strong spine with Walker and Tippett dangerous up forward and Rutten and the much improved Talia down back. In comparison, the Demons don't have the midfield depth and while they are solid in defence, they've struggled all year up forward and more so since the injuries to Mitch Clark, Ricky Petterd and the demise of Liam Jurrah. For these reasons and the fact that the Crows have too much to lose if it can't come home with the four points, I'm tipping them to win but not by much. Adelaide by 11 points.
  19. THE GREEN MILE

    THE GREEN MILE by Whispering Jack The last home game of the season is to be played at the ungodly hour of 4.40pm on a Sunday night in late winter and, because it's against Adelaide and the forecast is for a shower or two, one wonders whether a crowd will turn up to farewell Brad Green who will play his 254th game proudly wearing the number 18 guernsey for the last time in a distinguished career with the Melbourne Football Club. It would be a shame if the Demon faithful fail to turn up to celebrate the occasion. This season has been a long, hard and eventful one but for all the wrong reasons. While the passion and the generosity of the Melbourne fans at Tuesday night's Foundation Heroes Dinner was encouraging, the curtain will come down this week on the difficult era in which Green played in a pall of gloom but, as always, there is hope for better times on the horizon. Brad Green arrived at the Melbourne Football Club at another low moment in its history at the end of the last century. The Demons had recently admitted to breaching the AFL's salary cap and, as a consequence, were sanctioned by way of fines and the loss of their first draft pick at the 1999 National Draft which would have been selection five. Ironically, that pick was given to Fremantle who selected Leigh Brown of the Gippsland Power who is currently an assistant coach at Melbourne. The club's first pick that year became selection 19 and it chose wisely when it named young Brad Green from the Tasmanian Under 18s. Green was a versatile young all round sportsman who had played representative cricket and soccer as a teenager, captaining the Australian under-15 cricket team. He was scouted by Manchester United and spent time in training at Old Trafford before deciding to concentrate on our game. Years into his career, commentators would always reprise the connection with the great soccer club whenever they were caught short for words while Green was present on the playing field. Things immediately turned around for the club in Green's first year as it rose from 14th to make the 2000 Grand Final where it fell to a great side in Essendon, a tough, match-hardened team brim full of experience that lost only one game that year and took the opportunity to maul its younger opponents into submission on its way to the premiership. The young Green, who was a star in the other finals and had booted four goals in the semi final against Carlton was bashed in the throat and ended in hospital. He hadn't lasted a quarter in the season's ultimate game. It was ironical that when Melbourne's current coach spoke at this week's Foundation Heroes Dinner, he highlighted the fact that the team he now has at his disposal suffered from its inexperience of an average of roughly sixty games per player against the leading clubs whose make up is nearly double that figure - a differential of two to three seasons per player on average. This was not dissimilar to the gulf between the two participants that one day in September, a dozen years away in a year in which Green, Cameron Bruce, Paul Wheatley and Matthew Whelan were all introduced to the club from a draft in which it was deprived of its first pick. Green grew with the club and established himself in a number of roles. He was equally adept in the middle, in defence, on a wing, half forward or deep in the forward line where his accurate kicking for goal was a feature of his game. The club was strong enough to contest the finals in most of those early years under Neale Daniher but never enough to make it to the last two weeks in September (actually, that 2000 grand final was played in the first week of September due to the forthcoming Olympic Games in Sydney). In 2006, the Demons finished fifth but were the highest placed of all the Victorian teams. Off the field, the club had endured in-fighting when two separate factions emerged in the wake of the dismissal of Joseph Gutnick as its chairman and further controversy affected its fortunes when Gabriel Szondy suddenly resigned amid accusations of incompetence and mismanagement of the CEO. Rarely during the past decade or so have the Demons been without some form of off-field wrangling and controversy which still manages to dog them to this very day. At the start of 2007, hopes for the team were high but it fell into a form of football recession, one from which it is yet to emerge. Wooden spoons and early draft picks followed and these have led to charges of cheating and the current round of tanking allegations. On the ground, the club has failed to rise above twelfth position in the past six seasons and it currently sits close to the foot of the ladder. Through all of the gloom, Brad Green stood out like a beacon in a stellar career that has now spanned more than 250 games and 348 goals (hopefully, he will make it to 350 on Sunday evening). In 2010, he had his best season, kicking 55 goals and taking 153 marks. He made the All-Australian squad and won the Keith 'Bluey' Truscott Medal along with the Ron Barassi Leadership Award and the "Heart and Soul" Award stamping him as the ideal successor for the captaincy of the Demons, after the retirement of James McDonald. He skippered his country in the round ball 2011 International Rules series against Ireland and was the only Australian to kick a goal during the series with many commentators describing this goal as a "captain's goal". His leaving is soured to an extent by the club's recent history. When the club fell on hard times and was close to broke during its 150th season in 2008, a new Board headed by the legendary Jimmy Stynes took over to lead its fight for survival. The debt was broken and the club was ultimately able to provide its players with better facilities and an upgrade in the amount of personnel available but some discontentment in the background culminated in the now infamous loss at Geelong on 30 July 2011 that led to the sacking of coach Dean Bailey. In the wash up that followed the appointment of the new coach, Green lost the captaincy and his place in the leadership group for this year and was then struck by injury and loss of form that wiped out most of the first half of his current and final season that even saw him playing a few games with the Casey Scorpions. He returned in the way that great players do and recently kicked a bag against Gold Coast as the team stormed to a seven goal win at the MCG. And so the time has come for Brad Green and one suspects, some of the other club elders as a new generation emerges to take up fresh challenges in changing times. I look upon the end of his illustrious career in much the same way as that of the biblical Moses who took a whole generation through the wilderness but never made it to the Promised Land. THE GAME Melbourne v Adelaide at the MCG 26 August 2012 at 4.40pm (AEST) HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 11 wins Adelaide 19 wins At MCG Melbourne 7 wins Adelaide 5 wins Since 2000 Melbourne 6 wins Adelaide 11 wins The coaches Neeld 0 wins Sanderson 0 wins MEDIA TV Fox Footy Channel – live at 4.30pm. RADIO SEN ABC774 3AW Triple M THE BETTING Melbourne to win $6.00 Adelaide to win $1.13 LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 22.17.149 defeated Adelaide 8.5.53 at the MCG Round 7, 2011 Less than 20,000 fans (actually 19,987) turned up to watch the Demons demolish a poor Adelaide outfit at the MCG but the game turned out to be a disaster for the Demons even though they won by 16 goals. Jack Grimes injured his foot only minutes from the start and missed the rest of the year and Mark Jamar was also injured during the game and forced to miss several weeks. Jack Trengove was reported and suspended for a sling tackle on Patrick Dangerfield. Ricky Petterd, Colin Sylvia kicked four goals each and Liam Jurrah three while Brent Moloney was his team's best. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE Backs Joel Macdonald Colin Garland Tom McDonald Half backs Jack Watts, James Frawley, Lynden Dunn Centreline Jack Trengove Jordie McKenzie Jack Grimes Half forwards Sam Blease Jared Rivers Rohan Bail Forwards Jeremy Howe Brad Green Neville Jetta Followers Jake Spencer Colin Sylvia Nathan Jones Interchange Daniel Nicholson James Sellar James Strauss Luke Tapscott Emergencies Matthew Bate Tom Couch Jordan Gysberts In Daniel Nicholson Out Tom Couch Milestone: James Frawley 100 games ADELAIDE Backs Graham Johncock Ben Rutten Sam Shaw Half backs Brodie Smith Daniel Talia Michael Doughty Centreline Bernie Vince Nathan van Berlo David Mackay Half forwards Jared Petrenko Taylor Walker Richard Douglas Forwards Jason Porplyzia Kurt Tippett Matthew Wright Followers Sam Jacobs Scott Thompson Patrick Dangerdfield Interchange Luke Brown Ian Callinan Brent Reilly Aidan Riley Emergencies Josh Jenkins Tom Lynch Jarryd Lyons In Jason Porplyzia Aidan Riley Brodie Smith Out Chris Knights Josh Jenkins Rory Sloane (elbow) The Demons have already played their part in the downfall of one premiership contender earlier in the year when they caused a major shock in beating the Bombers. Ever since that game Essendon has been in freefall and if you composed a ladder for the second half of the year it would sit below Melbourne in the pecking order. Now it's the moment of truth for Adelaide whose credentials in the top four have been questioned because its fixture looked much easier than the other contenders. A week ago, the Crows were coasting towards a top two finish and a home final in the first week of the finals with Brisbane, Melbourne and Gold Coast left on their roster but their shock loss to the Brisbane Lions after holding a 38 point quarter time lead has served as a wake up call. They now need to win both remaining games and do so by reasonable margins to strengthen their position going into the finals. Melbourne has languished through the season without showing much credibility and will be aiming to finish the season strongly to hold it in good stead for the future. The Demons' record against the Crows on the MCG is good and the last time they met, it was an easy 16 goal win for the home side. Times have changed but with Adelaide suddenly shaky, Melbourne has another opportunity to upset a premiership contender. And what a great way that would be to send of a great servant of the club like Brad Green? For the Demons to get over the Crows they must get on top in the midfield against an opponent that boasts the dynamic Scott Thompson and Patrick Dangerfield together with an array of foot soldiers who can run and spread as well as any in the land. It is their midfield, its improvement and its consistency that has been instrumental in lifting them from the depths under the adept coaching of Brenton Sanderson. It also has a strong spine with Walker and Tippett dangerous up forward and Rutten and the much improved Talia down back. In comparison, the Demons don't have the midfield depth and while they are solid in defence, they've struggled all year up forward and more so since the injuries to Mitch Clark, Ricky Petterd and the demise of Liam Jurrah. For these reasons and the fact that the Crows have too much to lose if it can't come home with the four points, I'm tipping them to win but not by much. Adelaide by 11 points.
  20. The last time they met

    We won by 15 goals and it was the day Jack Grimes was injured and Jack Trengove reported for a sling tackle. MELBOURNE Backs James Frawley Matthew Warnock Clint Bartram Half backs Nathan Jones Colin Garland Luke Tapscott Centreline Ricky Petterd Jack Grimes Colin Sylvia Half forwards Jack Watts Liam Jurrah Addam Maric Forwards Brad Green Matthew Bate Aaron Davey Followers Mark Jamar Brent Moloney Jack Trengove Interchange Jordan Gysberts Lynden Dunn Austin Wonaeamirri Rohan Bail Emergencies Joel Macdonald Michael Newton Neville Jetta In Ricky Petterd Matthew Bate Matthew Warnock Addam Maric Out Jared Rivers (ankle) Cale Morton Stef Martin Jamie Bennell ADELAIDE Backs Graham Johncock Ben Rutten Michael Doughty Half backs Matthew Jaensch Luke Thompson Nathan van Berlo Centreline Brodie Smith Brent Reilly Ricky Henderson Half forwards Chris Knights Shaun McKernan Richard Douglas Forwards Taylor Walker Kurt Tippett Matthew Wright Followers Sam Jacobs Scott Thompson Patrick Dangerfield Interchange Jared Petrenko Christopher Schmidt Rory Sloane Brad Symes Emergencies Jack Gunston Ivan Maric James Sellar In Jared Petrenko Rory Sloane Christopher Schmidt Out, Phil Davis (Shoulder) Brodie Martin Richard Tambling (Suspension)