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two sheds jackson

Cancer

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I'm not really sure what's possessed me to post this thread; I don't really know anyone here, and theres not much anyone can do to help me. I hope it doesn't seem like an appeal for sympathy, because that's not what I'm after. I guess there's just alot of things I need to verbalize and get off my chest, and some things are actually easier to say to a bunch of strangers than to the people you care about most.

Early in the year, I found a lump just in front of my ear. I went and saw a doctor about it, and he assured me it was only a cyst, but told me to watch it for the next month or so and to get an ultrasound if it didn't go down, not because it was possibly cancerous, but because the type of cyst he diagnosed it as can get painful if left untreated. It didn't go down, so I went to a radiology clinic, had an ultra-sound and was told that it was not a cyst but a tumor in the salivary gland; I was told not to worry about it too much, that the overwhelming odds were that the tumor was benign, but that I would need a biopsy to confirm it. I was [censored] myself at this point, and absolutely rushed to get a biopsy, but it still ended up taking about a month to get one; the health-care system is a joke: the radiology clinic told me I needed a referral from a GP so that I can go back to that same radiology clinic and get a biopsy, and so I went to the GP, got the referral, went back to the same radiology clinic and, when I was literally on the table about to have the biopsy performed, the doctor read through my file, saw that I hadn't seen a private specialist, and told me I would need to go back to the same GP, get them to give me a referral to a private specialist, who in turn would have to give me a referral for the biopsy. This was important, they explained, because it would eliminate the risk of performing a biopsy if I do not need one. I'm still kind of ashamed of myself for having fell for it; everybody could see I needed a biopsy, but theres obviously some tacit general agreement in place between these types of clinics and private cancer specialists to do this type of thing, because it's the specialists bread and butter. I ended up paying the specialist $140 for a five minute appointment in which he told me precisely what the GP and radiology clinicians told me; that I have a tumor and need a biopsy. If you're EVER in this situation (and I hope to god none of you ever are), and you're about to have a biopsy done and the doctor tells you you need a specialists referral, please, in the politest possible way, say "either perform the biopsy, or have me arrested and thrown out of here". Don't fall for their [censored].

Anyway, eventually I had the biopsy done, and it came back benign. However, by this point the tumor had grown huge, had begun to impinge on a nerve and I had some restricted facial movements. I was told that in the operation to remove it, they would have to take the facial nerve, meaning I would lose movement in the right half of my face. This was obviously a massive, massive blow, especially given the type of field I want to work in- I'm 23 years old and have been trying to figure out what to do with myself since I was 18, but have turned things around dramatically in the last year. About a year ago I switched to a media course majoring in radio, after basically flunking out of a very unfulfilling BA course. I'd put together two really good semesters, getting a credit average in one and a distinction average in the other, and was actually enjoying uni and becoming passionate about radio, but there was a chance my speech would be effected after the operation. I'd also started taking an interest in stand-up comedy, having entered a comp at the start of the year (the Raw Comedy competition for peoples who are in the know) and done well, and performing a few shows since then, I'd begun to seriously consider making a real commitment to it, maybe even making a career of it if I'm good enough. I do a character-based routine, and its obviously a bit hard to play a range of characters with half a face. So, going into the operation, I was feeling a mixture of huge relief (because I'm not going to die) and utter devastation. Days before the operation, I was told that they'd perform a nerve graft, taking nerves from my leg and putting them in my face, so there was a good chance I would regain most of my facial movement over the course of two years or so. This lifted my spirits a bit.

Had the operation on the 22nd of last month. When they cut me open, they found out the tumor was actually either malignant, or a highly aggressive form of benign tumor. They conducted an extremely aggressive, 14 hour operation -the swelling hasn't even fully gone down, yet- and I was in hospital for 7 days. It took a while to get used to not being able to move the right side of my face, but either the graft worked better than expected or the damage wasn't as bad: I was told that I would be unable to close my right eye, but I have full movement, I was also told that my face would drop (similar to alot of stroke victims) but that hasn't happened. If I'm not being expressive, I basically just look normal. So that was a relief, but now I'm once again worried that I have a life-threatening illness, even though at this point they were pretty confident they got it all. I healed quicker than expected; was up and walking around on my third day in hospital (the doctors said they'd actually never seen anything like that) and could have probably been discharged on the 5th day, but they kept me in as a precaution. It's not uncommon for people to spend 10 days in hospital for that sort of operation, apparently.

Anyway, a week after being discharged, I had a PET scan and they were absolutely shocked to find a whole bunch of little dots in both of my lungs. It's been an absolute nightmare since then; I went into hospital a week ago and had a lung biopsy (pretty full-on stuff; they perform a sort of keyhole surgery where they go in, take out a bit of your lung and stick it under a microscope) and it confirmed that the cancer had spread to my lungs. I was told that what I have is terminal and inoperable, I asked for some idea how long I had, and the doctor told me it was impossible to say, but on average, about a year or two.

The last week or so has been absolutely indescribable. You know how, with victims of trauma (Vietnam vets, refugees etc) they say that going to sleep can be absolute hell, because you're letting go of all your ability to distinguish past from present, fantasy from reality, and you find yourself thrust into this sort of hyper-realistic nightmare where you have to relive the experience? I've kind of been the opposite; when I WAKE UP I'm thrust into a nightmare, reality itself IS the nightmare. I know that sounds kind of like a sob story, but I desperately needed to say that, and I couldn't say it to my own family, because it would [censored] torture them to hear it. I actually havn't even been coming on here much (I used to come on every day and stay up to date with all things Melbourne-related), the reason being that I found it completely depressing; the line of thinking was, "Melbourne will be a fantastic side in 5 year time, and I wont even be around to see it". Reading all about Watts, Jurrah, Scully etc just depressed me.

Went to Peter McCallum yesterday and talked to the chemo doctors. It actually went pretty well. They stressed that the difference between "incurable" and "untreatable" is not just semantic; they can hit this thing with chemo and, if it reacts well, it is absolutely impossible to say how long it could stay down for; it could be any number of years. The only thing keeping me going in the past week was the hope that I'd hear something that would give me some hope -a story about someone who lived with this same type of cancer, a prospect of a cure, anything that gave me some hope that I might grow old. I kind of got that yesterday; at least I feel like there's a bit of a fight now, and I'm not just sitting around waiting for the inevitable.

Again, theres no particular point to this thread and I wont be upset or embarrassed if nobody replies, I just really felt the need to get the story down in words.

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Two sheds jackson, sincerely I can't believe that you're going through all of this at just 23. Shocked. I've enjoyed reading all of your posts and I hope to read many, many more. You give well balanced and very articulate views IMO. I enjoy reading them.

May you draw some inspiration from our MFC President Jim Stynes and his own personal battle, and fight it, don't wait for the inevitable.

It's taken great courage to share your thoughts, your personal battle. Now you have got that off your chest, you now know where to channel your courage and energy.

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Geebus H Christ! That is bloody horrible!

I have absolutely no idea what you're going through or what to say to you. The only reference I have is my old man getting "Jack Dancer" a few years ago. Hard enough but I just can't imagine being the one with it. Plenty of sympathy but no real answers and bugger all options.

All I can say is I hope you have lots of people around you who care and love you, to be there for you and for you farken live it as much you can.

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All the very best. You are a brave boy to share this and I hope things improve for you and that the Dees have success that you can share in soon.

I hope you keep your spirits up and know that many of us here will be thinking of you and hoping that there is always hope for these types of things and that cures and new treatments are being found.

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I wish I knew what to say. I don't know you but we can all hear your pain. Let your family help you. They will be devastated but equally they will want to do this with you. Seeing a counsellor with your family may halp but most of all fight it and be positive because good things do happen. Keep reading the forum if for nothing but a good laugh at some of the idiotic things people post here (myself included) Good luck and best wishes to you and your family.

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Hey Two Sheds,

Mate I really don`t know what to write but just felt I had to respond to you. I think it is probably a good thing that you have shared your story even though you were not quite sure why you were doing it. You must be feeling so many different emotions and I think writing and sharing is a small way of releasing some pain, anger and frustration.

Stay positive mate, the mind is a truly powerful thing and you can beat this thing if you believe! Your story makes me realise how precious life is and not to take anything for granted. I think many of us take life far too seriously sometimes and what you have just written will be a wake up call for a lot of us Demonlanders.

Be strong mate! Thankyou for sharing!

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Dear Two Sheds,

I have always admired your Moniker and your avatar of tom Waits.

Your posts have been pretty much worth reading(to me) and your input thought provoking.

i dont post as much as i used to but am glad, though shocked to read your post.

Please battle on and try to keep yourself healthy.

Although I know you arent, Dont give up.

Keeping a stiff upper lip to family and relatives is difficult.

I hope I would have the courage you have shown in writing that post, the most personally confronting i have read on Demonland.

Is it possible that you could update now and again?

I think you may find a rich vein of support from many on here and I guess a few will have PM'd you as well.

Are you in inner Melbourne? Do you have a partner? Please let us know,

ThankYou for sharing your battle and thoughts, I really will be thinking of you and hoping for the best.

Good luck

Damien(franky)

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That's shocking mate.

Being around the same age i can't even begin to imagine what you are going through. Hopefully your body reacts well to the chemo and it keeps the cancer at bay for many years to come.

Good luck mate & all the best. :(

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Wow. Just, Wow.

Mate, I can't begin to imagine, even after reading that, how you are holding together - i can only send my wishes and let you know my thoughts are with you.

I too am the same age, and reading about your life can completely relate to the position you were in a few months before this struck.

Keep being strong and utilize your support networks as much as you can, they will be there for you when you need the most.

And keep coming back here. The Dees are clearly doing something for you, and I'm sure you have the love and support from everyone on this forum.

All the best.

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Hey, after reading that i had to send my best wishes.

I wish you all the best and lets hope you see a few more demon premierships in the near future.

All the best mate, stay strong and enjoy what you can!

Edited by Carn dees

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Two Sheds mate, got to say that was really touching. All I can do is wish you all the best. Try to keep positive. You never know how these things can turn out.

My thoughts are with you mate. Stay strong.

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Guest delicious jurrah coffee

thats shocking mate, i will pray for you tonight, stay strong son.

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Guest sticksmorton

Good luck mate

I hope you get through it alright, stay positive...

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I was really saddened to hear your news. You have my best wishes. Keep fighting!

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Hang in there mate, you never know what can happen.

I had a family member who was told they had six months; they lived for another seven years and defied every prognosis in that time.

The power of a positive mind is an incredible thing. As others have said, fight with everything you've got and make every moment count. I wish you all the courage and strength in the world, and I hope sharing your story has given you some relief.

All the very best, mate.

Edited by MikeyJ

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I read this thread and wished I could find something profound to say in response to such a touching article, but I've got nothing. All I can say is that I sincerely wish you all the best and hope that your obvious bravery holds you in good stead for your fight.

I also have to add that I find it a terrifying reality check that this is happening to someone very close to me in age and circumstances.

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I have a 27 year old friend going thru her 2nd round of chemo. So i sympathize man. You will be around to see our next flag...stay positive.

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I've been coming to this site for a year or two now .... and have never signed up ... just a lazy consumer! However, i read your post last night and i needed to sign-up to reach out and wish you the best of luck on your journey, and all the strenght in the world to deal with your ongoing pain and frustration. Bloody terrible situation. FYI, my mother has 'incurable' cancer too, but she's been able to fight it off a few times and is now 10 years down the track. So i understand the situation you and your family are going through. Hang in there mate ...

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Like many others in this thread, I thought long and hard before posting anything (and a few deleted attempts) but just couldn't think of anything profound or even helpful.

My thoughts and best wishes are right behind you, as I'm sure they are from everybody else on thie site and who knows you.

Times like this can get the best out of people, and you seem like a very brave, strong person.

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I expected to read this and see a story about Jimmy's fight and I didn't open it until now because I hate even thinking about that sort of thing. Eventually I opened it and found a powerful tale a million times more confronting than I could ever have dreamt in my most horrible nightmare.

I am 27 and my attitude is always one of accepting the current situation and working out the next best step from there. But that just smacks me in the face and I am utterly speechless.

The best I have got is that I wish you as much luck and success in your fight as is humanly possible.

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Carmelites

Good luck.

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Just got back from a pretty big night out, I'm a bit [censored], so I'll keep this as brief as possibl so as not to make too much of a [censored] of myself. Thanks to everyone whose given me support via this thread or in PMs (and to everyone I havn't gotten back to yet, especially AFI and It's A Nightmare, I'm sorry and will do so in the next couple days, swear to God).

Just thought I'd give a brief update. As I said, when I was originally diagnosed, they did an x-ray and found a bunch of small dots (which turned out to be tumors) in my lungs; the largest was about 4x4cm. Since then I've had two bouts of chemo, which actually hasnt been too bad, I've lost my hair and for the first three days after each treatment I've felt pretty tired, but I havn't got sick from it, and three days after I get a dose I feel completely normal. Anyway, I had a CT scan the other day to see how the treatment is going, and it went way better than expected; alot of the dots arent even showing up anymore at all, and the biggest tumor has shrunk by more than half- the doctor said about the biggest tumor "we think it's still technically measurable, but we're not even sure about that, definitely less than a cm", so yeah, after two treatments the biggest tumor is barely measurable. And I still have another four treatments to go. The doctors didn't expect anywhere near this good of a result; when I started treatment, they told me that if the tumor didn't shrink but didn't grow, they would consider the treatment extremely successful (and by the sound of it, they would have been surprised even by that). This is after two doses. I have another four to go.

The type of cancer I have is slow-growing, and slow-growing cancers don't generally respond that well to chemo (although this one obviously has). But it's also a pretty rare cancer, and it's a bit of an unknown quantity since theres not much data available yet (from what I remember, the specific type I have accounts for about 2% of salivary gland tumors, and of that 2%, only 10% turn out malignant: I pretty much did the opposite of winning the lottery). So I figure [censored] it, every illness in the world was incurable at one stage until somebody survived it, and I'm [censored] well going to survive this [censored].

Again, thanks so much to everybody for the encouragement, I'm feeling [censored] terrific right now.

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Bloody oath you will!

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    GAME, SET & SCRATCH by Paddy Gosch

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    THAT WAS THE YEAR THAT WAS by Whispering Jack

    Melbourne atoned for the heartbreak of its frustrating finish to the 2017 season by, at long last, making the finals and then disposed of two highly credentialed and experienced teams in Geelong and Hawthorn before it capitulated meekly to eventual premier West Coast in the Preliminary Final in Perth. The club’s progression has been forward and upward since it finished 2013 with two wins and appointed Paul Roos as coach. The number has increased to four, seven, 10, 12, and now 14 games. The Demons made the finals for the first time in a dozen years and are now tracking for their first premiership in five and a half decades.
     
    In the women’s game, the club’s second season of AFLW competition was dogged throughout by inaccuracy in front of goal causing it to again just miss out on grand final honours finishing third after losing 4.7.31 to 5.3.33 to rivals and eventual premiers, the Western Bulldogs in the final round. The Demons were well led by Daisy Pearce and had a star player in  Karen Paxman. They will miss their skipper Pearce, who will be out of the forthcoming season on maternity leave - a first for the womens competition. The Demons started their men’s campaign with a win in their section of the novelty AFLX competition, then won their two JLT  Community Series games against North Melbourne in Hobart and St Kilda at Casey Fields, the latter in unconvincing fashion after building a big lead early.  The opening round AFL match against Geelong resulted in a disappointing loss after a missed shot from Max Gawn in the final thirty seconds ceded a 3 point loss. The club won its next two matches, again unconvincingly although their round 3 win against North Melbourne broke a long run of defeats going back over more than a decade. A poor game against Hawthorn and a final term collapse on Anzac Day Eve against the Tigers had Melbourne down with a 2 - 3 record.  The revival began against Essendon and continued over the ensuing weeks as the Demons stretched their winning run to six games culminating with big wins against Carlton and Adelaide at Alice Springs and a solid victory over the Bulldogs. At the halfway mark of the season they were challenging for a top four spot on 8 wins and 3 defeats. The improvement had come from the return of injured pair Tom McDonald and Angus Brayshaw, the dominance of Max Gawn in the ruck and the strong form of Clayton Oliver and the young midfield. Jesse Hogan was consistently in the goals. Jake Lever who had taken a while to get his bearings but was solid during the six game winning spree sustained an ACL injury in round 11 and it took a while for the defence to recover from his loss, regroup and consolidate. In the interim, the experimentation in this area was partly the reason for a poor month that saw a  three-game losing streak including a disappointing loss to lowly St. Kilda. Earlier defeats to Collingwood on Queens Birthday and away to Port Adelaide might have been expected but the  loss to the Saints hit hard and possibly cost the team the coveted double chance.  Melbourne might have lost its star recruit, Lever, in midseason but the club did unearth two young players in Bailey Fritsch and Charlie Spargo who were both drafted in the 30s and established themselves as regulars for much of the year although they understandably ran out of steam a little at the end of the season. The Demons regrouped after the slump. The back line steadied when Sam Frost returned to help the improving Oscar McDonald in a key defensive role but, after returning to the winning list against the Dockers in Darwin and the Bulldogs at the MCG, they suffered some disappointing losses involving an after-the-siren goal to Zach Tuohy in the return game against Geelong and a home upset against   Sydney after some shocking inaccuracy in the first quarter and a half kept the Swans in the game. The injuries were mounting and the loss of Hogan at that point in time appeared devastating to a team that had yet to record a win against a top eight side. All that changed dramatically over the next four games starting with the Eagles in Perth and followed with a big win over the Giants that saw Melbourne finish in fifth place with a percentage of 131%. Then followed the emotion of a return to finals football and sound victories against seasoned playoff teams in Geelong and Hawthorn in front of crowds that gave majority support to the perennial underdog buoyed by the return from injury of co-skipper Jack Viney and the emergence at last of young key forward Sam Weideman who more than amply filled Hogan’s shoes.  Not for the first time in the modern history of the club, the wall was hit out west. The Demons looked spent in the early moments of their preliminary final in Perth against West Coast and much like last year’s lapse at the final hurdle against Collingwood, this one game is likely to inhabit the players’ collective memory over the summer and into the new season. Many players excelled and grew in 2018 and the depth of the club revealed itself when injuries struck. Max Gawn won the ‘Bluey’ Truscott’ medal and led an emerging midfield including the co-skippers Nathan Jones and Viney, a resurgent Angus Brayshaw (3rd in the Brownlow), Christian Petracca and Christian Salem and the incredibly improved James Harmes who stepped up several levels in the course of a season. The forward line was the best in the competition as many avenues were opened up to goals, breaking down only in that last final. The disappointment of that performance will surely act as a spur for even further improvement in 2019. That improvement is expected to come from a defence bolstered by the recruitment of former Gold Coast skipper Steven May and the expected return of Jake Lever in the first month or so of the season. They join some solid performers in defence including Michael Hibberd and the indefatigable Neville Jetta - a star both on and off the field. The Demons also picked up a handy defender from the Suns in Kade Kolodjashnij and a big ruck back up for All-Australian ruckman Gawn in Braydon Preuss. The club drafted a bevy of youngsters who will all take time to develop at Casey. Melbourne farewelled Jesse Hogan, Dom Tyson and Dean Kent to other clubs via trades and Tom Bugg found a new home through the draft. Former club champion Bernie Vince retired late in the season after a meritorious 100 game career at his second club. Vince will not be entirely lost to the Demons as he has returned to the club in a part-time leadership and ambassadorial role for 2019.  The loss that will hurt deeply is that of retiring CEO Peter Jackson who has overseen the six year progression from a team that won only two games in 2013 to become a preliminary finalist in 2018. Gary Pert has stepped into the breach to finish the task of leading the club to the promised land and a premiership.

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    DRAFT STORY: THE BYSTANDERS by Whispering Jack

    It was an eerie feeling, like floating on air high above the events taking place on the ground below. This was the New Draft, a two day festival of little importance to Melbourne supporters on the first night and seemingly, of little consequence on the following day. It was as if we were the bystanders of the 2018 AFL National Draft. From the time the Demons traded away their first round selection in this year’s event as part of the deal to secure Jake Lever more than 12 months ago, it was always likely to turn out this way. A little over a month ago, the club held picks 36, 46, 54, 62 and 65 which, once transposed into a world of potential priority picks and father-son and academy bidders, meant that its first choice would be pushing close to a pick near number fifty. It was akin to leaving you standing three city blocks away from Marvel Stadium and well outside the Jack Lukosious zone in draft night calculations. Even when the trades improved things somewhat marginally to a starting point of 23 and 28 (eventually 27 and 33), it meant you had just moved from William Street to King Street but the entrance to the venue was still on the distant horizon. It was probably just as well that we were that far away because opening night was excruciatingly painful, producing a clumsy and almost unwatchable production compared with the American counterparts in the NFL and NBA which it shamelessly sought to emulate. Gillon McLachlan produced a fitting highlight when he pounced onto centre stage only to discover he had nothing to announce despite the sounding of all the bells and whistles but for us - nothing. Not even the prospect of a live trade managed to keep us in the game.  When the show was over, Sam Walsh, the precocious Croweaters, the King brothers (we drafted the wrong big Max King a few years ago) and a bevy of others were gone. The Swans pulled a swifty trade to get a great deal for their next academy sensation and the Blues did nicely to steal the 2018 Morrish Medallist from the Tigers. Those who were previously uninformed of the new format were left baffled and confused that the Demons weren’t selecting on the night. By the rising of the sun on day two, we were virtually on the promenade at Marvel Stadium, hoping for a little action now that we were a matter of a few picks away from pole position. The AFL had sneakily changed the starting time from 10.00am to noon but even then we were hardly bashing down the doors to get in despite the dreary conditions outside. But when the draft restarted, we somehow remained the bystanders. The months (and for some, the years) of following potential draftees, the national championships, junior competitions, TAC Cup finals, draft combines, phantom drafts, power rankings, teams of the year and the late speculation all flashed past our eyes to produce ... on the face of it ... not a great deal. On top of that, there were no bolters, no All-Australian sliders who somehow mysteriously drifted into our laps, nor even any players finding their way to us from a list of so-called hidden gems” that was floating about. In the end, Melbourne took an inside midfielder in South Australian Tom Sparrow with pick 27 after making an unsuccessful bid for the Bulldog’s father-son prospect Rhylee West. Then came a real bolter in Oakleigh Charger James Jordon at 33, another South Australian, Aaron Nitschke, at 53 and a mature aged defender in Collingwood VFL’s Marty Hore with 56. If there was any icing on the cake, it came when the club was not required to bid for Next Generation Academy dasher Toby Bedford who was taken late at pick 75. The return to type came with the selection of Kade Chandler in the rookie draft. I should make it clear that this is not a criticism of the selection decisions but rather I’m pointing to the low profiles of those picked. As with any draft decision made, the proof of their value is never determined on the night but well down the track, often years into the future. The apparent left-of-centre approach to the draft may well pay dividends in the future for a club with a young team on the ascent  - the players selected are not shrinking violets. They are all aggressive ball-winners known for their relentless attack on the football. In that respect, none of them are bystanders.

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    THE KID - A TRIBUTE TO COLIN by Whispering Jack

    There are some truly endearing memories that I have of the Kid, one or two of them off the ground and others on the field of play. It seemed to me that at every club function I attended, one of the constants was the sight of the much-loved Colin Sylvia, face smiling and friendly, surrounded by admirers, young and old, male and female. There was the promotional clip (Foxtel, I think) with Colin in the locker room beside skipper David Neitz draped in towels and joking. It was as if, from the very beginning, the new boy on the block was being typecast as a larrikin, albeit a lovable one who, in our hopes, would one day  become a hero. And that was the problem for the recruit from Merbein which, during my childhood produced another star Demon in Hassa Mann, a shy country lad who went on to captain the club, played in a few premierships and was a solid citizen off the field. The new kid from Merbein simply kept getting into trouble.  There were problems with a girlfriend, he broke team curfews, missed the odd recovery session, left the scene of a car accident (it’s unclear if he was the driver). He was often in the wrong place and the wrong condition at the wrong time but we all still loved him. After all, he was going to be our hero. On the field, he was something else. The first time I saw him was in a practice match for Melbourne’s then affiliate Sandringham, at the Beach Road Oval, ironically named after another blond larrikan Trevor Barker who also passed at far too young and age but from cancer. There was one brief moment that defined Sylvia’s potential as a contender when he gathered the ball near the centre, swiveled past an opponent and barreled the ball from 70 metres out. Years later when I recalled that piece of play with him at a club best and fairest night, he laughed and said he remembered it but thought the kick was “from closer to 80 metres out”. It took a year or so to get his career going and it built slowly but surely within a few years during which time he grew in stature to the point that it wasn’t necessary to call him by his surname. He was Colin and we loved him. The tough break for Colin was that Melbourne went into decline just as he was approaching his prime. Most supporters would agree that his best game came on Sunday, 24 May, 2009 on the MCG in front of almost 40,000 fans against Hawthorn when he amassed 24 kicks, 13 handballs, 9 marks and 4 goals that were just not enough to get the Demons across the line.  He continued to play good football for the year despite the fact that the club was regularly accused of tanking its matches and again into 2010 but at around that time, the injuries in the form of groin and shoulder problems came, the team was performing miserably as the veterans left while other young saviours who were replacing them struggled. The contender was also struggling to live up to his potential status as a hero; he was failing and the fun had gone. After 157 games and 129 goals, the Kid departed for Fremantle at the end of 2013. Things didn’t work out in the West and, amid ongoing controversy about his attitude and behaviour under Ross Lyon, Colin managed six more games that were mostly unremarkable. Career over before his 29th birthday with life after football bringing further challenges for a young man who found retirement from the game at its top level a tough gig.  Colin was working to get his life on track when his car collided with another vehicle last Sunday afternoon at the intersection of Nineteenth Street and Benetook Avenue in the Mildura suburb of Irymple. He died on the scene and will be buried today. We loved him to death - our deepest sympathies go to his family. “I'm the kid who has this habit of dreaming
    Sometimes gets me in trouble too
    But the truth is I could no more stop dreaming
    Than I could make them all come true” - Buddy Mondlock  

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    THE TRADING CHRONICLES 2018 by Whispering Jack

    PART TWO - NO CHOICE There was a time before he even played a single game at AFL level that Jesse Hogan was regarded as the player who would lift Melbourne from the bottom of the ladder. He’s been at the club since he was selected in the 2012 mini-draft but circumstances caused him to wait two seasons before making his AFL debut. He achieved Rising Star status in 2015, kicked more than 40 goals in three of his four seasons, had his disappointments with injuries, illness and personal issues with the loss of his father and yet, Hogan the Saviour seemed forever absent for the club’s most triumphant moments.  Hogan is now a Docker after the Demons traded him for national draft picks 6 and 23 on the final day of the AFL's trade period. This is despite the fact that he was contracted to Melbourne for 2019 and would have earned good money. There’s no doubting his quality as a footballer but he wanted to go home and the likelihood remained high that he might be gone after another season filled with unwelcome distractions of an uncertain future at the club. And not for the first time. When expectations are high for the future after making it to a Preliminary Final, full commitment to the cause beyond the now is paramount. In the end, there was no choice. Moving on to the future, the three players introduced to the Melbourne Football Club  have the attributes of commitment, willingness to work hard and the ability to fill needs. Former Gold Coast co-captain Steven May, a hard-at-it defender has a five year contract. The skillful Kade Kolodjashnij who brings run and carry to the table and mature ruckman Braydon Preuss both join the club with three year deals.  There is no certainty in the business of sport but Melbourne appears to have done well in a trade period that also saw it upgrade its draft position to a point where it now has two picks in the 20s. There is still a lot to do at the draft table, some rookie upgrades and possible acquisition of delisted free agents to fill the eight vacant places on the club’s lists. Where does this all leave the Melbourne Football Club? Age journalist Peter Ryan summed up the Demons’ trade period in At a glance: Assessing each club's 2018 AFL trade period when he wrote  “At a glance: Going for the flag”. Of course, it’s too early to make a reasoned analysis of the trade period because the outcome is never determined in the moment. Time will tell for all clubs and in 2018 there were so many different agendas and strategies. There were clubs that used it to dump the burden of high salaries, some wanted better draft position while others aimed to fulfill certain needs. In the end 42 players changed clubs by way of trades but by draft time at the end of November, there will be many more new faces at every club. The completed trades - Trade Tracker

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    THE TRADING CHRONICLES 2018 by Whispering Jack

    PART ONE - BETWEEN RUCKS AND HARD PLACES Melbourne has been rather pragmatic in its approach to the off season Free Agency and Trade period. After methodically releasing a larger than usual number of players through delistings, it has also traded away a couple of others who it clearly regards as being surplus to the requirements of team focused on a top four finish in 2019 and to this date, acquired a big ruckman to accompany its All Australian Max Gawn in that campaign. The Demons’ lists have undergone a major refit since the final siren sounded on Preliminary Final day. At that point, we knew of the retirements of Harley Balic and Bernie Vince and soon after the announcements came of Tom Bugg, Dion Johnstone, Mitch King, Pat McKenna and Cam Pedersen and rookie Lachie Filipovic. On Friday, the trades of Dean Kent (to St Kilda) and Dom Tyson (North Melbourne) were signed off, bringing the number of departures to double figures.  The Kangaroos traded Brayden Preuss to the Demons to give Melbourne the competition’s most potent ruck combination.  If things were going well for Melbourne’s football manager Josh Mahoney, they certainly went sour with the news late on Friday that Fremantle had withdrawn its interest in securing forward Jesse Hogan by way of a trade. The decision threw the Demons’ plans of securing Gold Coast defender Steven May along with a raft of other potential trades depending on the outcome of those deals. The Dockers have been chasing WA native Hogan for some four years and last week they paraded him through their headquarters. After it was announced that Hogan had passed his medical, it was thought to be a formality that a trade would be arranged after the obligatory bargaining period.  Fremantle General Manager of Football, Peter Bell, just two weeks into the job, announced - “We have been undertaking a due diligence process as part of a possible trade to secure Jesse Hogan. “As part of that process, we have had discussions with Jesse, the player’s management and Melbourne. “While discussions were proceeding it became clear that what Melbourne would be seeking for a trade would not be possible for our club to meet. “As such, we have informed Melbourne and Jesse’s management that we will not be continuing further with the due diligence process.” This was Bell’s reaction to Melbourne’s refusal to accept his club’s offer of National Draft Pick 11 and a future second-round pick with the Demons expecting two early selections including # 5 that the Dockers would be expecting in a deal with Brisbane for Lachie Neale (Bell is reportedly expecting two first round picks). The reaction might have come as a surprise but it needs to be looked at in the context of what is happening at the very top at the Fremantle Football Club. In August, its list manager Brad Lloyd departed for Carlton and the task of dealing with the free agency and trading was taken over by CEO Steve Rosich in concert with Bell after his appointment. They are certainly doing things differently in a trade period during which all of the other clubs have been businesslike in their approach — the Freo pair’s dealings over Hogan, Rory Lobb, Neale and a clumsy approach to Geelong’s Tim Kelly who wants to go to the Eagles have raised scorn and disdain throughout the football fraternity and their own fans aren’t happy either! This has left Hogan back with the Demons for the time being as he plays out the final year of his contract in 2019 (unless the Dockers have a change of heart in the next few days). Mahoney has made it clear that the club is not in a position to follow up a trade for May without completing a deal for Hogan.  The bonus for the club however, is that it can go into the pre season with a quality key position forward approaching the prime of his career while the team is in the premiership window. Meanwhile, at the other end of the continent, the Dockers are likely to languish, living with a dysfunctional recruiting structure and scorned by the rest of the football community. Good luck with that! Docker shocker as Freo pull pin on Hogan pursuit This is the full list of trades after five days: • Reece Conca joined Fremantle as a free agent. The Tigers don't get any compensation.
    • Richmond signed Tom Lynch as a restricted free agent. Gold Coast opted not to match the offer. The Suns got pick No.3 as compensation.
    • Luke Dahlhaus joined Geelong as an unrestricted free agent. The Western Bulldogs got a round two pick as compensation (No.27).
    • Scott Lycett joined Port Adelaide as a restricted free agent after the Eagles decided not to match Port's offer. Port got pick 20 as compensation.
    • The Cats traded Lincoln McCarthy, pick 55 and pick 58 to the Lions. In return, the Lions sent over picks 43 and 61.
    • Richmond sent Corey Ellis, Anthony Miles and a future third round pick to the Suns for a future third round pick.
    • The Blues used one of their special assistant pre-draft picks to send Nathan Kreuger to Geelong in exchange for pick 43.
    • The Lions and the Suns did a pick swap. Brisbane ended up with 32, 41, 44 and 77. Gold Coast got 24, 58 and 79.
    • Mitch McGovern and a future third round pick made their way from Adelaide to Carlton. Carlton sent back Shane McAdam (their second pre-draft special assistance pick) and a future fifth round pick.
    • Sydney sent pick 13 to the Crows. In return, they got pick 40. They also got picks 26 and 28 from Carlton.
    • Jared Polec and Jasper Pittard moved to North Melbourne from Port Adelaide. Also sent over: pick 48. In return, Power received pick 11 and a future fourth round pick.
    • Sydney's Gary Rohan was traded to Geelong for pick 61.
    • The Swans sent pick 61 to North Melbourne in exchange for Ryan Clarke.
    • St Kilda traded Tom Hickey, pick 60 and a future fourth rounder to the Eagles. In return, the Saints got pick 39 and a future fourth round pick.
    • Alex Fasolo joined Carlton as an unrestricted free agent. Collingwood got pick 57 as compensation.
    • Gold Coast signed Josh Corbett (Werribee) and Chris Burgess ( West Adelaide) as two of their special assistance picks.
    • Port Adelaide and Fremantle swapped picks: Power got pick six and a future third round selection, and sent picks 11, 23, 30 and 49 to the Dockers.
    • Sydney Swans have traded Dan Hannebery and its Rd 2 selection, currently number 28 (on traded from Carlton) to St Kilda for its Rd 2 selection, currently selection number 39 (on traded from West Coast), and its Future Round Two Selection.
    • Melbourne have traded Dean Kent to St Kilda for its Rd 4 selection, currently selection number 65.
    • Melbourne have traded Dom Tyson to North Melbourne for Brayden Preuss and its Rd 4 selection, currently selection number 62 (on traded from the Sydney Swans).
    • GWS Giants have traded Will Setterfield and its Rd 4 (71), to Carlton for its Rd 3 (43), and Future Round Two Selection.

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    CHANGES 2018 by The Oracle

    PART 1 - UPHEAVAL AND CHANGE Every year, as soon as the grand final siren sounds, the 18 AFL clubs enter into a new season that lasts for two months and ends in the drafts. This is the time of transition and sometimes upheaval for the clubs as their lists change in the hope for each of them that they can regenerate their lists to the point where they can challenge for a premiership flag. The official proceedings start today with the opening of the restricted free agency offer and unrestricted free agency period starts and on Monday, the NAB AFL Trade Period kicks off. The coming off season of change is looming large at the Melbourne Football Club in comparison with last year when the club farewelled only six senior list players (including one, Heritier Lumumba, who had retired before that season even began) and one rookie. Their replacements came via trades and the draft, leaving the 2018 Melbourne Football Club player list (with new players in italics) as follows - PRIMARY LIST: Oskar Baker Harley Balic Angus Brayshaw Tomas Bugg Bayley Fritsch Sam Frost Jeff Garlett Max Gawn Mitch Hannan James Harmes Michael Hibberd Jesse Hogan Jayden Hunt Neville Jetta Dion Johnstone Nathan Jones Jay Kennedy Harris Dean Kent Mitch King Jake Lever Jordan Lewis Oscar McDonald Tom McDonald Pat McKenna Jake Melksham Alex Neal-Bullen Clayton Oliver Cameron Pedersen Christian Petracca Harrison Petty Christian Salem Charlie Spargo Joel Smith Billy Stretch Dom Tyson Aaron vandenBerg Bernie Vince Jack Viney Josh Wagner Sam Weideman  ROOKIE LIST: CATEGORY A Lachlan Filipovic Declan Keilty Corey Maynard Tim Smith  As in the past, the process has been going on for months and even longer in the case of the assessment of younger talent. The 18 clubs have all been working feverishly looking for potential trades and for which some players on their lists are moved on.  The Demons have already added two Category B rookies who will shortly commence their apprenticeships at the club. The changes were being foreshadowed even before season’s end when two Demons - Harley Balic and Bernie Vince - had also announced their retirements.  The floodgates were opened almost as soon as the final siren sounded at Optus Stadium on Preliminary Final day. The first delistings included Tom Bugg, Mitch King, Pat McKenna and Cam Pedersen, who announced his retirement, and rookie Lachie Filipovic. Yesterday, Dion Johnstone was added to that group.  Then there are those being mentioned in despatches as being on the trade table from Dean Kent who almost has his foot in the door at St Kilda, to Jesse Hogan, seemingly bound for Fremantle delisted) and others such as Dom Tyson and Aaron vandenBerg said to be exploring options for various reasons. This means a potential of a dozen new faces including names such as May, Kolodjashnij, Preuss and many more in the club’s new period of upheaval and change ...

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