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Deespicable last won the day on March 18 2016

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    Mighty Demon

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  1. 6 Gawn - Our only clear winner, although their three rucks nullified him after half time. But a brilliant first half by our big boy. 5 Brayshaw - Would have liked him to have hit a few more targets, but he kept having a go. 4 Hunt - Our liveliest forward all night. 3 Oliver - Great second term with his run and carry but went back to his pissy little handballs after the long break. Not sure but he may have been a bit of a downhill skier in second half as well. 2 Hibberd - I suspect he got a major rev up from Goody at half time, because he was one of the few that lifted after the break. 1 Harmes - spanked by Shiel but least he did work hard to the end.
  2. We all sat through some impressive pre-season videos that made us all think we'd arrived and Champion Data backed it up saying our list depth made us flag favourites. Well it's fair to say that won't be happening now. I have four big requests for next week, not that it matters now as the errors have been made and a mid-table finish is all we can hope for now. The intensity in our game is gone and it's almost like we've morphed back into the nice old Demons. I am aware that this is borderline trolling, but it has to be said by someone. 1) Tom Mac - Yes he has a big heart, but he is injured. He has never been a superstar that the club and media made out pre-season, but he has shown enough as a forward to make us all think he can play a key role. But so far this year he has been carried. he is not fit, he can barely run and his return - two goals in three games is abysmal, What's worse is that Hurley went to our only reliable target in Melksham, that's how little the Dons were worried about T-Mac. If he plays against Sydney, there is no point even turning up. 2) KK - An inquiry should be done into who decided to rush him in two weeks ago and that person should have to write 1000 times "I must apologise to Billy Stretch". KK is loping around the field like Jack Watts. He looks good except he rarely gets it and his decision not to take the game on in the second term made you wonder why he is even on our list. He started wing and when he finally got his first effective kick in the third term it was a ripper - he thumped it 60m across ground and you got a glimpse why he was highly rated at Gold Coast as a defender. So what do we do, we send him forward to be largely ineffective, although he did kick one long goal. But FFS, why was he rushed in. He's barely played for two seasons because of concussion issues and we throw him and the team in the deep end after just one VFL practice match. He still might be a player, but Goody please make him earn it via the VFL. He is the biggest selection rush since Petty v St Kilda last year. And we know what a mistake that was back then. And if and when he does regain his mojo in the VFL, let's see him play where he once made it with the Suns - in defence. 3) O-Mac - You can't have a defender who is the slowest in the league and also possibly the least intense being the cornerstone of your defence. He is an unbelievably accurate kick, but he lack's strength physically. He is Brent Grgic 2.0. He has played more than 60 games but will never make it to the top tier. He just doesn't have AFL level intensity and he's too slow to be part of our zone. It is now time to stop hoping his skill level will win through and just accepting you got it wrong - Neale Daniher did the same thing with Grgic. Try him as a forward Goody if you have a contract stipulation that you must play him for a certain number of games, but please, don't keep insulting us. 4) ANB - Yes we all love his workrate but he's just not linking up how we hoped when he was brought into the role by Goody three seasons ago. He needs to go back to the VFL for confidence and I'm sure he will play useful games for us down the track - just not at the moment. A run on the ball is not such a bad idea, but it needs to be after a few weeks of Lachie Neale type stats in the twos. Nibbler is such a hard worker that I give hime three games tops before he is banging the selection door down again. Other than those four, everyone else had their moments when they looked the part and moments when they looked like Old Melburnian Amos standard. Weid - Started the game dropping the simplest of marks on a lead from Salem. But he did take a couple of marks later in the game and even won some clearances in the ruck. His long goal from a tight angle in the third made him look like a superstar again. But that's the problem, he looks like a beauty but so far he's not even averaging a goal a game. Jonesy - Started like a million dollars finding the pill on his wing, creating and linking like Ablett in form. But after quarter time you had to check if he played and when thrown on to the ball in the third quarter, he lost a couple of clearances that made you wonder where to now. Goody won't drop him yet, but it's getting close. Olly - He looked a class above everyone else in the second term with his run and carry but then he went back to his poxy short handballs and quick kicks and if that's where he's at, our season is over. He will lift next week I'm sure but he just has to realise that he's a gun, he has to act and play like one. Parish outplayed him tonight - my god I can't believe I said that! Frosty - He had an incredibly good second term when he got on tops of their bigs and became a defensive wall but after that he's lucky that his cohort in defence Oscar made him look respectable. Must have given away three stupid frees at least. But until May returns, he must play, it's as simple as that. Trac - Had a chance to be a hero in the first term and couldn't hold the mark and later that term dropped a Jonesyesque sitter. But from then on he did actually contest and whilst there's no doubt he's down on confidence, it is hard to see how you could say he wasn't worthy of a spot based on that game. I won't keep going on, but I was rapt with Gawny's first half and Hibberd did return to his AA form in the second half after looking disinterested up to half time. Hunt applied pressure and was dangerous up forward but we lost his dash from defence and Lockhart has a go, although he may be too small to really make it as a player long term. Corey Wagner had a super first term and was a terrier until then as well but I think he got a bad corkie (injuries will confirm this). Angus and Salem both were among our best, yet neither was able to grab control of things and Harmesy could not contain Shiel but he did end up kicking a couple of late goals to also be one of our better players.
  3. Yes I liked McGuane's assessment and agree it was almost laughable the dominance in the third quarter followed by the ball going up the other end for a goal via a dubious Rohan free kick (dubious because the umps also missed the Hawkins shove in the back on May before he and Hunt collided high on Rohan. But here's my issue, our forward line is malfunctioning and yet we made just the one minor change to it for tonight (Sparrow out), so Goody and the selectors in part are hoping that playing a lesser opponent that is down on form and on our home ground will help solve the scoring problems of the first two rounds. He's also decided to stick fat with underperforming forwards - something that will be highly credible if they turn things around tonight, but seem ludicrous if they don't. Hopefully we will turn things around and win easily, but there's also a chance that we will again dominate the midfield and struggle to score, rendering the game a tight, tense low-scoring affair that will be won on the flip of a kick or the mouth-whistling ability of an umpire. Of course, Goody and the players may have already made adjustments, but given how reluctant we are to swing players around these days (and practice in their three set groups) I can't really see much of a change. That means the spotlight will once again be on our four down-on-form forwards. If they succeed tonight it is happy days for Sydney, if they don't, the same hard questions will arise. Petracca - why hasn't he been sent down to VFL to try and remedy some serious flaws in his game and at the same time dominate at the lower level to restore confidence. This has been a lament of mine for two years no with him. Among his flaws are his high ball drop which causes him to at times, when harassed, misqueue his kick. He also still fails to get back on his mark far enough when he gets a free or takes a mark and on occasions his opponent on the mark touches his low flat pass to a leading opponent. Obviously we'd all love him to find an extra yard of pace, but that may not be possible (genetically) and it's not a death sentence even if it is. Please note that ultimately, Trac is our best chance on our list of providing the Stringer/De Goey type forward and with both Hannan and Joel Smith out, there are precious few options. On paper at this stage, finding another player of this type (eg: Cats and Rohan last year), is now our No.1 recruiting need. Weideman - he spent all of last year learning the back-up ruckman craft but his form against Port in this area was abysmal and the Dons have added a third ruck (Zac Clarke) to their set-up for tonight. His manager pestering for a $700K contract would also be distracting, but more than anything he needs to get back to working again on his agility like he did pre-season last year and it is a surprise to me that Goody has persevered with him this week ahead of going with the Preuss option. Neal-Bullen - Almost everyone's most hated player but I have always loved his workrate and believe that you need at least one small forward playing this type of sacrificial role each week on your forward line. Obviously we'd all like it if his disposals were neater like Robbie Gray, but it ain't happening at the moment. He may need time in twos for a confidence boost, especially now that the 6-6-6 has stopped him getting involved by running off the back of the square. T-Mac - It's been clear that he's not quite as maniacally fit this year and a turf-toe relapse and shoulder ops obviously hasn't helped, plus he now cops the No.1 tall defender each week. To me, the solution is to give him a week down back and the obvious swap is with Oscar, who Goody seems to have forgotten was a forward for much of his time in the TAC and is a lovely kick and has high endurance running-ability, even if his speed off the mark is now being questioned. Playing Oscar forward for a bit would be an extra part in his evolution as a defender anyway, giving him a close up look at how opponents are blocking and positioning on him. Playing T-Mac down back is not a long-term solution (we all recall that he mixed moments of courage and class with a high clanger kicking rate), but it may get his marking confidence back and give him a refresher in the importance of pressure before he returns to the forward line. I haven't included Melky in this group, because I've been pretty impressed by how quickly he's come back from his pre-season setbacks and his body-positioning on opponents taller than him is superb. Based on the side chosen tonight, I imagine Lockhart and Corey Wagner will also play as small pressure forwards, although I wouldn't be surprised if Goody sends Hunt or Fritter forward at some point. But to me if our forwards malfunction again, it really is time for Goody to experiment again, just as he did at the start of last season. And by that I basically mean, removing Weid for a bit and playing Preuss - I don't expect this to be a fail-safe move as I am aware BP is slow, but he does bring a presence and fear factor that Weid can't provide and when on the ball he allows Gawn to spend time up front where he is also a fear-factor presence for opponents. With Joel Smith and Hannan out for a while yet, Goody has to decide if he can switch his best Petracca-replacement options from their current roles. By this I mean whether he is willing to rob Peter to pay Paul and send one our our quality midfield troika - Harmes, Oliver, Brayshaw - forward to play the third/fourth tall role that Trac has failed in. Such a move is not ideal, but in the short-term it may be necessary. But alas we should win tonight and the mild conditions will help our forwards, so such experimentation by Goody may not be required - at least for another week or two.
  4. So far he's kicked 17 goals in 21 games and his ruck work, as we saw last week, needs a lot of work. The Pies wouldn't offer more than 300K a season for him on those figures, but if they are really keen then I'd suggest we offer a direct swap for Mason Cox!
  5. The key factor missed here is that, as with the prelim final, it was mild night. Richmond's manic press works best under greasy conditions and both times against the Pies they copped perfect conditions for kicking and marking and both times they went small in the hope that the ball would be spilling onto the ground - which it wasn't.
  6. Happy with the side's balance and hopefully we have a bit of a bounce back from last week, although down there I can cope with a loss - I just want to see our key troika (Gawn, Oliver and Viney) being competitive again. Clearly we have deficiencies, but so long as we are winning the clearances, then our season is going to be fine, even at 0-2. But if we can't win the battle in the middle, what hope have we got as that's our strength. We don't have bookends like Rance/Riewoldt to save us. Nor do the Tigers now! We have options down back and if there's problems up front we can always put Hibberd on to Rohan and send O-Mac forward. Jetta on Ablett with Salem on Dahl are my two favourite matchups along with HarmesvSelwood 2.0. It's a night game and with weather turning, I suspect it will be intense with plenty of kicking errors from both sides. Lockhart is a very good ball user and may end up on Atkins (I think he matched up on him last season in VFL) but I just don't get why we don't start with our more senior players (eg: Stretch) and then go the kids and rookies. It must be so deflating for Billy right now. Could Jonesy be a surprise small forward for us - he reads the game well?
  7. Always tricky for coaches after round 1 to throw your best-laid plans out the door. So while I am pushing for four changes, it would not surprise me to see just two - May and KK in. We all know that Goody has preferred OMac's precision kicking over Frost's dash and dare, it took six goals from TomaHawk at the Cattery last year before he finally conceded Frosty was better one-on-one than OMac. Frosty's two big howlers on Saturday will cost him, so unfortunately we are stuck with the slow and steady OMac - 63 games now but has anyone ever really warmed to him for his workrate and intensity. He'll play on Esava and May will take Tom-a-Hawk. Clearly we were also smashed at the stoppages, but I expect a response from Gawn, Oliver and Viney. If they don't, we won't be playing finals, but they will fire up because they are all competitors. Our lack of outside run will require at least one change. KK is a cert and Billy must be pretty close to coming straight back in to provide more run. The tricky thing is to find room for them. Hore was badly beaten a couple of times against Port and I can't recall too many successful intercepts. The Cats new small forward set up won't really suit him match-up wise and Fritter can play his role anyway. That frees up one wing for KK. Spargo is yet to show the same crumbing and evasive ability in four games ( 3 pre-season) as last year, so it's time for him to go back and dominate in VFL for a few weeks. Sparrow was handy as the small forward and Wags junior worked his butt off even if he wasn't able to impact much. I'd play Wags Jr as a pressure small with ANB and free up the other wing/midfield rotation for Billy. The final change is whether we need a protector up forward as well as a better back-up tapman than Weid who conceded two goals through ineffectual work when rucking. Like others I don't quite see why we dropped the Gawn/Preuss experiment so quickly - it worked so well against the Pies. Sure Preuss is slow, but he's a scary body and down at the Cattery we need that. Being a night game, I'd have plans two sets of plans according to the weather. If it's still a mild night, then play the three bigs - Weid, T-Mac and Preuss - and leave out Christian Petracca - how many games is he going to get before he has to work on his weaknesses at VFL level. But if it's wet or greasy I'd leave out Weid because his ruck work is so poor that Esava will exploit him. In: May, KK, Stretch and Preuss Out: Frost, Hore, Spargo and Petracca (Weid if wet).
  8. I didn't hear Lyon, but if he rated Oliver the best he's seen at Deeland, then he's pretty much on the money in my opinion. Garry would never have seen Ronald Dale or Brian Dixon and I doubt he saw Stan Alves or Greg Wells in demon colours, so there's really only one player ahead of him and it's already been pointed out that 'Tulip' Robbie Flower was very much an outside mid. Gerard Healy's final year at our club in 1985 was Oliver-esque but much of his early years were spent as a forward, so i've left him out of my list below, but he's the only other player who can be mentioned in the same breath as these guys. Also left out on a positional basis were Adam Yze, Steven Febey (best work as half back), Brett Lovett (same) and Glenn Lovett (half forward). I also remember more of Willow as our gifted umpy-appealing forward, even though he was a pure mid for his Brownlow year with us and flipped spots a bit. My 10 best Dee mids I've seen (which dates back to 1971) are: 1) Robbie Flower - Kept our club alive with hope in the 70s and early 80s. Could do anything, just watch any state game highlights. 2) Clayton Oliver - only a small sample, but his past two years have been huge and he's getting more confident in taking the game on. 3) Todd Viney - a bit wonky with his kicking at times, but grunt work was exceptional. Made everyone walk taller when he played. 4) Greg Wells - an unbelievable mark for his size and he didn't even have a leap - just great at positioning his body. 5) Stan Alves - one of the first to realise the importance of fitness and out on his wing, he found space. 6) Jack Viney - if he can keep injury free then he'll climb up the order. He's our Joel Selwood. 7) Stephen Tingay - when he was hot during the early 90s, so were we. Had courage and a damaging kick on the run. 8) Nathan Jones - we all know he's a hard worker, but he's also very elusive for a bloke who's not exceptionally quick. 9) Shane Woewodin -OK, the haters are going to hate, but his 2000 year was inspiring and we did make the GF largely because of him. 10) Andrew Obst - a tremendous work ethic over a number of years and better in traffic than Sugar Healy IMO. Likely to be on this list in a couple more years: Gus and Harmes
  9. The content for the magazine (released on Saturday) had to be submitted by Feb 1 - hence why the Feb 12 interview with Simon Goodwin answered Robbo's question - Wonder how coach Simon Goodwin reviewed it — watched it with the players with the remote in his hand to highlight the jumpy moments?
  10. Zero chance of playing next week, although encouraging signs from both of them. Next week we will pick close to our best possible line-up because it's our last trial game and the fringe players will miss.
  11. Yes, Joel's been the standout performer in the sessions I've been to. The issue now is where he will play and today he played as a forward - albeit in a limited match simulation drill and with Melky, Trac, VDB and Brayshaw unavailable to take part today and play that role. And he nailed it in the short drill - only lasted about 15 minutes - mega quick leads, one lovely mark and turn and another hang time spoil of a tall defender about to mark - ball spilled to ANB who goaled. But he needs game time - he has barely played - not just with us but even before he came with his NBL aspirations. I had him slated to play a Rampe-type defensive role, but I reckon he will start the season as our third tall up forward behind Weid and T-Mac. I've altered my Rd 1 line-up - assumes everyone's available except Lever. B: Jetta May Hibberd HB: Fritsch O-Mac Salem C Jones Oliver Brayshaw HF: Melky Weid J.Smith F: ANB T.Mac Trac Ru: Gawn Harmes Viney Int: Frost (def), VDB (mid), KK (mid), Spargo (fwd)
  12. Can't make it on Friday so decided to have a last look before 2019. It was slightly windy, but the standard of kicking appears up a notch - it was only four years ago when the only blokes likely to hit another player lace up were Jonesy and Wattsy. Now almost everyone can nail a pass keeping it low. Everyone has their favourites, but my two standouts on the track were Joel Smith - he played as a forward in a short spell of close to genuine match practice - and Bayley Fritta - whose left foot passing from a very undermanned midfield was Salemesque. Most of our young heroic midfielders - Angus, Olly, Trac and Harmesy trained with the remedial group early along with hardworkers VDB and Stretch plus big O-Mac, Jayden, Jetta and Marty Hore. It was possibly our best ever rehab group and Marty looks class - a bit reminiscent of Warren Dean. he wil add to our left-foot clearance contingent. Pleasingly Jayden kept the ball low and hard all morning - maybe someone has been advising him. Olly and Baker primarily did laps. Lever and Jack Viney made very short appearances. Jake just did a few kicks and Jack did a few run throughs, although dad Todd lasted the whole session, catching up with Matt Jones at one stage. No sign of Jordy or Melky. It was hard not to notice how lively both Weid and Frosty were, Hibbo was also very impressive and while he may hunch over like an old man a lot, our new boy Steven May hit more targets than Michael Diamond. Two other things stood out to me. The sense of calm watching training that now exists because we now have a back-up ruckman. I am not sure Preussy's athleticism is going to let him play as a forward, but if Gawny does get injured at some stage next season, we now don't have to alter the game plan. And Casey midfielders are going to love him. The other thing was that T-Mac has taken his lack of fashion to a new level - he has added pink boots to his white sock repertoire. Not quite Warwick Capper, but a job in Richmond as a meter made awaits him when he retires.
  13. Ok, I couldn't find room for Preuss so title is somewhat misleading. And KK will be battling with Hunt and Joel Smith for that quicker defender type spot in defence and may be pushed on to the wing. Given the whisper is that we will play the Pies in Rd 1, we will almost certainly go quick. Hence no room for both Lewis and Jones - I chose Jonesy because of the plethora of lefties we have. I'm a big fan of Frosty and it's obvious that with May in, he will be squeezed out down back, so I think he'll have to do a fair bit of work as back-up ruck/forward in the off-season, just as he did under Roosy initially. Hopefully the coach also trials O.Mac in that role as well. And yes I cheated a bit by not naming Lever, whom I suspect will be touch and go to play by then. My team B: Jetta May Hibberd HB: Hunt O.Mac Salem Ce: Brayshaw Oliver KK HF: ANB Weid Petracca F: Melky T.Mac Hannan Ru: Gawn Harmes Viney Int: VDB (mid rot), J.Smith (def rot), Frost (fwd/ruc rot), Jones (mid rot). Emerg: Fritsch, Spargo, Stretch Depth: Lever (inj), Lewis, Preuss, Wagner, JKH, Maynard, Baker
  14. You have to factor in that Ross Lyon was on a hiding to nothing if he took another player with off-field issues and if it backfired as it did for him with Lovett, Sylvia and Bennell, it was bye-bye Ross. I was hoping that we would nail a deal for Andrew Brayshaw and pick 11 (onpassed for May) and have given them our future second rounder in return which I felt was pretty fair, but alas it ain't happening. The only good thing is that Jesse clearly knows (as Dusty found out a few years ago), that the interest in damaged off-field goods is not high. Maybe as Dusty did to devastating effect, he will knuckle down and try to show he really is deserving of another top-end contract with us. He has the talent. It's just the application. If he doesn't figure life out, then he might as well be Jack Potts next season, just waiting to be released for a second rounder at season's end. Hopefully though we can still do a second round deal with the Suns for KK as he was a ripper and it's worth a shot to see if we can right him and maybe if they decide they really don't care too much about May, they will accept our No.1 pick next season for him.
  15. Give Goody some credit please - he will know whether it's worthwhile taking Colyer or not and if he wants him so be it - he does have a couple of credits already in knowing which Bombers to take. In theory the switch for Tyson is a good one - I just hope we get a little more in return - ie: they don't have a third rounder so a switch of second round picks - we get 31 and they get 33 would seem pretty fair.
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