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Deespicable last won the day on March 18 2016

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  1. Ultimately there were seven key players who were missing from the side yesterday that, if fit, all need to come on when we play next. Vanders (grunt and midfield depth), Joel Smith (our third tall defender), Jones (experience and smarts up forward or across midfield), Jackson (pace and height up forward and a decent cutout for Gawny, albeit a green one), Salem (skill and precision from down back), Hannan (a genuine tall small forward who has pace and can mark and can kick long goals) and one of Petty or Weid (the missing third tall marking forward yesterday).
  2. Given my frustration at our decision to select four small forwards and exclude any decent back-up for Gawny, I was actually pleasantly surprised with some of the ball movement for much of the game. Lockhart's evasiveness and combativeness was excellent and he's a delightful kick on most occasions. Angus was moving beautifully again - his enforced extra running training because of his injury last month seemed to have helped him immeasurably. Trac was a real Dusty-type presence everytime he went for it and they spent most of the game trying to negate his influence. Langdon was everywhere, although his disposal let him down a bit as we expected from earlier showings. Tomlinson looks a real brute of a wingman and gives us a tall cutout down the line. Kozzie was a real livewire and may yet guarantee Tubby Taylor his job for next few years. Gawn got better as game went on and thought his last quarter was really good - imagine if he'd had support early. Viney was unbelievable. In everything and so assertive and so fit compared to recent years. Ollie was good but still wanted to play safe and turn sideways, even when options presented to go forward. At some point hopefully he will realise that he is one of the three quickest players at the club and with his height and strength, he can do exactly what Trac is now doing and take the game on. May and Lever looked superb in the air, while T.Mac and Brown kept presenting. But here's the rub. What kind of nickempoof (wrong spelling) would play four smalls up front against a defence that includes Gov and Barrass and Sheppard who pick off almost very kick down the line, not to mention the fact that our your ruckman was coming back from injury. I get it that our coaching staff felt that by providing defensive pace we could have forced errors, but can someone tell me who wins the pace race between Jackson and Spargo or Jackson and Bedford - a rhetorical question. Once we got behind early, West Coast was able to zone off and force us either to go sideways or take the long-kick down the line. And if you go down the line you need at least two talls up forward - not four small ones. I'm sure Goody wanted us to play on and take the game on but you still need tall players to present when the options dry up. Goody now has at least 10 weeks to think his gameplan over again. Yes he is running out of chances, but he is not a complete dill and I am sure he will have realised his selection gamble backfired and he needs to reassess his team balance.
  3. Ok, here's a COVID-19 thought for us all. Let's say the AFL eventually has to bow to govt/medico pressure and cancels the season after just one or two ghost rounds - fanciful I know, but some experts say the virus may impact for six months. What does that mean for us when it comes to the 2020 draft day in November. If there are no games (or just a couple), how do you determine draft order. Surely you have to revert back to the order from 2019 and that means we have picks 2 and 20 - but no we haven't, we traded them away to North and Fremantle on the assumption that we would rise back up the ladder. We do have Hawthorn's second rounder, but that based off last year's position is 28. So ultimately if there's no games, we will be done over more than many other teams. The only good thing is that if there's no AFL, there's also no great likelihood of junior footy being played, so just about every selection by clubs will be based on a kid's form in 2019. And we all know that around 16-18, a lot of kids do some major late developing (eg: Bont, Oliver), so the whole draft will be a much bigger lottery than previous years. Which leads us back to Doh!
  4. OK, I've assumed VDB and Salem don't come up. They definitely both would be picked if fit. I've also ruled out Petty, Joel Smith and Jimmy Hannan - all of whom would have been in the mix if fully fit - although Smith and Hannan are close to resuming anyway. I've also assumed Weid is fit to play, which leaves Brown and Spargo as emergencies. Spargo misses because we all want to see Kozzie play (coach included) and also because the size of the Eagles means we have to go big as well. But if they go small, then a decision will be required on which of Jackson and Weid misses. That leaves our Rd 1 side as: 7 def: RFs: Lever, Harmes, O.Mac, Jetta, Lockhart. LFs: Hibberd, May 8 mids: Gawn, Viney, Oliver, Trac, Brayshaw, Langdon, Tomlinson, Jones 7 fwds: Melksham, T.Mac, Fritsch, Jackson, Weid, ANB, Kozzie Emerg: Brown, Spargo, Hore
  5. Congratulations to Dr Gonzo for a supremely well argued summation of why it should happen, what it would achieve and why there should be no fear/paranoia about doing it. Sadly you have to put up with the meathead -"Clarko's just saying it because his team's no good" response, but your response should win a Demonland award - if such things existed. Well done, I'll keep an eye out for your learned comments in future. Removing players from the field is the only logical solution to congestion and should have happened 10-15 years ago AFL grounds remain the same size as 120 years ago yet players are exponentially fitter not to mention the constant rotations Removing players from the field will break up defensive zones because the area each defender will need to cover between opponents will be too large and so will force teams into man on man game plans There will always be "loose defenders" but removing players from the field will limit their impact as there will be greater space for players to move into which they will not be able to cover It will have a dramatic impact on the flow of the game without changing any fundamental rules relating to how the game is actually played. 16 a side is the minimum, I would consider taking it down to 15 or 14 or perhaps even further. I would still keep the wings but remove one midfielder, one forward and one defender to start with (5-5-5) fewer midfielders at centre bounces will make it easier to clear the ball Or we can refuse to change this, keep implementing rules that alter the fundamental nature of the game which have unintended consequences and don't address the issues they were brought in for and watch the game continue to devolve into an unentertaining rolling scrum of players with little room for individual brilliance and skill
  6. Enjoyed the session, but they started late - not sure why but suspect they did the Tan or some other drill as their warm-up was short before getting into a bit of kraft and then match sim. My BOG from the match sim was Jack Viney - in everything and was ultra impressive getting his hands free of two tacklers for the give to Fritter who nailed the goal. Not far behind was Steven May who took a couple of well-timed intercept pack marks. Based on what we saw, he will play this week down in Tassie. Gawn may play down in Tassie as well, although he isn't quite at full steam yet - sluggish off the mark in run throughs. But he still was fit enough to take Bradtke in match sim and he nailed a nice set shot from 50m and then followed up a bit later (not in match sim) by barrelling a torp from the centre square. By the way, Bradtke has really stepped up in the past few weeks. He's still got a long way to go, but there's finally some signs. Most of the session I spent idolising the exquisite skills of Harley, who was snagging everything in the rehab group. He's still months away from playing but previously he looked decades away. Also impressive in rehab was Jimmy Hannan who was nailing set shots from 60m out. He's champing at the bit to get back and must be super close to rejoining the main group along with Chandler. Petty was still being nursed along and sadly won't be playing anywhere round one. And given I had him as a Rd 1 cert, I'm afraid to say Joel Smith is also a week or two away from resuming. He's still kicking primarily with his left foot because of his right-foot cut and I wish someone had used this time on the side to show him how to ball-drop on the left-side. Back to match sim, Trac and Olly impressed as always and Lockhart looks the real deal back in defence now and Harmesy also is providing run from down back and set up a nice goal for his team because he kept moving. Jacko, Weid and Spargo were quiet, but Kossie did a couple of magical things laced with a couple of fumbles. Sauce got plenty of ball as did JJ, the latter of whom tried a 50m safe switch that only went 45m and was intercepted by Fritter. But Sauce, JJ, Dunkley (who was rehabbing) and maybe even Swallow are all looking way better than last year, the difference is that with so few injuries, they are going to have to be redhot in the magoos before they get a game. And of course with birthday boy Vanders back and Jones super keen to impress as a forward, there's just no room for development players at the moment. Hopefully someone else can report on Salem's whereabout - surely not watching a replay of Arsenal's FA Cup win!
  7. Plenty of logic behind the move. Harmes is a right-footer which is critical for the reverse switch when you already have Salem, Hibberd, May hugging the left-side along with Lewis (past 3 years) and our best back-up in Wags . We tried to redress the balance at times with Jones and even Stretch (late in season) but for a variety of reasons they never came off. With Lever out last year we were caught between quick, dangerous release from Frosty and the slow, percentage play form Oscar which was way too predictable. Nev, when fit, is also very precise but generally doesn't provide much drive - he's a super defender, not a risk-taker and he doesn't have a long kick anyway. Harmesy can be a thumping kick but he's also very disciplined and will love being challenged playing on some livewire half-forwards who think they are hot stuff - a couple of Tigers come to mind. He's quick enough to play on smalls and should be able to cover medium talls pretty well. And because he's such a long kick, he can switch with a bit more confidence and if teams sag off him he is not afraid to take the game on and head long to Pagan's over the back Paddock. Most of these decisions get made off-season - think Melky when he had seven horrendous weeks in 2017 down back before Goody realised he was way more suited up forward. The huge pre-season from Lockhart has actually made the switch less crucial because we now have an extra right-footer who can play that role, but at the same time Harmesy is a safe bet because he has such a strong physique and is good in the air. The extra height can help when you are caught in a mismatch with a big. By the way, my preferred back seven with one on bench (it hasn't been a back six for five years now) is: Jetta May Hibberd Harmes Lever Salem (Joel Smith). But with Joel certain to miss Round 1 and May also doubtful, both Oscar and Lockhart are likely to play Rd 1 and Wags is next cab off rank.
  8. It is one win from one match. Last week we fielded our seconds side against Essendon so it definitely doesn't count/ Then today we had, depending on who you rate, between 15-18 of our best 22 out and we played a North side that had about 8-10 players rested including their five best - Higgins, Ziebell, Cunnington, Goldy and Brown. It was however a good sign as it was a game that the Roos would have been expected to win and it was at their training ground - usually a big advantage.
  9. Depth ... what an insult. I have him in my top six most important players at our club because he brings a hard (almost nasty) edge to our midfield unit - go back and watch video of our Anzac Eve win against Richmond five years ago and you will see what i mean - the Tigers were jumping out of his way and we are talking the same ferocious team that won a flag two years later. Olly and Trac are both big units that hunt the ball, but they don't hurt guys - that's why VDB makes us an intimidating unit especially against sides like Geelong and Collingwood that like to bully us.
  10. Ok, so we are now less than two weeks away from our first pre-season match v Adelaide at Casey Fields on Sat Feb 22, even less time from Friday Feb 21 when our magoos play Essendon. So here's my first crack at our squad of 24 (I think we are allowed that many) for that game. The following have been left out (injured) - Gawn, Brayshaw, Petty, May, Melky, Hannan and Bennell. Chandler, KK and Spargo are also out, but they would have been VFL anyway. I think Joel Smith will be ready, but he may also be ruled out on a no-risk basis. The absence of May and Joel, means Oscar will play. I have assumed Preuss and Vanders are OK from today's training and selected them. The selectors might decide just to rush in Kossy, but I suspect they will want him to play pretty much a full game in twos to get his match fitness and confidence up. B: Jetta O.Mac Hibberd HB: Harmes Lever Salem C Langdon Oliver Tomlinson HF: Hunt T.Mac Jones F ANB Fritsch Jackson Foll Preuss Trac Viney Int (6): Lockhart, Hore, Vandenberg, Sparrow, Bedford, Weideman Playing v Essendon: Pickett, Dunkley, Jordan, Rivers, C.Wagner, J.Wagner, Brown, Baker, Bradtke
  11. OK, Baghdad Bob has most things covered but from what I saw: Vanders - had looked in great nick until he stretched for an errant Kossie handball. It looked to me like he stubbed his toe chasing the handball down, but he was clearly a bit sore, and laughed off the first trainer before finishing early. It could be as simple as a blister, but anything to do with the feet for him worries all of us. Hibberd - backed into a pack and flying Fritter caught him around the hip region - as mentioned on website a corky is likely. Did resume some training before heading off early. Nice to see Tomlinson and Baker do full sessions and Hannan did more running and kicking than I've seen for quite a while - looks close to resuming. Melky did a lot of rehab with him - nor sure why, probably still sore from his wedding night. Smith and Brayshaw did 15 sets of 100,80,60m and I reckon Angus will be having an afternoon nap now. But I reckon his effort to stick with our No.1 athlete for almost every sprint was the best performance of the day. If Gussie keeps this up, he'll be an absolute livewire this season. As for Smithy, he looks in super shape for his matchup with Jack Darling in Rd 1. As to his left-foot kicking, he reckons he was just giving his right-foot a rest and judging by his balldrop, he does need to keep practising his lefties. Others to catch my eye: ANB: I keep going on about him, but today he even nailed a set shot in front of the group from 45-50m out. He is constantly intercepting and tackling. Yep he has to do it in a game, but his pre-season work has been unbelievable. Trac: The club reckons he'll play forward and mid and I'm sure he will, but he is everywhere at the moment. His effort dispatching three opponents in a tackling drill was the stuff of Rene Kink. The club has to figure out whether they can afford to have two pods chasing the tap in the middle at the one time or whether Olly and him just keep rotating through there. T.Mac - Yes I know he's not fashionable either, but his hands are vice like and he looks a tad quicker when presenting. Obviously the real test will come when opponents get serious, but he now looks like an arrogant key forward, which is what we want him to be. Jay Lockhart - Really love what he's done pre-season. He's just so nimble and evasive and his kicking is really sound. Whether he gets a game will depend on injury, but he's a very classy defender and my smoky for the Liston Trophy. Main worry: No May again and no Petty.
  12. Had a couple of shopping errands on way home, but saw most of session. Will try and not repeat what has been covered. Highlight: Trac. Drifted forward during match sim. Lever fell and he was forced into a Tim Watson style jump over the top of him and then turned and snagged one truly. He also had a dust-up with Action Jackson. Jacko snared him in a nice tackle and Trac gave him a bit of razz back and Trac was constantly cheeky with jibes throughout most drills. he's ready to play midfield, hence why Harmes is training off half-back and looking exceptionally good in the role of a right-side clearer. For the fans: Satay reckons he'll play all year in the VFL and if it came to touches at training then the stats men would say no way to Kozzie. But watch him closely. He's electric. He's the same mould as Cyril, built strongly through the hips and as a result, even though he's tiny height wise, he can hold his own. He'll play at some stage - maybe even Rd 1 if he does well in our two praccy games. And by well, that means five touches! He ain't an accumulator, he's a matchwinner! For the haters: I've said previously that ANB has been in our top two trainers previously and is a monte to play Rd 1, but (queue disbelievers and nasty trolls), Oscar may be playing himself into a spot in Rd 1. With Smith and May not there again, Oscar has had to step up and he's done a couple of things that I doubted he could rin the past two sessions - spoilt cleanly and outmuscled his opponent and I'm told he was pretty handy in the time trials as well - although 3km is way different running to the legspeed that he lacks. The only player who clearly had the wood over him at training today was his big brother Tom who tossed him aside like a ragdoll a couple of times. It's for that reason that I am still very wary to say that Oscar can hold his own on bigs and I'd be having Petty train with the backs every now and then just for security. But Oscar's disposal skills means when there's system down back, he is an asset. Lowlight: Obviously May hurt himself on Friday in the time trial, but Joel Smith's absence again is more of a worry. Praying he is just flu stricken and not more OP. VDB was missing today (one session doesn't make a summer) while Hannan continues to be an absentee. I did see him rehab train late December, but he never looked comfortable - knee issues are plaguing him. Rehab club: I reckon you'll find Jones (hammy), Tomlinson (calf) and Spargo (foot) back in the main gp in the next week. Baker is still a couple of weeks away at least, while Harley got a huge cheer from a few of the guys for just doing a few run-throughs. I reckon he did about 20 of them and had no obvious discomfort so maybe, just maybe. Five debutants this season (and in debut Rd order): Pickett Rd 1: as stated above, I'm in the lovers club already. He may only get five touches in Perth, but at least three will create goals. He'll be in and out all season as he learns to cope with AFL intensity. Jackson Rd 2: I reckon they'll take him as emergency to Perth and then play him the next week at our first home game of season v GWS. He's more mobile than Weed, Tomlinson (based on last year) and even Petty. Whacko Jacko looked great as a forward today and brought down Trac with his second effort. Trac took his headband off him in return and it did seem most of the boys liked getting into him, but he has that Jesse type arrogance about him (must be a Perth thing). Once in, may play whole season if he remains uninjured. Toby Bedford Rd 4: He hurt his ankle today, but he's been lively all pre-season. He's not as explosive as Kossy but he now gets his role. When he was playing match sim today, it was a bold new order with Kossy, Bradtke and Bedford making Jetta and Wags work overtime. I reckon he'll be switched in and out of the side with Pickett much of the year. JJ Rd 6or7: I suspect the week after we play Richmond there'll be a push to bring this guy in to our midfield and based on today, he'll play before Sparrow gets a game this year. During match sim drill it was evident just how quick Jimmy's hands are and how accurate. One came just after Sparrow had butchered a release handball and as a result the comparison was stark. Yes JJ needs to keep working on his speed, but he'll be the prime mover in the VFL this year and at some stage will get the call-up. Trent Rivers Rd 6 or 7: This guy may surprise everyone and be our best pick of this year's draft. He's quick, can leap and is a nice kick. He was mega impressive in the tackling drill today - kept breaking free. My only worry is that he still looks like a little kid and I hope they don't rush him in too early. But having said that, if Joel Smith is out for long, then Rivers and his pace may be summoned earlier than even I think. Obviously Langdon will be playing Rd 1 - he has just fitted in seamlessly (an everyready engine). Tomlinson may be playing Rd 1 as well, but too early to make a call on that. Brown is a chance as well as he keeps presenting, but he has stamina, not speed like Whacko. Finally, there's lot of players whom I generally don't mention because we all know they are quality but you couldn't help but notice the work of Gawny today. The big fella made the midfield/ruck drills an issue because he was just so good at tapping to his teammate that it rendered the contest ineffective because there was no way anyone could stop his team.
  13. Yes he was. He mixed playing up forward with occasional spells in ruck against Gawn, switching with Jackson. He got involved a bit, but T.Mac and Petty were the two pins that presented and marked everything.
  14. Based on what we are seeing from training at moment in simulated match practice, here's my take on Best 22 at moment. Defenders (7 - one on bench): May, Lever, Smith, Jetta, Harmes, Salem, Hibberd - Emerg: Lockhart Mids (8 - two on bench): Gawn, Olly, Viney, Langdon, Trac, Brayshaw, Vanders, plus one more from Jones/JJ/Dunkley/Sparrow Forwards (7 - one on bench): Fritter, Melky, T.Mac, Petty, ANB, Hunt plus a decision on whether to have the extra big (Tomlinson, Weid or Jackson) or the extra small (Kossie or Bedford) Injuries to Jones and Tomlinson mean they will have to show quite a bit early next year when they get back in with the main group.
  15. Saw most of the session, but best part was the match simulation. VDB played on a wing, mainly against Sparrow, and was BOG by some way in the first game and pretty handy in the next. If his feet hold up he is in. A couple of Dusty don't argue were highlights. He was around the play when Mitch Brown copped a knock to the head and went off, but I cannot say it was anything to do with Vanders. The other player on fire today who has spent most of pre-season with rehab group was 'Tom" Petty. He played as a mobile forward and his marking was impressive and with T-Mac in form as well, it's an impressive looking forward line on paper with versatility that Fritter and Melky and ANB bring. Petty only did half the match sim because they are being careful with him, but like Vanders, he's pretty much in if he's fit. I said last week that the 3, 2, 1 of pre-season work was Fritter, ANB and Lockhart, but the other nice thing happening at the moment is that Trac is in everything playing as a loose midfielder. Tried to take on May though and got sat on his backside, but kept going and made a few nice tackles himself. Jackson played the entire scratch match and with Preuss not there today, he spent plenty of time tracking big Maxy. Jacko is an amazing athlete but he will take time, but I wouldn't rule him out of Rd 1 just yet. He just adds such variety and pace, that they may want to play him early. Kossie played in the first scratch game and he did a couple of things that were very much like Aaron Davey. He doesn't get it much, but neither did Cyril so let's wait and see. I did like seeing Harmes down back - he is such a great professional and combined with Lever and May, we have a talking backline that is taller and quicker than last year. Smith is the third tall back there and Hibbo and Jetta the lockdowns and Salem the smarts. Langdon on a wing is a goer, an ever-ready battery, although his disposal will be crucial. Of the back-ups, Bedford is starting to show signs with his speed and evasiveness, but his disposal needs working on. JJ is a very handy accumulator and will make his debut at some stage this year. Jonesy, Tomlinson, Baker and Hannan were in rehab and I think Bennell made an appearance later in day.
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