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Deespicable

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Everything posted by Deespicable

  1. Extraordinary call on ANB - his best game of season and as stated so well by Rusty Nails - coming off a game where his statistics make it all but impossible not to pick him! Clearly the skipper had to come back in and given his influence in his 3 games, I would have thought Preuss, if fit, had to play as well. When you are coming off a win, hard calls have to be made, but I just don't get the logic on this one. Viney's a midfielder and so it made sense to remove a midfielder for him and all bar one performed Ok or better on the weekend - Jones (what a great second half), Stretch (coming off his best game v Richmond) could not be left out. Fritta who started on wing and then played a fair bit up forward was the only one who under-performed. Fritta is a class act and had a huge pre-season but he has yet to have a breakout game this year. It's reached the stage this season where he needs to go back to the VFL and really dominant a game - most likely play in the middle so that he toughens up even more. He can pretty much play anywhere and do anything, hence there was also scope to retain him and send him to defence again and remove one of our defenders - at least three of whom had pretty ordinary games. But alas we pulled the pin on ANB. I'd love it if the selection committee had a compulsory explanation paragraph for each omission. ANB (out - did everything we asked of him, crumbed, tackled, kicked efficiently - normally his weakness - and ran his butt off as normal. He also plays in a different spot to our skipper, but hey we just don't like hyphens!)
  2. As to team for this week, if Preuss is fit, then he has to come in and if that's the case then one of Keilty or O-Mac should be left out. If Viney is fit, then it may be time to send Fritter back for a refresher in dominating a game at VFL level - he was so impressive pre-season, but sometimes you just need a reminder of why you want to play AFL.
  3. Nice to see a couple of fairly logical posts about O-Mac's good points for a change. I also share your view that his kicking skills are elite - they always have been. But I have real doubts about the physical side of his game - his intensity when he gets the ball in pressure situations is poor and he rarely shrugs a tackle or even baulks an opponent like his brother enjoys doing. His lack of strength means he has limited intimidation factor and he does not have the pace to keep up with an opponent on a lead or to make ground quickly enough for a key intercept. He has quite a good tank like his brother, but he lacks good leg speed. He is a nice safe kick (probably in our top five percent in this area) but he does not thump 65m low flat line-breaking kicks down the line that his predecessor Lynden Dunn did and certainly he does not have Dunny's booming deep voice that quickly won him plaudits as a leader at the Pies, even though our own coach didn't rate this when discarding him. I hope I am wrong and I hope Oscar is tried for a while as a forward before his contract next year runs out, but at this point in time, I feel he is as likely to make it as Jimmy Toumpas. Skills only get you so far. And my worry now is that his brother Tom, who is a harder-working McDonald clan version with incredible aerial judgment and endurance fitness, has lost the necessary speed to recapture his 2018 form. I am very happy to write Tom off for this season as well, but in his case, I suspect a really good new fitness advisor plus a turf-toe free pre-season will get him back up on his toes and running with enough alacrity to make an impact again.
  4. A bit surprised to see that O.Mac played as a defender in VFL, so have to assume that either Preuss (if fit) or Keilty will replace Weid. Sparrow will also come in, whether he replaces Viney or ANB (both injured) I am not sure. If both are available it's either Jeffy or Lockhart who both struggled after half time. I hope they give Hibberd another tagging role - this time on the Worpedo, but the key match-up will most likely be stopping the Hawks small forwards Breust, Wingard and PouPou on the break. I'd go Salem, Fritter and Jones respectively and I'd send Lewis forward to provide the smarts/leadership up there against his old side.
  5. The big difference now is that we do have a strong group of middle-aged leaders to replace Jonesy, unlike in Junior's day. To me, the key is whether Jonesy can show he needs to be kept on and by that it means becoming a best 22 player again. The wing is a graveyard for him because he likes a contest and is too slow to match up on the pacey types, but as we saw against Richmond, there's a spot down back now with Jetta out. I am not sure he did enough on Baker and Rioli to warrant major excitement but hopefully he gets a couple more weeks at it because he is a strong tackler and he can turn out of trouble.
  6. And which player that you know runs fast not in straight lines!
  7. Apart from Tim Smith, not one of our forwards - Weid, Jeffy, Trac, Lockhart, ANB and in the last term Fritter could get a sniff of the ball last night, although they were often cramped by the Tigers zone and there professional screening. But to me the big issue up there is that none - except Trac - plays with attitude and arrogance - and you need that when you are getting blocked out. So Goody has to go back to the drawing board again and figure out his forward line restructure. If Preuss is fit, he will play up there and you'd imagine if he isn't then Keilty will make his debut. I'd be happy for Jordy Lewis to be sent forward because whilst we know he is slow, he does have attitude and could direct things a little. It was nice to see Goody experimenting a bit against the Tigers and I think he'll need to do it again a bit which means Olly, Melky and Trac may have to rotate out of the goalsquare. I'd also play Oscar as a forward at VFL level this week - that's why he was recruited, although his lack of aggression will still be a worry.
  8. Agree with his comment from you Wiseblood. Given our draw we are staring down the barrel of being 2-10 at the bye and even with what I hope will be a late flurry, we seem to be heading for a 6-8 win season. Finishing bottom six will help our draw next season, but you can't just rest on that and take it for granted that we will bounce back. We have four huge areas to fix. 1) With Misson retiring and our second half failures this season, it's clear that the appointment of our new fitness guru is major. 2) Tubby may need terminating and definitely needs more help in recruiting. He will probably have up to 10 picks and only one of them (our top pick at 4-6) will be easy to decide in terms of placement overall. He needs to be across all the interstate leagues and our own NAB League. And he will need clear direction on where our list needs improving. 3) Goody's loyalty and game style. When a side fails dismally to reach expectation, the pressure mounts on the coach. I am sure Goody will respond by tweaking the game plan and toughening up his role players. He has already made a few hard calls on players whom he rated highly (O.Mac and Spargo) and sadly he will have to do the same at the end of the season with a couple of greats (Lewis and Jones) and several fringe players. You would not want to be out of contract at the Dees right now. If I was Weid's manager, I'd just ask for a one-year deal on a base wage! Our game style is not as out of whack as some think at the moment, our big issue is finding someone to lead into space and mark up forward and our two most likely medium-sized marking forwards (Hannan and Joel Smith) along with VDB's grunt have been majorly missed. 4) Weightroom guru. Watching Weid, Fritsch and O-Mac (previous weeks) being pushed aside so easily just makes you wonder why they haven't bulked up. It's not like it's their first season anymore. Are they skipping sessions? But I agree that provided we make good off-season plans, we should bounce back hard and unlike a few years ago, we now have genuine stars - Gawn, Olly (when not going backwards), Angus and Salem as a base along with the courage of Viney and Harmes to take us into the 20s. If that group is backed by a handful of exciting youngsters, then it will be happy Dees again.
  9. And perhaps the biggest one was the year before when Tubby Taylor was very proud of how we got Harrison Petty (No.37) as a steal, yet we all now know how much we need quick forwards like Jack Petruccelle (Pick 38), Gryan Meiers (57), not to mention James Worpel (45). The whole recruiting thing will now take on greater emphasis as it does when your side underperforms. Four years ago Tubby hit paydirt with Oliver ahead of Parish and rookies such as VDB and Harmes, although his credits have now dried up. We've done quite well with our VFL selections in the past three years - Hannan, Fritsch, Hore and our Casey loyalty to T.Smith, Keilty and Lockhart and C.Wagner is admirable but in recent times Tubby has shown no knowledge of what lower order longshots to take - Johnstone, Filipovic are examples but there's been no Tom Stewart among our Casey boys either.
  10. 6 Gawn - Lost his battle with Nank in the second term but came out after break and did his stuff - even clunked a few nice marks. 5 Hibberd - nice to see a bit of variety in the match-ups from Goody and he seemed to enjoy his battle with Dusty. Dusty not being in Tiger best five means move worked. 4 Stretch - I hope Goody pulled him aside and apologised to him for virtually not playing him for three years now. He works his butt off and his smart with his positioning and now has the strength to become a player in the Phillips/Lambert mould. 3 Hore - Tremendous first half as our intercepter but not as effectual when under siege after half time. 2 Melky - Found it hard to find a target up forward, but another who appreciated a slight change up in roles. 1 T.Mac - Beat Lynch for most of the night and needs a few games back there getting his confidence back until May returns. Perfect for Roughy this week and maybe Cameron the week after. But his mobility is still a worry. Note: I deliberately left out our 3 prime midfielders. Viney was brilliant in the first quarter but, even before he was hit, had dropped out of game a bit. Brayshaw was smart and methodical, but like Melksham failed to hit enough targets and Olly again looked the part at times but have a look at his decision to turn backward in the second quarter to a safe option when he had a chance to flow forward. That shows where his confidence is at.
  11. Just hoping Goody bites the bullet on a few non-performing players who were originally part of his best 22 thinking. And being a night game it will be greasy, so there's no need for the three bigs up front format and we also need to send Hunt back to defence to cover at least one of Richmond's pacey forwards - Rioli/Castagna or Butler if selected? I suspect they will bring back Oscar to play on Tom Lynch, but I'd prefer this doesn't happen given the pressure that will be applied at night. If T.Mac passed his mobility test then he could play back there but my suspicion is that T.Mac needs two weeks of serious agility training before playing again. That would leave Frost on Riewoldt and we could try Hibberd on Tom Lynch with a view to him providing run off him and Gawn/Preuss dropping back to support him in the down the line aerial battles. I reckon a tough decision has to be made on the Wagners. Corey works his butt off, but hasn't done quite enough, while Josh has been serviceable but with our plethora of left-footers down back we need a right-footer. Happy for him Josh to play as a defensive forward on Houli though if they decide ANB isn't right for that role. Harmes and Brayshaw can play back and the former is an obvious match up for Dusty when he rests there. Unless Lewis or Jones is sore from Saturday, then both should play with Lewis a good match up for Caddy or Baker and Jones suited to Ellis on a wing. Out: Jetta (inj) T.Mac (rested?), Weid, Spargo, C.Wagner, J.Wagner In: Stretch, Lockhart, Garlett, T.Smith/Keilty, ANB, Sparrow B: Hunt Hibberd Hore HB: Harmes Frost Salem C Jones Oliver Fritsch HF: Melksham T.Smith/Keilty ANB/J.Wagner F: Garlett Petracca Preuss Ru: Gawn Brayshaw Viney Int: Stretch (mid), Lockhart (forward/mid), Lewis (back), Sparrow (fwd/mid)
  12. Interesting comments by many on Goody and I'm sure he will now be rethinking his game philosophy as will Longmire, Brad Scott, Bevo and others. What few have made a point of is that so far this season we have had a predominantly warm and dry start to the season, so our emphasis on stoppage work has been less integral to the outcome of most games. What we have all seen is how our high press has been exposed on the counter and we haven't had enough pace to stop this flow on effect. This is not a new problem, go back to when we were 2-3 last year after our loss to the Tigers and you will find the comments about being exposed over the back the same. All sides now are getting better at playing soccer-style triangles in defence which means it's harder to get intercepts and you have to wonder if our press is working - maybe that's one of the big adjustments required, although wet weather and night games sees the ball spill and the high press become more beneficial. Certainly we are not getting any benefit out of superior forward entries - partly because of a lack of quality talls (Mac and Weids failure) and lack of quality smalls (Spargo and ANB and Sparrow before him), which forced Hunt to be sent into that role and will most likely mean Jeffy gets another shot at it on Wednesday. The other point I'd make is that we need more out of Oliver. He still wins clearances but he has to take the game on and risk getting caught. He is our most damaging mid and he's playing safe with dinky gives that help his stats but do nothing for the team. We need him to take ownership of going forward and it's not happening and my worry is that he won't have time to make the adjustment to his game for this season. But please, even if we fail again dismally throughout this season, don't call for Goody's exit. As with other coaches, he needs time to re-strategise and come up with a more long-lasting style, just as Hardwick did in 2017, Simmo and Bucks did in 2018 and Chris Scott, Hinkley and Richo have done this year.
  13. Obviously Goody has to restructure again and decide on whether he will stick loyal to a few players whom he had pencilled in as his best 22 at start of the year. He also has to make a few tweaks to his game plan, but that's difficult in four days. But I have four certain outs. T-Mac - I said three weeks ago he does not look fit and by that I mean speed and agile fit. He's had turf toe and whilst I suspect he can still run a very fast marathon, I can guarantee you he would not be able to pass any zig zag test with speed at the moment. He should not be allowed to play VFL or AFL for two weeks, he has to go back to getting his body right. He carried a huge weight for us last year but he's been carried for five weeks now and Goody has to say no more. Spargo - Another coach and fan favourite who has to get the chop. I love the way he goes about it, but he's just not able to break from tackles and he's not impacting on the scoreboard. His inboard kicking howler made the VFL non-negotiable. Weid - yep he looks like Tarzan but unfortunately he just can't get it and the dropped mark off the inspirational Petracca play made it clear he has to go back to the twos and get some confidence back. Five goals in five games is bad enough but one tackle and just 15 pressure points tells the other story. The other out for me is Corey Wagner and it's not that he doesn't have a strong work ethic, it's just that he just isn't providing the link up excellence that we need. I also suspect Nev will be out injured and to be honest we can't carry injuries at this time and especially given the short break will mean at least one player from either side will most likely get sore very early. The three certain ins are: Garlett - Spargo gets to the crumbs but hasn't got the pace or strength to break free. Jeffy isn't clean but invariably gets free and we need his pace up front and it will allow Hunt to go back and take one of their very quick forwards. Stretch - A straight swap for C.Wagner. Billy is cleaner with the ball and makes position well. Goody doesn't rate him, (we know that because he has been given so few chances in the past three years) but he deserves a decent shot at it. The Richmond game will probably get ugly but he's the only guy in the twos at the moment who can probably make a difference if he can step up a level. Lockhart - Over his injury and ready to again have a solid crack at it. The fourth in is between Keilty and Oscar. Oscar will probably get the nod because Goody has always rated him and will have to play on Tom Lynch because Riewoldt will be back. The good thing is that Lynch is still slow in movement from his knee, so that gives Oscar a chance of keeping up with him. Assuming Nev is also out, then the final spot comes down to either Sparrow or Keilty and conditions should determine that. Personally I'd still have ANB in because even if he butchers it a bit, he will cover 14-16km and the night conditions suit his style more.
  14. Put myself through the replay last night to check if my eyes weren't deceiving me and came up with following. 6 Salem - Our only defender who regularly laid a tackle. 5 Brayshaw - our only midfielder with the confidence to go forward - unlike Clayton who looks as if he is in fear of being tackled and flicks it off sideways/backwards nearly every time. 4 Frost - The critics won't like it but there were no major howlers and he worked really hard on Bruce (two marks). 3 Petracca - Yes he made mistakes, but he was our only lively forward all day and the only one who looked dangerous even if he ballsed it up on occasions. 2 Hore - Plenty of intercepts and in general safe with his kicking. 1 Viney - Huge first half trying to lift the guys. Preuss had some memorable moments early but faded again and big Max spanked Marshall, but the stat that worries me was just 11 pressure points.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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!
  19. 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.
  20. 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?
  21. 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).
  22. 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
  23. 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?
  24. 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.
  25. 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)
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