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Deespicable

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Everything posted by Deespicable

  1. 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?
  2. 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).
  3. 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
  4. 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?
  5. 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.
  6. 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)
  7. 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.
  8. 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
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Go back and have a look at Geelong EF game and you might work it out. Or if you are going to take that sort of attitude, have a look at the GC v Melbourne game this year - at what point as Jesse and Tom Mac shared eight goals between them, did you think, gee, Steven May is a must have that we will give up heaps for. That's not to say that Steven May isn't any good, all I'm saying is that if you are going to treat footballers like a meat market (as clubs and fans are forced to do each October) then you have to decide what is the valuable commodity that we need. I would have thought a qualify mid (outside/inside) or a quality running forward/defender was our main priority at the moment. Effectively in taking May we are saying that with Lever and May in the key defensive spots, let's use up $1.6million plus of our salary cap each year and send O-Mac and Frost to the magoos.
  12. Way more excited about us getting KK than May. I can actually see KK fitting into our side without impacting on key players and he provides pace that we need. May is also quick for a big bloke, but I don't quite get why we need him - we have Frost, O.Mac, Lever when he returns and Joel Smith and we also have two VFL standard back-ups already - Petty and Kielty. Is May going to play CHF and be part of the T-Mac, Weid mix? Is O-Mac going to finally to be tried in that role. Either way I don't get why you'd give a up a first rounder and $800K for May when we are already over-catered for in that area. But I do get why we would give KK another chance at reigniting a career for $300K and a second or third round pick.
  13. So assuming he tells us he needs to move for family/business reasons, which player is worth more Zak Jones or Vanders. If it was last season, Jones wins hands down, but he lost form this year and his crude tactics have lost him points. My view is that Zak (a former No.15 pick) would now be worth about the figure you have suggested for Vanders. Zak will be 24 in Rd 1, Vanders 27. Straight trade? Or do we have to sweeten deal with a swap of our third round (50) for their fourth round (67)?
  14. Wrote this a few weeks ago and bit worried now that we are really back in 1987. Thankfully this time we don't have a loveable mad Irishman to spoil things, although I suspect the umps will have a big bearing on the result.
  15. Ad DeanOx says, Hannan and Fritsch are the same sort of player, but Mitch is quicker, Bayley a better mark and more relaxed and developing into a mid - albeit one that has been sent to defence. I haven't included Mitch in my questions for a reason - it won't happen. The other three may and the fourth option is not even picking Joel. That is why it is such a good debate and I'm sure the selectors get it.
  16. Thanks DeanOx, To me this is the only issue of the week and well worthy of its own topic but the moderators have decided my comments need to be buried amid page 8 of our usual diatribe.
  17. "We didn't see that coming." It was the most memorable line of Mark Neeld's tenure and funniest depending on how you do your humour. It came after a 79-point Rd 1 smashing at the MCG to Port Adelaide in 2013 and followed a dismal pre-season where similar beltings had ensued. Blind Freddie could have seen it coming, but not Mr Neeld. Simon Goodwin faces a similar moment in the next two games - assuming we survive the first one, which I think we will. The bandwagon is rolling and the wave of euphoria is hitting everyone - even our coach. It was the same in 1987 and it was similar for the Dogs in 2016 and Tigers of 2017. One of the hardest things for any coach is to make changes in September unless they are forced on them. The side's momentum is growing, everyone is putting in and it's blood hard to make a tough call on a player for team balance. You got a glimpse of how hard it was when JKH was left out for the skipper and Goody's presser became a virtual JKH eulogy. Last week he must have been secretly hoping Dom Tyson hand wouldn't have come up, just so that he could make the call that he wanted to do - the Joel Smith call. But then the Cats realised that Esava wasn't ready and pulled the pin on a third tall forward and the Joel Smith call wasn't needed. The next two week's Goody has no such luxury. He can stick with the status quo and if he loses a big forward or defender (injuries do happen, just ask Brad Sheppard or Ben Stratton), he then has to put up with a wave of criticism about why he didn't have a back-up plan. Of course if we win, all is forgiven. But if we lose, we all jump up and down like armchair experts do in between stubbies and say: "You'd think he would have organised that better." Making the situation worse is that Hawthorn and West Coast have adopted big sides - we aren't playing a bunch of pesky little midgets like the Tigers. The Hawks will have Roughead, Gunston and most likely Schoenmakers (Ceglar will be chopped) for us to combat. The Eagles go even bigger - Kennedy, Vardy and Darling. Now I know we all love Jetta and Hibberd, but seriously they cannot be expected to outmark giants and in Jetta's case he has already got key match-ups awaiting him - Breust and Rioli. So with Frosty (Gunston and Kennedy) and O-Mac (Roughy and Darling) already occupied, Goody is wanting to take out insurance more than the Indian call centre operator that rings me almost every week. Joel Smith is his man and for those of you who have forgotten what he was doing just five weeks ago before his injury, he not only solves the height problem, he also is quick and loves to tackle, something which is critical at this time of year and throwing forward to a potential Tiges game, imperative. Sure he is inexperienced, sure he is not as precise as Jordy or Christian with his kicking, but he is needed. He brings enough to the table that makes him a MUST in. But we are talking finals now. With no injuries, how do you make room for him? That's what the coach is there for with their selection panel to help advise. And it won't be easy, just as it wasn't pulling the pin on our underacheiving golden boy Jack Watts at the end of last season, although I suspect Goody will now say that was way easier for him. To me there are three options, but some of you have more. It should be noted that none of the following players deserve to be omitted in normal circumstances and in the event of injury, they may yet get another crack this year. In the meantime one of them will have to console themselves with a leading role in claiming Casey's first premiership. It is a tough call. 1) Bayley Fristch - No I hear some of you say. Clearly Smith will slot into our back seven and there's only one player currently back there that can make room - Fritta. I watched him train last week and he was going head-t-head with Jack Viney for much of it and I was so impressed with how his game had developed physically this season. But he is not quite tall enough for the role that we need down back so he has to either be omitted or returned to the wing spot where he performed so admirably mid-season. He's also a first-year player which means it's easier to tell him he's out and explain it. But when you weigh it up, it would be a massive call to omit him. 2) Charlie Spargo - No I hear some of you say. Our little dynamo teenager has a cult following like Ricky Jackson did in 1987. He's not as quick as Ricky but he's highly-skilled and he's already shown he can read a crumb coming his way better than my dog. Sure his lack of size presents some obstacles, but he's a goer. And taking him out of that role for a defender means we have to send a midfielder forward and which one - Jones (he's too slow, you say), Oliver (why waste your best mid you say). The balance is right with him in the side. Some will argue that he's a kid and will understand his omission better and get over it. But when you weigh it up, it would be a massive call to omit him. 3) Dom Tyson - No I hear some of you say. Dom has had to adjust to a new role as an outside mid this season and was a big factor in wins against WC and GWS (until Gawny kicked him). Goody decided that against the Cats he would wear an extra mid to give him options against their strength (mids) and he showed amazing courage to get back and play. Had he kicked a couple of his his shots on the run he would have been in our best. His long-kicking can be a huge bonus to our side on the break, but with Viney back, Jonesy now spends more time on the wing and you have to wonder if we can afford that. And Dom has never really shown he can play anywhere else except as a mid, which is why Fritta rotating from wing to high half-forward is appealing. Already Trac has been returned to more a permanent forward role because Viney, Harmes, Angus and Olly are first choice centre square options. Can we afford to play an extra mid and forsake either Smith or Spargo or Fritta? Can we afford to not have him linking up so well with deft handballs. Unlike Spargo and Bayley, he's not a first-year player, so it would not be easy for Goody to justify his omission. But when you weigh it up, it would be a massive call to omit him. But one trigger has to be pulled ... anyone think Goody has an easy job?
  18. Robbie had a blinder that day against North and it took a Gary Ayres crunch to unhinge him in prelim final of 1987. Don't get too worried about the Cray boys tactics, they have mellowed a bit and like to think of themselves as strategists now, rather than thugs. They also know the cameras pick up any malicious acts and subsequent media scrutiny is not worth the hassle. But I do sense that Chris Scott is getting edgy about his plan to send a third-gamer to Max Gawn and he may decide to switch things a bit. I think he was hoping that big Sav would have given him a cut out, but that fell through when he barely touched it at Casey. Now he has to decide whether to send Blicavs into battle to negate Gawn's influence around ground or give Stanley injections into hsi achilles that will probably end his final series if they won. If he does go with Blicavs into the ruck, it could muck up things in much the same way that Northey let the GF88 battle get to him and chose to muck up our line up by sending Danny Hughes into the ruck and Stretch onto Dunstall. That killed us off before the bounce. Anyway I did get to training and saw three things: 1) VDB accidentally hammered Dom in a tackle at one stage and was quite apologetic. Dom courageously played on, so in a sense he's already had a fitness test because a VDB hit is as hard as they come. he will be available, although they may have already got some other plans for this game. 2) JKH is absolutely flying. He is so up at moment and his work is way better than I've ever seen. It will be a big call to drop him. 3) I watched Bayley play the simulation drill on Jack Viney and was impressed with the Fritta - he's come a long way since his debut, looks stronger and sharper. He will be fine in the finals. As to my original assertion on changes thread a week ago that there will be three changes - the same as ones Ben Guthrie has listed - I am starting to doubt it. Obviously Viney and Hannan will come in, but maybe the need for Joel Smith's flexibility and security as the third tall will be overridden by the Cats going smaller and the difficulty in telling either Dom or JKH they are out. Finals is an emotional time. But having said that, I'd still do it and the reason is because both Hannan and Smith are critical to us being able to play a man-on-man game which we slipped into two weeks ago - whoops I shouldn't have told you that!
  19. Am I missing something here? Nobody has mentioned the non-selection of JKH, who based on just about everybody's AFL selection comments including my own, is first in line to be omitted should we regain Viney, Hannan and Joel Smith. Yes I know he played well last week v GWS, but to suggest he is a likely first 22 next week is baffling? To keep him back as a hold over player is not a bad idea, but Hannan hardly needs a hitout either I would have thought. In JKH's case, he has had a couple of breaks already this season as 23rd player, so there is absolutely no need to rest him - unless you are one of the few that think he is a gimme next week - Goody may well be one of the few, but i doubt it. And what's worse, he is exactly the type of player the VFL side needs this week with a few of our fringe mids already out - Stretch, Baker and Kent etc. Has JKH got an injury? Did the club ask him to take it easy because he may play? Is he so big-headed that he knocked back a chance to play because he feels he's a gimme next week? I doubt the latter. Anyone got some inside info on why he is not playing?
  20. I think he was shattered at first when he got wind of the deal to offload him by the Crows five seasons ago, but he quickly got over his disappointment at moving states (hanging out with a social livewire in Wattsy helped) and turned the move into a positive that has extended to his new real estate career. He also has been humble enough to still cop demotion to the backline and then demotion from the team and kept smiling through it all. Rapt that he got to play 100 games for us and also won a best-and-fairest. Let's hope we make it to the prelim so that he can go out with a flag for Casey. Good with media, good with fans and a good bloke.
  21. Assuming they pass fitness tests, there are three key ins for the Cats clash. 1) Viney - the skipper has been preparing for his date with Joel Selwood for over a month now and barring a hiccup it will happen. 2) Hannan - we all saw what he brings against the Eagles. Could he be Mr September, rather than Trac. Sounds like he will have to be nursed all the way through though. 3) Joel Smith - provides pace down back and gives us the flexibility of having a third tall option. Geelong is a tall side and Stanley and Sav, along with Taylor may all play, although I suspect Taylor will play on Weid. Frosty get TomaHawk, OMac gets Sav or Taylor and Joel Smith ensures we are not caught short via rotations down back and can pick up Danger when he rests up forward, assuming Jetta goes to Menzel. If they send Henry forward, he's the perfect match-up for him as well. We also need Smith in because he gives us options if things go wrong or we have injuries. He also is a right-footer and in a side that already has three down back, he's a better fit than a fourth leftie in Bayley. Two of three outs have already been decided - Kent and Tyson. The third is between three players and all are hard calls but one will have to be made. JKH - The most likely switch, but he was very impressive against GWS and will stay in if one of our three back from injury doesn't come up in time. Charlie Spargo - Our little Ricky Jackson dynamo was at his creative best against GWS and would be very stiff to miss and given he's our best forward crumber, I'd be surprised if he cops the bullet. Bayley Fritsch - In terms of structure, Smith gives us a genuine third tall defender and that means Bayley goes back to wing/forward. Then it's a battle with JKH to decide who gets Dom's spot on the wing. It's a lineball, but having a right/left combo with Vanders is probably the key to him winning out over JKH. B: Jetta (Menz) Frost (Hawkins) Hibberd (Henry/Taylor) HB: Salem (Narkle/Jones) OMac (Esava) Lewis (Duncan) Centre: Vanders (Kelly) Harmes (Danger) Fritsch (Menegola) HF: Petracca (Koladazwhatever) Weid (Taylor) ANB (Tuohy) F: Melksham (Stewart) T.Mac (Henderson) Jones (Bews) Ru: Gawn (Stanley) Brayshaw (Ablett) Viney (J.Selwood) Int: Oliver (start off to bugger up Scott Selwood tag and fire him up) Spargo J.Smith Hannan
  22. 6 Harmes - His past six weeks have been amazing but that was Barassi-esque. Poor Kelly ... and Melksham, Danger next. 5 Gawn - Stepped up midway through first term when his opponent Lobb got an easy one and worked butt off to get us back in front. Lost Brownlow votes for kicking his own man I suspect. 4 Frost - Played last line of defence most of game (Oscar played CHB) and we got to see Sean Wight reincarnated. 3 Vandenberg - If anyone has him in changes for the final, then we know they are a twit like Chris from Camberwell. How brutal was he! 2 ANB - Two goals, two assists but most importantly often stopped the form player of the comp - Lachie Whitfield - from setting them up. 1 Petracca - Plenty of options for this vote with Angus, Olly, Jordy and Jonesy handy as well, but just thought his arrogant presence was huge all game. Brian Wilson reincarnated.
  23. I've said elsewhere that both Mitch King and Lachie Filipovic have not done enough and in one sense the club has already moved on by making Austin Bradtke a category B rookie. But he is a development ruckman and the issue for footy list manager is to decide whether he needs a ready-made short-term back-up just in case Gawny gets injured. But let's face it, no-one is going to replace Maxy. But if we decide to go down the back-up path then: Our boys were spanked in the ruck by 210cm Northern Blues tapman Angus Milham, who has just turned 24. I'm sure there are plenty of others in SANFL and WAFL that I am not across that would be cheap pick ups that can win tap outs. And obviously if we were to trade Jesse then with pick 6 or 7 we would be able to snare another King - Max or Ben are 201cm and third time lucky we would have to get the right royal. And if we didn't trade Jesse, there is also the option of getting a tall forward/ruck back-up - ie: Matt Taberner or Levi Casboult - as a short-term cover for that unlucky day that we pray doesn't happen.
  24. I suspect I'm not alone in thinking this year has the same feel about it as our 1987 experience. Back then we were desperately trying to break our finals drought for Robbie Flower. We had recruited well with three young guns in Todd Viney, Earl Spalding and Warren Dean giving us better depth than previous years. But we lost Chris Connolly to a knee injury early (shades of Lever), then lost the dash of star wingman Alan Johnson (up stepped Graeme Yeats to fill that void a bit) and then on that fateful day at Whitten Oval in Rd 22, saw our star youngster Garry Lyon break his leg. But we managed to win that day. A ball heading for the boundary in the third term bounced at right angles and Robbie pounced to provide a bit of magic and turn the tide our way. Jason Dunstall helped us a bit down at Kardinia Park as well and hey presto we were in the finals again. Those who were around then will recall how our side suddenly developed faith and confidence and we played like champions in the finals against North and Tommy Hafey's Sydney the following week. It's fair to say that if our game goes up a notch on reaching the finals this year, then book your ticket now for the trip west to play West Coast in the prelim, because it will happen. Then all we have to do is hope that the same ill-luck doesn't befall us as it did that day out at Waverley against the Hawks in 1987. Whilst our 1987 side had some absolute greats (Flower, Todd Viney and a couple of Brownlow medallists in Jimmy and Willo) and an outstanding back six, I reckon our current side is a tad better, although you'd hope so given the amount of time they work on their skills. Imagine if DL was around back then, it would have gone into overdrive with all the kicking errors! For those of you of my vintage, let us know if my comparison stacks up. 1987 PF team B: B.Lovett Hughes Wight HB: Stretch Spalding Grinter 😄 Yeats Chiron Newport HF: Flower Dean Bailey F: Jackson Wilson Stynes Ru: O’Dwyer T.Viney Greg Healy Res: Eishold, Campbell Back-ups: David Williams, Doug Koop Injured: Lyon, Johnson, Connolly, Moore Brett Lovett/Nev Jetta Have a look at a video of the Rd 22 Footscray game and you’d realise how good Brett Lovett was. So disciplined, so clever. Nev has similar niftiness, but doesn’t get quite as involved in offence. Danny Hughes/O.Mac Our nominated full-backs. Hughes in 1987 was up their with the best in the business back then. Both a tad slow, both thumping kicks capable of clearing the defensive 50. Hopefully Oscar’s confidence can continue to grow in the finals. Sean Wight/Sam Frost Hard not see the Wight resemblance in the way Frosty plays. Both gung-ho risk takers and excitement machines. Both capable of stunning turnovers as well, but even in today’s precise game, you sometimes have to take the good with the bad. Stephen Stretch/Christian Salem Salem has been our best defender this year. Stretch was our club champion in 1987. Stretch gave our defence amazing run launching us forward with his long- kicking, Salem is not as quick, but his footskills are cleaner and he hits harder. Rod Grinter/Michael Hibberd Rodney provided the fear that all defences needed and evened up the score a little against the Hawks in the PF, sending Chris Mew to LaLa land. He also had a good leap and thumping kick. Hibberd has provided a great mix of aggression and run to our current side. Both would be among first picked each week by coach. Dean Chiron/Jordy Lewis Both came to us from other clubs and both played their role with distinction. Jordy has given us elite distribution skills, Chiron (highly unskilled by comparison to Jordy) was the fearless tagger in the days when clubs needed at least two or three nullifiers, bordering on dirty. Earl Spalding/Tom Mc One of three gun recruits that came to us that year. The WA started out as a CHB that year and was moved to CHF in 1988 because he was an amazing mark – possibly the best we’ve had. He wasn’t always so reliable with his kicking and Northey got jack of him in the early 90s. Carlton realised his worth and he was a key part of their ’95 flag. T-Mac has already transformed into a gun forward and he is also a strong mark, judging ball flight better than just about anybody I’ve seen. Graeme Yeats/Angus Brayshaw Yater had a career-best season in 1987 having been moved from the back-pocket to the wing. He provided great run, was a handy mark for his size, and apart from that PF miss, was generally a pretty reliable kick. He was a significant midfield upgrade that year. Angus has done the same this year but is bigger and classier. Brett Bailey/ Jake Melksham Bails was a tough mid who drifted forward and kicked a heap of goals that year. He was the glue in our 1987 side and was the hero of our night grand final win, kicking the winner. Melky has come of age this year and is the glue up forward with his bullet passes. Simon Eishold/Alex Neal-Bullen Eishold held his spot throughout the 1987 finals despite some dissenters. He was a workhorse half forward whose kicking occasionally let him down, significantly the one from 10m out in the PF. ANB is a prolific workhorse and also has his dissenters, but has a little more evasiveness about him and despite what some DLers say, has some neat kicking skills. Stephen Newport/Dom Tyson Newy came off the bench to replace Garry Lyon in the Footscray game and had what some will say was his best game that day on the wing with Dean shifted to CHF. He was a thumping kick (just like Dom), but didn’t have his inside skills. Robbie Flower/Clayton Oliver Hard to believe that he had to wait 270 games to play his first final. He was the player that kept fans believing throughout the dreadful 70s and 80s. And he stepped up big time in his first two finals before being sniped by Gary Ayres in the prelim. Olly hasn’t had to wait long for a final, but there is already a case being made that we are looking at similar genius. Warren Dean/Mitch Hannan Dean’s arrival as a wingman in 1987 with Todd and Earl helped turn us around. He was very clever with the give and a thumping kick and had to play CHF in the 1987 finals once Lyon went down. He injured his knee in 1988 and never really recovered. I sense with Mitch that after nearly two years of adjusting to AFL, this might be his time to shine like Dean did that September. He has the tools – the leap, the pace, the accurate long kick – he just needs to put it together more often. Brian Wilson/CP5 Both have the hips that don’t lie and are showmen of the highest order. Willo won a Brownlow Medal in the middle and then became a mercurial baulking forward. Trac is just as mecurial. Ricky Jackson/Charlie Spargo We all loved tricky little Ricky and his pace caused mayhem back then. Charlie has the same cult following and whilst he’s not as quick, he has way more skill. Tony Campbell/ Bayley Fritsch Tony was used pretty much everywhere at the Dees, full-forward, wing and then as a key defender and on his day he was a pretty handy player. I never really got over the fact he didn’t handball to Robbie in the goalsquare in time on against the Hawks. Bayley gives us the same flexibility and is a much more skilful player – almost Floweresque. Jim Stynes/Sam Weideman OK, in 1987 Jimmy was still a baby and was brought in mid-season from VFA side Prahran. But he gave us a glimpse of his ability that season and his mobility meant he could pretty much play anywhere and he kicked 15 goals that year. Weid won’t be a Jimmy Stynes, but I was struggling to find a similar player from that year to marry him up with. To me, Weid has a bit of the TomaHawk about him, but let’s wait and see whether his game can go up a cog this final series. Steve O’Dwyer/Max Gawn Gawny would no doubt prefer the Stynes comparison, but Strawb was huge in 1987 (when not suspended) and gave us someone who could win the taps and dish it out to his opponent as well. Obviously Gawny has way more class about him and marks more like Jimmy. Todd Viney/ James Harmes Two young bulls. Todd, like Jack, was a well-developed teenager in 1987 who loved charging through packs and Harmes of the past few weeks has shown similar attributes. Harmesy is a better kick, but he has a long way to go to match Todd’s huge career. But I wouldn’t put it beyond him. Greg Healy/Nathan Jones Both are/were clever ball users and Sugar was already showing the leadership in 1987 that would see him replace Robbie as skip. Nathan’s career is nearing the end, although I’m expecting a final instalment as a defender to start next season. David Williams/Aaron Vandenberg Injury cost David his best years at the Dees, although he did kick nine one day. He wasn’t quite big enough to play FF, so often had to play as a half forward and I have a feeling he was dropped for the prelim, although maybe he was injured. Vanders has had similar luck with injury so far, but I’ll give you a tip – if we make the prelim, he won’t be dropped under any circumstances. Doug Koop/Dean Kent A talented player who Northey got plenty out of including a strong effort against the Dogs. Dropped for the prelim, he would have been the most likely inclusion for the injured Robbie or Willo had Jimmy not run over the mark and we had made the GF. We all got a reminder out west of what Kenty can do and hopefully he can keep bringing it for the next four games. Absent five Garry Lyon/Jesse Hogan Our Gaz was still a teen but already a gun when he broke his leg in the Footscray game. There are a lot of what ifs in footy and I just reckon that if Alan Johnson and Lyon were playing, we might well have stolen the ’88 GF. Jesse is a different story, but like Gaz, integral to our forward line. Whether Weid can continue to replace him with such vigour remains to be seen. But at least he isn’t showing signs of grizzling about the umpiring. Alan Johnson/Jack Viney For a while it looked like Johnno was never going to be able to get his hamstrings right. Ditto Viney with his foot issues. But the best of Jonno came not as the wingman who won his first Bluey in 1983, but the running defender who altered the way footy was played from the back in 1988 and 1989. Perhaps a healthy Jack can do a similar reformation. Chris Connolly /Jake Lever Connells had become a mainstay down back as a small defender and did his knee in Rd 5 that year and never really got back to the same level. Lever showed in half a season that he’s a terrific mark and spoiler and let’s pray he gets back to that level next season. Peter Moore/Joel Smith Having turned 30, Moore had a few back issues and missed much of the season which ultimately helped because Strawb and Jimmy got goes. Smith’s season has gone the reverse. He finally got his chance when Lever went down and showed us all what he can do with his leap, speed and tackling ability. Will be interesting to see whom he replaces in coming weeks. Peter Giles/Bernie Vince As with Moore, Gilesy’s career as a gutsy defender who could occasionally be sent forward and turn games was coming to an end, although he played a key role in the night GF win in 87. Injury has seen Bernie miss his final shot at glory, but he has been a similarly revered asset in the rise of the club in his 100 games.
  25. I've mentioned before how Frosty was done in by Jordy and the precise ball movement set, but the loss to the pacey Pies I think made Goody realise that you need a mix of players to be successful. The topic was about the other three. Hannan's first half was as good as any medium forward we have had - including Robbo and Brad Green and further back to Yze and Gerard Healy (circa 1982). Obviously it will be hard to repeat, but provided he attacks the pill like that, he will be an asset during the finals - possibly a bit like Warren Dean of 1987 finals series. Vanders is the most dangerous player at the club - with Viney out, he's the one player you don't want to draw in team tackling drills. He a different personality to others on our team, but he's got some amazing abilities and he's been a part of all our big wins in the past four years (except last year when he was out). That includes BOG v Richmond in our first ever Anzac Eve night game and on Hodgey v Hawthorn in 2016. And people don't realise this but with Jayden injured, he's the fastest straight-line sprinter in the team over distance from 40m to 75m - Frosty can get to him by 80m. Kent is a bit of an enigma and has lacked confidence and smarts at times, but his second half yesterday was huge. Unfortunately after what has happened to him under Goody, I had written him off playing such a key role, but there he was - back to the talented left-footer with the thumping kick that he showed us all in 2016.
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