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  1. My namesake Andrew Lamprill. In my work fantasy footy leagues my teams were named “Ghost of [insert obscure or mediocre Demon here]” and I changed the player each year. Ghost of Weetra Ghost of Pesch Ghost of Hopgood And of course Ghost of Lamprill. A Richmond supporter I worked with says “Ghost of Lamprill, what’s that about?” and I went on to explain how he was a pretty ordinary player for Melbourne in the early 90s without being that complimentary about Lamprill’s ability, and he goes “Oh yeah, I know Andrew well. He’s a family friend, we used to go camping together.”. It was a touch awkward. In honour of Goodwin, my footy tipping name this year is “Hit out - Clearance - ???? - Success”.
  2. The sound of a smotherer getting finger tips on the ball. I’ve noticed the umpires so far this round are picking up touched kicks far more regularly than last year. I also notice Bontempelli trying it on the claim a mark with the umpire’s screams of “Touched, play on” echoing across the ground. I wonder if the umpires will show less mercy to the player for these and 50 metre penalty situations given the players should be hearing all the calls.
  3. On Hore, unless there is another spate of injuries that forces him to be in he only has the attributes to play Lever’s role so it can only be one of them in the team. Is a great reader of the ball in the air and third man up mark, but things fall away after that where he is average to below average at AFL level unfortunately. An in between size not big or strong or fast enough to play on key forwards, not agile enough for medium and small forwards, and his disposal and calm under pressure is up and down. I think he needs to work to be an effective lock down defender to be able to coexist with Lever.
  4. Weideman has played 21 games over the last two years and has taken 86 marks, 34 of them contested. Only Gawn takes significantly more contested marks per game at Melbourne over that period and would have far more opportunities as a ruck than Weideman as predominantly a forward, although my recollection is Weideman does take many of his out on the wing and not deep forward. Weideman is taking a comparable number of contested marks per game to Tom McDonald, Jack Riewoldt, Charlie Dixon, Ben Brown etc. Yes he spills some he really should take, but he actually takes quite a few and I don’t think that’s the main problem. I think his tendency to go missing for impact for long periods of the game is the bigger concern. Too many games with six or seven disposals. Weideman is a better “for now” as ruck or forward over Jackson in ability in an individual tap out or marking contest as you’d expect for someone four years older, but there are options where Jackson can contribute that Weideman just can’t with Jackson’s far superior versatility through his agility. For what it’s worth I would play Weideman over Jackson and let Jackson develop in the VFL. If Weideman is not effective enough at AFL level after round 3 or so and Jackson is doing OK at VFL level then they could be swapped. Jackson in theory could come in to replace any number of players because of his agility and below knees ability so it’s also not as simple as Jackson vs. Weideman.
  5. I tend to pay more attention to former Melbourne players of course when watching games, and I think his kicking is better at Collingwood. I keep expecting him to stuff up but he doesn’t that often, kicks flat and fast and usually hits a teammate. I don’t know if it’s genuine skill or decision making improvement, or because he’s in the backline and all the best efficiency kickers are in the backline because so many of their kicks are sideways or backwards kicks to switch play to loose players.
  6. So I was talking to a bloke who said he catered an AFL player’s engagement party at the player’s house. Said the player had a whole lot of posters for “Mark of the year” printed up at the house that couldn’t be used. This bloke was being a bit cryptic about the identity of the player and I just said “That would be Jeremy Howe” and the bloke was shocked I’d worked it out. Not too hard to work through “Who probably should have won mark of the year, but comes across as dense enough to count their chickens before they hatch?”.
  7. If you use promo code NBVIP you get 15% off full price items. Lots of non MFC items on half price clearance, along with some 2019 MFC gear at reduced prices.
  8. I saw him and his family at the family day yesterday, but he wasn’t in club gear. Maybe he’s contracting in for specific things but isn’t staff. Or maybe he just didn’t have formal duties.
  9. Maybe I was a bit harsh on the likely to berate, perhaps it’s the lack of obvious signs of connecting with team mates and bringing them along. Viney seems quite insular. On May I also have been a bit puzzled as to why he is a leader as I’ve not seen what I’d expect from a leader. There is the famous time he did berate Frost, but Frost is also not at the club anymore. Maybe May is the one with the courage to call someone out who consistently breaks team rules or instructions - which is likely what Frost was doing and potentially led to that incident and his subsequent “sacking”. There is leadership in having the tough conversations. The players themselves will know best what they value from their leaders.
  10. I know someone who has dealt extensively with Roos and to some degree with Lyon, and knows people well who have dealt extensively with Lyon. Roos is a decent bloke. I’ll leave it at that and you can fill in the blanks. And I’d also argue Melbourne were pretty damn boring for the first couple of years under Roos. I’m not saying the list had the talent to be exciting or it was the wrong call, but I don’t think we would’ve seen much difference in excitement levels Roos vs. Lyon. The criticism most levelled against each as coaches was their crushing focus on defence.
  11. The thing about potential conflict of interest is it’s a no win situation. If Jack Viney genuinely was the right choice for co-captain (subjective in itself as there is no agreed criteria for what makes the best captain) there would still be the question asked of whether the conflict of interest led to the appointment as per what I’ve quoted - which is bad. And if the conflict did lead to a nepotistic appointment without appropriate merit, that’s clearly bad as it loses the benefits of making the best decision for the broader group. Either way it’s bad. Carlton eventually did what had to be done with the Silvagni situation, and Melbourne with the Vineys. I don’t care what anyone says about Chinese Walls or abstaining conflicted people from votes - it’s rubbish as the conflicted person if senior enough will still hold influence, even if it’s a look while passing in the hall or subtle (or not so subtle) electioneering prior to decisions. I had the daughter of a senior exec at my work suddenly beat out 100 applicants for a position in my colleague’s team. She had a terrible attitude, but she thought she was wonderful. She had a pattern of spending 6-12 months in a role which showed her that “the job was not right for me” and she would miraculously land another role. Her father had no direct line management calls over where she landed roles, but it still happened. I’m not saying Jack is in that boat, but it can be a real morale killer for colleagues to have the feel of nepotism or conflict of interest even if there isn’t any in reality.
  12. I think Viney’s free agency will be fascinating. If the rumour is true and he has lost the captaincy, obviously there are flaws in his leadership. Nobody can question his hunger for the ball and physicality, plus he has the family connection to the club. But when you take those more emotional elements away, you have a historically injury prone undersized inside mid with poor foot skills who hasn’t really performed unless he is onball so lacks position flexibility. Do you eat up a sizeable chunk of your salary cap for that player? I would like Viney to be a defensive first/tagger mid in 2020. Use that manic focus and attack to curb a key opposition mid, and then his 15-20 scrappy and rushed disposals are more palatable than the current 20-30 scrappy and rushed disposals without curbing an opponent’s influence.
  13. The world is a very different place and the expectations of 18-30 year olds is poles apart from what it used to be. There is a place for “watch me do this tough thing” leadership, like Viney has, but you don’t need a title to be that person. Any teammate can inspire that way. The majority of today’s player generation need much more rounded leadership and want to feel listened to and supported. From interacting briefly with Jack personally and watching him talk in the media he just isn’t that rounded leader and he doesn’t have warmth or immediate connection to others. He projects as not that bright and super focussed on what he is doing. I’m guessing with no direct evidence he would be the sort of leader who may berate a teammate for a mistake rather than encourage them to keep going - a very dangerous approach unless you are 100% infallible yourself. I’ve had some brief interactions personally with Gawn, one sticks out from 2015 family day before he had his now massive profile where he was immediately engaging and great with my then seven year old daughter who had no idea who he was. Gawn from how he talks clearly has much broader perspective, genuine humour (which generally makes people like you), can give inspiring speeches, and while not a MENSA candidate has Viney covered there. Plus by the nature of being a ruck his onfield role has the advantage of heavily being focussed on bringing his teammates into the game with his hit outs or giving them a chop out by drifting back to help in the backline. Similar to my guess on Viney as I don’t have direct evidence, Gawn strikes me as one who would set high standards but also is engaging enough to build enough rapport that teammates would be OK taking criticism from him, and he would also support teammates to get better and keep their confidence up when they inevitably make a mistake. To me Gawn as captain vs. Viney is a no brainer.
  14. In February I doubt Taylor would have foreseen a likely scenario where Melbourne had pick three. Given that, Taylor probably thought Jackson was more likely to be available in the 10-20 range at that time which is where Melbourne’s “natural” pick was likely to fall. So I wouldn’t read it to mean Taylor thought Jackson was at the very pointy end of the draft for a long time, but the interest was clearly there. As has been stated a few times Jackson’s development through 2019 was rapid. The pessimist in me says Taylor got obsessed with Jackson early and wanted him even though pick three was too soon for a 10-20 talent. The optimist says Taylor has an advantage over other recruiters as he has watched Jackson longer and more closely than others, and was still happy to use pick three. Was the deal for pick eight and 28 originally to get Jackson and Pickett with three going on one of the consensus early picks, but then everything changed once it was apparent Jackson was not going to last to eight and Pickett unlikely at 28? Hopefully Taylor does a memoir one day.
  15. The recruiters seem to have a good handle on what their competition is after. If they were confident Pickett would be there at 28 then they would have waited. If they were confident they could trade down and get him, they would have done that assuming there was a willing partner. I suspect they “knew” Pickett was going to go by mid teens or so and therefore they needed to get him where they did. I like that Taylor goes against the herd. Following what everyone else thinks is safe, but it doesn’t create the point of difference that could be the game changer. Pickett does fill a big gap on the list. Pickett can clearly be a game changer, the trick will be if he does those highlights once every four games, or four times every game at AFL level. And while he clearly has the attitude to chase and be physical, I have no idea if he does the “boring” defensive running too so as not to be a liability when he doesn’t have ball in hand.
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