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  1. My memory is Junior’s calves were playing up (old man injury) and he was struggling to get up week after week. He had just turned 34. He then took an entire year off, and played one season at GWS in an extraordinary circumstance where they were desperate for experience (i.e. no other AFL club would have entertained the prospect) and only managed 13 games with injuries catching up again. I still reckon he was cooked but our memories seem to differ. But out of respect I would have preferred he was offered a deal on the club’s terms.
  2. Agree. My understanding is Jones is a “me first” kind of guy at the heart of it. So he isn’t the sort of leader you need. Great service over many years, very solid player at his peak and the team’s best for a period in some of its darkest times. He could win the ball, get it moving forward, tackle, and developed his kicking from poor to passable in a similar way to Todd Viney many years before. But once he was displaced as a first choice on-baller he simply never had the tricks (read skills) to see out his time on a flank or wing. This has been painfully obvious from mid last year (when he got moved out of the first choice midfield) and all of this year. Maybe it’s confirmation bias, but it felt like for every smart “veteran” thing he did in a game, there were two or three “wow, I’d be disappointed if a first year player did that” moments. At least Lewis, who I wasn’t a massive fan of, had that ratio the other way around. The right thing to do is offer him a deal on the club’s terms as a show of loyalty. Nothing more. If Jones is unwilling to accept the 270k as rumoured and back himself in for performance bonuses - given the “overs” he took for many years compared to what he would have received had he jumped to another club where he would have been in the 5 to 15 best on the list range instead of top dog at Melbourne - then that would just reinforce his “me first” mentality. The Junior McDonald error was pushing him into “retirement” for the sake of one list position and minimal salary. Junior was cooked, Jones is cooked and will only get worse. It sounds like Melbourne are making a respectful but also sensible offer this time around that balances Jones’ past contributions but also reflects his likely future trajectory.
  3. I thought from the little I’ve seen of Casey that Chandler stood out for pace and creativity. But he clearly wasn’t getting enough of the ball as it was in brief flashes and then unsighted for long stretches. What is harder to see watching a game in TV is the ANB style “pressure acts”. If his are high and that’s why he’s playing, I’d be happy with a guy who pressures to keep the ball locked in, and on the rare occasion they get the ball do something reasonably constructive.
  4. I’ve got a shoulder injury at the moment from bowling. Slight tear to a tendon, inflamed bursar and maybe some carteledge damage and potentially some ligament damage too but I haven’t had an MRI to confirm the last two. Carteledge and ligaments require surgery to repair. In the direction where I need to use the torn tendon I probably have about 30% of my regular strength before quite striking pain kicks in. Maybe I could push through and have more strength if I had it strapped and jabbed up. I can absolutely believe given Oliver needed surgery on both shoulders that this could have significantly impacted his ability to get his arms free when getting tackled, handball with full power and tackle with full strength.
  5. My understanding was he was happy to play another year if the club wanted him to, but was also comfortable to get started on his post AFL life. The club didn’t want him to go again, so he retired. Not a genuine retirement where the player has had enough, but not pushed out against his will either. Somewhere in the middle. And yes, he wasn’t “one of the boys” in the eyes of the footy department and therefore was always a mediocre game away from being dropped.
  6. Unless the players are literally using their head to do something, their listed height isn’t that relevant.. Different sport, but I’m 185cm with short arms for my height and I got toweled up on rebounding last night by a guy who was probably 175cm tall but with good strength, judgement, aggression and better athleticism than me. I also suspect he had long arms for his height. In summary, where the top of your head finishes is pretty irrelevant and an unsophisticated measure. I’d prefer they listed height of where the fingers are with an arm straight up is far more relevant as it takes into account shoulder position and arm length and better represents something useful on the field.
  7. Spot on. Already using 3/40 odd spots on predominantly single position players in Gawn, Preuss and Bradtke. Having Bradtke not on the regular list looks like the perfect combination to me. I reckon every club rolls the dice that they won’t have their first and second choice rucks go down injured and if they do they will have to improvise. Tim Smith or Sam Frost would have to do in a pinch if Weideman (who rucked lots in the VFL) and T.Mc won’t be risked, but with a very different ruck strategy than what you’d have with a potentially dominant Gawn or Preuss. We had a preview in 2017 when Gawn and Spencer went down and things were cobbled together with Pedersen, Watts and T.Mc. I agree the mid year draft allows for more contingency in case of a significant early season ruck injury.
  8. Or we will see 23 and/or 28 flipped for some established “filling a need” players. There is so much that happens with draft order once you get past around pick 15 - even more so now with live pick trading during the draft - I doubt moving up from mid 30s to late 20s is about a specific player.
  9. Agree. The war is the premiership. The battle is the trade period. A single trade is an engagement. So long as everything is driving to winning the war the other parts don’t matter in isolation. Who knows if we have the right strategy. Time will tell.
  10. If it facilitates the next moves, that’s all that matters. See what happens with 23 before passing judgement.
  11. Melbourne won’t cave on 11 unless GCS would accept it. Pick 6 or 11 is irrelevant for Melbourne, it’s about facilitating May and KK deal. Hogan is still contracted for 2019 so Melbourne can sit tight and not agree to trade as that outcome is still palatable. This is precisely why this is the year to trade him if it’s going to happen.
  12. While egos might get bruised, this should not be viewed as just Melb vs. Freo. It’s overall outcomes. I think Freo have done well. GCS have given up quite a bit. Melbourne have moved one player out and replaced with two that fill big gaps in the team. Add on the intangibles and information we aren’t privy to around Hogan and I suspect Mahoney and co. would be pretty happy. Especially if there’s also pick 23 in there that is exactly the type of pick Melbourne offloads for ready made gap filler players. Simplistically this could end up +3 players that address gaps for a 2019 flag tilt, for the cost of a player who has emotionally checked out of the club and not able to be retained and Melbourne have coped quite well in the past when absent.
  13. It looks to me like the list management team have a firm goal which is build a list that has depth of types of players who are fit role types of roles - and there are some types of players that are missing key attributes for the broader playing style brand of contested footy. The strategy looks like: A) value relatively known quantity players that fit a need higher than haggling over draft pick positions give or take (within reason, I’m sure Taylor’s view on likely available talent is part of the picture and it’s a different in the top 10 where elite juniors are) B) if a player is surplus to depth, or there are equivalent other options (e.g. state league prospects) instead that are cheaper, extract value for those players by trading them C) if a player is not quite right because they aren’t contested enough or have other fatal flaws for the “brand” or there are personality issues, delist or trade them and give an opportunity to someone else Preuss is an A) as were Melksham and Hibberd. Tyson is a B) and you could argue they have decided Hogan is also a B. Watts and Bugg are C) and in hindsight re-signing Garlett might have been a departure from strategy and an error. And of course Melbourne’s don’t hold all the cards so a St. Kilda can upset things by offering Kent more security, and surprise opportunities may present themselves and need consideration (e.g. Lewis, move up the draft order near the start by helping a club with volume of lower draft picks for academy or father-son prospects). Obvious gaps we as fans could identify prior to trade period are a ruckman, reliable 1on1 tall defender, and outside pace and polish. Every rumoured move Melbourne are initiating appears to be driving towards those things and is giving up something that can be covered through existing players, or not much perceived value (e.g. some mid to later order draft picks or pick downgrades). I’m not saying the goal or strategy is correct, but for the most part their actions have been consistently aligned with this. So we might look at a deal and think “We got unders and gave overs” but I doubt the Demons are thinking that if it fits with their strategy.
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