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Found 14 results

  1. Looking forward to your votes on a 6,5,4,3,2,1 basis please.
  2. They said that in 2019, the Melbourne Football Club was going to take its game to another level but we were never prepared for the level the club is reaching as it approaches the fourth round of the season holding up the entire AFL ladder in a match that could be its swansong for the year. We were meant to be premiership contenders, not playing off for a wooden spoon which is what will be the case unless there is a sudden and dramatic turn around in our fortunes! And whilst there’s been a lot of soul searching and declarations of honesty and openness, the fact of the matter is that nobody really has the solution to the club’s woeful form or why players who could hold their heads high in the first half of September last year are dropping marks, fumbling the footy, leaking goals in short bursts in time and allowing opponents to dance around them if they were stationary witches hats. This week, they make the trip north to Sydney where they face off a lacklustre side that, despite struggling to overcome Carlton, will start as the red hot favourite to beat a Melbourne combination that seems to have taken a trip back in time of half a decade to its dark, old days of wretchedness and ineptitude before Paul Roos took them for their first training run in the post Neeld era. The Demons can be thankful that they have Angus Brayshaw, Clayton Oliver and Max Gawn because some of the others who led the charge last year have become invisible men. Sydney have scored about the same number of points for this season although Melbourne averages 8.3 more inside 50 entries per game. On the other hand, the Dees have conceded 100 points more than the Swans - a sign of how poor they have been because their opponents this week have been no world beaters. Melbourne’s underdone skippers Nathan Jones and Jack Viney are in charge of a ship that is listing in a storm. It’s their job to take control and steer it into calmer waters. However, they have the task ahead of them in front of a hostile SCG crowd - Sydney by 19 points THE GAME Melbourne v Sydney Swans at the SCG Thursday 11 April 2019 at 7.20pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Sydney Swans 113 wins Melbourne 92 wins 2 drawn At SCG Sydney Swans 14 wins Me lbourne 8 wins Last 5 meetings Sydney Swans 5 wins Melbourne 0 wins The Coaches Longmire 2 wins Goodwin 0 wins MEDIA TV - Channel 7 Fox Footy Live at 7.00pm RADIO - TBA THE LAST TIME THEY MET Sydney Swans 13.9.87 defeated Melbourne 10.18.78 in Round 21 2018 at the MCG Melbourne dominated in the general play but its kicking for goal was deplorable, allowing Sydney to win a thrilling encounter by just nine points. Young Swans high flyer Isaac Heeney, who was clearly best on ground, took the mark of the year standing on Jesse Hogan’s shoulders as a farewell to the Demon key forward. THE TEAMS SYDNEY SWANS B Callum Mills Dane Rampe Tom McCartin HB Jake Lloyd Aliir Aliir Jackson Thurlow C Zak Jones Luke Parker Oliver Florent HF Harry Cunningham Sam Reid Isaac Heeney F Jordan Dawson Lance Franklin Kieren Jack FOLL Callum Sinclair Josh P Kennedy Tom Papley I/C Nick Blakey George Hewett Justin McInerney Ben Ronke EMG Ryan Clarke Robbie Fox Lewis Melican James Rose IN Kieren Jack Justin McInerney OUT Jarrad McVeigh (quad) Will Hayward (jaw) MELBOURNE B Michael Hibberd Oscar McDonald Marty Hore HB Billy Stretch Sam Frost Nathan Jones C Jayden Hunt Clayton Oliver Christian Salem HF James Harmes Sam Weideman Angus Brayshaw F Corey Wagner Tom McDonald Jake Melksham FOLL Max Gawn Christian Petracca Jack Viney I/C Bayley Fritsch Braydon Preuss Charlie Spargo Josh Wagner EMG Alex Neal-Bullen Harrison Petty IN Marty Hore Braydon Preuss Charlie Spargo Billy Stretch OUT Neville Jetta (knee) Kade Kolodjashnij (concussion) Jay Lockhart (back) Alex Neal-Bullen (omitted) Injury List - Round 4 Tom McDonald (ankle) — test Charlie Spargo (jaw) — test Jordan Lewis (hamstring) — 1 week Steven May (groin) — 2-3 weeks Joel Smith (groin) — TBA Aaron vandenBerg (foot) — 4-6 weeks Mitch Hannan (knee) — 6-8 weeks Jake Lever (knee) — 6-8 weeks Jay Kennedy-Harris (knee) — 10-12 weeks Guy Walker (shoulder) — season Aaron Nietschke (knee) — season
  3. A FOOTBALL (SWIMMING) LESSON by George on The Outer A few weeks ago Melbourne played Hawthorn in the wet. It took the players and coaches a full quarter of that game to get the message out that you cannot play the same way in those conditions as you do in the dry. Trying to hand pass and finesse doesn’t work. Fast forward three weeks and surely the message would have been simple, plain and unambiguous. Especially as it has rained there for the past week and a bit with no prospect of even a clearing of the clouds on the day. Yet once again the players tried to play like it was a dry day. And each time they tried to pass the ball around with handball (Tyson) or bounce the ball (Frost) or mark the ball in a pack (far too many), it just didn’t work. Sydney, on the other hand, played the type of football appropriate to the conditions and reaped the reward. Kick the ball forward at all cost. Shovel it forward instead of trying to pick it up. Kick it off the ground. Kick it long to the forwards. It isn’t pretty but it works! Then Sydney brought an intensity to the game that reflects in their current second position on the ladder. Over 140 tackles in the game, means they were serious about getting the ball, and importantly, stopping the opposition from using it. Kennedy was simply superb for the Swans, and showed our younger brigade how to play on such a day. McVeigh was a rock in defence with 25 disposals off half-back. Luke Parker with 17 tackles! Sadly, the Melbourne side had only a few players with wet weather footy smarts. Bernie Vince showed the way again this week with 28 possessions including 14 contested. But time and time again he would just put the ball on the boot to get it going forward. The pity was that apart from Nathan Jones, Jack Viney in the second half, and Christian Petracca, no-one else followed his lead. The importance of Max Gawn to the side was displayed emphatically in this match. With the conditions nullifying his 58 hit outs, Melbourne only managed 7 to advantage. With or without Max’s dominance, they still don’t have the smarts and skills around the ball. The backline held together until the last quarter, and once again was cut open by the failure of the HFF and wings to cover their man when the opposition have the ball. Stretch, Bugg, Kennedy and Kent simply have to find that man who sneaks out the back and then becomes unattended in our defensive 50. In only a 10 minute period the Swans kicked 6 goals after being held for the previous 3 quarters to the same score. Why? Because McGlynn, Towers and a couple of others just walked into the forward line, while their opponents went ball following. It is becoming too repetitive a situation to be tolerated, and these lapses in concentration are costing games. The Demons were taught a lesson by the Swans. Yes, they are a seriously good side and will in all likelihood play off in this year’s Grand Final. But it was an opportunity for the young Demons to be competitive. It doesn’t hurt to lose to superior skilled and experienced players. But it does hurt when the lessons, which should have been learnt from previous weeks are not being adhered to. The bye will be advantageous to the young brigade of bodies that we have. Unfortunately, the games in coming weeks are not going to be easy and we need to see a much smarter side take the field than has done so far. Melbourne 1.1.7 2.3.15 3.6.24 4.7.31 Sydney Swans 2.6.18 4.8.32 6.13.49 12.14.86 Goals Melbourne Petracca 2 Hogan Kent Sydney Swans Franklin 4 Towers McGlynn 2 Hewett Kennedy Nankervis Lloyd Best Melbourne Vince Jones Gawn Petracca Viney Wagner Sydney Swans McVeigh Parker Hannebery Franklin Jones Towers Changes Melbourne Nil Sydney Swans Nil Injuries Melbourne Nil Sydney Swans Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Sydney Swans Nil Umpires Donlon Stephens Kamolins Jeffery Official crowd 19,086 at SCG
  4. A few weeks ago Melbourne played Hawthorn in the wet. It took the players and coaches a full quarter of that game to get the message out that you cannot play the same way in those conditions as you do in the dry. Trying to hand pass and finesse doesn’t work. Fast forward three weeks and surely the message would have been simple, plain and unambiguous. Especially as it has rained there for the past week and a bit with no prospect of even a clearing of the clouds on the day. Yet once again the players tried to play like it was a dry day. And each time they tried to pass the ball around with handball (Tyson) or bounce the ball (Frost) or mark the ball in a pack (far too many), it just didn’t work. Sydney, on the other hand, played the type of football appropriate to the conditions and reaped the reward. Kick the ball forward at all cost. Shovel it forward instead of trying to pick it up. Kick it off the ground. Kick it long to the forwards. It isn’t pretty but it works! Then Sydney brought an intensity to the game that reflects in their current second position on the ladder. Over 140 tackles in the game, means they were serious about getting the ball, and importantly, stopping the opposition from using it. Kennedy was simply superb for the Swans, and showed our younger brigade how to play on such a day. McVeigh was a rock in defence with 25 disposals off half-back. Luke Parker with 17 tackles! Sadly, the Melbourne side had only a few players with wet weather footy smarts. Bernie Vince showed the way again this week with 28 possessions including 14 contested. But time and time again he would just put the ball on the boot to get it going forward. The pity was that apart from Nathan Jones, Jack Viney in the second half, and Christian Petracca, no-one else followed his lead. The importance of Max Gawn to the side was displayed emphatically in this match. With the conditions nullifying his 58 hit outs, Melbourne only managed 7 to advantage. With or without Max’s dominance, they still don’t have the smarts and skills around the ball. The backline held together until the last quarter, and once again was cut open by the failure of the HFF and wings to cover their man when the opposition have the ball. Stretch, Bugg, Kennedy and Kent simply have to find that man who sneaks out the back and then becomes unattended in our defensive 50. In only a 10 minute period the Swans kicked 6 goals after being held for the previous 3 quarters to the same score. Why? Because McGlynn, Towers and a couple of others just walked into the forward line, while their opponents went ball following. It is becoming too repetitive a situation to be tolerated, and these lapses in concentration are costing games. The Demons were taught a lesson by the Swans. Yes, they are a seriously good side and will in all likelihood play off in this year’s Grand Final. But it was an opportunity for the young Demons to be competitive. It doesn’t hurt to lose to superior skilled and experienced players. But it does hurt when the lessons, which should have been learnt from previous weeks are not being adhered to. The bye will be advantageous to the young brigade of bodies that we have. Unfortunately, the games in coming weeks are not going to be easy and we need to see a much smarter side take the field than has done so far. Melbourne 1.1.7 2.3.15 3.6.24 4.7.31 Sydney Swans 2.6.18 4.8.32 6.13.49 12.14.86 Goals Melbourne Petracca 2 Hogan Kent Sydney Swans Franklin 4 Towers McGlynn 2 Hewett Kennedy Nankervis Lloyd Best Melbourne Vince Jones Gawn Petracca Viney Wagner Sydney Swans McVeigh Parker Hannebery Franklin Jones Towers Changes Melbourne Nil Sydney Swans Nil Injuries Melbourne Nil Sydney Swans Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Sydney Swans Nil Umpires Donlon Stephens Kamolins Jeffery Official crowd 19,086 at SCG
  5. Not for the first time this season, the team is facing a crossroads game against a side that it has struggled against in the past but a win would move it up in everyone's estimation as well as ladder position. This is a test that we need to pass. It's away from home and the weather is looking inhospitable. I was reminded yesterday by a Bulldogs fan that his team was in a similar place last year when it went up north and had to play the Swans on a rain drenched SCG. They won and the game was a turning point for them. With the advantage of added self-belief knowing they were capable of beating good sides, the Doggies went on to win 14 games and make the finals. Can we make history repeat itself in the same vein today?
  6. THE BASEMENT by The Oracle The AFL has been rather kind to Melbourne when it's come to fixturing games against Sydney over the past five years when the Swans have been powerhouses of the competition and the Demons have been inhabiting its basement. It seems that the Demons aren't really welcome in the Harbour City because the last time these two sides met each other in Sydney was their Round 8 encounter at the SCG in 2012. The result of that game was a disaster for the Dees with the only memorable aspect being a speccie from Jeremy Howe that earned him the AFL Mark of the Year award. That was the only thing that the club could take out of the occasion of its last trip up to play in Sydney against the Swans because the result was a 100-point slaughter. It's hard to relive the agony of the game now, especially given that the player who provided us with its only highlight has since defected to Collingwood in search of greater glory and the reward of a premiership but in view of the fact that his mark has been recorded for posterity, here it is - Since that fateful day more than four years ago, the teams have met only once a year courtesy of a generous AFL which has done its best to shield Melbourne from the likelihood of further disasters. Nevertheless, those once a year encounters at the MCG have all ended in similar results - resounding wins for the Swans that have been virtual no contests but at least we've been spared the 100-point blowouts. Things are a little different as we pass the halfway mark of the season. The Swans have deftly maintained their position among the top sides and have managed to reinvigorate a playing list that was starting to show signs of aging through a combination of good recruiting and excellent coaching and player development, helped to some extent by the Academy programme which is producing some ready-made young guns. Melbourne, on the other hand, is just emerging from the basement and under former Swans coach Paul Roos, is trying to head into the space that Sydney has been filling with a degree of success over the past decade or so. The team is young but definitely on its way up but we've learned in recent times to temper our expectations. Form can be up and down from one week to the next - young sides can be unpredictable. That is what makes this week's contest so intriguing. Even the Swans themselves have struggled for consistency. They started the 2016 season with a crushing victory over Collingwood in Round 1 and had a good run early but struggled to win against Brisbane and lost to Richmond, picked up some big scalps in Hawthorn and North Melbourne but disappointed last week against the Giants in a game where they suffered a huge injury toll with their notable loss being ruckman Kurt Tippet to a hamstring injury. In terms of match ups, the loss of Tippet when coming up against an in form Max Gawn is a factor that certainly tips the needle in Melbourne's direction because his likely replacement, Callum Sinclair, though handy has never been more than a second string ruckman. The Swans however, still have the advantage of strength and experience in the midfield over the Demons' emerging midfield group. The battle of the onballers will be an intriguing encounter and if Melbourne is to cause an upset against the Swans it will have to be through another dominant performance from Gawn and more of the same from the likes of Nathan Jones, Jack Viney, Bernie Vince, Dom Tyson and the younger guns. Then there is the competition's best player when at the top of his game, Lance Franklin, who was quiet last week but is rarely so for two weeks on end. His likely opponent is Tom McDonald who is quite capable of doing enough to quell Buddy's influence to some extent. If he succeeds in keeping him down to a couple of goals, it will have a big bearing on the result. And if the result swings the game in Melbourne's favour, then we can say that the club is truly out of the basement because it's been a while since the Demons have been in positive territory in terms of wins and losses this deep into a season. THE GAME Melbourne v Sydney Swans at the SCG Sunday 19 June 2016 at 1.10pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Sydney Swans 110 wins Melbourne 92 wins 2 drawn At SCG Sydney Swans 13 wins Melbourne 8 wins Last 5 meetings Sydney Swans 4 wins Melbourne 0 wins 1 drawn The Coaches Longmire 2 wins Roos 0 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Footy Channel Live at 1.00pm RADIO - Triple M 3AW SEN ABC ABC Grandstand THE BETTING Sydney Swans $1.18 to win Melbourne $4.85 to win THE LAST TIME THEY MET Sydney Swans 12.16.88 defeated Melbourne 7.8.50 in Round 6, 2015 at the MCG The Swans led a dull and for the most part low scoring scrap of a game from start to finish, outplaying the hapless Demons in almost every position on the ground. THE TEAMS SYDNEY SWANS B: Jeremy Laidler, Heath Grundy, Nick Smjith HB: Jarrad McVeigh, Dane Rampe, Zak Jones C: Callum Mills, John P Kennedy, Isaac Heeney HF: Dan Hannebery, Lance Franklin, James Rose F: Luke Parker, Gary Rohan, Ben McGlynn FOLL: Callum Sinclair, Tom Mitchell, Kieren Jack I/C: Aliir Aliir, George Hewett, Toby Nankervis, Dean Towers EMG: Tyrone Leonardis, Jake Lloyd, Sam Naismith, IN: Allir Allir, George Hewett, Toby Nankervis, Dean Towers OUT: Harry Cunningham (omitted), Jeremy Laidler (knee), Harrison Marsh (hamstring), Kurt Tippet (hamstring) MELBOURNE B: Tomas Bugg, Tom McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Billy Stretch, Oscar McDonald, Josh Wagner C: Jack Viney, Christian Petracca, Bernie Vince HF: Dean Kent, Jack Watts, Aaron vandenBerg F: Sam Frost, Jesse Hogan, Chris Dawes FOLL: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Dom Tyson I/C: Jayden Hunt, Ben Kennedy, Clayton Oliver, Jack Trengove EMG: Jack Grimes, James Harmes, Viv Michie NO CHANGE
  7. NSW Demons pre game lunch. Going to see Melbourne play Sydney at the SCG this Sunday 19 June? Book now to join the NSW Demons and hear from staff, coaches, past players and fellow members and supporters at the NSW Demons pre-game lunch before we take on the Sydney Swans at the SCG! Get the latest news from Craig Jennings and other members of the MFC football department at our lunch hosted by Russell Robertson. Time – 10 am – 12.30 pm Location – The Bavarian Bier Cafe - Moore Park (next to the SCG) Cost - $60 for adults and $20 for children.Drinks available at the bar. Book now Enjoy a three course meal and drinks with other passionate Demons supporters before walking next door to the SCG. Sally NSW Demons m: 0409783318 e: sally@nswdemons.com w: www.nswdemons.com
  8. ARE YOU LONESOME TONIGHT? by The Oracle That was miserable. Melbourne waved the white flag in the first quarter and, apart from a handfull of triers, the rabble that travelled to Sydney humiliated the oldest football club on the planet with a heartless, soulless effort. One has to wonder what most of them were doing out there because it didn't resemble the game being played by the opposition. If they keep playing like that, the supporters will stop coming and they'll have to ask the doorkeeper the question from the title of this short article. Short, because there really is nothing worthwhile to write about. Melbourne 0.3.3 1.5.11 2.7.19 5.7.37 Sydney 7.1.43 11.4.70 16.9.105 21.12 138 Goals Melbourne Jones 2 Bennell Green Sylvia Sydney Jack Jetta Kennedy Parker 3 Dennis-Lane McGlynn Walsh 2 Mattner O'Keefe, Reid Best Melbourne Blease Watts Jones Garland Grimes Frawley Sydney Jack O'Keefe Parker Jetta Kennedy Parker Injuries Melbourne Jones (sore) Jurrah (leg) Sydney Nil Changes Melbourne Nil Sydney Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Sydney Nil Umpires Nicholls, Hosking, Kamolins Crowd 20,818 at SCG
  9. ARE YOU LONESOME TONIGHT? by The Oracle That was miserable. Melbourne waved the white flag in the first quarter and, apart from a handfull of triers, the rabble that travelled to Sydney humiliated the oldest football club on the planet with a heartless, soulless effort. One has to wonder what most of them were doing out there because it didn't resemble the game being played by the opposition. If they keep playing like that, the supporters will stop coming and they'll have to ask the doorkeeper the question from the title of this short article. Short, because there really is nothing worthwhile to write about. Melbourne 0.3.3 1.5.11 2.7.19 5.7.37 Sydney 7.1.43 11.4.70 16.9.105 21.12 138 Goals Melbourne Jones 2 Bennell Green Sylvia Sydney Jack Jetta Kennedy Parker 3 Dennis-Lane McGlynn Walsh 2 Mattner O'Keefe, Reid Best Melbourne Blease Watts Jones Garland Grimes Frawley Sydney Jack O'Keefe Parker Jetta Kennedy Parker Injuries Melbourne Jones (sore) Jurrah (leg) Sydney Nil Changes Melbourne Nil Sydney Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Sydney Nil Umpires Nicholls, Hosking, Kamolins Crowd 20,818 at SCG
  10. There's a game on in Sydney today at 4.40pm and I thought I'd get in early because all week I've had this gut feeling that the Demons would record their first win of the season. I based that on the fact that the club's injury woes seem to be diminishing to reasonable levels whilst the Swans, without Goodes, Mumford and Rohan and with a few others out of form, are in a spot of bother. They're ripe for the picking even if the game is on their home patch and a place where Melbourne hasn't played for several years. I also believe that the tight confines might suit us a little better while we're coming to grips with the new game plan. Since team selection on Thursday, I've grown more confident about our winning prospects. The blokes we've picked and those we haven't dropped give the team a bit of flair and, dare I say, pace. I'm hoping that today we're going to be less one-paced and show a bit more out of the midfield and into attack than we have so far this year. A good start and accurate disposal around the ground and in front of goals will help. But what really got me going was the realisation that today, for the first time, we will have all of the players displayed on the 2012 Demonland banner (above) in our starting 22. Jimmy won't be there but I'm sure his spirit will be hovering over the SCG to spur our blokes on to victory. And what a great tribute it is to the AFL Indigenous Round that we have Jamie Bennell, Aaron Davey and Liam Jurrah in the side? In what must be one of the toughest seasons in our rich history these blokes have really done it tough and this evening will be the perfect time for them to retake their rightful places within the team and the game they play. So those who might scoff at my confidence about today, it's more than just "the vibe" as Tiriel Mora would say in The Castle but rather, it's built on solid ground. I hope that in around 11 hours' time we'll be celebrating Mark Neeld's first win!
  11. TWILIGHT ZONE by Whispering Jack Last night an intrepid group of people associated with the legal profession met for the annual Devil’s Advocates dinner mc’d by former MFC board member Bev O’Connor and hosted by prominent Melbourne family lawyer, Ralph Glezer. You have to be intrepid if you’re a Melbourne fan because, as Chris Connolly told the audience, there is a great deal being thrown at us from the cheap seats in these early days of the club’s new coaching regime. It was a theme of the night that rather than being in the deep trouble as painted by some of the pundits, the Demons are indeed building for a better future. Connolly noted that in recent years the club had repaid its debt, reshaped its deal with the MCC, acquired a valuable asset in the Bentleigh Club, grown its membership. The necessary ingredients for long term success are being put together so that despite the short term pain of the current 0-7 win/loss ratio as the team learns a new style of play, the vision that will see a strong Melbourne in the years to come remains on track. Glezer congratulated the gathering and all club supporters who stand firm at this time. It was fitting that he was able to pay a special tribute to the late Jim Stynes who was responsible for much of the club’s financial resurgence on the day on which the AFL, the MFC and the Reach Foundation proudly announced the launch of the Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award. Three players in attendance, Matthew Bate, Cale Morton and Stef Martin all impressed with their approach to the difficult season so far. It’s difficult for the supporters who measure things by way only of reference to the premiership table. The football department has other indicators that also need to be looked at in terms of the process of change sweeping through the club. Neil Craig and Josh Mahoney also confirmed that the club has this vision that is certainly being embraced internally. Craig spoke of the particular difficulties faced by new coach Mark Neeld and asked what new coach would have such a controversial start with distractions such as the incident involving Liam Jurrah (couple with his injury), the death of Jim Stynes, the false claims of racism against him and the sponsorship fiasco with Energy Watch? Craig made it clear that the club and Neeld had handled every obstacle put in their way with great dignity while those at other clubs and in the media who have been overcritical have a lot to answer for by comparison with the way in which they have conducted themselves at this time. The wheel will turn. Despite this, the feeling among the lawyers was not particularly optimistic but their mood was improved with estate agent Phil Kingston's wit and incise humour when auctioning items at the end of the function. It suddenly dawned on me that if a group's collective mood can be changed so swiftly then why can't the same stand for a group of footballers whose confidence has been down for several weeks? I'm therefore looking forward to this week’s twilight game at the SCG and I’m going out on a limb by saying that the Demons are ready to take off and make the critics eat humble pie. I think they will win this game and thereafter continue to show improvement for the remainder of the season. Laugh, if you wish but I’m very bullish on Melbourne when it comes to taking on the Swans even in the confined spaces of the SCG. In recent years, Sydney has struggled against Melbourne which sent vocal critic Paul Roos off with an almighty thumping in 2010. Roos is obviously smarting from the embarrassment because he never misses an opportunity to sink the boots into the Demons. I will get great pleasure in seeing Melbourne do likewise to his old side this Saturday. The last time the teams met was at the MCG in round 1 last year when they drew. For the purpose of the exercise, these were the teams as selected that day. MELBOURNE (Round 1, 2011) Backs Clint Bartram Jared Rivers Joel Macdonald Half backs Jack Grimes Colin Garland Jamie Bennell Centreline Nathan Jones Brent Moloney Luke Tapscott Half forwards Rohan Bail Colin Sylvia Liam Jurrah Forwards Jack Watts Brad Green Addam Maric Followers Mark Jamar Lynden Dunn Aaron Davey Interchange Neville Jetta Stefan Martin Ricky Petterd Jack Trengove Emergencies Jake Spencer James Strauss Matthew Warnock SYDNEY (Round 1, 2011) Backs Paul Bevan Ted Richards Martin Mattner Half backs Rhys Shaw Heath Grundy Andrejs Everitt Centreline Daniel Hannebery Kieren Jack Nick Smith Half forwards Lewis Jetta Adam Goodes Ben McGlynn Forwards Ryan O'Keefe Sam Reid Jesse White Followers Shane Mumford Josh Kennedy Jarrod McVeigh Interchange Jude Bolton Gary Rohan Mark Seaby Byron Sumner Emergencies Craig Bird Jed Lamb Brett Meredith I look at the two teams and note only two players from the Melbourne side of that day are not available to play - Neville Jetta (ankle injury) and Addam Maric (now with Richmond). You could include Mitch Clark and James Magner and you have what is notionally a far superior list than that which drew with the Swans in round 1 last year. Then I look at Sydney's team from that day and there's no Adam Goodes, Shane Mumford or Gary Rohan and many of its payers have been well below par in form over the past couple of weeks. They can't replace that lot for quality, their confidence is down and yet the Swans are red hot favourites to win. I know it's not much to go on but it's enough for me to come up with one of my famous inspired hunches. My conclusion from this is that it’s only a matter of time before Melbourne realises that it’s all in the head and that they quite capable of beating an out of form Sydney that is missing key players. If the Demons grab the opportunity and a confident mood starts spreading through the team a win is possible. I’m tipping the Demons by 12 points. THE GAME Melbourne v Sydney at the SCG Saturday 19 May at 4.40pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Sydney 106 wins Melbourne 92 wins 2 draws At SCG Sydney 13 wins Melbourne 8 wins Since 2000 Sydney 12 wins Melbourne 7 wins 1 draw The Coaches Longmire 0 Neeld 0 MEDIA Fox Footy Channel live at 4.30pm. RADIO SEN ABC774 THE BETTING Sydney to win $1.09 Melbourne to win $7.50 LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 11.18.74 drew with Sydney Swans 11.18.74 in Round 1, 2011 The teams sparred against each other all day and first one and then the other held the ascendency. The Demons, with Ricky Petterd on fire as the sub who came on in the final term, grabbed the lead late but a Ryan O’Keefe behind tied things up. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE Backs James Frawley Jared Rivers Clint Bartram Half backs Jack Grimes Colin Garland, Tom McDonald Centreline Cale Morton Brent Moloney Nathan Jones Half forwards Jack Trengove Jack Watts Liam Jurrah Forwards Jeremy Howe Mitch Clark Aaron Davey Followers Mark Jamar Jordie McKenzie Colin Sylvia Interchange Jamie Bennell Sam Blease Brad Green James Magner Emergencies Rohan Bail Lynden Dunn James Sellar In Sam Blease Brad Green Liam Jurrah Jack Watts Out Rohan Bail Matthew Bate Jack Fitzpatrick Ricky Petterd SYDNEY SWANS Backs Martin Mattner Ted Richards Rhyce Shaw Half backs Nicholas Smith Heath Grundy Jarrad McVeigh Centreline Lewis Jetta Josh P Kennedy Nick Malceski Half forwards Ryan O'Keefe Tommy Walsh Daniel Hannebery Forwards Ben McGlynn Sam Reid Trent Dennis-Lane Followers Mike Pyke Kieren Jack Jude Bolton Interchange Craig Bird Alex Johnson Luke Parker Lewis Roberts-Thomson Emergencies Andrejs Everitt Jesse White In Mike Pyke Lewis Roberts-Thomson Tommy Walsh Out Andrejs Everitt Mark Seaby Jesse White New Tommy Walsh (St Kilda) THE YEAR SO FAR by Sam the Stats Man Who would ever have believed that almost a third of the way through the season, two of Melbourne’s true playmakers Liam Jurrah and Colin Sylvia would not have scored a goal between them for the Demons? Injuries and poor form are again dogging the club as we look at the players statistically over the first seven rounds:- BAIL, Rohan MFC 7 games, 3 goals, CFC Sen 1 game, 0 goals – yet to really fire. BARTRAM, Clint MFC 7 games, 1 goal - moved to the leadership group at the start of the year, Bartram has rejuvenated his career with some steady if not spectacular performances. BATE, Matthew MFC 7 games, 5 goals - attempting to resurrect his career but three games as opening sub haven't helped greatly. BENNELL, Jamie MFC 2 games, 0 goals, CFC Sen 4 games, 1 goal - great at Casey but unimpressive so far in the big league. BLEASE, Sam MFC 1 game, 0 goals, CFC Sen 5 games, 5 goals - disappointed at his only start in the AFL but has worked hard at Casey. CLARK, Mitch MFC 6 games, 17 goals - Melbourne's recruit of the year. COOK, Lucas CFC Sen 2 games, 3 goals, CFC DL 1 game, 5 goals - has been in the background at Casey after recovering from injury and is still some way from making an AFL debut. COUCH, Tom ® CFC Sen 6 games, 2 goals - showing excellent form at Casey but missed a big opportunity last week when he missed with illness. DAVEY, Aaron MFC 6 games, 5 goals - well down on form and confidence. Needs to improve his fitness. DAVIS, Troy CFC Sen 6 games, 2 Goals - continues to show good form and promise with the Scorpions. DUNN, Lynden MFC 5 games, 6 goals, CFC Sen 2 games, 3 goals - career at the crossroads. Does well at Casey and not too bad when with the Demons. EVANS, Michael ® - out indefinitely with a back injury. FITZPATRICK, Jack MFC 1 game, 0 goals, CFC Sen 6 games, 9 goals – clawed his way back into the senior side last week but needs time and senior experience in his legs. FRAWLEY, James MFC 6 games, 0 goals - working hard in defence against the odds. GARLAND, Colin MFC 7 games, 0 goals – steady and workmanlike but needs to produce more. GAWN, Max - the handy young ruckman is out for the year following his second ACL injury. GREEN, Brad MFC 2 games, 1 goal, CFC Sen 2 games, 2 goals – disappointing drop off in form and then a broken thumb at Casey have cruelled his season to date. GRIMES, Jack MFC 6 games, 0 goals, CFC Sen 1 game, 0 goals - co-captain has not had a great impact this season and missed a week through suspension. GYSBERTS, Jordan CFC Sen 3 games, 0 goals - we've seen very little of Gysberts who suffered a broken jaw at Geelong after shrugging off an ankle injury. Will miss another three to five weeks. HOWE, Jeremy MFC 7 games, 6 goals - solid this season having added endurance and strength to his repertoire to go will his high marking skills. JAMAR, Mark MFC 7 games, 0 goals - dominant in the ruck at times although not as in tune with the onballers at his feet as he was two years ago. JETTA, Neville - came back from a shoulder injury (that wasn't successfully dealt with in the first place) only to incur torn ankle ligaments and recently had a setback with an infection. JONES, Nathan MFC 7 games, 7 goals - hard work on the track is starting to pay off. JURRAH, Liam CFC Sen 2 games, 2 goals - the wrist injury and legal issues have soured his season so far. LAWRENCE, Kelvin ® CFC Sen 5 games, 3 goals, CFC DL 2 games, 3 goals - battling rookie starting to show some consistency in the VFL. MACDONALD, Joel MFC 4 games, 0 goals, CFC Sen 2 games, 0 goals - spare parts man in defence recently despatched to Casey. MAGNER, James MFC 7 games, 3 goals - one of the club's few success stories of 2012 so far, midfielder Magner would be in the top three in the club's best and fairest at this stage. MARTIN, Stefan MFC 2 games, 1 goals, CFC Sen 1 games, 1 goals - a hip injury has marred his progress. McDONALD, Tom MFC 6 games, 0 goals, CFC Sen 2 games, 4 goals - making solid progress with the Demons after breaking into the side. MCKENZIE, Jordie MFC 7 games, 1 goal - a hard worker often given some tough assignments in the midfield. MOLONEY, Brent MFC 5 games, 2 goals - well below the form that made him club champion in 2011. MORTON, Cale MFC 5 games, 1 goal, CFC Sen 3 games, 1 goals - has worked hard to restore his status at the club after a couple of disappointing seasons. NICHOLSON, Daniel ® CFC Sen 3 games, 1 goal, CFC DL 1 game, 0 goals - slowly coming back at Casey from injury and a week's suspension for disciplinary reasons. PETTERD, Ricky MFC 2 games, 0 goals, CFC Sen 3 games, 3 goals - form well below expectations to date. RIVERS, Jared MFC 7 games, 0 goals - is having a reasonably good season in a defence under fire. SELLAR, James MFC 5 games, 1 goals, CFC Sen 1 games, 0 goals - filled roles in defence and on the ball without being outstanding. SHEAHAN, Jai ® MFC CFC Sen 7 games, 0 goals - rookie who has barely put a foot wrong in defence at AFL level. SPENCER, Jake CFC Sen 4 games, 1 goal, CFC DL 1 game, 1 goal - slowly progressing on return from almost 12 months absence after an ACL injury. STRAUSS, James CFC Sen 1 game, 0 goals - suffered concussion in the opening round of the VFL season, missed a couple of weeks and is due to come back after incurring ongoing leg problems related to last year's broken leg. SYLVIA, Colin MFC 3 games, 0 goals - suffered a fracture in his back on the eve of the season and has struggled since his return. TAGGERT, Rory CFC Sen 3 games, 2 goals - injured his back in the preseason but has been very impressive on return at Casey. TAPSCOTT, Luke MFC 4 games, 0 goals, CFC Sen 4 games, 3 goals - missed most of the pre season and has not struck the form of early last year. TRENGOVE, Jack MFC 7 games, 3 goals - co-skipper has struggled in the role and doesn't look 100%. TYNAN, Josh MFC 1 games 0 goals, CFC Sen 2 games, 1 goal - impressed when given an early opportunity but was dropped back to Casey. Currently out for a couple more weeks with a foot injury. VINEY, Jack * CFC Sen 1 game, 0 goals - suffered a broken jaw late in his only game with Casey. Showed great promise before being injured. WATTS, Jack MFC 5 games, 4 goals, CFC Sen 3 games, 7 goals - had a reasonable start after being dropped to Casey after the NAB Cup games but lapsed again and returned to the VFL for a couple of weeks. WILLIAMS, Leigh ® CFC Sen 2 games, 2 goals, CFC DL 1 game, 3 goals - injury and illness have restricted him to bit pieces in a few games with the Scorpions.
  12. TWILIGHT ZONE by Whispering Jack Last night an intrepid group of people associated with the legal profession met for the annual Devil’s Advocates dinner mc’d by former MFC board member Bev O’Connor and hosted by prominent Melbourne family lawyer, Ralph Glezer. You have to be intrepid if you’re a Melbourne fan because, as Chris Connolly told the audience, there is a great deal being thrown at us from the cheap seats in these early days of the club’s new coaching regime. It was a theme of the night that rather than being in the deep trouble as painted by some of the pundits, the Demons are indeed building for a better future. Connolly noted that in recent years the club had repaid its debt, reshaped its deal with the MCC, acquired a valuable asset in the Bentleigh Club, grown its membership. The necessary ingredients for long term success are being put together so that despite the short term pain of the current 0-7 win/loss ratio as the team learns a new style of play, the vision that will see a strong Melbourne in the years to come remains on track. Glezer congratulated the gathering and all club supporters who stand firm at this time. It was fitting that he was able to pay a special tribute to the late Jim Stynes who was responsible for much of the club’s financial resurgence on the day on which the AFL, the MFC and the Reach Foundation proudly announced the launch of the Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award. Three players in attendance, Matthew Bate, Cale Morton and Stef Martin all impressed with their approach to the difficult season so far. It’s difficult for the supporters who measure things by way only of reference to the premiership table. The football department has other indicators that also need to be looked at in terms of the process of change sweeping through the club. Neil Craig and Josh Mahoney also confirmed that the club has this vision that is certainly being embraced internally. Craig spoke of the particular difficulties faced by new coach Mark Neeld and asked what new coach would have such a controversial start with distractions such as the incident involving Liam Jurrah (couple with his injury), the death of Jim Stynes, the false claims of racism against him and the sponsorship fiasco with Energy Watch? Craig made it clear that the club and Neeld had handled every obstacle put in their way with great dignity while those at other clubs and in the media who have been overcritical have a lot to answer for by comparison with the way in which they have conducted themselves at this time. The wheel will turn. Despite this, the feeling among the lawyers was not particularly optimistic but their mood was improved with estate agent Phil Kingston's wit and incise humour when auctioning items at the end of the function. It suddenly dawned on me that if a group's collective mood can be changed so swiftly then why can't the same stand for a group of footballers whose confidence has been down for several weeks? I'm therefore looking forward to this week’s twilight game at the SCG and I’m going out on a limb by saying that the Demons are ready to take off and make the critics eat humble pie. I think they will win this game and thereafter continue to show improvement for the remainder of the season. Laugh, if you wish but I’m very bullish on Melbourne when it comes to taking on the Swans even in the confined spaces of the SCG. In recent years, Sydney has struggled against Melbourne which sent vocal critic Paul Roos off with an almighty thumping in 2010. Roos is obviously smarting from the embarrassment because he never misses an opportunity to sink the boots into the Demons. I will get great pleasure in seeing Melbourne do likewise to his old side this Saturday. The last time the teams met was at the MCG in round 1 last year when they drew. For the purpose of the exercise, these were the teams as selected that day. MELBOURNE (Round 1, 2011) Backs Clint Bartram Jared Rivers Joel Macdonald Half backs Jack Grimes Colin Garland Jamie Bennell Centreline Nathan Jones Brent Moloney Luke Tapscott Half forwards Rohan Bail Colin Sylvia Liam Jurrah Forwards Jack Watts Brad Green Addam Maric Followers Mark Jamar Lynden Dunn Aaron Davey Interchange Neville Jetta Stefan Martin Ricky Petterd Jack Trengove Emergencies Jake Spencer James Strauss Matthew Warnock SYDNEY (Round 1, 2011) Backs Paul Bevan Ted Richards Martin Mattner Half backs Rhys Shaw Heath Grundy Andrejs Everitt Centreline Daniel Hannebery Kieren Jack Nick Smith Half forwards Lewis Jetta Adam Goodes Ben McGlynn Forwards Ryan O'Keefe Sam Reid Jesse White Followers Shane Mumford Josh Kennedy Jarrod McVeigh Interchange Jude Bolton Gary Rohan Mark Seaby Byron Sumner Emergencies Craig Bird Jed Lamb Brett Meredith I look at the two teams and note only two players from the Melbourne side of that day are not available to play - Neville Jetta (ankle injury) and Addam Maric (now with Richmond). You could include Mitch Clark and James Magner and you have what is notionally a far superior list than that which drew with the Swans in round 1 last year. Then I look at Sydney's team from that day and there's no Adam Goodes, Shane Mumford or Gary Rohan and many of its payers have been well below par in form over the past couple of weeks. They can't replace that lot for quality, their confidence is down and yet the Swans are red hot favourites to win. I know it's not much to go on but it's enough for me to come up with one of my famous inspired hunches. My conclusion from this is that it’s only a matter of time before Melbourne realises that it’s all in the head and that they quite capable of beating an out of form Sydney that is missing key players. If the Demons grab the opportunity and a confident mood starts spreading through the team a win is possible. I’m tipping the Demons by 12 points. THE GAME Melbourne v Sydney at the SCG Saturday 19 May at 4.40pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Sydney 106 wins Melbourne 92 wins 2 draws At SCG Sydney 13 wins Melbourne 8 wins Since 2000 Sydney 12 wins Melbourne 7 wins 1 draw The Coaches Longmire 0 Neeld 0 MEDIA Fox Footy Channel live at 4.30pm. RADIO SEN ABC774 THE BETTING Sydney to win $1.09 Melbourne to win $7.50 LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 11.18.74 drew with Sydney Swans 11.18.74 in Round 1, 2011 The teams sparred against each other all day and first one and then the other held the ascendency. The Demons, with Ricky Petterd on fire as the sub who came on in the final term, grabbed the lead late but a Ryan O’Keefe behind tied things up. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE Backs James Frawley Jared Rivers Clint Bartram Half backs Jack Grimes Colin Garland, Tom McDonald Centreline Cale Morton Brent Moloney Nathan Jones Half forwards Jack Trengove Jack Watts Liam Jurrah Forwards Jeremy Howe Mitch Clark Aaron Davey Followers Mark Jamar Jordie McKenzie Colin Sylvia Interchange Jamie Bennell Sam Blease Brad Green James Magner Emergencies Rohan Bail Lynden Dunn James Sellar In Sam Blease Brad Green Liam Jurrah Jack Watts Out Rohan Bail Matthew Bate Jack Fitzpatrick Ricky Petterd SYDNEY SWANS Backs Martin Mattner Ted Richards Rhyce Shaw Half backs Nicholas Smith Heath Grundy Jarrad McVeigh Centreline Lewis Jetta Josh P Kennedy Nick Malceski Half forwards Ryan O'Keefe Tommy Walsh Daniel Hannebery Forwards Ben McGlynn Sam Reid Trent Dennis-Lane Followers Mike Pyke Kieren Jack Jude Bolton Interchange Craig Bird Alex Johnson Luke Parker Lewis Roberts-Thomson Emergencies Andrejs Everitt Jesse White In Mike Pyke Lewis Roberts-Thomson Tommy Walsh Out Andrejs Everitt Mark Seaby Jesse White New Tommy Walsh (St Kilda) THE YEAR SO FAR by Sam the Stats Man Who would ever have believed that almost a third of the way through the season, two of Melbourne’s true playmakers Liam Jurrah and Colin Sylvia would not have scored a goal between them for the Demons? Injuries and poor form are again dogging the club as we look at the players statistically over the first seven rounds:- BAIL, Rohan MFC 7 games, 3 goals, CFC Sen 1 game, 0 goals – yet to really fire. BARTRAM, Clint MFC 7 games, 1 goal - moved to the leadership group at the start of the year, Bartram has rejuvenated his career with some steady if not spectacular performances. BATE, Matthew MFC 7 games, 5 goals - attempting to resurrect his career but three games as opening sub haven't helped greatly. BENNELL, Jamie MFC 2 games, 0 goals, CFC Sen 4 games, 1 goal - great at Casey but unimpressive so far in the big league. BLEASE, Sam MFC 1 game, 0 goals, CFC Sen 5 games, 5 goals - disappointed at his only start in the AFL but has worked hard at Casey. CLARK, Mitch MFC 6 games, 17 goals - Melbourne's recruit of the year. COOK, Lucas CFC Sen 2 games, 3 goals, CFC DL 1 game, 5 goals - has been in the background at Casey after recovering from injury and is still some way from making an AFL debut. COUCH, Tom ® CFC Sen 6 games, 2 goals - showing excellent form at Casey but missed a big opportunity last week when he missed with illness. DAVEY, Aaron MFC 6 games, 5 goals - well down on form and confidence. Needs to improve his fitness. DAVIS, Troy CFC Sen 6 games, 2 Goals - continues to show good form and promise with the Scorpions. DUNN, Lynden MFC 5 games, 6 goals, CFC Sen 2 games, 3 goals - career at the crossroads. Does well at Casey and not too bad when with the Demons. EVANS, Michael ® - out indefinitely with a back injury. FITZPATRICK, Jack MFC 1 game, 0 goals, CFC Sen 6 games, 9 goals – clawed his way back into the senior side last week but needs time and senior experience in his legs. FRAWLEY, James MFC 6 games, 0 goals - working hard in defence against the odds. GARLAND, Colin MFC 7 games, 0 goals – steady and workmanlike but needs to produce more. GAWN, Max - the handy young ruckman is out for the year following his second ACL injury. GREEN, Brad MFC 2 games, 1 goal, CFC Sen 2 games, 2 goals – disappointing drop off in form and then a broken thumb at Casey have cruelled his season to date. GRIMES, Jack MFC 6 games, 0 goals, CFC Sen 1 game, 0 goals - co-captain has not had a great impact this season and missed a week through suspension. GYSBERTS, Jordan CFC Sen 3 games, 0 goals - we've seen very little of Gysberts who suffered a broken jaw at Geelong after shrugging off an ankle injury. Will miss another three to five weeks. HOWE, Jeremy MFC 7 games, 6 goals - solid this season having added endurance and strength to his repertoire to go will his high marking skills. JAMAR, Mark MFC 7 games, 0 goals - dominant in the ruck at times although not as in tune with the onballers at his feet as he was two years ago. JETTA, Neville - came back from a shoulder injury (that wasn't successfully dealt with in the first place) only to incur torn ankle ligaments and recently had a setback with an infection. JONES, Nathan MFC 7 games, 7 goals - hard work on the track is starting to pay off. JURRAH, Liam CFC Sen 2 games, 2 goals - the wrist injury and legal issues have soured his season so far. LAWRENCE, Kelvin ® CFC Sen 5 games, 3 goals, CFC DL 2 games, 3 goals - battling rookie starting to show some consistency in the VFL. MACDONALD, Joel MFC 4 games, 0 goals, CFC Sen 2 games, 0 goals - spare parts man in defence recently despatched to Casey. MAGNER, James MFC 7 games, 3 goals - one of the club's few success stories of 2012 so far, midfielder Magner would be in the top three in the club's best and fairest at this stage. MARTIN, Stefan MFC 2 games, 1 goals, CFC Sen 1 games, 1 goals - a hip injury has marred his progress. McDONALD, Tom MFC 6 games, 0 goals, CFC Sen 2 games, 4 goals - making solid progress with the Demons after breaking into the side. MCKENZIE, Jordie MFC 7 games, 1 goal - a hard worker often given some tough assignments in the midfield. MOLONEY, Brent MFC 5 games, 2 goals - well below the form that made him club champion in 2011. MORTON, Cale MFC 5 games, 1 goal, CFC Sen 3 games, 1 goals - has worked hard to restore his status at the club after a couple of disappointing seasons. NICHOLSON, Daniel ® CFC Sen 3 games, 1 goal, CFC DL 1 game, 0 goals - slowly coming back at Casey from injury and a week's suspension for disciplinary reasons. PETTERD, Ricky MFC 2 games, 0 goals, CFC Sen 3 games, 3 goals - form well below expectations to date. RIVERS, Jared MFC 7 games, 0 goals - is having a reasonably good season in a defence under fire. SELLAR, James MFC 5 games, 1 goals, CFC Sen 1 games, 0 goals - filled roles in defence and on the ball without being outstanding. SHEAHAN, Jai ® MFC CFC Sen 7 games, 0 goals - rookie who has barely put a foot wrong in defence at AFL level. SPENCER, Jake CFC Sen 4 games, 1 goal, CFC DL 1 game, 1 goal - slowly progressing on return from almost 12 months absence after an ACL injury. STRAUSS, James CFC Sen 1 game, 0 goals - suffered concussion in the opening round of the VFL season, missed a couple of weeks and is due to come back after incurring ongoing leg problems related to last year's broken leg. SYLVIA, Colin MFC 3 games, 0 goals - suffered a fracture in his back on the eve of the season and has struggled since his return. TAGGERT, Rory CFC Sen 3 games, 2 goals - injured his back in the preseason but has been very impressive on return at Casey. TAPSCOTT, Luke MFC 4 games, 0 goals, CFC Sen 4 games, 3 goals - missed most of the pre season and has not struck the form of early last year. TRENGOVE, Jack MFC 7 games, 3 goals - co-skipper has struggled in the role and doesn't look 100%. TYNAN, Josh MFC 1 games 0 goals, CFC Sen 2 games, 1 goal - impressed when given an early opportunity but was dropped back to Casey. Currently out for a couple more weeks with a foot injury. VINEY, Jack * CFC Sen 1 game, 0 goals - suffered a broken jaw late in his only game with Casey. Showed great promise before being injured. WATTS, Jack MFC 5 games, 4 goals, CFC Sen 3 games, 7 goals - had a reasonable start after being dropped to Casey after the NAB Cup games but lapsed again and returned to the VFL for a couple of weeks. WILLIAMS, Leigh ® CFC Sen 2 games, 2 goals, CFC DL 1 game, 3 goals - injury and illness have restricted him to bit pieces in a few games with the Scorpions.
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