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The Outlook: Senior Players in 2012

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Good teams, whether they be flag winning teams or just good, honest sides have a group of senior players that determine their destiny. Let's discuss ours.

I thought we could have a bit of a look at:

  • the level of our senior players compared to the competition,
  • and the number of important players that have had an uninterrupted, or nearly uninterrupted, Pre-Season.

Senior players, using the benchmark of 23+ years old and 70+ games of experience, consist of; Green, Moloney, Rivers, Davey, Sylvia, Jamar, MacDonald, Batram, Bate, Dunn, Frawley, Jones and Clark.

Important players is subjective of course, but I see as; the senior players minus MacDonald and Dunn (Bate and Batram seem to be seen as important to our new FD), Trengove, Grimes, Frawley, Jurrah, Garland, Martin, and McKenzie.

At a basic level - how good is this group in 2012 and how fit are they heading into the season.

From what I can gather, those from this group that have had an interrupted pre-season: Davey, Grimes, Jurrah, and McKenzie.

Nearly uninterrupted: Moloney, Clark, and Trengove.

With the rest having uninterrupted Pre-Seasons.

I don't think our senior players are good enough to take us where we want to go, but I think they will have a better 2012 than 2011 for two reasons - they were awful in 2012 and Bate, Batram, and Clark have bolstered the ranks of the senior players for 2012 with the FD looking to these three older bodies to have a consistent role in the side.

However, they don't stack up against the best yet, and they can barely keep their head above water against middling sides.

We are set for a frustrating 2012.

I guess I have two questions: have I classified players' Pre-Seasons correctly, and where do you think they will take us in 2012?

Edited by rpfc

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Jones turns 24 this year and has over 100 games of experience. Had a ripping pre-season too.

The moral of your story though is the same though.

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An important player you left off is Jones who looks set to step up to another level yet again (after consistently improving for the past two seasons). A lot will depend on Neeld's ability to instill some discipline, in which case, if he is successful in doing so, then I would expect Sylvia to add some consistency to his game,

Hopefully Davey will shake himself out of his form/attitude slump, Grimes will add some run providing he remains injury free and Martin will continue his improvement. If Bate has turned his form around (hard to gauge from last week's mud wrestle) that could make a big difference to our fortunes as well.

All in all, I think there is some reason to be optimistic... but having said that, I will reserve judgement until we have played 4 or 5 rounds.

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Jones turns 24 this year and has over 100 games of experience. Had a ripping pre-season too.

The moral of your story though is the same though.

That"s an oversight. Fixed.

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I think you are being pessimistic about the potential in the senior group.

Green - Best = B&F winner 2010, All Australian 2010 - worst = 2011

Moloney - Best = B&F 2011 - Worst = Geelong 2011

Rivers - Best top 3 B&F 2011, rising star, etc... - Worst = ?

Davey - Best = B&F winner 2009 - Worst = 2011

Sylvia - Best = Rising Star Nominee 2005, 10 Brownlow votes in 2010 - Worst = inconsistent

Jamar - Best = 3rd B&F 2010 - Worst = injury

MacDonald - Best = ? - Worst = ?

Bartam - Best = Rising Star Nominee 2006 - Worst = ?

Bate - Best = Rising Star Nominee 2006, 3rd in B&F 2007 - Worst = 2011

Dunn - Best = moustache - Worst = moustache,

Frawley - Best = 2nd in B&F 2010, All Aust 2010 - Worst = ?

Clark - Best = 3rd Brissie B&F 2009, Lion leading goal kicker 2011 - Worst = ?

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What factor did you weigh the new coach and revamped FD here rpfc?

I get the impression the players know they need to lift this year. How long that attitude can push them we will find out.

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I think you are being pessimistic about the potential in the senior group.

Green - Best = B&F winner 2010, All Australian 2010 - worst = 2011

Moloney - Best = B&F 2011 - Worst = Geelong 2011

Rivers - Best top 3 B&F 2011, rising star, etc... - Worst = ?

Davey - Best = B&F winner 2009 - Worst = 2011

Sylvia - Best = Rising Star Nominee 2005, 10 Brownlow votes in 2010 - Worst = inconsistent

Jamar - Best = 3rd B&F 2010 - Worst = injury

MacDonald - Best = ? - Worst = ?

Bartam - Best = Rising Star Nominee 2006 - Worst = ?

Bate - Best = Rising Star Nominee 2006, 3rd in B&F 2007 - Worst = 2011

Dunn - Best = moustache - Worst = moustache,

Frawley - Best = 2nd in B&F 2010, All Aust 2010 - Worst = ?

Clark - Best = 3rd Brissie B&F 2009, Lion leading goal kicker 2011 - Worst = ?

Well argued.

However, relatively to other teams? The comp in general?

Our senior players were better than PA, GWS, and just pipped GC thanks to Campbell Brown's Insane Escapades...

Green, Davey, and Sylvia are unreliable class.

Rivers and Moloney are great and then just going.

Batram, MacDonald, Bate, and Dunn are battling. How hard they battle? We will see.

Jamar and Frawley are consistently good, solid citizens.

Clark is a relative unknown to me as I don't take as close a look at other teams' players as I do Demons.

At the start of 2011 I started a thread that said 'Warning! Warning! Don't expect too much, our senior players will struggle!' and at the end of 2011 I have as much faith in them as the Pope in Buddha.

But they will be better, I am sure.

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What factor did you weigh the new coach and revamped FD here rpfc?

I get the impression the players know they need to lift this year. How long that attitude can push them we will find out.

It's up to those on the field to improve.

One point I will make about Neeld and Co. that affects this argument is that they have seen fit to push older boys into the team (Clark, Bate, and Batram) because they know that the kids need help - they need some strong bodies and minds in there. I would also include Magner and Couch in this argument but I do believe AFL experience is important to being a senior player in an AFL team.

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I think you are being pessimistic about the potential in the senior group.

Green - Best = B&F winner 2010, All Australian 2010 - worst = 2011

Moloney - Best = B&F 2011 - Worst = Geelong 2011

Rivers - Best top 3 B&F 2011, rising star, etc... - Worst = ?

Davey - Best = B&F winner 2009 - Worst = 2011

Sylvia - Best = Rising Star Nominee 2005, 10 Brownlow votes in 2010 - Worst = inconsistent

Jamar - Best = 3rd B&F 2010 - Worst = injury

MacDonald - Best = ? - Worst = ?

Bartam - Best = Rising Star Nominee 2006 - Worst = ?

Bate - Best = Rising Star Nominee 2006, 3rd in B&F 2007 - Worst = 2011

Dunn - Best = moustache - Worst = moustache,

Frawley - Best = 2nd in B&F 2010, All Aust 2010 - Worst = ?

Clark - Best = 3rd Brissie B&F 2009, Lion leading goal kicker 2011 - Worst = ?

We will never be any good while the listed players above are our seinor players.

When these players below are the main core that is when we progress:

Grimes

Trengove

Tappy

Gysberts

Blease

McKenzie

Frawley

Garland

Howe

Gawn

& Co

Forget the older guys they have had their chance.

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It's up to those on the field to improve.

One point I will make about Neeld and Co. that affects this argument is that they have seen fit to push older boys into the team (Clark, Bate, and Batram) because they know that the kids need help - they need some strong bodies and minds in there. I would also include Magner and Couch in this argument but I do believe AFL experience is important to being a senior player in an AFL team.

It's not just about on the field though even though that is the end product.

Neeld made the pertinent point last year that our standard of training (not just pre-season but week in week out) needs to improve and the Magner types will contribute to this. Our collective mental hardness should make a move for the better this year but it won't happen over night. So preparation being a significant part of execution is a key.

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It's up to those on the field to improve.

One point I will make about Neeld and Co. that affects this argument is that they have seen fit to push older boys into the team (Clark, Bate, and Batram) because they know that the kids need help - they need some strong bodies and minds in there. I would also include Magner and Couch in this argument but I do believe AFL experience is important to being a senior player in an AFL team.

Agree with you there.

We are in the mid table log jam in my view.

If the playing list does improve they could taste September, if not well we all know how bad they can play.

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It's not just about on the field though even though that is the end product.

Neeld made the pertinent point last year that our standard of training (not just pre-season but week in week out) needs to improve and the Magner types will contribute to this. Our collective mental hardness should make a move for the better this year but it won't happen over night. So preparation being a significant part of execution is a key.

I think that is true at the margins but "le revolucion" will not happen until the post below is realised...

We will never be any good while the listed players above are our seinor players.

When these players below are the main core that is when we progress:

Grimes

Trengove

Tappy

Gysberts

Blease

McKenzie

Frawley

Garland

Howe

Gawn

& Co

Forget the older guys they have had their chance.

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I think that in previous seasons the absence of a coherent game plan lead to senior players such as Green, Davey and Sylvia being played all over the ground as the team/opposition/game state required. of these three only Sylvia has a position HFF that I'd see as his with Davey and Green thrown around in recent years... They will flourish (as all players do) by consistently playing a role in a position with occasional swing through the midfield, i.e. Davey as a small forward, Green as wing/HFF.

The way Davey and Green played and were played in 2011 reduced their output/values massively and ended in the coach being sacked, that's not a coincidence.

Talent and experience don't evaporate overnight, they will be back, and with simpler roles and diminished responsibilities will start enjoying their footy again... as will several of your seniors.

2012 will be a ripper

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Our improvement in 2012 needs to come from the younger players on our list, the potential that we have put together over the past 4 years. As these players get better you will also find the senior players will play better. For us to move up the ladder we need to see Trengove, Watts, Blease, Grimes, Gysberts, Strauss, Morton, Howe, Bail, Jurrah, Mckenzie and Tapscott, playing good consistant footy. This then takes some pressure of Green, Moloney, Davey and Sylvia.

We have seen over the past 4 years that the senior players on our list have struggled with the young list around them.

The addition of Clark and by the look of things Martin to our forward line it means Green, Sylvia can play as mid sized forwards with midfield runs rather than playing that key forward roll.

With the midfielders Jones for some reason was left out on a wing when we needed big bodys in the middle. Moloney was our only regular big bodied player in the middle he attracted a lot of attention. you can see already Jones, Bate, Magner, Couch, Sylvia spending time in the middle so again Moloney isn't the only strong player in there.

Rivers had a good year last year, once again we need to put smart decision makers around him.

Davey had no idea what position he was playing from game to game for the past 4 years

I think you will see a different attitude from our senior players, I don't think they are that bad they have just lack the support.

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Man, I'm tired of hearing how worthless our senior players are. I'd really like to hear some positive support from "supporters". I'd hate to be in the trenches with some of you guys. I think I'd be more concerned about getting shot in the back than about facing the enemy.

O.K., I've been guilty of having a crack at Cale Morton from time to time but FFS can we leave Brad Green alone please. He had one bad year and that seems to have wiped out all that's gone before. He's been loyal and given his best to this club through some heart-breaking times. How about we all lighten up and look forward to a fresh start for all concerned.

Positivity breeds success - negativity achieves nothing.

Edited by Crawf52

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I think that is true at the margins but "le revolucion" will not happen until the post below is realised...

I'm not suggesting a revolution here. I was simply following on from your point about bringing in some experienced and harder types into the team - it is as significant to our younger players during the week as it is to our fortunes on game day. From that pov, we give the next generation of senior players a better platform.

Your main premise: "I don't think our senior players are good enough to take us where we want to go, but I think they will have a better 2012 than 2011" I agree with.

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So much of all this will simply come down which versions of certain players take to the track

A Davey reborn, A Colin with some mental fortitde, A Jurrah with pizzaz and engine, A Green without any remnants of 2011, A Moloney with another sting to his bow... and we have some oomph !!

Im not taking away anything from the efforts of other players but these may well be the litmus of our fortunes.

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Man, I'm tired of hearing how worthless our senior players are. I'd really like to hear some positive support from "supporters". I'd hate to be in the trenches with some of you guys. I think I'd be more concerned about getting shot in the back than about facing the enemy.

O.K., I've been guilty of having a crack at Cale Morton from time to time but FFS can we leave Brad Green alone please. He had one bad year and that seems to have wiped out all that's gone before. He's been loyal and given his best to this club through some heart-breaking times. How about we all lighten up and look forward to a fresh start for all concerned.

Positivity breeds success - negativity achieves nothing.

Crawf52 at the risk of further inflaming your sensitivities I think the majority of the senior group have shown us they are average AFL players.

There is not one game breaker amongst them, no one even close to a Buddy or Judd.

That person will have to come from the younger group.

If one does not appear over the next couple of years then we are destined to continue the path of the past.

The current senior list IMO is capable of getting us into postion 7 -8 at the end of the year but that is my best expectation.

Too often on Demonland we over rate our players.

Results speak for themselves.

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Well argued.

However, relatively to other teams? The comp in general?

Our senior players were better than PA, GWS, and just pipped GC thanks to Campbell Brown's Insane Escapades...

Green, Davey, and Sylvia are unreliable class.

Rivers and Moloney are great and then just going.

Batram, MacDonald, Bate, and Dunn are battling. How hard they battle? We will see.

Jamar and Frawley are consistently good, solid citizens.

Clark is a relative unknown to me as I don't take as close a look at other teams' players as I do Demons.

At the start of 2011 I started a thread that said 'Warning! Warning! Don't expect too much, our senior players will struggle!' and at the end of 2011 I have as much faith in them as the Pope in Buddha.

But they will be better, I am sure.

I agree - what I'd love to see is some week on week consistency from this group. We know they are all capable, but they don't do it every week - we've looked brittle in recent years - looking at our NAB team last week - we actually look to have a bit of size and strength about us - we need that to translate into presence, every week

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Crawf52 at the risk of further inflaming your sensitivities I think the majority of the senior group have shown us they are average AFL players.

There is not one game breaker amongst them, no one even close to a Buddy or Judd.

That person will have to come from the younger group.

If one does not appear over the next couple of years then we are destined to continue the path of the past.

The current senior list IMO is capable of getting us into postion 7 -8 at the end of the year but that is my best expectation.

Too often on Demonland we over rate our players.

Results speak for themselves.

Did I say our senior players were gamebreakers? Who did I over rate? What I'm saying is, they are what we have, let's support them. If I was a player I'd be more likely to run into Jonathon Brown if I knew my club's supporters were behind me. If I thought they were actively gunning for me and making derogatory statements behind a cloak of anonymity I'd probably put in a couple of short ones and go around him. As I said, positive feedback works a whole lot more effectively than constant negativity. I'll make the same point again, if we truly love our club we should support the players we have. They are out there each week taking the knocks; along with the media's criticism. Should they expect the same from their"supporters"?

I love the fact I'm a Melbourne supporter and I pay my membership fees each year to support the club. I get tired of sitting in the reserved seats area and hearing the constant harping criticism from supposed supporters. In fact this year I asked for my seats to be changed to remove myself and my sons from one particular character who made a day at the footy a painful experience. We run the risk of becoming a laughing stock among other clubs. I don't want to be branded as one of those "whinging Melbourne supporters" who think it's appropriate to hurl criticism at their own players. I've been a supporter since 1960 and I've been frustrated for a lot of those years but I choose to support the club because I believe it stands for something. My advice to those who just want to be critical is to go and support someone else.

Edited by Crawf52

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Did I say our senior players were gamebreakers? Who did I over rate? What I'm saying is, they are what we have, let's support them. If I was a player I'd be more likely to run into Jonathon Brown if I knew my club's supporters were behind me. If I thought they were actively gunning for me and making derogatory statements behind a cloak of anonymity I'd probably put in a couple of short ones and go around him. As I said, positive feedback works a whole lot more effectively than constant negativity. I'll make the same point again, if we truly love our club we should support the players we have. They are out there each week taking the knocks; along with the media's criticism. Should they expect the same from their"supporters"?

I love the fact I'm a Melbourne supporter and I pay my membership fees each year to support the club. I get tired of sitting in the reserved seats area and hearing the constant harping criticism from supposed supporters. In fact this year I asked for my seats to be changed to remove myself and my sons from one particular character who made a day at the footy a painful experience. We run the risk of becoming a laughing stock among other clubs. I don't want to be branded as one of those "whinging Melbourne supporters" who think it's appropriate to hurl criticism at their own players. I've been a supporter since 1960 and I've been frustrated for a lot of those years but I choose to support the club because I believe it stands for something. My advice to those who just want to be critical is to go and support someone else.

I was trying to point out that our group of senior players are not good only average.

We can have all the positivity we like but it will not change their skill level.

I too have been around since 1960 through a little thich and a lot of thin.

All teams have the type of supporters you describe you probably just notice ours more

and in the end if they pay their membership they have the right to their view correct or not.

I live for the day we are in GF contention I just think it is a ways off yet.

I will settle for a season with no 30 goal losses and a finish higher than 2011.

beyond that I think we are dreaming and I have had far to many of those in the last 40+ years

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I was trying to point out that our group of senior players are not good only average.

We can have all the positivity we like but it will not change their skill level.

I too have been around since 1960 through a little thich and a lot of thin.

All teams have the type of supporters you describe you probably just notice ours more

and in the end if they pay their membership they have the right to their view correct or not.

I live for the day we are in GF contention I just think it is a ways off yet.

I will settle for a season with no 30 goal losses and a finish higher than 2011.

beyond that I think we are dreaming and I have had far to many of those in the last 40+ years

I agree with what you're saying about the players and that we're still a long way from the top. It's a free world and yes, supporters who've paid their money are entitiled to voice their opinion, but I guess I'm coming from a teacher's perspective. I know that if I keep telling kids they're useless, they will more than likely start to believe me and stop trying. I know also that a little bit of positive feedback can turn a struggler into a great student. It's simple psychology really. It would be an interesting experiment if we could remove all of the negative stuff directed at our players and replace it with exclusively positive, constructive feedback. Yeah, I'm a dreamer, but adults are not much different to kids. Particularly footballers.

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I agree with what you're saying about the players and that we're still a long way from the top. It's a free world and yes, supporters who've paid their money are entitiled to voice their opinion, but I guess I'm coming from a teacher's perspective. I know that if I keep telling kids they're useless, they will more than likely start to believe me and stop trying. I know also that a little bit of positive feedback can turn a struggler into a great student. It's simple psychology really. It would be an interesting experiment if we could remove all of the negative stuff directed at our players and replace it with exclusively positive, constructive feedback. Yeah, I'm a dreamer, but adults are not much different to kids. Particularly footballers.

I did not have the ability to play AFl but I am told by a couple of friends who have that you hear very little out on the ground particularly if it comes from further back than the first couple of rows,so I expect the players in question hear nothing from the supporters that make you angry.

Hang in there Crawf we will hopefully see success before we shuffle off.

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Isn't it funny how we perceive things differently?

I thought I was being positive...

I said we should improve...

Look, I get that overt and consistent negativity isn't great, but that isn't the problem at the MFC (it's a problem, but not the problem).

The real problem is that our expectations on players are outside what they can achieve. I am just attempting to point out that our senior players are not comparable with the best sides, nor middling sides, and until they become more consistent, more committed, or usurped by others - we will struggle.

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I did not have the ability to play AFl but I am told by a couple of friends who have that you hear very little out on the ground particularly if it comes from further back than the first couple of rows,so I expect the players in question hear nothing from the supporters that make you angry.

Hang in there Crawf we will hopefully see success before we shuffle off.

I was going to let you have the last word Old Dee but decided not to.

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    THE PEOPLE SPEAK by The Demonland Crew

    Thanks to Demonlanders for their input into this week’s preview. Ralphius Maximus is short and bittersweet: We'll crack in at the bounce to create a contest, win our share of the ball, butcher the forward movement and get scored on easily from the intercepts. Not that hard to predict. Big Demon says: Unfortunately Collingwood will win because they have a lot more to play for. We will be good in parts but really the season is well over so we will have to put up with those bell

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    Match Previews

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