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TEN YEARS AFTER by William from West Perth

The hardy band of long-suffering Demon followers of the most prosperous state in the Commonwealth welcome back their team on Saturday night in the hope that it can turn on something better than it has on previous visits dating back more than a decade.

Only once in that time has Melbourne tasted victory west of the Nullarbor and that was on a rainy day at Subiaco in Round 11, 2004. It was Brock McLean's breakout game and Peter Vardy lit up the ground with his # 19 jumper.

But I missed that game and the last time I saw a Melbourne win in these parts was against the Eagles in Round 19, 2002 when the Demons fell in by 6 points to break a three game losing streak and secure a place in the finals.

I remember that day well. Travis Johnstone was in sizzling form and Adem Yze was not far behind him. Ironically, the Eagles hadn't lost all year in Perth.

Melbourne fought back after being jumped in the first quarter and booted seven to one in the second. West Coast came back in the third before Melbourne delivered with the wind in the last.

That was Sunday, 11 August, 2002 and it was a far cry from Melbourne's last visit to WA when we were humiliated y the Eagles on a hot April day early this season.  In the absence of Mitch Clark to kick five goals in a single handed performance, who knows how large the West Coast Eagles winning margin would have been?

This week against the purple haze, there will be no Mitch Clark and a number of others from the Demon visit to the ground will also be among the missing. We won't have a chance to farewell Brad Green either because he has hung up his boots.

The Dockers swamped us in the final term at Etihad just a few weeks ago kicking 7 goals to nil and the last nine of the game to turn a three goal deficit into a 34 point win and that was when Freo was out of form! Three weeks later they demolished West Coast by 75 points on the very ground on which Saturday night’s game is being played. No doubt as a result, Sportsbet is offering me $12.00 the win for the Demons!

Still, I am an unabashed supporter and I will be there to farewell the team at the end of its dreadful 2012 and hope that 2013 will bring much better things to come.

THE GAME Fremantle v Melbourne at Patersons Stadium, Saturday 1 September at 7.40pm (AEST)

HEAD TO HEAD

Overall Fremantle 15 wins Melbourne 13 wins

Patersons Stadium Fremantle 8 wins Melbourne 3 wins

Since 2000 Fremantle 11 wins Melbourne 9 wins

The Coaches Lyon 1 win Neeld 0 wins

MEDIA

TV Fox Footy Channel at 7:30pm Channel 7 (live)

RADIO SEN ABC774

THE BETTING Fremantle $1.03 Melbourne $12.00

THE LAST TIME THEY MET

Fremantle 18.9.117 defeated Melbourne 12.11.83 Round 16, 2012 at Etihad

Melbourne led for the first three quarters but its grip on the game was loosened as a result of injuries to Mark Jamar and Jamie Bennell while one or two other were wonky. The Dockers, with Matthew Pavlich starring ran all over the locals who had put in a strong performance earlier in the game but wilted badly at the end.

THE TEAMS 

FREMANTLE

Backs Adam McPhee Luke McPharlin Zac Dawson

Half backs Lee Spurr Michael Johnson Paul Duffield

Centreline Michael Barlow Ryan Crowley Tendai Mzungu

Half forwards Michael Walters Christopher Mayne David Mundy

Forwards Hayden Ballantyne Matthew Pavlich Clancee Pearce

Followers Aaron Sandilands Nathan Fyfe Stephen Hill

Interchange Jonathon Griffin Garrick Ibbotson Thomas Sheridan Nicholas Suban

Emergencies Zachary Clarke Jesse Crichton Dylan Roberton

In Jonathon Griffin Matthew Thomas Sheridan

Out Kepler Bradley (concussion), Zachary Clarke Matthew de Boer (ankle)

MELBOURNE

Backs Joel Macdonald James Sellar Tom McDonald

Half backs Jack Watts James Frawley Lynden Dunn

Centreline Jack Trengove Jordie McKenzie Jack Grimes

Half forwards Luke Tapscott Colin Garland Rohan Bail

Forwards Jeremy Howe Jared Rivers Sam Blease

Followers Mark Jamar Colin Sylvia Nathan Jones

Interchange Jack Fitzpatrick Neville Jetta Daniel Nicholson Josh Tynan

Emergencies Jordan Gysberts Jake Spencer James Strauss

In Jack Fitzpatrick Mark Jamar Josh Tynan

Out Brad Green (retired) Jake Spencer James Strauss

Milestone Jared Rivers 150 games

Things move very quickly in AFL football. A week ago, nobody expected the door to the finals to be shut tight at this point in time. There were many Docker supporters around my workplace who feared their team would lose to the rampant Kangaroos once Matthew Pavlich was ruled unfit for last weekend's game. The expectation was also that Carlton would give Gold Coast a hammering, a result thay would have put the Blues in the eight leaving the Dockers supporters with a nervous week in the lead up to a challenging round that could easily have seen their finals hopes in tatters. 

Well things turned out differently with the Gold Coast Suns scoring a sensational victory over Carlton (goodbye Brett Ratten) and Fremantle knocking  over North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium. 

With the top eight done and dusted, the game on Saturday night assumes a different level of importance. For the visitors it's still one of the toughest games on its fixture but one wonders how the Dockers are going to approach the game. 

On the one hand, there is the view that Fremantle, armed with the knowledge of the outcome of other games played earlier in the round, will tailor its game accordingly. If an eighth place finish gives it the benefit of a home final Derby against a fifth placed finishing West Coast then there are some who might argue, a moderate sized win or even a loss becomes the priority. The flaw with this concept is that, as I pointed out above, things move quickly in the AFL. With Essendon meeting Collingwood at the same time, a shock result in that game would leave egg on the face for Ross Lyon because their first final would suddenly become an away game at the MCG against the Magpies.

I don't think they will flirt with their form on the eve of only the third final series in their history - especially as they've just struck a rich vein of form in recent weeks. I expect Matthew Pavlich to suit up for the game and Aaron Sandilands needs a big warm up after an injury interrupted season. There will be no surprise omissions, no strange positional moves and no tanking.

Besides which they don't need them based on the look of the young side selected by Melbourne for this game. Many far more experienced Demon outfits in the past have struggled with the configuration of this ground. I just can't see them troubling the home side.

Mark Jamar is back but has played little football in the back half of the season and will struggle against the tallest bloke in the competition. The midfield is capably led by Nathan Jones, who has had a great season,  but in its entirety, it lacks the strength  and experience. Colin Sylvia is coming good at this late stage but the forward line, lacked the goalkicking ability even before Brad Green retired and I don't expect miracles in his absence.

The best we might expect in terms of excitement are some exciting speccies from Jumping Jeremy Howe but in any event ...

 

Fremantle by 36 points

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.

That's how long it's been since Melbourne tasted victory in this part of the world, the last one being against the Eagles in Round 19, 2002 when the Demons fell in by 6 points to break a three game losing streak and secure a place in the finals.

Didn't we beat Freo there in rd 11 2004, in the wet. Can recall Vardy going nuts in the last qtr.

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Didn't we beat Freo there in rd 11 2004, in the wet. Can recall Vardy going nuts in the last qtr.

yep :)Fremantle 9.8 (62) Melbourne 13.15 (93) Subiaco Oval 33,125

Sunday, 6 June

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I cannot see any reason for not playing Fitzpatrick and Gyberts in this final game. Unless serious issues are appararent both should play! After nearly a month of consistent footy reward effort and benchmark performance.

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I cannot see any reason for not playing Fitzpatrick and Gyberts in this final game. Unless serious issues are appararent both should play! After nearly a month of consistent footy reward effort and benchmark performance.

Casey finals?

Hammering home the point that players MUST EARN games?

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MELBOURNE

Backs Joel Macdonald James Sellar Tom McDonald

Half backs Jack Watts James Frawley Lynden Dunn

Centreline Jack Trengove Jordie McKenzie Jack Grimes

Half forwards Luke Tapscott Colin Garland Rohan Bail

Forwards Jeremy Howe Jared Rivers Sam Blease

Followers Mark Jamar Colin Sylvia Nathan Jones

Interchange Jack Fitzpatrick Neville Jetta Daniel Nicholson Josh Tynan

Emergencies Jordan Gysberts Jake Spencer James Strauss

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Some strange decisions, some seemingly dumb decisions, and quite possibly an underwhelming end to one MFC hardnut's career ...

In Jack Fitzpatrick Mark Jamar Josh Tynan

Out Brad Green (retired) Jake Spencer James Strauss

Emergencies Jordan Gysberts Jake Spencer James Strauss

For the life of me I can't understand putting Jamar back in for a big road trip in the last game of the season. Seems a silly risk to me.

Also can't understand Tynan getting a game ahead of Gysberts based on the last 2-3 weeks.

And looks like Beamer MAY have played his last game for MFC and will leave the club in very underwhelming circumstances.

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Bit of symmetry for Josh Tynan playing the first and last game of the year. Gysberts is interesting, would have thought he had done enough to deserve a call up. Hopefully Neeld is just putting high demands on him to lift in certain areas as I would hate to see him traded. Big preseason for him coming up.

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Great to see Fitzy getting a run.

More than deserved!

Not a great vote of confidence in Spencer to bring Russian back in for the final round.

Don't see the problem. Spencer is a backup for Russian while he develops. No shock there. Seems silly to play him for the last game tho.

Moloney is goneski.

Poor attitude mate. He probably is gone, but he has served us (mostly) well during a real sh!thouse time for MFC. I know you won't, but I'll be saying thanks to Beamer if he goes.

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I made the observation that Gysberts was very underwhelming for Casey last week and got a bit of a serve....

Tynan was quite prominent.

Pretty much exactly the same stats, except that Gysberts has been more consistent. Seems a somewhat strange decision.

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Pretty happy with the selections. We'll definitely want the experience in Jamar running out a against a fully firing Adam Sandilands, no sense being demolished through clearances in our last game of the year. We'll want to draw as much confidence as we can going into pre-season next year.

As for Josh Tynan, I'm happy to see him get another run and Strauss has been ok but underwhelming in his return. Imagine they went with rock, paper, scissors for those two. Don't think you can include Gysberts in the decision between those two as it's a different role in the side and we obviously didn't see reason for one of the mids to bow out in favour of the Gys. Needs more work if he wants to break back onto the main list next year, if he's still around.

Great to see the Fitz get rewarded and amazing how well he's dealing with his own issues with illness and still powering forward.

Also looking forward to seeing the freo girls rock up to the pub again on game day. Best looking supporters in Canberra.

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Great to see Fitzy get his chance again. Lets hope he gets a good run out on the ground, his athleticism will be a plus on the expanses of Subi.

A matchup on Michael Johnson would be a great one to watch as they are both have very similar attributes.

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Thrilled to see Fitz in the side. I really hope they use him as a forward and not just a backup ruck. He's worked really hard at Casey, his game is improving and he deserves the chance.

Also, watching Tynan play last Saturday, he looks to have a really good build for an AFL player. He's bulking up nicely and I think he may turn out to be a bargain given he was taken in the third round.

I think playing Jamar is basically self-defence. If we go up against Freo with Spencer in the ruck they will demolish us.

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Stoked for firtzy, tynans fast becoming oneof my favourites (admitexly on casey form, but he just goes so hard at the all)

Would have preferred gysberts for jetta now i just hope jetta is the sub

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From what I read Tynan had his best game at Casey and had 24 disposals?

Yes and he has been out injured quite a bit this season.

I am sure that is the reason he played the first game and then the last game.

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    MAULED by Whispering Jack

    The writing was on the wall from the very first bounce of the football. The big men went up, Max Gawn more often than not, decisively won the ruck hit out and invariably a Brisbane Lions onballer either won the battle on the ground or halved the contest and they went at it repeatedly until they finally won out. Melbourne managed the first goal from Alex Neal-Bullen but after that the visitors shut out every area of Demon presence around the ground except in the ruck duels. It was a mauling.

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    PODCAST: Rd 05 vs Brisbane

    The Demonland Podcast will air LIVE on Monday, 15th April @ 8:30pm. Join George, Binman & I as we analyse the Demons loss at the MCG against the Lions in the Round 05. You questions and comments are a huge part of our podcast so please post anything you want to ask or say below and we'll give you a shout out on the show. If you would like to leave us a voicemail please call 03 9016 3666 and don't worry no body answers so you don't have to talk to a human. Listen & Chat LIV

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    GAMEDAY: Rd 05 vs Brisbane

    It's Game Day & Demons have a great opportunity to win their fifth game on the trot and go into the bye with 5 wins and one loss when they take on the Brisbane Lions at the MCG on the Thursday night big stage.

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    Demonland Trackwatchers Kev Martin and Demon Dynasty were once again on hand at this morning's Captain's Run at Gosch's Paddock to bring you their observations from training. KEV MARTIN'S CAPTAIN'S RUN OBSERVATIONS No-one in rehab this morning, a Captain's run, 26 players. Laurie, Tomlinson, Tholstrup, Chandler, Woey, and Kossie are out there. Rehabbers are out now. Marty, McAdam, Melky, Bowey, Sestan. As a guess for in and outs, I would say, out Laurie, Tomlinson, and W

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    THE PEOPLE SPEAK by The Demonland Crew

    DEMONLAND: Good evening, Demon fans and welcome to the Demonland 2024 Grand Final Podcast … It’s been a beautiful last day of September and how sweet it is to bring you our coverage of all things that matter about the great Demon resurgence which we’ve seen over the past six or seven months. How our team overcame a turbulent off season and a disappointing start to 2024 on a humid night in Sydney, turned our detractors into believers and then ended the year triumphant in the finals with our capta

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    TRAINING: Sunday 7th April 2024

    Demonland Trackwatcher Kev Martin ventured down in the rain to Gosch's Paddock for the Demon Family Series April School Holiday Open Training session. Not such a good morning, weather wise. As I arrived, it starting raining, settled into watching some Victory players have a kick around. The MFC squad come out as the rain abated, they had wide smiles as the walked down the roped corridor. Plenty of joy from the supporters towards them, kids everywhere, maybe about 500 to a 1000 of us.

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    MAULED by Whispering Jack

    The writing was on the wall from the very first bounce of the football. The big men went up, Max Gawn more often than not, decisively won the ruck hit out and invariably a Brisbane Lions onballer either won the battle on the ground or halved the contest and they went at it repeatedly until they finally won out ... READ MORE

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