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Ross Lyon - Dave Misson - Mark Neeld


Ron Burgundy

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Ross Lyon's stocks are through the roof at the moment. He demands a hard, disciplined, professional culture. And fitness in particular is a key component to all Ross Lyon teams.

Apparently, as soon as he got to Freo, Lyon singled out Pavlich and told him he was too fat and needed to get fit. Pavlich did so, and is now in absolutely red hot form.

And who did he desperately want to take with him to Freo? Yep, Dave Misson - someone he rates extremely highly and someone with whom he has worked very closely. With Buttifant, Misson is apparently regarded as the best in the business.

IMO Neeld has a similar focus to Lyon. And that's why he also wanted Misson. The fact that we now have him has to inspire confidence.

Many posters here are understandably frustrated with the results this year. But the performance this year is the culmination of a soft, unfit list that was built prior to this year. Neeld and Misson are now trying to fix it, but this will take time.

In short, Neeld and Misson are the solution, not the problem. Freo's rise this year under Lyon (in my opinion at least) demonstrates this. It's about nailing the fundamentals - and, over time, the results should then follow.

Neeld didn't inherent a list as good as Freo's, but I'm convinced he knows how to build one. Fitness and discipline are key components to that.

There can be no argument that Neeld and Misson do not know what elite level AFL lists look like in terms of fitness. Rather, the knowledge gap on this point seems to sit with some MFC supporters and (soon to be exited) players.

In two years from now, under Misson's guidance, this list will be a lot stronger and fitter than the one we witnessed take the field 22 times this year.

In the meantime, it would be good if some of the Neeld critics here would just properly consider these facts.

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Great post.

Its surprising how many Melbourne fans dont understand the significance of Misson's recruitment. Has an outstanding record of conditioning players to play tough hard footy at the Swans from 2001 - 2007 and the Saints from 2008 - 2011.

With Buttifant regarded as one of the best in the business. An AFL player can confidently place their trust in Misson knowing that he will put the through a pre season that will have them in the best condition possible to make the most of their talent.

As a contrast imagine you are an Essendon player right now...

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There is little doubt to me that we have completed the first twelve months of the preseason for 2013. It's a risk for a new coach to take, as a poor run of form at the start of the new season will have Neeld under even more pressure (if that's possible). I'm looking forward to seeing what they look like at the start of the new season.

I hope that it's not halfway through the preseason for 2014!

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Great post.

Its surprising how many Melbourne fans dont understand the significance of Misson's recruitment. Has an outstanding record of conditioning players to play tough hard footy at the Swans from 2001 - 2007 and the Saints from 2008 - 2011.

With Buttifant regarded as one of the best in the business. An AFL player can confidently place their trust in Misson knowing that he will put the through a pre season that will have them in the best condition possible to make the most of their talent.

As a contrast imagine you are an Essendon player right now...

I agree, though I'm not sure that the criticism of Essendon's fitness staff is valid yet. Thompson had complete confidence in the wep from Geelong.

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There is little doubt to me that we have completed the first twelve months of the preseason for 2013. It's a risk for a new coach to take, as a poor run of form at the start of the new season will have Neeld under even more pressure (if that's possible). I'm looking forward to seeing what they look like at the start of the new season.

I hope you are right. My concern is that the players are so low on confidence that they couldn't buy a win against a half decent side. Neeld has a lot of work to get both the fitness and belief where it needs to be.

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I hope you are right. My concern is that the players are so low on confidence that they couldn't buy a win against a half decent side. Neeld has a lot of work to get both the fitness and belief where it needs to be.

That's the big risk. I think that there are more than a few players who are low on confidence because they have been smashed on the track and smashed in the games. I think that Neeld is prepared to take the risk because A) the list is young enough, and B) there isn't a Plan B.

It's really a three year operation. And I use the word 'operation' intentionally.

A couple of early wins will have the group (and the supporters) jumping, simply because we haven't had many. It's just hard to see where they are coming from right now.

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Couldn't agree more with the OP. I also think if Lyon was our coach our results would have been the same this year due to a hard fitness plan and a total change of gameplan. The neeld haters would of given Lyon a chance due to his credentials. I'm all in with neeld.

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Great post RB.

The only thing that I disagree with are the comments by some posters that this season was almost a pre-season for 2013.

Personally I reckon it was more of a pre-season for 2014.

I reckon next year we'll be looking at 4-6 wins at best considering the amount of departures it sounds like we might be having. My main hope for next season is that we have players giving 100% all the time and that we can put in competitive efforts in every match.

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Great post RB.

The only thing that I disagree with are the comments by some posters that this season was almost a pre-season for 2013.

Personally I reckon it was more of a pre-season for 2014.

I reckon next year we'll be looking at 4-6 wins at best considering the amount of departures it sounds like we might be having. My main hope for next season is that we have players giving 100% all the time and that we can put in competitive efforts in every match.

I agree with this. The four finals games have shown just how far behind we are in fitness, speed and strength. It will take three Misson pre-seasons to get them to the right standard.

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Nicely put, Ron.

The full impact of Misson's contribution (or Neeld's) won't be seen until they have a solid talent base and absolute "buy-in".

Elite coaches have the ability to turn a good list into a quality team. See: Ross Lyon.

But a crap list is a crap list no matter who or how many you have at the helm. See: Essendon.

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I'm not sure where I read it but wasn't Misson so shocked by our fitness levels that he rated us at 40% of St.kilda's fitness levels.

To bring them into line with the required level of fitness and prevent injury it would take 3 preaseasons.

Misson has the the reputation of being able to get teams to an elite level so even if Neeld can't coach, has lost all the players at least we will be fit.

There should be no doubt that we can't compete because we're unfit.

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Not for the first time Ron, i'm in furious agreement with you. I was thinking something similar today when listening to 7774 (and a bit of SEN) analyse the freo game. In short on both stations they were saying how Lyon had come in an straight away looked to turn the culture around, in particular in regard to players preparedness to the necessary training to get to AFL standard. Walters and Crowley were playerd who were said to have bee given an ultimate - shape up or ship out. Both rose to the challenge.

They also noted Lyon's mantra of play yourself in in to team or play yourself out and his complete almost myopic focus on team, roles and systems as opposed to individuals. Sound familiar?

If we had got Lyon i suspect he would have taken a very similar approach to the one Neeldl has taken. And to be honest i doubt he would have had any more success. Freo are a seasoned team, with many players who have played more than 100 games and some genuine star - and one super star. I for one and not surprised at all they are doing so well.

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Generally agree with this thread except the repeated suggestion that it will take two more pre-seasons before we can expect any success.

It's obvious that there will be numerous list changes, but at this stage we have no idea about the inclusions. How many will be trades? Mature recruits? Strong bodies etc etc.

Now you may all be right about 2014, but reading these predictions makes me think you're all a little gun shy (understandably) after recent unfulfilled high expectations.

If the fundamentals are in place, things can change very quickly.

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Good post. At the Club Lunch on Friday, MN commented that on taking over, and following Misson's appointment, each player on the list was given a personalised sheet of pre-training.

On the players' return to the training track he queried Misson on where it went wrong. Misson alleged that 50% - yep 50% - of the list had not complied. MN mused that he hadn't seen "optional" written anywhere.

Which led onto some serious comments on buy-in, leadership and the dreaded "culture".

I warrant we won't be having this discussion in 2013.

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I have been led to believe that the aim is 75 - 80% AFL elite fitness for 2013, and 100% for 2014. Also that endurance will still be the pre Xmas training focus, but building pace will be the focus in early 2013. Watch some of our supposedly slow players 'suddenly' develop pace.

Source: my best mate and Misson often discuss training methodologies (my mate was the AFL umpires running coach for years and I helped train him when he was a lad).

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Guest KingDingAling

Ross Lyons stocks might be going through the roof.

But lets not forget that Freo had an easy run home and basically fell into the 8.

And they nearly choked last night against Geelong - who aren't all they are cranked up to be,

especially without their super star in Johnson.

Without Pavlich Freo would've compounded.

I don't buy into the Ross Lyon hype.

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Ross Lyons stocks might be going through the roof.

But lets not forget that Freo had an easy run home and basically fell into the 8.

And they nearly choked last night against Geelong - who aren't all they are cranked up to be,

especially without their super star in Johnson.

Without Pavlich Freo would've compounded.

I don't buy into the Ross Lyon hype.

Odd then that Garry Lyon last Monday on FC said that the Melbourne players thought that Freo were the best team defensively that they had played against.

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Ross Lyons stocks might be going through the roof.

But lets not forget that Freo had an easy run home and basically fell into the 8.

And they nearly choked last night against Geelong - who aren't all they are cranked up to be,

especially without their super star in Johnson.

Without Pavlich Freo would've compounded.

I don't buy into the Ross Lyon hype.

I went to the game last night and the Cats were terrible in the first half, I have never seen a top side drop so many easy marks, fumble the ball so much and handball to the opposition so regularly.

Geelong were embarrassing last night and some of their top players just look like they're past it; having said that Freo were pretty good at times but to be quite honest if Geelong had played Hawthorn last night they would have lost by 10 to 15 goals. Hawkins and Pods need to have a good hard look at themselves especially Hawkins who was dreadful.

I guess what I'm saying is Freo are not bad but they needed to win by a lot more to convince me, because Geelong were that bad.

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I went to the game last night and the Cats were terrible in the first half, I have never seen a top side drop so many easy marks, fumble the ball so much and handball to the opposition so regularly.

Geelong were embarrassing last night and some of their top players just look like they're past it; having said that Freo were pretty good at times but to be quite honest if Geelong had played Hawthorn last night they would have lost by 10 to 15 goals. Hawkins and Pods need to have a good hard look at themselves especially Hawkins who was dreadful.

I guess what I'm saying is Freo are not bad but they needed to win by a lot more to convince me, because Geelong were that bad.

Agree totally. And they still nearly stole it.

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