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Christian Salem


Whispering_Jack

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Melbourne's Christian Salem starred on Sunday for the Casey Scorpions against Frankston with a 34 possession performance which included a vital goal in the low scoring match.

Casey Radio [FM 97.7] interviewed him on its Saturday morning programme and this was replayed before Sunday's game.

These are my notes of the highlights -

The first question was about how Salen started off at the Sandringham Dragons and his battle with injury soon after being drafted. It was a thyroid problem that started last year just before the draft and by the time it was properly diagnosed and treated he was 10 kilograms lighter. He was finding that he couldn't get through training so he took a blood test which uncovered the problem. At first he was restricted to walking and it was a frustrating time but now he's back to normal.

Salem was asked about his Lebanese background. His father was born in Lebanon and his mother is also Lebanese but born here. He's very proud to be the fourth known Lebanese player in the AFL. He supported Essendon when Bachar Houli (also Lebanese) was playing for them and it's an honour representing his people.

Asked about Paul Roos, Salem says he met him up at the Gold Coast at the draft and he was very approachable. The boys want to play for him and learn the game.

Salem's father owns and runs two restaurants in Brighton - Rock Salt and North Point at the end of North Road. He worked there when he was younger but although that business is an option and he sometimes helps out from time to time, he's not sure what he wants to do in the future.

When did Melbourne first speak to him? The spoke early in the year last year and then for about 20 to 30 minutes at Draft Camp. He loved being picked up in the National Draft and is happy at Melbourne. During the year a couple of recruiters from other clubs came down to have a chat at the family restaurant in Brighton.

Asked if he would be ready to play against Gold Coast, he said he had not been named to play and that he was playing in the VFL against Frankston but he hoped the boys would get up in that game.

Has he been given a time line for when he would be in the mix for AFL selection?

"I think Roosy's good like that. He's more into not wanting to put pressure on the first year players. He's into introducing good habits in the VFL learning as much as you can and if the time comes, it doesn't matter how old you are, he'll put you in so its more about getting games into you."

The feeling was great after Satuday's win, hearing the song being sung and in recovery the next day. He assured the panel that Roosy does know the words to the song.

Asked about the transition from TAC Cup to playing more pro football, Salem said it was not too bad because with the AIS program they're pretty good at giving you a week to spend at a club. He spent it at Carlton last January and it was good in that it prepares you for what's to come. Once he got there he was comfortable - it was still hard but not too much of a step up.

What are the things he is currently working on (noting that his kicking was one of his strengths) - "I still work on it. I'm working on playing forward, on my leading up and marking, repeat efforts and leading patterns."

He was then asked to answer music questions in a 6 from 60 format:

* Biggest influence on your career so far - family

* Best teammate - Josh Kelly from the TAC Cup (now with GWS)

Hardest opponent - Tom Bugg (also with GWS) "from when I was playing school footy"

Most annoying team mate - not sure

Best sporting memory - school football

Hobbies away from football - relaxing with family, play station and watching soccer

The interview finished with a question about what he was doing at the time (Saturday morning) at AAMI Park doing "motivation stuff".

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Interesting comments about Roos. With all the frustration aimed at guys like Toumpas, Watts, the reality is that these are kids going from a playground to a professional environment. Even in the corporate world university tries to set you up with realistic expectations and habits. Some people go straight at it after high school but that is a rare trait, even for the super hard workers.

There is no point imo bringing Salem into the side now, aside from of course giving him AFL experience. He needs at the very least 10-15 VFL games to even be considered. It may happen earlier but it's a massive step and they need to be eased into it.

Viney is an exception: that is a kid that has grown up in an AFL environment and has the insight. There's nothing wrong with learning the ins and outs.

Some may disagree but a strong family environment cannot be understated. He mentions his family a lot so the guy knows how important it is to have trusting, caring people around you. Not everyone has this benefit in their private life and I think it will help turn him into a leader for the club.

Looking forward to seeing how he progresses at Casey.

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After best on ground and good form at Casey, Christian Salem is putting his hand up.

Would love to see him selected this week.

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If you watch "Roos views" (stupid name for a "show") he says he wants players to be banging the door down, playing 5-6 good games, Salem has played 3, but said his name gets bought up at selection when he plays well.

I wouldn't expect him in this week, I think another 1, possibly 2 good Casey games then in.

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I've seen the arguments against which are valid, but personally I'd have no qualms seeing him run out this weekend. Let's keep in mind that it wasn't just a good performance, it was a clear BOG. He has qualities that we need. Badly.

I also see little point in waiting for lesser opposition.

I'll back Roos' judgement.

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After best on ground and good form at Casey, Christian Salem is putting his hand up..

would love to see him selected this week..

However, it was against poor old Frankston, the easybeats in the competition. Maybe Christian has to show the same form against a COMPETITIVE team.

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"Christian Salem to play or not to play - that is the question" You are getting very Shakespearean there.

But, to answer your question - yes, or no, no maybes.

Edited by monoccular
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i highly doubt he will play this week.

maybe after 3 solid performances in vfl.

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i imagine chomps harmes might be in the same boat.

Edited by Deez
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However, it was against poor old Frankston, the easybeats in the competition. Maybe Christian has to show the same form against a COMPETITIVE team.

Poor old Frankston may not yet have a win on the board but are hardly the 'Easy Beats'.

They have been very competitive in all three games and could easily have won a couple with a bit of luck.

http://www.foxsportspulse.com/team_info.cgi?id=20320217&client=1-118-0-294689-0&compID=294689

http://www.foxsportspulse.com/team_info.cgi?c=1-118-10474-294689-20320217&a=LADDER

Edited by CHAMP
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I can't see him in the side this week.

The last thing we want is to build his confidence up in the 2's

only to be shot down by the toughest midfield in the comp.

Give him the time he deserves.

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If Roos is true to his word, then Salem won't play this week. No need to rush it. I know we supporters are desperate to see young talent but I want to see him play another few good games in the 2s. Don't just bring him in after one brilliant game like we've done in the past.

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Presuming that Garland and Jamar are ins this week, I wouldn't want to be making too many more changes to a team that lost by 8 points.

If we were to make a third change, I'd imagine it'd be bringing in Clisby. Roos would need to be feeling pretty savage to make a fourth change. I don't think he will.

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I say not yet. Like others I would like to see him doing it week-in week-out before promoting him. On top of that, I don't think Sydney is a great team to be debuting him against. They aren't likely to bully him as such, but they will make life very hard for him. I say better to start him against a lesser opponent.

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As much as I'd love to see him kick out for us, I vote to leave both Salem and Toumpas in the VFL for the whole year.

I don't want to see either in the AFL this year.

Give these kids a chance to develop and gain confidence.

Give Roos a chance to play fringe players instead, it will be a decent cull come seasons end.

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Presuming that Garland and Jamar are ins this week, I wouldn't want to be making too many more changes to a team that lost by 8 points.

If we were to make a third change, I'd imagine it'd be bringing in Clisby. Roos would need to be feeling pretty savage to make a fourth change. I don't think he will.

What game were you watching? We could certainly make a number of changes. We weren't that good. As for that second quarter - that was 2012/2013 worthy.

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NO.

Ffs, let him develop naturally in the twos..

He dropped 10 kgs preseason and has only just got that back..

Happy for he and Hoges to knuckle down for a few months and then crack it for a chance in the last few rounds - we wont need them til next year anyway.

..looking forward to seeing Riley at some stage soon, tho.

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