Jump to content

  • Podcast: Grand Final Preview      

  • Podcast: Gary Pert Interview & Grand Final Preview      

DAWN II by Whispering Jack


Demonland
 Share


Recommended Posts

DAWN II by Whispering Jack

The last time Paul Roos presided over a game between the teams whose names bear those of this country's two most populous cities, his team was badly mauled by the late Dean Bailey's Demons.

That was four years ago when Tom Scully was a promising but relatively impoverished young player, Jack Trengove was fit, fast, could run all day and kick goals from outside 50 metres and Jordan Gysberts was not only on an AFL club list but also capable of picking up close to 30 touches of the footy every time he played. Luke Tapscott was the only constant then as now, being a regular name on the injured list.

Well, I take a little poetic licence here and there (after all, Colin Sylvia was best on ground that day) but it's hard to believe that less than four years ago Melbourne opened the equivalent fixture to this week's game with an eight goal opening quarter, led by eight goals at the main break, kicked another eight in the third term and coasted to a 12 goal win.

It was a new dawn for Melbourne and a swansong for Roos: his biggest loss at the helm as coach of Sydney and close to the end of his road as coach of a team he led to a long-awaited premiership in 2005.

Who could have predicted the course of events that would lead to Roos' return as an AFL coach or that the once proud club which he now oversees would have undergone such an abject period of football poverty and total degradation?

This Saturday night sees the two meeting again at the MCG. Both are currently outside the top eight after five rounds with Sydney, once a premiership fancy, seemingly resurrected after a surprise win over Fremantle at the last outing. The Swans go into the game as strong favourite to win but that is exactly what they were four years ago when the Demons stunned the football world with a performance that was so compelling that we marveled at what we believed was our new dawn.

Could it happen again in two day's time?

THE GAME

Melbourne v Sydney Swans at the MCG Saturday 26 April, 2014 at 7.40 pm

HEAD TO HEAD

Overall Melbourne 92 wins Sydney Swans 108 wins Drawn 2

At MCG Melbourne 49 wins Sydney Swans 40 wins Drawn 2

Past five years Melbourne 1 wins Sydney Swans 3 wins Drawn 1

The Coaches Roos 0 wins Longmire 0 wins

MEDIA

TV - Channel 7, Fox Footy Channel @ 7.30pm (live)

RADIO - Triple M 3AW SEN ABC ABC Grandstand

THE BETTING

Melbourne to win - $8.00 Sydney Swans to win - $1.08

THE LAST TIME THEY MET

Sydney Swans 16.20.116 defeated Melbourne 13.7.85 Round 15, 2013 at MCG

Melbourne worked hard and were competitive against the reigning premiers who were off target. Dean Terlich put in a great game against his old club.

THE TEAMS

MELBOURNE

B: Alex Georgiou, Lynden Dunn, Dean Terlich

HB: Jeremy Howe, Tom McDonald, Jack Grimes

C: Daniel Cross, Bernie Vince, Jack Watts

HF: Matt Jones, Chris Dawes, Jack Viney

F: Cam Pedersen, James Frawley, Rohan Bail

FOLL: Mark Jamar, Nathan Jones, Dom Tyson

I/C: Shannon Byrnes, Neville Jetta, Jay Kennedy-Harris, Christian Salem

EMG: Mitch Clisby, Daniel Nicholson, Jake Spencer

In: Shannon Byrnes, Mark Jamar, Christian Salem

Out: Jake Spencer, Michael Evans, Jordie McKenzie

New: Christian Salem (18, Sandringham Dragons)

SYDNEY SWANS

B: Nick Smith, Ted Richards, Dane Rampe

HB: Nick Malceski, Heath Grundy, Rhyce Shaw

C: Daniel Hannebery, Josh Kennedy, Jarrad McVeigh

HF: Ben McGlynn, Lewis Roberts-Thomson, Leroy Jetta

F: Luke Parker, Lance Franklin, Adam Goodes

FOLL: Mike Pyke, Kieren Jack, Harry Cunningham

I/C: Craig Bird, Tom Derickx, Jeremy Laidler, Jake Lloyd

EMG: Brandon Jack, Zak Jones, Sam Reid

In: Adam Goodes

Out: Brandon Jack

FROM A LYON TO A CHRISTIAN

For the better part of a decade and a half from 1986 Garry Lyon wore the number three at Melbourne with distinction. It was no co-incidence that his arrival at the club, the last player from its country zone in the Goulburn Valley to be recruited, marked the beginning of the club's rise following more than two decades as the competition's cellar dweller after its golden era of the 1950s and 60s.

Lyon's impact was immediate. He was Best First Year Player and kicked 26 goals in 20 games that year and after another 18 games in 1987, his club was witnessing a new dawn and on its way to its first finals series since 1964. Lyon would not take part in his club's three finals games that saw it desperately close to a grand final berth because he broke a leg in the final home and away game at Footscray. However, his career blossomed and he played in the grand final of the following year and rose to the rank of captain (1991-7).

Along the way he won two club best and fairests (1990, 1994) represented his state on multiple occasions, topped the club goal kicking, gained All Australian honours in 1993, 1994 and 1995 and played 226 games and kicked 426 goals before a back injury ended his career in mid 1999. He reached the pinnacle of his career with a ten goal haul against Footscray in the 1994 Semi Final.

He's now a media megastar and has helped the club out from time to time although his efforts with coaching selection and football department restructuring have not achieved the success we would have all wanted. His last official duty was carried out with reluctance but with the honour of helping out fellow club legend, the dying Jimmy Stynes, at the end of 2011.

Others have worn the number 3 since (Clint Bizzell and Clint Bartram) and see here but on Saturday night the jumper fittingly will be passed on from Lyon to a Christian. It might be my eyesight but I reckon they have a similar look and certainly, despite his brief time at Melbourne, we've seen signs of the same silky skills in Christian Salem that Lyons displayed when he was one of the competition's leading forwards.

Salem could well start as a forward on the MCG on Saturday night but he can play anywhere and is likely to end up in the midfield one day. Hopefully, his impact will be immediate (I'm not putting too much pressure on him, am I?), that we'll also see his time at the club bring another new dawn for the Demons and that he might even go one step further than the last custodian of the number three and also play in a winning grand final. It's been a long time coming - the last time we saw a Demon # 3 playing in a premiership was Peter Marquis in 1957.

So down to the matter at hand and my preview of the game. It's just Melbourne's luck that the Sydney Swans returned to form on the eve of this game. They were struggling until they shocked Fremantle last week. Buddy Franklin was in the wars and looking a shadow of his former self but ever since he booted four goals against the Dockers he's been in smashing form both on and off the field.

The Swans have responded to Melbourne going young with the selection of Salem by bringing old man Adam Goodes (Salem was 2 years old when Goodes was drafted) straight back into the team after a long lay off. Not for him is the need to play three games in the minor leagues to acclimatise like Mark Jamar.

I don't expect Melbourne to be the pushover it once was. Since the advent of Paul Roos, the Demons defensive efforts have improved dramatically. However, despite some clever recruiting to shore up its previously third world midfield the Demons have only managed to go from Burkina Faso to Zimbabwe in terms of the all-important centre clearances, averaging just eight per game (still last) as against the Swans who are ranked sixth in the AFL (13). That situation might improve with Jamar back in the fold because the lion hearted Spencer struggled to get the ball into the hands of his on ballers in the opening five rounds. Melbourne's forward line has also languished this year but the recent revamp and inclusion of Chris Dawes and the move into attack of James Frawley seem to be working.

There's a lot to be liked about the way Roos is working on improving the team but this week they face a tough opponent and as much as I'd like to tip a Demon boilover, I can't bring myself to tip a victory this week. I'm afraid we're still in the dark hour before dawn.

Sydney by 27 points.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Match Previews, Reports & Articles  

    THE ICING ON THE QUAKE by Whispering Jack

    It’s not Christmas yet but if the Melbourne wins its last game of the 2021 season, then many of its fans will be celebrating early. There already are some parts of our town where the pending festivity is preordained. Houses are decked out with red and blue banners and streamers, some of which appeared as early as last Saturday week, on the morning after the Demons’ magnificent 83-point crushing of Geelong in their preliminary final at Optus Stadium. While it’s great to see the numbers of lo

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews

    CAT SKINNING by George On The Outer

    When they defeated the Geelong Cats in the 2021 AFL Preliminary Final on Friday night in Perth, Melbourne proved that there is more than one way to skin those cats.  They did it in the ruck and in the middle, they did it in the forward line, they did it in defence and around the ground, but importantly, each and every player a Demon guernsey spent his night at Optus Stadium skinning an opponent. Following the after-the-siren win against Geelong in Round 23, there was an expectation of

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

    THE POINTY END by The Oracle

    The AFL’s two oldest clubs, Melbourne and Geelong, face off on Friday evening in a sudden death Preliminary Final. It’s a game that promises plenty in terms of fascination and intrigue as a result of the rivalry that’s been building between the teams over recent encounters that have been tight struggles which have gone to the wire with two of them decided by after-the-siren goals. The added touch of mystery attached to this week’s meeting comes by virtue of the fact that it’s going to take

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews

    THE VFL YEAR THAT NEVER WAS by KC from Casey

    The rising case numbers and the continuing lockdowns in Victoria and NSW spelled doom for the 2021 VFL season which went through a slow, painful demise before its recent official cancellation. After weeks of indecision, the AFL decided to pull the plug on the season with the 10-0 Bulldogs recognised as minor premier, but without a premiership cup and without awarding the J.J. Liston Medal for the best and fairest VFL player. It was somewhat fortuitous for the integrity of the competition t

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Casey Articles

    TAMING THE LIONS by George On The Outer

    With nine finals debutants in the side, the Melbourne Football Club had a daunting assignment ahead of it in the First Qualifying Final — to overcome the competition’s highest scoring side, the Brisbane Lions. In the end, the Demons accomplished the task by putting the bite on their opponents on their way to taming the Lions and recording a 33 point win that propelled them into one the two Preliminary Finals of 2021.   It was one of those debutants, Luke Jackson, who put the bite in more

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

    RETURN TO NEVERLAND by Whispering Jack

    The greatest Demon A HIGHWAY OF DEMONS by Whispering Jack CHAPTER SIXTEEN - RETURN TO NEVERLAND  I have a six year old grandson who recently took up the family tradition of following the Demons. He had his first taste of the game a few years ago when he went to the “G” with his parents to watch the 107-point massacre of Carlton and he went to another game in the following season which was also a W for the Dees. But his appetite for the club has grown exponentially this year and wh

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Special Features 13

    METAMORPHOSIS by Whispering Jack

    I’ve always believed that when the home and away matches come to an end, the football season takes on a completely different shape and character. During the regular season, each team’s goals progress as the weeks pass and if you’re good enough to survive and make the grade, the situation changes. The comparison can be made with the life cycle of a butterfly going through stages from egg to larva to caterpillar, cocoon and in the end to a bright and colourful creature that emerges from darkness i

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews

    STEALING THE CATS’ CREAM by George On The Outer

    They were leading by 44 points well into the third quarter of a game to decide the minor premier, having kicked nine unanswered goals. The Cats were about to lap up their bowl of cream, dreaming of next week but the Demons led by Max Gawn had other ideas. In a stunning finish, they stole the game from under them to claim the plaudits as best team and top of ladder position. In a remarkable game, it all came down to Max having to kick the winning goal after the final siren, something which s

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

    SKIN THE CATS by Whispering Jack

    The task ahead for the Demons as they wend their way down the Princes Freeway to Geelong on Saturday night will be to skin the Cats. For them to come away with the points from this game would mark an historic occasion for the club as it will finish on top of the ladder for the first time since its last premiership year, 1964. And it was in that year, that a trip to Corio Bay to meet the reigning premiers in Round 12, was one of the catalysts for Melbourne’s surge to the flag. It was a top o

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews

    REACH FOR THE STARS by George on the Outer

    It was a game of great significance for the Melbourne Football Club. A win would see them keep top spot on the ladder with one round remaining. To achieve top place in the Round for Reach when we are all inspired to “Be Like Jim” and reach for the stars was a great way of honouring one of our heroes. All the better given that it was done by way of an emphatic 41 point win against Adelaide! It is worth remembering that, but for the umpiring mistake in the previous encounter with the Crows, t

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

    TICKETS PLEASE by The Oracle

    A lot of water has passed under Princes Bridge in the five years since Melbourne last met Adelaide on the MCG. The Crows were riding high at the time while the Demons were mid-table and scrambling for a win to stay in the race for the finals. The 30,000 fans who had tickets to the game were thoroughly entertained by a close, high scoring affair that ended in tears for fans of the home team. Not even an eight-goal second term could help them.   Times have changed.    In the fi

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews

    ELECTRIFYING by George On The Outer

    What more can they throw at the Demons of 2021? Covid restrictions, hubs, aircraft circling between airports before landing for games and now a match stopped for 30 minutes to give a flagging opponent its second wind? To date, none of those distractions has swayed the team from their winning objectives. The game against West Coast in Perth can be marked on their report card as another positive outcome after yet another test. There was much at stake for both sides.  Melbourne had t

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

  • Tell a friend

    Love Demonland? Tell a friend!
×
×
  • Create New...