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Year in review - On the field


Dappa Dan

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DD,

I said that the use of early round draft picks to get Lamb, Smith and Armas were not the best use of such picks given the flaws that readily appeared in their game.

I dont fully understand what goes on in a recruiters mind that makes one player stand out from other players beyond the Bryce Gibbs types that just reek of class.

Lamb had six years on our list without ever making the grade. I would have thought that a better assessment would have been made earlier in his career. I actually gave qualified support for the extra year for Smith. Armas got a 2 yr contract at the end of his 2nd year. Might have been one year too many at MFC regardless of being in the right place at the right time and winning a premiership medal.

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But hindsight is a wonderful thing isn't it? ND has made a frustrating habit of NOT playing the kids

DD rather than make this blanket comment I'd invite you to do a comparison of the number of games granted to 1st, 2nd and 3rd year players at Melbourne since (say) 2002 and compare this number with that granted by other clubs to their youngsters. I did it sometime ago. It showed Danners does play the kids in comparison with other clubs.

But feel free to do your own analysis.

A less thorough club could have looked at his year and said that he was unable to be regularly selected in the Sandy 1s

Don't underestimate the thought and research that goes into every decision. Footy departments of all clubs live and breath the list and all things footy most of their waking hours.

I would love to know what goes on in CAC's head at times like these. Does MFC's treatment of slowly developing players come out of a solid confidence in CAC's own recruiting?

Decisions come from a careful analysis of all the reasons a player has performed the way he has. It includes psychological profiles, medical reports, personal background, attitude, performance and heaven knows how much else. And much of the information is not available to the public.

All of these things don't mean that footy departments always gets things right, they don't, but you can be sure that whatever decisions they make are carefully thought out and well reasoned.

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DD rather than make this blanket comment I'd invite you to do a comparison of the number of games granted to 1st, 2nd and 3rd year players at Melbourne since (say) 2002 and compare this number with that granted by other clubs to their youngsters. I did it sometime ago. It showed Danners does play the kids in comparison with other clubs.

I'll take your word for it. However, comparing ND's selections since 2002 with another club's is moot, as all lists are different. It's not so much the regularity or lack of regularity with which he selects youth, but the individual decisions themselves that I was referring to. For example, the Swans have played less players in 2005/6 than any other squad. Well you would, wouldn't you? What I was referring to was ND's willingness to play mediocre mature players ahead of younger players that have proven themselves worthy of a run. Now I realise there's no way I could possibly know what's going on in the inner sanctum, but there was a time there where he seemed like all he wanted to do was play the average players and not give the up-and-comers a go. We know now that it was just after 2002 that he went to the board and said his squad wasn't good enough to win a flag, and yet many average players were persisted with...

Like I said, 2006 was a vast improvement in this area. So much so that by year's end we had hardly any young players left to debut that we, as fans, were really keen to see. There's nothing better than to see so many young guys not only debut, but settle into spots in our 22.

I take all your points though, and those of RR.

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What I was referring to was ND's willingness to play mediocre mature players ahead of younger players that have proven themselves worthy of a run.

I agree with that statement.

A junior would often play very early in the season, or the last game or two. And when they did get a run their game time was minimal. We look back through the record books and say that ND blooded xyz players, but, as you point out, it doesn't always give the paint the whole picture.

He's been much better in this regard the last couple of years. Though, having better cattle helps too.

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Steve,

Jolly was the back up to White and spat the dummy about lack of opportunity to be No 1 in 2004. I thought we traded him at the right time. In 2004, had White gone down we would had a very green Jamar to follow ... Furthemore we did not have draft pick access to the cream of the competition. So while I note your sentiments about some players I dont understand how the retention issue blocks the focus on higher talent.

Several months ago, I would have sort of agreed with all that you wrote. But the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

The last two premiership teams had Demon fringe or lesser players in them. Port recruited Whopper immediately after winning the GF. Brisbane is not relevant because we do not have the extra TPP or priority draft picks that the AFL shoveled at them. Hefferan (c/w gong) did not usually merit a spot in the Dees first 22.

We appear to need to worry less about depth. Lets thin out the fringe players and accept the lack of depth. Let's front-end McLean's, Dunn's, Jones and Bates' salary, and bid for class players so they peak together.

Let's dsicard the fourth HBF and see if Poyas as a mature player can do in the AFL whatt he does in the VFL.

I see that you agree with me, old55.

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We appear to need to worry less about depth. Lets thin out the fringe players and accept the lack of depth. Let's front-end McLean's, Dunn's, Jones and Bates' salary, and bid for class players so they peak together.

Let's dsicard the fourth HBF and see if Poyas as a mature player can do in the AFL whatt he does in the VFL.

I see that you agree with me, old55.

You seem to be putting the argument that we have focussed too much on depth (bottom six) at the detriment of our best six. I dont think they are one and the same thing. Improving your best six is about good drafting, coaching and player development and player fitness helps too. Fortuitous trading can also supplement a list

I dont think that any of our depth players have restricted any of the potential stars from rising to the top. I dont believe you necessarily get better players because you pay them more. In fact the AFL is riddled with the corpses of Clubs who have paid above market.

A team's lists are made of players in your best 22, players who are available but not best 22 (8 to 10 players) and younger players who may be in development stages (4 to 8). In total that is 38 players. Leaving aside the development players there is 30 to 34 players to cover the needs of a Club over 26+ weeks of football. That is a pretty tight number. To go with less than 30 AFL standard players is leaving a team to risk.

A luxury of 4th HBF may be the case of a player than can play a number of positions and Ezra Poyas is a good VFL player period who has failed at AFL level here and Richmond. Players like Poyas become the depth you devalue.

The issue with bidding for class players is that:

1. Very few come onto the open market as all Clubs are trying to maximise their list talent.

2. Every Club will bid for them if and when they do come onto the market.

3. Such class will not come cheap and tossing depth players as sweeteners will not work. Depth players have no trade value

4. In the past couple of years players with any ability that have come available are either at the end of their carrer or have their ability potential marred by a chequered playing/off field track record.

I think the Club has done well to develop the list. It would be nice to have a Bate/Mclean develop into the superstars we have not had at this Club since R Flower.

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Let's dsicard the fourth HBF and see if Poyas as a mature player can do in the AFL whatt he does in the VFL.

I see that you agree with me, old55.

Sort of, but really I couldn't give a rat's about say Ward for a guy that's already failed twice at AFL level. Something more like Yze or White for early first rounders a few years back or nowadays Bruce and Johnstone for Judd is more likely to have an impact one way or the other.

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You seem to be putting the argument that we have focussed too much on depth (bottom six) at the detriment of our best six.

Do you have another explanation how other clubs win flags with Demon wannabees?

The issue with bidding for class players is that:

..........

2. Every Club will bid for them if and when they do come onto the market.

3. Such class will not come cheap and tossing depth players as sweeteners will not work. .....

That is why we should try reserving more TPP for them and not fuss about retaining Depth players.

4. In the past couple of years players with any ability that have come available are either at the end of their carrer or have their ability potential marred by a chequered playing/off field track record.

I would see that denying them the label of “class player”.

A luxury of 4th HBF may be the case of a player than can play a number of positions and Ezra Poyas is a good VFL player period who has failed at AFL level here and Richmond. Players like Poyas become the depth you devalue.

Poyas was just a f’rinstance because he plays for Sandy and I see him on TV. But I would NOT BE GETTING HIM FOR DEPTH. I would be getting him to see if he has the same time and polish at AFL level. Is he in fact a Class player? This is of course a gamble similar to those that we do with rookies. We sometimes pick up The Flash but mostly just have them for a year.

I have never met Poyas. I have never met (to my knowledge) anyone who has met Poyas. But he seems much more involved than when he was a Demon rookie. He was picked up in the draft just after Green and Wheatley. He went to the disorderly Richmond. Rookied at MFC. Sort of like a conveyer belt. Then he gave the game away or the game gave him away, BUT then he asked to come back to Sandy and has played well and IMO played involved.

I see this as a notable event; similar to when they found out where the vertebra was pressing on Rigoni’s spinal cord and gave it a trim; similar to a young player finally getting over Osteitis Pubis.

It would be nice to have a Bate/Mclean develop into the superstars we have not had at this Club since R Flower.

And Nathan Jones and Bate. They will be worth a lot. Let’s manage the payments (eg front-ending contracts, going shallow) so that we have room.

How about you have the last word if you want? I don’t feel like working but intend to slip off to the gym.

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Do you have another explanation how other clubs win flags with Demon wannabees?

How about the fact that they had 21 better players that won them the flag. When the 2005 GF was there to be won, Jolly watched it from the bench. Armas was in the right place at the right time to kick a perfunctionary goal. Up to then he had been out of his class.

I am not sure what this has got to do with hanging onto depth. Jolly was traded sensibly when MFC worked he was not going to add to our ruckstocks.

That is why we should try reserving more TPP for them and not fuss about retaining Depth players.

Paying out more to the better players above their market value will not necessarily make them better players and resolve the issue of the quality of the top six. In fact it will only increase the respective contractual rates for all players in the market. Depth players have an important role. I dont see that role as being relevant to enhancing best six on the list unless your drafting or player development is an issue and your best picks dont fulfill their potential and become your depth. I dont think that has been the case at MFC.

I would see that denying them the label of “class player”.

.

Correct. So MFC have to have had access to talent through early draft picks and sage drafting. That's the prime way to improve your list. Drafting Dean Cox as a rookie helps too!

I see this as a notable event; similar to when they found out where the vertebra was pressing on Rigoni’s spinal cord and gave it a trim; similar to a young player finally getting over Osteitis Pubis..

Poyas failed at two Clubs and has had six years in the system. Not good enough. Rigoni was never the player he was after his back injury. He good when he joined MFC but not Top 6. But useful never the less.

And Nathan Jones and Bate. They will be worth a lot. Let’s manage the payments (eg front-ending contracts, going shallow) so that we have room.

You are right they will hopefully worth a lot because they will become that good. The Club is managing their payments in accordance with AFL rules and the market place. If you want to retain a player you need to pay him near or at market to retain them. "Going shallow" will force such players to the PSD to chase a better deal and undermining the bottom end of your list without enhancing your top. Its not a matter of allocation of the TPP between the better and the lesser.

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Go Dapper Dan. Great to see someone truly flying the Demon flag.

We are the best club in Victoria IRRESPECTIVE of where we finish, let alone in 2006. We were the best club to support throughout the 70's and 80's. It is always a thrill to watch the Demons play.

It is an honour to support Melbourne.

About time others on this website stopped kicking their cats, stopped their snivelling, and became a bit more tribal. If you want flags, go barrack for West Coast. If you want character, stick with the Demons.

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We were the best club to support throughout the 70's and 80's.

It is an honour to support Melbourne.

If you want flags, go barrack for West Coast. If you want character, stick with the Demons.

:lol:

Take 2 Bex and have a good lie down.

Btw, it's not an honour, it's a choice.

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What I was referring to was ND's willingness to play mediocre mature players ahead of younger players that have proven themselves worthy of a run.

I reckon this is the wrong way to analyze things. It's very easy to look at individual situations and extrapolate to a conclusion. But I reckon often it's the wrong conclusion.

An example of your point is the option of Ward v Chris Johnson playing off a half back flank last year.

Wardy is one of those medicore mature players. Chris Johnson had proven himself worthy of a run.

I'd suggest that the team did better with Ward.

First year players got 30 games. Bartram 22 and Jones 8. Neville and Buckley didn't get a game. Are you suggesting they should have?

2nd year players (there were only 3) got 25 games last year. Bate 14 and Dunn 11. Newton, didn't get a game.

Of the 2002 recruits Bell 12, Smith 1, Rivers 22 and Ferguson 3. Hunter has been delisted.

Of the 2003 recruits McLean 18, Sylvia 17, Johnson 9 and Davey 22.

159 total games awarded to 15 players still on the list recruited in this period. 10.6 games per player.

Brown, Bizzell, Nicholson, Wheatley, Motlop and Read, as mediocre experienced players, spent long periods at Sandy.

Not all "medicore" players got games and not all youth got games. There was a sensible mix.

For the Western Bulldogs the following happened:

2002: B. Murphy 0, Wight 8, Faulkner 3, Walsh 0, Minson 13. Total: 24 for 5 players

2003: Cooney 24, Ray 21, Iszac Thompson delisted. Total: 45 total 3 players

2004: Griffen 24, Tiller 0, McCormack 4, Wells 0. Total: 28 for 4 players

2005: Higgens 5, Addison 2, Baird 3, West 0. Total: 8 for 4 players.

I chose WB for comparison as they finished in about the same place as us on the ladder, they have a highly respected coach and they are mentioned in the initial article.

Of the 105 games given to their (young) recruits of the last 4 years Cooney, Ray and Griffen got 69 of them. They also have 15 on their list recruited in this period. Average games per player - 7.

Melbourne gave 51.4% more games to "youth" than the Bulldogs last year.

Also you compared us to Swans. For most of the year the Swans were in a similar ladder postition to us. Yet they played little or no youth.

I'd contend that the myth that Daniher doesn't play youth to be one of the commonly accepted misconceptions of supporters.

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I reckon this is the wrong way to analyze things. It's very easy to look at individual situations and extrapolate to a conclusion. But I reckon often it's the wrong conclusion.

I reckon your stats say little or nothing - other than what they actually say.

They say that Higgins and Minson were injured early in 06.

They say that Jones and Bate should have played sooner.

They say that we're more reliant on our youth than the Doggies.

Nice try though.

Also, can you give me gametime stats, please ?

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That's a fairly skewed way of looking at those stats I reckon Fan. I take your point with the comparison to the dogs, and the Swans.

But...

The Ward vs CJ point you made, I reckon, is flawed. CJ WAS given a run and except for one solid game, was proven to be off the mark. Perhaps it was inexperience, a slim body, or a lack of mental preparedness for the rigours of the AFL coupled with the fact that he hasn't found a full-time position on the ground. If any one of these problems was believed to be the culprit for CJ's slack form then Ward was the logical inclusion. While a limited player, he is of the perfect age and experince to be valuable, he has proven himself as a goer in the past, and last season (2006) showed he still had what it takes to perform at his best. It was perhaps clear to ND that CJ was another season away from his best. In short, CJ HAD proven himself "worthy of a run," was found wanting and was dropped. The handling of this "player vs player" conundrum was one I applauded as an improvement this last year, as were the situations regarding the following players.

Jones took a little while to really get going in the VFL. Perhaps it was a training/fitness thing, maybe he needed 6 months to really suss out how difficult things were going to be compared to the TAC cup. He was selected more or less as soon as he proved himself worthy, and has rewarded ND with some hugely encouraging form and a rising star nomination.

Bartram was one out of the box. You have to take your hat off to ND. Clint was perhaps not the most obvious choice for a guy to have play your entire H&A season, but here we are, with a guy who came 5th in the rising star playing in a run-with role. With Bartram, it is perhaps the clearest indication ND and the FD have changed tack.

Bate is a ripper as we all know. Once selected he's shown his class, and the FD's faith in him was never shown more than when they rushed him back to the side as soon as possible after he did his knee against the Roos. It shows how important he became in so short an amount of time, and why I rate him just behind Brock in importance for MFC's future success.

Oh, and Buckley and Neville were both miles off or injured. I would've been VERY worried if either of them were selected. They certainly didn't count as youth who had proven themselves "worthy of a run."

I think you and I are on the same page though in a way. IMO 2006 was the season ND started to play youth moreso than experience. Or at least give the youth FIRST opportunity. It's in the preceeding years that we disagree. Sylvia and Brock are a couple of good examples. While Sylvia has had some OP problems, there were various instances where we could have played these two more often, particularly considering the fact that both are, and have always been since their recruitment, central to the next ten years on-field for MFC.

Your point regarding older mediocre players is a bit off too. Brown is/was a sensational player, but suffered some pretty bad injuries. He was played early in the year, but once hurt, only found his way back at the end of the year where he showed his true colours by starring in a final. Bizzell was injured all year. Nicholson was too, and by the time he was right to come back, various others had taken his spot, including the more multi-faceted Holland. Wheatley was injured, then found it hard to come back. Read and Motlop were just average players, and in their cases your point is correct.

Long story short, you'll find that very rarely were there huge problems on demonland with MFC selection policy this year. There were rare instances where some of the most pro-youth supporters on here (I'm looking at you, H) cried out for the selection of a Bate or Jones, and in most cases ND obliged by picking them a week or two later. The best part about this past year was that in a lot of cases ND was forced to play the guys who had not played many games yet, and on the back of their performances (at least in part) we made the second week of finals. In the future, perhaps ND won't be so quick to go for mature bodies in place of youthful exuberance? His post match pres--conference after the Saints final reflected that he had huge hopes for our list based on the fact that the youth HAD proven themselves capable of winning games at the highest grade.

In the end, my biggest problem has been the instances where you have 3 emergencies coming into the match, and among them are Godfrey, then 2 younger guys. In the often-occuring event that someone has a late injury, it seems to me that too often we select Godfrey, because he's a known entity. I understand that what ND wants is predictability from his players, and that makes all the sense in the world. After all, it must be easier for him knowing that when he moves a player into the moddle, he knows what will happen. But then isn't also a pro-active tactic to select an unknown? For the most part an opposition coach isn't going to know much about a Nathan Jones who hasn't played a game. And in the end, any surprises the young player creates are surprises for the opposition just as much as ND.

When you boil it down, it's ND's policy in 2007 that matters most. How we reflect on 2002-2005, and his shift in gear in 2006, is only relevant if he goes back to selecting, say, Bizzell ahead of Warnock, assuming both had equally as good form prior to selection. I look forward to seeing what he does, primarily with Petterd and Buckley who are unknowns, but also with Frawley, Bell, CJ, Newton and the Dunn/Miller situation.

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Btw, it's not an honour, it's a choice.

Not in my house Hannabel - and I suspect not in most.......and show some passion, man.

It's always a choice ... even for the feeble minded.

Btw, love and reality can live hand in hand. Reality is that I love the MFC. Reality also is that the MFC has been a pathetic joke for much of the last 40 years. That said, the convenors of the club today are doing a fine job, both on and off the field.

See you at training.

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Not in my house Hannabel. Doubt many people do actually choose a team. In my experience it's more a birth-right.

Sounds like you're one of the many Demon supporters, unfortunately, that don't quite 'get it'. This attitude led to our situation 10 years ago, when 'choice' was exercised to vote the club into oblivion. I don't get that.

(I feel like it's Groundhog Day.)

Both my parents barrack for Hawthorn.

Also, I voted nay in 1996. It was my choice. And I've been in more fights than had hot dinners defending the Dees. That too was my choice.

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  • Votes      

    VOTES: Rd 05 vs Brisbane

    Last week Christian Petracca retook the outright lead in the Demonland Player of the Year Award from Max Gawn, Steven May, Alex Neal-Bullen & Jack Viney. Your votes for the loss against the Lions. 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 ...READ MORE

    Demonland | April 11

  • Game Day      

    GAMEDAY: Rd 05 vs Brisbane

    It's Game Day & the 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 ... READ MORE

    Demonland | April 11

  • Training  

    Wednesday, 10th April 2024

    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 ... READ MORE

    Demonland | April 10

  • Match Preview      

    THE PEOPLE SPEAK by The Demonland Crew

    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 ... READ MORE

    Demonland | April 09

  • 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 ... READ MORE

    Demonland | April 07

  • Training  

    Monday, 1st April 2024

    Our man on the spot Bendigo Demon traveled to Adelaide for our back to back games in the City of Churches and brings you his observations from the Demon's training session at Hisense Stadium ... READ MORE

    Demonland | April 01

  • Latest Podcast  

    PODCAST: Koltyn Tholstrup Interview

    I interview the Melbourne Football Club’s newest recruit Koltyn Tholstrup to have a chat about his journey from the farm to the Demons, his first few weeks of preseason training, which Dees have impressed him on the track and his aspirations of playing Round 1 ... LISTEN

    Demonland | December 14

  • Latest Podcast  

    PODCAST: Jason Taylor Interview

    I interview the Melbourne Football Club's National Recruitment Manager Jason Taylor to have a chat about our Trade and Draft period, our newest recruits, our recent recruits who have yet to debut as well as those father son prospects on the horizon ... LISTEN

    Demonland | November 27

  • Next Match 

    .

    Round 07

       vs   

    Wednesday 24th April 2024
    @ 07:25pm (MCG)

  • MFC Forum  

  • Match Previews & Reports  

  • Training Forum  

  • AFLW Forum  

  • 2024 Player Sponsorship

  • Topics

  • Injury List  


      PLAYER INJURY LENGTH
    Shane McAdam Hamstring 1-2 Weeks
    Marty Hore Thumb 1-2 Weeks
    Charlie Spargo Achilles 3 Weeks
    Christian Salem Hamstring 3-4 Weeks
    Jake Bowey Shoulder 4-5 Weeks
    Jake Melksham ACL 9-11 Weeks
    Joel Smith Suspension TBA

  • Player of the Year  


        PLAYER VOTES
    1 Max Gawn 67
    2 Christian Petracca 55
    3 Steven May 35
    4 Jack Viney 28
    5 Alex Neal-Bullen 27
    6 Clayton Oliver 22
    7 Bayley Fritsch 19
    8 Trent Rivers 16
    9 Judd McVee 15
    10 Kade Chandler 14

        FULL TABLE
  • Demonland Interviews 



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