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Mick McGuane wrote a good article today in the Sun around solving our problems when going forward, and this part of the article makes me feel a little better about tonight and the direction we are hea

Just arrived and a young lady gave me a yo-yo! i offered to show her “around the world “ and she looked at me as if I was a pervert

If we lose tonight (to the team I despise over all others) it will just confirm my theory that supporting Melbourne is like having a child who constantly disappoints. Yes there are occasional mom

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Yes I liked McGuane's assessment and agree it was almost laughable the dominance in the third quarter followed by the ball going up the other end for a goal via a dubious Rohan free kick (dubious because the umps also missed the Hawkins shove in the back on May before he and Hunt collided high on Rohan.

But here's my issue, our forward line is malfunctioning and yet we made just the one minor change to it for tonight (Sparrow out), so Goody and the selectors in part are hoping that playing a lesser opponent that is down on form and on our home ground will help solve the scoring problems of the first two rounds. He's also decided to stick fat with underperforming forwards - something that will be highly credible if they turn things around tonight, but seem ludicrous if they don't.

Hopefully we will turn things around and win easily, but there's also a chance that we will again dominate the midfield and struggle to score, rendering the game a tight, tense low-scoring affair that will be won on the flip of a kick or the mouth-whistling ability of an umpire.  

Of course, Goody and the players may have already made adjustments, but given how reluctant we are to swing players around these days (and practice in their three set groups) I can't really see much of a change.

That means the spotlight will once again be on our four down-on-form forwards. If they succeed tonight it is happy days for Sydney, if they don't, the same hard questions will arise.

Petracca - why hasn't he been sent down to VFL to try and remedy some serious flaws in his game and at the same time dominate at the lower level to restore confidence. This has been a lament of mine for two years no with him. Among his flaws are his high ball drop which causes him to at times, when harassed, misqueue his kick. He also still fails to get back on his mark far enough when he gets a free or takes a mark and on occasions his opponent on the mark touches his low flat pass to a leading opponent. Obviously we'd all love him to find an extra yard of pace, but that may not be possible (genetically) and it's not a death sentence even if it is. Please note that ultimately, Trac is our best chance on our list of providing the Stringer/De Goey type forward and with both Hannan and Joel Smith out, there are precious few options. On paper at this stage, finding another player of this type (eg: Cats and Rohan last year), is now our No.1 recruiting need. 

Weideman - he spent all of last year learning the back-up ruckman craft but his form against Port in this area was abysmal and the Dons have added a third ruck (Zac Clarke) to their set-up for tonight.  His manager pestering for a $700K contract would also be distracting, but more than anything he needs to get back to working again on his agility like he did pre-season last year and it is a surprise to me that Goody has persevered with him this week ahead of going with the Preuss option. 

Neal-Bullen - Almost everyone's most hated player but I have always loved his workrate and believe that you need at least one small forward playing this type of sacrificial role each week on your forward line. Obviously we'd all like it if his disposals were neater like Robbie Gray, but it ain't happening at the moment. He may need time in twos for a confidence boost, especially now that the 6-6-6 has stopped him getting involved by running off the back of the square. 

T-Mac - It's been clear that he's not quite as maniacally fit this year and a turf-toe relapse and shoulder ops obviously hasn't helped, plus he now cops the No.1 tall defender each week. To me, the solution is to give him a week down back and the obvious swap is with Oscar, who Goody seems to have forgotten was a forward for much of his time in the TAC and is a lovely kick and has high endurance running-ability, even if his speed off the mark is now being questioned. Playing Oscar forward for a bit would be an extra part in his evolution as a defender anyway, giving him a close up look at how opponents are blocking and positioning on him. Playing T-Mac down back is not a long-term solution (we all recall that he mixed moments of courage and class with a high clanger kicking rate), but it may get his marking confidence back and give him a refresher in the importance of pressure before he returns to the forward line.

I haven't included Melky in this group, because I've been pretty impressed by how quickly he's come back from his pre-season setbacks and his body-positioning on opponents taller than him is superb. 

Based on the side chosen tonight, I imagine Lockhart and Corey Wagner will also play as small pressure forwards, although I wouldn't be surprised if Goody sends Hunt or Fritter forward at some point.

But to me if our forwards malfunction again, it really is time for Goody to experiment again, just as he did at the start of last season.

And by that I basically mean, removing Weid for a bit and playing Preuss - I don't expect this to be a fail-safe move as I am aware BP is slow, but he does bring a presence and fear factor that Weid can't provide and when on the ball he allows Gawn to spend time up front where he is also a fear-factor presence for opponents. 

With Joel Smith and Hannan out for a while yet, Goody has to decide if he can switch his best Petracca-replacement options  from their current roles. By this I mean whether he is willing to rob Peter to pay Paul and send one our our quality midfield troika - Harmes, Oliver, Brayshaw - forward to play the third/fourth tall role that Trac has failed in. Such a move is not ideal, but in the short-term it may be necessary.

But alas we should win tonight and the mild conditions will help our forwards, so such experimentation by Goody may not be required - at least for another week or two.

 

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Geez their backline, really should be putting some through the sticks...
 
  •  
    HB
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  • 19 Kobe Mutch
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  • 18 Michael Hurley
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  • 42 Adam Saad
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  •  
    FB
  •  
  • 10 Aaron Francis
  •  
  • 29 Patrick Ambrose
  •  
  • 45 Conor McKenna
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4 minutes ago, The Stigga said:
Geez their backline, really should be putting some through the sticks...
 
  •  
    HB
  •  
  • 19 Kobe Mutch
  •  
  • 18 Michael Hurley
  •  
  • 42 Adam Saad
  •  
  •  
    FB
  •  
  • 10 Aaron Francis
  •  
  • 29 Patrick Ambrose
  •  
  • 45 Conor McKenna

Hurley and Francis will cover McDonald and Weideman easily.

The rest of our forward line isn't much chop so they won't be too concerned.

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2 minutes ago, Clint Bizkit said:

Hurley and Francis will cover McDonald and Weideman easily.

The rest of our forward line isn't much chop so they won't be too concerned.

What, that forward line that was the highest scoring team last year?

Should be monstering them.

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18 minutes ago, Clint Bizkit said:

Hurley and Francis will cover McDonald and Weideman easily.

The rest of our forward line isn't much chop so they won't be too concerned.

agree.  but the stage is set up for a mid or small to have a day out  if we are good enough

I'm tipping Milkshake to top score with 5.

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I feel like the early season form of port and geelong shows the importance of the draft. And for no fault of their own, Lever and May haven't contributed anything to the club and we gave up so many early picks to have them here. I hope we learn and use it this season.  on someone with a bit of fricking speed!

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2 minutes ago, Dr.D said:

I feel like the early season form of port and geelong shows the importance of the draft. And for no fault of their own, Lever and May haven't contributed anything to the club and we gave up so many early picks to have them here. I hope we learn and use it this season.  on someone with a bit of fricking speed!

no doubt that two first rounders was overs for Lever as demonstrated by the Hogan trade. The only consolation was that the 2018 pick ended up being a high one given our success.

Anyway.. it's in the past and hopefully we see some sunshine soon

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Bombers are playing Zac Clarke, Mckernan and Bellchambers. The first two will have to play fwd which Clarke is poor at and Mckernan is OK at.  they will be very tall up fwd with Stringer, if we cannot dominate and get some run from the back half we never will.

Lower the eyes going fwd to Melk, Trac and Hunt and we should smash these cheating morons

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1 hour ago, Deespicable said:

Yes I liked McGuane's assessment and agree it was almost laughable the dominance in the third quarter followed by the ball going up the other end for a goal via a dubious Rohan free kick (dubious because the umps also missed the Hawkins shove in the back on May before he and Hunt collided high on Rohan.

But here's my issue, our forward line is malfunctioning and yet we made just the one minor change to it for tonight (Sparrow out), so Goody and the selectors in part are hoping that playing a lesser opponent that is down on form and on our home ground will help solve the scoring problems of the first two rounds. He's also decided to stick fat with underperforming forwards - something that will be highly credible if they turn things around tonight, but seem ludicrous if they don't.

Hopefully we will turn things around and win easily, but there's also a chance that we will again dominate the midfield and struggle to score, rendering the game a tight, tense low-scoring affair that will be won on the flip of a kick or the mouth-whistling ability of an umpire.  

Of course, Goody and the players may have already made adjustments, but given how reluctant we are to swing players around these days (and practice in their three set groups) I can't really see much of a change.

That means the spotlight will once again be on our four down-on-form forwards. If they succeed tonight it is happy days for Sydney, if they don't, the same hard questions will arise.

Petracca - why hasn't he been sent down to VFL to try and remedy some serious flaws in his game and at the same time dominate at the lower level to restore confidence. This has been a lament of mine for two years no with him. Among his flaws are his high ball drop which causes him to at times, when harassed, misqueue his kick. He also still fails to get back on his mark far enough when he gets a free or takes a mark and on occasions his opponent on the mark touches his low flat pass to a leading opponent. Obviously we'd all love him to find an extra yard of pace, but that may not be possible (genetically) and it's not a death sentence even if it is. Please note that ultimately, Trac is our best chance on our list of providing the Stringer/De Goey type forward and with both Hannan and Joel Smith out, there are precious few options. On paper at this stage, finding another player of this type (eg: Cats and Rohan last year), is now our No.1 recruiting need. 

Weideman - he spent all of last year learning the back-up ruckman craft but his form against Port in this area was abysmal and the Dons have added a third ruck (Zac Clarke) to their set-up for tonight.  His manager pestering for a $700K contract would also be distracting, but more than anything he needs to get back to working again on his agility like he did pre-season last year and it is a surprise to me that Goody has persevered with him this week ahead of going with the Preuss option. 

Neal-Bullen - Almost everyone's most hated player but I have always loved his workrate and believe that you need at least one small forward playing this type of sacrificial role each week on your forward line. Obviously we'd all like it if his disposals were neater like Robbie Gray, but it ain't happening at the moment. He may need time in twos for a confidence boost, especially now that the 6-6-6 has stopped him getting involved by running off the back of the square. 

T-Mac - It's been clear that he's not quite as maniacally fit this year and a turf-toe relapse and shoulder ops obviously hasn't helped, plus he now cops the No.1 tall defender each week. To me, the solution is to give him a week down back and the obvious swap is with Oscar, who Goody seems to have forgotten was a forward for much of his time in the TAC and is a lovely kick and has high endurance running-ability, even if his speed off the mark is now being questioned. Playing Oscar forward for a bit would be an extra part in his evolution as a defender anyway, giving him a close up look at how opponents are blocking and positioning on him. Playing T-Mac down back is not a long-term solution (we all recall that he mixed moments of courage and class with a high clanger kicking rate), but it may get his marking confidence back and give him a refresher in the importance of pressure before he returns to the forward line.

I haven't included Melky in this group, because I've been pretty impressed by how quickly he's come back from his pre-season setbacks and his body-positioning on opponents taller than him is superb. 

Based on the side chosen tonight, I imagine Lockhart and Corey Wagner will also play as small pressure forwards, although I wouldn't be surprised if Goody sends Hunt or Fritter forward at some point.

But to me if our forwards malfunction again, it really is time for Goody to experiment again, just as he did at the start of last season.

And by that I basically mean, removing Weid for a bit and playing Preuss - I don't expect this to be a fail-safe move as I am aware BP is slow, but he does bring a presence and fear factor that Weid can't provide and when on the ball he allows Gawn to spend time up front where he is also a fear-factor presence for opponents. 

With Joel Smith and Hannan out for a while yet, Goody has to decide if he can switch his best Petracca-replacement options  from their current roles. By this I mean whether he is willing to rob Peter to pay Paul and send one our our quality midfield troika - Harmes, Oliver, Brayshaw - forward to play the third/fourth tall role that Trac has failed in. Such a move is not ideal, but in the short-term it may be necessary.

But alas we should win tonight and the mild conditions will help our forwards, so such experimentation by Goody may not be required - at least for another week or two.

 

great post.....I agree

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47 minutes ago, DubDee said:

The chemical haze that will soon engulf the City should be a good backdrop for the hell we will be in if we lose tonight

The media has made certain that only one of the teams who take the field tonight will be thought of as cheats. It doesn't take a Mensa intellect to figure out what club will be wearing that label. *Hint, it wont be the peptides.

I am almost certain we will lose tonight. Our selected team looks quite average on paper and we are still a week or 2 away from being AFL fit. Despite what some might say, our pre-season was not just interrupted/delayed by injuries and off season operations, but i think some of our guys got a bit big-headed by making the Prelim last year and have come crashing back to Earth. 

I still think we will win enough games to make the finals, but dont think it will start tonight.

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1 hour ago, Wadda We Sing said:

Elimination Final. (a little earlier than expected) Loser out for the rest of the year.

Exactly. I have no idea as to who will win tonite.

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I feel like some we will lose this again at the selection table. Wagners don’t excite me even though we have slim pickings, Pruess, Garlett and Strecth would have been the best available for tonight, I think the season is just about a rite off more work on the list at seasons end please!

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5 minutes ago, dl4e said:

I'll cut the wagners some slack in that they always have a red hot go.

This! Can’t believe everyone is so down on their selection. I thought Corey was pretty good round 1 and was unlucky to be dropped. His disposal looks clean which is something we lack and he was hard at it. Josh looks inboard a lot...we can do with more of that too

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3 hours ago, Diamond_Jim said:

This should have been such a big game... instead it's a battle of the desperate losers.

When is this cursed club going to have some luck ??

MFCSS in full overdrive

MFCSS is a soothing picket fence for disappointments as these may arise (as a result of being a Dees supporter). There is just a small gap between palings on that fence to allow the sunlight to shine through, making the rhododendrons bloom in brilliant colours - so don't take it away from us, will you? As for OMac, we should regard him as a giant slug, a wastrel in the garden killing the seedlings and emerging flower heads. Proof? Just look at the form and exhaustion of Hibberd and Jetta trying to cover for him. 

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