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What to do with Nathan Jones


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4 hours ago, DeeSpencer said:

Stupid post.

1. There's no way he's still earning a fortune, and if he is that's on our list management. He wouldn't be offered a big contract for next year anyway so it's irrelevant. In fact if he has made a fortune he'll probably play on for less.

2. He epitomises everything about why we still have a football club. He stayed loyal when it would've been so easy to jump off. This year has been a down year for many but plenty are acting like we're still in the Neeld years.

3. Who's the next hopeful he's keeping out? Have a look at the Casey team and find a good player ready to play. There just isn't any. He's currently keeping out Josh Wagner - who's had a stack of chances - and Lewis. If we recruit well and get guys back to fitness then they'll get games ahead of him.

He is our Shane Crawford, do not underestimate his value to the ethos and culture of the Club. I saw Crawford relinquish the Captaincy and struggle at times in his last years and yet play a huge part in the flag that had eluded him. If Jones can still perform at the level he did on Sunday I think he deserves to be part of the team next year and reassess at the end of next year. When Crawford retired after winning the flag the Hawks went on to be a powerhouse for many years and had a fabulous culture. I'm not saying this was all down to Crawford being treated with respect but I would remind all of you how well we have performed after treating well respected players and the Red Fox ruthlessly.

I've yet to see who is proposed to push Jones out of the side on performance and as long as that is the case IMO we stand to lose more than we gain. 

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5 hours ago, The Chazz said:

He has stuck with us when most didn't, has multiple B&Fs to his name and will go down as one of the great clubman of the Melbourne Football Club.

But is he prepared to put the club first for one last time by retiring at the end of the season?  I don't think he will, but I also think that 2019 should be his last.

Why?  He has become a liability.  When he's on the wing, clubs know if they get on his outside that he's got no chance of running anyone down.  If he plays half back flank, the smart half forwards push right up the ground then burn him off when they run the other way.  He's not quick enough to do the half forward role I just talked about.

It's a delicate position that Goody will find himself in.  Jones could break the MFC games record if he goes around again next year, which is quite remarkable when you think about the history of this club.  But is it a selfish achievement given we should be about setting the club up to win premierships rather than personal milestones?

I know I'll most likely be in the minority, but personally, I'm hoping Goody makes the tough call and tells him his time is up.

Not sure calling Nathan Jones 'selfish' and saying he wouldn't 'put the club first' is very accurate or fair.

We need a culture revamp amongst our supporters as much as we do our playing group it seems.

 

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33 minutes ago, The Chazz said:

I'm amazed that people are suggesting that Jones should be played off the half back flank. The game has changed - the days of hiding a slow veteran on a back flank are long gone.

I wouldn't be surprised that the same ones calling for this are the same ones that dont want Lewis picked for the rest of the year because he is a liability now in most parts of the field, and the same people that are complaining that we are a slow team.

Brisbane did ok against us with someone FAR slower than Jones at half back.

 

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4 hours ago, Bitter but optimistic said:

I agree Jones hasn't been at his best this season. He has been unusually inconsistent.  In some matches he has played some very good quarters  but then disappeared. His last couple of weeks have been much better.

He has not been so poor as to deserve dropping and we don't have ready replacements pressuring him.

He is experienced, versatile and always busts his guts for the team.

He will and should play on next year.

If you listen to him in his On the Couch interview I think it is a fair explanation of his up and down statistics.

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He was fine on the weekend.

Don't put him on the wing, he's still a reasonable kick and wasn't as bad as about 2/3 of our side.

We can't get rid of everyone in the off-season and in the right role still offers something.

He'll be playing next year.

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4 hours ago, Matsuo Basho said:

I don’t disagree that he could probably play on for one more season but he has stated that he wants to go on for 2+ more years. You have to have the sensitive conversation with him at some point. He is not a good enough player that he can simply write his own ticket. 

He should be told what Lewis was told this year.  One final season with an understanding that senior footy is no longer guaranteed. 

MFC priority though must be to win games, not assuage egos and give carte blanch to sentiment. I’m sure it will also dawn on Jones if it hasn’t already just how fortunate he has been to do something he loves and make a tidy fortune in the process.

They all have used by dates. Even captains.

one more year - sounds like we all agree then!   [this is weird]

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Jones isn't the problem even though he is in his twilight years.  The most obvious problem is that we have any number of C & D graders who haven't given any real service to the club in terms of standout performances.  And to my eyes they probably never will. 

So 12-15 players could go before Jones and I wouldn't bat an eyelid.  Keep the good players and get rid of the rest - it isn't rocket science.

We've got about 12-15 decent players along with about 5-8 up and comers and that's about it.  And many of those 12-15 decent players have struggled this year (for one reason or another) thus the poor W/L record.  It isn't just the coach or the coaching staff.  We are falling short in a number of areas.

So I would definitely keep Jones around as we are a long long way from having a decent replacement for him.  He is doing ok across half back anyway which is a lot more than can be said about numerous others. 

Edited by Macca
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As a long-term original critic of the Lewis import decision, Jones is more valuable to us onfield now, than Lewis was even in 2017.  At half-back (he has been there 5 minutes), he is already showing something.  Those that are calling for Jones' head now, are probably the same ones that wanted Roos out before his 3rd year (let Goody take over....pant...pant), wanted Frost banished forever in early 2019...

 

My theory is, apart from the simpleton not getting it, is that Froscar has dragged down Frost; and Jonewis has dragged down Jones.

 

 

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On 7/1/2019 at 7:54 PM, Lord Nev said:

Not sure calling Nathan Jones 'selfish' and saying he wouldn't 'put the club first' is very accurate or fair.

We need a culture revamp amongst our supporters as much as we do our playing group it seems.

 

Don't think I've actually called Jones selfish.  I did say that it could be a selfish record, mainly because I don't think he should break it (based on where we and he is at).

And I totally agree about a culture revamp among our supporters.  We have many on here preferring to put an individual ahead of team success.  That's the type of culture that was around when Yze, Robertson, Bruce, et al were running around, and look how that helped for the decade after that.  Not sure about you, but I'm still waiting on my first premiership, and I've seen over half my life pass me by without one to date.

I will be very disappointed if Goodwin hasn't spoken to Jones in a way that would indicate that if he plays on next year, that he will be treated equally to all, and with our game plan retiring more pace, that he may start and end the year off at Casey.

On 7/1/2019 at 7:56 PM, Lord Nev said:

Brisbane did ok against us with someone FAR slower than Jones at half back.

 

Hodge has won 4 premierships and is playing an onfield coaching role in a backline full of kids.  I would much rather him in that role than Jones.  Also, let's not forget that the Lions played us on the weekend - hardly any Usain Bolts that he's likely to match up on.  And they have plenty of speed in that side that having one slower player isn't going to hurt them too much.

For Jones to lock in a spot as a half back flank, we need to look at how we structure our backline.  We will generally play, when all fit, 3 talls (May, Lever and Frost), a small (Jetta), and rebounding half backs in Hibberd, Salem and Hore.  We also have Fritsch that can play through there.  If we can secure Ed Langdon from Freo, then we can add him, KK (if he can get his head right) and Baker (who I think has shown a bit) to the list that are capable of playing wing/half back.  Finally we are looking at a list of decent ball users with pace playing in those two positions.

While I acknowledge that injuries are a great concern for many of the names I have listed about, I am thinking about 2020 and hoping that injuries aren't a factor.  With that in mind, my question is, what extra does Jones add to these positions that the other guys don't?  I will potential vomit if someone answers with "loyalty".

Now that I've posted the above, I am starting to ponder what our team would look like right now if we didn't have any injuries.  How many would have Jones in their 22?  I wouldn't.

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9 minutes ago, The Chazz said:

Don't think I've actually called Jones selfish.  I did say that it could be a selfish record, mainly because I don't think he should break it (based on where we and he is at).

And I totally agree about a culture revamp among our supporters.  We have many on here preferring to put an individual ahead of team success.  That's the type of culture that was around when Yze, Robertson, Bruce, et al were running around, and look how that helped for the decade after that.  Not sure about you, but I'm still waiting on my first premiership, and I've seen over half my life pass me by without one to date.

I will be very disappointed if Goodwin hasn't spoken to Jones in a way that would indicate that if he plays on next year, that he will be treated equally to all, and with our game plan retiring more pace, that he may start and end the year off at Casey.

Hodge has won 4 premierships and is playing an onfield coaching role in a backline full of kids.  I would much rather him in that role than Jones.  Also, let's not forget that the Lions played us on the weekend - hardly any Usain Bolts that he's likely to match up on.  And they have plenty of speed in that side that having one slower player isn't going to hurt them too much.

For Jones to lock in a spot as a half back flank, we need to look at how we structure our backline.  We will generally play, when all fit, 3 talls (May, Lever and Frost), a small (Jetta), and rebounding half backs in Hibberd, Salem and Hore.  We also have Fritsch that can play through there.  If we can secure Ed Langdon from Freo, then we can add him, KK (if he can get his head right) and Baker (who I think has shown a bit) to the list that are capable of playing wing/half back.  Finally we are looking at a list of decent ball users with pace playing in those two positions.

While I acknowledge that injuries are a great concern for many of the names I have listed about, I am thinking about 2020 and hoping that injuries aren't a factor.  With that in mind, my question is, what extra does Jones add to these positions that the other guys don't?  I will potential vomit if someone answers with "loyalty".

Now that I've posted the above, I am starting to ponder what our team would look like right now if we didn't have any injuries.  How many would have Jones in their 22?  I wouldn't.

Well said Chazz

i too am waiting for the elusive 13th

Whether Jones plays 300 games is of small interest. I would have retired him after 2016 if it was up to me. 

We always keep our older players too long

(one of the many MFC problems)

our older players have achieved what???

 

 

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17 minutes ago, Sir Why You Little said:

Well said Chazz

i too am waiting for the elusive 13th

Whether Jones plays 300 games is of small interest. I would have retired him after 2016 if it was up to me. 

We always keep our older players too long

(one of the many MFC problems)

our older players have achieved what???

 

 

From the outside looking in it's very hard to tell what they contribute in an on-field & off-field capacity. For example, back in  2007-2008 , when off-field, James MacDonald was a ray of sunshine that kept the spirit around the club up; quite different to his ferocious demeanour on-field.

As far as  Nathan and 300 games go, it shouldn't be something the club 'gets him to'. If he gets there it should be on merit only. 300 games or not, he's carved out an impressive career.

Edited by TRIGON
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7 minutes ago, TRIGON said:

From the outside looking in it's very hard to tell what they contribute in an on-field & off-field capacity. For example, back in  2007-2008 , when off-field, James MacDonald was a ray of sunshine that kept the spirit around the club up; quite different to his ferocious demeanour on-field.

As far as  Nathan and 300 games go, it shouldn't be something the club 'gets him to'. If he gets there it should be on merit only. 300 games or not, he's carved out an impressive career.

We have to get over just holding the spirit of the club together. 

That is one of our major problems

Junior was a great servant, but his time was up as a major contributor 

I want sustained success at the top of the ladder, then we celebrate great careers, as we did decades ago under Norm’s reign. 

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3 minutes ago, Sir Why You Little said:

We have to get over just holding the spirit of the club together. 

That is one of our major problems

Junior was a great servant, but his time was up as a major contributor 

I want sustained success at the top of the ladder, then we celebrate great careers, as we did decades ago under Norm’s reign. 

SWYL, this is the exact thing that has been lost over time.  I agree (from an outsider looking in) that the moving on of Junior was appalling.  The reality is though, his contribution in his final year had gone backwards, and added to that was his body letting him down.

Even though there are different people in charge now, I personally believe the club has a great opportunity to prove they have learnt from that mistake by the way they could handle the Jones situation.  Tap him on the shoulder, do it respectfully, and he'll end a brilliant MFC career at the end of this season.  He aint going to get any faster next year, yet the position he will be playing will require him to.

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1 minute ago, The Chazz said:

SWYL, this is the exact thing that has been lost over time.  I agree (from an outsider looking in) that the moving on of Junior was appalling.  The reality is though, his contribution in his final year had gone backwards, and added to that was his body letting him down.

Even though there are different people in charge now, I personally believe the club has a great opportunity to prove they have learnt from that mistake by the way they could handle the Jones situation.  Tap him on the shoulder, do it respectfully, and he'll end a brilliant MFC career at the end of this season.  He aint going to get any faster next year, yet the position he will be playing will require him to.

Totally agree. Seeing Jones line up on the MCG Wing earlier this year made me very angry. 

We Members were being treated like fools. 

How do you exit a player gracefully?

”time to go mate, we love you and welcome you back  anytime. But your playing days with us have finished....”

We have to be tough and fair. Lewis has 4 Flags under his belt to pass on knowledge,  

Jones has none of that sadly, but life is a tough journey 

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He recently said he wanted to play for a few years. So, if he doesn't have something else lined up post playing, be it studies/ventures etc he won't take kindly to being tapped on the shoulder.

Last year Clarkson told his captain he could see out the last year of his contract and take his chances on senior selection.  Roughy relinquished the captaincy and is playing VFL with good grace and professionalism.  That is what needs to happen with Jones.  A one year contract and games based on form and what is best for the team.  Getting to 300 games is irrelevant.

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4 minutes ago, Lucifer's Hero said:

He recently said he wanted to play for a few years. So, if he doesn't have something else lined up post playing, be it studies/ventures etc he won't take kindly to being tapped on the shoulder.

Last year Clarkson told his captain he could see out the last year of his contract and take his chances on senior selection.  Roughy relinquished the captaincy and is playing VFL with good grace and professionalism.  That is what needs to happen with Jones.  A one year contract and games based on form and what is best for the team.  Getting to 300 games is irrelevant.

Let us see how strong the Board and Club really is....

This will give us a very good indication. 

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4 hours ago, The Chazz said:

Don't think I've actually called Jones selfish.  I did say that it could be a selfish record, mainly because I don't think he should break it (based on where we and he is at).

And I totally agree about a culture revamp among our supporters.  We have many on here preferring to put an individual ahead of team success.  That's the type of culture that was around when Yze, Robertson, Bruce, et al were running around, and look how that helped for the decade after that.  Not sure about you, but I'm still waiting on my first premiership, and I've seen over half my life pass me by without one to date.

I will be very disappointed if Goodwin hasn't spoken to Jones in a way that would indicate that if he plays on next year, that he will be treated equally to all, and with our game plan retiring more pace, that he may start and end the year off at Casey.

Hodge has won 4 premierships and is playing an onfield coaching role in a backline full of kids.  I would much rather him in that role than Jones.  Also, let's not forget that the Lions played us on the weekend - hardly any Usain Bolts that he's likely to match up on.  And they have plenty of speed in that side that having one slower player isn't going to hurt them too much.

For Jones to lock in a spot as a half back flank, we need to look at how we structure our backline.  We will generally play, when all fit, 3 talls (May, Lever and Frost), a small (Jetta), and rebounding half backs in Hibberd, Salem and Hore.  We also have Fritsch that can play through there.  If we can secure Ed Langdon from Freo, then we can add him, KK (if he can get his head right) and Baker (who I think has shown a bit) to the list that are capable of playing wing/half back.  Finally we are looking at a list of decent ball users with pace playing in those two positions.

While I acknowledge that injuries are a great concern for many of the names I have listed about, I am thinking about 2020 and hoping that injuries aren't a factor.  With that in mind, my question is, what extra does Jones add to these positions that the other guys don't?  I will potential vomit if someone answers with "loyalty".

Now that I've posted the above, I am starting to ponder what our team would look like right now if we didn't have any injuries.  How many would have Jones in their 22?  I wouldn't.

What a strange comment to say you don't think Jones should break a record because it would be "selfish". Do you honestly think the selection committee that have dropped both Vince and Lewis would treat Jones any differently?

Hodge wasn't competing against any "Usain Bolts"? May is quick and has competed in the grand final sprint, Frost is one of the quickest in the AFL, Baker, Hunt and Salem all run through there and are quick. Find it strange that apparently Jones ruins our backline speed (1 player) but Hodge doesn't have any impact at all on the Lions overall speed (again, 1 player).

The next part of your reply is all what ifs and hypotheticals. Lever is out injured, Jetta is out injured, Hibberd is not 100%, KK is out injured and we don't currently have Langdon, so not sure why you're arguing Jones won't be able to lock in a spot there, when we're dealing with the present situation not an unpredictable future one. No one has said 'Jones has a 22 spot forever'.

What does Jones add? Consistency. He might not be a great player, but you at least know what you'll get and that when called upon you will at least get a consistent effort and performance. That level might not keep him in the team with a better injury list, but again, we're dealing with the present aren't we?

If we ever have absolutely no injuries, absolutely no form issues and absolutely everyone is available, let me know what this magical 'best 22' is that you speak of. In my view, there's rarely such a thing and you need depth on your list, including some mature bodies, to get through any given season.

Some here seem to think people are saying Jones has a reserved spot as long as he likes, but I've not seen anyone here say that.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Lucifer's Hero said:

He recently said he wanted to play for a few years. So, if he doesn't have something else lined up post playing, be it studies/ventures etc he won't take kindly to being tapped on the shoulder.

Last year Clarkson told his captain he could see out the last year of his contract and take his chances on senior selection.  Roughy relinquished the captaincy and is playing VFL with good grace and professionalism.  That is what needs to happen with Jones.  A one year contract and games based on form and what is best for the team.  Getting to 300 games is irrelevant.

 

2 hours ago, Sir Why You Little said:

Let us see how strong the Board and Club really is....

This will give us a very good indication. 

Why do you guys even doubt this will happen? I don't get it. What players have we kept on too long (age wise) the last 5-6 years?

Both Vince and Lewis saw plenty of VFL time in their last year.

 

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Never classified as 'elite' skill-wise, but the composure and calmness that comes from years of experience are surely reasons for giving Nathan a chance to nail down a spot on the HBF.

Yes, he will struggle to catch a fleet-footed half-forward, but, as contested 'front half' footy these days seems to be 'flavour of the month', Nathan can be relied upon to put his body on the line when required.

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15 hours ago, Lord Nev said:

What a strange comment to say you don't think Jones should break a record because it would be "selfish". Do you honestly think the selection committee that have dropped both Vince and Lewis would treat Jones any differently?

 

Jury is out.

15 hours ago, Lord Nev said:

Hodge wasn't competing against any "Usain Bolts"? May is quick and has competed in the grand final sprint, Frost is one of the quickest in the AFL, Baker, Hunt and Salem all run through there and are quick. Find it strange that apparently Jones ruins our backline speed (1 player) but Hodge doesn't have any impact at all on the Lions overall speed (again, 1 player).

Let's see how Hodge goes when he has some fleet-footed half forward flankers next to him.  Hodgey is smart, he zones off and fills holes.  I'd go far as to saying that Fagan has incorporated the role that Hodge plays in to his game plan.  He's worth his weight in gold on the field and Fagan knows it.

15 hours ago, Lord Nev said:

The next part of your reply is all what ifs and hypotheticals. Lever is out injured, Jetta is out injured, Hibberd is not 100%, KK is out injured and we don't currently have Langdon, so not sure why you're arguing Jones won't be able to lock in a spot there, when we're dealing with the present situation not an unpredictable future one. No one has said 'Jones has a 22 spot forever'.

 

I acknowledged the injuries in paragraph that follows.  Kind of you not to include that.

15 hours ago, Lord Nev said:

What does Jones add? Consistency. He might not be a great player, but you at least know what you'll get and that when called upon you will at least get a consistent effort and performance. That level might not keep him in the team with a better injury list, but again, we're dealing with the present aren't we?

I will give you Jones' consistency.  But are we at a stage where we want a consistent plodder that's toward the end of his career?  How about you set your standards a bit higher.

15 hours ago, Lord Nev said:

If we ever have absolutely no injuries, absolutely no form issues and absolutely everyone is available, let me know what this magical 'best 22' is that you speak of. In my view, there's rarely such a thing and you need depth on your list, including some mature bodies, to get through any given season.

This "magical best 22" is quite clear.  Match committee meeting in the week leading up to Round 1, 2020.  We have a full list to pick from and only 22 spots to fill.  Does Jones' name get picked?  He doesn't for mine.  Calling Jones "depth" is like calling Lewis "depth" this year.  Perhaps I have a different definition of depth, but a player with only weeks left in his career is not depth.  That's what Lewis in in 2019, and Jones will be in 2020.

I have no doubt that Jones will go around again in 2020.  Will I be disappointed if he breaks the games record?  Yes.  It ill mean that he's playing bulk games in the seniors (in 2020) when quite frankly, I think other players should be going past him.  It will say more about the state of our depth and development rather than Jones' ability.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, The Chazz said:

Jury is out.

Let's see how Hodge goes when he has some fleet-footed half forward flankers next to him.  Hodgey is smart, he zones off and fills holes.  I'd go far as to saying that Fagan has incorporated the role that Hodge plays in to his game plan.  He's worth his weight in gold on the field and Fagan knows it.

I acknowledged the injuries in paragraph that follows.  Kind of you not to include that.

I will give you Jones' consistency.  But are we at a stage where we want a consistent plodder that's toward the end of his career?  How about you set your standards a bit higher.

This "magical best 22" is quite clear.  Match committee meeting in the week leading up to Round 1, 2020.  We have a full list to pick from and only 22 spots to fill.  Does Jones' name get picked?  He doesn't for mine.  Calling Jones "depth" is like calling Lewis "depth" this year.  Perhaps I have a different definition of depth, but a player with only weeks left in his career is not depth.  That's what Lewis in in 2019, and Jones will be in 2020.

I have no doubt that Jones will go around again in 2020.  Will I be disappointed if he breaks the games record?  Yes.  It ill mean that he's playing bulk games in the seniors (in 2020) when quite frankly, I think other players should be going past him.  It will say more about the state of our depth and development rather than Jones' ability.

Absolutely agree Hodge is as smart as they come, and would have the edge over Jones in that way when 'making up' for their lack of speed. Would wager Jones has a few steps on Hodge speed wise though. Think the difference is Brisbane have a minuscule injury list and not too many worries form wise, compared to use where the situation on both fronts is dire and Jones has played multiple roles this season to try and cover that, with potential damage to his performance coming from it. That's part of the reason why i think associating the word 'selfish' with him is pretty unfair.

I have high standards, but I also have an understanding of our reality. I did say that Jones would potentially not be playing if the injury list was small and form was reasonable. I'm not saying he's a gun player at this stage of his career.

We didn't have a full list to choose from at the start of next year, I truly hope we do next year, but it's not that much of a common occurrence in footy. You need depth in various ranges IMO, so I see absolutely nothing wrong with Lewis being depth this year and Jones being that next year. I would argue given Jones' changing roles this year he's already classed as depth, yet he's played every available game.

I think it's sad you'll be disappointed if he breaks the games record. You're assuming he'll be playing poorly yet being selected, which I don't think the evidence supports (Vince, Lewis), and given his time with us I think he deserves to be celebrated by supporters if he manages to earn that honour.

 

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16 hours ago, Lord Nev said:

 

Why do you guys even doubt this will happen? I don't get it. What players have we kept on too long (age wise) the last 5-6 years?

Both Vince and Lewis saw plenty of VFL time in their last year.

 

I have followed this Club a lot longer than 5-6 years....

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1 minute ago, Lord Nev said:

Think we all have mate, but the point in using that time frame was to keep it relevant to the current club decision makers.

 

Yes i know. But this Club has long form at changing over the list, the wrong way. 

We need to replace about 5-6 players at years end. 

The right players need to be moved on, sentiment must not be a factor

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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