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Fifty-5

Northey era vs Daniher era

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Some off-season musing ...

We haven't had much to write home about since 1964, but we have had two moderately successful eras under John Northey 1986-1992 and Neale Daniher 1998-2007.  Which one do you think was better and which had the stronger team?

FTR, I expect the Goodwin era to eclipse both and deliver a flag.

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Northey era > Daniher era.

The only metric I'm interested in is the win-loss stat and Northey beat Daniher 53.8% to 48.4%.

Plus, Northey has been the only coach post 1964 to deliver us 3 finals wins in the one finals series. Who can guess which year that was?

Goodwin is on 46.4% after his disastrous 2019.

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The Northey era was better as we made the finals more consistently but 2000 was our best side. 1990 and 1998 were missed opportunities and we had a chance to pinch those flags.

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The Northey era was probably the more enjoyable. I will never forget the open door policy to the change rooms that allowed you to go along and listen to Swoop rouse the players. The first two 87 finals and the unforgettable prelim at Waverley can never be forgotten.

Daniher's era suffered from the up down form of the team. Just our luck to come up against the most successful one year team in Essendon in 2000. Many here blame Daniher for the subsequent collapse that we are really yet to emerge from as a club. Harsh.. maybe... but he did provide some great years unlike after he left.

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2 minutes ago, Fat Tony said:

 1990 and 1998 were missed opportunities and we had a chance to pinch those flags.

Can't recall 1998 but definitely 1990 was anyone's.

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Northey was the man to drag us out of a bleak world of only three certainties: death, taxes, and Melbourne don't play in finals.

Year after year after year we got to watch other clubs in finals, secure in the knowledge that we wouldn't ever be there.

The brave new world where Melbourne got to play finals was something hard to believe but was very easy to get used to!

Northey extracted every last bit of ability from fairly ordinary lists.

So, Northey for me.

Imagine Neale's lists under Northey. Like putting Lleyton Hewitt's head on Mark Philippoussos' body.

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I was fortunate enough to witness the stirring run home in 1987 - 6 in a row and relying on others to lose.  Northey was a terrific coach who extracted everything from his group. 1990 we were the best team in the comp but unfortunately we had a shocker against North and lost by 127 points which cost us percentage and the double chance.  We won 16 games and finished 4th.  We beat top side Essendon twice including at Windy Hill and beat Hawthorn in consecutive weeks including the Elimination Final to end their run of consecutive GF's which stretched from 1983-89. We were the only team that could really trouble Collingwood - we had knocked them out of the 1988 and 89 finals series- yet inexplicably got rolled by WC at Waverley in the first semi.  There went Northey's best hope of landing us a flag.

Daniher did a great job in 1998 and we were capable of beating anyone.  In fact we rolled the eventual premier in the first final of that year under the "old" final 8 system. 2000 we were never a chance against Essendon but it was nice to make the GF because it meant Carlton didn't!

For me, I'd go for Northey - 5 successive years of finals with at least one win in each of those series. Other teams feared and respected us and of all the Victorian teams over the period 87-91 we had the best record against Hawthorn - no mean feat in that era.

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Think both were really good era's, with both having their strengths and weaknesses.

Running into 2 of the best teams in history in Hawks 88 and Bombers 00, made things difficult.

87 was our best chance under Swooper and we were on a roll, but had we got through similar to the 2018 prelim we may have run our race, Robbie Flower and Brian Wilson would have both been out, 10 previous weeks ( including H & A + finals) and a warm day with the Blues having the weeks rest may have been a bridge to far

98 IMO was Dannihers best side with the mix of experience and youth, we were flying early in the finals and the old finals system didn't do us any favours, because I reckon going into finals with our form ourselves and North were the 2 best sides going in. I would have fancied us against them week 1 of the finals but Jeff White's injury didn't help for the Prelim.

Danners sides from 2000-06 just lacked key defenders and from 02-06 we paid for poor end of season runs costing us double chances

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1 hour ago, bingers said:

1987

great topic for discussion. l went into the rooms after our win against Footscray in 87 to make the finals and got Robbie flowers signature on my record. my favorite day at the footy. exhilarating finals series' under northey. who would have thought Dean Chiron could play a role against platten, but northey could get them playing out of their skin despite having less talent then the daniher era

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2 hours ago, Fat Tony said:

The Northey era was better as we made the finals more consistently but 2000 was our best side. 1990 and 1998 were missed opportunities and we had a chance to pinch those flags.

We cooked it in 1990.  Knock Hawthorn out then [censored] ourselves in the face  #classicmelbourne

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Northey era for mine. Daniher had more talented sides but they were inconsistant. Northey was able to get more out of his.1990 was our best year for a flag but we could not play waverly well at all which I believe cost us.

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About the same in my book

Good to quite good levels of talent but never great.  Both Northey & Daniher did about as well as they could have done

Add 5 or 6 B+ or A grade players to each of the era's and we would have been in real contention for multiple premierships. 

Living proof that certain levels of talent will only get you so far.  I thought we did very well to make 2 x GF's in those time periods. 

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Northey came to the club at the end of the Barassi era and inherited a group of emerging u19 players such as Greg Healey, Yeats, Newport, Bailey and others who had played together as a group under Slug Jordan. He added recruits Spalding, Viney, Dean and Lovett (from Dorks) and changed the structure of the team. At the beginning of 1987 our best half back line was R, White Icke Giles. By the end of the year it was Lovett Spalding Grinter. That change alone made a colossal difference. 

Neale arrived in 1998 and was blessed by the return from several injury affected seasons injury of Lyon, Tingay, Schwarz, G Lovett and the drafting of White and Johnstone. He did well until he was comprehensively out coached in the preliminary final by Pagan. His reluctance to play Stynes and White on the ground at the same time arguably cost us the game. Thereafter while we made finals we never competitive.

Northey coached finasl for five consecutive years, Neale coached finals 6 years out of 9. Each had a very slim chance in a GF but 1990 under Northey still hurts.

Neale probably had the better list but did less to develop them and left a lesser legacy for his succesor. Balme got us into finals after only 2 years after Northey whereas it took 12 years after Neale.

That Neale is still with us is a comfort. Blessings.

 

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Didn't we hire Northey simply because he was the cheapest.  Northey for mine considering our recruiting was tripe.

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Posted (edited)

Everyone talks about the 1987 finals series and how special it was, but nobody talks about the 88 series. 

We beat WC in a thrilling finish at Waverley.

We beat second place Collingwood in front of 88,000 at the G, by 13 points but we were in control all day.

We also beat the reigning premiers Carlton by 22 points in the prelim to right the wrongs of the previous year's disaster to make our first GF in 23 years!  Nobody ever refers to this game, but it must have been extremely satisfying at the time.

We won 3 finals in 1988 which is the most ever in an MFC finals series since 1964. We haven’t replicated it since.

IMO, everyone only thinks of 1988 as the GF disaster but we certainly had some memorable wins in the lead up.

Edited by Bring-Back-Powell
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37 minutes ago, Bring-Back-Powell said:

Everyone talks about the 1987 finals series and how special it was, but nobody talks about the 88 series. 

We beat WC in a thrilling finish at Waverley.

We beat second place Collingwood in front of 88,000 at the G, by 13 points but we were in control all day.

We also beat the reigning premiers Carlton by 22 points in the prelim to right the wrongs of the previous year's disaster to make our first GF in 23 years!  Nobody ever refers to this game, but it must have been extremely satisfying at the time.

We won 3 finals in 1988 which is the most ever in an MFC finals series since 1964. We haven’t replicated it since.

IMO, everyone only thinks of 1988 as the GF disaster but we certainly had some memorable wins in the lead up.

It was a very exciting finals series but geez did we nearly blow it before the finals.  We were comfortably second for most of the year and actually beat Hawthorn during the season.  Then we dropped 5 games straight from round 17-21. We had to beat second placed Carlton in the last game of the season to hold 5th.  We did and then put those 3 finals wins together.  We were fortunate to beat the Eagles in the wet at VFL Park, thanks to a great Lyon snap and a Murray Wrensted miss basically on the siren and we always had the Pies under control in the first semi.  We beat the Blues on a rainy, windy day and lost O'Dwyer to suspension after that game.  Hawthorn were a great team but we should have been more competitive on the big day.  Still it was a great week in the lead up and all the neutrals were cheering us on. Still, 1990 was the one that got away.  If ever there was a flag there for the taking for us it was that one.  

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7 minutes ago, Swooper1987 said:

It was a very exciting finals series but geez did we nearly blow it before the finals.  We were comfortably second for most of the year and actually beat Hawthorn during the season.  Then we dropped 5 games straight from round 17-21. We had to beat second placed Carlton in the last game of the season to hold 5th.  We did and then put those 3 finals wins together.  We were fortunate to beat the Eagles in the wet at VFL Park, thanks to a great Lyon snap and a Murray Wrensted miss basically on the siren and we always had the Pies under control in the first semi.  We beat the Blues on a rainy, windy day and lost O'Dwyer to suspension after that game.  Hawthorn were a great team but we should have been more competitive on the big day.  Still it was a great week in the lead up and all the neutrals were cheering us on. Still, 1990 was the one that got away.  If ever there was a flag there for the taking for us it was that one.  

Thanks for the read above. 1988 was just before I started going to the footy so it was good to get a poster’s account of the series.

I recall us being very good in 1990, particularly the first 8 weeks  and the last 7 or so weeks. What on earth happened in the 1990 semi vs WC? Everything was on our side - WC had just played an extra final   Via the drawn qualifying final v Collingwood, and we’d schooled WC twice in the season. Was it simply Gary Lyon missing the game or did we go in too cocky.

1991 semi final Vs WC - I assume we went in heavy underdogs against the minor premiers and played accordingly.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Bring-Back-Powell said:

Thanks for the read above. 1988 was just before I started going to the footy so it was good to get a poster’s account of the series.

I recall us being very good in 1990, particularly the first 8 weeks  and the last 7 or so weeks. What on earth happened in the 1990 semi vs WC? Everything was on our side - WC had just played an extra final   Via the drawn qualifying final v Collingwood, and we’d schooled WC twice in the season. Was it simply Gary Lyon missing the game or did we go in too cocky.

1991 semi final Vs WC - I assume we went in heavy underdogs against the minor premiers and played accordingly.

We were definitely too cocky and arrogant in 1990 against WC. As keeps on happening for us when the media pumps up our tires we fall in hole. Everyone was saying there’s no way WC could beat us. We had an undisciplined and lazy start, were jumped early, game totally lost at half time and played catch up footy for the remainder of the game but never got close. For those who are too young to remember that game was eerily similar to the round 23 debacle against Collingwood in 2017. As for the the comparison between the Northey and Daniher eras, Northey wins hands down. He was remarkably consistent with a workman like list that in many ways over achieved.  Daniher had better talent but inconsistent year to year results. It was the “Hollywood” golden era for us with too many easily satisfied players.

Edited by america de cali
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I don't remember the Northy years well as I was too young but that era comfortably topples the Daniher era. We were never really respected by the league, no one feared us in finals during Daniher's time. The Daniher era is looked upon through red and blue tinted glasses. Sure it was fun at times but it was a pretty average period. 10 years, 6 finals appearances, 2 Prelims and a GF reads well but the best of it was 1998 and 2000. After that we were nothing more than a making-up-the-numbers team. Yze, Bruce, Green should have all been traded after 2003 season. Should never have left Jolly waltz out and should have asked for A LOT more from the Thompson trade. IMO the latter Daniher years royally screwed the club for years by creating a top-heavy, downhill skiing side of decent players that once slowly broken up led to gapping holes across the team that plagued us, and created a chain reaction that ruined us for a decade. 1999 2001 and 2003 alone were putrid and Daniher in hindsight probably shouldn't have survived beyond 2003. 

I love Danners and there is no doubt he went all in later in his coaching career to try and steal us a flag but he sW something in the team that just wasn't really there.

Northey created a feared, strong team. Daniher had a few in the team but ultimately we just sort of stayed in neutral of most of his career.

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I agree with the views that Northey got the best out of some very workmanlike players and also that 1990 was an opportunity wasted. Against WC we were just never on our game. But the biggest waste of all was 1994 when Balme had us overusing the ball with a terrible game style and a great team ended up in 7th place. We then thrashed Carlton who were 1or 2 as I remember. We had the Febeys, ,Schwarz,Lyon, Tingay, Neitz and so many others, all at the top of their game and injury-free. But because of our ladder position we ended up having to play WC in Perth.....

The greatest waste ever.

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8 hours ago, america de cali said:

We were definitely too cocky and arrogant in 1990 against WC. As keeps on happening for us when the media pumps up our tires we fall in hole. Everyone was saying there’s no way WC could beat us. We had an undisciplined and lazy start, were jumped early, game totally lost at half time and played catch up footy for the remainder of the game but never got close. For those who are too young to remember that game was eerily similar to the round 23 debacle against Collingwood in 2017. As for the the comparison between the Northey and Daniher eras, Northey wins hands down. He was remarkably consistent with a workman like list that in many ways over achieved.  Daniher had better talent but inconsistent year to year results. It was the “Hollywood” golden era for us with too many easily satisfied players.

Not only all of the above, but the AFL gifted us the game in Melbourne, it should have been in Perth as they had finished higher on the ladder. Never been so disappointed in a seasons finish.

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17 hours ago, Mazer Rackham said:

Imagine Neale's lists under Northey. Like putting Lleyton Hewitt's head on Mark Philippoussos' body.

This was my immediate response. Northey as a coach had the lot, but the Balme/Daniher list (1994 - 2000) was the best Dees list I have ever seen.

But to separate them I will take the Northey era, after years of watching others get into finals, and then to finally attend and WIN many.

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19 hours ago, Fifty-5 said:

FTR, I expect the Goodwin era to eclipse both and deliver a flag.

What makes you think Goodwin is so good?

I'm genuinely interested.

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4 hours ago, loges said:

Not only all of the above, but the AFL gifted us the game in Melbourne, it should have been in Perth as they had finished higher on the ladder. Never been so disappointed in a seasons finish.

And same for 1991 when we played West Coast at Waverley. They finished first, we finished 5th so both finals should've been over there.

Two gifts, two fails.

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