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SOMEONE LIKE YOU by Whispering Jack


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It would be fair to say that the departure  of Tom Scully in September 2011 from the Melbourne Football Club to seek fame, glory and a million dollars a year in the northern suburbs of Sin City was not received well by the Demon faithful.

After all, the club had taken him as first selection (a priority pick) in the 2009 AFL National Draft and bestowed on him the prized 31 guernsey formerly worn by the all time club champion and six time premiership player Ron Barassi Junior.

How dare he leave us?

Scully went on to have moderate success with expansion club, the GWS Giants over seven seasons, adding 121 games to the 31 played for the Demons.

He even had a fleeting taste of finals football before the relationship soured amid concerns as to the Giants' handling of an ankle injury he incurred early in 2018. His career ended after 35 games at Hawthorn under the coaching of Al Clarkson who was trying vainly to sustain his club’s crumbling dynasty.

Several months after Scully’s retirement in February 2021 at the height of the Covid19 epidemic, his first club broke a 57 year premiership drought. The team was led by skipper Max Gawn (today a 6 time All-Australian) who was selected with the thirty-fourth selection in the same draft as Scully. On Grand Final night, the famous number 31 guernsey was worn by Bayley Fritsch who booted six goals in the magical victory. He was picked at number 31 in the 2017 draft.

Today, a little over two years after Scully’s retirement, the Giants are well back in the pack while the Hawks are in a deep hole. And the fascination with high draft picks continues.

There’s a highly fancied youngster who the pundits have pegged as a certain number one, much like Scully in his day. There’s also speculation that the club where Scully’s career came to a sudden and silent end, might be tanking to snare that prized number one pick come November.

There’s also a somewhat unsavory pastime among some Melbourne fans who are “death riding” rival club Fremantle; wishing failure on them so that the Demons can derive maximum benefit from the fact that they hold the Dockers’ first and second round picks in this year’s draft thanks to their trading of selections when Luke Jackson crossed to Fremantle.

Demon fans should know better.

The pursuit of Scully all those years ago failed to achieve the holy grail. Instead, it heaped more years of desperation and humiliation upon them as they searched vainly for that special someone. The messiah who, in the words of the disparaging parody song that emerged on social media after his departure, was the “someone like you.”

History tells us that Melbourne eventually found much better than that someone who could singlehandedly and magically bring about success. Rather, it methodically and slowly built a whole team with many component parts that, with a lot of hard work and a modicum of good luck, enabled them to reach the pinnacle.

Harley Reid alone will not help achieve this.

Greater Western Sydney and Melbourne Demons in tug of war over young superstar Tom Scully

df9192e41e6a9a370710f51beca9bf7c.jpg

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😮  Just as well this isn't in                                                                                                                                                                                    

 

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I can’t believe that any team is thinking of tanking these days. Forget the moral arguments, powerful though they are.  It is completely discredited as a strategy for success. First, it is terrible for team ethos and morale to ever contemplate deliberately losing a game. Second, as Scully and many others have shown,  eg Jack Watts, Horne-Francis, getting the No 1 pick is often a disappointment. It is instructive to look at the AA team each year, as it shows how little the draft really means. As you point out, Gawn was pick 34. One of the greatest players of the last twenty years, James Hird, was about pick 52 IIRC. There are many others like that. High draft picks are good; no 1 is not essential. So why tank?

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And once you reach that pinnacle, there’s a lot more effort required to replicate further success. As season 2022 ended with Melbourne’s disappointing straight sets departure from the finals, I noted on Demonland here that the club had built up a stockpile of young talent who could be gradually nurtured by the club in the hope that they could make the grade at the highest level.

I identified nine youngsters on the club’s lists of who, only Daniel Turner had worn the guernsey at AFL level. In Turner’s case, it was less than half a game thanks the injured incurred in the Queens Birthday game. Only one of that group, Fraser Rosman (delisted) has since left the club.

Of the others, Bailey Laurie, Judd McVee and Jacob Van Rooyen have debuted at AFL level while Blake Howes, Andy Moniz-Wakefield, Deakyn Smith, Taj Woewodin and Turner continue to develop at Casey along with the new batch recruited in the 2022 drafts. 

We are in a healthy position not having put all of our eggs in the one basket.

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And what is Scully's legacy?

Zilch. He's like a mutt from the pound. No home, no friends he can have a catch up with to reminisce about the old days.

And his father probably ate all the money 

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Good thread and you although I’m loving  the Freo death riding thread the importance of high picks to form a successful team has been something I’ve looked at over the past few days off the back of Pickett fences and another poster raising it in another thread. 
 

Over the past 20 years the Brownlow has been won by a top 10 pick a total of 8 times and won by players that were pick from pick 20 or further back in the draft a total of 11 times. There was a couple of years where there was more than one winner but it still highlights that absolute elite players and be picked up a bit further back in the draft. 
 

Also a look at the Number one draft pick for the past 20 years is interesting. Too early to judge the last few years perhaps but for the most part the number one pick has produced good solid players not superstars.For example the three number one picks before Scully were Bryce Gibbs, Matthew Kreuzer and Jack Watts. The following 3 were David Swallow, Jonathan Patton and Lachie Whitfield. 

I have also looked at the top 10 picks for each draft over the last 20 years and without going into too much detail I found it very surprising how many of these picks I have never heard of.
 

Which brings me to my last and most important point how successful Jason Taylor and our list management team have been at getting their picks right over the last lot of years  

Apart from the Weid we have nailed all our top picks and done very well with most of our second round picks too. Giving his success rate and our list managements aggressive approach to moving up and down the draft boards I will be death riding Freo with with a passion all season  

 

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I Think we all wish Freo's demise because it would be just fair to get a good pick as a compensation for Jackson. 

Not so much that we are desperate to get our hands on the number 1 pick. 

We used pick 3 on Jackson, two late first round picks wouldn't cut it in my opinion. It would be nice to get at least a top 6 pick this year.

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I just wish we'd give the TS thing a little rest. Barass himself set out the template by exiting the back door in December 1964 with a premiership and best and fairest medal in his pocket. I think he played in 6 premierships and captained two. Followed the money when our playing list started to deplete.  He didn't have a job for life/super benefits etc that many people have. He was idolised in the red and blue, then just vanished. 

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Max Gawn sure, but Christian Petracca and Clayton Oliver. I'll Ibe quite happy if Fremantle continue to flounder and we can pick up Zane Duursma or similar this year.

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11 minutes ago, bush demon said:

I just wish we'd give the TS thing a little rest. Barass himself set out the template by exiting the back door in December 1964 with a premiership and best and fairest medal in his pocket. I think he played in 6 premierships and captained two. Followed the money when our playing list started to deplete.  He didn't have a job for life/super benefits etc that many people have. He was idolised in the red and blue, then just vanished. 

RDB played 204 games, won 6 flags and captained the club. In that era, he had done enough to go elsewhere to follow the dream of coaching his own team and to make a few dollars for his superannuation.

Tom Scully hadn’t achieved a thing before he did his runner. 

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I just love the mental reversal in our current period of drafting.

Instead of 'that player is rated No.1 /No 4, etc, therefore they are what we want', the attitude is 'we highly rate the following players and will do what it takes to get them even if that seems excessive'.

It's Oliver, Lever, May, Bowey, and a whole lot of little draft point trades to get us to positions where we can make our own choices.

Plus, we aren't trying to do everything in one draft. If we think the available value in a draft is used up as best it can, we're very happy to push things back to future picks so we can play our way in the next draft.

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