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It's a puzzle: What pre-finals bye?



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It's already three days into what was already a short break (from which we'll benefit, of course, in our longer lead-up to our Preliminary Final...) But, oh, the wait!

So, here's something somewhat seasonal to sidetrackingly stuff this stretch of suspense:

The following squad of generally handy players from the period 2001 to 2014, are linked by something, uniquely for the period (though certainly not over time more broadly). What is the something?

Backs:  Corey ENRIGHT  Dustin FLETCHER (VC)  Brodie HOLLAND

Half backs:  Ben JOHNSON  Nick MAXWELL  Heath GRUNDY

Centres:  Paul CHAPMAN  Brent HARVEY  Chris HEFFERNAN

Half forwards:  Steve JOHNSON  Lance FRANKLIN  Dale THOMAS

Forwards:  Alastair LYNCH  Matthew LLOYD (C)  Tim NOTTING  

Followers:  Patrick RYDER  Mark RICCIUTO  Mark BICKLEY

Interchange from:  Jason CLOKE  Kasey GREEN  Kent KINGSLEY  Sam LONERGAN  Luke McCABE  James PODSIADLY  Anthony ROCCA

PMs (and not Prime Ministers this time) only, please.

 

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1 hour ago, Demonstone said:

We're going to need a clue, @Timothy Reddan-A'Blew.

Since I started drafting the reply below, there has, in fact, been an entry, and a CORRECT one at that. Hearty congrats to @reynolds46!

The reply was, 'Thanks for bringing this back up the board, Mr Stone. Not sure about the 'We're'; 'I'm' would be better suited, as it's been 🦗🦗🦗 otherwise! Perhaps I should have asked you to post my puzzle in your name to attract the rusted-on Demonstone conundrum tragics?😉'

However, with Reynolds' successful entry I'll keep clueing to a minimum for the moment, and just point to the OP for a useful word or four... (yes, Reynolds?)

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2 hours ago, Timothy Reddan-A'Blew said:

attract

I'd have replied as I love your style of writing, though for me, your crypticness far outweighs Demonstones! It's almost inaccessible.

Maybe not for the more cerebral of us on here though? 🧠

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17 minutes ago, Engorged Onion said:

I'd have replied as I love your style of writing, though for me, your crypticness far outweighs Demonstones! It's almost inaccessible.

Maybe not for the more cerebral of us on here though? 🧠

Not sure whether to be chuffed or miffed!

And I'm sure you're in the cerebral camp!

A clue, then: It's footy related.

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24 minutes ago, Engorged Onion said:

I'd have replied as I love your style of writing, though for me, your crypticness far outweighs Demonstones! It's almost inaccessible.

Maybe not for the more cerebral of us on here though? 🧠

...Thanks for the first bit, though! 😊

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@Witches Hat joins the Solver Sanctum. Well done!

Got well towards the answer with a first attempt, with the 'what', so I did give a bit of encouragement (that there might be more for a full answer). Then got the 'when'.

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'Seasonal'

'Stretch'

'Suspense'

'(generally) Handy'

To borrow from @WalkingCivilWar, 'Amirite?' @reynolds46 and @Witches Hat?

Any help to continue you down your paths, @Jumping Jack Clennett and @Diamond Jim?

Still there @Demonstone and @Engorged Onion?

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3 hours ago, reynolds46 said:

You have to draw a line in the sand at some stage

😄

Not sure how that helps, though! Was that one of the occurences?

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1 hour ago, Engorged Onion said:

I'm so effing confused 😆

Accepting PM requests for encouragement, EO 😉

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I feel you're all really hanging out for the answer [insert Sarcasm emoji].

Well, in the end-of-H&A-into-finals seasons, as we're now in, they got a stretch of suspension, generally for being 'handy' (👊), causing them to miss finals.

Messrs Lloyd and Fletcher won leadership for being suspended twice, with Lloyd achieving seniority for his longer combined stretch.

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