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pitmaster

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Wasted season? Let's be realistic and acknowledge that many clubs spend consecutive years at or near the top and in fact need to do so to win the title. That's what we are doing.

Face it: we went into this finals series up against it missing key forwards and in both games (from the five minute mark of the Woods game) our in form midfielder. We lost both by a combined eight points. So we are a contender.

I don't think it was wasted since (a) we put a year into JvR, (b) we learned last night that Smith, who played his best game, has a future as a marking target, (c) we saw Sparrow go to another level and Spargo was strong (again after appearing lost), and (d) we found McVee who was found out a little in the finals but will only improve.

TMac will (should) retire. We played two men short (TMac Brayshaw) in the Woods game and one man short last night with TMac in the side. But we can build a forward line out of Petty, JvR, Smith and a fit Fritter who I reckon was seriously underdone for the finals.

The backs were mighty these last few weeks and show no sign of slowing up.

We lost due to some panic, some lack of composure up forward, poor skills (Max it's time you could be relied on in front of goal FCS), missing personnel, rotten luck and, in the final quarter last night some of the worst umpiring ever seen. Was it an AFL conspiracy to get the favoured Blue boys up? Sure looked like it although I'll reserve final judgement until I can face the replay. But for all that we have continued to lay groundwork

And on the bright side we have a strong draft hand, ridiculously so for a team that finished as high as we did. Emphasis: players who can kick with precision.

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11 minutes ago, whatwhat say what said:

Unfortunately the team we most resemble is pear under choco - good enough for top 4 in home and away but found wanting in finals and a regular choker

We have one premiership 🏆 , and have finished the HA in top four three seasons in succession.

2022 we limped into finals based on a good start with an exhausted list.

2023 we made finals despite losing the new key to our forward problems every time one emerged - Frittata, Petty twice, and Melksham.  For a poorly connecting very makeshift forward line to lose finals by 7 and 2 points (and being on the wrong end again of three score reviews) whilst devastating is actually quite a feat.  Throw in even one of those missing forwards fully fit and it is a different story.

So, room for optimism but a lot of hard work needs to be done on and off the field. 
 

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As much as I admire Max his kicking skills in close are to say at the least sad, as soon as he veers to the right his first few steps are where the ball follows and all ways veer right, surly the kicking coach (cough) can drum into him to kick straight through the ball.

                 

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It was pathetic in the cold light of day, didn’t matter we had injuries we should’ve won both games

A colossal choke, lost at selection & out coached again 

Max & May will be in the twilight of their careers next year, Grundy our backup once Max retires will be in Sydney & they treated a retiring warrior in Hibbo withe contempt

2023 an absolute disaster 

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I think in the cold light of day we aren’t playing the type of football that wins finals, and the numbers back it up.

We’ve been defending our place for the last 2 seasons. We play with such restriction and tension. Everything is done through the lens of defence - because that’s what wins you finals. Except it hasn’t, for 4 in a row. The game has changed again.

Our football department needs fresh faces and new ideas. We went with what we had for 3 years, and we were entitled to do it based on ‘21. Now it’s time to reassess and get some fresh thinking in.

Last night was the worst loss we’ve had as a club for a long, long time. You can’t consistently get beaten by what you know. We’ve known we’ve got forward half connection problems for 7 years.

Edited by The heart beats true
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4 minutes ago, The heart beats true said:

I think in the cold light of day we aren’t playing the type of football that wins finals, and the numbers back it up.

We’ve been defending our place for the last 2 seasons. We play with such restriction and tension. Everything is done through the lens of defence - because that’s what wins you finals. Except it hasn’t, for 4 in a row. The game has changed again.

Our football department needs fresh faces and new ideas. We went with what we had for 3 years, and we were entitled to do it based on ‘21. Now it’s time to reassess and get some fresh thinking in.

Last night was the worst loss we’ve had as a club for a long, long time. You can’t consistently get beaten by what you know. We’ve known we’ve got forward half connection problems for 7 years.

And yet a fit forward line of our best available would have seen us in the preliminary final last Thursday. THAT is what we know. Doesn’t fit your hyperbole though, I suspect. 

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Excuses are there. But they're just that. Excuses.

Fact of the matter is we could and should have won both last night and last week. We've lost 4 consecutive finals, all on the MCG with three of them being to teams ranked lower who don't have the G as their home ground. We need to take our opportunities otherwise we'll risk turning into the Essendon of 99-01, just not as good.

I think we already have the majority of what we need. Petty and Van Rooyen up forward with Fritsch, Pickett and McAdam (next year) for some x factor.

May (few more years) and Lever marshalling the young troops in Rivers, McVee, Bowey and Disco Turner with Salem hopefully getting back to his best.

Gawn (few more years) leading Viney, Trac, Oliver, Sparrow, Langdon and Hunter in the middle.

Hopefully all it will take will be the polished of Harley Reid, maybe recruiting someone like Chol for that ruck back up and some more creative coaching and that can be enough to turn it all around...

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10 minutes ago, Billy said:

It was pathetic in the cold light of day, didn’t matter we had injuries we should’ve won both games

A colossal choke, lost at selection & out coached again 

Max & May will be in the twilight of their careers next year, Grundy our backup once Max retires will be in Sydney & they treated a retiring warrior in Hibbo withe contempt

2023 an absolute disaster 

Agreed, a complete train wreck and waste of a season.

Despite injury to key players towards the end of season we completely dominated both finals opponents and butchered it.

I can't see it any other way than a monumental choke and a premiership gone begging.

They'll get harder to win in the next 2 years before our window is shut for who knows how long 

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The Last 2 years have been a Fail.
 

We have lost 4 Finals on our Home Ground 

Coaches and Players need to change, we are close, but nowhere near good enough 

This talk of us having the best list in the League MUST STOP NOW!!!

The Club must reevaluate very carefully over Summer 

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We’ve known we’ve got forward half connection problems for 7 years. I’m sick of learnings.  In the normal world, Goodwin would not have had his contract expended. This lack of fixing the problem is now catastrophic after 2022 and 2023.  It hurts.  

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22 minutes ago, Webber said:

And yet a fit forward line of our best available would have seen us in the preliminary final last Thursday. THAT is what we know. Doesn’t fit your hyperbole though, I suspect. 

No one is saying that they dont try hard

Outdated  inflexible game plan

Slow ,  limited  kicking skills and footy IQ.

 

Injuries don't help unless you adjust on the fly.

Same story for seasons .

Where would they finish without Max and May.

Spargo is slow, too small and cant kick over 40 metres ;but he has footy IQ,  so he gets a game even though he might not in a genuinely good side 

Clarrie is the archetypal MFC player..committed, sees ball gets it,  then essentially wastes it.

Edited by IRW
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7 minutes ago, Webber said:

And yet a fit forward line of our best available would have seen us in the preliminary final last Thursday. THAT is what we know. Doesn’t fit your hyperbole though, I suspect. 

You could put Dunstall and Lockett in our forward line last week and they’d have struggled. Our method going forward is about defence, and it worked for a season, but since (and before) then it hasn’t worked. I think the personnel issues are undoubtedly a factor, but our forward half connection has been an issue for all but one season. 

It’s not hyperbole. Every single stat highlights it.

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2022 was the let off, 2023 has been a disaster. We lost the game, that's the business we're in.

This isn't a one off, 4 finals is more than enough sample data to see there we can't get over the hump. Before anyone chimes in that we won a flag I'll just point mine and many others goal is to see one on the Melbourne Cricket Ground where as you are likely content, which is more than fine.

So we can't get over the hump and 3 of these finals inaccuracy cost us the game. 

On top of that just because we've been close in these games doesn't necessarily mean the gameplan and method are stacking up in finals. Ross Lyon came within 12, a draw and then 15 points of ultimate success and I don't recall many here saying his gameplan stacked up for flags. Time for change.

Edited by layzie
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3 minutes ago, spirit of norm smith said:

We’ve known we’ve got forward half connection problems for 7 years. I’m sick of learnings.  In the normal world, Goodwin would not have had his contract expended. This lack of fixing the problem is now catastrophic after 2022 and 2023.  It hurts.  

Max had a broken toe!!!

The Grundy forward experiment didn’t work but he was there for backup if Max was injured also

MAX WAS INJURED!!!!!!

The sub didn’t even get on the ground, did Goodwin freeze 

Imagine if we had a great coach, we win both those game & more than likely play in another Grand Final at our home

 

 

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We can be disappointed, and feel we have underachieved, while noting that a major factor (and possibly THE major factor) in our underachievement has been a share of bad luck in injuries (in both 2022 and 2023) and also in accuracy. Even score reviews against the Blues in season.

As @Webberhas said, add any number of Petty, Melksham, JVR or a fit TMac or BBB back into that finals series and we probably have a different result.

The only thing I think that appears a stand out problem that our football department truly had influence on is the Gawn/Grundy experiment. It didn't work. We didn't make it work. That is on the footy department.

Everything else has actually been pretty good, and got us in the position where we were a genuine top 3 competitor this year.

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4 minutes ago, Billy said:

Imagine if we had a great coach, we win both those game & more than likely play in another Grand Final at our home

 

Agreed. That’s why it hurts. That’s why close is not good enough. That’s why we don’t understand Goody extended from 2024 to end 2026. Why?? 

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18 minutes ago, The heart beats true said:

You could put Dunstall and Lockett in our forward line last week and they’d have struggled. Our method going forward is about defence, and it worked for a season, but since (and before) then it hasn’t worked. I think the personnel issues are undoubtedly a factor, but our forward half connection has been an issue for all but one season. 

It’s not hyperbole. Every single stat highlights it.

I saw a stat that says they lost the last 4 finals

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