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PRESEASON TRAINING: Friday 19th January 2024



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16 minutes ago, TheWiz said:

Midfield depth or structure isn’t the issue, it’s been our goal kicking.

No one’s saying midfield depth was our issue last year. We’re saying it’s going to be an issue THIS year. How can you not see that? When we lost Oliver, we could’ve called on Jordan, Harmes, Dunstan if we wanted to. Who are we calling on this year if need be? Oliver will not be there at the start of the season, Brayshaw will not be there in the midfield at the start of the season. It’s a completely different ball game this year. 

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That is true Jeremy and that is where Billing’s, Kozzie, Laurie, Woewodin, Salem and Rivers will help maintain the rotations with Trac, JV and Sparrow until Clayton gets back to business.

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17 minutes ago, DeeZone said:

That is true Jeremy and that is where Billing’s, Kozzie, Laurie, Woewodin, Salem and Rivers will help maintain the rotations with Trac, JV and Sparrow until Clayton gets back to business.

Good point. I’m excited to see Sparrow this year - he should be at his prime.

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26 minutes ago, Jeremy said:

No one’s saying midfield depth was our issue last year. We’re saying it’s going to be an issue THIS year. How can you not see that? When we lost Oliver, we could’ve called on Jordan, Harmes, Dunstan if we wanted to. Who are we calling on this year if need be? Oliver will not be there at the start of the season, Brayshaw will not be there in the midfield at the start of the season. It’s a completely different ball game this year. 

The context was what our midfield depth is without Oliver, so apologies for me referencing this exact problem in the most recent season.

To your point above when we lost Oliver we didn’t use Dunstan once, we used Harmes as a sub/subbed 3 times and only played Jordan 4 times (including as a sub). So barely using these players which we’ve lost seemed to work?

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4 hours ago, fr_ap said:

We will be doing very well to stay top 4 at this rate. 

Likely to be missing our best player in Oliver for who knows how long, Tmac and BBB seemingly over the hill, May and Gawn a year older and at the moment, no real depth or youth to excite this year other than perhaps Rivers/McVee continuing to progress.

I like Laurie and Woey, but if our midfield depth has become those two, Chandler and ANB in spurts, that spells trouble.

Add to this the long absence of useful swingman/forwards Smith/Melk, McAdam so far appearing as injury prone as he is famous for, a big question mark on how Gus looks on return as well as some pretty significant mental scarring at this point (across the team, not just Gus), and it honestly feels like we are a Petracca injury away from missing the finals or even bottom 6. 

Sydney's list is stronger, Carlton are improving quickly and Collingwood's fan base won't let them complacently carry on. Adelaide are also improving rapidly and should compete if Walker can keep defying his age. 

The middle of our list is thinner than it's been for years. Just feels like we are slipping off the best teams at the moment. 

Don't come for my throat - just can't shake the feeling we are due to tumble. It's not MFCSS either - i haven't felt this way about the list in at least 5 years I think. 

So we can't avoid pessimism during the season, we can't avoid it in the trade period, now we can't even avoid it in January?

Is nowhere safe anymore?

[I'm taking the proverbial here a bit]

Anyway, to the substance of what you're saying - in the opening paragraph you raise the issues of Oliver missing (he missed 10 games last year when we made top 4), TMac and Brown over the hill (neither was important in 2023 nor, barely, in 2022, both years in which we made the top 4), and May and Gawn are a year older (every single player in every single club just got a year older, including critically important players at other top sides - it's not like reports from training are suggesting these two are struggling). Then you say "no real depth or youth to excite" which is subjective and is really just a reflection of your own pessimism (the OP in this post talks about the excitement of Turner, Howes and Adams, there's been plenty of excitement around Laurie and Woewodin too).

As for supposedly "meh" depth, Collingwood won a flag this year with side featuring Frampton, Cox and Cameron. A-graders aren't required on every line.

Melksham's injury is a problem for us IMO but it's borderline hypocritical to say "well Laurie and Woey aren't much chop" and then say "we're going to struggle because we don't have Smith".

If it weren't for the Oliver/Smith issues I wouldn't look at us and think we're any more likely to slip any more than Collingwood or Brisbane. I think each of us responds to those issues differently or to different extents and largely I think those who are getting really down about our 2024 prospects are those who can't help but interpolate that the Oliver/Smith stuff means broader issues that, quite possibly, just aren't there (and yes, the opposite is also true).

The last bit of "don't come for my throat" - why not? You want to lead with your pessimistic chin, be prepared to cop it. Similarly, if you see someone out there going "we're a lock for top 4/the flag", I'm sure you'll be ready to clip them back.

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48 minutes ago, Jeremy said:

No one’s saying midfield depth was our issue last year. We’re saying it’s going to be an issue THIS year. How can you not see that? When we lost Oliver, we could’ve called on Jordan, Harmes, Dunstan if we wanted to. Who are we calling on this year if need be? Oliver will not be there at the start of the season, Brayshaw will not be there in the midfield at the start of the season. It’s a completely different ball game this year. 

None of Jordan, Harmes or Dunstan were used much, if at all last year. We’ve got plenty of midfield depth to cover for Oliver and Brayshaw. Although if Brayshaw is able to play HB he’s certainly able to play as a mid. I understand your worries for the year ahead though, I share them. We could easily finish 10th

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3 hours ago, fr_ap said:

If everything goes right and we stay healthy, sure, I agree we are a dangerous side. Unlikely we get the best case scenario, though we can hope!

It's the same situation with all top clubs.

A couple of key injuries are always hard to cover.

Particularly in areas where you might be light on to start with...

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4 hours ago, dazzledavey36 said:

His turnovers usually occur in the most critical stages of the game. When the pressures skye rockets, unfortunately his awareness and disposal by foot turns to water.

I don't think fans are generally fussed when there is a turnover kick by a player. It's where and when you do it in games is why fans get annoyed and unfortunately for Nibs he's got a habit of doing it in crucial stages of the game.

Not having a shot DD but if his turnovers occur during critical stages of the game, doesn't that mean that he actually HAS the ball whereas twenty or so others do not. As i recollect at least two maybe three occasions last year at critical stages he was the one who had the ball and kicked two or maybe three of those clutch goals.

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8 hours ago, Willmoy1947 said:

Not having a shot DD but if his turnovers occur during critical stages of the game, doesn't that mean that he actually HAS the ball whereas twenty or so others do not. As i recollect at least two maybe three occasions last year at critical stages he was the one who had the ball and kicked two or maybe three of those clutch goals.

Yes I agree, he does put himself in good positions to win the ball and that's through his elite work rate.

During the finals series there were crucial moments of the game where he simply coughed up the ball (had a few teammates mind you) that either cost us a direct score to the opposition or he fumbled whilst we were in transition. 

If you ask me, I want the ball in his hands when delivering the ball inside 50. He's one of the best kicks going into a leading forward and I think that's one part of his game that isn't utilised much by his teammates.

He's a much better kick then the likes of Viney, Oliver and Petracca and his leadership is pretty crucial especially for out next wave of talent coming through. 

Edited by dazzledavey36
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29 minutes ago, godees said:

Where has this idea that Brayshaw is not slotting straight back into the midfield come from?

I assume it's due to his concussion, but the issue with Gus is not where he plays but how he plays. You only have to watch his efforts on the wing in the GF, pushing back in to packs and getting smashed, to know that he'll put his body (and head) on the line wherever he plays

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11 hours ago, Jeremy said:

No one’s saying midfield depth was our issue last year. We’re saying it’s going to be an issue THIS year. How can you not see that? When we lost Oliver, we could’ve called on Jordan, Harmes, Dunstan if we wanted to. Who are we calling on this year if need be? Oliver will not be there at the start of the season, Brayshaw will not be there in the midfield at the start of the season. It’s a completely different ball game this year. 

Why wont Brayshaw be right for round one ,it will be about 6 mths since his head knock if he aint right by then he will never be

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Those critical of ANB are four years behind the times! What are you watching? ANB is one of the biggest improvers in the comp! He is very close to top 5 on our list. Enjoy what he brings instead of staring into your outdated rear-vision mirror.

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13 hours ago, kev martin said:

I guess I have a different opinion.

Injury list is good, mainly getting some transfered players into shape. BBB has always had is own program, Hunter is a worry, old man niggles, Fritta is back, as is Petty, and Melky not too far to go I reckon.

I think the culture stuff has been blown out of proportion.

Oliver only knows footy and being sidelined for 'weeks' last year, hasn't done him any favours. I believe he will play well when he is ready.

The opinion of doom just doesn't fit well with me. In my opinion I see us as a dangerous side. Opposition teams will fear us.

I was expecting a training dialogue not an opinion piece, though thanks for the reply and am happy to engage.

 

I agree.And l am buoyed by our new recruits too. Can’t wait to see Koltyn play.

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24 minutes ago, waynewussell said:

 

Geez he has some skill below the knees and his balance is just as impressive 

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48 minutes ago, waynewussell said:

 

It’s not often BT says something intelligent but when he said, “Alex Neal-Bullen, a heart and soul player for the Dees…” he nailed it.

Thanks for posting these highlights, WW. 🙏 

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Thanks WW for reminding us just how good Nibbler really is.

Edited by DeeZone
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1 hour ago, WalkingCivilWar said:

It’s not often BT says something intelligent but when he said, “Alex Neal-Bullen, a heart and soul player for the Dees…” he nailed it.

Thanks for posting these highlights, WW. 🙏 

The thing I really respect and admire about ANB has been his determination to continually work on and improve his basic football skills. He has always been a great athlete, but his ball handling skills, until this past year in particular, have been, imo, well below the standard required to maintain a permanent position within the team. In his early years he rarely had clean control over the ball - he seemed to almost always fumble. Hence, he became a whipping boy on here. But those days are hopefully fully behind him as he has worked his butt off to improve these skills, as the last half of last year showed. He is not a natural footballer like a McVee, so he has had to work harder than most to reach his current standard. He was never a favourite of mine, but because of the skills improvement he has achieved, ANB is now a Dee's player I admire more than most. 

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20 hours ago, titan_uranus said:

So we can't avoid pessimism during the season, we can't avoid it in the trade period, now we can't even avoid it in January?

Is nowhere safe anymore?

[I'm taking the proverbial here a bit]

Anyway, to the substance of what you're saying - in the opening paragraph you raise the issues of Oliver missing (he missed 10 games last year when we made top 4), TMac and Brown over the hill (neither was important in 2023 nor, barely, in 2022, both years in which we made the top 4), and May and Gawn are a year older (every single player in every single club just got a year older, including critically important players at other top sides - it's not like reports from training are suggesting these two are struggling). Then you say "no real depth or youth to excite" which is subjective and is really just a reflection of your own pessimism (the OP in this post talks about the excitement of Turner, Howes and Adams, there's been plenty of excitement around Laurie and Woewodin too).

As for supposedly "meh" depth, Collingwood won a flag this year with side featuring Frampton, Cox and Cameron. A-graders aren't required on every line.

Melksham's injury is a problem for us IMO but it's borderline hypocritical to say "well Laurie and Woey aren't much chop" and then say "we're going to struggle because we don't have Smith".

If it weren't for the Oliver/Smith issues I wouldn't look at us and think we're any more likely to slip any more than Collingwood or Brisbane. I think each of us responds to those issues differently or to different extents and largely I think those who are getting really down about our 2024 prospects are those who can't help but interpolate that the Oliver/Smith stuff means broader issues that, quite possibly, just aren't there (and yes, the opposite is also true).

The last bit of "don't come for my throat" - why not? You want to lead with your pessimistic chin, be prepared to cop it. Similarly, if you see someone out there going "we're a lock for top 4/the flag", I'm sure you'll be ready to clip them back.

Well done. Got all the validation by telling people ignorance is bliss. 

It's not pessimistic, it's realistic.  

Yes, Oliver missed half the year last year and we managed ok in the middle. This was for a variety of reasons - Viney stepping up, Melksham allowing Trac more time in the middle to name a few. We could very well find solutions again. But unless you really don't rate Oliver or his contribution to the team, his absence is overall a net negative. That's realistic, and any opposition supporter would tell you they'd rather face us without him. You can try to wash away the problem with hopes and dreams of youth filling the gap, but he's a generational player. His output week on week is irreplaceable, individually or in the aggregate. His continued absence makes us a weaker side than last year - and we finished what, 5th?

Tmac and Brown were missing for large chunks of last year. Guess what - we didn't win the flag, and a big reason was our inability to find competitive, consistent, stable key forwards to kick goals. These two were a massive part of 21 and we miss them as individuals and a combo, and we haven't addressed the deficiency. Oppo teams know we aren't potent outside of Fritsch. So yes, them being over the hill and showing no signs (yet) of returning to their old selves is a net negative, considering they were both very good players in their prime that we have really struggled to replace. Even one of them getting back would help us immensely. 

Every player is a year older. Very astute. But an extra year is not the same for all, and you know it. Gawn and May are both probably 2/3 years off retirement, and they will decline at some point. Gawn last year had his worst year statistically for some time. With every year that passes the likelihood of their form declining increases. Net negative vs last year. Realistic. 

Frampton, Cox and Cameron aren't world beaters, but are established senior depth who have played a lot of footy and are reliable (yes, even Cox). Them being that depth was critical to the Pies flag, whether you realise it or not. Laurie, Woewodin, Turner or Howes can't be considered senior or reliable (yet), even if they do have more upside. They'll improve for sure, they might be solid, they might be great. But right now, they're not. That's realistic. 

This is the exact point on Smith. No world beater, but reliable senior depth of which we have precious little. He, like Frampton, could play in a flag side and do a job. You know it. We might like to think Turner could do the job, but we don't know yet. Realistic. 

I am optimistic (yes, really) about our chances to improve. I'm excited by Bowey, JVR, Riv, McVee growing, Trac getting his goal kicking together and putting us on his back, a youngster or 3 injecting themselves into the side. I'm excited for what McAdam can bring together with Pickett, and intrigued by the prospect of Billings rediscovering his once blistering form. I have a lot of faith in our senior players and leaders like ANB, Lever, Trac and Viney. I'm excited to see if Mcqualter has any impact on our style of play. 

But do I realistically think all these points above will be enough to both offset the inevitable negatives/declines (some of which I covered above, others will be unforeseen), our inarguably thinner senior depth, the improvement of other teams AND bridge the gap from 5th to 1st? 

On balance, no. 

Do I think if things go more wrong than right, like a Petracca long term injury for example, that we could fall from 5th to 8th? To 10th? Yeah, probably. 

Yes, most teams can't handle the loss of their superstar. Difference is we've (seemingly) actually already lost 1, whilst also being drained of senior depth. 

I could post more about all the things I'm excited about. On this occasion I chose to post about what I'm concerned about. It's not supposed to offend you and if it makes you uncomfortable, that's perhaps telling you're not quite as confident as you might think. 

It's not pessimistic - just honest discussion. Try it. 

Edited by fr_ap
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3 hours ago, fr_ap said:

Well done. Got all the validation by telling people ignorance is bliss. 

It's not pessimistic, it's realistic.  

Yes, Oliver missed half the year last year and we managed ok in the middle. This was for a variety of reasons - Viney stepping up, Melksham allowing Trac more time in the middle to name a few. We could very well find solutions again. But unless you really don't rate Oliver or his contribution to the team, his absence is overall a net negative. That's realistic, and any opposition supporter would tell you they'd rather face us without him. You can try to wash away the problem with hopes and dreams of youth filling the gap, but he's a generational player. His output week on week is irreplaceable, individually or in the aggregate. His continued absence makes us a weaker side than last year - and we finished what, 5th?

Tmac and Brown were missing for large chunks of last year. Guess what - we didn't win the flag, and a big reason was our inability to find competitive, consistent, stable key forwards to kick goals. These two were a massive part of 21 and we miss them as individuals and a combo, and we haven't addressed the deficiency. Oppo teams know we aren't potent outside of Fritsch. So yes, them being over the hill and showing no signs (yet) of returning to their old selves is a net negative, considering they were both very good players in their prime that we have really struggled to replace. Even one of them getting back would help us immensely. 

Every player is a year older. Very astute. But an extra year is not the same for all, and you know it. Gawn and May are both probably 2/3 years off retirement, and they will decline at some point. Gawn last year had his worst year statistically for some time. With every year that passes the likelihood of their form declining increases. Net negative vs last year. Realistic. 

Frampton, Cox and Cameron aren't world beaters, but are established senior depth who have played a lot of footy and are reliable (yes, even Cox). Them being that depth was critical to the Pies flag, whether you realise it or not. Laurie, Woewodin, Turner or Howes can't be considered senior or reliable (yet), even if they do have more upside. They'll improve for sure, they might be solid, they might be great. But right now, they're not. That's realistic. 

This is the exact point on Smith. No world beater, but reliable senior depth of which we have precious little. He, like Frampton, could play in a flag side and do a job. You know it. We might like to think Turner could do the job, but we don't know yet. Realistic. 

I am optimistic (yes, really) about our chances to improve. I'm excited by Bowey, JVR, Riv, McVee growing, Trac getting his goal kicking together and putting us on his back, a youngster or 3 injecting themselves into the side. I'm excited for what McAdam can bring together with Pickett, and intrigued by the prospect of Billings rediscovering his once blistering form. I have a lot of faith in our senior players and leaders like ANB, Lever, Trac and Viney. I'm excited to see if Mcqualter has any impact on our style of play. 

But do I realistically think all these points above will be enough to both offset the inevitable negatives/declines (some of which I covered above, others will be unforeseen), our inarguably thinner senior depth, the improvement of other teams AND bridge the gap from 5th to 1st? 

On balance, no. 

Do I think if things go more wrong than right, like a Petracca long term injury for example, that we could fall from 5th to 8th? To 10th? Yeah, probably. 

Yes, most teams can't handle the loss of their superstar. Difference is we've (seemingly) actually already lost 1, whilst also being drained of senior depth. 

I could post more about all the things I'm excited about. On this occasion I chose to post about what I'm concerned about. It's not supposed to offend you and if it makes you uncomfortable, that's perhaps telling you're not quite as confident as you might think. 

It's not pessimistic - just honest discussion. Try it. 

This is honest discussion. I'm neither offended nor uncomfortable. I just disagree with you. 

My reply to your post was to highlight what I perceive to be your pessimistic outlook on 2024. Yes, pessimistic. I can't stand the "it's not pessimistic, it's realistic" thing which is run a lot on here.

It's pessimistic, not realistic, to say things like "Sydney's list is stronger". That's your subjective view, and you're entitled to hold it, and indeed you might be right, but it's not "realism". Ditto your other comparisons above. Again, they may be correct and they're not outlandish views, but putting them together to form your overall argument is pessimistic. That's just your view.

Similarly, of course we're better off with Oliver. But his potential absence doesn't sound the death knell in the way you are arguing. And I don't accept that it's "realism" to say May and Gawn are going to be worse this year. Is it possible? Sure. But it's pessimism, not realism, to conclude that they won't be as good this year. 

Our depth is an interesting point. Yes, we lost a bunch of players who weren't all replaced on the list with similar players. Your argument is that makes us worse off. But like you've argued with TMac and Brown, we had those depth players in 2023 and, guess what, we didn't win the flag. So maybe the change in the list profile through there is a good thing. Neither of these are certainties but the reason for my reply to your post was to say that i don't think the signs all point to us struggling this year to the extent you are arguing.

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    MEANWHILE by Whispering Jack

    ... meanwhile, at about the same time that Narrm was putting its feet on the accelerator to obliterate the long-suffering Euro-Yroke combination, I heard someone mention in passing that Kuwarna was leading Waalitj Marawar by a whopping 46 to 1 halfway through the second quarter of their game over in Adelaide ... READ MORE

    Demonland | May 27

  • Post Game      

    POSTGAME: Rd 11 vs St. Kilda

    After a wasteful first half the Demons cruised to a clinical victory over the Saints by 38 points at the MCG and reclaimed a coveted spot in the Top 4 ...READ MORE

    Demonland | May 26

  • Votes      

    VOTES: Rd 11 vs St. Kilda

    Captain Max Gawn has a considerable lead over reigning champion Christian Petracca in the Demonland Player of the Year Award. Steven May, Alex Neal-Bullen & Jake Lever make up the Top 5. Your votes for the win against the Saints. 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 ...READ MORE

    Demonland | May 26

  • Game Day      

    GAMEDAY: Rd 11 vs St. Kilda

    It's Game Day and after 2 losses on the trot the Dees must win against the Saints today at the MCG to keep in touch with the Top 4. A loss today will see them drop out of the Top 8 for the first time since 2020 ... READ MORE

    Demonland | May 26

  • Player Interview  

    PODCAST: Kade Chandler Interview

    I interview Kade Chandler about his road from being overlooked in the draft to his rookie listing to his apprenticeship as a sub to VFL premiership player to his breakout 2023 season to mainstay in the Forward line and much more ... LISTEN

    Demonland | May 01

  • Next Match 

    .

    Round 12

       vs   

    Sunday 2nd June 2024
    @ 01:00pm (TP)

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  • Match Previews & Reports  

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  • Topics

  • Injury List  


      PLAYER INJURY LENGTH
    Tom Fullarton Hamstring Test
    Harrison Petty Ankle Test
    Daniel Turner Calf Test
    Marty Hore Calf 2-3 Weeks
    Josh Schache Foot 2-3 Weeks
    Jake Lever Knee 3-4 Weeks
    Jake Melksham ACL 3-5 Weeks
    Charlie Spargo Achilles TBC
    Joel Smith Suspension TBA

  • Player of the Year  


        PLAYER VOTES
    1 Max Gawn 129
    2 Christian Petracca 84
    3 Steven May 70
    4 Alex Neal-Bullen 59
    5 Jack Viney 43
    6 Jake Lever 40
    7 Clayton Oliver 34
    8 Bayley Fritsch 31
    9 Kysaiah Pickett 26
    10 Christian Salem 24

        FULL TABLE
  • Demonland Interviews 



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