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TJ - the day he summed up his career



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so rarely does he perform when the heat is on, when a hard tag is applied, when he is NEEDED!

Sorry to nitpick, but I actually think the complete opposite to this. Trav performed mostly when he WAS needed. He had just about the best game I have ever seen from a Demon in the 2002 SF. He was our best in the 2004 EF. He was among our best in the 2000 GF. He was a fantastic finals player. Unfortunately, there was never a lot of help for Johnno in the Melbourne midfield. It's easy to focus your attention on one player when you know that none of the other on-ballers will hurt you when they get the ball.

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Sorry to nitpick, but I actually think the complete opposite to this. Trav performed mostly when he WAS needed. He had just about the best game I have ever seen from a Demon in the 2002 SF. He was our best in the 2004 EF. He was among our best in the 2000 GF. He was a fantastic finals player. Unfortunately, there was never a lot of help for Johnno in the Melbourne midfield. It's easy to focus your attention on one player when you know that none of the other on-ballers will hurt you when they get the ball.

I did say 'rarely' :P

It takes 22 rounds to get into the finals, and TJ has been no more or less of a finals performer than Bruce or Green.

He's had some very good games, and some ordinary ones. For someone with his talent, he should have dominated and he should have won us matches. He never has.

I think you're correct about a lack of help, but again, someone as talented as TJ should have learnt to deal with a tag and with the attention. All superstars have to deal with it.

TJ is as much a victim of his own talent as anything else. If he wasn't so good with the ball we would have said "the hell with it, we wasted pick 1 on you, but we'll cut our loses and delist you". We're so afraid to let him go because we think that when we do, he'll finally pull the finger out. But living in fear never got anyone anywhere.

And besides, I think there is much more to trading TJ than just his on-field performance, and that is an issue that probably none of us can comment on. If Bailey didn't think he was setting a good example, than I'm glad he's gone.

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Sorry to nitpick, but I actually think the complete opposite to this. Trav performed mostly when he WAS needed. He had just about the best game I have ever seen from a Demon in the 2002 SF. He was our best in the 2004 EF. He was among our best in the 2000 GF. He was a fantastic finals player. Unfortunately, there was never a lot of help for Johnno in the Melbourne midfield. It's easy to focus your attention on one player when you know that none of the other on-ballers will hurt you when they get the ball.

Very true

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Hannabal u clearly have been too busy up at the snow and not a real supporter of the club able to appreciate the player that TJ was for us, u can back in an unknown pick 14, there is no way i would trade 1 of our few matchwinners, and its very clear u have never played or understood what it involves to play a game of footy, im sorry that you have had this disadvantage

Ahhh, you're garden variety troll. Great stuff, and here I was thinking that school holidays were over, should have work to do.

Such insight from Hannabal doesn't belong on a internet board post. Fantastic eloquence.

We all remember that game but, two quarters does not a champion make. TJ was why I went to some games, but I want to win premierships more than I want to be entertained. Selfish, but that's footy.

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Hannabal... thanks. You've reconciled me to the fact that Travis has actually gone and that it's not the tragedy I initially believed it would be.

It's not that I think he'll gone on to greatness, it's just that he's left us, the melbourne footy club.

If I choose to put it into something tangible it’s the following quote from your post that I think no true Demons supporter can argue with:

"Put simply, Melbourne players don’t hurt enough."

Trav, Travis, TJ personifies this sentiment. And who the hell are we to put up with it any longer?

Maybe the mediocrity of the club and its culture has worn us down into accepting whatever the hell we're dished up.

I'm joining those on these boards who agree that enough is enough.

I love a part of you Trav and I wish I could say I'll miss you, but my Red and Blue heart would be telling a lie if I did.

Good luck. But next year I'll scream for Brock and Jones boy until blood streams from my eyes.

Go you bloody Demons.

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I think TJ's first public response to his trade only adds to the sentiments of H:

"There is no doubt it is going to help playing alongside Simon Black and Lukey Power and Nigel Lappin. I have been tagged week-in week-out pretty much since I started and it has been pretty tough. I have probably not had the players around me in the midfield, so maybe now they can go to someone else."

Excuse making of the highest order.

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That 2002 final was probably just about the most I've hurt post game EVER. Couldn't crack a smile for days, and I'm pretty sure I didn't eat much for at least 48 hours. Dont know why really. The most we had to look forward to was destruction in the prelim. The Port game this year hurt, but then I didn't really mind, our season was shot already.

I like what you have to say H, particularly the call to arms stuff, but personally I've never really thought of Travis as the kind of player that SHOULD have become great. He could have, but needed a Smith/Barassi/Matthews/Sheedy to motivate him. On his own I counted at least 3 really good years from the guy while in maturity, which is ok, maybe just falling under expectations. I don't rate the whole "number 1 draft pick" thing. Once drafted, each player has a similar road to travel.

Personally, I reckon 10 years, a B&F and numerous high finishes, and MOST IMPORTANTLY a first round pick are what are important here. I would have thought maybe pick 10 or 8 would have been more suitable given the shallowness of the draft (pick 14 last year would have been MUCH better for example), but in the end that's just details. As you say, I trust CAC...

I'm not bitter at all. Yes I would have preferred a Harvey/Cousins etc etc out of him, but unlike you I didn't EXPECT it. Those teams are lucky to have drafted such freaks, and in some cases those teams are rich enough (WC) have enough pull (McGuire) or are just plain cheats (Blues).

I'm glad for the direction the club is taking in regards to this trade, but underneath it I'm also struggling to come to terms with the fact that players like Bruce/Robbo/Trav/Neitz/Brown/White/JMac will never play in a premiership side at MFC. Perhaps we're not rebuilding COMPLETELY, but for those guys the best they can hope for is to go through the motions and mentor the players that have a chance. And so the cycle continues.

We have to wait until these under 23s are four years older before we can get genuinely excited again. That's a fair while to wait, and a fair few more experiences like rounds 1-12 this year. In that light, you are absolutely spot on H... It was time.

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While I agree that he never showed us his full potential, there were still many a time when he produced the something special that was required in some games. that adelaide final is an obvious one, when we all thought that Travis had finally "arrived" as a league footballer, unfortunately it was just another tease of what he could have been. I am sad to see him head north and hope that Craig Cameron & Co can continute there good work of the last few drafts as we look to return to finals football

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I don't rate the whole "number 1 draft pick" thing. Once drafted, each player has a similar road to travel.

I agree. All players should be judged on their future worth, not a past valuation.

A draft # is just an indication of how someone rated you against your peers in a particular year, when you hadn't even started out.

Once players are on the list the number they came in the draft is irrelevant.

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Great stuff H.

Afterr 2002 I felt sick. i have not been able to watch a replay ever. I was gutted, wrung out. WE've existed on the promises of talent ever since - the whole list and travis. no more.

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Well done MFC.

Yeah it's a great post.

It's very early days but the signs from Bailey and Connolly are very good - tough decisions are being made - gone are the bookends:

Godfrey - the most committed but least talented and Johnstone - the most talented but the least committed.

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Yeah it's a great post.

It's very early days but the signs from Bailey and Connolly are very good - tough decisions are being made - gone are the bookends:

Godfrey - the most committed but least talented and Johnstone - the most talented but the least committed.

Well said Old. Footy's a funny game to follow, in part because supporters have such definate opinions about players without ever really knowing who they are. I'll miss them both, but if I had to fight in the trenches I know who I'd want standing beside me.

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Agree entirely Pantaloons!! I've heard so often Melbourne supporters complain about players not performing on the big stage when req'd. The player in the last 10 years that stands out for performing when it counts is TJ. We may have fell short in 2000GF, SF 2002 & 2004EF but from no fault of TJ.

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Agree entirely Pantaloons!! I've heard so often Melbourne supporters complain about players not performing on the big stage when req'd. The player in the last 10 years that stands out for performing when it counts is TJ. We may have fell short in 2000GF, SF 2002 & 2004EF but from no fault of TJ.

It doesn't matter if his the best finals player eva cause if we don't make it, it means bugger all.

TJ should be helping us make the finals from rd 1 to 22.

'Walk b4 u can run' stuff here.

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He may be making excuses, but they are actually pretty valid. While I don't disagree with us trading him, I do think he will be a much better player in Brisbane's midfield than he was in ours.

So TJ can go to Brisbane without the need to even think about leadership. He'll be able to play in a midfield where all the leadership is assumed by others. He probably will do well in those circumstances.

What he is really saying is that he found the idea of any leadership too difficult at Melbourne when that's exactly what we needed. He was never a member of the leadership group (and was never really mature enough to be).

I don't think a bit of leadership was too much to expect from a 10-year player picked at #1.

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it seems that everyone can only remember travis figuring in one game, the 2002 semi final. i hope that doesn't sum his whole time up at melbourne...

not sure why we really wanted just to swap him for pick 14? bailey must be looking for specific stock other than those extremely silky outside midfielders, i would have thought we lacked those types?

only time will tell.

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I only mentioned those finals because they're games that people would remember. You ask any of your mates of opposition teams and when we've one big games against the likes of Collingwood etc. and they will all tell you Johnstone killed us.

Look he's gone now and I accept that, and I also accept he wasn't the most consistant player and may not have reached the heights some hoped for him but I also believe people are forgetting that he was also a very good player for Melbourne and we may regret this decision over the next few years.

I have faith in the club and the decisions they make (eg Woey & Powell) but am understandably gutted to lose my favorite player.

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The day that best sums up Travis for me was the second semi final against Adelaide in 2002. Melbourne had been pumped in the first quarter and faced an almighty deficit of 40 points. Enter Travis Johnstone and one of the most sublime 2 quarters you’ll ever see. By ¾ time and 4 deft Johnstone goals we were 22 points in front with a prelim beckoning. I was exhilarated and finally celebrating the talents of our no. 1 pick. Then the last quarter. It went pear shaped, horribly. Johnstone was spent. In fact, he inexplicably walked off as we were wilting. Needless to say, we lost.

............

Well done MFC.

Outstanding post H.

It perfectly sums TJ to a T!

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Great post H.

Like Dappa Dan said, that night was an absolutely heartbreaker, about as bad as you can feel after a game. I still watch the middle two quarters from time to time, it's as good a brand of football as I've seen a Melbourne side play since 1994.

Travis was pretty good the week before as well. That year was the only good year of his career. I don't buy 2005 - he was more accountable in 2002 than he was in 2005. Sadly he could never repeat the form of 2002 going forward.

I'm actually genuinely happy for him that he's been traded. Brisbane will do him the world of good. He won't be the first one tagged and he'll use the space to deliver to Brown and Brennan and co with ease.

It's a trade I would have made at the end of 2003.

That will still manage to get a first round pick out of Brisbane for him is a credit to our FD and Recruiting Dept.

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I'm actually genuinely happy for him that he's been traded. Brisbane will do him the world of good. He won't be the first one tagged and he'll use the space to deliver to Brown and Brennan and co with ease.

This is exactly why Brisbane wanted him.

I hope supporters who are bitter at the trading of Travis can come to realise that we would never see the best of Travis in an MFC jumper on a consistent basis (we never have). 10 years was long enough to seemingly drift through a career. I trust with pick 14 we can get a commited goer. If that happens it will be a win/win.

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TJ's career has been mediocre at best. Similar to Melbourne's laast 10 years. He should have done more for the team and as an individual in his time at Melbourne. Hopefully up in Queensland with the horse flu he'll have trouble finding a track to punt at and he'll concentrate on his footy more.

Thanks for the memories, but I think Melbourne will be far better off with more young blood in the team. Players like Cam Bruce, Brad Green, Yze, Neitz and co dont excite me anymore.

It's the Davey's, Jones', Dunns', Bates, McLean's and hopefully our number 4 and 14 picks who are going to be the ones that might take us to a flag.

I know I'm going to get crucified for this, but I think its time for Colin Sylvia to start producing some decent footy next year or we trade him next year and replace him with someone who has the right attitude to play AFL.

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Sorry to nitpick, but I actually think the complete opposite to this. Trav performed mostly when he WAS needed. He had just about the best game I have ever seen from a Demon in the 2002 SF. He was our best in the 2004 EF. He was among our best in the 2000 GF. He was a fantastic finals player. Unfortunately, there was never a lot of help for Johnno in the Melbourne midfield. It's easy to focus your attention on one player when you know that none of the other on-ballers will hurt you when they get the ball.

I agree with you Pants.

I think his casual style deceives many watchers. His style is based on hitting a target well up-field. He didn't take the easy option 20m. sideways. He found targets 50m. away that weren't obvious even from high in the stands. To do this , he had to take time, extra time, which made him look too casual. I also admired the way he kept his head up when the pack was arrriving from behind. Most Demon supporters accuse him of not showing this feature.

I can't help but think there's something going on behind the scenes which has tested the patience of MFC powerbrokers , and is` the real reason we've disposed of him.

Thanks and good luck, Tigger.

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