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  1. Well George on the Outer was on the outer again at Casey this morning, since the gates are locked to prevent the plague ridden populace from entering... Still got to observe through the fence, which is as good as we football starved individuals can get, so we will take it. I counted 40ish players on the track, with Harmes and Rosman doing rehab of some sort, mainly running, stopping and restarting type of exercise. What sort of injury that means...perhaps more of the medically trained posters can help. Now it was difficult to see who wasn't there, due to this fence previously mentioned, and the wearing of bibs at times. However these days they all have numbers on their backs, apart from one unidentified player. Still I couldn't see Ed Langdon out there, although he does wear an invisibility cloak, which prevents opposition players from seeing him during the game. Perhaps he was wearing it today? Not sure if Melksham was there, but given the numbers of Covid expemptions reported from other clubs this week, it was quite literally a healthy list on the ground. Observations: God awful music being played through the loudspeakers. Screaching girl bands and moaning rejects from the Voice, Idol or repetitive rap could only make the players listen intently to the coaches. You sure as Hell couldn't listen to that other rubbish! Apart from the usual warm-ups, kicking drills with the Mark Williams striped ball, and another with huge foam goal posts erected mid-ground to do what I don't know, there was one which really took the eye. It was virtually a full match type game, with umpires, but the speed was simply incredible. Switch, switch back and then some more saw the ball move at lightning speed around the ground and from one end to the other. If this style is introduced through an already Premierhsip side, watch out opposition teams. There was little fixed position as players roamed wide to create opportunity, and then even more. Difficult to describe, but the team with the ball would rip right through the defenders and only a misplaced kick would see possession lost...then that opposition would do the same in return. The poor umpires never caught up with the speed and were trying to whistle 20, 30, 50 metres behind where the ball was. The only downside was the goal-kicking , but I suspect it wasn't the aim of the drill. Still an excuse could be they have moved the goal-posts at Casey, and players seemed to be kicking to where they used to be. Standouts were Oliver, Salem and May. Oliver just steps through defenders and just keeps going and going. Just when he looks cornered, he just bursts out again. Salem the same, how no-one can tackle him is amazing, and he always keeps bobbing up with ball in hand to deliver accurately. May is well over his hamstring injury from the PF, and just kept dragging down mark after mark. Another that took the eye was Majak Daw, playing forward. Really strong marking and leading, he was a challenge to be able to control in the air for May, Petty and Lever. All the new recruits were there, but with the viewing curtailed it was difficult to focus on what they were doing or not. And when the rain started, this wimpy reporter thought better of standing alone and headed for home, leaving the players to finish the session in peace.
    74 points
  2. http://images2.naharnet.com/images/187054/w460.jpg?1466172426 Great report by George but before I get onto it, Adjacent Casey fields is a large lake which I'm reliably informed contains plenty of fish and I just wonder if the sign above presents as an even more challenging scenario. Agree with George re music, just and endless cacopheny of mind numbing techno crap. Dont know what it gives the players but who am I to argue given that,last year it resulted in a Premiership. One other thing George didn't add was the plague of Flies hundreds of them! Anyway on with the report! Weather was shizzen about 10 seasons in one day and like George under cover accomodation outside the ground is harder to find than Rocking Horse Sheeit! REHAB ROSMAN, SPARGO ( in Parts) HARMES and during training it appeared CHANDLER may have done a groin? SKILLS DRILLS AND MANOEVERS. Well covered by GEORGE but agree the match simulations were a thing of beauty, players are intinctively now confident to KNOW 1 Where to go 2 Who to go to as in selecting correct option 3 Skillful enough to execute precisely DRILL A WARM UPS DRILL B MATCH SIMS DRILL C KAMIKAZE PLAYER BLITZSKILL ( Players zone of have a couple of harrasers and deliverers need to pick correct target from multiple options and kick to player on lead DRILL D MORE MATCH SIMS DRILL E CLOSE CONTACT TACKLES DRILL F ONE ON ONE MARKING SIMS PLAYER WATCH Competition for places will be and is WHITE HOT!! Not only do the current 23 continue to train to high standards but the second tier are also training the house down, players such as MAJAK, MELKY, DEAKIN S, J SMITH, ADAM T, MITCH B, J JORDAN, TOBY B, are displaying the type of improvement that drives up standards. Perhaps the guy I'm most looking forward to seeing is LUKE DUNSTAN, Wow what a pile driver he is just relentless in his ball hunting ability, think Stephen Powell and youl get the picture. Jayden hunt looks lean and hungry as does Adam Tomlinson. THE NEWBIES In some drills I can just see why we chosse these guys all are profficient with skills and already seem to know and appreciate the work required to make it in an elite Football Club which is not only the oldest club in Australia but one where standards are being continually stretched , redefined and enhanced. One bloke who I didn't know had no number on his back but by Gee was he nippy and elusive with some KOSSY like tendencies. HIGHLIGHTS. 1 Tom Sparrow outmarking MAX in a one on one 2 Clarry recreating his victory salute with a uncannily similar goal which literally had a couple of players doing cartwheels TRAING VOTES 3,2,1 3 Clarry , honestly he just does what he likes at traing and is a class above 2 Jack Viney, gees has he improved as a footballer in my eyes 1 Tom Sparrow wow what a huge talent this kid is honerable mentions, Salem, Max, Bowey, Dogga, Kossy, May and others et al, just no passengers just all wheel drive turbo's that just do not let up everyone just shows something , what a Lovely sight to behold! cheers PF
    55 points
  3. I appreciate it’s frustrating for people who attended the event to go and get tested, but I really don’t understand criticism aimed at the workers at these facilities for the speed at which they are working, or them wanting to leave work at an appropriate time. They are most likely exhausted, and working long shifts. We are 2 years into a pandemic, and it’s pretty obvious we’ve got a long road ahead of us. Lets not forget that what is stressful for you today has been a lot of these health care workers entire lives for 2 years. They are owed our kindness and appreciation.
    26 points
  4. The moment Bayley Fritsch slotted through his fifth goal after accepting a pass from Charlie Spargo early in the final quarter of the Grand Final, the result was a given. The Demons were six goals in front and the Bulldogs were spent; the drought was over. The game itself managed to roll on with goals coming seemingly on endless rotation and when it was stopped by the final siren (the mercy rule doesn’t apply in the AFL), the scoreboard had Melbourne in front by 74 points. The sun rose on the following morning with the day’s newspaper highlighting the new “immortals”. If not before, we understood then that it wasn’t all a dream and that Norm Smith’s curse finally was dead and buried. The Demons had won a premiership with a group that dominated through the winning of its own ball in the midfield. They were the best at it with a group filled with contested beasts led by Christian Petracca (ironically, the winner of the medal named after the man whose curse had just recently ended), Clayton Oliver, Jack Viney and more. They received silver service from their ruckmen, skipper Max Gawn and a young man who came of age in the sizzling last half of the third term, Luke Jackson. It’s all well and good to claim supremacy in the midfield but foundations for premierships are built on much more than that. If Melbourne had the best ball winners through the midfield, it also had a clinical defence led by impenetrable intercepting key defenders Jake Lever and Steven May aided by Adam Tomlinson early in the season and when he was injured by Harrison Petty and flanked by the elite kicking skills of Christian Salem and Trent Rivers and later Jake Bowey who, in effect, took the place of the unlucky Jayden Hunt. Up forward, the Demons had to make do with only one dominant key forward at a time, firstly Tom McDonald and more lately, Ben Brown but with Fritsch the constant, a strong mark and nimble of foot on the way to a 59-goal season. Their involvement in the forward line with medium to small forwards Kysaiah Pickett, Charlie Spargo and running machine Alex Neal-Bullen strangling opposition defences time and again with their immense forward pressure, the critical component of the club’s on-field success and not more so than in the finals and spectacularly, in the ultimate game of the season. By the time the breakthrough came and Fritsch kicked his rapid fire two goals on end at the 16 minute 34 second and 17:49 marks of the third to bring Melbourne right back in the game the Bulldogs were running on the spot, the Demons in twos and threes and covering more ground than the early settlers. Their superior fitness, the legacy of a long hard preseason and a sustained program put into place by departing fitness guru Darren Burgess, culminated in a 45-minute blitz that was never before seen in the ultimate game of a season. The Immortals B: M. Hibberd 14 S. May 1 J. Lever 8 HB: T. Rivers 24 H. Petty 35 C. Salem 3 C: A. Brayshaw 10 C. Petracca 5 E. Langdon 15 HF: A. Neal-Bullen 30 T. McDonald 25 T. Sparrow 32 F: C. Spargo 9 B. Brown 50 B. Fritsch 31 Foll: M. Gawn 11 C. Oliver 13 J. Viney 7 I/C: J. Bowey 17 J. Harmes 4 L. Jackson 6 K. Pickett 36 Sub: J. Jordon 23 Emerg: K. Chandler 37 J. Hunt 29 J. Melksham 18 There was more … The scene was set in preseason with the list coming up in reasonably good health and opening the scratch match period positively with a narrow win over the Tigers at Casey Fields in late February. This was followed up with a loss to the Bulldogs with a below strength lineup at Marvel Stadium in the AAMI Community Series match but there was no need to panic (although some did). It was, after all, a practice match. Head Coach, Simon Goodwin had been building his team for a number of seasons. They nearly made it in 2018, slipped and fell in 2019 and by virtue of a plague that blunted their edge in fitness, they were ½ a game away from another assault last year. On every line Goodwin had great or at the very least highly competent skilled players but he was after something more. More hard work, greater fitness and a cohesive, selfless unit. There were many examples throughout the year, the most frequently cited being the move of Angus Brayshaw out of his natural position in the the centre to a new role on the wing. Together with Ed Langdon, they were the club’s ying and yang wingmen, important link players who plied their trade to devastating effect along the outside fringe areas of the field. Everyone had a role to play. In times of pandemic and caps on football club expenditure, Melbourne did well to augment its existing coaching support structure for Goodwin, already headed by General Manager of AFL Football Performance Alan Richardson, Backline and Forward coaches Troy Chaplin and Greg Stafford with former premiership coach Mark Williams as Head of Development and Adem Yze, the Midfield coach. Both were revelations. The Demons took the first steps into the 2021 season proper with a solid win over the visiting Dockers in Round 1 after leading all day and continued on their winning way against St Kilda and GWS. While not particularly convincingly, they took the points over an undermanned Geelong and finally shook off Hawthorn in a brilliant last term. Suddenly, they were sitting on a 5 - 0 winning streak (7 - 0 if you counted the last two games of 2020) but they still lacked credibility in the eyes of the football world. Along came a Saturday night contest at the home of football in front of a large crowd against the reigning premiers. After a slow start in drizzly conditions, they took hold of the reins and pressurised and suffocated the Tigers to a standstill. That night also marked Nathan Jones' 300th match and the battle-hardened veteran was able to hold his head high. The evening belonged to the midfield duo of Petracca and Oliver that had supplanted their former skipper in the midfield but the club faithful honoured the man who had led them through the wilderness to a point where they were ready to make the great leap forward into premiership contention. Sadly, the Demons’ captain of 2014–2019 and winner of three Keith 'Bluey' Truscott Medals would only play two more games - this was his swansong. Also on his way out was long serving small defender in Neville Jetta who was to also finish up at the end of the season with 159 great games under his belt. The Melbourne train rolled on and on with another three wins before a surprise 1-point loss to the lowly Crows in Adelaide in controversial circumstances. They responded in the best possible way with consecutive wins over top four contenders in the Western Bulldogs and the Brisbane Lions. Both were emphatic victories that saw the Demons firmly installed as mid season flag favourites. The pandemic robbed the club of a big home ground cash bonanza when its Queens Birthday Blockbuster against Collingwood was shifted to the SCG. It was Nathan Buckley’s last hurrah as Magpie coach. His team was switched on and brought a pressure game with them but the Demons failed to respond in kind to go into the bye round with their tails between their legs. The mid part of the season was to be the club’s low point of the year. They beat a rising Essendon and another top four contender in Port Adelaide away from home but lost games to GWS and the Western Bulldogs and drew against Hawthorn. The defeat at the hands of the Dogs was disappointing and cost Melbourne top spot as winter came to an end but it wasn’t the end of the world. In actual fact, the reversal against the new ladder leaders became the catalyst for a dominant seven match period that covered all of August and September and culminated with the triumph in the year’s Big Dance. With Victoria in lockdown and the Delta strain surging, the AFL switched games here and there to successfully keep the season alive. Melbourne criss-crossed the country and beat Gold Coast, West Coast, Adelaide and Geelong at various venues and under various weather conditions including lightning, thunder and rain. The win at Corio Bay over the Cats saw a famous comeback from 44 points down to a winning goal after the siren from Max Gawn which secured top spot and the McClelland Trophy. They were on their way to becoming immmortals. The Brisbane Lions fell in the Qualifying Final after some early resistance from Charlie Cameron but the Demons were well in control by half time and coasted to a win that looked a lot easier than the eventual 31 point margin. There was no resistance a fortnight later when an aging Geelong was unceremoniously dumped from the finals by 83 points after managing a single final half goal in the face of a Demon tsunami. Max Gawn’s third quarter was sublime and unforgettable. The Western Bulldogs were similarly ruthless on the following evening when they demolished a bedraggled Port Adelaide by 71 points. The Grand Final promised to be a clash of Titans but we know now that this promise lasted until that point in the premiership quarter when the Demons went “bang, bang, bang!” The club made a big bang at AFL All-Australian team selection with five players gaining selection and Max Gawn was named as skipper after earning his fifth All-Australian jacket as the No.1 ruck. He was joined in the 22-man squad by teammates Steven May, Jake Lever, Clayton Oliver and Christian Petracca. In addition, Bailey Fritsch and Christian Salem would have been unlucky to miss out. Emerging ruckman Luke Jackson won the AFL Rising Star Award. Simon Goodwin topped of the premiership year with the AFL Coaches Association Coach of the Year award. Clayton Oliver received accolades from the AFL Coaches Association as its AFL Champion Player. He also finished third in the Brownlow Medal with in excess of 30 votes, an outstanding achievement given the quality of players competing against him for votes each week and capped it off with his third Keith “Bluey” Truscott Memorial Trophy for the club’s best and fairest player. In addition to bidding farewell to two of the club’s champion veterans in Nathan Jones and Neville Jetta, we saw the departures of Aaron Bradtke, Kye Declase, Marty Hore, Jay Lockhart (all delisted) and Aaron vandenBerg (retired). Their places will be taken in 2022 by Luke Dunstan (St Kilda), Jacob Van Rooyen (Claremont, WA), Blake Howes (Sandringham Dragons), Taj Woewodin (East Fremantle, WA) and rookies Judd McVee (East Fremantle, WA) and Andy Moniz-Wakefield (Northern Territory). The expanded VFL competition was doomed by the plague but the Casey Demons started the season in outstanding fashion and were sitting on a 6 - 0 record at the end of June. They kicked themselves out of a win at Casey against the more accurate Giants on a night when Ben Brown was rested for almost the whole game in preparation for a promotion back to the AFL leaving them one player short in a tight finish. They won their next game comfortably but the dice were loaded when they lost to Footscray with half their VFL team leaders flying aimlessly between Tullamarine and the Queensland border. Toby Bedford was runner up the best and fairest and best Melbourne player. Jake Bowey cut his teeth at Casey with 8 excellent games before he made his AFL debut. That 1 point loss to the Giants (in which he had 27 touches) was his only losing game for the year. Veteran Jimmy Munro won his second Gardner Clarke Medal for Best and Fairest. The Melbourne AFLW team under coach Mick Stinear had a solid season and made it to the finals where they beat Fremantle comfortably but reverted to type with poor kicking for goal in their 1.9.15 to 5.3.33 Preliminary Final loss against Adelaide. Earlier, they had a perfect 3 - 0 start to the season before another putrid effort in front of goals against the Bulldogs. Their finals chances were in jeopardy but they regrouped to score some big victories in the tougher half of the draw. At times, they looked premiership material. Two midfielders at opposite ends of their careers in Karen Paxman and Tyla Hanks tied in first place for the Best and Fairest Award. Hanks also won the NAB AFLW Rising Star Award while Paxman was named in the All Australian side for the fifth time in as many seasons – one of only two players to hold that honour – while also placing fifth in the league’s Best and Fairest Award. Paxman was also the Demons’ vice-captain and was skipper in the finals series in the absence of the injured Daisy Pearce. The team was well served by contributions from Eden Zanker, Lily Mithen and Maddi Gay. The club had a number of retirements and other departures at the end of this season but has recruited well for the 2022 season which is due to start in early January. The departures include Niamh McEvoy, Shae Sloane, Tegan Cunningham and Meg Downie (all retired), Chantel Emonson (traded to Geelong) and Mietta Kendall (delisted). The recruits are Tayla Harris (Carlton) and Olivia Purcell (Geelong), draftees Georgia Campbell, Tahlia Gillard and Alison Brown and Eliza West, a rookie from the Casey Demons VFLW team. Stinear has been reappointed as senior coach. The Casey Demons also made the finals in that competition’s uncompleted season. During the season Kate Roffey succeeded Glen Bartlett to take the club presidency and become the first female president in the club’s 163 years long history. She was in the right place at the right time and saw in a premiership and with it a financial windfall from merchandise sales on top of the sale of the Bentleigh Club freehold. A great result for CEO Gary Pert after his last assignment at the Magpies. Roffey’s Her big moment came ten weeks after the event when 35,000 fans came to the MCG to watch the replay and to celebrate their heroes. What of next year? The vagaries of the pandemic with its sheer chaos and its changes in complexion as a result of the emergence of new strains make it difficult to predict the future of the game but otherwise things look rosy. The Demons have a deep list having re-signed a number of its stars to longer contracts during the season and also holding on to many players beyond the 23 grand finalists who might easily have moved elsewhere for greater opportunity - all of that indicates strength and stability and puts them in a handy space in the new era for the Melbourne Football Club.
    23 points
  5. As far as I'm concerned. Everything has been laid to rest. Apart from my undying hatred for Essenscum, I'm at peace.
    22 points
  6. As title suggests and may I take this opportunity to wish all Demonlanders the best of Christmas cheer and luck as we approach Changing and challenging times PF
    22 points
  7. Its a good feeling not having to hang your hat on what the recruits can bring in their first (or second) year. Let them develop in whatever time it take to make them the best player they can be with no expectations on them to perform straight away. 2021 Premiers with more to come *Smugly lights cigar and quaffs brandy.
    22 points
  8. How about by a kick after the siren after being 7 goals behind at their home ground , to deny them top spot on the ladder at season end?
    21 points
  9. I think in these glory years we need to talk more about the Max Gawn line.. ie As long as we’re within 44 points approaching time on in the 3rd we’re a big chance :-)
    21 points
  10. 19 points down midway through the 2nd will be my signal we're safe.
    21 points
  11. Judd McVee, Jacob Van Rooyen and Taj Woewodin on an Instagram photograph that appears to have been taken at an airport. It looks like they’re taking their first flight into Demonland. Good luck lads!
    20 points
  12. completely put to rest. I think the pain we inflicted on Geelong this year as well as winning a flag fully closes that chapter. proof in point. when i think of Geelong now , I smile broadly and notice my Geelong friends grimace a little when we talk footy. Round 23 or the PF is all that’s left in my memory of them. somewhere in a galaxy far far away i hear that the world was once temporarily out of balance re Geelong and Melb but the equilibrium is now restored.
    19 points
  13. I don’t expect Santa to bring me anything tonight. He already gave me (and all of us) THE best gift three months early, on the 25th of September. ❤️💙
    18 points
  14. With acknowledgement to NP, my source outside the wire. B.Brown finished off drills well with his shots on goal. Sparrow was sharp all morning. Usual efficient work from Viney, Trac & Clarrie. Clarrie spent a bit of time one on one with Goody. As usual 1st day back the newbies only did half the session but they all did the running with ease and have good hands. Harmes, Gus, Lingers, Weids, Spargo, Hibbo, Melks, Rosman, Rivers, Fritta, all on light duties. The running at the beginning saw about 10 groups spaced out around the oval. After about 2 or 3 laps, the groups had not strung out at all like I have seen in previous years!!
    17 points
  15. Knightmare article rating 2019 draft choices (dated 29/11/2019): Melbourne Traded wisely and secured value in their trade with Fremantle. The move back allowed Melbourne to add pick 28 and a future fourth round pick without a meaningful move back down the order from pick 8 to 10. While Melbourne's trade looks on paper like value was acquired, their first two picks of ruckman Luke Jackson and small forward pressure specialist Kysaiah Pickett are arguably reaches. Jackson, a sub 200cm ruckman is athletic, plays with aggression and follows up well but was arguably not the best available player. Similarly, Pickett while the forward pressure he applies is of a best in draft standard and he has speed and is damaging with ball in hand, his low scoreboard impact and product makes him a difficult sell so early on. Trent Rivers, who Melbourne secured thanks to their trade with Fremantle represents strong value at what after bidding became pick 32. Rivers is a classy ball user off half-back who moves well and can push through the midfield as a ball winner. Grade: C Collingwood Improved their draft hand slightly in the latter half of the draft to increase their involvement without losing a lot. Jay Rantall represents strong value as a basketball convert with elite endurance who does his best work inside winning the contested ball, distributing by hand and moving through traffic. Oakleigh premiership captain Trent Bianco is a second selection who represents strong value as one of the best kicks in the draft and the most advanced outside player in the pool. Trey Ruscoe at 192cm with his versatility to play defence, midfield or forward, is a third solid selection with his skills, mobility, ball winning capabilities and the way he reads the ball in flight and takes marks. Though the question of whether Collingwood should have retained pick 51 to draft key forward Jake Riccardi rather than trade it to GWS who used the pick to draft the VFL's Fothergill-Round-Mitchell Medal is a question that will be asked given Collingwood's lacking key position stocks. Grade: A Note: Rantall has already been delisted
    17 points
  16. The following pretty much sums up how this Premiership has impacted my life. Years ago I sat opposite an oncologist who had the grim job of saying those three words (and I don’t mean those three words that most women want to hear, ie, ‘I love you’ or ‘you’re not fat’). After delivering this shocking diagnosis (totally unexpected since no family history, no symptoms or lumps, just a routine mammogram) he gave me a tip. He said that when a person experiences a huge upheaval, be it good or bad, you should say it aloud. He insisted that hearing yourself saying it aloud helps your brain to process it quickly. So, the whole way home (45-minute drive) I repeated over and over, I have cancer, I have breast cancer, etc. Fast forward to the 25th of September 2021 and the same tip was applied: I said it aloud many times, Melbourne are Premiers, We won the Premiership, We won the Grand Final, etc. And herein is the difference: after two weeks or so of the breast cancer diagnosis I had fully come to terms with it. I had accepted it as real. Conversely, it’s been three months since the Premiership win and I STILL CAN’T BLOODY BELIEVE IT!!! WE ARE THE PREMIERS!!! ❤️💙❌❌❌❤️💙
    17 points
  17. Viney is severely underrated on here which is suprising considering his finals series.
    16 points
  18. Have a look at Tracs speed in this clip. That’s Hunt he chases down! He’s running like an absolute Jet and with his power, he’s going to absolutely dominate this year.
    15 points
  19. My brother had a paper round and back in the day he loved selling the Herald on a Saturday if North had a win as all the old blokes at the pubs after the match would tip really well. He used to take me with him because he would make way more in tips with a little sister in tow. One pub in particular, the Shakespeare, iirc in Dryburgh Street, had the same bunch of regulars. The old blokes would give my brother extra tips if he could get me to sing for them. So I’d (reluctantly) bust out a few lines of Oh My Darling Clementine, it was the only song I knew. And the tips would instantly double. Years later, as adults, we were reminiscing and I said, “I can’t believe you used to pimp me out like that!” He says, “Hey! You never had a problem with it while eating your weight in Eskimo Pies!” 😆
    15 points
  20. Watching the GF so many times, I'm now appreciating some of the more overlooked moments, like this one attached. It's a little hard to see, but I think that Oliver basically flies along horizontally over the top of fallen and flailing Bulldogs, grabs the ball and handballs it mid-air in a breathtaking display of skill and focus. Amazing ninja level stuff.
    15 points
  21. Realised I hadn’t watched the GF all year… poured a pint of home brew Czech Dark lager and away we go…😃
    15 points
  22. Over the next five weeks, Demonland regular Deespicable will count down his version of our top 100 players since 1972. THERE'S always a fine line at the end of any list with a few tricky decisions on those who do and don’t make the cut. Firstly I had a general rule that you had to have played 50 games for us, although I did break it for three players, two of whom are in the 81-100 category – Mark ‘Whacko’ Jackson and Sean Charles. One of our most expensive recruits Kelvin Templeton played 34 games and kicked 99 goals for us and his eight-goal game in our win down at Kardinia Park on Anzac Day in 1983 has to rate among our best ever individual performances – but sorry Kel, not enough red and blue blood spilt for mine. Secondly I had to rule out a large number of highly serviceable stars who played their best footy in the 60s. Frank Davis was still captain in 1972, but by then was more a dour half-back flanker and the former No.6 never really rocked my boat as a kid. Ditto Barry Bourke. Thirdly, how do you draw a line between levels of serviceable players, which let’s face it, most of those in the 81-100 category are. I mean Simon Godfrey (105 games) had less kicking talent than most Demonlanders, yet he tagged with intent (just ask Shane Crawford). Paul Hopgood (113 games) and Darren Kowal (105) had genuine hops, but both never really cemented a spot in eras that weren’t exactly flushed with success, while Marcus Seecamp (89) always looked the part in defence, but never dominated. But I suspect my biggest omission is Peter Walsh (104 games), a gutsy redheaded defender who tied for 15th in the 2001 Brownlow with 11 votes. He came on the scene via the rookie list along with Daniel Ward and always put in and I reckon quite a few would want him, just as Port did in 2005 when he was traded and went on to play played finals for them. So re-instate him in my 81-100 list as you see fit, it’s just that all of these guys have solid cases too. 81 Graham Osborne 66-77 146 games One of my earliest memories was watching Ozzy fly off the backline, take a bounce and then lose the ball all in the blink of an eye. He was mega quick which gave him a huge advantage in those days, but unfortunately he couldn’t quite put it all together, although he did have a pretty good year in defence under Skilts in 1976 – even polling 18 votes in the Brownlow that year under the two-umpire voting system. Sadly he was injured early in 1977, so maybe he was the factor in why we didn’t kick on as expected that year. 82 Nathan Brown 98-07 146 games OK, he was a Collingwood six-footer (180cm), who often struggled to roost it more than 40m and he wasn’t exceptionally quick. But our Nathan Brown (as distinct from the Dogs forward) was a real livewire rebounder who’d run all day and put his body on the line off half-back. He had a few ripping battles with Stephen Milne and during his prime was one of the Reverend’s automatic selections. 83 Jake Melksham 16- 83 games Unlucky not to play for us in 2016, Melky had a tricky baptism when Goody initially tried to turn him into a defender. Eventually he found his way to our forward line where his booming delivery was hugely important in our 2018 campaign and his left-footer on the run from 50m in our finals win over the Hawks was huge. Tom Sparrow’s rise probably ultimately cost him his spot in our premiership team, but there was a time in 2018 when he was talked about as an AA such was his importance. 84 Peter Keenan 70-75, 81-82 131 games I’ll never forget trying to imitate Crackers hunched over stance like a warring buffalo at ammo level and finding myself victim to every kid’s attempted screamers. But as a ruckman he was a workhorse, who could take a pretty strong mark – he took 14 grabs one day against South Melbourne in 1975 and it was that prowess that saw him snaffled by Barrass at North in 1976 to solve his ruck woes. He played in their flag against the Pies in 1977 and was nice enough to return to us in 1981 with Barassi. He was often suspended but racked up 30 more games for us, albeit for just five more wins. 85 Mark Jackson 81-82 41 games 152 goals Amazingly whacko Jacko contributed 152 goals in only two seasons. Recruited from Richmond’s U19 – they already had Michael Roach and Brian Taylor on their books, few players have been more watchable or selfish as the Energizer. He was actually a pretty accurate kick and could even snap a goal across his body. But he preferred to just snap – whether it be at umpires, at opponents or even the club skipper. Those from 82 reckon he just had to go the day he belted Robbie Flower at training, apparently peed off that Tulip kept beating him to the ball. He was less successful at St Kilda but Geelong persisted with him for a while and the Neville Bruns/Leigh Matthews incident came about largely because of his stirring antics. But while he was never quick or clean with his marking, his combination with Gerard Healy in 1982 was amazingly prolific for us. 86 Steven Icke 82-87 78 games Sticky was recruited from North with Allen Jarrott, part of Ron Barassi’s plan to steal the smarts from his old side – he did also steal Mad Dog Brent Crosswell around then, although that seemed more about getting in someone who could beat him at chess. But Icke was very serviceable as a CHB who could go forward on occasions when things weren’t working. He didn’t take hangers, but he was a nice mark all the same. 87 Henry Coles 75-80 77 games, 106 goals For three years in the late seventies, Henry was our No.1 rover and a pretty handy one, being particularly dangerous when he rested in the pocket as rovers did before the interchange came in. He snagged 33 goals in 1978, including a memorable six in our win over the Cats and won a Vic guernsey that year. He gave up his No.13 when another Pie Wayne Gordon arrived at our club, a bad omen for him as he did his knee in Round 4 in 1979 in the No.3 top and never really recovered. A run in with Big Carl in 79 didn’t help either. 88 Brock McLean 04-09 94 games Taken at No.5 in the 2003 draft, Brocky was the son of Blues hitman Ricky and was as tough as they come. His flowing mullet (no Bailey Smith perm) made an immediate impression and he played in our losing elimination final side to Essendon in ‘04. By 2006 he was virtually best on ground for us when we downed the Saints in the first week of the finals and was again among our best the following week in our loss to Freo. In 2007 he injured his foot in Rd 1 and by the time he returned we were 0-8 and it was a whole new club. He lifted us to a huge QB victory that year but he, and we, were never the same, even stooping to tanking late in 2009. Disgruntled by that philosophy, he agreed to be traded to the Blues for pick 11. 89 Ricky Jackson 86-91 80 games, 131 goals Sported the No.45 like Matty Whelan and came to us in 1986 after a failed stint at Richmond who felt that at just 170cm he was too small to make it. But ‘tricky’ Ricky had explosive pace and loved taking on defenders and for six year did his Kozzie Pickett forward-pocket role with aplomb. He even won our goalkicking with 43 majors in 1988. He kicked five goals against Carlton in the preliminary final that year and made the Big V side in 1990. I still don’t know why we traded him to Footscray in 1991, but he badly broke his leg pre-season at the kennel and never played for them. 90 Darren Bennett 89-93 74 games 215 goals Discarded by West Coast who had Peter Sumich, the thumping right-footer arrived at the Dees a couple of years before Allen Jakovich. Given our battle to find gun forwards in the 70s, it’s hard to believe we had a plethora to choose from in John Northey’s era. He had a few knee issues, but boy could he kick a long goal and his foot extension matched that of Tayla Harris - which is why he went on to make more money in America as a professional punter than ‘Dollars' Lyon made from us. He kicked 87 goals in 1990 (only Fred Fanning and Norm Smith have kicked more) and nailed four in our breakthrough elimination final win against the Hawks that year. But it was his five goals after halftime in our amazing comeback win at Windy Hill in 1990 that was the stuff of legends. 91 Russel Richards 83-87 81 games How good was it watching the Rhino in full flight charging off half-back like Adonis. He almost won the 1985 Grand Final sprint. Sadly he was a bit like Sam Frost – unable to turn his excitement into a game-breaking play but for a while we all thought he was on his way to greatness. A couple of minor injuries and the growing star status of Sean Wight and Rod Grinter meant that he struggled to get games in 1987 and by the end of 88 he was sent off to Prahran. 92 Alex Neal-Bullen 15- 105 games After five years of being the Demonlanders whipping boy, ANB endured an even darker 2020 and was seemingly out the door. Goody, who had spotted his work rate early in 2016 and pushed Roosy to play him as a small forward, seemed to have sided with the critics and written him off. After eight weeks watching from the sidelines in COVID 1.0, he returned for the clash with Adelaide and the club failed to even lodge a complaint when he copped four weeks for a dangerous tackle on a young Crow - the same that Shaun Burgoyne and others did virtually weekly. At season's end he was offered up as trade bait. Thankfully there were no takers. Bet he’d have quite a few now after a year when he played every game and constantly provided link work, tackle pressure and the occasional goal in a premiership side. Here’s the thing - Nibbler has always been is our hardest worker at training - bar none. And that’s why it’s so nice that he got some reward for all those efforts. 93 Dom Tyson 14-18 94 games Dommy’s best years were pre-Clayton when he was our big-bodied midfielder alongside Jonesy, Viney and Bernie. In his first year under Roosy in 2014 he even snagged 16 goals and he was second in our B&F. He was clever at times by hand and would lean back and hammer a left foot to our non-existent forwards back then. But by 2018, Goody was worried about his lack of pace (he’d always had knee troubles) and sent him to the wing - the same one the club had offered Jack Grimes and Jack Trengove on their way out. He was useful in the 2018 finals but it wasn’t a surprise when he was offered up to North to lure Braydon Preuss. Some will say that we should never have given up pick No.2 in the 2013 draft for him, but without splitting that pick, we wouldn’t have attained Christian Salem. 94 Alistair Nicholson 97-06 110 games Big Nick was recruited as a ruckman from Claremont but was never quite tall enough to make it as Jimmy’s replacement and once we had Jeff White we didn’t need him in that role anyway. So Neale Daniher sent him down back and he played on all the resting ruckman including Steven Alessio in the 2000 Grand Final. I was always a bit dirty that he didn’t belt a few blokes that day, especially after Brad Green and Troy Simmonds had been felled, as he was built like a proverbial brick sh..house, but he’s probably too nice a bloke at the end of the day. He’s been pretty successful off field representing our cricketers in legal battles, before more recently looking after the coaches group. 95 Jack Trengove 10-17 86 games The victim of one of our most whacky decisions when Mark Neeld decided he didn’t like his senior squad on arrival at the club and upgraded the 20-year-old from country South Australia to the leadership in tandem with Jack Grimes. The pressure on the then 37-gamer must have been intense, especially given it was before we had a good support coaching network. Jack had a nice baulk and became so team-oriented under the weight of being skipper that it seemed to stifle the initial flair he’d shown in his first two seasons. He had good endurance (like his sister Jess) but was never blessed with pace so when he kept getting stress-related foot issues, any chance of him utilising his smarts on the wing were minimal. 96 Guy Rigoni 98-05 107 games A late-comer to the top level after having no luck at Hawthorn, Riggers was a hard-at-it Myrtleford mid who could thump a long bomb in the Neiter direction and was a regular in both 98 and 2000 when he played in the granny against Essendon. He had a night out against the Roos in 2000 in a one-point loss at the Docklands amassing 37 disposals, but back issues limited his career after that. 97 Sean Charles 92-97 46 games, 60 goals A favourite of mine and just about everybody’s in 1994. He was recruited from Tatura in 1992 and kicked five goals on debut as a 17-year-old but from then he was hit by a mix of injuries and complexities from his indigenous background. He had electric speed and Melbourne was so sure of his abilities that Balmey arranged for him to be helicoptered in to training Brian Peake style mid-season. He was a key part of the exciting forward mix alongside Schwarter and Lyon in 1994 and his five-goal game in our finals upset of Carlton that year was a career-high. Broke his arm badly pre-season next year and spent more time in the medical room than on the field. But along with Liam Jurrah, one of our most talented players ever - you just wonder what he could have been if Neville Jetta was around to guide him then. 98 Colin Garland 07-17 141 games I always felt that Col was a little unsure of his abilities and doubtless that came from beginning his career in an era when our assistant coaches and support network were not a patch on today. A Hobart boy, he was quick, had a pretty good leap and could kick a long goal, as he did in the Queen’s Birthday draw against the Pies in 2010. As a defender he never really became the star interceptor that he should have been. But until Frosty came on the scene, I always felt he was in our best 22. 99 Tony Elshaug 79-83 66 games 92 goals It’s amazing how many of our players back in the 70s and 80s won flags at other clubs and Tony was another being a clever forward pocket/rover in Essendon’s 1985 premiership side. At the Demons the Bentleigh boy progressed from our fourths and got a couple of senior games late in 1979. But his 1980 year was arguably the best of his career and he very nearly won our goalkicking with his 29 tally second only to Brent Crosswell’s 31. He was also pretty handy in the Grand Final sprint but I reckon after three years of Barassi and a win/loss record that Cale Morton would relate to, he realised a switch to Sheedy’s Bombers was the best way to actually use his pace on the footy field. 100 Anthony McDonald 97-02 104 games A bit like Guy Rigoni in that he didn’t actually play his first game until he was 24, having unsuccessfully tried out at Carlton and Hawthorn. He was a superstar at Old Xavs though, so we gave him a go and the left footer became a pretty handy midfielder who was among our most reliable players during the 98 and 2000 seasons. Along with older brother, Hawthorn No.1 pick Alex and our future captain Junior, the McDonalds became only the third set of three brothers to play 100 games behind the Morwoods and Danihers. No relation to Edenhope’s Tom and Oscar, these ones hailed from a nice farm just outside of Ballarat. Next week: 61-80
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  23. We have a tradition on Demonland on this day in every year to celebrate a young Demon, Troy Broadbridge, who passed away on this day in 2004, on the Phi Phi Islands, Thailand. He was one of 227,898 victims of the Boxing Day Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami, one of humanity’s largest natural disasters. Troy was an up and coming young defender for the club who had just played in his first final for the club and even more recently, had married Trisha Silvers. This is the first time we remember the anniversary of his passing with a premiership under the club’s belt. Along with the likes of Jimmy Stynes, Robbie Flower, Dean Bailey, Sean Wight, Colin Sylvia and others on the highway of Demons who passed on before their time, I’d like to think that somewhere in the universe they’re celebrating that feat in the final days of 2021 with us.
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  24. Got a Premiers beanie in work Secret Santa today. Christmas already certified as excellent.
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  25. Slightly off topic! but I lost my keys on w/e and spent two days searching and stressing. Then a phone call from work... had I lost my keys. They were found in an office supplies car park and keys were traced back to my workplace. The demon lanyard and Angus Brayshaw key tag were described and manager knew keys were mine. Brilliant work again, Angus making something out of nothing.
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  26. On the topic itself, I've always found that I do quite enjoy listening to Tom when he speaks. He's very smart in the way he articulates his language, but is often ahead in his thought process. I didn't mind the interview at all. I love his honesty, and the biggest thing he emphasised on, and probably a lesson for young footballers, was just make sure you have a career option to fall back on. He couldn't stress enough the importance of just be prepared with life after footy. On the other topics, I mean it's obviously what he believes in and good on him. I think now people are too scared to express their own views and opinions on a social media platform with the fear of getting smashed online. I admire the bloke for not being afraid to express his views.
    14 points
  27. Part 3 – Top 100 Demons of the past 50 years 41-60 It’s interesting thinking that our success this year came from a time when the majority of players were homegrown talents, nurtured and developed after being claimed via the draft – a big thank you to Paul Roos who installed some genuinely good assistants and started progressive training structures that Goody has continued to follow. In the past we had been guilty of trying to buy our flag, a similar process to the way Carlton continues today with its outlays for Williams and Saad and Cerra. While there is no coin comparison with today, we paid record fees for Diamond Jim Tilbrook (around $20,000 to Sturt plus $5000 a year in 1971), Big Carl Ditterich ($62,000 from the Saints in 1973) and our Brownlow-winning pair Peter Moore and Kelvin Templeton, the duo came across reputedly on a combined $1 million in 1983. Of those players only one – Peter Moore - made my list and with just 77 games for us, he is hardly a club legend, although some of his games in 1984 were phenomenal. That’s why it’s so hard ranking players – how do we assess loyal servants who always chipped in for many years like James McDonald and Tony Sullivan against stars who shone brightly for short periods like Moore and Allen Jakovich. The other tricky conundrum is deciding where to rank players who still have many more years to go in their evolution – I ruled out our three youngsters Jackson, Kozzy and Rivers on a game infancy basis but others like Salem and Fritter and Lever still have key years ahead of them so may rise up my rankings in time. Finally we all have memories of great games by the club and that colours our thinking. For me, given that I had a few best mates who barracked for Hawthorn, there was no greater game than our win over the Dawks at Princes Park in 1984 – a bit like our breakthrough win over them in 2016. I almost put Peter Tossol in my top 100 list, based on this game, but to be fair, without watching that game, he’d be lucky to be in our top 200 of the past 50 years. It was great finding a video of that game recently – well worth a watch for Demonlanders. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzmtCfS5X_Y 41 Peter Moore 83-87 77 games One of only six Brownlow Medallists in our history, Moore came to the club at the end of 1982 with fellow Charlie winner Kelvin Templeton as Barassi tried to evoke a similar scenario to the 10-year rule that helped North’s rise. But given Moore was captain of the Pies in 1981 and 82 it was huge and when he lined up against his old side in Rd 1 of 83, a banner in the crowd read “Moore Filth”. The Pies predictably won by 10 points that day, Weid’s dad Mark had possibly his best ever day kicking five goals. Moore’s hamstring issues seemed to abate at the Dees (we probably had a better medical team than them back then) and we started to again see the athleticism of the 198cm tall ruckman, who was really more of a mobile ruck-rover. With his confidence back, he regularly tallied 20 disposals or more in 1984 on top of a few marking hot spells where he’d drift in like his son Darcy does now and just read the flight so much better than everyone else. The issue I have with the Brownlow is that game against Hawthorn in 1984. He got three votes that day, yet was beaten badly by an inspired Michael Byrne, a former Dee. Watch the replay and tell me how Gerard Healy didn’t get three-votes. The following week we were mauled by Essendon at VFL Park and I always blamed Moore for not really standing up and getting physical as many ruckman did in those days. But really I think I’m being a bit unfair with that memory as Moore just wasn’t that type of player – he was a beautiful runner who went on to become a lawyer. He had back issues early in 1987, so missed our final series revival. 42 Ross Brewer 72-78 121 games 196 goals A lanky 188cm half-forward from our then zone in Bentleigh, he topped our goalkicking three times and had a day out kicking seven goals against the Dogs in 1978. I have been desperately trying to find which game he scored a memorable soccer goal on a fast break. It was bucketing rain and so instead of picking it up just past the outer wing, he chose to soccer it and run after it. He was then about 35m out and soccered it again and then with his opponents rushing after him he opted to kick it off the ground once more and it slid through the big sticks. With his size he was very handy as the third tall, and later on even played a bit as full-forward before a knee injury in 78 led to him being offered up for trade to the Pies for Phul Carman and Wayne Gordon. I suspect that his much older brother Ian, a 1958 Pies premiership player, had gotten in his ears. Once he was fit, he played some pretty handy games for the Pies as well as two grand final losses to Carlton. 43 Greg Parke 68-73 119 games, 169 goals My first Melbourne jumper had No.26 on it – the reason Greg Parke. Parke was our star centre half-forward in 1972 kicking 63 goals, but he should have kicked many more – he just wasn’t a reliable kick like Peter McKenna or Peter Hudson. But boy could he mark it – he took 24 in one game in 1970. He had the most amazing sticky fingers and with blonde locks, would have been a favourite with the ladies as well as nine-year-old boys like me. One of the first games I attended was against the Swans at the MCG and he took 14 marks. He kicked seven on John Scarlett down at Kardinia Park that year. I don’t really know why he left for Bulldogs in 1974, I imagine it had something to do with payment given that most Melbourne players back then got little more than their MCC membership paid for and Parke was a full-time policeman like Rex Hunt in those semi-professional days. Sadly he died on September 25, 2021 – the same day that we beat the Bulldogs. 44 James Frawley 07-14 139 games Chipper was similar to his uncle Spud in lots of ways – I mean they both were hard to push off, they both were tough as nails and they both weren’t mega kicks. But there was one key difference for our Chip - he was pretty damn quick for a big bloke. That’s why after a rookie season playing mainly on the wing he was soon sent to defence and in 2010 was so effective that he took down Jonathan Brown and Brendan Fevola in a memorable win against Brisbane at the MCG. The All-Australian selectors were clearly impressed. Surprisingly though the 21-year-old didn’t go on to win any more AA gigs. Part of that was because of a serious pectoral muscle injury and part was caused by his disgust at looking the fool playing in the AFL worst defence for several seasons under Bailey and Neeld. As a result he was happy to switch to the Hawks in 2015 as a free agent – just in time for their final flag – a game in which he kept Josh Kennedy goalless in his prime. 45 Glenn Lovett 87-99 127 games, 74 goals I remember thinking back in the late eighties that G.Lovett might be the worst wingman we’d had in my time of watching the Dees. He just seemed so off the pace and error prone. But thankfully I was way wrong and the club was bang on the money giving him the No.6 as come 1991 he’d developed into a clever, strong tackling, precise kicking centreman who you wanted in the side. Given his dicky hamstrings (I reckon he had skins before anyone except Don Scott) he missed quite a few games, but when he played, we generally won – because he was ahead of his time in summing up a short kick to Schwarter or Lyon. His game in our semi-final win over the Dogs in 1994 was huge and he won our B&F in 1992. 46 Neville Jetta 09-21 159 games There are two Nev Jetta’s that played for Melbourne. The first was an innocuous small forward who played for five largely forgettable seasons before being delisted. The second Nev Jetta was spotted by Paul Roos, reinstated, and sent to play down back at a time when his accurate short kicking and evasive skills was a godsend. For the next four years, Nev was an icon at Demonland and his battles with fellow indigenous star Eddie Betts were legendary. Such was his popularity that the calls for his elevation to All-Australian status came every week throughout 2017 and 18 as he majored in shutting down opponents, but he had to settle for being an All-Star, our only representative in the pre-season 2020 game. 47 Greg Healy 84-93 141 games, 167 goals The younger, smaller brother of Gerard could match him with skills and looked destined for similar stardom when he began in 1984 and racked up six wins and 14 goals from his first seven games. But unfortunately, we copped Essendon at their meanest the next week and after an impressive first half by the teenager, Roger Merrett made sure he wasn’t a factor. Sugar also was caught up a bit in his brother Gerard’s departure to Sydney in 85, but he responded by winning the club B&F in 1986 – a year where he kicked 35 goals when resting in a pocket. He followed that up with a handy 1987, including a 40 disposal game in our loss to the Saints at Waverley – along with Robbie I suspect he was used by coach as an example of courage by Swooper, because that’s where our run to the 87 finals started. With Robbie retiring, he was made skipper in 1988 as a 22-year-old and his form started to peter out a bit with a dodgy Achilles not helping – even being dropped in 1990 before the decision was made to go with Dollars as skipper. 48 Graeme Yeats 84 -95 182 games, 45 goals Yeater was a lively little back pocket that we picked up from Prahran who was in and out of the side for his first three seasons and one who loved the punt – I think there were rumours he spent more time listening to his tranny at halftime than to the coaches. But in 1987, with Allen Johnson out with hamstring issues, Northey moved him to the wing and it proved a coup with his tank as good as any and his defensive discipline top class. He drifted forward and snagged a couple of goals in our semi-final win over the Swans, but sadly is best remembered for being one of three players (Simon Eishold and Tony Campbell were the others) to run into open goal in the preliminary final and miss sealers from about 35m out. He did get some compensation at Springvale in 1996, kicking the winning goal in the VFA grand final. 49 Bernie Vince 14-18 100 games Such was his popularity among fans in Adelaide, it’s said he was in tears when told he was being sent to Melbourne at the end of 2013. And if not for a bromance with Jack Watts, he may well have walked out after his first few training sessions. But Bernie, regarded as a bit of a lad in his early days at the Crows, quickly showed he was a great character and got down to business showing why they made a huge mistake. He regularly picked up 30 possessions (even a memorable 42 against the Pies in our 2016 QB win) but it was his duels with Patrick Dangerfield back in Adelaide that won over every Demon fan. I mean how good was he copping the local barrage and giving it his all to Danger. Roosy loved him and after a stellar 2015, he joined a very elite group having two B&F’s at two different clubs. His lack of pace and Olly’s rise, meant he was sent down back for much of his final two seasons under Goody, where his long-kicking made him ideal for our kick-ins, although he missed our 2018 final series with a shoulder injury which is a shame as he certainly deserved more reward for his efforts. 50 Lynden Dunn 05-16 165 games, 97 goals You only had to attend a few of our training sessions to get an appreciation of how important Dunny was to our line-up. He had a booming boot, but it was his booming deep voice that stood out and the manliness of it was even more important under Roosy given our youth policy. He’d taken a while to warm into my heart and I’m sure yours as his early years saw him struggle as a forward and the occasional stint as a tagging midfielder. But under Roosy his value rose and he was fourth in our 2014 best and fairest and made vice-captain. He was always slow but he seemed unfairly punished and put in the naughty box after our loss to St Kilda at Etihad in 2016. And it only riled me more when his replacement Oscar Mac was possibly the slowest AFL player we’ve had since Spud Dullard. The Pies realised Dunny’s kicking skills were elite and offered him a lifeline and he’d probably have a flag at the Pies to his name if not for injury late in 2018. 51 Jeremy Howe 11-15 100 games We were laughed at when we plucked him from Dodges Ferry in Tassie with pick 33, but like Robbo he became a human highlights reel and with our side so incompetent back then, the weekly Howey hanger watch became a must-do for Demon fans. He won our goalkicking in 2013 with 28, but Roosy wanted him more in the game and sent him to the wing and then half-back, and his papers were stamped “defender” where he turned on an intercept show in a shock win against Richmond that year. He spent five seasons with us before heading to the other side of the Olympic Park precinct, apparently to play forward under Bucks. But the Pies soon realised he was their best kick and only injuries have prevented him from becoming an AA defender. 52 Jesse Hogan 14-18 71 games, 152 goals There was something different about Jesse from the moment he walked through the door after being taken from Claremont as a 17yo in the 2012 mini-draft. He wasn’t allowed to play AFL that year but the hype built as he impressed in NAB Cup games and he won Casey’s best and fairest after kicking 39 goals in 15 games. Roosy arrived and suddenly had a wunderkind on his hands but bad luck in the form of a back injury meant we had to wait another year for Jesse’s debut. But when it finally came in 2015, it was worth the wait. He kicked 44 goals to win our goalkicking that year and his game on Anzac Eve against Alex Rance had to be seen to be believed. A four-gamer tearing apart a champion. With Angus also in action, it was exciting times even if we barely won. Jesse had that Allen Jakovich-style mystique too and walked around with the swagger of Wayne Carey. He was a beautiful mark, but he was never a great kick (barely making it 50m) and he was desperately unlucky in life with testicular cancer in 2017 on top of his father dying and then a navicular stress fracture ending his 2018 season early – a year in which he played some of his best footy early and was a key part of our six-game winning run that set up our finals breakthrough. With smoking issues and other off-field allegations, the club took a strong stance on what they perceived was a problem child and traded him to Fremantle. It turned out a smart move. 53 Angus Brayshaw 15- 119 games It’s been an unusual journey for our BBQ onion chef. An amazingly popular winner of our best first-year player in 2015, it looked like his career was over by 2018 as every bump to his head sent him to the dark room. His mum must have driven Goody insane with all her texting. But after emerging OK from a collision with Koby Stevens in late 2017 and with an improved tackling style that reduced contact issues, he became a major player in our 2018 revival, starting off half-back, moving to a wing and then by finals, Angus the midfielder was in full stride. Such was his rise that he came third in the Brownlow that year. Since then it’s been a bit tricky with the debate on whether he’s a pure mid or a wingman only overshadowed by the number of times on Demonland it’s been suggested he be traded to Freo to join his brother. The turning point came in our win against the Dogs in Round 11 when he stopped their outside run on numerous occasions and he repeated it in the granny – that’s why so many of us had him in the Norm Smith pole position at three-quarter time. 54 Brent Moloney 05-12 122 games A lot of Cat fans were devastated when Little Buddha departed for the Dees in 2005 as part of the Brad Ottens deal and it wasn’t hard to see why. A big-bodied midfielder he joined forces with Brock McLean and Col Sylvia to give us a tough, but youthful look that was tipped for greatness. Sadly he had shoulder and groin injuries in 2006 and missed our finals win against the Saints and by the time he returned, Neiter, Yze, White and Robbo were almost done. He continued to do a large part of the grunt work under Dean Bailey until that infamous trip down the highway in Rd 19 of 2011 turned things on their head. Beamer felt ill pre-game and did not play, a blessing of sorts given the 186-point loss. After winning the B&F and polling 17 Brownlow votes that year, he understandably would have thought captaincy of the club he supported as a kid was next. But Mark Neeld had other ideas, overlooking both he and Nathan Jones to go with generation next – Grimes and Trengove. But he did fire up on occasions in 2012 and I well recall the way he lifted us to one of our few good wins that year – against Essendon at the MCG. He was happy to join the Lions the next year. 55 Tom McDonald 11- 193 games Ok, he’s about to become a 200-gamer and it’s fair to say that he might be ranked a tad low by me. I mean how many above him could snag goals from the boundary like he did against Richmond and Port Adelaide in 2021. He was highly regarded as a backman under Roosy before kicking 53 goals in 2018 when Goody sent him forward in desperation. And he is a dead-eye dick most of the time, even from around 50m. But there have been hiccups along the way. His low-skimming passes from defence gave all Dee fans the sh..s and once turf-toe cut out his fitness advantage in 2019, he suffered a shocking fall from grace by the end of 2020, being shopped around with ANB. Thankfully there were no takers and after working his butt off pre-season and aided by a couple of injuries to key forwards, he was back in the ones and firing on all cylinders. A back injury cruelled his finals campaign but he battled on and stuck to his role. But as with many key forwards, especially one that Jeremy Howe enjoys using as a stepladder, there are some serious doubts on his longevity. 56 Ray Biffin 68-79 170 games 131 goals Everyone loved Biffo. Blessed with a beer gut, the Launy boy used to unflinchingly charge at the ball from full-back for almost a decade and every now and then would launch a torpedo from the kick-in goalsquare that would go 70m or out on the full. Then in 1976, Skilton sent him up the other end in desperation against the Saints and as a forward he proved a masterstroke – nailing 47 goals in the next 13 rounds as we suddenly looked like finalists. For the next three years injuries took hold, but when he played, he scored – even snagging five goals in his final game against the Pies in 1979. 57 Danny Hughes 84-90 124 games He was 20 when he came across from Port Adelaide in 1984 and is it too nasty to say he was a meat and potatoes footballer. Basically he was your typical tight-marking, give your opponent a clip over the ear type who could kick a pretty nice, long drop punt to clear the pressure down back. He played every game as our full-back in 1985, including a few spells in the ruck, and despite not cracking 20 disposals in any game won the best and fairest as the club unravelled under Barassi. Ask Gerard Healy, who averaged close to 25 touches every game that year why that happened? Anyway Hughes was mega dependable, albeit quite slow, and that’s why Swooper made what will go down in history as the most amazing tactical blunder in the 1988 GF, switching our man off Jason Dunstall pre-game and sending our lively wingman Steven Stretch back there. Danny ended up with just three kicks and two hitouts that day – I doubt he has watched the replay. He was back at full-back in 1989 and resolute for two more seasons before deciding to head home and be part of the new-born Crows side. 58 Rod Grinter 85-95 134 games 57 goals He spent the first two years as a lanky half-forward before Swooper sent him to defence where he made his name in the 1987 final series. Blessed with a thumping kick, he was more noted for his thumping white line fever style, dished out via the bump (Chris Mew will attest to that) or the swinging arm (Terry Wallace still probably has his lawyers on to it). He was the tough edge that most sides had, but one that we’d been missing and I’m sure that’s why his rise coincided with a successful period, albeit one without a flag. 59 Tony Sullivan 67-79 191 games If not for a goal against the Pies in 1970, the St Pat’s (Redan juniors) Ballarat recruit may have been in a rare 191-game goalless club. You can probably guess that he wasn’t a flashy, long-kicking half-back, but my childhood memories are that our No.4 was as reliable as they come, it’s just that it was mega hard to get his Scanlen’s footy card (I never really liked chewing gum anyway). Tony played for Victoria and was 188cm, which in those days made him ideal to play on the third tall. I think Big Carl, in his second stint, wasn’t a huge fan so he ended up playing in the VFA. 60 Andrew Obst 90-97 149 games The obstetrician took a couple of years of convincing before he left Port Adelaide, but when he came was just so professional in his tactics that he was quickly a fan favourite. He played every game in the shortened 1990 season and was one of our best in our memorable win over the Hawks in the final round. For the next seven years, he was always hard at it for a skinny bloke and was third in our 1996 B&F. A few nagging injuries saw him return home after ’97 and he won a couple of SANFL flags for Port in 98 and 99.
    14 points
  28. Anyone looking for some time to kill during during isolation or just wanting a general pick me up I highly recommend reading through the GF matchday threads on opposition boards on BigFooty. I read through the Bulldogs one the other night and it was heartwarming to see how quickly they went from "we've got this, Melbourne are [censored]" to "uh-oh I think we're in trouble" to "**** we've [censored] the bed here" to "no one could match them, Melbourne were unstoppable" The Carlton and Richmond board threads were pretty funny in their own ways, it was a joy to read the Hawks supporters realising how far away their midfield was from competing with the best (IE OURS!!!) the St Kilda thread was just depressing I felt a kinship with them after reading through that misery (Petracca winning the Norm Smith just to rub it in) and really hope they can break their drought soon. Looking forward to killing time reading through the Essendon and Collingwood threads, the Geelong one should be hilarious too.
    14 points
  29. 14 points
  30. There is only one way that Weid plays in the Senior Side. He has to smash the door down and play better than TMac or Benny Either way The MFC benefits Good Luck Sam…
    14 points
  31. Merry Christmas Demonland and in particular our rising star Luke Jackson. I hope everyone pays attention to the Christmas carols tonight. All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth. Best of luck Dogga.
    14 points
  32. Old man rang me this morning for Xmas. Dad - "I bought you a book for Xmas." Me - "I bought you a book for Xmas." Dad - "Is it Gawnys book ?" Me - "Lol .... Yeah." Dad - "It's great, I read it in 2 days." Me - "Yeah .... I read yours in a day." Apple doesn't fall far from the tree 😂😈
    14 points
  33. Yeah, the same virus the bulldogs had in the last half of the grand final................. The Demon Variant.
    14 points
  34. 14 points
  35. Couldn't disagree more with this. It was early 2021 when Kate stepped into the role, in the difficult circumstances of Glen Bartlett's surprise departure. At that time the pressure was on the MFC big time as we didn't have any runs on the board. My view is that in being able to handle that transition in the almost seamless way that it appeared to the outside world and provide that off feild stability over the season was an important factor (obviously not that only factor) in our sucess this season. Contrast that somooth leadership handover with the chaos at clubs like Collingwood, Hawthorn and Carlton this season and the correlation to on feild performance as well. It's long been understood that on feild sucess also requires strong and compedent off feild management/leadership. My observations as a realitive outsider is that we have finally got the offeild stuff right. Sure Kate can't take all the credit, but it looks to me that she's a pretty important ingredient. As much as I never overly warmed to him, I personally acknowledge and give credit to a job well done by Glen Bartlett. Glen was rarely in the headlines and his background as a West Coast man, never particularly inspired me, but during his tenure, there was realitive stability, some good off field decision making and appointments and the gracious way which Glen appeared to step down was a testament to that. Quite conversely, one of the things I really like about Kate as a president is the way she wears her passion for the club on her sleave and the more public approach she takes putting the MFC on the map, but not in the OTT totally one eyed way of an Eddie. I think she could just have the right approach for the era we are beginning.
    14 points
  36. I don't get why every event has the rubbish music, you go to footy training, cricket, local pool, shops and you get slammed with it. So annoying, nothing wrong with silence.
    13 points
  37. Sparrow is an absolute beast. After Jackson, he is the young player I'm the most excited about.
    13 points
  38. a 3:nil season vs cats and a convincing premiership has heralded the dawn of a new dynasty, the demon renaissance 186 is now passe and has now been relegated to the history of the demon dark ages long live the dees!
    13 points
  39. Brayshaw’s lack of defensive pressure was previously an issue, but to bring it up after 2021 is just laughable!
    13 points
  40. Tomlinson could literally play anywhere if we are seeing players miss with Covid. Pretty handy player to have in these times.
    13 points
  41. Also Happy Birthday to our Premiership Coach.
    13 points
  42. Great article that sums up the situation really well. https://themongrelpunt.com/afl-season-2022/2021/10/12/where-the-dees-get-even-better-in-2022/ Quote “In successful teams, there is always someone knocking on the door, and with Dunstan’s move from St Kilda to the premiers, he has made no bones about the fact that he wants to prove himself and make his way into this rotation. It puts the others on notice – step it up, or step out of the way.” ”Whilst a lot of the attention when talking about the Dees goes on the Petracca/Oliver combination, and rightfully so, however, the designated roles and the discipline to adhere to their allocated roles are an absolute strength of this Melbourne team that simply does not get the attention it deserves.”
    13 points
  43. That does not look like the kid I saw and spoke to 2 years ago. He looks ripped now. It's hard to see where he fits in but the club has shown faith in him and he has backed himself in. Barring injury I can only see him coming in for T Mac and after just watching the Bang Bang Bang blitz again it's T Mac who punches the ball to Petracca and T Mac who bench presses the bloke so Sparrows goal goes through. He played a pivotal role.
    13 points
  44. Someone takes my parking spot - think of Trac turning and delivering The last lofat milk gone - recall TMac’s shepherd I get cut off and sigh - remember Oliver’s run and goal, or Kozzie spooking someone and Spargo’s goal or Jackson’s hand pass or Harmes’ gather and kick to Fritta … Life is good 🏆
    13 points
  45. Interesting to see that 81% of respondents to the survey recognised that we are too good right now. God I’m loving being top dog for a change!
    12 points
  46. This will help you understand…
    12 points
  47. I’m in charge of bringing the cheese platter for Christmas lunch today. My Richmond mad in laws are gonna love the Melbourne premiership cheese board I’m gonna bring to the occasion.
    12 points
  48. This is the story of two losses suffered by the Melbourne Football Club that were separated in time by a full decade. The first was a defeat that hung heavily over the club for years and saw careers and friendships ended, harsh words uttered, tears shed and the unfolding of tragedy. The coach was sacked and not long after, he died. A player became enmeshed in tribal affairs that led to violence and his imprisonment. Another’s life later ended in a devastating car crash. The wreckage from the club’s Round 19, 2011 trip to take on Geelong at Corio Bay became known simply as “186” in recognition of the magnitude of the loss in points. But it was far more extensive in terms of the scars it left on the club. Only a very few involved in that game managed to keep their careers intact after the train wreck. A number found refuge elsewhere but in most instances, the remainders of their careers were short-lived. Only a few managed to revive their careers. James Frawley played in a premiership at Hawthorn and after a brief retirement reappeared even more briefly at St Kilda, the club where his troubled uncle Danny made his name as one of football’s all-time great defenders. Two others played in grand finals and are still on AFL club lists. High flying Jeremy Howe who took flight for a better life at Collingwood was a matter of minutes away from the holy grail in 2018 and is still today the Magpies’ vice-captain. Stefan Martin was traded in 2012 to the Lions before moving to the Western Bulldogs at the end of last year. Ironically, he was the only 186 participant who took part in this year’s Grand Final at Optus Stadium in Perth. His ruck opponent that evening, Max Gawn, and Demons forward Tom McDonald were both youngsters in 2011 and missed out on making the senior team for Round 19 that year. Gawn and McDonald made it to the Big Dance of 2021 but time ran out for two other members of the 2011 side who remained at the club through the lean years and the slow rise to glory that followed. So strong was the Demon team on the day/night that club legends in Nathan Jones and Neville Jetta who were instrumental in holding the team together over the years were denied the opportunity to cross over to the Promised Land. Both retired at the end of the season. It’s ten years after 186 and now on to Round 19, 2021. There’s a game on at the MCG against the Western Bulldogs but it wasn’t originally supposed to happen that way - the pandemic caused a late change to the fixture and there was no long trip away from home as there had been in 2011. The years in between saw rebuilding, development and renewal under new leadership. Peter Jackson, Paul Roos, Simon Goodwin and more lately Gary Pert and Kate Roffey led a revival built upon a change in the club’s culture and values. Vast empty stands and the evening’s drizzly skies awaited them that night. They weren’t quite in the right space yet and they kicked poorly to succumb to the Bulldogs and their skipper Marcus Bontempelli but there were lessons learned and the team never lost a game from that time on. In the following week, they traveled north but the game against the Gold Coast Suns was moved back to Melbourne. They flew back and forth across the country, avenged 186 on Corio Bay and eventually landed in Perth where they crushed the Cats again for good measure before fulfilling their quest for the Holy Grail.
    12 points
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