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Dee man

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  1. One week to go now, and I must confess - I've got a bit of a numb feeling whereby the Grand Final and its gravity hasn't really sunk in. Maybe it's the pandemic and the lack of city atmosphere; maybe it's the distance between here and Perth; maybe it's the bittersweet end of the Nathan Jones fairytale; maybe it's the two-week bye; maybe it's the unfamiliarity of this whole situation; or maybe it's a whole combination of them all. Whatever it is, I'm yet to fully feel that Grand Final feeling, and I was hoping some Demonlanders might be able to help out, not just for me but for others out there feeling a bit the same way. So, what does this Grand Final mean to you? And what would a premiership, if you can dare to dream, mean to you?
  2. I'm surprised this wasn't the goal they nominated. One of the best goals I've ever seen someone kick in Demons' colours. The ability to intercept a short kick, win the ground ball, get past an opponent, find balance and slot through an angle snap is just amazing. And if you look at the scoreboard, it was a critical goal in the context of the game as well. The St Kilda goal was good, but Kozzie does that kind of thing every week.
  3. I know I'm getting ahead of myself, but that's what this part of the season is all about, right? Let's say we're in the Grand Final and Jones is our medi-sub. We're 30 points in front with a quarter to go. The starting 22 are all fit and firing, but Jonesy is desperate to get on the field for the greatest 30 minutes of his life. What happens next? Does Goodwin force the doctor to write a false report about a player being injured? Does a heart-and-soul player like Brayshaw sacrifice his spot in the last quarter to let Jonesy in? Do Melbourne fans raise enough money in a GoFundMe campaign to pay the MFC's fine for messing with the sub system? Does the AFL turn a blind eye because it loves a bit of romance?
  4. The long answer is that players have set rotations and are always aware when they need to leave the field. In some cases, a player will know that they are expected to go off the ground during the next break-in-play and that happens to coincide with the break that occurs immediately after they kick a goal. There is a myth that players leave the field quite often after they kick a goal, but this is just a cognitive bias. The cameras will always stay with the player who just kicked a goal. Most of the time they line up back in their normal positions and we don't notice, but occasionally they will go the bench and because this seems weird our brains light up and think "that's strange" and remember the occurence. With that said, coaches (especially coaches on the bench) should have the awareness that when a player is hot, then they're hot, and they shouldn't mess with momentum. With a player like Kozzie especially, I think it makes a lot of sense to keep them on for at least another inside 50 entry after they've scored. Just look at Cody Weightman's goal shortly after he took that screamer - he clearly had a lot of adrenaline running through him and managed to follow up his superb mark with an important goal. I saw Port Adelaide sense this a few weeks ago with Connor Rozee, when he kicked 4 goals in the first quarter. After the third, we ran to the bench as part of a normal rotation but the coaches sent him back immediately. They recognised that he was running hot and sure enough, he kicked another goal minutes later.
  5. Obviously a disappointing game today, but the 2 points was enough for us to lock in a finals spot. Given our percentage is similar to Brisbane and Port, today's result could be the difference between us finishing 4th and 5th if we drop 3 more games. If we drop 2 games, we should still finish top 4. If we only drop one game, we're likely to finish top 2. And obviously we stay where we are if we don't lose from here on in.
  6. I don't think the crowd was the difference (and there was definitely plenty of noise in the last quarter) but it was a bit disappointing that only 17,000 turned up. I understand that numbers are down due to COVID nerves and Ticketek inconvenience, but it's a sad sight when Melbourne can't pull a decent crowd when we're top of the ladder and fans have been deprived of a home game for a month.
  7. That was the Jones of old on show today. I know it's VFL, but he's still got the talent there and he's still a rung above a lot of our young players. Looking forward to him breaking the Melbourne games record on Grand Final day and coming in as the super sub in the final quarter to kick the matchwinning goal.
  8. Last year Weid was getting the best defender. This game, he could be getting the 4th or even 5th best defender. Speaking of which, if you're an opposition coach and you're trying to decide who Melbourne's most dangerous forward is, who on earth would you pick? On form, it's McDonald. On ability, it's Brown. On danger, it's Kozzie. On marking ability, it's Fritsch. And Weid has the potential to be the best of the lot...
  9. I reckon his game against the Giants was good without being great. He was mismatched against Greene for some of the night, who almost broke the game open. And even against the Tigers, he didn't dominate; he was lucky that Lynch missed a few easy goals. That's not to say he's not having a good season, but All Australian demands consistent excellence.
  10. Pretty funny that the reaction to this has been "Not enough Demons". I remember the days when even one Demon in a mock squad of 40 would get me excited! I've been following this column throughout the year and for what it's worth, I think the inclusions of Salem and Fritsch are a bit reactive based on their last 2 games. I'd also agree with their assessment that May is outside the team for the moment - he essentially missed 2 whole games with the injury and has had 1 or 2 quiet-ish games. Otherwise, it's hard to argue with the other selections. Let's see if we can keep this up...
  11. There was a stat going around a few weeks ago about Jones taking 298 games to finish a round in the top 2 of the ladder. He's still yet to finish 1st after a home and away round. Would be a cruel twist of fate if we finish this round in first position and he wasn't able to technically be part of it. It's a silly, meaningless record of course - one that Jones might not even be aware of - but it feels a little cruel nonetheless. Hope he gets named the medical sub and gets to be out there on the ground at the end of the day to celebrate the closest thing we've had to a premiership in about 20 years!
  12. Anything he can do in the forward line*, Fritsch can do better. Anything he can do in the back line*, Lever can do better. *Except of course take a speccy. I'll give him that.
  13. I just watched this highlights package which was in one of the threads Little Goffy posted and it's a joy to watch. I'm sure there are many other highlights packages on the internet but it's refreshing to watch this guy at his best. In his prime, he was not only our best inside player, but our best outside player as well (and for a while, he was our best leader, our best kick and one of our most reliable set shot for goal). Look at those booming handpasses, the classy sidesteps, and the one-step run-up drop punt goals. In the early-mid 2010s, Jones was doing this kind of stuff week in week out and he was a seriously underrated player because of the team he was playing in. One can only imagine what kind of player he would have been were he lining up in a half-decent team. We all know Jones doesn't have all the tricks that he used to, but what's just as important to remember is exactly how bad we were when Jones was at his best. Especially now that we're 5-0 and living in a momentary golden age (this is currently the best winning streak we've been in since 2000 if you include the 2 games at the end of 2020), it can be difficult to remember some of those awful weekends when getting thrashed by 100 points was the norm. Jones was there every week, trying his absolute guts out, and carrying the entire team on his shoulders. Thank god for Nathan Jones.
  14. Nice work. I might use this opportunity to show off my AFL Fantasy name this season: "Daw to Daw Salemsman", which had the edge over "UnbeLeverball", "Pickett Pocket", "Next Daw May-bours", "Gawn without a Trac", "Kickin' Brown the Daw", "Hunting and Traccing Sparrows" and "Hunt for the Weidepeople". It was a long night I spent working on these...
  15. Right now, we have about 7 players who would be in the conversation (plus Hibberd, of course, who didn't need the first few rounds of the season for his last AA jersey!), which says something about the evenness of our team this year: May and Lever down back would both be in the frame (although I'd say both are currently on the cusp); Langdon would be a lock for the wing if the selectors truly valued that role; Kozzie is looking very dangerous up forward and would have to be a chance for the FP; Gawn has been superb in his most recent 6 quarters but has probably done enough; and Oliver and Petracca have both started very well. Don't overlook Petracca just yet - he's got a high benchmark and is not playing 100% there at the moment but is currently posting career best stats (28 touches, 6 marks, 3 tackles and a goal a game). If he nailed a few more of his in-play shots on goal, we'd be talking about him and the Brownlow already.
  16. How about this for a stat, ay? (we're the ones in blue) Sure, we sprayed it a bit but we had 39 shots on goal tonight. I'd far prefer we get it inside 50 for a dodgy shot on goal than have the opposition's loose man rack up 10 uncontested marks against us. Turn those shots into goals and we can start erecting an Yze statue at the G...
  17. We had two guys on the wing so Petracca had to sprint back to the back line to make up numbers. We were fortunately only to get a warning because earlier on in the game, we only had 3 players in the centre square before Fritsch did some counting and sprinted in there for perhaps the only CBA of his career. Oh, to be back at the ground and to notice these details!
  18. That piece of play from him was exhilarating! Pity he gave away a free kick, a 50 and missed the goal. But it offered a glimpse of his game changer potential, even if it'll ultimately go down as a clanger.
  19. If it's anything like The Test (the doco made following the Australian cricket team), it'll definitely be worth watching. And with the richest man in the world in charge of Amazon, you don't need to feel too guilty using a free first month subscription on it.
  20. Well done to the Demonland team on getting Jason Taylor on the podcast - was great to get a few additional insights into the draftees. Something I found interesting was that although all three of the draftees have wing potential, it sounds like Rosman is the only one specifically being trained to play that area. This makes sense, as there's only one available spot (Langdon is obviously a shoe-in for one of the wings and plays that spot close to 100% of the time). However, combined with the comments from Mahoney in the pre-season, it sounds like we have a lot of players in the mix for one available spot. According to this article, Baker, Harmes, Hunt and Tomlinson are in the running. And according to the Jason Taylor interview, Nietzsche and Rosman are also training in that area. I've also heard comments about McDonald being a possibility for the wing. Is it just me, or does that sound like a lot of players being trained for the one position on the ground? Obviously some of those players have lots of versatility (Hunt forward, Tomlinson in defence) but my read is that the club is still pretty unsure who we want to play on that 2nd wing.
  21. I really appreciate the club for doing this. Even though Zoom isn't an ideal platform for something like this, it was good of the club to stick to their word and run this again for members after starting it last year. Credit probably goes to Pert. A few critical observations: Absolutely no mention of Josh Mahoney. That probably isn't too surprising given the news this week but he didn't even get an acknowledgment from the team for over a decade of service. Read into that what you like. On that note, there was no presentation from the football department (Alan Richardson answered a few questions but didn't present a football-specific review). This was handled by Mahoney last year and my assumption is that Pert and Lamb took on most of this in their spiels. But what it meant was that we didn't get too many specifics from someone close to the football side of things about what went right and wrong this year. I mean, Goodwin spoke, but he speaks in such shallow platitudes and cliches that he gives supporters very little insight. In last year's presentation, I thought Mahoney was very candid about where we are at and what went wrong. In his absence, I was hoping Richardson might be the new person to provide some of those football-specific insights that are too low-level for Pert and Bartlett and too intellectual for Goodwin. As for Goodwin, I wish he knew how to give an example! A question was asked during the Q&A about what being ruthless meant to him and he gave a 1 mark answer to a 5 mark question (as a teacher, this is the best analogy I can come up with). He gave a vague definition of what ruthlessness was, but couldn't name a specific example of what that actually tangibly means for the players or coaches. I've always assumed he keeps things close to his chest to not be too revealing, but the more I listen to him I get the sense that he's actually a pretty poor communicator who tries too hard to say the right thing rather than saying anything useful. (And this is coming from someone who likes him) I can only hope there's a different side of him that's specific and clear when talking to the players about his game plan. Pert responded to a question about Melbourne's BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goals). He outlined his vision for the club, but he seemed more enthused about building the membership base to 75,000 (which he mentioned about 3 times) than winning a premiership (which he mentioned once, but it was contextualised by "if we are making the finals consistently"). I wish the leaders at the club were more explicit about the fact that we want to win a premiership and that is our core goal as an organisation. Even if that's not what Pert's KPI is, I want him to believe that he can and will win a flag and for him to be bold about it. Ditto Bartlett, Goodwin, etc. As long suffering fans, we know that winning a premiership is hard work and probably not going to come for another 100 years. But for God's sake, give us some hope that that's at least what we're aiming for! (And not just because it's in a strategic plan, but because it's a driving force behind the football club and its culture)
  22. I like this call, especially in light of the decision to get rid of Omac, not chase Phillips harder, and trade Preuss. I agree that he probably won't play many games but if any of our key position players go down he's the kind of backup you want on your list. I'm happy for him to be our Cam Pedersen, who pops in for a 2 goal cameo at some point and apply pressure on the senior team.
  23. The Demons website no longer differentiates between rookies and the senior list, but from my back-on-the-envelope calculations: We had 45 on our list this season and have lost 6 players - Bennell - Preuss - Hannan - Wagner - Wagner - Dunkley That leaves us with 39. If we use 44 list spots, then we can take 5 selections at the draft (or 4 + 1 rookie/supplementary selection) + Pick 18 + Pick 19 + Pick 28 + Pick 50 + Pick 89 I have no idea whether we'll use all 44 list spots (salary cap might be an issue), but if that's our plan then I guess Mahoney has to decide whether each of Omac/Chandler/Bedford/Bradtke/Nietschke/Jordon/Brown are more valuable to us than pick 89/a rookie pick. If I were him, I wouldn't be making any more delistings but there's also a high likelihood this draft will be full of smokeys and maybe Jason Taylor has some up his sleeve.
  24. When I saw the deal, I was initially surprised that we had given it up, but what we've seen time and time again is that Josh Mahoney knows how to get us into the first round if that's what he thinks we need. Hypothetically, he could keep trading our future 1st every trade period to improve our draft position for the present year. I think it also shows that he really rates our list and would rather invest in our 2021 season than waiting another year for improvement. We saw this year how much top end talent can make an impact (not just with Jackson, Pickett and Rivers but with Rowell, Anderson, Serong, etc. elsewhere) so I think it's the right call. Finishing 9th this year also probably gives us a bit more confidence about our 2021 first draft pick falling after pick 10 and I like the club's optimism.
  25. If you google "afl simpsons jerseys" there are a few dodgy-looking websites that are selling them online (clearly unauthorised though). Up to you whether you trust them enough to hand over your credit card details.
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