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    Salem, Langdon, Kozzie

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    Nairobi, Kenya

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  1. A fit Melbourne the only team that could have got close to the Cats this year. Makes me more confident that the Dees game plan still stacks up - will be interesting to see how the Pies and Swans play next year. But Cats are the team to beat next year. They’re strong, fit and there’s no clear weaknesses across the ground. We need to respond.
  2. More than team changes, I’d like to see changes to where individual players line up. Specifically, and as others have noted in other threads, I’d like to see Brayshaw back to the wing, Harmes rotating through the middle, and more of Max in the ruck.
  3. Re-watched the second half last night and I was pleasantly surprised to remember that we were competitive until about half way through the third quarter and then really struggled. Indeed, we were ahead on the tackle count well into the third quarter But my sense was—but others at the ground would know better—that it wasn’t everyone that was struggling in the last third but mostly the centre/mid-field cohort, particularly Viney, Brayshaw, Harmes, Jackson and obviously Petracca. These players were often slow/late to effect a spoil, failed to provide overlap run, were caught ball watching, and struggled to defend and tackle. They certainly did not look like they were running over the top of the ground and hitting their peak in terms of performance (unlike round 23). They can’t have suddenly lost the fitness levels they possessed in round 23, so some key alternative explanations are: a) they went too hard last week and got the bye training schedule wrong (still a fitness variable, but a short term one) b) more of the team were effected by gastro than the club has let on (a health/fitness variable) c) there were knock-on effects from Petracca’s injury in that others in the middle had to compensate for his poor movement and thus they ran out steam (a mid-game fitness variable) c) the mid-field group under-estimated the Swans and/or were deflated by incidents like Harmes giving away 50m, the Melksham-Spargo goal debacle, Melksham and Gawn’s poor goal kicking when it mattered, etc which gave them a feeling that nothing was going right on the night (more an attitudinal variable, but one that may have compounded the above) When I make this list, it forces me to realise that they’re all short-term variables that can be remedied, and quickly. And therefore I’m quietly confident that we’ll see a different performance on Friday and in the PF. That is not to say that there aren’t other issues (we need another tall forward, I still feel like we’re waiting for the Choco skill improvement, etc) but they are medium-long-term improvements and they can’t explain the difference in performance between round 23 and the QF. Perhaps not so “quietly confident” given I’m posting this on demonland
  4. Really thought provoking comment Xecutioner. Our game plan/system is kryptonite for team's like Brisbane (as is Tiger's, hence their close match this round) as well as the pre-2022 version of the Cats game plan. But it does seem like we struggle against teams like Sydney and Collingwood. It's one of the reasons I was not as confident that we could repeat round 23 against other teams in the finals. I still think our best can beat the likes of the Swans, but just focusing on our respective strategies/systems, does the esteemed panel think our system can beat the systems/strategies of the Pies, the new Geelong, and the Swans like it can beat the Lions, Dogs, (that is, thrash them)? Or should we and the team prepare for closer, more hard fought games? P.S. I know our system requires a high level of fitness, but I'd be curious for you to discuss system vs system. That is, assume we have adequate fitness to play our system and they have adequate fitness to play their system, e.g., we're not unduly effected by loading and they are not unduly effected by end of season fading out.
  5. This is the key question/issue for me. AFL's All Access Areas (AAA) had some good vision of us continuingly bombing it to the pocket during the Swans game but, as Deeminion points out, we seemed to use a very different approach when our top 4 spot was on the line in round 23. Did we underestimate the Swans and opt to keep our powder dry for the PF in terms of our a forward entry strategies? As AAA suggested, do we need to take more risk going forward if we want to secure a winning score? And does the low risk but taxing long bomb approach expose us on the rebound and/or mentally drain the team when we don't manage to score?
  6. Like @Hatchman, I use the Watch AFL app. Specifically the version available on an Apple TV. Works very well. You receive a subscription with the international MFC membership, which is about the same price as a yearly subscription with watchafl.com. But you get to support the club for the same price (I assume they get a discount on the subscription price). You can also buy short-term weekly and final series packages subscriptions on the watchafl website. We had a thread on this late last year if you're looking for more info: P.S. I'll be watching from Nairobi on the odd chance there are any Dees fans here. We usually host a small GF party but currently only know of Hawks and North supporters.
  7. Like @rpfc, and without discrediting the performance of the boys (they’re building real nicely), I’d be grateful for your thoughts on the extent to which the result hinged on their poor performance or our top notch performance. More specifically: did they try but fail to execute strategies that other team’s have used successfully against us, were we able to negate those strategies this time because of our improving fitness and/or counter-strategies, or did they simply not try some of those strategies such as moving the ball fast through the middle, 45 degree kicks, lowering the eyes, etc.? My sense is that we shouldn’t get too carried away. Finals against Geelong, Sydney, Collingwood and Richmond will be much tougher than last Friday Thanks for the shout out last week @george_on_the_outer, I’m indeed a Melbourne boy living across the Indian Ocean. Love the pod
  8. I missed that, but that is good news and aligns with a return to the seniors in week 1
  9. I’m increasingly convinced that TMac will come back into the team in W1 of the finals unless he has a serious setback. I seem to remember that he purposively opted for a surgery option with a shorter recovery time (plate over weak joint, or something like that) because of the chance he could return to play finals. The last few injury reports suggest he’s tracking well, integrating into team training, and even travelling with the team to Brisbane this week. That doesn’t sound like management of a player that is out for the season.
  10. Great question - our surge and overlap run just seems to have vanished. I think that’s why Hunt’s efforts really stood out in the last few minutes.
  11. I think it’d be interesting if the pod analysed the game from a parallel universe where it ended 12 seconds earlier than when it did
  12. 100% At one point BBB was literally lifted off the ground with opposition hands under both armpits - couldn’t understand how that was not holding.
  13. Ah thanks, I don’t think I realised that
  14. Have a missed the retirement of the red Sherrin - why are Sydney and the Pies playing with a yellow ball? P.S. Sydney will win this. Simply because they played North last week!
  15. Our biggest problem is that too often we fall into the trap of comparing our current form to our near perfect 2021 finals campaign, especially the PF and GF performances. Not saying we can’t get better nor that it will just happen, but we’re well positioned for another tilt and Iike others I think this team has gears they can go to in September. Let’s get behind them
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