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  1. I'm a Harmes fan, but he looked too heavy in the games I saw him play this year. Maybe he we asked him to bulk up to play more of an inside role, but I thought it affected his running ability and presumably gave him less time to get his disposals away. As others have said, our midfield depth becomes non-existent if Harmes goes. I'd prefer him to stay, lose a few kgs, and get back to doing what he does best. (And Laurie is not AFL standard, let alone capable of playing midfield at AFL level. Woewodin may get there, but has a fair bit of work to do.)
  2. Absolutely atrocious scheduling - on one hand you have the AFL tying future AFLW season expansion to viewer numbers, and then you have Thursday night games in Geelong during GF week. Makes you wonder how serious they really are about having more games. As others have said, this will be a much tougher game than anything we've had this season. Is it true that we've never played Geelong in this competition? If so, that is bizarre. We should have too many avenues to goal, but our defence will need to hold up. Last time they were really challenged was in the 2nd quarter against Collingwood, and a few issues were apparent then. It will be interesting to see who Gay replaces, no obvious candidate so perhaps another resting?
  3. I'm more interested in converting members into attendances. That would give me some confidence that we truly have 70K members, rather than 30K genuine fans and 40K pets / unborn children / donations / etc.
  4. No doubt Lachie Neale is an excellent player, who plays consistently well in the midfield of a team that wins a lot of games. That is the formula for Brownlow success right there. Does he deserve to be a two time Brownlow winner? Maybe not yet, but if he guides Brisbane to a premiership this week, his standing will rise significantly in the views of many. As others have said, I find it incredible that Neale gets 31 votes when Dunkley and McCluggage get 7 between them. He and Cripps simply monopolise the votes from their teams, whereas we split our votes every year. I'm guessing this is the fourth year in a row where our two highest vote getters are the highest in the competition - Oliver / Petracca in previous years, Petracca / Viney this year. Interestingly the Brownlow top 6 finishers are the same as the top 6 in the coaches votes, just in a different order.
  5. I've long been a fan of Brownlow night, but it is increasingly becoming a tiresome experience to sit through. Things I'm not looking forward to tonight include: The boss's brother pretending he is best mates with all of the players: "Trac", "Bont", "Daics", "Crippa". The collective circle jerk performed by the media every time a member of the Daicos family appears or is mentioned. Any segment created for the sole purpose of giving air time to Rebecca Maddern or Abbey Holmes. Any "content" sponsored by the league's official betting partner. Any segments involving Auskickers. Any fan voted award that allows Richmond or Collingwood supporters to vote en masse for their favourite player. The telecast going well past 11pm when it should be done by 10:30pm. All I want to see are some highlights from each round, the votes then a summary every 6-7 rounds, and a quick chat to 3-4 players. Should be done in less than 2 hours, including the winner's speech. As for the winner, hard not to see Bontempelli winning given Daicos was sadly injured late in the year.
  6. Is everyone complaining about Brown & McDonald having contracts for next year, also happy that Gawn & May have contracts for 2025 when they will be 34 and 33 respectively? This club has a history of pushing out contracts to free up salary space, and it is going to bite them in the [censored] at some point. I don't care how good a player they have been, no ruckman should be about to turn 32 and have a 2 year contract in his back pocket. And nobody is going to walk away from a contract worth $400K - $500K just because it doesn't suit their employer any more. Anyone who says otherwise is kidding themselves.
  7. I've said it elsewhere, but we need to be signing Max's replacement now for 1-2 years of education, and then stepping up to be number 1 ruck. I can't see the value to bringing in another stopgap option, unless he's happy to play for free.
  8. Hawthorn's injury list currently includes Sarah Perkins and Tegan Cunningham. It doesn't seem that long ago that those players were playing important roles for our team. It further underlines how extraordinarily good our recruiting and list management has been over the past three or four years. Hopefully Maddy Gay is purely precautionary, but it makes sense to give players such as Gay and Pearce a rest against the weaker sides to ensure they are available when we need them most. Good luck to Aimee Mackin for her debut game. Dees to win by 40 points plus.
  9. Don't blame the players because the club is handing out extended contracts all over the place. Everyone gets on their high horse when Collingwood shove players out, but we'd be doing exactly the same thing by pushing Brown and / or McDonald into retirement. They are both entitled to be at the club next year. The bigger question is why we have so many long term contracts extending well past players' 30th birthdays, when other clubs are managing older players on year to year deals.
  10. That's what happens when you ignore the draft for multiple years. 2016 - 2018 in our case. And too many fringe players given long term deals, eg Spargo and Chandler, presumably to push salary cap issues down the road.
  11. The lack of depth in key areas (midfield, ruck & key positions) is a real concern. Similarly our most important players (May & Gawn) have only 1-2 years remaining, and could well be done sooner if they cop a significant injury. We already have one of the oldest lists in the competition, and we haven't done enough to add quality kids in the past three drafts. The likes of Salem, Hunter and Langdon need to be transitioned out of the team in the next 1-2 years, in addition to the impending retirements of May and Gawn. I really dislike the balance of our group at the moment, with no mids developing in the VFL and too many flanker / utility types clogging up the list. Our best players are good enough to keep the team competitive, assuming they are all fully fit and in form, but we desperately need to find 4-5 best 22 players this off season. It's difficult, but not impossible.
  12. All year the talk has been that Jordon will look elsewhere for more midfield opportunities. We gave him midfield time late in the season, particularly against Adelaide & Richmond, and he was so ordinary. His semi final performance was especially woeful. He's not quick, he's not a great kick, and it takes him so long to make a decision every time he gets the ball. You only have to look at how Saad led him to the ball on multiple occasions at the start of the third quarter to see that he doesn't do anything instinctively on the football field. Ultimately he is one of many players who has regressed over the past two seasons, and I have no issue with moving him on, rather than him resigning on a 3-4 year deal on decent money. Unfortunately we won't be well compensated, but we are not improving the team by retaining these sort of players.
  13. Luke definitely could have and probably should have played many more games for the club than he did, but he never stopped working his backside off at Casey. He deserved much better than finishing his career with a serious knee injury in the VFL. Thanks Luke, and all the best for the future. Our midfield depth is non existent if we lose Dunstan, Harmes and Jordon. Hopefully there is a plan to fix this glaring issue over the next couple of months, rather than wasting draft picks on more midget forwards.
  14. There's a big difference between playing tough, hard, contested football and the brain farts listed by the opening poster. There is nothing wrong with the style of football played by the majority of our list the majority of the time, but there is definitely a degree of maturity and composure lacking in how the likes of Van Rooyen, Sparrow and Pickett conducted themselves in these moments. Time and experience should aid Van Rooyen, but Pickett's lack of discipline in key moments is increasingly a concern.
  15. Conversely, players can significantly improve over time if they are prepared to put the work in and they receive the right coaching. Russell Robertson was a player who clearly improved his goal kicking over the course of his career, and went from being a below 50% kick to a very reliable set shot. In his case I believe it was just sheer hard work and repetition that did the job. Todd Viney was an ordinary field kick for much of his career but was much improved in his last couple of years, deservedly becoming All Australian in 1998. I'm yet to see any indication that our current group are willing to do this sort of work.
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