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Demon (2/10)



  1. I was a co-founder of Demonology around 1997-8 for hazy memory, though I was a passenger and hardly a driving force. It was originally a merger of three small fan sites. Demon Chronicles, Hoju’s and another I can’t recall. I still play basketball with the main guy who founded the site, and lost touch with the other co-founder who ended up working at MFC for a few years and I still see him on LinkedIn.
  2. Agree, if Melbourne hand out a smashing (100+) it may be a bad sign as that probably means the backline getting cute and not maintaining their discipline to hold structure and a bit of glory seeking over team work further up the ground. And while that might be a valid risk to take in this game, you’d want them to snap back against the more likely tougher opposition yet to come and not create any bad habits. I’d prefer a consistent style 40 point win than a free wheeling structure disregarding 100 point win.* * I’d take a free wheeling 187 point win however.** ** This is Melbourne, I’d take a 1 point win.
  3. Brown has 18 games at Bellerive which is second only to Marvel for games played in his career. So he’s definitely got familiarity on his side. But he doesn’t dominate there. 35 goals at an average of 1.94 @ 61.4% accuracy compared to an average of 2.25 @ 68.1% at all other venues. Jarrad Waite has a slightly better record based on averages there. Marvel with 2.62 goals @ 70.3% is where he excels, so if he’s not in before the Bulldogs game in round 11 he must come in for that one if his VFL form holds, especially as the Dogs are undersized in the backline.
  4. Most teams given the sub rule now run a quasi-emergency who will play limited minutes in the VFL if that game is before the AFL game. Contingency in case someone twangs a hammy in the warm up there is a player who isn’t completly cooked able to come in.
  5. I think you have points with the parts of your post I deleted about Jackson’s kicking being sub-par (although not many rucks are great kicks). Unless Jackson really starts to labour and his form falls off a cliff, I can’t see him being the one who makes way in the name of team balance. I think the coaches are in love with the tactical flexibility he provides. 100% Ben Brown and Weideman are better forwards than Jackson but Jackson bringing the ball is providing a contest even though he’s not kicking the goals - that’s critical to enable Pickett and Spargo to go to work. Either of Ben Brown, Weideman or McDonald can do a job in the ruck to spell Gawn, but only Jackson can completely change the ruck and midfield dynamics when he goes in there. Given Brown’s knee troubles they may not want to risk throwing him in the ruck either because that invites the additional front-on knee contact. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jackson remain in the team a bit further up the ground on a flank once one or both of Ben Brown and Weideman are in as he has the agility to do that. Another option to squeeze so many talls in is to further exploit Langdon, May, Lever and Tomlinson’s ability to play near 100% game time and have one of the talls on the bench at any time. West Coast had years they consistently played Naitanui at around 60% game time albeit due to his lack of endurance rather than a way to jam more talls in - but the result is similar with West Coast often forced to get another tall into the team to accomodate Naitanui who provided them a huge tactical advantage in bursts. McDonald is the one under the pump in my eyes as he’s not kicked a bag of goals for years now, has poor field kicking, poor agility, and his legendary endurance doesn’t seem to be what it once was either. In good form right now though. These are all great problems to have, a couple of injuries or a couple of these talls struggling form wise and it will be back to the panic of just before the start of the season.
  6. I like these changes given the forced outs and the opposition. Unless there’s a time machine to get late 2017 and all of 2018 Melksham back, Mitch Brown is the most similar player we have to Fritsch as a pretty pure lead-up forward in style despite being much taller, so that makes sense when trying to preserve the current structure. Hibberd provides more flexibility than 2021 version Jetta. In prior years I would’ve said Jetta had superior agility, but even though Hibberd is on rails sometimes for agility it’s on par with Jetta these days. The two Hawks forwards that worry me are Breust, who has been a bit flat this year, and Wingard who has been mostly a mid. Amongst Hunt, Rivers, Hibberd and Salem I think there’s enough options for those two. Petty for May was the only realistic call his excellent preseason form and given Hore is injured and I guess Smith is regaining form. Hawks look quite weak for tall forwards, and have dropped Ceglar. Given there’s no obvious tall threat, maybe Petty can take who May would’ve and then Tomlinson and Lever can keep doing their thing to minimise disruption in the backline.
  7. I was thinking of something similar the other day. If Melbourne’s goals were behinds, and their behind goals, and the same for their opponents, it would be: Melbourne For : 58.50.398. Against : 25.39.189 A percentage of 210! It’s a pretty unsophisticated analysis though. I think the opposition’s accuracy is more because when Melbourne’s defensive structure gets cracked, it fails bad and gives up relatively easy shots, but it doesn’t crack that often.
  8. I’d be interested to see how much involvement Melbourne had in his development, probably not a great deal, so can’t really complain if he can’t be picked up on the cheap. I have involvement on the committee of my kids’ local footy team and got an email (paraphrasing). ”Hi, I’m with St.Kilda’s NGA. Do you have any registered players that fit this criteria?” and our club isn’t even in St. Kilda’s NGA catchment zone. Looks like they just sweep up kids already registered at junior footy and trial them for a development squad - that doesn’t seem to be encouraging new players given thy are trying to pick the eyes out of kids who had already decided to play footy. Maybe the clubs are doing more and I haven’t seen it, but my club is in Collingwood’s NGA zone and we have a very high Asian demographic and consequently do struggle to tap into those communities for players. We have not had any involvement or assistance from Collingwood or the AFL targeting those groups to get them interested in footy and have had no junior registrations due to NGA or AFL initiatives. NGA really does appear to be a bit of a rort.
  9. I’m certainly concerned with the clear lack of athleticism. So even if Jetta doesn’t get exposed like the Cats game, which I think he did against Toby Greene whom admittedly is a hell of a player, you can just see Jetta is a further step off the pace. Jetta was never quick, but was agile, and that seems gone now. I think Jetta has done quite well to adjust and is playing more within his physical limitations this year. Last year he was still flying for marks or spoils like he did in his glory years, but he was almost never getting pulling them off and worse often spoiled a teammate. He’s stopped trying those this year. Finally, he has very reliable disposal but he is super conservative, usually goes sideways or backwards, has almost no penetration on his kicks and therefore doesn’t provide any meaningful drive or offence. In summary, I think Jetta is doing OK but there’s lots of writing on the wall and he’s just hanging in there. There’s no replacement banging down the door though, so until there is or Jetta gets exposed badly a few times he will stay in. I have similar concerns with Jones, he has really dropped off physically as you’d expect given his age. Even though his skills and decision making has been pretty solid this year, he just can’t apply the pressure that a Sparrow or Jordon or Spargo can. I recall one time against the Cats he looked like he was running in treacle as a Cats player streaked away from Jones on the wing. Jones probably would never have been able to go with him even in his younger days, but it was a very laboured “chase”. There are more options to replace Jones than there are Jetta so it will be interesting to see what happens once he hits 300 games. I think the obsession around replacing Jetta (and Jones to a lesser extent) is about not waiting until these pretty clear things have really hurt or even cost a game before pulling the trigger. Both those guys ideally should be depth and injury cover, not first choice 22 IMO.
  10. Goodwin was so emphatic in his “No” when asked about possibility of TMac going into the backline. That clearly will only happen in a disaster moment with in-game injuries. On Jackson, he is so important for in-game tactical possibilities he would have to stink it up massively to get dropped. Jackson’s presence allows Gawn to play whatever role the team most benefits from on based on the in-game situation, be it deep forward, rucking and dropping into the backline, or rucking and hanging about down the line as a bail out. Also Jackson is so different as a ruck to Gawn with what he brings at ground level that it surely must cause headaches for opponents to switch how they play. Weideman or Brown or TMac or whoever else could spell Gawn wouldn’t create that degree of disruption for the opposition.
  11. On an honorary board, as all AFL boards are, you definitely want those members to have a passion, otherwise why do it? It’s not for money (directly). And if they don’t support the club or weren’t lifelong supporters such as Bartlett, then there will always be some question marks as to the motivations and whether there is genuine passion. Anyway, I have no inside info on any of this, however I think when onfield is travelling well it’s probably the best time to have a change in the Board leadership. New leaders usually want to change things and that’s where instability comes from. Why bother changing if things are tracking well onfield? It should just be steady as she goes. My understanding is an AFL Board make the key appointments of CEO and Head Coach, and then govern from a relative distance. Absolutely they should leverage their relationships in the political and business world to assist the club too around sponsorships and key projects, but it would be a big danger sign if Board members where getting so involved in the day-to-day that a change at that level has significant impacts on the team.
  12. Barring a massive form drop, I can’t see Jackson getting moved out of the team. No doubt Ben Brown and Weideman are better forwards, but Jackson can at least compete down there and would be averaging a goal per game if his kicking had been a bit better. But Jackson provides such a tactical point of difference with Gawn it’s a huge advantage for Melbourne. Jackson’s presence enables Gawn to play whatever role is most advantageous on the day and in response to how the opposition is playing. Neither Brown or Weideman can provide that ruck cut out who can double up as an on baller. As rucks they are both like Gawn in style, but far less capable. they are both either forwards or inferior cut out rucks and nothing else, so having both relatively inflexible players in the team isn’t ideal. But Jackson brings something so different in style to Gawn that it’s very difficult for opponents to plan and structure for both Gawn and Jackson. I would assume one of Brown or Weideman will come in for McDonald as while Mcdonad has been ok in a couple of games, I doubt he’s going to explode. For all the talk of McDonald on a wing or going back into defence, I just don’t see it as there are clearly superior options in both areas now. Unless Weideman really dominates in the VFL I’d think Brown would get first chance. Historically he’s a far better forward than Weideman. Fritsch needs to stay in, he’s a really good mid sized forward and can play as a more ground level forward if required, plus provides flexibility in game as he can move onto the wing or even half back. It was not long ago Daw was being talked about here as needing to be rushed in due to tall forward emergency, and now we are at the embarrassment of riches stage. It won’t take much for a couple of injuries or form slumps to get back to only one or two viable choices again.
  13. Fair points. I’d be hope either of Viney (compensation) or Brayshaw (trade) would’ve netted a pick ~15 for a team wanting to bolster the midfield immediately, maybe that’s too optimistic. There’s also the benefit of exiting significant dollars off the list as I think there’s an over investment for what’s being returned from Brayshaw and Viney right now. Those dollars either enables a play for an established needs player from a club looking to rebuild and would accept that ~15 pick in return. Or front load some existing contracts and use that ~15 to draft a highly skilled player as an 18 yo is more likely to be able to contribute on the outside rather than needing preseasons to build up their size and strength to contribute on the inside. Given we’ve got this list, I’d keep Brayshaw and Viney as permanent on ballers as I don’t see their versatility to be very effective elsewhere, and alternate Oliver and Petracca as mid/forwards as I’m confident Oliver, now he can mark overhead again, and Petracca (proven) could each be very dangerous in that role. On the wing? Not sure, maybe one of McDonald, ANB, Bedford or Rosman who all have good endurance, maybe one of them just running all day out there and keeping width knowing that their disposal is iffy. Or try Laurie or Bowey who I’m sure have poorer endurance but allegedly highly skilled.
  14. I still think a list management trick was missed and there’s a danger of Dom Tyson-ing Brayshaw as I don’t think wing suits his best qualities and could end up destroying any trade value and also Brayshaw’s engagement. Taking emotion out of it, I thought one of Viney or Brayshaw should’ve gone at the end of last year as we have one too many frontline quality inside midfielders. Yes there is injury history with Viney and Brayshaw, but with Sparrow and Jordon waiting in the wings surely there was enough depth to let the surplus player that could get good value in return and try to use that value to fill a more immediate need.
  15. Agree, reminds me of the rolling mauls of junior footy or basketball where everyone ball hunts. Hungry dogs going at a piece of meat. I can’t believe Yze can’t see it and doesn’t give the feedback, and numerous commentators called out Melbourne getting pushed close into the contest by Freo. Maybe there’s some subtle genius tactic of increasing predictability by allowing comprehensive clearance defeats... probably not. It does assist the intercept mark statistics.
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