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  1. There will be enough sad/brutal (but accurate) 'three word' summary posts for 2019 (mine is 'we went backwards'), so to keep us in good spirits for what should be a better year (it has to, right!?), I thought I'd focus on some of the positives (it shouldn't be hard to list them!) What went right? What do we salvage from the wreck of 2019?? For me: - Another fantastic year from Maxxy. I know the commentators gush over Grundy, but we have the #1 ruckman, no questions. True leadership material, hopefully he figures more in this regard next year. - Fritta (who was finally played in the right spot) - Salem was a constant out back, and needs to be utilised better next year. We could do with his foot skills further up the ground. - I know his season was interrupted, mostly his own fault, but May will be a huge asset. He's tough, reads the play well and can lead from out back. He just needs a good off season to get his body right. - Petracca showed glimpses towards the end of the season. He just needs to let loose in 2020.
  2. NAB AFL Women’s - Round 5 GWS GIANTS v Melbourne Friday, March 3 Blacktown International Sportspark 5:05pm JLT Community Series - Round 3 GWS GIANTS v Sydney Swans Friday, March 3 Blacktown International Sportspark 7:40pm Gate Opening: Gates open from 4:30pm. Tickets: Entry is FREE to both games for all 2017 GIANTS and GIANTS AFLW members with game access, simply present your membership card at the gate for entry (subject to capacity). You can upgrade your membership to ensure entry in to this game by clicking here and entering your barcode. General admission tickets start from $20 for an adult and are available here. Broadcast details: The AFL Women’s game will be shown live on Fox Footy (channel 504) from 5pm with a live stream on AFL.com.au. The men’s game will be live on Fox Footy from 7:30pm. Getting to the game: Public Transport: Bus: Busways 728 service from Blacktown & Mount Druitt Stations stops directly at Blacktown International Sportspark, standard fares apply. Shuttle buses will operate from Doonside Railway Station to Blacktown International Sportspark every 15-20 minutes from 3pm to 10.30pm Car: Limited paid parking is available at Blacktown International Sportspark Sydney via Gate A and Gate B. A fee of $10 per vehicle applies. Match Day Activities: Free slushies at AFL W Fan zone Meet and greet AFL W players at half time of AFL match Face painting AFLW Match Day Partner: Sydney Airport is proud to be a foundation partner of the GIANTS’ AFLW team, supporting women who are leading the way in their chosen field. The three-year partnership forms part of the airport’s commitment to leading and learning in the Sydney community. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- We've got our first interstate game this week and it happens to be against the bottom of the ladder GWS Giants. This reeks of a danger game in my opinion - Melbourne needing a win to keep finals hopes alive against a winless team. Suffice to say if we do not bring it and we lose then not only are we are out of the running for the first AFLW flag, but it'll be in the most embarrassing circumstances. GWS pushed Carlton in Round 2 I believe, nearly got a win over Collingwood but were then rolled last week by the Lions. Who knows what they'll bring, but there is a lame-ish video of Stevie J training them on their website so maybe that might have some kind of impact. One thing I do know is that we have been increasing the intensity and skill across the whole team after each round so if we continue that then this week we could potentially belt the living christ out of the opposition and gain some good percentage in the process. Here's hoping Daisy outdoes her 29 touches against Carlscum and becomes the 1st AFLW player to crack 30. If we get the chocolates then we'll have won 4 in a row, which is fantastic (and required) momentum in this short comp. This will see us at a minimum 3rd place on the ladder, and if Adelaide lose to the Lions then we will be equal with them albeit on a lower percentage. Will the travel and weather have an impact on the team? Hard to say. I'm hoping they recover well as we have Adelaide in Darwin the following week in another must-win game. At the end of the day, I'm tipping we will get a big win here - but there's always the chance with the MFC of being let down at the most integral moment. Team should be released Thursday night.
  3. NAB AFL Women’s Competition / JLT Community Series double header NAB AFL Women’s Competition – Round 4 Melbourne v Carlton Casey Fields Saturday 25 February, 11.35am EDT JLT Community Series – Week 2 Melbourne v Carlton Casey Fields Saturday 25 February, 2.05pm EDT Gates Gates will open at 11.00am. Gate 1 is for membership scans, entering with pre-purchased tickets and those tickets purchased on the day and Gate 2 is for membership card scans and pre-purchased tickets only. Access and Ticketing Entry is free with a Melbourne Football Club membership. If you are not a member, as this is a fully ticketed event, a ticket to the 2017 JLT Community Series match will need to be purchased for entry to the JLT Community Series and AFL Women’s matches. We encourage you to pre-purchase your ticket for both games through Ticketmaster. Access to JLT Community Series matches is subject to capacity and is not guaranteed. Family Fun Day Visit our free Family Fun Day located on the Village Green near the main entrance for a range of great activities! The Family Fun Day will run from 11am-2pm. Parking Limited public parking will be available on site at the south end of Casey Fields. Get there early to secure your spot. Nearby street parking is also available. Membership and Merchandise Memberships and merchandise will be available for sale from the Melbourne marquee located outside the main entrance at Gate 1 from 10.45am. Support the women’s team with a membership from $75! 2017 scarves will also be available for members to collect. Kick to Kick Kick to kick will take place on the ground following the completion of the JLT Community Series match. Bring your footy and enjoy one of footy's greatest traditions! TV Times NAB AFL Women’s Competition – Round 4: Fox Footy –11.30am EDT Live JLT Community Series match: Fox Footy – 2.00pm EDT Live Social Media Keep up-to-date on game day with our live coverage of the game on Twitter (@melbournefc) and follow the hashtags #AFLWDeesBlues and #JLTSeries Get a behind-the-scenes insight into the day by following us on Instagram (@melbournefc), liking us on Facebook (facebook.com/melbournefc) and adding us as a ‘friend’ on Snapchat (melbourne_fc). Website melbournefc.com.au will also publish quarterly updates live from the game. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Backs: Brooke Patterson, Mia-Rae Clifford, Katherine Smith Half Backs: Daisy Pearce, Laura Duryea, Shelley Scott Centre: Harriet Cordner Half Forwards: Karen Paxman, Deanna Berry, Lily Mithen Forwards: Sarah Lampard, Jessica Anderson, Cat Phillips Followers: Lauren Pearce, Mel Hickey, Elise O’Dea Interchange: Emma Humphries, Richelle Cranston, Aliesha Newman, Jasmine Grierson, Maddie Boyd, Alyssa Mifsud Emergencies: Sarah Jolly, Ainslie Kemp In: Newman Out: Jolly Injured/unavailable: Stephanie De Bortoli, Meg Downie, Pepa Randall ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The last thing we should do is get arrogant, but jeez I've got a good feeling about the Melbourne AFLW team. OUR team. 'Twas a great win last week against the Dogs and thank christ we didn't have to hear that horribly remade 'Daughters of the West' team song. We're going in to this round with the momentum off of our back to back wins against what is considered to be one of the top 2 teams in this comp. What's working in our favour this week is their best player Brianna Davey is out with a back injury and another key defensive player is out for the season with an ACL. This is a massive advantage having her out as she is probably one of the best in the comp and according to Carlscum match preview, they are resorting to putting Darcy Vescio up at CHB. As always, this mightn't be the case on game day but the advantage this provides shouldn't be understated. Need to capitalise and dominate. They came off second best against Adelaide last week by a whopping 3 in points in a thrilling one goal game. After being so heavily beaten they will be looking to come out firing this week. Many will refer to the practice match we had prior to Round 1 where we got one goal and they beat us by 44 points. I think that's irrelevant now as the team has well and truly clicked and are starting to look dangerous up forward. Not to mention that the Demon ladies themselves will want to make up for the praccy spanking - Laura 'Irish' Duryea (Number 11) looked absolutely filthy so lets hope she irons someone out. This is another MUST win game as we sit 4th on the Ladder, equal with Carlton, and we simply have to get the win to jump over them to 3rd and keep our grand final chances alive. Also looking for Freo and the Giants to get a win as well to keep the Lions and Adelaide stagnant. Alyssa Mifsud found her feet last week and booted 3 majors, giving us a great key forward target to work alongside Jess Anderson. Considering our forward line was considered to be our weakness, it's great to see it finally gelling together. Rocky was back in the team last week and again missed an easy shot on the run in front of goal, but I'm willing to let it slide as she wasn't in the Round 2 game where we lifted as a team. Hopefully she steps up this week and boots a couple. Daisy Pearce again was terrific, getting 26 touches and showing the comp that she's still the best. Kazza Paxman did even better by getting 27, could these two be the first AFLW players to crack 30 disposals in a shorter game? I think we can seriously win this one.
  4. I remember watching last years Fox Footy season predictions and Melbourne was predicted a couple times, possibly more, as wooden spooners. Was great scrolling through the list and seeing nothing but Bummers, Carlscum and Lions as finishing on the bottom. Until I saw this...
  5. Doesn't let up, does it? We convincingly beat a side who's the clear favorite to win, while Hawks get spanked by Richmond. Yet, there's still Hawthorn morons online paying out on Melbourne!! Seriously thinking Hawthorn may replace Collingwood as my most hated team, purely because of the obnoxiously arrogant supporters.
  6. Alrighty, first off as I type this I'm going to be a little late. Not that it honestly bothers me too much, I had to do a bit of running around this morning, but I wont be missing too much more than the warmup should the boys actually start on time. Perhaps they might be a little bit later than that. Okay, so I get here at 10:00, a tad late with the almost as fashionable entrance that Russell Westbrook assumes in the NBA, laptop bag strapped over my shoulder and all - but Im told I didnt miss much all I missed really is the warmups and one of those six minute runs that the boys do. When I get here the boys are walking around the oval, and then slowly gets to a bit of a jog. In the rehab group on the other side of the oval are Hoges (I was wrong about Monday by the way, it wasnt management, hes got a bit of a finger issue at the moment) and Petracca of course. What it looks like they are doing is that both are running and doing a bit of weaving before marking the footy, and theres also a bit of work to do with some hurdles as well by the looks of things. As we were then with the main leaders leading the way around the oval. McDonald and Viney are up the front, and the boys look like they are changing into their footy boots so that they can start using the ball in vastly different conditions to when I was here Monday the thorough Monday afternoon heat and gust replaced by Friday the 13th cold, wet and breeze. Its not a pretty day by any means but this provides an early season indicator given this will be the conditions the boys will be facing come the 2016 season. The boys go for this weird kind of run around part of the oval. I couldnt properly explain it except for its pretty brief. Afterwards theres a short kick of the footy. Its a good chance to see whos up here and training. Max Gawn is here and hes having a run around in his quest to make Todd Goldstein look like Paul Johnson an ultimately difficult task. Ive already mentioned McDonald being here, dont think Garland is here, while Brayshaw after missing Monday is here too training. The whistle goes the kick of the footy is all too brief. I hear loud noises, including a couple of mentions of over the shoulder as the boys assume positions for the next drill, with a whole heap of cones. This is an interesting drill. Theres groups of four in this drill, with a couple of players weaving around cones, one with the footy and one without, whereas another player comes in to try and tackle said player weaving with the footy. At the moment no one is really missing the mark, thats because the player with the ball seemingly runs straight into the man whos going after him. Again its all too brief and they move around again, this time to the edge of the square. Again this is another kind of pressure drill Theres about three players in vests and another three who go out and run to get the footy in kind of a simulation drill. There isnt a whole lot of pressure from those wearing vests, which is either disappointing or what is expected of them from the fitness coaches, I couldnt tell you which is which. From the ball users perspective there are a couple of handballs which miss the target and their trajectory is poor. Again (and this seems to be the theme of the day) the drill is very brief. Meantime over at the near end of the ground, Jesse up for a kick at the park tomorrow? Hogan and CP5 are having set shots. Hogans run up is even more painfully slower and more edgy than what it was last year with the stutter even more obvious you could make a verse about it in Stutter Rap. Meantime Petracca misses a sitter from about 35 out on a slight angle and hes pretty [censored] about it he knows he should do better. You can notice the higher standards though, maybe in another year, specifically 2013, the boys would have a laugh about it, but you can see the want to succeed now. Anyway, with less jibberish, the boys begin their next drill. The first group nearest is stopped and the coach over there (cant work out who it is from a distance) mentions that it shouldnt be too much of a handball game. There are a couple of average kicks I wont lie about that, especially one from I think Smith who just skids it along the ground, its a true shank. On the far end of the ground the drill is still going and theres a few kicks which are just hitting the mark with authority. There was one such instance where Harmes lead excellently to the ball and it hits him on the chest as he jumps, didnt catch who actually kicked it to him but thats always a good sign looking ahead. Theres a clear difference between the two groups the group nearest to where Im positioned are moving it slowly and with a bit of hesitation, but the group on the opposite side of the ground are taking it on big time. Its a massive difference and the group nearest to us are out to rectify that when they begin again. Rehab Hulk and CP5 are running laps now. CPs endurance has massively improved since this stage last year and hes running with Crossy, whos going to be massive for his ultimate development in being able to run all day. The conditions change again as the boys head into the next drill suns out guns out not quite. Not for me anyway. The drill here is that the boys start off in a circle, then the boys spread out around the ground and become targets. Matt Jones scuffs the first kick, one which is wide of the mark to Terlich, which sees the vest team get possession of the footy. In fact the first two times the groups go out, it is characterised by missed handballs and a couple of scuffed kicks here and there. Its a little disappointing but then again the team with the vests are putting on good pressure much the same. The teams change and immediately theres a shift. Where the first team tried to move the ball too quickly, theres more a sense of surety with this team as the boys take a bit more time moving the ball, but not too slowly. The boys assess their options a lot more carefully and as a result, are able to transfer the footy from one end of the ground to the other. The second movement is even more impressive the team with the footy catch out the team with the vests through straight and direct ball movement, which goes nothing short of perfect until the final kick which drifts away late and hits the post. It was delightful to watch and hopefully theres more of that throughout the season as the boys cut through teams like a hot knife through butter. Now thatd be something. The boys, in the meantime, continue their drill, and while the early stages look reminiscent of the boys at their worst (what I mean is that when they handball backwards and they panic mercilessly) whats impressive is that they are beginning to realise that handballing to a bloke under pressure just doesnt work. Ever. Its Terls who sets this one up, sidestepping a couple of blokes and then delivering a good ball. In the meantime, CP5 leaves early. Im assuming therefore that OKC and his beloved Russell Westbrook are playing then. The boys start again. Salem gets the ball and somehow manages to break a Viney tackle. Not too often you get to say that but thats a representation of the standing of the bloke. In fact, every time Salem is getting it, he is using it extremely well and its so good to watch. Just nails almost every kick basically, no matter whether its a long kick or a short one. The boys then stop for a short break, be it either for drinks, to have a chat, or to watch Jesse Hogan walk off. Either one of the three. The boys then split up into groups of three, one with green vests, orange vests and one group without vests. Its two teams at the moment one sits out. Its the team without vests sitting out at the moment, leading to the ultimate See My Vest Cup (Byrnes coaching, anyone? Would be appropriate) which ends briefly after a miscued kick which just skids along the ground. Im assuming that the two just go at it until theres a mistake one which comes in the second game between orange and plain when a kick is spoiled well (to applause and cheers) by Gussy, the ultimate hard working kid. All three teams cycle through and we go again. Green team is unable to penetrate orange teams defensive structure. This time a loose kick is intercepted by (by the looks of it) King. The defensive structure of the two other teams is interesting. Plains defending is manic and high-energy, however some loose defending from Harmes brings their strategy undone, while Green seem to be loose, an ambitious kick into the corridor to Salem is quickly intercepted by two Green defenders. The drill then ends for either a pause or a switch to another drill. As it turns out, its a pause. After a brief restarting of the drill the boys start off again they stop almost as quickly, and then have a lengthy chat. They move down the ground and have another chat? Im assuming theres a bit of set shot work here because of the way this drill seems to be set up. This isnt the case. Instead theres only like four blokes actually having set shots, a big group having snaps and another small group crumbing and running in to goal from about 25-30 out. Meantime nothing has changed with Brayshaw in his training habits, always the prankster and always talking [censored] whenever someone goes past and has a set shot. On this occasion Stretch is copping an earful. Meantime theres a group with Crossy running around King, Frost, Kent and Kennedy. Dunno why they arent with the main group. As to be expected, Kent and Kennedy lead the way with Frost trailing and King a little bit further back in these running drills. This has been the way of the world for about 15 minutes so I have a geeze around and look at the world. While the training gear is somewhat up to scratch for a number of people its not quite up to scratch in other areas. For example, the cloth which covers the pavilion. Im not sure about you but you would THINK for a club which has worked hard to develop its logo that by now theyd have developed a cloth with the new logo on it in preparation for the release. Thats not the case. Old Schwabbolly-dobbolly-wobbollys logo is still taking pride of place. In the middle a beep test being sorted? It doesnt seem to be the case because after a short while with measuring et al, the cones are being taken away. Maybe they are otherwise preparing for it to be done in a future session (Monday?) Regardless theres a few at the moment who are on their way out. Its also my cue to bugger off myself as I look for a spot of lunch and either perhaps get to enjoy some old reruns of the footy or perhaps the cricket coming up as well (although thats not until later).
  7. Looking at future free agency targets. We still for sure need another group of players to complete a solid best 22. We have money in the cap, What targets and how much money would you throw at your targets? For Mine, Dan Hannebery is the player we need. One of the best two way runners in the comp. One of the toughest in the comp. Skills certainly improved and are now elite. What would be people worries/concerns? Thoughts/comments??
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