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Winning the Premiership is the ultimate AFL joy for supporters. But along with that biggest thrill, there are little things to savour. For me, it is this. I'm old enough to remember football in the late 60s onwards and in those days, like so many others I supported Melbourne and anyone who was playing Collingwood. Given we were so awful then, the best to be hoped for was an annual dose of Colliwobbles as Collingwood regularly made finals, and often Grand Finals, only to fail at the end. In my lifetime (born between the 57 and 58 seasons), and before this season, both Melbourne and Collingwood had won three Premierships. The little thing that pleases me most with the 2021 win is overtaking the number of Premierships won by Collingwood in that time. What little thing has added to your enjoyment of this new Grand Old Flag?
Posting this as a question, based on a proposition. I know this might seem like a somewhat strange and over ambitious given the 2019 that we have just endured, but to me, just stumbling over the line and making finals in 2020 would not represent enough of an improvement or step forward for me to get excited about. In my lifetime, I watched many talent laden MFC teams show loads of promise and even make a grand final or two, but barely any that I have watched have played consistently well enough finish the season in a preimship winning position of being in the upper echelon of the ladder with all it's perks of getting a double change and potential rest weeks at the pointy end. In the 80s, this would have ment a top 3 finish and now a days it's top 4. I follow the MFC aspiring to one day watch them win a premiership. Making finals is simply not enough for me. I've watched the MFC play lots of finals over the last 30 years, notch up some good wins in them. I have seen the MFC play the kind of dominant kind of foot where myself and fellow supporters have rued watching GF's that we though we could have won, but been unable to contend after being bundled out of finals series at critical times. The reality is that for a number of reasons, unless teams finish in the top 4, they don't really have a fighting chance of making, let alone winning a GF. Is finishing top 4 in 2020 a realistic objective? - I think it is. Richmond in 2017 went from 13th to 3rd. In 2018, although we only just stumbled into the finals series, from recollection, we were only a couple of wins off finishing top 4, with very winnable games against Geelong (twice), St Kilda and Port Adelaide that come to mind. I'm really hoping that 2019 was somewhat of an arbitration and this year we have an 'easy' draw to help us - something which probably helped the Tigers in 2017. Our lack of compressiveness in 2019 was hard to watch and down right depressing at times, but in spite of that I wasn't that upset about it, because unless we won the premiership, then it was just another wasted season in the amoung the many that I have a supporter. I know that the team would be silly to publicly overtly state finishing top 4 as being the aim for the home and away season, but I really do hope that's what it is internally when guys like Roos have previously spoke about playing the kind of footy that will make us competitive in finals and push deep into September. Over the coming years as we enter that all important age/experience 'window' within our list, I really hope to see us adopt a new level of maturity, professionalism and ruthlessness that playing finals becomes an expectation and finishing top 4 and playing in premierships is the aim, not just making finals and I don't see why that shouldn't start in 2020.
With the tragic events of yesterdays results now well and truly sunk in and many questioning their faith I thought some reflection and confessions might be in order. I get on demonland to connect with fellow sufferers/supporters because quite frankly I don't have too many demon supporting friends. Thats just how it is. grew up that way, went to school that way and its still that way. But you know what, this team got in my blood, got in my soul and became a part of me I can't let go. So I don't care where we are. Im a demon through and through and I believe you guys and girls are too. In the hope that we can all get to know each other a little better and perhaps even get along better I suggest the following for anyone who is game. What I would like to know is the following. 1. How did you start following the Demons? 2. Who was your very first favourite player and why? 3. Best moment as a fan? 4. Worst moment as a fan? 5. Anything else you would like to share? Okay lets see what you got.
After the well-known 2009 draft, myself and I think many others thought that we had built a premiership team. However after a couple of eye opening seasons I think many demonlanders have come to a realisation. Like so many of you I find myself always asking the same question will this current list (with maybe the addition of a couple trades, free agency, draft picks etc) be good enough to win a premiership. I believe we will experience success with the current list but to what extent? Will we be a top 4 team for a number of years without winning a premiership and then have to go through another rebuilding phase? I personally believe we have the talent and resources (players/coaches) to win a premiership but it will rely on the club as a whole to make the most of them (players/resources). I think if we are to succeed it will all begin with a "winning culture". With a winning culture I think players such as Jamar, Jones, Sylvia, Frawley will lift and this will lead to the development of stars (Trengove, Viney, Toumpas). However we need more than this, we need to take advantage of everything we have! With a winning culture/serious football department we need to be able to make players out of our under the radar draft picks: Taggert (pick 36) - desperately in need of midfielders with class and a good kick!, Jetta - another potential midfielder with pace, aggression and a beautiful kick - can play inside and outside while resting up forward, Sam Blease (Pick 17) - Need his pace and confidence in wing to high forward position - need to fix his disposal, Max Gawn (Pick 34) - another who has great potential it just is yet to be harnessed, Dean Kent (Pick 34) - has shown promise and talent could be a great midfield/high forward, James Strauss (Pick 19) - needs to step up and be that medium defender - with run and carry/great kick out of defence, Luke Tapscott (Pick 18) - another which has shown promise but has done little since - I like other have come to question where he fits in on our list - would like him to become like Chappy (a high forward that can go into the midfield (like Sylvia) - I think if this is going to be done he will have to tone down (to become quicker/fitter), Jack Watts (Pick 1) - we all know his weakness'/strengths - needs to get more aggressive and use his supposed talent!, Dom Barry (Pick #) - From reports has show talent, lets not let him become a Jamie Bennel (who I thought was immensely talented but just didn't want to use it). That's 8 players (more than a 1/3 of a team) who you could say are average/fringe players that have the talent to be premiership players. If we can develop/groom 4 or more of these players in to premiership players than I think with the addition of our current top 18, I think we have a chance of winning a premiership! I think our only hope lies in creating the right culture to develop young talent (a winning culture)! If we get to the point of being in finals I think we will all be blown away by the increase in devotion and desire to win (by the whole list). We have recently begun to witness what I believe is the first step to creating a winning culture, the competition for spots on the list (ie. Sellar and Pedersen). Success will only make the club greater! For example look at Nathan Jones or Lynden Dunn (Pick 15) for so long he has been nothing more than a fringe player who has continually made silly decisions but with a change of culture/coach he has been given a position down back which he seems to have cemented despite pressure for that spot (Garland, Watts, Terlich, Gilles etc). And so to cap it up yes I believe we have the potential to become a premiership side but it will require us (club/supporters etc) to take advantage of every resource whether that's turning an under the radar player such as James Strauss into the player that he has the potential to be or using a fringe player such as Pedersen to at the very least create competition for spots. So heres my starting 22: For Round 1 and beyond FB: Watts, Frawley, Stauss CHB: Dunn, McDonald, Jetta C: Blease, Jones, Toumpas CHF: Howe, Dawes, Sylvia FF: Byrnes/Barry (need small fwd), Clark, Byrnes FOLL: Jamar, McKenzie/(Need a Star), Viney INT: Trengove, Grimes, Kent EMER: Tapscott, Sellar, Rodan, Gawn, Taggert + Hogan What do you think? do we have the potential?