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  1. NAB AFL Women’s Competition - Round 2 Collingwood v Melbourne Ikon Park Saturday 11 February, 7.40pm EDT Gates Access for the public is via Gates 5 and 6. Please note this game is part of an AFLW double-header and will follow the earlier Carlton v GWS Giants match at Ikon Park commencing at 3.35pm. The ground will not be cleared or gates closed in between the two matches. Ticketing This is a non-ticketed event. Entry to this match is FREE. As there is no reserved seating areas available in the stadium, supporters are encouraged to arrive early to guarantee entry on the day. Parking There will be no public parking available on site due to Carlton’s family day activities – supporters are strongly advised to take public transport. Membership and Merchandise Memberships and merchandise will be available for sale from the Demon Shop marquee located outside Gate 5. Support the women’s team with a membership from $75! TV Times Channel 7 and Fox Footy will broadcast the match live nationally from 7.30pm EDT. Please check your local guide. Social Media Keep up-to-date on game day with our live coverage of the game on Twitter (@melbournefc) and follow the hashtag #AFLWPiesDees. 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). ----------------- Our game against the filth has been moved to Ikon Park in understandable, yet strange circumstances. A double header Collingwood home game against Melbourne at Carlton's home ground on Carlton's family day. Still, good reason being that there'll be a bigger crowd. List will probably be released later tonight, but there will definitely be no Richelle 'Rocky' Cranston as she's serving a one match suspension for absolutely cleaning up a Brizzy player last week. Still have reservations but also think the loss last week would have woken our girls up and HOPEFULLY our coaching team has done something about our forward structure. Despite the hellish weather last week, we were great at times with getting the ball out defensively (see below highlights video of Mel Hickey using her body and the girls working as a team to pop out the ball rather than holding it in) and you could see some the seeds of some good ball movement starting to grow. Daisy is a gun in the midfield and made some nice clearances, but alas was tagged a fair bit and had comprised impact. We have no idea how lucky we are to have gotten the best player as our skipper. Expecting a much better performance from her against the scumbags and hopefully a snag roll or two. Karen Paxman had the most touches and lived up to her rep as a hard running, good decision maker - confident that she'll back it up. Elise O'Dea aka "Junior" kept trying to lift the team and really got into the game towards the end. If she does this from the get go and doesn't get caught with the ball as often then she'll be a brilliant asset. The experience and connection that Paxman, Hickey and O'Dea share from multiple Darebin flags is visibly evident and they bring the other players into the game. If they maintain this in defense and at stoppages, I think we have a good chance at getting the win. Others to look out for are Lily Mithen, Shelley Scott and Laura "Irish" Corrigan (bit undisciplined at times but she steps up). Mo Hope was kept to 0 goals and 4 touches last week. Hope we repeat that for her again. We only really let Brisbane get away by giving up two 50's (which I still doubt was right, but anyway) so if we can clear that up and get some early scoreboard pressure then I think we can get the chocolates. There'll be plenty of butchered kicks, sloppy skills but there will also be some great exciting moments. If we get our first win, it'll be even sweeter due to the fact that the filth will have lost both of their first two games.
  2. RESPONDING TO FAILURE by The Oracle Sunday's mind-numbing performance by the Demons was shocking enough but what sort of experience lies in store for the long suffering fans of the game's oldest club? A clue to the answer to that question might have been subliminally implanted in my brain during last week's fiasco by a message they kept flashing up on the main scoreboard which kept saying, "Sleep at the G". I suspect this might have been the creation of some brain child at the club who thought it might be an interesting promotion for the club but thankfully, it's probably been shelved and put away in the same cupboard that contains Mark Neeld's game plan. Anyway, with or without the promotion, there's a fair chance based on recent history, that those of the club's supporters who come along to the G on Saturday night will be well and truly snoozing in their seats well before the half time siren sounds to awaken them from their reverie. All kidding aside, it was a shocking performance by the team to lose first up to Port Adelaide, but is it not possible that the Power are a lot better side than most of us thought and that, even though there's no justification or excuse for it in Round 1, Melbourne was badly in off mode for the game against an aggressive emotion-charged opponent? The Demons have taken some big hits from the top of the club to the bottom, but is one swallow sufficient justification at this early stage of the season to tear the club apart with demands that the President, the Board, the CEO and the coach all fall on their swords Richmond style? Is this the right way to respond to failure? One Demonlander had this to say this week:- RESOLVE LEADS TO VICTORY by MFC1858 I've failed many times and in many ways in life and football but there's so much that we can learn by understanding how we respond to failure. Failure in football is more than just losing matches. What we saw on the weekend was failure, not simply a loss. In today's game there is so much time and effort invested by clubs in ensuring that the skills, strategies, fitness, strength and composition of teams that one could be forgiven for thinking that these are the things which will lead to success if executed better than the opposition on any given day. The reality of the AFL is that all of these aspects of a team's preparation are more or less consistent with each other, being at the elite level. The small differences between teams may see teams lose by a goal or two, or even five. Results like that which we saw are caused by a deficiency in something else. Coach Mark Neeld and Captain Jack Grimes were both shocked at the result on the weekend, but maybe this is because they failed to understand what the critical elements of success in this game are. Confidence & Resolve Successful teams generally win games because they have either superior confidence than the opposition, because they are more resolute or both. Confidence affects the offensive aspects of the game, whereby a confident player will swiftly position themselves in an attacking position when in possession, or move the fall swiftly to such a position. On the other side a team lacking in confidence will hesitate when in possession, both in disposal and positioning. Confidence is somewhat fleeting, and can not be artificially imposed on players or teams, it comes from real outcomes. We often see this as scoreboard pressure - when victory is within reach confidence swells quickly, this causes momentum. The opposite of this is also true, making confidence an element of our game which leaders needs to understand but can't actually control. Resolve concerns the game where the opposition have the ball or the ball is in dispute. A resolved individual will be determined and disciplined in attacking a loose ball, tackling, chasing an opponent or lunging for a smother. If a team's resolve is greater than the opposition, it will accumulate to stifle confidence, and possibly even break their resolve. Once resolve is broken a football team fails, as we did on the weekend. Unlike confidence though, resolve can be developed within a team by its leaders, and this is the role that our coach and captains have at hand. What makes this difficult is that the triggers or stimuli for resolve in individuals differ. Some people respond to criticism and failure with resolve, others respond to encouragement with resolve. It's the old you can do it/you can't do it response. Our leaders should know which kind of approach to take to develop this resolve with every player at the club. Ruthless condemnation to those who will respond to it with resolve, and reinforcement of the strengths which they can do well for those who will respond to this. They then need to apply this personally and as a team with vigour. This is the job of a leader. What our club needs at the moment is not changes in personnel, we've seen first hand this is not the answer to questions of success or failure. Our club needs to develop leaders who genuinely understand what's required, and are motivated to impress this, to demand this resolve from the team. I hope that what happened last week was the wake up call that the team needed, but it needs to be used to develop resolve by our leaders. I'd love to see the same team run out this week with resolve which leads to confidence, success and then, maybe, victory. The supporters appear to agree that wholesale changes in personnel after one game will not solve things. A poll carried out on the site is currently showing only 33% in favour of such changes at the top. THE GAME Essendon v Melbourne at the MCG Saturday, 6 April, 2013 at 7.40pm. HEAD TO HEAD Overall Essendon 126 wins Melbourne 80 wins 2 draws At the MCG Essendon 63 wins Melbourne 44 wins 1 draw Since 2000: Essendon 10 wins Melbourne 7 wins The Coaches Hird 0 wins Neeld 1 win MEDIA TV Channel 7 & Fox Footy Channel at 7.30pm (live) RADIO THE BETTING Essendon $1.10 to win Melbourne $7.00 to win THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 8.10.58 defeated Essendon 6.16.52 Round 10, 2012 at the MCG Underdog Melbourne stunned the football world when it won this game by a goal against ladder leader Essendon which had looked a likely top four prospect. Coach Mark Neeld pulled some great moves including Colin Garland from defence to forward while Jack Watts slotted brilliantly into defence with a best on ground performance. The embarrassed Bombers went downhill while the Demons didn't go anywhere after this result either. THE TEAMS ESSENDON Backs Mark Baguley Jake Carlisle Dustin Fletcher Half backs Brendon Goddard Cale Hooker Brent Stanton Centreline Dyson Heppell Jobe Watson Alwyn Davey Half forwards Stewart Crameri Michael Hurley David Zaharakis Forwards Nick Kommer Patrick Ryder Jake Melksham Followers Tom Bellchambers Heath Hocking Courtenay Dempsey Interchange Michael Hibberd Ben Howlett Jackson Merrett David Myers Emergencies Will Hams David Hille Elliott Kavanagh MELBOURNE Backs Tom Gillies James Frawley Dean Terlich Half backs Jack Watts Tom McDonald Tom Garland Centreline Jack Grimes Jack Viney Matt Jones Half forwards Sam Blease James Sellar Jeremy Howe Forwards Colin Sylvia Mitch Clark Shannon Byrnes Followers Mark Jamar Jordie McKenzie Nathan Jones Interchange Aaron Davey Dan Nicholson Jimmy Toumpas Jack Trengove Emergencies Cameron Pedersen David Rodan Jake Spencer In Aaron Davey Tom McDonald Dean Terlich Jack Trengove Out Lynden Dunn (hamstring) Cameron Petersen David Rodan Luke Tapscott New Dean Terlich (23, Norwood, SA) PROFESSIONALS? by The Oracle The opposing teams both took on opposition from South Australia in Round 1 with dramatically contrasting outcomes. Essendon crossed the border and beat Adelaide (3rd in 2012) by 35 points on its own home patch while nine days later, Melbourne went down to Port Adelaide (14th in 2012) by 79 points at the MCG. This information alone is sufficient to suggest that the unchanged Bombers are set for an easy night on Saturday. Melbourne has made four changes to the side that was bashed by Port Adelaide last Sunday and, on the face of it, each of the changes is a plus for the team. The players being replaced had a minimal contribution to the team effort while those coming in all have the capacity to play important roles for the team. Of course, in order for Melbourne to be competitive (let alone win) against the Bombers, it will need more than just the four newcomers to fire up. It requires an enormous lift all over the park. It needs its players to perform like the highly paid professions they profess to be. The Demons are coming off a six day break while the Bombers should be well rested having last played 15 days ago. Most of their players had a week off before that which makes Saturday's game only their second in 29 days. This could well be the weakness for Melbourne to exploit because, just as it came out looking lethargic and playing that way last week, there remains the possibility that its players have been stung by the reaction to their insipid first up performance. Then there's also the possibility that we've all underestimated Port Adelaide and overestimated the Crows or that the Round 1 results were aberrations. That's it. If Essendon look at the way Melbourne played last week, it should come out this week with supreme confidence. There's no need for an analysis of match ups. If James Frawley comes out and meanders around the park as he did last week, then Michael Hurley will have a field day. Multiply that 22 times but allow for a handful of Demons who put in an effort and it's going to be a slaughter. Time for Melbourne players to come out and look and act like professional footballers. Essendon to win. I make no prediction as to the margin.
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