This is me having a rant about the FFA and it's new expansion.
The decision to overlook the Oceania team of the century, and still most successful Australian Football club at the highest level in order to "set up shop" in Wyndham is akin to the AFL's glorious decision to setup the Gold Coast Suns.
At least the AFL didnt disregard a big club in that process.
Its all very anti Ethnic, even though Melbourne Victory have used the Scottish national anthem as their theme song, which says a little bit about the state of play of things in this nation.
Instead of picking a club that was established, has junior and senior setup for both boys and girls of all ages, and has its own training facilities, and home ground ready to go, they have gone with a bid that aims to build its own stadium and establish a green field club.
I thought I would bring this up again. This was a much tougher exercise, and my confidence in the tier 1 players giving us much more than the kids is wavering (for good and bad reasons). The kids are coming up, but our experienced players are going backwards as much. Much of what happens is down to the miracle work of Mr. Russell. If our Tier 1 players are in good condition, and available, as well as playing well, they will probably be walk up starts.
What I can see happening is that the following players will be picked most weeks unless injured, or struggling for form/fitness majorly with the kids being "ready".
Tier 1. Constants. Mature agers, team leaders, onfield coaches, call them whatever you want but these guys give you 4 quarters of bonafide established footy credentials, even if we think we have better youngsters in the next tiers waiting for a game:
Marc Murphy Kade Simpson Matthew Kreuzer Ed Curnow Dale Thomas Levi Casboult - Sticks out in this group. He's the last one standing who really doesn't belong here, and the kids have definately gone past, but he gets in here as the second ruckman/forward purely until Kreuzer is looking durable again. I wouldnt want to ruck any of our other youngsters in the event of a Kreuzer break down. Mitch McGovern Alex Fasolo - Another one I toyed with, but I had Wright here, and Fasolo is the logical replacement. He probably would have stayed at Collingwood as a backup, so he's probably come here to play footy (and probably will). Patrick Cripps Sam Docherty Lachie Plowman Liam Jones Charlie Curnow (still quite green, but he's a first name on the sheet type of player) Jacob Weitering (stalling a little on his promise, but he and Jones will be first names on the list types in 2019).
These guys are going to be on the team sheet first. These guys are only going to be excluded from selection if they are struggling big time in which case we will go the following tiers instead. Sure some kids might go past a few of them, but I've gravitated towards bonafide experienced bodies in this camp for a reason. Some will only miss out purely to give a kid who's really ticking all the boxes a chance, and which way we go will depend largely on how badly we want to win most weeks, and I am inferring that we will want to be winning most weeks. Projection 16 plus games for the year. Some will play less (looking at Levi and maybe Fasolo if he isnt 100%), but most will be in the team most of the time.
The Second tier (A mixture of blokes who are emerging talents/Arriving talents who are not quite 4 quarter week in and week out producers yet):
SPS (I almost graduated him, but I think its a bit unfair to place too high a demand to be a senior footballer in only his 3rd year on the list even though he has coped to date). Matthew Kennedy (needs a big 2019 to stamp his credentials). Harry McKay (I almost graduated him, but I think its a bit unfair to place too high a demand to be a senior footballer week in and week out with only 15 career games). Zac Fisher (I almost graduated him, but I think its a bit unfair to place too high a demand to be a senior footballer given his leg break and he has only played 34 games). Tom Williamson Paddy Dow (don't shoot me, he's only in his second year, and I expect him to buck the trend) Lachie O'Brien Will Setterfield Caleb Marchbank (See Paddy Dow).
These guys could be anything. They will make up the interchange bench if not be walk up starts, but they will be kept honest by the aformentioned. Some of them will play every week and some of our leaders will transition into other roles, or perhaps VFL leadership roles instead.
Projection between 12-16 games for the season with anything more being a bonus.
The 3rd Tier:
Matthew Lobbe Nic Newman (I think we got him to be a full time footballer and play a variety of stop gaps our kids cant fulfil yet but Im putting him here as he is 25 and yet to play 50 games). Tom Bugg (I think he will play more often than not too, but he's going to have to earn his 100th AFL game). Jarrod Garlett David Cunningham Jack Silvagni Darcy Lang Cameron Polson Jarrod Pickett Andrew Phillips Kym Lebois
This group are role/depth players/unfulfilled talents who could surprise and play every week but are more likely to be filling in the gaps for team balance that we cant quite get right from the aforementioned. I expect some to play frequently but it wouldn't surprise me to see them all out of the equation for senior football (and on the scrap heap) at all and if they play even 12 games they have done well. Projection 5-15 games for the season unless they surprise or injury hits hard like last year.
The 4th Tier:
Tom De Koning Angus Schumacher Harrison Macreadie Pat Kerr Sam Walsh Liam Stocker Ben Silvagni Hugh Goddard Finbar O'Dwyer Matthew Owies
Youngsters that are still firmly on their L plates and looking to find their feet at this level, or learn roles. Some might emerge instantly and play like seasoned pros (looking at Sam Walsh and Liam Stocker) but realistically if they get anywhere near 10 games for the year, they will be deemed a roaring success and we will not be travelling all that well if too many of them get lots of games in 2019. (Projected anywhere from 0-8 games with anything else being a major positive).
I know many are going to jump up and down about some of the players I have mentioned should be being in the first tier, but realistically the tier 2 players are all sub 50 gamers and if they are walk up starts they've either come on in leaps and bounds, or injuries have hit pretty hard.
Im really positive about this composition. I had a tough time with some players (Bugg could arguably be a 4 quarter player every week, but I think he'll be made to earn it) and some of our talented youngsters are in that sweet spot where they will go up a level again. Fisher, SPS, Marchbank, Weitering, Curnow, McGovern all should really start to kick on and go up another level in 2019. Id like to see Harry in place of Levi most weeks too, but again hes played less than 20 AFL games across the journey but going into his 4th season, anything can (and hopefully will happen).
As you can appreciate, I think we know that we are still in development mode, and one of the things we are looking for is to develop a winning attitude, as well as a winning feeling.
Irrespective, the conversation surrounding who plays when is occurring and largely it will vary depending on what our aims are.
Team balance is one. Learning opportunities with guidance is another.
Realistically I look at it, and I can see a few "constants" that are likely to be the case for our team selection, irrespective of what value we perceive they bring to the table.
What I can see happening is that the following players will be picked most weeks unless injured, or struggling for form/fitness majorly.
Mature agers, team leaders, onfield coaches, call them whatever you want:
Marc Murphy Kade Simpson Matthew Kreuzer Ed Curnow Dale Thomas Levi Casboult Matthew Wright
These guys are going to play pretty much when they are available and even if we think they are struggling. They are there not to perform well themselves, but play their role to the best of their ability and ensure that the team is playing the right way, and that other blokes are playing their allotted roles or learning to play them properly. These guys are only going to exclude themselves from selection if they are struggling big time.
The next tier:
Jack Silvagni SPS Matthew Kennedy Patrick Cripps Harry McKay Darcy Lang Lachie Plowman Jarrod Garlett Caleb Marchbank Jacob Weitering Zac Fisher David Cunningham Charlie Curnow Tom Williamson Jarrod Pickett Ciaran Byrne
These guys are no longer "learning" to play football. Some are learning to compete, or learning roles, and some weeks they will benefit from dropping down to VFL level to polish up something or work on their leadership ability, but you will find that these guys are going to be 15-23 gamers for the year (some more likely to play more than others).
The next Tier:
Sam Kerridge Jed Lamb Liam Jones Sam Rowe Aaron Mullett Cam O'Shea Matthew Lobbe Nick Graham Andrew Phillips Matt Shaw Alex Silvagni
This group are role/depth players who could surprise and play every week but are more likely to be filling in the gaps for team balance that we cant quite get right from the aforementioned. I expect some to play frequently but most of them will be doing well to get 10+ AFL games for the year and will be the VFL equivalent of what the first tier I wrote down do for our VFL team.
The Next Tier: Paddy Dow Lochie O'Brien Tom De Koning Angus Schumacher Harrison Macreadie Cameron Poulson Pat Kerr
Youngsters that are still firmly on their L plates and looking to find their feet at this level, or learn roles. Some might emerge instantly and play like seasoned pros (looking at Paddy Dow mainly or Cam Poulson hopefully) but realistically if they get anywhere near 10 games for the year, they will be deemed a roaring success. (Projected anywhere from 0-10 games with anything else being an outlier).
This is where I see our list for 2018. This is likely to be how our MC select our team for round 1, and will contain a few but not many surprises, mainly regarding team balance and opposition match ups, but anticipate that some are going to be ahead of others in the pecking order simply because we need them to be. I expect we will see the 3-4 year draftees playing pretty much every week unless their form is putrid (and even then we might persist because there is little they can benefit from at VFL level).
The Northern Blues ended their 2017 pre-season with a 23-point win over Werribee on Sunday morning.
With 16 Carlton-listed players involved in the win, senior coach Josh Fraser analyses their performances ahead of Saturday’s VFL season opener against Port Melbourne.
63. Blaine Boekhorst Stats vs. Werribee: 21 disposals, 5 marks, 3 inside 50s, 1 goal From the coach: Blaine had good game involvement offensively with his run, and he also showed a good intent defensively. He continues to build in-game on putting his good stuff together for longer.
7. Dylan Buckley Stats vs. Werribee: 12 disposals, 4 hard-ball gets From the coach: He had some really clear focuses in our back six and showed some good signs of delivering. He’s finding balance between when to attack and defend, but his good stuff was encouraging: he’s trying to build form in areas we’re after.
61. David Cuningham Stats vs. Werribee: 13 disposals, 4 clearances, 4 tackles From the coach: It wasn’t the same impact around stoppages from previous week but he showed glimpses of his cleanness around stoppages and burst out of congestion. We like him when he’s driving forward.
56. Zac Fisher Stats vs. Werribee: 15 disposals (7 contested), 6 hard-ball gets, 3 clearances From the coach: His pressure was good without being outstanding. Zac is working tirelessly on detail in his game: he keeps his feet and is clean and evasive in traffic. He sets us up offensively and is certainly an exciting talent.
49. Andrew Gallucci Stats vs. Werribee: 12 disposals, 3 inside 50s, 4 tackles, 3 goals From the coach: Terrific performance given he’s missed so much football. He gives us a different dimension up forward, and his ability to not only apply pressure but also cap off his game via the scoreboard with three goals was great reward.
11. Jesse Glass-McCasker Stats vs. Werribee: 4 disposals From the coach: He’s shown some great improvement in his game, Jesse. He has worked hard on his defensive positioning and his impact on the game. He’s still working on capitalising with ball in hand but his set-up and positioning showed good growth.
48. Kristian Jaksch Stats vs. Werribee: 12 disposals, 7 marks (5 inside 50), 4 tackles, 2 goals From the coach: KJ is competing as well as I’ve seen him. He has been brutal in air, his decision making when it comes to leading up at the ball is getting better and he’s adding forward-50 pressure to his game. If he keeps doing that on a regular basis, he’s in really good shape.
14. Liam Jones Stats vs. Werribee: 11 disposals, 5 marks (2 contested), 1 goal From the coach: His contest in the air was outstanding and he applied great pressure with ball in his area, while also providing a strong contest in ruck. He’s a massive presence around the ball.
26. Sam Kerridge Stats vs. Werribee: 23 disposals, 6 marks, 11 hard-ball gets, 1 goal From the coach: He found enough of the ball to impact the contest as a midfielder and forward. On the whole, he worked really hard on both sides of the game. It was a strong performance.
36. Matthew Korcheck Stats vs. Werribee: 6 disposals, 30 hitouts, 1 goal From the coach: He gave our mids first use with his ruck work, as well as competing hard and around the ground. He’s beginning to understand patterns away from the ball - he finished with a goal and his follow-up work was impressive.
15. Harry McKay Stats vs. Werribee: 10 disposals, 4 marks, 1 goal From the coach: He’s still building consistency with marking and has certainly showed improvement in that area: he’s launching at more balls and working hard on leading patterns and defensively. He could and probably should have finished with three or four.
23. Rhys Palmer Stats vs. Werribee: 23 disposals, 4 clearances, 4 tackles, 3 goals From the coach: Rhys had a strong offensive involvement. He’s a really smart player. He constantly ran to the right positions, he was strong in the contest and had great goal sense to finish with three.
65. Cameron Polson Stats vs. Werribee: 8 disposals, 3 inside 50s From the coach: He’s continuing to work hard on method. His intent is quite strong, almost to the point of having to slow down and getting his method right in the moment. He had more impact as the game went on. I think he’ll be a really exciting player given time.
66. Ciaran Sheehan Stats vs. Werribee: 10 disposals, 3 inside 50s From the coach: His defensive positioning continues to grow, he’s making clearer decisions when he is in possession and executing most of the time. ‘Gussy’ is continuing to build an encouraging line of form.
46. Liam Sumner Stats vs. Werribee: 12 disposals, 4 marks, 4 inside 50s From the coach: His work-rate and pressure around the footy was really strong. He was far more busy this week with his involvements, he had opportunities in front of goal and set others up.
12. Tom Williamson Stats vs. Werribee: 11 disposals, 7 handball receives From the coach: Tom was solid defensively, he made good decisions away from the footy and he’s really exciting with the way he goes forward and uses it.
Carlton rookies Cameron Wood and Ciaran Sheehan have got the nod to play senior games in 2015.
Both players have been listed by the Blues as Nominated Rookies, meaning they can be available for selection for every game.
Under the Nominated Rookie Rule, a team is eligible to nominate a rookie player who can play during the premiership season and finals series if it has 38 players on its list (not including veteran players) and satisfies the Total Player Payments requirements.
Cameron Wood in action against Geelong in the NAB Challenge at the weekend. (Photo: AFL Photos)
Both Wood and Sheehan made their Carlton debut last year: Wood in Round 18 against North Melbourne and Sheehan in Round 20 against the Gold Coast.
Wood, who came to Carlton after stints at Brisbane and Collingwood, has since played six games in the Navy Blue.
Sheehan has run out four times since making the move to Australia from County Cork in Ireland at the start of 2014.
A few senior boys in this one, and in some ways might be more important for us than the senior match. hopefully these boys can show some solid form and press the issue for selection in the seniors sooner rather than later.
Northern Blues: 1. Bradley Walsh, 2. Matthew Dick, 3. Billy Gowers, 4. Dillon Viojo-Rainbow, 6. Jake Wild, 7. Dylan Buckley, 8. Brent Bransgrove, 11. Tom Fields, 12. Lachlan Langwell, 19. Matthew Watson, 20. Nick Holman, 27. Cameron Wood, 31. Ciaran Porter, 33. Nick Graham, 34. Blaine Johnson, 37. Dennis Armfield, 42. Ryan Tester, 51. Chris McCabe, 55. Lachlan Boscarini, 57. Fraser Russell, 63. Eamon Gilbert, 66. Dyson Stevens, 78. Damon Aujl.
Firstly Id like to congratulate the Aussies. 10 through to the second round is a remarkable effort, and something we can be very proud of and from reports might never have happened before.
On the flipside, I think the tennis players would do well to distance themselves from the AFL at the moment. Thanasi Kokkinakis is the "Port Adelaide Football Club Ambassador" and had a quite remarkable victory last night. Apparently has done some pre season training with them as well.
5 sets at aged 18 vs an opponent who is currently ranked 13th in the world (and cracked the top 10 for the first time last year). It was a gutsy win, and showed a lot of character and also speaks for his commitment, determination and preparation.
Let the Tennis do the talking and dont worry about representing interests that are outside of your own youngster! Mud sticks and doesnt come off very easily.
The Northern Blues defeated Frankston by 38 points in the AFL Victoria Development League ensured their perfect start to the season.
An irresistible Blues outfit ran riot in the first quarter with six goals to one, seeing them take a 34-point lead at the first change, which ultimately set the tone for the day.
The second half saw a tighter affair in comparison to the first, but still saw an extension of Northern’s lead - particularly due to the efficacy up through three goals from Wodonga recruit, Steve Murray.
Frankston got the first goal of the second half but the third quarter was again all about the Blues, who proceeded to slam through four on the trot for a 54-point lead at three quarter time.
Even Development captain Paul Dirago got amongst the scorers, an event which doesn’t occur all too frequently.
The last quarter saw the Dolphins add some respectability to the scoreboard with the Blues only mustering the one point. By that stage, the Blues’ minds were on the Good Friday clash with Coburg.
The mindset of the Blues was evident early, with a fast start being the primary aim. The victory would be put down to good pressure applied all over the park, with Northern players more often than not coming up trumps in the one on ones.
Frankston meanwhile, would be lamenting their inaccuracy, kickuing just five goals from 20 scoring shots. Had they taken their chances earlier on in the match, the finish could’ve been much more similar to the seniors match proceeding it.
Nonetheless, it was a win largely set up by the brilliance of Jesse Tardio
In just his second game for the club, Tardio’s exemplary performance saw him finish with 38 touches and 11 inside 50s.
Tardio’s supply - along with the prolific likes of Kyle Emley (33 possessions) - more than capably honoured the demand of the Blues forwards, who spread the load and worked as a cohesive unit.
Along with Murray, Michael Dufficy finished with three majors each for the afternoon, and combined for nine tackles in impressive afternoons for both men.
Kyle McDonald’s (11 tackles) desire at the contest was unparalleled: no mean feat considering he was part of a collective who harassed and hurried their opposition at every opportunity in unrelenting display.
Captain Paul Dirago post-match said he was pleased with the overall performance for the Blues.
“Frankston really came out strong in the second half especially,” Dirago said.
“They’re a great contested footy side so we had to make sure we stuck to our structures and beat them in the clinches.”
Dirago stressed the importance of getting the victory, especially after the huge upset win against Williamstown last week.
“We can’t ask for a better start to the season: we were intent on not merely being a one hit wonder.”
“We beat the reigning premier last week, but we came up against another quality opponent so getting the four points was vital.”
The attention now turns to the next game, the Development side doing battle on Good Friday against Coburg at Mantello Holden Oval.