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ROUND 3, 2010 APRIL 9-11 $5 (INC. GST)

Daniel Hannebery NAB AFL Rising Star PAGE 76



Dockers: new way paying off Analysing tackling numbers

Ted Hopkins

63 WAY TO GO: Fremantle has shot

out of the blocks in 2010 and, from left, Aaron Sandilands, Adam McPhee and Chris Mayne are lapping it up.

ROUND 3, APRIL 9-11, 2010

Features 57

New dawn for Dockers

Nick Bowen looks at Fremantle’s new approach.


Matthew Kreuzer

The young Carlton big man comes of age.


Moments of the decade

The loss of Troy Broadbridge was felt by all.

Regulars 4


Your say on the football world.


The Bounce

Views, news, first person, facts, data, culture.



Stats, history and line-ups.


Dream Team

Advice from Mr Fantasy, our Dream Team expert.

70 74 THIS WEEK’S COVER Matthew Kreuzer prefers to let his football do the talking and it’s a theory that is paying dividends for the young Carlton star. PHOTO: LACHLAN CUNNINGHAM

76 78

Answer Man Kids’ Corner NAB AFL Rising Star Last Line

Why stats on tackles can be misleading.


Your say on the world of football


Trends dictate rule changes

Where was ‘Johnno’?


How can you prepare a publication for a match where a player (Western Bulldogs captain Brad Johnson) is due to play his 350th game no less, without any reference or tribute of any kind to such an amazing milestone? To make things worse, there were two pages devoted to Mathew Richardson who does not even play any more and nothing about ‘Johnno’. I realise there was some uncertainty about whether Johnno would actually play or not, but surely it is better to pay tribute and have him not play, than what occurred where he played with no recognition at all.

After originally being ruled out with injury, Bulldog champion Brad Johnson showed his amazing reliance by recovering to play his 350th game in round one.


Editor’s response:

We were in regular contact with the Bulldogs leading up to the game, and had planned to feature Brad in round one. With Brad being injured, the club was unable to confirm when he would play and we made a decision to hold the story. We were, however, able to make mention of Brad’s selection on page 41 of the Bulldogs’ match-day edition, a section that went to print on Thursday evening once the 25-man squads were announced. It’s important to note that the Bulldogs were more than aware of our plans and most cooperative throughout the process. Unfortunately for us, the club and Bulldogs fans, circumstances did not allow our plan to come to light.

Watch early form Many people are quick to write off pre-season form as irrelevant. However, looking at pre-season results since 1997, three of the semi-finalists generally make the final eight at the end of the season. With St Kilda and the Western Bulldogs almost certain to achieve this, we can expect one of Port Adelaide and Fremantle to improve upon their results from last year. This has been backed up by strong early season form from both clubs. DANIEL McCABE, ADELAIDE, SA

Same old Tigers? Sitting at the Gabba last Thursday reading the AFL Record, I could not help but


4 AFL RECORD visit

laugh when reading the letter by Tony from Ashburton. You’re right, Tony, Richmond will not be pushovers like they were in 2009. Carlton only beat them by 56 points in round one, compared to 83 last year. BILL VELDMEYER, UPPER COOMERA, QLD.

HAVE YOUR SAY: Send us your feedback. The best letter each round will receive a copy of the AFL Record Season Guide 2010. Email G aflrecordeditor@ r slatterymedia. slat com or write to AFL Record, Slattery Re Media Group, 140 M Harbour Esplanade, H Docklands, VIC, 3008. D


AFL CLUB ACCOUNT MANAGER Anthony Palmer ADVERTISING SALES COORDINATOR Laura Mullins Advertising (03) 9627 2600 PHOTOGRAPHY Sean Garnsworthy, Michael Willson, Lachlan Cunningham AFL Photos (03) 9627 2600 PRINTED BY PMP Print

� Listening to talkback radio is almost always an instructive (and occasionally humorous) way of gauging the mood of football fans. In recent times, the topic of rules – specifically the introduction of new laws or more refined interpretations of existing ones – has had supporters feverishly dialling in to share their views about a change, often finishing with a call for the AFL to “LEAVE THE GAME ALONE”. This week, Peter Ryan looks at the rigorous process that drives rule changes (see story starting on page 9), using the introduction of the rushed-behind rule as an example of the process. It should placate those who think changes are made on a whim, without due consideration being given to a wide range of matters, including what supporters think. Also in this issue, analyst Ted Hopkins provides a left-field view on the value of tackling, arguing an over-emphasis on it can in fact be detrimental (see page 78). He cites St Kilda’s efforts last year, when it scored fewer points a game while increasing the number of tackles it was making each match. Although not disputing the effectiveness of the Saints’ emphasis on tackling and applying pressure, he suggests they need to “rediscover their creative genes”. PETER DI SISTO

ADDRESS CORRESPONDENCE TO TheTHIS Editor,WEEK’S AFL Record,COVER Ground Floor, XXXX XXXXX 140XXXXXXXXXXXXX Harbour Esplanade, X Docklands, Victoria, 3008. Go9627 to afl P: (03) 2600 F: (03) 9627 2650 E: to order prints

of this image.

AFL RECORD, VOL. 99, ROUND 3, 2010 Copyright. ACN No. 004 155 211. ISSN 1444-2973, Print Post approved PP320258/00109




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FAIR PLAY: Players are adapting to the rules to help them at contests like this one from round two involving (from left) Carlton’s Bret Thornton, Brisbane’s Jonathan Brown and Blues defender Joe Anderson.

Some people seem to think I wake up one morning and think, ‘Why don’t we give this rule a crack?’ ADRIAN ANDERSON


As a rule, changes follow a rigorous process PETER RYA N


n 1939, this line appeared in a newspaper article: “The secretary of the VFL told members last night the trouble with the game today was that some dog could bark up a tree and away went another rule”. It proves the discussion about rules is

not new, but with the media coverage more intense than ever, and more people involved in the game, a vast number of voices are now contributing to the debate. In recent seasons, we’ve debated hands in the back, rushed behinds, the ‘ruck

rule’ and, now, interchange rotations. They were – and in some cases, still are – the game’s barbecue stoppers. This enormous interest is easily explained. Simply, each rule change (or adjustment to interpretation of a rule), even the subtle tweaks, impacts the game. Now, with so many canny coaches around and players who adapt quicker than groovy grandmas, every Laws of the Game committee decision affects the game’s direction in

ways only the sharpest football minds can envisage. As a result, each rule change (or non-change for that matter) needs to go through a careful and rigorous process of testing and debate and research before being introduced. “Some people seem to think I wake up one morning and think, ‘Why don’t we give this rule a crack?’ ” says Adrian Anderson, the AFL’s football operations general manager CON T IN U ED NE X T PAGE

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and chair of the Laws of the Game committee. For the record, he doesn’t. The process leading to each decision is more ordered and evidence-based than it has ever been. Laws of the Game committee decisions are made after a combination of academic research, consultation with each club’s match committees (including the senior coach), observation, fans survey and statistical analysis, with robust discussion brought to the table. With two current players (Fremantle captain Matthew Pavlich and three-time Brisbane Lions premiership player Luke Power) on the nine-member Laws committee and a game analysis manager in former Carlton star Andrew McKay, the AFL has become better in recent years

The AFL continues to build a credible research base through the AFL Research Board

(it admits it is not yet perfect) at establishing both the personnel and the process to tap into the knowledge of clubs and players and how proposed rule changes would play out on the field. Consultation with clubs is critical, as it is at club level that the game moves at a pace capable of making Bomber Alwyn Davey look slow. The AFL continues to build a credible and well-regarded research base through the

AFL Research Board, which began allocating funding for football specific research projects in 1999. It can also commission specific analyses when required, and employs a professional research business to canvas supporters’ views on the game. All this information goes into each rule discussion – to a greater or lesser extent of course, depending on the rule. The hot topic right now is interchange rotations – to cap or not to cap, to extend or not to extend, to keep the status quo or change. Evidence has been gathered over a number of years and discussions have been ongoing: the number of interchanges per team per game; whether there is a causal relationship between injury

(soft-tissue and collision) and the number of interchanges; the views of match committees on the impact a high number of rotations has on the game, players, and the way it is played, as well as the effect possible rule changes would have on all those relevant variables. Eventually, supporters will have their say as well. Anderson doesn’t know what the outcome of that discussion will be, but he is confident in one thing: the process will be robust enough to take in all points of view and evidence will be available to back the solution. “All this information leads to changes that play a significant role in ensuring the game remains the great spectacle we have today,” he said.

Rushed behind rule not rushed � The decision to introduce a rushed behind rule, where a free kick in front of goal would be paid against a team which deliberately rushed a behind, is a perfect example of the process in action. It wasn’t a change, as many perceived, only considered necessary because Hawthorn rushed 11 behinds in the 2008 Grand Final. Obviously, that occurrence, and former Tiger Joel Bowden’s notable winding down of the clock against Essendon in round 16 of that year, sharpened the discussion. The number of rushed behinds was already being monitored because stakeholders, who can at regular intervals nominate areas of concern for the Laws of the Game committee to track, had placed the issue on the AFL’s radar. The proportion of behinds deliberately rushed was increasing each year – 1.4 a game in 2006, 2.0 in 2007 to 2.4 in 2008. The issue began to show up on fans surveys as an area of increasing concern to watchers. Something needed to be addressed. There was a suggestion that the rule allowing players to kick the ball in before the


LENIENT: The rushed behind rule is not designed to penalise defenders under pressure.

goal umpire waved his flags – introduced in 2006 – was causing the increase in rushed behinds, so more extensive research was considered. It showed that only 25 per cent of kick-ins following a rushed behind were being taken before the flags were waved, while 45 per cent of kick-ins after the rushed behind were executed by the same player who rushed the behind. Therefore, the connection between the two was not significant and a suggestion that the only thing needed was a rule that did not allow the player who rushed the behind to kick in was, pardon the pun, ruled out. After talking to the clubs’ match committees, it was clear

the coaches thought the level of deliberate rushed behinds was certain to increase if the rule remained unchanged. Most agreed options to change the rule should be considered. The three most likely penalties were canvassed: � Bounce the ball at the top of the goalsquare; � Throw the ball in from one of the point posts; � Award a free kick against the team which rushed a behind. Further research evaluating likely scenarios to arise from each suggested change was conducted. For example, the clearance rate to arise from boundary

throw-ins was measured. The analysis showed that the first two options would lead to further congestion, working against the philosophy of the AFL to maintain a fast-flowing game. The Laws of the Game committee considered the evidence in front of it and determined that a free kick (an idea Adelaide coach Neil Craig had put forward) would be awarded against the team that rushed a behind. The direction given to umpires was to only penalise the most obvious infringements, rather than penalising defenders under pressure. The rule changed. Supporters’ right to yell and scream and plead and dispute remained. The players adapted. A year on from the rule change, most observers recognise it as a positive for the game. The Laws of the Game committee and anyone who contributed to their decision would have been entitled to pat themselves on the back. The rule change had been justified. The process had led to a good decision.

Port Adelaide’s David Rodan placed back on the senior list, after a stint on the long-term injury list.

8 AFL RECORD visit


Clubs wary of burning out their young stars NICK BOW EN


irst-year players Tom Scully and Jack Trengove (Melbourne), Dustin Martin (Richmond), Anthony Morabito (Fremantle), Andrew Moore (Port Adelaide), Ryan Bastinac (North Melbourne) and Mitch Duncan (Geelong) have quickly made an impression at AFL level. All made their clubs’ round one teams and all, bar Moore, kept their spots for round two. But as two-time Adelaide premiership coach Malcolm Blight once said, the AFL season is a marathon. And first-year players can hit the wall – physically and mentally – if not properly managed. So what safeguards do clubs have in place to ensure their youngsters make it to the finish line in their first season? Melbourne fitness manager Joel Hocking says the primary way the Demons manage the workloads of first-year players such as Scully and Trengove is to limit their game-time, capping it at about 75 per cent. “The intensity of the game they’re used to at under-18 level is completely different and it’s a fairly large step up,” Hocking says. The club also tracks the players’ efforts during a game through GPS readings, complementing this after the game and during the week with ‘wellness scales’. These are questionnaires players are asked to fill in, which include questions such as ‘How are you feeling?’ and ‘How hard did you rate that session?’ The aim is to help measure a player’s recovery from games and training. “Ultimately, you look at all of the information you’ve got NEWS TRACKER

The intensity of the game they’re used to at under-18 level is completely different

and adjust the player’s training according to that,” Hocking says. “It’s about finding the optimum level JOEL HOCKING, of training that MELBOURNE FITNESS MANAGER maintains their fitness but, at the same time, has them fresh for the weekend.” Port Adelaide development coach Darren Trevena says the mental preparation of young players is also vital to their ability to perform consistently. To ensure each player learns game-plans and team structures as quickly as possibly, the club conducts a personality profile soon after their arrival. “For someone who is non-visual and more of an audible learner, showing him a video image in the lecture theatre won’t necessarily get the message across, so you need to grab him and speak to him one-on-one,” Trevena says. Another challenge for a club such as the Power is most of its recruits have relocated and are adjusting to living out of home for the first time. “We monitor these young guys’ welfare very closely, and it’s about keeping the communication paths open with the boys, but also with our fitness and medical staff,” Trevena says. “That way, the boys have a good platform to do their best.”

KID GLOVES: Melbourne

is managing the workload of first-year players such as Jack Trengove by capping their game-time at 75 per cent.

W H E N T H E Y ’ R E N O T P L AY I N G Player

What is one thing people would be surprised to learn about you?

Teammate most likely to Google his name?

Other sports teams you follow?

The last concert you went to?

Kings of Leon

Adam Goodes (Syd)

I drive a s. Toyota Prius.

Kierre Jack Kieren

Chicago Bulls, Philadelphia Phillies, New England Patriots

Robbie Tarrant (Nth Melb)

I can squat more than 200kg.

Liam A Anthony

Chelsea in the EPL

Colin Sylvia (Melb)

I cry g watching movies all the time.

M Calee Morton

Australian cricket team


Jason Akermanis (WB)

I am able to o ia ian be a Canadian citizen.

New York Yankees, Manchester United, Ferrari

n Justin berlake Timberlake

S Sh Shaun Hi H Higgins

St Stereosonic

Sydney Swans start trials for their junior academy, with 600 players aged 8-12 having registered their interest. AFL RECORD visit 9

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HARD TO STOP: St Kilda star



Nick Riewoldt has the drop on the Magpies.

The man who eats the Pies

Ruck move a logical one C A L LU M T WOMEY




lot of players love playing against Collingwood because it’s a chance to perform in a finals-type atmosphere in front of a big crowd. St Kilda skipper Nick Riewoldt loves taking on the Pies more than most. Indeed, he has the wood over the ’Woods. The superstar forward has dominated each of his past three outings against Collingwood. Significantly, two of these games have been knockout finals. The Pies have tried a variety of tactics and opponents but have been unable to curb Riewoldt. Their task appears even more difficult – and ominous – this round with the blond sensation fresh from a seven-goal bag against North Melbourne, his biggest haul in almost four years. One of Riewoldt’s greatest admirers is his former coach Grant Thomas, who doubts Collingwood boasts a defender with the rare mix of strength, speed, endurance and general athleticism required to go with Riewoldt. “Nick’s greatest accolade from peers is his work ethic – he runs his opponents into the ground,” he said. “Sometimes, teams should go for a left-field type defender because most traditional defenders just don’t have the engine. “But, if you put an athlete on Nick, he’ll take them to the goalsquare and out-muscle them. You might rotate opponents on him to cover

both circumstances, but you need adaptability and great communication to do that successfully.” With the Pies’ blanket man Simon Prestigiacomo sidelined, the candidates appear to include Harry O’Brien, Nick Maxwell, Leigh Brown, Ben Reid and, as a left-field smoky, out-of-sorts forward Travis Cloke. Thomas said alarm bells would be ringing for opposition sides following Riewoldt’s performance last week when he worked deeper in attack. “That should be his blueprint going forward,” Thomas said. “There’s no point him taking marks in the midfield; you want him being the big key target. That will focus even more opposition attention on him and be more predictable, but it will also enable the likes of (Brendon) Goddard to become even more dangerous.” With former Saint defender Max Hudghton on Collingwood’s coaching staff and certain to provide great insight into his

old team’s methods, Thomas jests: “Max is such a loyal and deep-blooded Saints man that he might have a timely bout of amnesia this week!” However, there aren’t many secrets in AFL footy. Thomas recalled a rival coach once telling him: “I know exactly what you’re doing, but I don’t know how to stop it.” The Pies could say the same thing about their vain attempts to contain Riewoldt. Footnote: The Pies have also had problems stopping Hawthorn’s Lance Franklin and Blue-turned-Lion Brendan Fevola. Franklin’s recent form against the Pies has perhaps been more dominant than Riewoldt’s, his past three outings producing seven Brownlow votes and 19.14 (and averages of 16 kicks, nine marks and six handballs); while Fevola, in the 2007-08 period, bagged at least six goals on three consecutive occasions. (In his past two efforts, Fevola has contributed just 1.1.)

N I C K R I E W O L D T ’ S L A S T T H R E E M AT C H E S AG A I N S T T H E M AG P I E S Round

Season Disposals Kicks
















Contested marks 4








Goal assists 2



W 88

W 34








vwW 28









ort Adelaide’s solid early season form has been largely put down to its ability to apply more pressure and an improvement in its tackling. Ignored, to an extent, has been the re-emergence of Justin Westhoff, whose shift to the midfield (with stints as a back-up ruckman) has been one of the more significant, and effective, positional changes seen this year. “Over pre-season, we were looking at who was going to ruck for us, having lost the retired Brendon Lade, but at that stage, we had Cameron Cloke as a rookie, and Matthew Lobbe as a young, developing ruckman,” said Matthew Primus, the Power’s midfield and ruck coach. “(Coach) Mark (Williams) brought up Justin as an option, knowing he has a huge ability to run and help out in the ruck.” Westhoff (199cm) burst on to the scene in 2007 as a key forward and kicked 34 goals in 16 matches in his debut season, with the Power reaching the Grand Final. Since then, he has struggled with injuries and poor form. The move into the midfield came at a good time. “He will still play as a key forward, but it gives him a chance to play in different positions and get involved in the game more,” Primus said. “Justin’s ability to get after the ball when it hits the ground is pretty special, so it’s certainly a role he brings some valuable skills to.” In last week’s three-point win over West Coast, Westhoff produced perhaps the best of his 52 AFL games, collecting a career-high 27 possessions, taking nine marks and chipping in with a goal. As far asfree-wheeling midfielders go, Westhoff’s performance was dominant;

Carlton supporting Children’s Cancer Centre Foundation and Steven Walter Foundation at this weekend’s game.

10 AFL RECORD visit


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a combination of height, agility and pace make him difficult to contain. In the NAB Cup against the Western Bulldogs, Westhoff, 23, even played as a wingman. With a history of rucking as a junior, an engine to match a midfielder, and an obvious goal-sense, Williams’ decision to move Westhoff appears logical.


A one-sided approach PETER RYA N


ou rarely see it anymore: the player having a crack at hacking the ball downfield when he is caught on his non-preferred foot. Even when under pressure, most players will turn back into trouble and back their evasive skills before they will back their skill on their non-preferred foot. Or they might try to kick the ball on the outside of their preferred foot. It’s a pity. The wobbly, uncoordinated action was always good for a laugh – both in the crowd and, providing the team won, among teammates at the review the week following. However, when Essendon’s development coach Adrian Hickmott sums up the prevailing wisdom among coaches, it’s clear why such actions have become a thing of the past: “If the nonpreferred is not as potent as their preferred foot, we generally want our players to come back on to their preferred foot to make sure the target is hit rather than lifting the ball up a little bit more and giving the opposition a look at it.” There’s the rub. Football demands that a high percentage of targets are hit so, for coaches, a tumbling punt downfield is no longer a laughing matter. It’s not that players aren’t being taught how to kick on their non-preferred side. AIS-AFL Academy coach Jason McCartney says each Academy NEWS TRACKER

member is presented with a kicking program to improve skills on their non-preferred side. “We start with the no-step kick. This is about getting the ball-drop right and getting the power through the leg,” McCartney says. Renowned kicking coach Kevin Ball analyses a video of each Academy player’s kicking action and each player is given a kicking program to follow. “It’s important to be proficient on your non-preferred foot, but I don’t think you need to be elite,” McCartney says. Hickmott would prefer players are, but reality means he needs to ensure players under his tuition can, at least initially, kick on their non-preferred to get out of trouble. Hickmott keeps working with young players to ensure they become as good as they can on their non-preferred side, instructing them to kick on their non-preferred during warm-ups and in extra touch sessions inside the gym. Also, he keeps reminding those players a tad uncomfortable about their deficiency that those who are strong on both sides of their body (Hawthorn’s Sam Mitchel, Collingwood’s Alan Didak and the Western Bulldogs’ Robert Murphy are examples) have a massive advantage over It’s important those who aren’t. “Michael Hurley can to be proficient kick 50 on left and right. on your nonPlayers who can are preferred foot, but going to be advantaged in the way they play the I don’t think you game,” he says. need to be elite Still, many players JASON McCARTNEY have to live with that awful possibility that one day their deficiency on their non-preferred foot STRONG ON BOTH SIDES: Hawks captain Sam Mitchell uses the ball well on will have dire consequences. either side of his body. Anyone wondering what the effect can be should watch the finish, the match-winner. today’s game. Development St Kilda’s Clinton Jones forced to It’s no knock on Jones. He is coaches keep pushing the attempt a banana on his left foot one of many – often leftissue. Players keep fi nding while running up the members’ footers it must be said – who ways to get out of trouble. wing at about the 22-minute just never get comfortable And, occasionally, we are mark of the last quarter of last enough to kick on their nonreminded that, despite the year’s Grand Final. preferred foot when the improvement in all areasof A right foot kick would have heat is on. It’s a reflection of the game, the anomaly of been handy, as the turnover led how good a kick you need to the one-sided player remains to Paul Chapman’s eventual be on your preferred side in in the game. left-foot snap goal, that was, in

Brian Lake (WB), Nick Riewoldt (St K) and Jared Brennan (BL) round two nominations for the Hungry Jack’s AFL Mark of the Year.

12 AFL RECORD visit


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VERBATIM / John Payne, Sydney Swans match-day manager The 2010 season has opened with record numbers of interchange rotations – four clubs, including the Sydney Swans (137), registered more than 130 in round one – making the interchange steward’s role ever more important – and hectic. Swans match-day manager John Payne has coordinated the club’s interchanges since 1999 and explains how demanding the role has become. � “My role is a lot more hectic now than when I started. As recently as the 2005 Grand Final, I think we did 62 interchanges, but we routinely do more than double that now. In round one, we made 137 changes. When you consider most quarters run for about 30 minutes and most games for 120, that’s more than one change a minute, so there’s not a lot of time to watch the game. The scrutiny of interchanges has been far greater since 50m penalties have been awarded against players coming on to the ground too early.


sits between coach Paul Roos and football manager Andrew Ireland during a game last season.

Unfortunately, we’ve infringed a couple of times since that rule came in (in 2008) but most clubs have. Still, when it happens, if the earth could swallow you up, that would be terrific. In one of those cases, the player (Payne could not remember who) came from behind me and just took off. He misunderstood completely what was going on. Afterwards, he was mortified, the poor kid. Fortunately, all our coaches, ‘Roosy’ (senior coach Paul Roos) in particular, are really level-

headed and understand that sometimes in these situations mistakes can happen. To anybody on the outside it looks such a simple thing to get right. But when you consider the amount of rotations that occur and the intensity of the atmosphere on the boundary line, you’re only ever a fraction of a second away from making a blue. In my role, you’ve got to understand the players are focused on doing their job, which is getting out there and playing. They’ll also be

particularly keen to get back on quickly if they’ve got an important match-up. But you’ve got to be firm at times and hold them back, basically telling them we’re better to have 17 players on the ground than 19. But our players are very good. They’re professionals and understand the implications of not interchanging correctly. It can be a draining role at times but I regard it as privilege to do it for the footy club.” WITH NICK BOWEN

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AFL RECORD visit 13

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O’Brien was OK, bar one time PETER RYA N


ast Saturday against Melbourne, Collingwood’s Harry O’Brien stood in close proximity to the Demons’ man on the mark, poised to clear a path for his teammate if he chose to play on. It was an unusual move – like someone distracting a bouncer while his mate rushes through the door – and it attracted the attention of commentators and supporters. Many wondered whether O’Brien’s actions were legal. In response, AFL umpires’ manager Jeff Gieschen reviewed footage after the game, looking at where the Collingwood defender stood in relation to the man on the mark. He saw O’Brien take such action four times during the clash and watched each occurrence from all angles. In the first incident, which happened late in the second quarter, O’Brien stood alongside the man on the mark. He was

infringing by doing this and the umpire should have stopped play and ordered O’Brien to move away. The umpire, said Gieschen, should have re-set the mark. O’Brien got lucky when the umpire did nothing. But the Magpies’ No. 8 didn’t make the same mistake twice. On the next three occasions, he stood behind Melbourne’s man on the mark. This was perfectly legal. Although O’Brien was close to the opponent standing on the mark – literally breathing down his neck – his positioning was allowed, as he was not standing on the mark or in front of the man on the mark. There is, said Gieschen, nothing in the rulebook that says a player cannot stand behind a man on the mark. However, any player standing behind the man on the mark, who then shepherds for a teammate who plays on, needs to be careful. The umpire can pay a free kick against a player who shepherds the man on the mark when the player with the ball is more than five metres away. The rules are clear. On one occasion the rule was interpreted incorrectly and the player’s action was illegal. In the remaining three, all parties got it right. The capacity to execute the skill remains the challenge. Footy as it should be.

‘AKA’ SET TO BE STATE’S NO. 1 � Jason Akermanis will be a long way from his native Queensland this weekend but he will break a record for the Sunshine State on Sunday when he runs out for the Western Bulldogs against Hawthorn at Etihad Stadium. The veteran Bulldog and former Brisbane Lion will break the record for most AFL games by a Queensland player. Last week, Akermanis drew level with former Lions premiership teammate Marcus Ashcroft on 318 games and on Sunday is set to play game No. 319. NEW MARK: Jason

Akermanis (left) will pass Marcus Ashcroft’s record for most games by a Queenslander.


Collingwood’s Harry O’Brien was a focus of discussion after last weekend.

Most AFL matches by Queenslanders 318

*Jason Akermanis



*Marcus Ashcroft



*Michael Voss



Jason Dunstall



Gavin Crosisca



*Mal Michael



*Max Hudghton

St Kilda


Scott McIvor



*Matthew Kennedy



*Nick Riewoldt

St Kilda



Michael Osborne (Haw), Lindsay Thomas (NM) and Jonathan Brown (BL) round two nominations for the Panasonic AFL Goal of the Year.

14 AFL RECORD visit



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the bounce


Cyril Rioli HAWTHORN

ďż˝ You know you’ve made it when the crowd roars when you merely lope on to the ďŹ eld. For young Hawk Cyril Rioli – not yet at his 21st birthday (July), nor his 50th game (45) – the fans roared at the 10-minute mark of the ďŹ rst quarter, when the indescribable one ran on to the ďŹ eld against Geelong at the MCG on Easter Monday. Indescribable? Yes, because Rioli is doing things that only a few have done before him; there is not one word that can do justice to the player some in the Hawks crowd are calling ‘Sizzling Cyril’, or just ‘The Sizzler’. He shimmies like his wonderful uncles Maurice Rioli and Michael Long. He tackles like his father (Cyril jnr; Rioli’s grandfather was Cyril, which explains why the young man’s Northern Territory nickname is ‘Junior Boy’), whom Long once described as the best tackler to play in the Northern Territory. He has the speed of Kevin Bartlett, the courage

of Jason Dunstall, and nd the charisma of ‌ Cyril Rioli. His reappearance was delayed by a pre-season son groin injury, one the doomsayers had labelled elled OP, the dreaded, all but unďŹ xable horror strain of the osteitis pubis; but within seconds, onds, after Rioli had swooped, ped, dashed, shimmied, sped ped away and booted long g (albeit with a shank) to create te an unforgettable goal assist ssist for the Hawks, the question uestion buzzing through the crowd was: “OP? What OP?’â€?â€? oli There was more Rioli magic to come; although the disposals were down on usual, the tackles were hard, fast and electrifying, and he still had a couple of delightful ‘gives’ left for us to enjoy. As the Herald Sun’s Mike Sheahan and Jon Anderson said last weekend, Rioli is the player fans of all clubs love to watch. From Anderson, a true blue Cats fan, that surely is some praise in a match that hung in the balance. We can only hope The Sizzler evolves, through maturity, growing strength and conďŹ dence. He will surely become one of the greats of the game.



Is there anything brilliant young Hawk Cyril Rioli can’t do?


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AFL RECORD visit aďŹ&#x201A; 17

the bounce



Shedding light on a football novelty

NIGHTMOVES: While the RichmondSouth Melbourne practice match under lights in 1935, featuring the great Jack Dyer (inset), was viewed as a novelty, night football has become an AFL phenomenon.



efore the 1935 season, Richmond and South Melbourne agreed to play a practice match at the Motordrome in Richmond, which is now known as Olympic Park, opposite the MCG. The match was to be played on March 30 on a Saturday night, under electric lighting. Richmond had a dilemma; with cricket still being played on its Punt Road ground, it had few other options to play and train on. The Tigers had contacted South, hoping it would be interested in the novel approach. The VFL agreed to the trial, perhaps unsure how the public would take to a practice match at night, but eager to see another clash between the two powerhouses. (The two had met in the 1933 and 1934 Grand Finals, with one win each.) Just before he died in 2005, Richmond’s Pat Davey, the last surviving player from that game, remembered the occasion. “My mate and I were at Jack Titus’ pub, and there were trams going up Church Street. I said to him, ‘Where is everybody going? The bloody trams are packed’,” Davey said. Some 25,000 spectators had crowded into the venue. At 8pm sharp, the lights were turned on, with 136,000 watts pouring on to the ground. It was said to be the largest set-up of its type in the southern hemisphere, with floodlights erected around the ground. To the crowd’s surprise, on to the field came not football players, but drivers in midget cars – a weekly fixture at the ground. It was an early form of pre-match entertainment. While the lights gathered strength, a race took place, with Les Gough NEWS TRACKER

As the ball rose in the air at throw-ins, the ruckmen were blinded by the floodlights

breaking the track record (posting a time of 21 seconds). By 8.20pm, the lights were at their peak. Some crackled and hissed in the right forward pocket above the crowd. Just minutes before, Jack Dyer had arrived at the ground on foot, unable to board any of the packed trams that had been hurtling down Church Street. In the middle of the ground stood umpire Scott. In his hand was a white Sherrin football, made by Syd Sherrin himself. Three other white footballs were at his feet for use throughout the match. On the Thursday before, a handful of players, including South Melbourne captain Jack Bisset and Herb Matthews, had been given the chance to test the conditions. Bisset was overheard to say the ball “could be seen clearly in every direction and in all positions”. However, he was a late scratching from the

h and d match, champions Laurie Nash, Bob Pratt and Austin Robertson also did not play. Richmond captain Percy Bentley, Dyer and Dick Harris were the only Tigers who trained on the Thursday. All praised the ground’s set-up. But as play started, it was soon apparent that several players were struggling with the conditions. Many dropped easy marks or failed to escape tacklers. The closer the ball was, the more difficult it was to judge distance and react. As the ball rose in the air at throw-ins, the ruckmen were blinded by the floodlights and most scrimmages were won by the ruck-rovers. The Tigers led at half-time, with Davey one of their best. “I only played ’til the first break, on the half-forward flank, and kicked a couple of goals. That’s when they told me, ‘You are all right, you’ve got a guernsey. We will give someone else a

Cat Matthew Scarlett and Hawk Michael Osborne suspended after the Easter Monday match.

18 AFL RECORD visit

’ ” he h recalled alled ll d in i what h was run’,” his last interview. To keep the crowd entertained during the interval, the midget cars returned. Two collided during one of the races and a driver was thrown on to the track, suffering mild injuries. Journalists, gathered in a makeshift room, swapped opinions on the event. Some claimed the white ball was easy to follow but most agreed it was difficult to make out the players’ jumper numbers across the ground. During the final quarter, a murmur swept around the ground. It had been announced that Richmond would challenge either Carlton or Collingwood in another night match within two weeks. There was spontaneous applause from the crowd. The Tigers won, having scored 14 goals to South’s eight, and Basil McCormack was widely regarded as the best on the night. Bentley, Titus and Harris also were in fine form and Davey, the new man in the team, was brilliant on the wing and across half-forward.

South’s best were Linton Richards, Hec McKay, Jim Reid, Syd Dineen, Frank Backway and Matthews. The game was declared a success. The Age coverage the next day summed it up: ‘Huge Crowd Enjoys Novel Game’. In the rooms, the presidents of each club waited for the tallying of gate receipts. Each club received an amount equivalent to four times the normal return for one match. A Richmond-Collingwood match was scheduled for April 6, but there were rumblings from other clubs about the allocation of gate receipts and the belief the novelty would wear off. A meeting of delegates saw the majority vote against the match. But there was one final problem. Tickets had already been printed and distributed and the two teams had been selected and published in the newspapers. Davey recalled that he even knew who his opponent would be for the match. The VFL organised a lastminute scratch match. Patrons who had bought tickets could still head to the Motordrome on the Saturday, but had to do so in the afternoon, to watch Richmond play VFA club Camberwell in a game the Tigers won. Those still wanting night action could return to the ground later, and cheer drivers Bill Thompson and Les Gough in a best-of-three midget car race.


The Motordrome hosted speedway racing as well as this action from the 1926 VFA Grand Final between Brighton and Coburg.

� Few would be aware that before the Great Depression, a prime piece of real estate in inner Melbourne, across from the MCG, housed a popular speedway that nearly became the VFL’s own showpiece ground. Melbourne Carnivals Ltd leased the area (originally part of Yarra Park) and built the Melbourne Motordrome in 1924. The brain behind the outfit was audacious entrepreneur and Magpie patron John Wren, who was seeking lucrative entertainment. The VFL nearly agreed to use the oval inside the track for the weekly match of the round (or a new club).

Ultimately, the 48-degree banked concrete track primarily hosted intrepid motorbike and side-car racers, interspersed with athletics and cycling (including record-breaking feats by Hubert Opperman). A farcical attempt at ostrich racing proved one of the less successful sideshows. Football was played at the Motordrome, however, in two significant periods. The 1925-27 VFA Grand Finals were played there and, in 1932, Melbourne lost all three of its Motordrome home games while the MCG was being resurfaced. It was quite a sight – crowds were not behind picket fences but a high concrete

embankment, complete with ‘Danger – don’t lean over track’ signs. In 1933, the Olympic Park Speedway opened for dirt track auto racing. For Wren, the dream of hosting VFL games still burned, and the venue hosted the TigersSouth night practice match. More than 70 years later, the Magpies are entrenched further upstream of the Yarra, at the Westpac Centre, next to Wren’s old stomping ground; Melbourne is set to return to the area in an administrative capacity and the Tigers are upgrading their nearby home at Punt Road. JEFF DOWSING

,7¶6)227< :,7+2877+(58/(6 For a no holds barred view on everything footy, join Gerard Healy and Dwayne Russell, 6pm-8pm Monday to Thursday. Sports Today - only on 3AW 693.

AFL RECORD visit 19

the bounce



The Power of one?



n South Australia, they are either ready to mourn or celebrate the possible demise of what many believe is Australian Football’s greatest and most successful club. Only it isn’t that old and even the fans are confused. So if the Port Adelaide Magpies disappear when this season draws to a close, does this mean an end to a truly great tradition? In order to answer that, let’s clarify matters. It would mean that, for the first time in 140 years, there is no Port Adelaide in the South Australian competition (SANFL), but it wouldn’t mean the demise of the great club. The Port Magpies, in fact, have only been fielding a team since 1997. The club with 140 years of success and tradition g in the AFL and that’s is playing he confusion lies. where the ower is essentially the The Power y old Port, but since there already agpies team m wearing was a Magpies d white, it adopted a a black and kname (Pow wer) and new nickname (Power) al to its trad ditional added teal traditional d white whe en it black and when he AFL. joined the larified, it’ss worth That clarifi ing whethe considering whetherr Port’s SAN NFL is presencee in the SANFL w cannibalis sing the somehow cannibalising entity. club’s identity. Power CEO Mark n said he Haysman was sorryy to the see er-Magpies the Power-Magpies merger plan rejected by the

20 AFL RECORD visit

SANFL clubs, but said the club could still build on more than a century of tradition. “Our first call is to keep heartland supporters together,” he said. “There are a number of things we can do that would commercially make sense to us that might also assist the Magpies in the short-to-medium term. “We obviously would hate to see the Magpies not being around but the reality is that the history and heritage we share would live on through us. We do have to look after ourselves first and foremost, considering the merger didn’t get up. “That heritage and history is very important to us, having 1870 (the year the club was founded) on the back of the guernsey means a lot. But it doesn’t count for anything if we don’t play the way we want to.” There’s talk of attempts to heritage-list the Port Magpies as a way of saving the SANFL club, but that would seem problematic, considering the Magpies in their present form are not even 15 years old. The Port Magpies have been struggling with an annual budget of $1.75 million, which is among the lowest in the SANFL. As a result, they’ve found it hard to p for players p y and compete their on-field results have been patchy. According to the SANFL, the d Magpies declared 3 a loss of $230,233 last year and owe creditors in excess of $750,000.


The reality is that the history and heritage we share would live on through us

150 Games James Kelly Geelong Brian Lake Western Bulldogs


100 games In December, the South Australian Football Commission (SAFC) advanced the Magpies $220,000 of their 2010 grant to avoid a cash crisis, the SANFL website said. The SANFL’s other eight clubs recently rejected a proposal submitted by the Port Magpies to address its financial struggles. The Magpies had proposed a merger with the Power, effectively asking for removal of restrictions imposed on the two clubs when the Power joined the AFL. At the time, the two clubs agreed to run their marketing, football and administrative operations independently. The clubs argued the proposed merger model “would not provide a sustainable and competitive club on or off the field”. The SAFC ratified the clubs’ vote, indicating “it would be irresponsible to lead the SANFL into a position that could well have a detrimental impact on the whole of football in South Australia”. As a result, the Magpies are likely to cease operations after this season. The SAFC expressed confidence in the Power board’s ability to work itself out of its own recent financial challenges. TRADITION STILL IMPORTANT: Port Adelaide CEO Mark Haysman says the club’s history continues to be recognised.

Justin Sherman Brisbane Lions Eddie Betts Carlton Ryan Griffen Western Bulldogs Nathan Lovett-Murray Essendon

100 consecutive games Kade Simpson Carlton (SEQUENCE STARTED IN ROUND 15, 2005)

50 Games Scott Harding Port Adelaide Matt Campbell North Melbourne Kieren Jack Sydney Swans Xavier Ellis Hawthorn Shane Edwards Richmond

400 matches as a coach and player John Worsfold West Coast (209 AS A PLAYER AND 190 AS A COACH)

The list includes those not necessarily selected but on the verge of milestones.

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the bounce



A challenge too great to resist Dale Holmes was last week appointed inaugural CEO of the AFL’s 18th club, Team GWS. Holmes, 42, played three matches for North Melbourne in 1987 and was general manager of AFL NSW/ACT for six years before starting his new role last Tuesday. In this interview, he explains his motivation for taking the job, outlines the club’s immediate challenges and details the early projections for membership and attendances. PETER DI SISTO What attracted you to the role and when did you make your decision to pursue it?

After spending two years putting the foundations together, we had built a fair bit of momentum. We had assembled a team of people I had helped bring to the club and I couldn’t help but get caught up in the enthusiasm of those people. The opportunity to build something from scratch was too good to refuse. The sellout for round one of the NAB Cup (the Sydney Swans-Carlton match attracted about 10,000 people) was the defining point for me. Initially, I was of the view that it

would need someone who lives and breathes Greater Western Sydney and could dedicate their time 24/7 to the project. As I evolved in my thinking and we brought in people who live in the region, what I recognised is what we needed was a team of people who could deliver that, and I didn’t necessarily have to be the person who could deliver it all. That’s why people like Grant Meyer (general manager of corporate partnerships) and Andrew Hill (Academy manager) became important to bring into the team. They understand the DNA of Greater Western Sydney and come from an NRL background. In time, it became obvious I could build a team, and that I did have the knowledge and had built a lot of relationships, so I felt comfortable that I could carry it and wanted to make sure I could commit time to it. Once I got the green light on the home front, that was it. Are you familiar enough with a football club environment to manage what is required?

This is obviously a long-term project, but what are the main challenges right now, say in the immediate 12 months?

We’ve still got a lot of work to do on the infrastructure – having headquarters with administration, training and high-performance centre that rival what you see at Arden Street, the Westpac Centre, the Whitten Oval and the like. We expect this to take two-to-three years to pull together. We’re working closely with Sydney Rovers, the second A-League Sydney franchise (based in Western Sydney) and some other organisations on this. We’ll be working collaboratively.

The other significant challenge is around completing our playing venue. We’ve been working on that for around twoand-a-half years. It’s very close and we’re very confident we’re going to get a great boutique stadium, which is critical for the fan experience and for economic returns from game-day. The other main challenge is around the organisational build, getting a disparate group of people, who have come from various backgrounds, under the one roof.

I grew up playing the game and I’ve been around football clubs for a long time. At the elite level, I’ve been away from it for a while, but what I rely on there is bringing in the right people. So a guy like Tom Harley (the former Geelong captain recently appointed project consultant) is really important. Tom has a great working knowledge of how to build a strong culture in a football club. We’ve got significant experience in people like Kevin Sheedy (head coach) and Graeme Allan (football


� A review of the AFL’s NSW structure after the appointment of Dale Holmes as CEO of Team GWS sees David Matthews (pictured) promoted to the Sydney-based role of general manager, market development. Matthews started at the AFL in 1998, working on AFL Auskick and participation programs, after senior stints at the Geelong Football League and the Victorian Country Football League. He was appointed general manager of national and international development in March, 2004.


“Given that we will have two AFL clubs in Sydney by 2012, we saw this as an opportunity to restructure our executive and to make a senior appointment with responsibility for all of our market development activities in Sydney, in addition to having our national and international development programs managed out of Sydney,” AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou said. Matthews’ additional responsibilities will include AFL support for the Sydney

Michael Jamison to captain the Blues in Chris Judd’s absence this weekend.

22 AFL RECORD visit

Swans, AFL expansion plans with Team GWS, and further building of the AFL’s relationship with all levels of government in NSW and the Sydney business community. He will also review the AFL NSW/ACT development structure. “Developing the game across Australia and in emerging international markets is a real privilege,” Matthews said. “We must continue to invest in quality programs that protect and enhance our established markets and grow our presence in developing markets.”


The opportunity to build something from scratch was too good to refuse


Greater Western Sydney faced its first serious test last week in the TAC Cup, under the guidance of high performance manager Alan McConnell. New CEO Dale Holmes (inset) will oversee the club’s entire operation.

manager), but also people like Alan McConnell (high performance manager), Danny Stevens and Paul Kelly. We still need to bring in the head of conditioning and make sure our sports science set-up is first-class, because we’re bringing in a lot of young players who’ll need a lot of work to be brought up to speed to play AFL football. We’ll also need a senior welfare officer, so we’ll need to resource heavily around welfare to ensure we can retain the young players we bring into the club. The area has a high multicultural population. What’s your strategy to attract people from these groups to the game?

The first thing to make note of is that 10 per cent of Australia’s population lives in Western Sydney, almost two million people, more than half of which are Caucasian, so there’s still a significant ‘natural’ audience. In the multicultural communities, there are opportunities there because there are some communities that have no allegiance to a sport and, if engaged properly, can become part of our sport. People like the NEWS TRACKER

Indian community, some of the Asian community and certainly the African community, which is significant throughout Blacktown. We’ve already seen some kids who are coming through in those communities who are quite talented. The silver bullet strategy is to get a Hazem El Masri (the recently retired rugby league star), a superstar who becomes an iconic player for his community. With that comes a supporter base. But that will take time. We’re seeding relationships with those communities, but that does take time. What are your initial short-to-medium-term KPIs for crowds and membership, say in the first three-to-five years?

It’s a difficult one to really have a high level of reliability around because it’s new turf, but we have more than 5000 registered supporters, along with more than 8000 people who have participated in a competition to name the club. We would hope in year one we would have upwards of 7000 members. That would be a good benchmark for us. In terms of attendances, we would expect the derbies (against the Sydney Swans) to be very well attended and to be major events in New South Wales and we expect beyond 60,000 people to attend those games. You probably have a second tier, say against big Melbourne-based clubs with strong brands, you might be looking at crowds of 15,00020,000, and some games we’re looking in the area of 10,00012,000. They’re the metrics we’re looking at. Our average attendance we’re looking for is around 15,000 people. We will need to raise in the order of $15 million per year (on top of AFL grants) to be competitive.

What response have you had from the business community initially?

Fantastic so far. That’s one area I feel really comfortable about. We’ve got 40-plus partners that have signed on already. We want to get to the start of 2012 with about 130 partners. I think we’ll get there comfortably. Corporate Western Sydney is the thirdbiggest economy in Australia – it’s an unbelievable growth engine. We’re seeing business parks being established with major ASX-listed companies here. It’s an exciting opportunity from a corporate perspective.

What impact will the second club have on the Sydney Swans?

The game will become recognised at another level again from where it is today. Share-of-voice of media will go up. There will be a lot more excitement around the game because there’s two clubs in the market. That will be appealing to multinationals looking at AFL in Sydney. There’s a clear delineation between the audiences the Swans draw on (Sydney’s CBD) versus where GWS will draw upon. The last time I saw you, you had brown hair. How long will it take for you to get grey hair?

I reckon I’ve got some more greys in the past 24 hours; I’ve certainly got some more wrinkles and definitely gained some more pounds.

Will Kevin Sheedy drive you mad, or will you drive him mad?

I reckon the both of us will do a great job driving each other mad. By the time we get to 2012, I don’t know who’ll be coaching and who’ll be the CEO.

* Team GWS played its first TAC Cup match last weekend, losing to the Northern Knights by 94 points at Blacktown Olympic Park. “The challenge for me is to remain positive and optimistic and make sure the players see that too, because as we know young boys judge themselves on whether they win or lose and we might not win too many [in 2010],” high performance manager Alan McConnell told after the match.

the bounce

Greater Western Sydney at a glance Is the second-fastest growing region in Australia, behind south-east Queensland.

1.87 million

The number of people living in Greater Western Sydney and it is expected to grow to a population of 2.3 million by 2026. The region represents 43 per cent of the Sydney metropolitan area. There are 683,000 households and population growth of 26,000 a year. Almost one-third of its residents were born overseas, with more than 180 different nations represented in the region. It has the third-largest economy in Australia, behind the Sydney CBD and Melbourne.


More than 150 of Australia’s leading 500 companies are located in the region, including Woolworths, LG Electronics, IBM, Shell, Boral, Coca-Cola Amatil, Amway, Commonwealth Bank and ResMED. Team GWS will have its training and administrative headquarters at Blacktown Olympic Park. The City of Blacktown – one of 14 local government areas that make up Greater Western Sydney – is located about 35km from Sydney on the Cumberland Plain in the heart of Western Sydney.


The population of Blacktown, which is the most populous city in New South Wales. One in 73 Australians lives in the City of Blacktown.

Fremantle utility Nick Suban signs contract extension with the club. AFL RECORD visit 23






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Mark Harvey tasted success as a player and he has Fremantle up and running at the start of 2010.

A new dawn for Dockers The next two matches will provide a clearer picture, but after a flying start to the season, early indications are that Fremantle is again ready to challenge for the finals. NICK BOW EN


hat can we take from Fremantle’s impressive start to the 2010 season? Are the Dockers’ wins over Adelaide and Essendon, by 56 and 44 points respectively, a sign they are finals bound again after three disappointing seasons since their 2006 preliminary finals appearance? Perhaps, especially when you consider their start to the season equals their previous best, in 1997, when they won their opening two games.

Fremantle’s win against Essendon last Sunday at Etihad Stadium was its first in Victoria since round four, 2007, when it defeated Melbourne, and its first at Etihad since round 17, 2006, when it beat Carlton. But we need to remind ourselves the sides the Dockers have beaten are both winless and sit 13th (Essendon) and 14th (Adelaide) on the ladder. Undoubtedly, we need more evidence before we can get a real sense of Fremantle’s 2010 prospects, but we are about to get that. The Dockers’ next two opponents are last year’s grand

finalists – Geelong, at Subiaco this weekend, and St Kilda, at Etihad Stadium next week. As football tests come, it is hard to imagine a tougher double-header. While understandably cautious in his post-match press conference after last week’s game, coach Mark Harvey was optimistic Fremantle’s emerging batch of youngsters is playing well enough to support its key players. “I actually think some of our better players had quieter games but … when some of our rookies play really well and can fill the AFL RECORD visit 57

MAKING PROGRESS void … (for example, if) Stephen Hill takes more of a load away from Paul Hasleby … that’s what we need,” he said. “It’s those sort of things that are going to be the strength of the team.” Just 11 of the 22 players who were part of the club’s 35-point 2006 preliminary final loss to the Sydney Swans remain on the list, but they include keyposition stars Matthew Pavlich and Luke McPharlin and twotime All-Australian ruckman Aaron Sandilands, while inside midfielder Paul Hasleby, who missed the final with a groin injury, is still an important member of the on-ball division. When you add former Magpie Chris Tarrant (acquired in a 2006 trade) at full-back, Harvey has a mature and talented spine to build his side around. But in the past, the Dockers’ attemptss to build a team have stuck. come unstuck. antle has le et go players Fremantle let who havee gone on to star at other arting with h inaugural clubs, starting erard Nees sham’s coach Gerard Neesham’s A decision to trade Andrew McLeod, who was zoned to the Adelaiide for Chris Dockers,, to Adelaide head of th he club’s entry Groom ahead the competitio on in 1995. into the competition er Bell, who Since then, Pete Peter d via a trad de in 2001, and returned trade m (both North Winston Abraham ne), Jame es Clement, Melbourne), James nd Paul Brodie Holland an and st (all Coll lingwood) and Medhurst Collingwood) cPhee (Essendon), (Esssendon), who Adam McPhee d in last ye ear’s pre-season returned year’s t become draft, alll went on to valuable players att other clubs. es, Fremantle Frema antle also At times, th he draft in ignored youth at the experien nce at the trade favour off experience he draft picks piccks Essendon table. The ecure champion cha ampion used to secure w Lloyd and forwardss Matthew cas were traded traded by the Scott Lucas exchan nge for Todd Dockers in exchange nd Tony Delaney. D Ridley and antle also Fremantle he prized traded the ck in No. 1 pick ong with 2001, along picks 20 and 36, for Hawks oad Trent Croad Pharlin. and McPharlin. h Although in remains remain ns a key McPharlin deffence, Croad member of the defence, d after two seasons. returned

Dockers recruitment 1996-2009 National Draft picks












































But recently, Fremantle has changed its approach to recruitment. And, more than anything, it is this shift that bodes well for its chances this season and beyond. From 1997-2002, the Dockers acquired an average of three players a year through trades, but they have picked up only four since – and none in the past three seasons. They have also started to invest heavily in youth. Excluding 1994 and 1995 when they had a series of pre-draft, zone and uncontracted player concessions, the most selections the Dockers made in one draft before 2008 was five (1999, 2003 and 2007). In six of the 12 years from 1996-2007, they made the minimum three selections. But in 2008, they made eight


one of a batch of youngsters making an impact. AFL RECORD visit 59


It can be amazing what can happen in a short period of time MARK HARVEY

CONFIDENT: With a solid

mix of experience and youth, the Dockers are backing themselves every time they take the field.

selections, followed by six last year. And their new approach is already paying dividends. Draftees from 2008, Stephen Hill, taken at pick No. 3 ahead of the highly touted Daniel Rich (who slipped to the Brisbane Lions at pick No. 7), and Nick Suban have become regulars in the senior line-up, while last year’s No. 4 pick Anthony Morabito has played the first two rounds, earning praise from Harvey for his game against Essendon last week.

When you add several 2007 draftees, 2008 Rising Star Rhys Palmer (on his way back from a knee reconstruction) and Chris Mayne, Fremantle’s stock of youngsters looks promising. The shift towards youth does not mean the Dockers have neglected mature-age players – they are now just focusing on state league players previously overlooked by AFL recruiters. Small forward Hayden Ballantyne, the WAFL’s 2008 Sandover medallist, was

taken as a 21-year-old at pick No. 21 in the 2008 draft, while Greg Broughton (from Subiaco in the WAFL) was taken in the same year’s rookie draft as a 22-year-old, and former VFL players Michael Barlow (Werribee, 22) and Alex Silvagni (Casey, 22) were added in last year’s rookie draft. Barlow’s 30-plus possession games in the first two rounds have been well documented, but Broughton’s impact as a running defender

in 15 games last year and this year’s opening two rounds (when he had 32 and 27 possessions respectively) has been almost as impressive. Silvagni has also been effective in defence, while Ballantyne’s three-goal performance against the Bombers last Sunday suggests he is finding his feet as a small forward after 10 AFL games. These recruits’ ability to make an immediate impact at AFL level supports Harvey’s pre-season claim the Dockers were “not far away from being a top-four side”. “I go back to (Essendon in) ’93 when we won a premiership and we had 10 players under 21,” he told in February. “But it can be amazing what can happen in a short period of time. That may well be our story – but that remains to be seen.”

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60 AFL RECORD visit

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O C Young Carlton ruckman Matthew Kreuzer has long been recognised for his prodigious talent, but it his versatility, work rate and willingness to learn that sets him apart. HOWA R D KOT TON


o say Matthew Kreuzer is a quiet achiever is an understatement. Being in the spotlight has never been a priority for the big man known around Carlton as ‘Humphrey’, the loveable but non-talking children’s television icon Humphrey B. Bear. Actions have always spoken louder than words for Kreuzer, who has generally eschewed publicity since being selected first at the 2007 NAB AFL Draft. “I was probably lucky at the start because the year I got here, ‘Juddy’ (Chris Judd) came across as well. He took most of the spotlight, so I probably slid under the radar, which I enjoyed,” says Kreuzer, who made his AFL debut in this weekend’s corresponding round two years ago against Essendon. But it was clear from early on that Kreuzer thrived on the big stage and

was far from the conventional ruckman. man. ma an n.. und und d Here was a 200cm giant with the ground ne e and ball skills of a rover, and a genuine passion for the contest. iable ia iab abl ble le As Carlton has sought to create a viable nning n nn nni nin ing ng g forward set-up capable of kicking winning a’s ’s scores in the wake of Brendan Fevola’s ed d in n departure, Kreuzer has been perceived many quarters as playing a key role. wiith h He has shown he can go forward with -goal -g -go goa oal al great effect – a match-winning three-goal effort against Port Adelaide in round st 11, 2008, the best example. In his first season, he was lethal in front of goal,, asst ast contributing 13.1 in 20 games, and last year he kicked 13.11 in 23 games. ening en eni nin ing ng g Kreuzer raised eyebrows in the opening hiiss two rounds this season, not only for his e increased size and output but the role bert be bert rt he played. He and former Docker Robert but bu b ut, t, Warnock have shared the ruck dutiess but, n the tth he e interestingly, both have been used on ball at the same time.



Coach Brett Ratten has been unequivocal about Kreuzer’s best spot – in the ruck – but admits the big man’s versatility has been an eye-opener for him. “He could play as a ruck-rover or as a genuine ruckman, or even as a forward,” Ratten says. “That’s something we could introduce somewhere along the line but, at the moment, we want to let him play between 65 and 75 per cent of game-time and keep building at his durability and longevity as a ruckman/ forward or even an on-baller down the track.” Kreuzer is happy to play anywhere. “I’ll leave that one up to the coach. Wherever he wants me to play, I’ll play,” says the youngster, who lists goalkicking as his favourite training drill and works part-time as an apprentice landscaper. In a bygone era, the role of the ruckman was to take as many marks and win as many hit-outs as he could. Kreuzer, who turns 21 next month, is part of the new breed of ruckmen, including his Essendon opponents this weekend, David Hille and Patrick Ryder, who not only contest the stoppage but also do the follow-up work on the ground by trying to win a clearance, applying a crucial tackle or blocking a pathway for a teammate. In many ways, the new breed of ruckmen play like a dominant basketball centre, controlling the game (especially at stoppages) and setting up teammates. Not surprisingly, Kreuzer picks basketball as the sport he would play if he hadn’t excelled at football.

64 AFL RECORD visit


Kreuzer’s work ethic is winning the respect of many, including teammates Marc Murphy (left) and Kade Simpson.

“A lot of those ruckmen do a lot of follow-up work. Most clubs are pushing for their big ruckmen to have more effect than just hitting the ball,” Ratten says. At centre bounces and ball-ups around the ground, Kreuzer has a different style to most ruckmen, unusually watching his opponent first rather than the ball, a trait he has had for a long while. Ratten loves Kreuzer’s work ethic, the youngster’s follow-up work so reminiscent of the coach at his best during his career as an elite midfielder.

“We’re trying to make sure he doesn’t get any soft-tissue injuries and, in the next year or two, play like Cox has done through many seasons, play 85 per cent of game-time. That would be perfect for us.” Last year’s second elimination final against the Brisbane Lions produced ample evidence of Kreuzer’s work ethic. He ran as hard for as long as he could, setting a fine example to his teammates. Kreuzer admitted to feeling more nervous than usual in the build-up to his first final, but he did not show it once the game started. He kick-started the Blues with a brilliant running goal in the first quarter and finished with the impressive figures of 19 disposals, 18 hit-outs, four marks, three tackles and three clearances. When Kreuzer arrived at Carlton, he weighed 97kg. After three intensive pre-seasons, he has built up to 101kg. He is confident the extra weight will not compromise Pushing too his mobility hard too early around the But Ratten is ground, but mindful of not won’t help his admits he has overloading longevity in the to develop Kreuzer at this game further to match vital stage of his BRETT RATTEN it with most of his development. opposing ruckmen. Ratten is using “It’s just a work in West Coast’s Dean progress and in the next Cox, a four-time couple of years I can put a little All-Australian, as a guide as bit on,” he says. “At the moment, he plots Kreuzer’s future path. I’m pretty happy with that.” “It’s a balancing act,” Ratten As his body becomes stronger, says. “We know what great he will be able to cope better impact he has on the game, but with the demands of ruckwork pushing too hard too early won’t and it should help him to take help his longevity in the game.

more marks around the ground. Last season, he took 73 and was third at Carlton in contested marks (19). “That’s one thing that’s pretty high on my list to work on over time,” he says. “I’ve still got a fair way to go in that area.” Kreuzer enjoyed an outstanding junior career. His 2007 season with the Northern Knights was a highlight: he won the Morrish Medal, as the outstanding player in the TAC Cup, as well as the TAC Cup Coaches’ Award. He was voted the most valuable player for Vic Metro in the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships and was named an under-18 All-Australian. An AIS-AFL Academy graduate, he was named in the TAC Cup Team of the Year in 2006 and 2007. Carlton drafted Kreuzer knowing a right hip complaint would need to be closely monitored. He has had minor surgery in the past two seasons to clean up the hip. “It’s just a minor thing at this stage,” he says. A quad injury forced the youngster to miss the first two rounds of 2008, but he has played every game since. The Blues lost to the Bombers

KOUTA IS A BIG FAN � Matthew Kreuzer is rapidly becoming one of the most admired and respected players in a navy blue jumper, much like another product of Melbourne’s northern suburbs who became a Carlton champion – 1995 premiership wingman and former captain Anthony Koutoufides. The similarities between the two are stark. ‘Kouta’ was a raw, talented teenager when he arrived at Carlton two decades ago. He had a strong athletic background, excelling in the high jump, hurdles and discus as a schoolboy, before deciding football was his calling. After taking a few seasons to find his feet at AFL level, Koutoufides took the game by storm. He reached the zenith of his powers in the late 1990s-early-2000s when he had

in his debut game, but his performance was a highlight. He kicked a goal with his first kick, a set shot from about 35m on a slight angle. The build-up to that goal was an early illustration of Kreuzer’s work ethic. He won the hit-out at the centre bounce to Judd, who passed to Eddie Betts. Betts then found Kreuzer with a clever kick after the ruckman had sprinted from the centre circle to the forward 50. Kreuzer’s second goal came in the second term when he crumbed the pack and ran into an open goal. His statistics from the game were impressive – 16 disposals, eight contested possessions and 12 hit-outs. “I remember I was very nervous just before the game,” Kreuzer recalls. “I ran out and saw all the people there. “I was excited at the same time. It was against Essendon and there is a great rivalry there.” In the past two seasons, he has done the bulk of the ruckwork, but this year, the competition is fierce for spots in the Blues’ big-man division with Sam Jacobs and Shaun Hampson also in the mix. Kreuzer concedes it will be difficult to squeeze all

the ability to alter the course of games as a mobile midfielder. His match-winning performance as Carlton stunned Essendon in the 1999 preliminary final was one of the best in recent memory. These days, Koutoufides watches from the commentary box in his role with Melbourne radio station SEN, closely following the development of Carlton’s rising star. “We haven’t seen the best of him, I think he’ll be a bit of a confidence player. Once he realises he can play this game, he’s going to be really, really exciting,” he says. “For a guy his height, he is incredible on the ground. His marking has been good, but he’ll get to another level once he gets a bit of confidence. “I think he’s a better midfielder as a ruckman because he’s got a great tank on him. He’s a better ruckman than a permanent

four into the same team. “During pre-season, we had competition between ourselves,” he says. “We’re all good mates off the field, so we’ve just got to keep fighting for our spots.” In the midfield, he has also developed a good rapport with fellow No. 1 draft picks, Marc Murphy (2005) and Bryce Gibbs (2006). “It helps that they’ve been through it, so they passed that down to me,” he says. In Judd’s absence, Andrew Carrazzo and Kade Simpson have captained the team in the first two games. Don’t expect Kreuzer to be putting his hand up as a skipper in the near future – his main focus is to improve as a footballer. “I’ve still got a long way to go. I just want to concentrate on training,” he says. “I’m one of the quieter blokes, so I probably don’t like to be out the front. “I think ‘Murph’ or ‘Gibbsy’ could do that sort of role, the way they talk and influence players. They’re really good leaders.” The seven-point loss to the Lions in last year’s elimination final at the Gabba burns deeply with Kreuzer and his teammates and they are using itt as motivation to drive them in 2010.

full-forward. Maybee over the p into a years he can develop centre half-forward.” .” Koutoufides retired ed the year before Kreuzer joined Carlton, but has mett the youngster a few times es and been impressed by his de. level-headed attitude. “He’s a very nice kid. id. He’s one of those kidss who will work hard and train rain hard and try to get the best st out of himself,” Koutoufidess says. Koutoufides used to send Carlton fans into raptures; ptures; they often chanted “Kouta, Kouta, Kouta” when the champion ampion too took ok possession. Kreuzer also has developed a special bond with the Blues’ faithful, who often chant “Kreuze” in recognition cognition of a fine mark or goal. al. Not that the ruckman is aware of itt when he is performing. ng. “I don’t really notice ice it cused on because you’re so focused trying to win the footy,” ty,” he say says. s.



Matthew Kreuzer Born: May 13, 1989 Recruited from: Bundoora/Northern U18 Debut: Round 3, 2008, v Essendon (MCG) Height: 200cm Weight: 101kg Games: 45 Goals: 26 Player honours: Morrish Medal 2007 Brownlow Medal: career votes 2

The Blues suffered more pain at the hands of the Lions at the same venue last week, in a game that bore eerie similarities to the finals defeat. Kreuzer was again one of Carlton’s best, collecting 15 disposals and 23 hit-outs. “It did hurt a lot,” Kreuzer says of the finals loss. “We’ve just to got to learn from that now and take that into this year, still have that fight in us and know how much it hurt. “We want to play finals and try to go that extra step We re looking for forward. We’re continuing improvement.”


Anthony Koutoufides is impressed with Matthew Kreuzer’s attitude.

AFL RECORD visit om m.a m. .a .au au 65 6

Moments of the


He had everything to look forward to as a forw player playe and then he was w gone THENTHEN-MELBOURNE COACH NEALE DANIHER N

A tragedy Demons will never forget Melbourne’s Troy Broadbridge had his whole life ahead of him before becoming a victim of the devastating 2004 tsunami.



n nearly 10 seasons as coach of Melbourne, Neale Daniher found himself carrying out a number of duties, not many of which would normally be found in the job description for an AFL coach. Sadly, he was required to be a grief counsellor as the Demons – and the broader AFL community – came to terms with the death of Troy Broadbridge, who was swept out to sea during the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004, which claimed the lives of nearly 230,000 people, primarily in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand. Broadbridge had been on his honeymoon with his wife Trisha on Phi Phi Island, near Phuket in Thailand, when the giant wave struck. They were walking along a beach when they saw the tide

EMERGING: Troy Broadbridge was just starting to make his way in the AFL.

coming in rapidly. They jumped on to the balcony of a nearby bungalow but were separated by the impact of the giant wave. Trisha was injured and was repatriated to Bangkok soon afterwards. However, Troy was declared missing and

his death not confirmed until his father identified his body in a makeshift morgue several days later. Broadbridge was 24 and had been married for less than a month. Daniher was enjoying the Christmas break on his family’s

Reliving a dynamic era � Every week in the AFL Record this year, Ashley Browne will look at a major event, story or trend from the past decade, with a special readers’ competition based on the series to be launched later this year. The ‘aughts’, as some refer to the period 2000-09, had it all – big names, big games and big stories. It was one of the most dynamic periods in the game’s history, and continues to shape it.

66 AFL RECORD visit

Keep reading the Record – and take note of the stories we recall – to find out how you can take part in this competition and win fantastic prizes. So far, we’ve looked at the Western Bulldogs’ amazing upset win over the powerful Essendon team late in the 2000 season and Malcolm Blight’s short tenure as coach of St Kilda in 2001. The Bulldogs beat the Bombers playing what was at the

time an unorthodox style of game that stifled the Dons’ free-flowing, attacking system. Essendon bounced back to bulldoze its way to the premiership. And last week, we recalled the Saints’ appointment of dual Adelaide premiership coach Blight, a partnership that was ended after less than a season when he was replaced by Grant Thomas.

farm in central New South Wales when he heard the news that Broadbridge was missing. “At that stage, we were just hoping he would be found,” he said in a recent interview. “There was a lot different news filtering through. “I’d never heard of a tsunami before and we were all just hoping he would be found safely.” When the news came that Broadbridge had been killed, Daniher described it as “the saddest time” of his period with Melbourne. “I was just feeling very sad for his wife, his mum and dad and his family.” All eyes turn to the coach during such a time. As the figurehead of the club, Daniher was expected to lead, and he found it all a daunting experience. “It was very difficult. It’s not something you deal with every day, losing a player,” he said. “I was a footy coach. I wasn’t an expert on grief management, so we got the right people in. The club handled it well and I thought the players handled it well. “They were given room to work through it all and, as coach, I just had to allow that to unfold. Different people dealt with it in different ways.” Broadbridge started his career with the Port Adelaide Magpies in the SANFL, and the South Australian football


SOLEMN REMEMBRANCE: Melbourne players,

including captain David Neitz (right), joined Troy Broadbridge’s widow Trisha before the round one game in 2005.

community felt his loss as much as the Demons did. He played the first of his 40 AFL matches in 2001, having started at the club on the rookie list. A tall defender, he played 12 matches in 2001 and 14 in both 2002 and 2004. His 2003 season was wiped out by a shoulder injury.

“He was just starting to come good,” Daniher recalled. “He was an introverted and shy fella, very athletic and just the type of player we were looking for. He was just starting to find some confidence in himself at that level.” Daniher said Broadbridge was starting to get assigned


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some big roles and, in his l ast game for the club, acquitted himself well on Essendon captain James Hird in an elimination final at the MCG, which the Demons lost by five points. “He had everything to look forward to as a player and then he was gone,” Daniher said.

� The Demons officially farewelled Troy Broadbridge at an emotional ceremony before their opening game of the 2005 season, against Essendon at the MCG. Following the season, more than 40 players and officials travelled to Phi Phi to put the finishing touches on an education centre built with supplies shipped from Australia after a fundraising effort led by Trisha Broadbridge, who accompanied the players on the trip. Now using her maiden name, Trisha Silvers is head of program delivery for the Reach Foundation, a mentoring organisation for young people run by Melbourne president Jim Stynes.

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YOUR TICKET TO GLORY IN 2010! BECOME A MEMBER IN 2010 We have a membership package to suit you. From 3 home game general admission to a reserved seat for all home and away games in Melbourne. Carlton for Life part payment program also available to all members.

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In 2010 we’re UNITED With a young and exciting list in 2010, don’t miss any of the action. “We are all in this together… that is the Hawthorn way” JEFF KENNETT HAWTHORN FOOTBALL CLUB PRESIDENT

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Col Hutchinson

timeon Our AFL history guru answers your queries.

Good things come in threes


Thoughtful player

Three matches in the opening round this season resulted in 56-point margins. Does that sort of thing happen very often? ROBERT SING, CYGNET, TAS.

CH: Having as many identical

winning margins in a round of matches is quite rare. The round one situation was just the 10th time there have been three cases of the same gap in team scores. The others have been round seven, 1915 (two points); round eight, 1954 (nine points); round 10, 1968 (28 points); round six, 1989 (eight points); round 20, 2003 (14 points); round six, 2004 (one point); round 17, 2005 (13 points); round 17, 2008 (28 points), and round 18, 2008 (eight points). The most amazing instance of all happened in round 13, 1938, when four of the six matches were won by a point.

AFL mystery men Gerald Archibald Balme � Balme was recruited from Brighton Grammar by St Kilda. After playing there from 1902-06, he moved to Western Australia before having one last season with his original club in 1915. It is believed he died in about 1953.

SAME PAIN: Richmond (above in round one this year), Carlton (right, round six, 2004) and Essendon (below, n identical round 17, 2005) were involved in losing margins in those rounds.

WRITE TO ANSWER MAN The Slattery Media Group 140 Harbour Esplanade Docklands, 3008 or email m Cecil Richard Graeme � Graeme was born on June 3, 1873, and attended Wesley College, Melbourne, before serving in the Boer War. He played the first of his seven matches for St Kilda in 1901 as a 27-year-old, before moving to England, where he married in 1905.

Samuel Boyd Gravenall � Gravenall was another Wesley College boy, who represented the Saints a total of 30 times in 1903, 1906 and 1910. He spent 1908 in Western Australia, coached Essendon for part of 1912 and eventually moved to England, where he died in about 1948.

Should you have any further information regarding the above mystery men, including their date of death, contact Col Hutchinson on (03) 9643 1929 or col.hutchinson@afl

70 AFL RECORD visit

� Essendon recruit Ben Howlett last week became the second Howlett to play League football after Bulldog Andrew Howlett (1987). Let us not forget, however, David Howlett, who penalised Melbourne’s Jim Stynes 15 metres when he infamously ran through the mark against Hawthorn in the 1987 preliminary final. Howlett is a diminutive of the popular medieval given name, Hugh (“Hugh-let”). Hugh derives from a Germanic word hugu meaning “mind” or “thought” – just as well Ben Howlett will never be playing under John Kennedy. Howlett could also be a patronymic (father-son) name, making it the equivalent of Hughson, the name of five League players, including Fred, a great Fitzroy full-back, and Les, one of only three players to represent five clubs. There is a thought that Howlett might also be a version of “owlet”, a baby owl. This sounds like folk etymology, but an owl does appear on the Howlett family crest. KEVAN CARROLL

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Rick Milne


Plugger’s ball

A weekly look at collectables, memorabilia and all footy things stored in boxes and garages.

I have a limited-edition encased football signed by Tony Lockett when he was with St Kilda. I won the football in a competition around 1990 and the entry form states that the value was $199. I am wondering whether it has increased in value.



limited-edition football signed by former St Kilda and Sydney Swans champion Tony Lockett could be worth as much as $800.

� Early in the 20th century, Standard Cigarettes decided to try something new to attract customers. It produced more than 20 badges featuring the colours of clubs such as Maldon and Hobart, as well as the VFL and VFA clubs of the era. However, no one knows whether these badges had to be ordered through the mail or came with the product. But there is one certainty – they rare and aree eye-wateringly eyee w at least aree worth o l s $500 5 each. c


RM: It sure has! ‘Plugger’ is one of those rare footballers loved by all fans, no matter which team they support. If the ball is still in as-new condition, it would be worth up to $800. I went to the Bulldogs’ Team of the Century dinner in 2002 and I still have the invitation. Does it have any value? JAN, VIA EMAIL

RM: My son Steven said it

was the best night ever. Your invitation is not worth a fortune but, if autographed, is worth up to $150. If not, about $35. I have a signed three-metre silk photograph of Brendan Fevola (from his Carlton days) which used to hang at Docklands. Value? MARK, HOPPERS CROSSING, VIC.

RM: Due to Fevola’s move to

the Brisbane Lions, the value might have dropped a little. However, he remains a huge drawcard and your item would be worth up to $600.

My father gave me 20 cards featuring West Australian footballers, including Murray Rance (Swan Districts), John Ironmonger (East Perth), Ken Judge (East Fremantle) and Bill Duckworth (West Perth). Value? MARCUS, APPLECROSS, WA

RM: You have 20 of 76 cards

issued by Scanlen’s Gum as its

only West Australian set. The four players you mentioned also played in the VFL – Rance with the Bulldogs, Ironmonger with the Sydney Swans and Fitzroy, Judge with Hawthorn and the Brisbane Bears and Duckworth with Essendon. These cards are very elusive and, if in top condition, are worth $30 each.

CONTACT RICK MILNE or drop him a line: 5 Cooraminta St, Brunswick, Vic, 3056 or call (03) 9387 4131. One query per reader.


11 11 10 10 10 8


FITZY Collingwood North Melbourne Port Adelaide Sydney Swans Carlton Adelaide Western Bulldogs Geelong Cats

72 AFL RECORD visit

MICK St Kilda North Melbourne Brisbane Lions Richmond Carlton Adelaide Western Bulldogs Geelong Cats

SAM St Kilda North Melbourne Brisbane Lions Sydney Swans Carlton Adelaide Western Bulldogs Geelong Cats

DAVE St Kilda West Coast Eagles Port Adelaide Sydney Swans Carlton Adelaide Western Bulldogs Geelong Cats

LEHMO St Kilda North Melbourne Port Adelaide Sydney Swans Essendon Adelaide Hawthorn Geelong Cats

ANDY St Kilda North Melbourne Brisbane Lions Sydney Swans Carlton Adelaide Western Bulldogs Geelong Cats

Everything you need to know about footy! Jam-packed with loads of footy facts, player proďŹ les and team-related stats to help you with your Dream Team this season. Available now from newsagents, all good bookstores and AFL stores. Visit to order your copy today.





� Solve this puzzle by filling in the empty squares with the nine letters of the player’s name (in this case, N Riewoldt). You must make sure that you only use each letter once in every row, column or small box of nine squares. Do not guess, as there is only one correct solution.

















Hardwick play for? after two rounds ?

‘Every Heart Beats True’?



4 Who are the Sydney Swans’ three captains?



5 Which player made his debut for the Western


1 Which two clubs did Richmond coach Damien

3 Which club’s theme song includes the words






g 2 Which club captain leads the AFL goalkicking




Bulldogs last week?



E THIS WEEK’S ANSWERS SPOT THE DIFFERENCE: Post removed from the background; water bottle removed; mouthguard from hand removed; Tom Scully no longer has a black eye; tape on obscured player’s hand has only one white stripe. 5 QUICK QUESTIONS: Essendon and Port Adelaide; Brisbane’s Jonathan Brown; Melbourne; Adam Goodes, Brett Kirk and Craig Bolton; Brodie Moles B IG G MOUTH: MOU MOUT M MO O H: BIG SCRAMBLED SCRA SC S CRA AM MBLE BLE LE L ED FO FOOTBALLER: OTBA BALLER ER: ER CRYPTIC CRYP C RYP YPTIC TIIC T C FOOTBALLERS: FOOT FO F OO OO OT TBALLERS: LE

74 AFL RECORD RE R EC CO COR OR O RD visit RD viis vvis isit it afl om m.a .a au



Setting high standards Promising Sydney Swans midfielder Daniel Hannebery is his own worst critic. C A L LU M T WOMEY

2010 NAB AFL Rising Star Nominees


ydney Swan Daniel SHINING SWAN: Hannebery was a little Daniel Hannebery annoyed as he walked showed poise and class against out of his match review Adelaide last week. meeting with his coaches last Tuesday morning. Having looked over the tape and dissected his performance against Adelaide, Hannebery was somewhat disappointed in himself, and looked forward to training so he could correct errors and ensure he was again selected for the Swans in round three. In hindsight, with a NAB Rising Star nomination under his belt for his 23-possession game against the Crows, the silky skilled midfielder admits he might have been a bit hard on himself. “I had no idea how I really went until the match review meeting with the coaches, and I had a few areas that I was pretty dirty on myself,” the Playing a few 19-year-old said. “It was only a games last year couple of minor definitely boosted things, some my confidence defensive efforts this season and a few selfish DANIEL HANNEBERY acts, but they weren’t part of the team plan, Matthew, and so I came out of the nephew of review really looking forward Mark, who to training and then having played for Collingwood. another crack on the weekend. Taken at pick 30 in the 2008 “I thought I did OK, but I NAB AFL Draft, Hannebery certainly wasn’t expecting a remained in Melbourne in 2009 Rising Star.” to finish his studies at Xavier Hannebery might not have College. However, in the July been expecting the nomination, school holidays, he was selected but many at the Swans have to make his debut for the Swans big expectations for the and held his place in the side Melbourne-born Hannebery, for the remainder of the season. son of former Footscray player, Juggling football and school did

Round 1 – Chris Yarran (Carl) Round 2 – Daniel Hannebery (Syd)

THREE THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW Hannebery’s mum is one of 12 kids and he has about 50 cousins.


He lives with Swans

2 teammate Daniel

Curry, who he describes as a “neat freak”.

3 He is scared of heights,

isn’t a great flyer, and doesn’t enjoy high rides.

become difficult, he admitted. “Coming up from Melbourne on Thursdays and going back on Sundays did become a bit of a hassle with school work, but I managed to get into a routine and really enjoyed it,” Hannebery said. “Playing a few games last year definitely boosted my confidence this season and doing a full pre-season helped as well.” However, the season didn’t start smoothly, as he fractured

a cheekbone in a fall while out with mates one night in January. He was left out of competitive drills for six weeks and played round one for Sydney’s reserves team, collecting 40 possessions. It took some stern words from his father for him to adjust his attitude to training and life as an AFL player. “It was along the lines of, ‘Grow up’. He basically said I was throwing my career away and not making the most of it by paying little respect to the opportunity I’ve been given,” he said. It would appear, following his impressive showing against the Crows, that Hannebery’s approach has significantly changed.

Each week throughout the home and away season, a panel of judges will select the nominee for the 2010 NAB AFL Rising Star. At the completion of the season, one outstanding player will be chosen as the 2010 NAB AFL Rising Star winner. He will receive an investment folio, a dedicated personal banker, a financial planner and the Ron Evans Medal, all courtesy of the NAB. The NAB Rising Star award is the final stage of the NAB AFL Rising Stars Program, which supports grassroots players and football communities and helps young Australians fulfil their dream of playing in the AFL.

76 AFL RECORD visit



Applying data laterally

Too much tackling means too little attacking


id too much tackling hurt St Kilda’s chances of winning last season’s flag? It is possible, if chasing tail came at the expense of creativity? For example, in the first 11 home and away rounds, the Saints set AFL benchmarks for combined defence and attack, with an average of 68 tackles a game and 106 points scored. However, in their next 11 games, the pendulum tipped notably in favour of defence with an even higher tackle count of 76 a match while their scoring dropped to 94 points per outing. This swing continued during their three finals, when they registered 81 tackles a game and averaged only 69 points. St Kilda’s 2009 achievements, based on its supreme defensive effort, prompted a growing chorus hailing tackle counts as a critical measure for winning games. However, the evidence says otherwise. Using the tackle-count ‘winner’ as a guide to who will win games is tricky. First, the published numbers are only raw statistics. There is no separate classification as to relative effectiveness. And second, even a simple calculation such as the table of average team tackles for 2009 highlights why raw tackle numbers don’t count as much as often assumed. Yes, St Kilda’s season average of 72 is significantly higher than the rest (see table), but premier 78 AFL RECORD visit


PRESSURE: Brendon Goddard

lays one of his side’s 52 tackles last week, nabbing North Melbourne’s Lindsay Thomas.

Geelong ranked only sixth. The Western Bulldogs, Collingwood and Adelaide all made the final eight and ranked just below the competition average for tackles. A plausible correlation between team tackling averages and premiership ladder success does not exist. Never has. The reason is simple. It’s generally better to have the ball than not have the ball and tackling is often an indicator of being second-to-the ball, chasing tail and an overly defensive mindset. Various studies by respected sport mathematicians have confirmed this principle. Taking into account all games played in a season, these studies confirm that winning the tackle count results in just a whisker above a 50-50 chance of winning a game. A more recent study by sport mathematicians goes further in challenging tackling assumptions. The record-breaking average of 124 a game in 2009 compared to the combined previous three-season average of 103 a game does not mean tackles have suddenly become more important for winning games.

The correlations between tackle differences and score margin for each of the past 10 seasons shows no significant change occurring. A more plausible explanation for this leap in tackling in 2009 is the concurrent increase in the number of handballs, ineffective kicks, interchange and rugby-style scrimmages of play creating more chances for tackling. Greater insight is possible if there were a distinction between the quality and significance of tackles. But this is not officially available and the current definition is rather vague: When a player stops an opposition player with possession of the ball from getting his kick or handball away in a legal manner, or reduces the effectiveness of the opposition’s disposal. Often the subjectivity of calling tackles within an acceptable range of accuracy is a challenge, notwithstanding the sophistication of today’s software capture systems. Now, with the aid of technology, identifying the relative effectiveness of tackles can be done. The highest

St Kilda


North Melbourne



Sydney Swans







Brisbane Lions












Western Bulldogs















Port Adelaide






West Coast



rating should be awarded to any tackle resulting in a direct turnover of possession (frees for included), stoppage, goal-saver or match-saver. The next grading are tackles that effectively ruin a kick or handball, when the player in possession has prior opportunity. A critical distinction here is the tackle occurs when the play is active. Far more problematic is classifying the large volume of tackles occurring in the frequent rugby-style scrimmages of play when a player takes possession with little or no prospects and is immediately wrapped up. No one doubts the Saints’ brilliance in all three categories of tackling and I am sure they will continue on this path in 2010. But they must also rediscover their creative genes. They have two remarkable stars showing the way creatively and defensively – Lenny Hayes and Nick Riewoldt. TED HOPKINS IS A CARLTON PREMIERSHIP PLAYER AND FOUNDER OF CHAMPION DATA. HIS CURRENT PROJECT IS TEDSPORT, A HIGH PERFORMANCE DATA ANALYSIS AND CONSULTING SERVICE.

From the Top End to a start with the Demons≥

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AFL Record, Round 2 2010  
AFL Record, Round 2 2010  

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