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O Loughlin

300 I was a boy who grew into a man at the Swans

Matthew Knights Preparing for a game

Footy-speak Deciphering the new language



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ROUND 19, AUGUST 7-9, 2009 F E AT U R E S


Ben Cousins

The star Tiger reaches 250 games.


Michael O’Loughlin

A magical milestone for a Swan great.


Matthew Knights

Preparation is the key to success. REGULARS



Have your say about 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.

68 72 76 78

Answer Man Testing your knowledge NAB AFL Rising Star Talking Point

Translating football’s modern-day jargon. THIS WEEK’S COVER T Michael O’Loughlin M photographed by p Lachlan Cunningham. L Go to slatterymedia. G ccom/images to order prints of this image. p

63 BE PREPARED: In part five of the AFL Record’s series ‘Coaches on Coaching’, Essendon’s Matthew Knights discusses the importance of preparation.

OUR LOW FARES MEAN YOU DON’T HAVE TO MISS THE AWAY GAMES! Check out the fixture in the match day section to see when your team is playing their next interstate game! To follow your team around the country visit now.

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Give Black his due It was good to see the AFL Record recognise Simon Black’s 250th game last weekend. As a Lions supporter, I’ve always felt people outside Brisbane have never fully appreciated just how good Black is. If he played in Victoria and fans saw week in, week out just how consistent he is, I’m sure he’d be rated alongside players like Gary Ablett, Chris Judd, Luke Hodge and Adam Cooney. There’s a reason he’s always up near the lead in the Brownlow Medal – he’s a real star. Congratulations on your milestone, Simon. REX, NEW FARM, QLD

Unstoppable Saints I thought the Sydney Swans might be about to perform the impossible last Saturday night and beat the Saints. It was a great game to watch and the Saints’ ability to get over the line was very impressive. After that effort, I now think they can go through the season undefeated, an achievement that would be truly amazing. JAMES GRIMLEY, DAYLESFORD, VIC


RECOGNISED: Simon Black was

featured in his 250th game last week.

Farewell, Adam As a life-long North Melbourne supporter, I want to congratulate Adam Simpson on a magnificent career. Thank you ‘Simmo’ for all that you have done for the club. You have given my family and I many fond memories. PATRICK, KEW, VIC

PRODUCTION EDITOR Michael Lovett WRITERS Nick Bowen, Ben Collins, Jim Main, Peter Ryan, Callum Twomey, Andrew Wallace SUB-EDITORS Gary Hancock, Howard Kotton STATISTICIAN Cameron Sinclair CREATIVE DIRECTOR Andrew Hutchison DEPUTY ART DIRECTOR Sam Russell

HAVE YOUR SAY Send us your feedback on n the Record and matters relating to the game, the clubs and the players. The best letter each round will receive a copyy of the AFL Record Season n Guide 2009. Email aflrecordeditor@ or write to AFL Record, Slattery Media Group, 140 Harbour Esplanade, Docklands, VIC, 3008.

DESIGNERS Jarrod Witcombe, Alison Wright PHOTO EDITORS Melanie Tanusetiawan, Kate Slattery, Bridget Allen PRODUCTION MANAGER Troy Davis PRODUCTION COORDINATOR Stephen Lording DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Adele Morton COMMERCIAL MANAGER Alison Hurbert-Burns

NATIONAL SALES MANAGER Nathan Hill AFL CLUB ACCOUNT MANAGER Anthony Palmer ADVERTISING SALES COORDINATOR Deanne Horkings Advertising (03) 9627 2600 PHOTOGRAPHY Sean Garnsworthy, Michael Willson, Lachlan Cunningham AFL Photos (03) 9627 2600


Still a test of courage  Often on outlets like talkback radio or in workplace or social discussions, fans can be heard lamenting how the game has become ‘soft’. They usually cite the ‘good old days’ when players were supposedly tougher than those of today. Critics also often point to the tendency of some teams today to favour an uncontested brand of football, believing this style of play proves their argument. Australian Football at the elite level remains one of the most physically demanding – and challenging – team sports in the world. Last weekend’s Port Adelaide-Hawthorn match was instructive. The Power and the Hawks have an abundance of players with superb hand and foot skills, and they both aim to maximise those players’ value by getting the ball to them when they’re clear in space. It’s a clever strategy. Last week, the key to setting those players up in uncontested situations was to win the ball at stoppages, which for the most part were tight, brutal battles that left observers watching closely in no doubt about the physicality of modern football. Contests around the ground were also marked by players’ fearless approach, as they are in every game, every week. Those pushing the ‘soft’ view have it wrong. PETER DI SISTO

PRINTED BY PMP Print ADDRESS CORRESPONDENCE TO The Editor, AFL Record, Ground Floor, 140 Harbour Esplanade, Docklands, Victoria, 3008. P: (03) 9627 2600 F: (03) 9627 2650 E: AFL RECORD, VOL. 98, ROUND 19, 2009 Copyright. ACN No. 004 155 211. ISSN 1444-2973, Print Post approved PP320258/00109

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If a player’s dropping off in speed or he’s dropping off aerobically, you’re able to see it and make an assessment on it JAMES FANTASIA


Jason Akermanis is still at the top of his game, as he showed when he kicked five goals last week.


Decision time looms for retiring types A number of veterans could be playing for their futures in the remaining rounds of the season. NICK BOW EN


s former North Melbourne skipper Adam Simpson drew the curtain on his AFL career last round, another veteran, Jason Akermanis, starred with five goals in the Western Bulldogs’ win against Fremantle. At the start of the season, Akermanis had intended that, like Simpson, this would be his last year as an AFL player. But the Bulldog extrovert’s good form – and no doubt his side’s position as a premiership contender – has caused him to second guess his plans.

What to do with Akermanis next season shapes as a tough decision for the Bulldogs. But it is one of many faced by clubs across the League with players aged 30 or over. Only two clubs, Carlton and Fremantle, do not have a player in his 30s (although the Dockers have four who will turn 30 next year – Antoni Grover, Roger Hayden, Dean Solomon and Chris Tarrant). Along with Adelaide and Richmond, the Bulldogs have the most with five, but obviously age is just one factor to consider in whether a player goes on.

Western Bulldogs football general manager James Fantasia said when a club assessed its list at the end of a season, it would judge every individual on his merits, regardless of age. Fantasia said the first step in deciding whether an older player should play on was to talk to him and assess how keen he was to continue and, in particular, how mentally prepared he was to embark on another pre-season. “I have seen someone like (Adelaide’s) David Pittman, a premiership ruckman, who knew himself he wasn’t going to be able to get much more out

of himself in terms of getting mentally ready to play and prepare for AFL footy,” he said. “He put his hand up earlier than most people would have expected (Pittman retired at 30), compared to other guys who try to hang on a bit long.” Once satisfied that a player is fully committed to play, it is then a case of assessing his form, health and fitness, Fantasia said. Players are constantly monitored through the pre-season and regular season, with year-to-year records kept of every area of CON T IN U ED NE X T PAGE

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their physical performance, including skin folds, muscle definition, sprint times and time trial performances. “You are monitoring all of these areas over a period of time and you are able to measure a player against previous performances to get a better feel for how he might be holding up,” Fantasia said.


Tim Notting is one of three 30-year-olds on the Lions’ list.

It’s unusual for the decision to come down to just one particular measure, or one golden reason JAMES FANTASIA

“If a player’s dropping off in speed or he’s dropping off aerobically, you’re able to see it and make an assessment on it.” Fantasia said all AFL players underwent a compulsory medical screening at the end of every season that would reveal any physical problems. He said it was not uncommon for older players to “go down quickly” physically and said in his experience – though stressing it was not a scientific view – speed and recovery rates were usually the first areas they drop off in. He said other factors are also taken into account, such as the value a player brings to the team through his on-field and off-field leadership – “blokes who hang around for that

length of time tend to have more going for them than just their on-ground performances”. Then there’s the external factors a club considers, including the “massive” consideration of whether the club is a finals or premiership contender, or in a rebuilding phase. The number of older players on its list, the strength of future draft pools and salary cap issues are also considerations. “It’s unusual for the decision whether someone retires or plays on to come down to just one particular measure, or one golden reason. Often it’s a collection of a number of these things that tend to paint the picture,” Fantasia said.

AFL players aged 30 or over: ADELAIDE: Brett Burton (31), Michael Doughty (30), Tyson Edwards (33), Simon Goodwin (32), Andrew McLeod (33) BRISBANE LIONS: Simon Black (30), Daniel Bradshaw (30), Tim Notting (30) CARLTON: (turning 30 next year – Heath Scotland, Nick Stevens) COLLINGWOOD: Shane O’Bree (30), Simon Prestigiacomo (31), Anthony Rocca (32 on August 15) ESSENDON: Dustin Fletcher (34), Matthew Lloyd (31), Scott Lucas (31) FREMANTLE: (turning 30 next year – Antoni Grover, Roger Hayden, Dean Solomon, Chris Tarrant) GEELONG: Tom Harley (31), Darren Milburn (32), Matthew Scarlett (30) HAWTHORN: Stuart Dew (turns 30 on August 18) MELBOURNE: James McDonald (32), Russell Robertson (30)


NORTH MELBOURNE: Brent Harvey (31) Adam Simpson* (33) PORT ADELAIDE: Dean Brogan (30), Peter Burgoyne (31), Brendon Lade (33), Warren Tredrea (30) RICHMOND: Joel Bowden (31), Nathan Brown (31), Ben Cousins (31), Matthew Richardson (34), Troy Simmonds (31) Kane Johnson* (31) ST KILDA: Michael Gardiner (30), Max Hudghton (turns 33 on September 2), Steven King (30) SYDNEY: Leo Barry (32), Jared Crouch (31), Brett Kirk (32), Barry Hall* (32), Michael O’Loughlin (32) WEST COAST: Chad Fletcher (turns 30 on August 30), David Wirrpanda (30) WESTERN BULLDOGS: Jason Akermanis (32), Nathan Eagleton (30), Ben Hudson (30), Brad Johnson (33), Scott Welsh (30) * ALREADY RETIRED


Coach open to change TOM MINE A R


n the weeks leading up to the Mick MalthouseNathan Buckley coaching succession plan announced by Collingwood, Malthouse admitted speculation about his future had become distracting. To his credit, he stayed focused on the present to guide the Pies to a strong position after seven straight wins from round nine and eight victories in their past nine matches. Last weekend’s match against the Brisbane Lions was a challenge for the Magpies, with a top-four spot on the line against a team that had won five of its previous six matches. By half-time, the Collingwood coach had his work cut out. His team was down by 14 points, Lions captain Jonathan Brown had kicked four goals and appeared set for a huge night and Pies defender Simon Prestigiacomo – Malthouse’s best option to mind Brown – was concussed on the bench after an accidental collision. What followed in the second half was a Malthouse-driven masterpiece. Generally a

man-on-man team, the Magpies altered their game-plan and went with a zone system in defence. Leigh Brown performed admirably on his namesake, recording a team-high six spoils. Importantly, he received excellent support across the ground, with Dale Thomas and others placing pressure on Brisbane’s usually clean ball-carriers. The Pies suffocated Brown, routinely outnumbering him at the contest with defenders dropping back and guarding dangerous areas around him. Lesser lights such as Jaxson Barham and Dayne Beams relished more responsibility around the midfield and the hard-working Travis Cloke enjoyed a solid cameo role as back-up ruckman. Collingwood held the Lions to one goal in the second half, and if not for its inaccuracy, could have recorded a much more resounding win. Nevertheless, it was symbolic of the Pies’ ability to stay competitive and win consistently with a squad that has few genuine stars. Malthouse has used 36 players this year, equal sixth in the League behind Fremantle (40), Melbourne and Richmond (38) and West Coast and Carlton (37). Selection each week is based on finding the best team to beat a specific opponent. The coach finds ways to get the best out of his players, regardless of the roles they are asked to play.


Cousins repaying Tigers’ faith BEN COL LINS


t’s a revelation that will warm the hearts of some and perhaps annoy others. Ben Cousins is playing his 250th game this weekend, but he is referring to it as his 12th game. It’s significant because the Eagles superstar-cum-Tiger veteran is in the midst of the

Hawthorn and St Kilda playing for the Blue Ribbon Cup in memory of slain Victoria Police officers.

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BEN COUSINS Born:June 30, 1978 Recruited from: East Fremantle (WA)/West Coast Debut: 1996 Height: 179cm Weight: 78kg Games: 249 Goals: 208 Player honours: Brownlow Medal 2005; West Coast best and fairest 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005; West Coast 2nd best and fairest 1998; West Coast 3rd best and fairest 1999, 2006; All-Australian 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2005 (vice-captain), 2006; International Rules Series 1999; AFLPA MVP 2005; AFL Rising Star 1996; West Coast premiership side 2006; West Coast captain 2000-05. Brownlow Medal: career votes 141.

second of the two distinct stages of his AFL career: 12 brilliant seasons with West Coast and his increasingly exceptional debut season with Richmond – divided as they were by a 12-month AFL-imposed ban for bringing the game into disrepute after his welldocumented issues with drugs. While some (particularly West Coast fans) might feel Cousins’ 12th game theory is disrespectful to the Eagles – the club that honoured him with the captaincy and with whom he won a premiership – many others will admire him for showing due gratitude to the Tigers for drafting him when no other club was willing to take the risk. Cousins’ place in West Coast’s history is assured. Even allowing for the off-field dramas that plagued the end of his time there, Cousins is one of the Eagles’ greatest players – some might even say the greatest. He was, and perhaps still is, a midfielder with a comprehensive all-round game (inside and outside, tough, skilful, dynamic, goalkicking, team-focused, dualsided, etc.) and no perceivable weakness. Hence, his greatness. ‘Gut-running’ is a modern term, and in his prime (only a few years ago), Cousins was one of, if not NEWS TRACKER

the, best at it. No one could run harder for longer. As such, he was almost impossible to tag. Last year, Herald Sun chief football writer Mike Sheahan rated Cousins the 42nd best player in the history of the League. The question now is – and it’s an evolving landscape – how will Cousins’ time at Punt Road ultimately be remembered? The operative word is ‘time’. How much of it does he have left at AFL level? If you believe media reports this week, he appears certain to be offered a new and improved contract after playing on base wages this season. Of course, much will hinge on the opinion of Richmond’s yet-to-be-determined new coach, and the direction he plans to take the club, but Cousins’ form has been very good, even if his body has, as was expected, taken a little longer to warm to the challenge. After missing five of the opening six rounds with a torn hamstring, sparking fears Richmond’s punt would prove a failed experiment, Cousins has exceeded the expectations of even the most optimistic well-wishers. He has played 10 of the past 12 games and has averaged 25.8 disposals. He has averaged 31 touches in his past four games, a purple patch interrupted by a severe bout of ’flu that prompted

doctors to prescribe him with a precautionary course of Tamiflu. Cousins knows what itt takes to lift a club from the lower rungs ter coach to win a premiership. After Mick Malthouse left the Eagles rough in 1999, the club went through an unprecedented slump,, and ont of Cousins was at the forefront eriences the resurrection. His experiences rs, would in this area, among others, surely benefit the Tigers. A full pre-season, as opposed on he to the limited preparation was forced to undertakee before this season, would also make ter Cousins a decidedly better proposition next year. He turned 31 a little over a month ago, but there is little sign of leg-weariness. The n fact enforced layoff might in extend his career. rs hope Richmond’s youngsters ive so. They have been effusive mple in their praise of the example he Cousins is setting, and the ng. They knowledge he is imparting. are an impressive group, too – the likes of Deledio, Cotchin,, Foley ns eases and Jackson – and Cousins some of the pressure on them. Caretaker coach Jade Rawlings ns’ has been taken by Cousins’ ets leadership. If Rawlings gets nd the Tigers gig for 2010 and ubt beyond, there is little doubt Cousins will figure in his plans. The Richmond faithful will be hoping n Cousins will play a role in another resurrection.



Ben Cousins, who celebrates his 250th game this week, is being praised for his leadership at Richmond.

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

Teammate most likely to succeed post-football

The meal you are king ing best at cooking

What do you li lect like to collect

James Kelly (Geelong)

Cameron Ling – a corporate magnate agnate



David Rodan (Port Adelaide)

Ma att Lobbe Matt – very v smart


Ja Japanese im imported cars

Des Headland (Fremantle)

Lu uke Luke Mc cPharlin McPharlin – going g into a pharmacy p

Ricky Petterd (Melbourne)

Cameron Bruce – he is never wrong

Spaghett tti tii Spaghetti on toa astt toast


Le g for Lego my boys


Collingwood’s Leon Davis signs a two-year contract extension. AFL RECORD visit 9

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Burgoyne still has plenty to offer

Shaun Burgoyne was in good form for the Power last week.

300 games Michael O’Loughlin Sydney Swans

250 games Ben Cousins Richmond

200 games


Josh Carr Port Adelaide Scott Welsh Western Bulldogs


ort Adelaide supporters might not have known what they liked better – beating reigning premier Hawthorn or seeing star midfielder Shaun Burgoyne continue his comeback from injury. He is approaching the form that might enable the team to build on the win and make something out of the season. In just his second game back after more than three months out with bone bruising to his left knee, Burgoyne starred against the Hawks. He picked up 26 possessions, laid six tackles, kicked a goal and provided four goal assists, but it was his composure under pressure and his ability to beat multiple opponents that would have given supporters the most cause for optimism. When others on both teams were turning the ball over


Eagles rebuilding running power NICK BOW EN


ot surprisingly, West Coast has struggled since it lost Chris Judd and Ben Cousins at the end of 2007. Adequately replacing two of the competition’s best midfielders wasn’t going to happen overnight. But the Eagles’ 27-point win against Essendon last Sunday showed they are starting to NEWS TRACKER

AFL 200 Club Andrew Embley West Coast Ryan O’Keefe Sydney Swans Ryan Houlihan Carlton

with regularity, Burgoyne was feeding it out with a clear head and clean hands. The sobering news for opposition midfields – starting this weekend with Fremantle’s – is that Burgoyne (turning 27 in October) believes he is still a few weeks from his best. “The first game back (against Adelaide in round 17) was pretty tough but I was happy to get another run under the belt and help the team get

assemble a young midfield that, in time, may help them return to the finals. With the other starting members of West Coast’s 2006 premiership midfield, Dean Cox and Daniel Kerr, missing last weekend’s game with injury, young on-ballers Brad Ebert, Chris Masten, Tom Swift, Scott Selwood and Tim Houlihan, and first-year ruckman Nic Naitanui all played a part in the Eagles’ fifth win for the season. Ebert, in particular, gave plenty of drive, finishing with 28 disposals, including 12 contested possessions and four clearances. Masten (25 possessions), Swift (23), Houlihan (25) and Selwood (19) also contributed, giving the Eagles’ the midfield depth to run out the game better than the Bombers.

back into some form after last week’s effort,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of confidence in the doctors and the medical staff here; those guys are professionals and they’re excellent with their diagnosis and the rehabilitation programs. “All the guys who come back from injury are happy with the assistance they get from them. “I improved a lot on the run against the Crows. I felt good out there.”

Naitanui, starting in the ruck for the first time in his six-game AFL career, had the better of Essendon ruckman Paddy Ryder in a duel of two of the League’s highest flyers (see story on ruckmen on page 15). West Coast midfield coach Scott Burns said while most in the club’s young on-ball group were still raw, their form had been encouraging. “It hasn’t just been the injuries to Cox and Kerr – they played good WAFL footy to get into the side and have deserved their opportunities,” he said. “The most positive thing from our perspective, though, is there seems to be a really good mix of inside and outside players in the group so, hopefully, there’s that balance there for the future.” Burns said the experience

150 games Scott Thompson Adelaide

100 games Andrew Mackie Geelong Lance Franklin Hawthorn Matt Maguire St Kilda

50 games Bernie Vince Adelaide Lynden Dunn Melbourne Alipate Carlile Port Adelaide

*Carlton’s Nick Stevens is set to become the 33rd man in League history to play at least 100 games with two clubs. Stevens has played 99 with Carlton and represented Port Adelaide 127 times. The list includes those not necessarily selected but on the verge of milestones.

these youngsters had gained this season would stand them in good stead for the future. “The best thing is they can go into pre-season having played on some of the best players in the competition in their particular positions, which lets them know exactly how far off they are and where they have to get to,” he said.

Former Sydney Swan Tadhg Kennelly to play in All-Ireland Gaelic Football semi-final for County Kerry.

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We’ve kicked a few goals over the years JELD-WEN is the name behind the St Kilda Football Club. And we’re also the name behind iconic brands like Stegbar and Corinthian – leaders in door, window and showerscreen manufacture, supply and installation. Great club, great brands.






Key Number

Recorded casess of players who have ave kicked a goal after thee siren to win a match. Richmond’s Jordan n McMahon1 joined ned the list after helping ng the Tigers beat thee Demons Demo ons last weekend. He is one o of only three current urrent players in the group – Port Adelaide’ss Peterr Burgoyne did itt in 2000 against Carlton n and Fremantle’s e’s Chris Tarrant achieved it in 2003 (as a Magpie to o defeat Adelaide). e). The recently retired Barry Hall did 1 McMahon hon is a modern m trailblazer zer of sorts, sortts, having che for sported a mousta moustache me. It’s a look lo ook also some time. d by Magp pie Jaxson favoured Magpie ft), who Barham (above le left), mirroring his appears to be mirroring ormer Collingwood Colllingwood father, former nd now-Sy ydney player and now-Sydney ecruiting consultant c Swans recruiting elow). Ricky (below).

it twice – in 2001 for St Kilda against Hawthorn, and in 2005 for the Sydney Swans against the Brisbane Lions. McMahon’s effort was the first post-siren winning goal since 2005, when Fremantle’s Fremantle s Justin Longmuir sunk St Kilda in round 21 at Subiaco.


Blues feeling more at home at Docklands Do HOWA R D KOT TON


n the not-too-distant past, D Docklands was considered a g graveyard for Carlton. At the end of 2004, B thee Blues decided to shift home games away from their home tra adit traditional base at Princes Park and play most of their Park home games at the west home Meelb Melbourne stadium, with their blo ock blockbusters against the likes of Co Collingwood and Essendon rem ma remaining at the MCG. B since Docklands opened But 20 2 in 2000, Carlton’s record at the ven nue has been poor, winning venue onlly 1 only 19 of 60 matches. Ga G Games at Docklands have coiinc coincided with the most un nsuc unsuccessful era in the Blues’ pro oud history, but in the past proud t two seasons there has been a ssub shift. subtle It is clear Carlton feels mo ore at home at Docklands. more Aftter last Friday night’s narrow After vicctor over North Melbourne, victory B thee Blues have won five of six gam me at the venue this season, games sign cant improvement on a signifi lasst year’s y last record of 3-6. Their only loss l only was to unbeaten Lea agu leader St Kilda, by nine League poiint in round 12. points

The Blues have two matches remaining at Docklands, against Melbourne in round 21 and Adelaide in round 22. Coach Brett Ratten admits Carlton is more comfortable playing at Docklands than in previous seasons. “From a confidence point of view, playing free-flowing football has helped us,” he said. At the MCG this season, the Blues’ record is not as impressive, winning only three of seven encounters. Their past two Friday night encounters at the venue, against arch rivals Essendon and Collingwood, resulted in embarrassing defeats. This weekend’s game against Geelong is Carlton’s last at the MCG in the home and away season and Ratten is keen to square the ledger. “Sometimes it’s about how the opposition allows you to play and sometimes how we go about it,” Ratten said. “Outside climate conditions can have a major effect at the MCG and they don’t have that much of an effect at Docklands. “The ’G can change from quarter to quarter and we’ve copped some different days at the MCG this year.” Sitting seventh with a 10-8 record at the start of this round, Carlton is within sight of reaching the finals for the first time since 2001 and Ratten is not fussed about the venue, as long as his team wins the right to compete. “I’d play a final anywhere,” Ratten said. “We would be delighted to get that opportunity.”

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Is the only time you call your mum when you have to? Or worse still, when something is wrong? I m a g i n e h o w h a p p y s h e ’d f e e l i f y o u j u s t c a l l e d h e r. J u s t t o s a y h i . J u s t t o s e e h o w s h e ’s g o i n g . At first she’ll wonder what you want, but then, when it dawns on her that you rang for no other rea s on tha n to hea r her voice, she ’ll feel l ike it ’s her bir thday a nd Chr is tma s all rolled into one.









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Roos doing their part for kids

Ruck contrasts provide intrigue



hen offered the opportunity to become involved in LeasePlan’s innovative ‘Carn the Kids’ program this year, North Melbourne jumped at it. The Kangaroos could not refuse to be involved in a program that gives children, who would not normally get the chance to attend an AFL match, a great day out. Already this year, North Melbourne players have enjoyed being part of the joy and excitement felt by hundreds of kids from the CREATE Foundation, Variety, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Royal Children’s Hospital and Camp Quality at various games. Drew Petrie, Ed Lower, Marcus White, Alan Obst and Luke Delaney have all joined in the fun, while at this weekend’s match against Melbourne, 400 kids and carers will enjoy the game alongside the Kangaroos’ cheer squad.


I YOUNG VIP: North Melbourne’s Ed

Lower welcomes a participant in the club’s Carn The Kids program.

“This is an important partnership for our footy club and the wider community,” North Melbourne CEO Eugene Arocca said. “LeasePlan must be congratulated for the work they’re doing in this area.” Carn the Kids has been running since 2003 and, with the support of additional partners including the Western Bulldogs, Melbourne Victory and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, has provided more than 14,000 children and carers fun days out. Heath O’Loughlin is North Melbourne’s media and communications manager.

t has been an intriguing season for those who closely follow the humble ruckman. While the mobile, new-age ruckman continues to build his profile and make an impact, the old-style ‘dinosaur’ remains invaluable. Some observers believe the development of the more athletic ruckman (West Coast’s Dean Cox, for example) will lead to the eventual extinction of the dinosaur. However, retired Essendon champion Simon Madden – one of the game’s greatest ruckmen – says the game will continue to allow ruckmen with contrasting styles to co-exist. “Over time, people have said the game changes and players have to change but, in actual fact, when you look at the spread of ruckmen across the League, they still all have different attributes,” says


Madden, now the ruck coach at the Bombers. The contrast in ruck work in two games played last Sunday highlights the various approaches employed by clubs. At Adelaide’s AAMI Stadium, Port Adelaide veteran Dean Brogan and Hawthorn premiership ruckman Brent Renouf matched strength and ball-palming ability in a rugged, physical battle that closely resembled an old-style ruck contest. Port’s Brendon Lade and the Hawks’ Simon Taylor were also regularly engaged in similar battles. The work of the four was critical in a game where clearances were crucial. In contrast, at Subiaco in CON T IN U ED NE X T PAGE

YOUNG LEAPERS: West Coast’s Nic Naitanui and Bomber Patrick Ryder battle it out at Subiaco last week.


HEAR IT LIKE YOU’RE IN IT. 3AW is football. Get the complete run-down on Sports Today with Gerard Healy and Dwayne Russell from 6pm Monday to Thursday on 3AW 693.

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VIEWS > NEWS > FIRST PERSON > FACTS > DATA > CULTURE Perth in a game that started soon after the Power-Hawks match, young Eagle Nic Naitanui and Essendon’s Patrick Ryder – two of the more athletic ruckmen – tried to gain the advantage by using their leaping ability and athleticism, both at ruck contests and around the ground.

Gone are the days when you hit the ball and just stand there and watch it SIMON MADDEN

“There has always been three types of ruckmen: the one who wrestles, the one who leaps and the one who leverages. I used to do a bit of the latter, where I would come in from an angle and jump early,” says Madden, who played 378 games and kicked 575 goals for the Bombers from 1974-92. “I think the measurements for ruckmen should be the same measurements used for any player. One, you have to get the ball, and two, you have to use it well, and that hasn’t changed. “However, gone are the days where you hit the ball and just stand there and watch it. Now you’ve got to hit and then follow up. “You also have to push back sometimes and fill in the hole in defence, and push forward to create a marking and goalkicking option. It’s almost four positions within one.”



On your bike for Green Round  Supporters of Collingwood, Richmond, Melbourne and Fremantle are being encouraged to ride a bike to games at the MCG next weekend as part of the AFL’s Green Round promotions. A bike parking service will be available for cyclists attending the Tigers-Magpies match at the MCG next Saturday and the Demons-Dockers game, also at the MCG, the following day. Green Round will be launched next Tuesday, with the AFL and the 16 clubs conducting various activities based on the ‘Make Green Your Second Team’ theme.

Football fans will be encouraged to save energy (by turning off all lights and appliances at the wall before leaving home for the football), focus on transport (by car pooling, catching public transport or walking or riding to a game) and dispose of waste properly (by placing it in the correct bin, not dumping it under their seat at the game). During the round, umpires will wear green uniforms and goal umpires will wave green fl ags. The centre

circles at each AFL venue will be replaced by the three-arrow recycling logo. Clubs have nominated Green Round ambassadors, with some including the Western Bulldogs’ Dale Morris, Essendon’s Andrew Welsh and Hawthorn’s Brad Sewell appearing in public service announcements to be shown at games and via the AFL website. For more information about the AFL Green Round activities and how you can be involved, go to


Richmond’s Matt White (left) is encouraging Tiger fans to ride to the club’s Green Round match, while Bulldog Dale Morris (inset) is part of a campaign urging fans to use recycling bins.


HEAR IT LIKE YOU’RE IN IT. 3AW is football. Tune in to four quarters of all-star broadcast with Rex Hunt, Dennis Cometti, Tony Leonard and Shane Healy at 3AW 693.

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Ted Hopkins

Founder of Champion Data and Carlton premiership player

Global handball warming  Every round The Godfather sits in front of multiple data screens viewing each game’s vital statistics live. He was truly gobsmacked watching the numbers that ticked over last week when Geelong played Adelaide at Skilled Stadium. Patrons had paid to see a remarkable new spectacle where the teams’ combined number of handballs exceeded their combined number of kicks – 439 to 391. At the time, it seemed like global warming and the tumultuous atmosphere at the world swimming championships in Rome – where 43 world records were toppled in eight days – had come together to produce the one catastrophic event. On reection, The Godfather realised that before round

18, both teams had averaged slightly more handballs than kicks a game, with Geelong’s kick-to-handball ratio 0.99 and Adelaide’s 0.96. The following day, The Godfather logged on to the twilight West Coast-Essendon game and his eyes popped. The Eagles had achieved the impossible. They had 251 handballs, a stunning 50 more than their 201 kicks, but still beat a hapless Essendon by 27 points. Astute readers of The Godfather’s wisdoms last week will recall how a high number of kicks on target was extolled as the secret ingredient in St Kilda’s successful season. But while this was happening, evidence of global handball warming was mounting. In round 17, the world record for handballs in a round – 3004 in round 10 this year – was


smashed with 3068 recorded. Extraordinarily, the mark that stood at the start of the season – 2711 in round 14, 2008 – has been bettered a staggering 14 times this year. The round 17 team average of 192 handballs a game was just three less than the kicks average of 195. This week’s AdelaideCollingwood match will feature teams at the opposite ends of the kick-to-handball spectrum. While Adelaide has the lowest kick-to-handball ratio of any team, 0.96, Collingwood has the highest, 1.29. The Adelaide system of linking handball is inuenced by legendary Sturt premiership coach Jack Oatey. Neil Craig (pictured) played under Oatey and became an advocate of advancing by using waves of sideways and forward handball.

Kick-to-handball ratios rounds 1-18 (total kicks divided by total handballs)

 Collingwood has the highest proportion of kicks to handballs while Geelong and Adelaide’s proportions are less than one, meaning they average more handballs than kicks. Collingwood North Melbourne St Kilda Brisbane Lions Carlton Melbourne Port Adelaide Fremantle Sydney Swans Western Bulldogs Essendon Richmond Hawthorn West Coast Eagles Geelong Adelaide

1.29 1.27 1.21 1.15 1.15 1.14 1.14 1.13 1.11 1.10 1.08 1.04 1.03 1.02 0.99 0.96

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Book aims to complete the McHale jigsaw

A new book will examine the life and times of Jock McHale.



here was more than a hint of reverence when Nathan Buckley declared “So help me Jock” in reference to legendary Collingwood coach ‘Jock’ McHale in a television advertisement to help launch the 2005 AFL season. In many ways, that is in keeping with the way McHale is still seen by some – 60 years on from his last game as coach and 56 years since his death. At the risk of being sacrilegious, McHale has long been viewed as a god-like figure at Collingwood, carrying the most famous name at one of the most famous football clubs in the country. Part of that is the extraordinary longevity McHale attained, as a player, and later, more famously, as a coach over 38 seasons (1912-1949) and 714 games. Today, we know so much

about our heroes. Buckley, Collingwood’s most famous name of the modern era, played one fewer game for the Pies than McHale’s 261, and will coach them from 2012 – 100 years after McHale’s first season as coach. Buckley’s from the multimedia age. You can hear and read his thoughts on the game in every level of an ever-expanding landscape – on television, radio, the internet and in newspapers and magazines. And we can watch every game he played on videotape or DVD. We were not afforded the

same luxury with so many powerful figures of the past, including McHale. Yes, we know all about his achievements. But we don’t know enough about what made McHale tick as a person. He started playing for the Magpies in 1903 when still cameras were few and far between at VFL matches. He had been coaching for more than a decade when radio first covered the game. And he was dead three years before the start of television in this country.

In many ways, McHale remains an enigma. Leaving aside the records and stats, we know little of him as a man. Writing in the winter 2004 edition of Australian Football: A Quarterly Journal of Essays, Ideas, Commentary and Illustration, Geoff Slattery summed it up perfectly: “It hardly seems fair that we’re left with a spiritual figure, a statistical colossus rather than a concrete block of a man.” In trying to find out more about McHale, I embarked on a journey last year to write the biography of the man known as “the king of coaches”. Having co-authored The Machine with Michael Roberts in 2005 – a book about McHale’s most famous team which won a record four premierships in a row from 1927-30 – I wanted to know more – much more – about McHale the man. I am seeking information, anecdotes, recollections and photographs concerning McHale, whether they come from direct contact or family folklore. Hopefully it can help to fill in some of the missing pieces in the jigsaw. If you can help, please contact me via The Slattery Media Group, 140 Harbour Esplanade, Docklands, Vic, 3008, or by email at Glenn McFarlane is a journalist with the Sunday Herald Sun. The Slattery Media Group will publish the Jock McHale biography in 2009.

A I S - A F L AC A D E M Y

Elite juniors named in Academy squad


hat do young stars Daniel Rich, Jack Grimes, Jack Ziebell and Patrick Dangerfield have in common? Aside from being nominees for this year’s NAB AFL Rising Star award, all were selected in various AIS-AFL Academy squads as juniors, which bodes well for the latest scholarship intake announced this week. In its 13th year, the AIS-AFL Academy is an intensive 12-month training program for 30 elite young footballers from across Australia. Academy graduates make up 20 per cent of AFL lists, with eight of the top 10


selections at the 2008 NAB AFL Draft progressing through the program. The squad was selected following the 2009 NAB AFL Under-16 and Under-18 Championships. Members are ineligible to be drafted this year due to age restrictions. Former Collingwood, Adelaide and North Melbourne player Jason McCartney will oversee the group as AIS-AFL Academy high performance manager.

The 2009 AIS-AFL Academy squad is: Vic Country: Tomas Bugg (Gippsland/Beaconsfield), Dylan Shiel (Dandenong/Edithvale-Aspendale), Adam Treloar (Dandenong/Noble Park), Sam Kerridge (Bendigo/Mildura), Darcy Watchorn (North Ballarat/

Redan), Sam Gordon (Geelong/Camperdown), Piers Flanagan (Geelong/Geelong Amateurs) and Luke Parker (Dandenong Stingrays); Vic Metro: Billy Longer (Northern/Macleod), Michael Bussey (Eastern/Rowville), Tim Golds (Oakleigh/Balwyn), Dylan Buckley (Northern/ Fitzroy), Jonathon Patton (Eastern/St Simon’s), Aaron Young (Eastern) and Andrew Gaff (Oakleigh/Carey Grammar); South Australia: Chad Wingard (Sturt/ Imperials), Jack Hombsch (Sturt/Roxby Downs), Sam Day (Sturt/PAC) and Daniel Gorringe (Norwood); Western Australia: Tom Mitchell (Claremont/Hale School), Gerald Ugle (Perth/Northam), Max Duff y (Perth/Corpus Christi), Myles Bolger (South Fremantle), Brandon Matera (South Fremantle/Corpus Christi), Blayne Wilson (Peel Thunder/ Halls Head JFC), Harley Bennell (Peel) and Ben Newton (South Fremantle); Tasmania: Sam Darley (North Hobart); Northern Territory: Curtly Hampton (Pioneers); Queensland: Jackson Allen (Sherwood). ANDREW WALLACE

South Australian businessman Gordon Pickard to “invest” in Port Adelaide to allow the club to employ more staff.

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Bulldogs founder had a profound impact DA MIEN M A HONEY


ost of us would consider ourselves to be passionate about footy; some might happily claim fanatical or even ‘tragic’ status. But how do you classify a person who devotes 37 years to the club he founded, 22 of those as president, property steward, recruiting officer and canteen manager, and someone also responsible for the establishment of a schoolboy competition that still runs today? And what if all that was achieved after a playing career in a state where Australian Football is not the dominant sport? It’s difficult to find the right term to recognise

the contributions made to Australian Football by John ‘Mac’ McKeown, aged 87. But at Warners Bay Football Club, located 15 kilometres south-west of Newcastle on the edge of Lake Macquarie in NSW, his status as a club legend is undisputed. The story of McKeown’s life is both intriguing and inspiring. Living through the Great Depression as a child in Western Australia, McKeown was forced to attend more than 20 primary schools as his father travelled around Australia in search of employment. As a young adult, he enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force and was assigned to ground

crew work before graduating to flying duties in 1942. He flew Lancaster bombers over Berlin at the end of World War II before moving back to Australia and embarking on a teaching career. He had played Australian Football in the Sydney league before enlisting and continued to play on his return to Australia. After various postings in NSW, he moved to the rugby league stronghold of Newcastle in the late 1960s after accepting the position of mathematics master at Warners Bay High School. With no local Australian Football team in the area and not even the scent of a Sherrin in the sports equipment storeroom, McKeown – ever the evangelist – set about converting students to the game. McKeown was largely – if not solely – responsible


Flag could be omen for Saints  In League history, just three teams have been undefeated after 18 rounds – Collingwood in 1929 (when there were only 18 rounds), Essendon in 2000 and, of course, the current St Kilda side. A great omen for the Saints is the fact both the Magpies and the Bombers went on to resounding Grand Final wins and recognition as two of the greatest teams the game has seen. DOMINANT DONS: The Bombers

after winning the 2000 flag.

Collingwood 1929

Essendon 2000


St Kilda 2009

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for the formation of the Lions Cup, a statewide schoolboy Australian Football competition that Warners Bay High School won in 1976. Through the now-defunct competition, he introduced thousands of schoolboys to Australian Football. As students’ interest in the game grew beyond school, McKeown formed the Warners Bay Bulldogs Football Club, and entered an under-17 team in the Newcastle Australian Football League. The NAFL later became part of the Black Diamond Football League, one of the oldest Australian Football competitions in the country. The Black Diamond League has produced the likes of Essendon’s Mark McVeigh and his brother, Sydney Swan Jarrad, Terry Thripp and Troy Luff, who also played for the Swans, Ray Hall, a former Richmond defender, and Matt Granland, now a football broadcaster for radio station SEN. After winning the flag in 1974 and finishing runner-up the next two seasons, the Bulldogs entered a reserve grade team in 1976 under McKeown’s direction. In 1977, prompted by the NAFL board, McKeown fielded a senior side, with the club winning its maiden senior title in 1984 and playing in 12 first grade grand finals from 1983-96. In that span, the Bulldogs won six premierships, including a record-equalling four in a row from 1990-93. McKeown, who was known as ‘Mr Aussie Rules’ around the Hunter region for his work promoting the code, was club president in those halcyon years from 1977-98, thereafter acting as a volunteer at training and on match-days. His involvement with the Bulldogs sadly ended recently when he moved to Canberra to support his wife Connie in an aged-care facility. There is little doubt McKeown’s selfless work and commitment to Australian Football laid the foundation for the code’s growing popularity in NSW.



Fremantle’s Hayden Ballantyne suspended for two weeks for making “forceful contact” with Bulldog Liam Picken.

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Levi Greenwood is enjoying his new role as a tagger for the Roos.

Greenwood finally running into form NICK BOW EN


evi Greenwood’s recent performances as a run-with player have vindicated the faith North Melbourne has long had in him. The Kangaroos selected Greenwood with pick 32 in the 2007 NAB AFL Draft. That year, he had played 11 senior matches with the Port Adelaide Magpies in the SANFL and was voted South Australia’s most valuable player at the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships. With a mature body that seemed ready-made for AFL football, the Kangaroos were understandably confident Greenwood would play at AFL level in his first season, 2008. The path to the elite level is

rarely smooth, though, as Greenwood discovered when he spent the season in the VFL with the Werribee Tigers, a mid-season bout of osteitis pubis hampering his senior chances. And, in the first half of this season, he struggled to cement a senior position despite a promising debut across half-back

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against Richmond in round five. But a switch from defence to a midfield run-with role in the second half of the round 16 game against Richmond not only sparked a North comeback, it looks to have sparked Greenwood’s career. Shutting Daniel Jackson down in that game, he then kept


Brisbane Lion –and NAB AFL Rising Star favourite – Daniel Rich quiet in round 17. Last week, Greenwood was entrusted with one of the game’s most daunting tasks – manning Carlton skipper Chris Judd. And, in just his seventh game, Greenwood did an admirable job, keeping Judd to just 13 touches in the first three quarters, before a knock to his knee confined him to the forward line for the remainder of the game. Greenwood said he had enjoyed his new tagging role. “I wasn’t doing a whole lot down back when I came into the side earlier this season,” he said. “I started playing a run-with role in the VFL after I was dropped the second time (following North’s round 10 loss to Brisbane) and I was doing all right at it. “This new role has been a good thing for me because I don’t get stuck at half-back and I feel I can run the game out pretty well.” North will be hoping Greenwood can eventually help fill the void left in its midfield by the retirement of Adam Simpson, a player who also started his career in a negating role.




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O Loughlin living the


Michael O’Loughlin had doubts whether he he her he was as good enough to play one AFL game lett alone 300, 300 but the man they call ‘Magic’ has done one just j that and much, much more in a glittering tt i g ttering 15-season career. On the eve off his remarkable achievement and just ustt weeks before taking his finall bow, the Sydney Swans veteran reflects on an amazing journey. JIM MAIN



tatistics alone give Michael O’Loughlin legendary status with the Sydney Swans, but as impressive as his numbers and honours are, there is much more to his achievement of becoming the first to wear the red and white in 300 AFL games. When O’Loughlin breaks the banner before the MCG match against Richmond this weekend, he will be doing what has become habit over the past 15 years. “I pinch myself every day,” he said earlier this week. “I could only dream of playing at this level when I was a kid and, even when I was drafted by the Swans (as the No. 40 selection in 1994), I was worried whether I would make the grade.” The 32-year-old will retire at the end of the season with a swag of awards and honours, including a premiership medallion from 2005, but acknowledges the seeds for his success were sown when growing up in the Adelaide suburb of Salisbury North. One of six children (five boys and a girl), his parents Muriel and Alex guided him clear of trouble in what O’Loughlin described as a “pretty tough area”. O’Loughlin’s mother came from the Narunga Aboriginal community on the York Peninsula, while his father was from another indigenous community near Murray Bridge. The O’Loughlin surname came from “a great, great grandfather with Irish connections”. The “pretty tough area” in Adelaide represented challenges for the O’Loughlins in raising their children. “You had to be street smart to survive and some kids did get into trouble, but my mother was a great AF AFL FL L RECORD RE R EC COR RD visit RD vis isit sitt afl aflrec rec rre ec ord or .cco c om m.a .au 57 57

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role model and always wanted to know where I had been whenever I came home late,” O’Loughlin said. “She always kept a close eye on me.” Like most youngsters in football-mad Adelaide, O’Loughlin started kicking a ball around at a young age and played with brothers, cousins and mates in impromptu 15-a-side matches at a park near his home. From there, he played with the Salisbury North club, where he found another role model in Gavin Wanganeen, who later won a Brownlow Medal with Essendon (1993) and captained Port Adelaide. “I saw what ‘Wangas’ did and I wondered when he went to play in the SANFL (with the Port Magpies) and then to Essendon whether I could reach those levels,” O’Loughlin said. He did, starting by breaking into the South Australian Teal Cup team (the state-based under-17 carnival now replaced by the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships) while playing with Central District. However, he found it difficult to produce his best. Yes, he admitted, there was an element of laziness in his football. But he explained he found it strange to have so many coaches, so much advice and a mountain of pressure. “I was sort of floating around for a while,” O’Loughlin said. Despite this harsh selfassessment, O’Loughlin attracted the attention of at least two AFL clubs – the Swans and Carlton. O’Loughlin barracked for the Blues, but Sydney nominated him just one selection before Carlton. “It was a bit of a shock, but I just wanted the chance to play in the AFL, so I was more than happy,” he said. “I used to watch Swans games on television and they always seemed to get beaten, but that’s all I knew about the club. “When I moved there a couple of days after the draft, it was like stepping into a whole new world. Pre-season certainly was a shock and I wondered whether I would be able to cope with the running and weight work. “Fortunately, I was able to see what was required of me through pretty good team leaders in Paul Kelly and Mark Bayes.


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NERVOUS STARTER: When he broke into the Sydney Swans line-up in 1995,

Michael O’Loughlin was content to play one game, much less 300.

“I also joined the Swans with a strong group of other young players, including Shannon Grant and Anthony Rocca, and we helped each other. “But, best of all, my arrival in Sydney coincided with the recruitment of Tony Lockett and Paul Roos, which allowed younger guys like myself to move under the radar.” The 18-year-old O’Loughlin had an outstanding debut season in 1995 and, in just his second season, the Swans reached the Grand Final for the first time since 1945 (when they lost to Carlton). Sydney went down to North Melbourne but O’Loughlin, with all the confidence of youth, believed the red and white would be in the big one again – and win it – before too long. “I didn’t realise that you don’t automatically get second chances in football,” O’Loughlin said. “I might have been distraught in defeat, but the older guys in the team took it a hell of a lot harder because they knew they probably would not get another chance.” O’Loughlin was fortunate to get another opportunity when the Swans played West Coast in 2005. This time they won, by four points, to break the club’s 72-year premiership drought. “It obviously was a fantastic feeling, but was made all the more special because our supporters had waited so long,” he said.

“The club had been in so many holes, yet always managed to dig itself out and survive. I feel very honoured to have played in that premiership side.” This might be the highlight of O’Loughlin’s football career, but he acknowledges there is a close second among his raft of achievements. “Being named in the Indigenous Team of the Century in 2005 will always mean the world to me,” he said. “When they called my name out at full-forward at the function in Melbourne I was just blown away. “To be recognised with all the great indigenous players made me feel truly blessed. And best of all, (Swans teammate) Adam Goodes also was named in the team (at centre half-back).” With O’Loughlin’s retirement just weeks away, the Swans will be left with just one indigenous player – Goodes, who is set to play his 249th game this weekend. “‘Goodsey’ and I have been getting into the ear of one or two blokes to draft some indigenous players,” he said jokingly. Despite O’Loughlin’s list of achievements, he insisted on praising those who helped him achieve goals which were once beyond his wildest imagination. “I have had good coaches,” he stressed. “Rodney Eade gave me the confidence when I was up

Like many AFL players, Michael O’Loughlin takes an interest in other sports, with basketball his favourite. “I played basketball before I played football and loved it. I think it’s great for helping develop your peripheral vision and decision-making,” O’Loughlin said. “(Swans coach) Paul Roos reckons he was the best junior basketballer in Victoria and then he decided to give footy a go,” O’Loughlin said with a laugh. “It’s a fantastic game. I’ll be encouraging my kids to play it.” O’Loughlin arrived at AFL House recently for a photo shoot with the AFL Record wearing a Boston Celtics cap, although he also has an affinity for the Chicago Bulls. “I’m actually a Bulls fan from the (Michael) Jordan days. But I love watching Kevin Garnett play,” he said. “I’ve followed his career through from his time at Minnesota and he helped Boston to an NBA title last year.” NICK BOWEN

and down early in my career and even told me that, no matter how my form might slide, he would not drop me. He had faith in me and I hope I responded to his encouragement. “Then, under Paul Roos, I had to regain confidence because of knee and hamstring injuries. We sat down and he told me that as long as I did all the fitness work I would be OK. I don’t

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Michael O’Loughlin has played in a premiership side, been adored by fans (well, maybe not some West Coast supporters) and been an inspiration to his family and the indigenous community.

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think too many coaches would be as supportive as ‘Roosy’ has been with me.” O’Loughlin will bow out of the game with “no regrets”. “How could I regret anything in my career?” he said. “I would have considered myself fortunate if I had played just a few games, but to play 300 is very, very special, especially for a club I love so much, the Bloods.” O’Loughlin explained that the ethos of the Bloods was as strong as ever, despite the club’s slide this season after playing in the past six finals series. “It is instilled into every player new to the club and you don’t get to wear the guernsey until you earn the right to,” he said. “We tell them, ‘This is what we expect of you’ or, if you like, hand them the blueprint of what we expect of them on and off the field. We teach them the history of the club and of the fabulous players who have worn our guernsey over so many years. “The club doesn’t expect to field a team of 22 Paul Kellys or Brett Kirks, but all players must do their bit to the best of their ability.” No doubt future generations of Swans players will be told of

O’Loughlin’s feats, and future teams without the magical skills he has put on show for 15 seasons will not seem the same. But O’Loughlin acknowledged his time was up. “I wish I could play for ever, but the body is not the same as it used to be,” he said. “I had major surgery on my right foot over summer and there is no flexibility in that foot because of the pins and screws they had to insert.” O’Loughlin has new horizons he aims to walk towards with partner Emma and their daughter Taya (three) and son James (20 months). He is looking forward to a life of quiet domesticity while keeping a close eye on the Swans and, perhaps, lending a helping hand when requested. O’Loughlin has no immediate plans to coach and, instead, will direct his energies to the new O’Loughlin Foundation in aid of indigenous health and education. RELAXED: When he retires at the

end of 2009, Michael O’Loughlin will take a well-earned break.



Michael O’Loughlin Born: February 20, 1977 Recruited from: Central District Debut: Round 5, 1995 Height: 189cm Weight: 90kg Games: 299 Goals: 512 Player honours: best and fairest 1998; All-Australian 1997, 2000; Indigenous Team of the Century; leading goalkicker 2000, 2001; AFL Rising Star nominee 1995; Fos Williams Medal 1998; premiership side 2005 Brownlow Medal: career votes 40

O’Loughlin, enormously proud of his Aboriginal heritage, wants to help his community and show its youngsters what can be achieved through hard work, dedication and discipline. “I have had 15 years in the best place in the world, at the heart of the Sydney Swans Football Club. I was a boy who grew into a man at this club and if I can help others achieve their goals, I will be further blessed.”

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COACHES ON COACHING – PART 5 UNDER INSTRUCTIONS: During the week, Matthew Knights and his assistants set about planning and preparing for the challenge ahead.

The importance of Meticulous preparation throughout the week is crucial to success on game-day, as Essendon coach Matthew Knights explains in the fifth part of the AFL Record’s ‘Coaches on Coaching’ series.


n 15 years at Richmond, I played under six coaches – Kevin Bartlett, Allan Jeans, John Northey, Robert Walls, Jeff Gieschen and Danny Frawley. It wasn’t ideal. However, from a coaching perspective, it has been a godsend because it has equipped me a wealth of knowledge and exposure to different methods, philosophies and ways to communicate. Along the way, I have learned that preparation is one of the keys to success – in any walk of life. I firmly believe that if you prepare yourself in the best possible manner, you’ll give

yourself an opportunity to beat any opponent. Perhaps the most important part of preparation is reviewing the previous match. This starts immediately after the game with your interaction with the players. I go home that night and watch footage of the game. With technology these days, every on-field act is coded, which makes it easy to pinpoint different aspects of the game – inside 50s, rebound 50s, stoppages, etc. The coaching panel conducts its review initially and then we go through it with the players. Players play a much bigger role in the review process than they ever did.

They are often one of your best resources in working out what went right and wrong on the day. They see things from a different perspective because they’re out in the thick of it, and their views can be very beneficial to the group. We find that refreshing. I also meet with the leadership group most Mondays for a general discussion about the previous game and how we might approach the week ahead. Early in the week, generally on Tuesdays, we start looking at our next opponent. Our opposition analyst, Craig Jennings, watches opponents for two or three weeks before we play them and provides us

with a detailed report on how they play. The other coaches then have their input, and from that we decide what we need to work on during the week. You might say: “We need to develop and focus on this part of our game because we feel it’s an area we can really get some upside.” The way a club goes about its review and preparation will vary depending on where they think they are in their development. At Essendon, we have a reasonably young list that is in the second year of a new program, so we’re planning for the medium to long-term, with an emphasis on learning and development. As a result, AFL RECORD visit 63

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DEFINING ROLES: On game-day, Matthew Knights believes some players like to have one consistent role to play, while others prefer to multi-task.

we’re more centrally focused on our game rather than the opposition’s. But as we improve over the next season or two, I’m sure we’ll pay increasing attention to the opposition. We’re very mindful of not getting ahead of ourselves and trying to get the cream on the cake because, in reality, we’re still just trying to get the ingredients right. In my view, we’ve still got a long way to go to instil the basics of football into our playing group. We might have three or four different styles or game-plans that we try to implement at different stages of games, but

they don’t come to fruition overnight. It might take a season or two for it to gel, so you have to ensure your players adapt well. Our methodology is that we want to get certain styles right before we move on to others. You might put more time and resources into some styles than others, and as you get better at one area, you might shift the focus a little. With younger players, you shouldn’t move too fast or throw too much at them because you’ll risk overloading them with information and overlooking the basics, which will always be a crucial part of the game.

Preparation is one of the keys to

success – in any walk of The best players do the life. basics very well. Our 2 Perhaps the most important part of preparation is the rev veteran defender Dustin iew of the previous match. Fletcher is a perfect example of that. In 3 Players are often one of your best resources in working out many ways, Dustin is a what went right and wrong on gam genius because he hits e-day. targets he’s meant to hit, 4 With a reasonably young list, focus more on your game tha he closes space when n the opposition’s. he has to, he applies a spoil when he needs 5 Don’t overload younger players with information becaus to, and so on. He does e you’ll risk overlooking the basics. exactly what’s required, which makes him 6 Delegate responsibilities to assistants. If you try to do everythin very predictable to his g yourself, you’ll spread yourself too teammates. thin. A coach also needs 7 You’re dealing with young men’s careers, so don’t take sel to examine what’s ection decisions lightly. required in his role and delegate responsibilities 8 Ensure you’ve done all you can to help your team perform to his assistant coaches at its best. accordingly. If you try to do everything yourself, you’ll spread The life of an AFL coach yourself too thin. is consumed by football, but I tend to delegate most you need an outlet somewhere, early in the week to give our so I try to go for the odd run or assistants the chance to take bike ride. And when I go home drills, work on reviews, take at night, I completely switch line meetings, etc. It helps their off from footy and try to spend development as coaches and some quality time with also gives the players a break my family. from me – I’m sure they don’t It’s all systems go from want to hear my voice all Thursday, when we’re generally the time! focusing on our opponent. Everyone gets a break on We go through the theory as Wednesdays, when staff a group in an auditorium, and can take part of the day off. then work on the practical side I take the morning off and of it during ‘closed’ training take my kids to school and sessions, hopefully away from have breakfast with my wife. prying eyes – although you (Knights and wife Carolyn have could watch training at Windy a son, Zachary, nine, and a Hill from the street! daughter, Alisha, seven.)

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At match committee meetings, we go through a set criteria – which I imagine would be fairly similar at most AFL clubs – where we look at the opposition and their strengths, and then we look at our own strengths and the way we want to play. Then we select our team, which could take four hours of discussion – and so be it, because it’s vital to get it right. You also have to realise you’re dealing with young men’s careers, so you should never take selection decisions lightly. We watch footage of our VFL side, the Bendigo Bombers, from the previous week to have a look at players who are pushing up for senior selection. I find it strange when people talk about devising plans A, B, C and so on to cover all contingencies. I don’t subscribe to that theory. I think all clubs adopt different styles and tempos, and many, like us at Essendon, have players who can play in multiple positions; it’s just that some clubs are better in their execution. I try to give players three days’ notice of the role we

want them to play. Sometimes circumstances prevent that. For instance, if we’re unsure if a few players will be passed fit, it might be delayed by 24 hours. Some players have a consistency of role, and they actually prefer that, while others might play three different roles in a game – we have a few players like that and it suits them. Working out what suits each individual is part of the people management and psychology of coaching. My movements on game eve can vary. If we’re playing a Friday night game, I’ll go to Windy Hill to help out with the Bendigo Bombers training. Adrian Hickmott runs the session, but I’ll have a run around with the young players. I enjoy that. It’s another outlet. Then I’ll have a quiet afternoon when I might think about RELAXED: Matthew Knights says it is lm important to stay calm for the players’ sake.


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AR19 p63-64 Knights - Coaching.indd 66

whiteboards. It’s a quiet, chilled-out period. We leave the players to their own devices, but they can come to us for any final instructions. I don’t try to gauge the attitude of players before a game. A few people have tried to do that in the past, but I don’t think it reflects in performance. Besides, we’ve got a real variance in ages at Essendon – players like Michael Hurley are 19 and then there’s Dustin, who’s 34. They’ve got different set-ups at home, so they’re all going to prepare differently. You just assume that as professional footballers they arrive switched on. I address the players twice on game-day: the first is a brief chat about an hour before the game, and I’ll address them again a minute or two before they run out. There might also be a few brief one-on-ones in between. Then it’s game on. As coach, you want to be certain you’ve done all you can to help your team perform at its best. The rest is up to the players. AS TOLD TO BEN COLLINS


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some ‘what if’ scenarios that might eventuate. If we’re playing the next day, I’ll either have a quiet night at home or, if there’s a game at Docklands or the MCG, I’ll go along and watch it from a strategy point of view. I don’t have any sleepless nights before games, and that comes from feeling prepared. That might not be the case if there are question marks swirling through your mind. That relaxation generally extends into game-day. It’s important I stay relaxed for the players’ sake – I don’t think it helps them if they see the coach tense and wound-up. The reality is we do the vast majority of our preparation beforehand, so when game-day comes along we can just let the players play. I endeavour to get to the ground early to prepare and write whatever I need to do on the

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time on Answer man

AFL history guru Col Hutchinson answers your queries.


The signing of Karmichael Hunt by the new Gold Coast club prompts me to ask who has played at AFL level after coming from a strong rugby background.

Brisbane Broncos star Karmichael Hunt has signed with Gold Coast for the next three seasons.


CH: Jim Reid was recruited

Australian Football, Ray Smith attracted Essendon’s attention. He represented the Dons from 1971-75 before transferring to Melbourne for two seasons. He played a total of 104 senior matches. Numerous others have spent their teenage years playing either of the rugby

codes before becoming ‘true believers’ at the AFL level.

WRITE TO ANSWER MAN The Slattery Media Group 140 Harbour Esplanade Docklands, 3008 or email


Are you, or do you know, a descendant of former Fitzroy player Robert Alfred Rahilly?  Born about 1889, probably in the Ballarat area, Rahilly played for Golden Point before representing Fitzroy from 191012 as a follower. After a year in Broken Hill, he played a season with Essendon. In one of his two



Christian names

Code breakers

to South Melbourne in 1935 directly from playing rugby league in Parkes, NSW. He played 26 matches in two seasons. Reg Garvin played soccer in Sydney at the age of 15 before switching to rugby league for two years. He then played Australian Football for Newtown before crossing the border to join St Kilda in 1937. During a distinguished 10-year career, he played 130 matches, won two club best and fairest awards and represented Victoria in 1941. Initially playing rugby union in Brisbane before converting to


appearances with the Dons, an opponent was Stan Neale of University, who later became his commanding officer in World War I. Rahilly died on December 9, 1935. Just two other Rahillys have played at AFL level – Joe with

St Kilda in 1918 and James with Geelong from 1998-2005. Should you have any information regarding Rahilly, including his date of birth, contact Col Hutchinson on (03) 9643 1929 or

 Times might not be as religious as they once were, but there is no doubt there has been a swing towards biblical names over the past couple of decades. Aaron, Joel, Josh(ua), Nathan, Simon, Adam, etc. have made comebacks to join the ageless Bible favourites Andrew, Michael, Matthew, Mark, Luke, etc. (curiously, however, John has almost completely disappeared). Two current players have almost mirror images of each other’s biblical names: Saint Zac Dawson and Bomber David Zaharakis. Zac is a shortened form of Zachary, from the Hebrew given name Zecharya based on zachar (remember) and ya (God). Dawson is a patronymic (“son of”) of Daw, a medieval pet form of David (“beloved of God”), another favourite name from the Bible. So Zac Dawson is “Zachary, son of David”. Zaharakis is a Greek patronymic meaning “son of Zachary”. So David Zaharakis is “David, son of Zachary”. KEVAN CARROLL

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

I have a Sherrin football signed by the 1990 Collingwood premiership side, including the late Darren Millane. Could you please give me a valuation? SIMON, VIA EMAIL

RM: Although Collingwood


A football signed by Collingwood’s 1990 premiership team, including the late Darren Millane, is valued at about $800.

 This is a card featuring Jack Metherell (incorrectly spelt “Metherall” on the card), who was one of six brothers from the South Australian town of Moonta. Known as ‘Tack’, he played in the 1894 Norwood premiership side. Two nephews, Jack and Len, played with Geelong in the 1930s, with Jack playing in the Cats’ 1937 premiership side. This card is so rare it is difficult to value, it’s worth $2000. butt maybe ma

released many of these footballs following its Grand Final win over Essendon, this is one of the better ones on the market and is worth about $800. I have a copy of a round one, 1922, WAFL match-day program featuring William ‘Nipper’ Truscott, who captained the WA side which won the 1921 Carnival in Perth. The quality is average and I was wondering if there is any value? TREVOR, VIA EMAIL

RM: WA match-day programs

hold their value and the older the better. This is a beauty and worth $125. I have a small white plastic cup (with a bulge in the middle) bearing the old Footscray Bulldogs crest. Value? PETER, BY PHONE

RM: I assume this is one released

by Associated Plastic Pty Ltd for the then 12 VFL clubs in the 1960s. They are rare as I have seen only three, of St Kilda, Geelong and Carlton. They are very collectable and worth $75 each.

I have two football jumpers I would like valued. The first is a Western Bulldogs jumper, supposedly worn by Chris Grant for training in 2000. It is signed by the entire team and coach Terry Wallace. The second is a Geelong jumper Mark Yeates wore and has a personal message to my father written on it and signed by Yeates and

Cat teammate Gary Ablett snr. I bought this jumper at a Grand Final brunch in Saigon and it used to have the blood of a rival player on it until washed by our unsuspecting maid in Vietnam. GEORGE, VIA EMAIL

RM: There are far too many

jumpers on the market, but yours are good ones, worth $1000 each.

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


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Steve ......., a Hawk who captained the Eagles in 1990 (7)


Richmond premiership ruckman (4,3)


....... goals, plus 10 behinds equals 100 points (7)


Carlton old-time goalkicker “Soapy” ........ (8)

10 Fundamental for success (6)


A ritual, done with a coin (4)



Contracted (6, 2)


West Coast’s Brent ...... (6)


Tallest player on Eagles’ list (4, 3)


Kangaroos captain (5, 6)

Collingwood’s ‘Incredible Hulk’, played in six Grand Finals, no wins! (4, 4)

12 Given name of Roos’ coach who quit this year (4) 13

Big ..., a Magpie hero (3)

16 A big, high mark (collq.) (8)

14 Covers Docklands Stadium (4) 15 Former Roo .... Sinclair (4)

18 All Victorian clubs once had them (8)


Fitzroy father-son pair Brian and Gary .... (4)

19 The Bears’ old home (7)


Tiger, Magpie, Brian ...... known these days as ‘BT’ (6)

20 Take a chance with this Hawk at your peril (7) 22 Far worse than winning (6)

23 OK boys, let’s ... into them (3)

24 Billy ......, a former Magpie favourite (6)

25 Examination to confirm a muscle strain, perhaps (4) 26 The Lions’ home city (8) 27 Describes the extent of a player’s service (6) 28 Tough former Demon Rod ....... (7) 29 Older, more experienced player (7)


Ross Lyon

I want to win Monopoly, let alone coach an AFL team

Paul Roos Michael Vosss Mark Williams ms

Tennis leg

Cryptic footballers 1. St Kilda cannot endlessly

be rearranged for this player (both names required). 2. Swan’s cry of pain following initial careless reaction. 3. Eagle clears awkwardly. 4 D 4. Dog initially follows conflict att Whitten Oval. a 5 O 5. Oil Oi i deed badly put together a Punt Rd. at 6 Tig 6. Tiger: “Mind Moss somehow!” T 7 I’ll 7. ’ race injured P or Adelaide player. o Port 8 W 8. Western We e Australia has n non non-drinker at Arden St. 9 Haw 9. Hawk’s half-broken nose H rreconstructed. reco 10. Rawlings has Cat in his grasp.

SCRAMBLED FOOTBALLER: Stenglein CRYPTIC FOOTBALLERS: 1. Nick Dal Santo 2. Crouch 3. LeCras 4. Ward 5. Deledio 6. Simmonds 7. Carlile 8. Watt 9. Osborne 10. Ling

Which coach made this comment when discussing clubs’ desire to win matches?

HE SAID WHAT: Michael Voss

He said what?

Scrambled footballer



MICK Geelong Cats Western Bulldogs Hawthorn Essendon Adelaide North Melbourne Richmond Port Adelaide

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LEHMO Geelong Cats Western Bulldogs Hawthorn Essendon Adelaide North Melbourne Richmond Port Adelaide

DAVE Carlton Western Bulldogs St Kilda Essendon Adelaide North Melbourne Richmond Port Adelaide

STRAUCHANIE Carlton West Coast Eagles Hawthorn Essendon Adelaide North Melbourne Richmond Fremantle

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

ANDY Carlton Western Bulldogs St Kilda Essendon Adelaide North Melbourne Richmond Port Adelaide

is week special guest appearance by


5/8/09 10:49:57 AM

5/8/09 3:13:05 PM



Making a meal of it Pie floaters, pork knuckles, raw snags … footy and food go hand in hand on a weekend in Adelaide. A NDR EW WA L L ACE


Car park barbie

or some strange reason – maybe the subliminal impact of Network Ten’s ratings giant MasterChef – last week’s trip to Adelaide for the Power-Hawks game seemed to revolve around not only the footy, but the food. This is what was on offer in the City of Churches.

“It’s the true Port Adelaide tradition,” bellows the famous line from the infamous Power theme song. A similar phrase (without the Port bit) could well be applied to the pre-match ritual of South Australians at AAMI Stadium, with hundreds of fans firing up portable barbecues in the car park outside the ground. Sounds like a great idea, right? This inexperienced Victorian found the assembly of the portable hotplate contraption more certain to ignite anger management issues than an assemble-ityourself furniture piece. And when the barbecuecum-Tetris puzzle had finally clunked into place, a stiff West Lakes wind ensured that the snags cooked no faster than a Christmas turkey. Having eventually warmed a few medium-rare sausages enough to safely swallow, and hurried to dismantle the barbecue before the 2.40pm start time, the first stall I notice upon entering the stadium is selling fully cooked gourmet sausages for a few lousy bucks. Some traditions are simply made to be broken.

Pie floater No, this is not a high mongrel kick by a Port Magpies player. Rather, it is an odd Adelaide delicacy dating back to the 1870s. Basically, you take a thick pea soup, slap it into a bowl, plonk an upside-down pie in the middle and smother it with tomato sauce. While some say the local snack has fallen in popularity since the likes of the golden arches took root, the pie floaters were all sold out at the Glenelg-Norwood SANFL clash, denying yours truly the opportunity of a taste test. Blessing in disguise?

Hahndorf If you like meat, beer and old architecture, this quirky town about 30 minutes out of the city centre in the Adelaide Hills makes for a good day trip before or after the footy. Hahndorf, settled by Lutheran migrants in 1839, is Australia’s oldest surviving German village, with several inns serving the cuisine of the old country. A Taste of Germany platter of pretzels, pork knuckle and smoked kassler chop allows no room whatsoever for green salad, if any were even on offer. In the bloated aftermath of my gorging, my heart pumps like a steam train slugging up a steep European mountain.

Andrew ‘Wally’ Wallace travelled to Adelaide courtesy of Jetstar.

Remaining AAMI Stadium matches in 2009 Round

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August 16

PA v Carl


August 22

Adel v WCE


August 29


CULTURAL TOUR: (from top) Adelaide turned on its winter best for

last week’s Port Adelaide-Hawthorn clash at AAMI Stadium; Wally gets friendly with the locals at a car park barbecue and meets some Jetstar staff; the pie floater was popular at the Glenelg-Norwood SANFL match; Wally enjoying the culinary delights of Hahndorf before a stroll through Rundle Mall in Adelaide’s CBD.


74 AFL RECORD visit (daily flights)


(daily flights)

(daily flights)

(daily flights)

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5/8/09 3:08:57 PM

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30/6/09 4:32:40 PM



A quick learner Young Bulldog Callan Ward is receiving eceiving a strong education on and off off the the h football field. A NDR EW WA L L ACE


n the weekend former Bulldog Jordan McMahon slotted a goal after the siren to see Richmond to victory over Melbourne, the youngster brought to Whitten Oval with the draft pick from the McMahon exchange has also given his club reason to be jubilant. Callan Ward, the No. 19 selection at the 2007 NAB AFL Draft, is the latest nominee for the 2009 NAB AFL Rising Star Award following 22 possessions and two goals in the Bulldogs’ win over Fremantle in round 18. Ward is already known to AFL fans, having juggled year 12 studies at Williamstown High with AFL commitments in his debut season last year. Despite the time constraints, the 19-year-old has no regrets about his 2008 experience, which yielded six AFL games and his Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE). “It was tough, but really enjoyable,” Ward said. “I wouldn’t change last year for anything.” The youngster, who lives just a two-minute drive from the home of the Bulldogs, is undertaking Certificate III and IV studies in fitness, building towards a qualification in physical education. And with a full pre-season under his belt and the ability to dedicate himself full-time to the club, he is steadily establishing himself among the Dogs’ talented midfield brigade. “Last year, I only trained about half of the time, so just to get that fitness base is helping me to run

NAB AFL Rising Star nominees


Ward, who made his debut as a schoolboy last season, has been able to devote more time to his football this year.

Round 1 – Daniel Rich (BL) Round 2 – David Zaharakis (Ess) Round 3 – Patrick Dangerfield (Adel) Round 4 – Jaxson Barham (Coll) Round 5 – Garry Moss (Haw) Round 6 – Stephen Hill (Frem) Round 7 – Jack Ziebell (NM) Round 8 – Jarryn Geary (StK) Round 9 – Andy Otten (Adel) Round 10 – Taylor Walker (Adel) Round 11 – Brad Dick (Coll) Round 12 – Aaron Joseph (Carl) Round 13 – Tayte Pears (Ess) Round 14 – Jack Grimes (Melb) Round 15 – Liam Jurrah (Melb)

As long as I can play on the high quality players, I think I can keep learning and hopefully put those things into my game out games,” he said. “It’s really starting to show now late in the season; you can stay on for longer periods of time, but also in the bursts, you can run faster and not fatigue as much.” Ward has gained confidence through playing the past 10 games in the Bulldogs’ senior side, but is wary of the pressure being applied by clubmates at VFL affiliate Williamstown. “We’ve got good players pushing for selection every week – guys like Sam Reid, Jarrad Grant, Dylan Addison and Tim Callan, who can pop up and take anyone’s spot.”

Known for his in-and-under style, Ward has been assigned several run-with roles, earning the privilege of playing on Geelong star Joel Selwood earlier in the year. “I seriously think he’s the best player I’ve ever played on,” Ward said. “His work rate is just amazing, but not only that, he can do everything – get the hard ball, run, get the uncontested football, kick on his opposite side, tackle and break tackles. “As long as I can play on high quality players like that, I think I can keep learning and hopefully put those things into my game.”

Round 16 – Chris Masten (WCE) Round 17 – Dayne Beams (Coll) Round 18 – Callan Ward (WB)


Since he was about 12, Ward has had the superstition of playing with his right sock up and left sock down.


2 Has a twin sister named

Aysha. Other sister Mickayla plays Victorian championship league netball.

3 Would like to start

a collection of suits and have a range of about 20 to choose from for formal occasions.

Each week throughout the home and away season, a panel of judges will select the nominee for the 2009 NAB AFL Rising Star. At the completion of the season, one outstanding player will be chosen as the 2009 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.

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5/8/09 3:08:27 PM



Lost in translation The modern game has spawned a whole new language of footy jargon. BEN COL LINS


“High pe“Outcomes” rf “Catch the ball “H ormanc ” e ticks nt in tim all the be mana

n the post-match press conference following the Collingwood-Adelaide clash in round one, Mick Malthouse ridiculed a reporter who suggested the victorious Crows had “come to play”. Come to play what, the Magpie coach retorted – marbles? In turn, Malthouse himself was ridiculed – roundly. Malthouse was testy – as he typically is when fronting the media, especially after a loss – but the point he made about the use of yet another irritating buzz phrase into the football vernacular was not lost. It seems that as the game has evolved at an increasingly rapid rate, so too has the glossary of smart-aleck lingo used to describe it. Many people (including those from all parts of the football world: coaches, players, officials, commentators, supporters etc.) seem to resort to such language to make themselves sound smarter, or cooler, when in fact they can actually come across as pretentious. Regardless of their merits, some words and phrases just sound plain silly. As Dennis Denuto – the Kerrigans’ lawyer in that great Aussie movie The Castle – explained to the High Court of Australia: “It’s the vibe of the thing.” And the vibe can be quite off-putting. Structures. Processes. Our trademark. Our brand. Blah, blah, blah … At the risk of being accused of the same thing, here are some other cringe-worthy clangers that have become accepted footy-speak:

“At this p “ F r o oint in ti n t coach” a l pressure” “Marquee p “resu layer” “A e”



“Upside” “Ex “St

“Going f o

t the min ute “Fitnes s coac ”


e c u rmance m te”“KPIs” “I think anager”

“High performance manager” – Isn’t it the job of every coach/manager to inspire high performance? Or are there also medium and low performance managers?

rength a nd cond it


ioning c oach”

“Strength and conditioning coach” and “physical performance manager” – “Fitness coach” will do. “He ticks all the boxes” – What is “he”, a schoolteacher? “Exposed form”– Isn’t it just form? Players are exposed if they haven’t got it. “This footy club” – What other kind of club would it be? A polo club? A nightclub? Simply “the club” would suffice. “Execute” – We don’t perform skills or carry out instructions or plans any more, we execute them. Maybe we should execute this term instead. “Frontal pressure” – Sounds like something that can be cured by a visit to the lavatory. Isn’t it just pressure – from all directions, including the back and the side, not just the front. “Scoreboard pressure” – This one causes bowel pressure.

“Upside” – Some football luminaries speculated that Brisbane Lions youngster Daniel Rich didn’t get picked up earlier in last year’s NAB AFL Draft because he didn’t boast enough upside – ie. he had less potential or scope for development. With Rich becoming an immediate star, that view has been downsized, as should our use of this word. “Centre corridor” – One of these words is redundant; a bit like ‘ATM machine’. “KPIs” (Key Performance Indicators) – Business-type jargon that simply refers to how teams judge their performances. Sounds like a type of private investigator.

“Outcomes” – A fancier way of saying “results”. “Catch the ball” – It’s called a mark. Cricketers take catches. “An eight-point game” – No, it’s not; it’s only worth four points, just like every other game. But we get the point – it’s a big game. “Marquee player” – Isn’t ‘superstar’ exciting enough? “I would’ve thought …” – You would’ve thought it, so what would it take for you to actually think it? Please, just say “I think” or “I reckon” Tough talk, or sayings like: “They copped their right whack”, “They dodged a bullet,” and “They put their foot on the opposition’s throat.” Unnecessarily melodramatic. “Going forward” – In future.

“Talent identification manager” and “manager of player acquisition” – Grandiose titles for a recruiting manager.

“At the minute” – Now. “At this point in time” – Now!

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5/8/09 3:07:51 PM

HELP THE SALVOS HELP THE HOMELESS Spare a thought for the thousands of homeless who disturbingly have to sleep rough during these bleak, chilly, winter nights. Better still you can help those less fortunate by donating your blanket at selected Kmart stores throughout Melbourne Metropolitan areas until the 9th August. This way you’ll be helping the Salvos give to those Victorians in need of warmth this winter.

JASON BRING A BLANKET APPEAL Donations can be made at the following Kmart Stores: Greensborough, Chirnside Park, Fountain Gate, Burwood, Werribee, Eastland, Campbellfield and Preston.


O NE ’ S








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AFL Record, Round 19 2009  

The AFL Record is the most loved and read football magazine in the country and for the first time, is now available free to read online each...