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t? s o l u o y e What hav It’s easy to see what’s missing from your wardrobe. But online, you might not know that your personal and financial information has been taken and used by someone else until it’s too late. For practical advice about the simple things you can do to better protect yourself on the internet, go to

19 LEADER: AFL Commissioner

Sam Mostyn is one of many women making a significant contribution to Australian Football because of her leadership, vision and passion for the game.

ROUND 11, JUNE 5-8, 2009 F E AT U R E S


Women’s Round

Recognising the game’s female leaders.


Tyson Edwards

A veteran Crow set to play his 300th game.


The Wallace legacy

How Terry Wallace will be remembered. 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.

78 82 84 86

Answer Man Testing your knowledge NAB AFL Rising Star Talking Point

The Dream Team phenomenon. THIS WEEK’S COVER Tyson Edwards, on the eve of his 300th game. Go to to order prints of this image.

FOLLOW YOUR TEAM TO THE AWAY GAMES TOO! 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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The bald facts I read with interest Ben Collins’ piece on Gary Ablett jnr (round 10). While I was glad to see someone defending him (other than his club and teammates), I thought you might be interested to hear that criticism of Ablett continues. During the round 10 Geelong-Essendon match, I overheard a disgruntled Essendon fan contend that the reason Ablett got so much praise was not thanks to his silky skills or his ball-winning prowess, but because he looks like fellow midfielder Paul Chapman, and therefore gets credit for efforts that are not his. While it is not uncommon for commentators and fans to briefly confuse the two, the fact remains that Chapman was out injured, and any plaudits Ablett won that day were squarely his own. GEORGIE YOUNG, NORTH MELBOURNE, VIC

Missing the point When a player loses ‘x’ amount of demerit points and is suspended, is the slate wiped clean, or does it remain for a harsher penalty for any future misdemeanours? For example, if a player keeps losing points or is reported/suspended, does his record mean he receives a harsher penalty? PAUL, ROWVILLE, VIC Editor’s note: If a player is suspended, he will receive a 10 per cent loading for each match that he

has been suspended in the previous three years, capped at 50 per cent for five or more matches. For example, if a player who had been suspended for one match in the previous three years is found guilty by the Tribunal and the offence attracts 125 demerit points, he would accumulate a further 12.5 points (10 per cent loading for the previous suspension). The player would be suspended for one match and carry forward 37.5 points for the next 12 months. Carry-over points last for 12 months. One hundred points equates to a one-game suspension.

A snow job I am sick of all Melbourne supporters being described as living in Toorak, driving a Range Rover and going

for skiing holidays in Aspen. It is not true – I barrack for Melbourne, live in Armadale, drive a BMW and go skiing at Mt Buller. PAT, ARMADALE, VIC

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


Numbers game  Our game has long had a fascination with statistics. The AFL’s history consultant Col Hutchinson says newspapers started publishing rudimentary statistics from selected League matches (especially finals) as early as 1931. By the mid-1960s, more complex sets of statistics from all games were published regularly. Emphasis was given to kicks, marks and “passes to comrades” – what researchers believe were handballs. With today’s emphasis on a high-possession play, are the basic statistics (i.e. the number of disposals of the ball a player has) as relevant as they once might have been? That’s a question many are asking, including Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse, who rated Dane Swan’s 48-possession game last week as “reasonable” but not one of his greatest efforts. “I don’t take much notice of stats. Does he win Tattslotto with that?” Melbourne champion and now-commentator Garry Lyon has suggested a ‘weighting’ be allocated to specific statistics to help determine how well a player is actually performing. Ted Hopkins, founder of Champion Data, says much work is being done to recognise changes in the game through statistics. But one thing remains clear, he says: the team with the better kicking efficiency wins 95 per cent of the time. It’s still a simple game. PETER DI SISTO


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

DESIGNERS Jarrod Witcombe, Alison Wright PHOTO EDITORS Natalie Boccassini, Melanie Tanusetiawan 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

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 11, 2009 Copyright. ACN No. 004 155 211. ISSN 1444-2973, Print Post approved PP320258/00109

4 AFL RECORD visit

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McDonald’s® Tick Approved Meals help Collingwood Players kick goals. The Collingwood Football Club’s sports dietitian, Emma Rippon, supports McDonald’s range of Heart Foundation Tick Approved meals because she knows players have to make meal choices that are both healthier and convenient to be at the top of their game. “Training, media commitments and player appearances don’t leave much time for the boys to prepare health-conscious meals. McDonald’s Tick Approved meals are convenient options which help to meet their daily dietary requirements,” Emma said. McDonald’s has taken a number of steps to meet the Heart Foundation’s strict standards for serve size, saturated fat, salt and vegetable / fibre content, which now means that all buns contain less than 5% percent sugar, cooking oil has 75% less saturated fat and nutrition labelling is on every item sold. McDonald’s Heart Foundation Tick approved meals now provide even more choice, with the introduction of two new great tasting Deli Choices® wraps. The wraps are tick approved as individual items, or as part of a meal accompanied with a garden salad, orange juice or water. As proud sponsors of the Collingwood Football Club, McDonald’s is committed to providing meals that will allow players to keep kicking goals and supporters to make healthier choices.

NEW Tick Approved Chicken Tandoori

NEW Tick Approved Seared Sweet Chilli Chicken McDonald’s® Victoria. Proud Sponsor of the Collingwood Football Club. *CERT TM used under license










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ON THE RAMPAGE: Brad Johnson’s Bulldogs went on a 13-goal scoring streak against the Sydney Swans at Manuka last week.


Set shots, fanciful snaps, long bombs, you name it, generally sail through the big sticks, as the team builds what is nearly always a match-winning lead


The return of the run-on Momentum is a powerful force in the modern game as teams embark on match-winning goal streaks, as several did last weekend. NICK BOW EN


ometimes in a game, often out of nowhere, one team seizes the momentum and won’t let it go. It’s a bit like surfers who latch on to the perfect wave, staying one step ahead of its breaking barrel as they eke out every possible scoring manoeuvre and ride it all the way to the beach. In football, when a side gains the momentum like this, it seems to win nearly every individual contest. In the midfield. On the forward line. And – on those rare

occasions when the opposition successfully rails against the tide and gets the ball inside its forward 50 – on the backline. It also makes the most of its opportunities in front of goal – set shots, fanciful snaps, long bombs, you name it, generally sail through the big sticks, as the team builds what is nearly always a match-winning lead. It’s a momentum the opposition seems powerless to stop. It can try going man on man or slowing the game down by playing possession footy, but nothing seems to work.

Such run-ons are not uncommon, but last round was remarkable with three sides producing scoring streaks of eight goals or more. In Canberra, the Western Bulldogs piled on 13 goals without the Sydney Swans kicking one. Their run started at the 18-minute mark of the first quarter and ended only when the Swans broke their run one minute into the third quarter. At Subiaco, Richmond went on an unbroken eightgoal scoring spree against Fremantle in the opening 22

minutes of the third quarter, while, in the Collingwood-Port Adelaide game at the MCG, John Anthony’s goal five minutes before half-time sparked a nine-goal run by the Pies. In a quirk, the Bulldogs’ goal spree matched the Swans’ 13 goals in a row against Essendon in round eight last year, according to Champion Data (Notably, the Bombers conceded the first eight goals of their next match, against Richmond). The Bulldogs, Tigers and Magpies are not the only sides to put opposition teams to the sword with extended goal runs this season. Not surprisingly for a team riding a huge wave of momentum in its 10-0 start to the season, ladder-leader St Kilda CON T IN U ED NE X T PAGE

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has strung together two streaks of 10 or more goals – the first, an 11-goal run against the Swans in round one and, the second, a 10-goal barrage against the Power in round five. But the Saints’ record gets better the more you analyse it. On the back of their strong midfield and potent forward line, they have compiled 11 streaks of five or more goals this year. And, 101 of the 156 goals the Saints have scored this season – or 64.7 per cent – have come in runs of two or more consecutive majors. This percentage is the best in


New mix helps Blues open up HOWA R D KOT TON


On the back of their strong midfield and potent forward line, the Saints have compiled 11 streaks of five or more goals this year the League, with Geelong (102 of 174 goals, 58. 6 per cent) and the Bulldogs (84 of 155, 54.2 per cent) the next best. As we’ve seen this season, the Saints have combined scoring power with miserly all-ground defence. They have not conceded a single five-goal streak, while just 30 of the 82 goals (36.6 per cent) kicked against them have come in runs of consecutive majors. Here again, the Saints lead the competition, with Geelong (48 of 115 goals, 41.7 per cent) and the Brisbane Lions (54 of 128, 42.2 per cent) the next best.

Wallace’s Tiger tenure ends  Terry Wallace and Richmond announced this week they would part ways after Friday night’s match against Wallace’s former club, the Western Bulldogs. In a press conference at the Tigers’ Punt Road headquarters last Tuesday, Wallace said his fifth season as Richmond coach had been cruelled by injuries to key players and several close losses, but was confident he was leaving the club in a good state.

“There are some young backline players and very young forward-line players coming through,” Wallace said. “I think whoever takes on the role next has an exciting club to go forward.” Richmond president Gary March praised Wallace’s contribution at Punt Road, saying he “brought a lot of innovation to the Richmond Football Club”. NICK BOWEN

➡ See page 66 for essay on the Wallace legacy.

Streak of bad luck


CURSE OF A BELEAGUERED BOMBER Young defender Michael Hurley wears No. 22 at Essendon, but such is his recent luck, perhaps No. 13 would be more appropriate. Here’s a look at his recent run of ‘outs’. A NDR EW WA L L ACE


n the aftermath of Carlton’s disastrous trip to AAMI Stadium in round nine, the search was on for answers. The obvious question was why the Blues, with one of the most potent forwards in the game in Brendan Fevola, could not kick a goal in the first half while the Crows booted eight. After a week of analysis, and a frank admission from coach Brett Ratten that he had taken full responsibility for tactics that went horribly wrong, the Blues went back to basics last Friday night. This time, Fevola, who had played further up the field against Adelaide, was stationed near the goalsquare on West Coast captain Darren Glass, and the experienced pair of Brad Fisher and Ryan Houlihan were included to complement the talented spearhead. Add versatile Irishman Setanta O’hAilpin to the mix and suddenly the Blues looked dangerous when any of their classy midfielders took possession and attempted to find holes in the Eagles’ defence. In contrast to the barren scoreline the previous week, Carlton quickly put scoreboard

GALLING START After a tough pre-season, Hurley looked forward to playing. However, something wasn’t quite right. “I had a couple of nights where I couldn’t sleep, and I had to take myself to hospital,” he says, where he had his gall bladder removed. “That kept me out for four weeks.”

Hurley recovered in time to playy ked one NAB Cup game and was picked for his AFL debut against Port Adelaide in round one. He held Port veteran Warren Tredrea me. goalless in a 14-possession game. ntry Dream Teamers across the country rushed to pick him, but on the red. following Thursday he was injured. -up. “It was a normal training warm-up. We were doing some short kickss and I tore my quad. I ended up missing another five weeks.”

The round 14 St Kilda-Geelong clash will remain at Docklands due to financial and logistical difficulties associated with moving the game.

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VIEWS > NEWS > FIRST PERSON > FACTS > DATA > CULTURE pressure on the opposition, kicking 5.2 in the opening term. Of those five, the tall, strongmarking Fisher, 25, kicked the first and Houlihan, using his exquisite finishing to great effect, contributed two. The match was Fisher’s 92nd and his first at AFL level this year. A dislocated elbow suffered during pre-season set back his preparation for 2009 and he had forced his way back through the VFL. A member of the Blues’ sevenman leadership group, Fisher made an impressive return with 14 kicks, seven marks and, importantly, three goals straight in 93 minutes on the ground. Houlihan, 27, was also making his return for his seventh game this season after being dropped following the narrow loss to Hawthorn in round six. Houlihan, a 169-game veteran, also racked up impressive numbers: 15 kicks, four marks, four tackles and 2.1. Ratten said both players had a big impact on the game early. “I thought it was pretty significant that they both hit the scoreboard,” he said. “With Houlihan’s kicking skills, he’s dangerous regardless of whether he’s playing on someone or not, and he can play in a variety of positions.” But Ratten made it clear he was still keen on using Fevola up the field to give the team a less-predictable look. “We don’t want to play Brendan too high up the field, but at times he will have to come out and give someone else a crack at that full-forward spot,” he said.


The importance of strategic blocking

2. Hearing the umpire’s play-on call, man on the mark Andrew Embley moves to stop Davis.



ive minutes into the final quarter of the West Coast-Collingwood game in round nine, Magpie Leon Davis lined up for goal from 55 metres out, close to the Subiaco Oval boundary line, after taking a spectacular grab. Davis proceeded to play on to his right to open up the angle and close the distance, slotting a 50-metre goal to put the Pies 34 points ahead. Television commentators lamented the effort and awareness of Eagle Andrew Embley on the mark, but in fact the 2006 Norm Smith medallist had fallen victim to an emerging tactic in the modern game. As Embley had moved towards Davis at the umpire’s play-on call, Collingwood’s Dane Swan had stepped in to provide a perfect body block, allowing Davis a clear path to goal. This blocking tactic has been used for some time to allow players kicking in from a behind to kick the ball to themselves and run clear of the man on the mark. According to Brisbane Lions assistant coach Justin Leppitsch, the strategy is likely to be implemented

While in rehabilitation, Hurley could not find his Holden VL Commodore wagon in the Windy Hill car park. “I thought one of the boys was playing a trick and had moved it, but after the club had messaged the players and no one had replied, I had to report it stolen.” The car was found abandoned in Fairfield, undamaged.

3. Dane Swan blocks Embley’s path with a legal bump, allowing Davis a free shot on goal.

increasingly up the field. “Looking after the ball-carrier is a part of the game that will come in more and more,” he says. “Every possession you have is a chance for the opposition to get the ball back, so if you can keep it in one ball-carrier’s hands, you’re 100 per cent guaranteed of maintaining possession.” Leppitsch, a three-time premiership defender with the Lions and now the club’s defensive coach, believes playing on and blocking the player on the mark is one way to break up the full-ground zone applied so effectively by many clubs. “With zones, obviously teams are spreading their forces, so you’re looking to create outnumbered areas and move the ball through quickly,” he says. “You can block for the guy who has got the ball in his hands in the goalsquare, or give it to someone out wider and block for him.” The AFL’s director of umpiring Jeff Gieschen says the block is within the laws of

the game. “Provided the blocker starts from behind the man on the mark – there’s a five-metre protected area on either side and in front of him – and the umpire has called play-on, it’s perfectly legal,” he says. “As soon as the umpire has made the call, everyone becomes ‘live’.” Meanwhile, Leppitsch notes that blocking is also used to free up dangerous players, citing St Kilda pair Stephen Milne and Adam Schneider and North Melbourne’s Daniel Wells at forward-line stoppages as examples. He believes countering the tactic requires awareness from all players to help cover for a teammate who has been checked. “You need to make sure your players are aware that some guys get blocked far more than others, so they have to look out for those sort of tactics in a game. “But it’s very difficult to stop. In a zone situation, you need other players to come off their line to help out. “If it becomes a real trend in the competition, coaches will put something together to stop it.” However, Leppitsch feels there is still more work to be done in mastering the art of the block, suggesting that much can be learned from other sports. “If it’s done well, it’s a good tactic,” he says. “A lot of practice is needed for players to apply it successfully because, if you do miss the block, the guy with the ball is suddenly under pressure, and it could upset the flow down the field.”



Hurley’s car troubles were not over. A few days after the theft, he was driving along Punt Road, one of Melbourne’s busiest roads. “The car started overheating. I was caught in peak-hour traffic and smoke was going everywhere, so it was pretty embarrassing.”

With his health back and playing well at VFL level two weeks ago, Hurley couldn’t believe his luck when he landed awkwardly after a marking contest. “I crashed down and cracked the scaphoid bone in my right wrist and had to have an operation. Luckily, the injuries have been shortterm and I’ve just tried to stay positive. I’m hoping to be available after round 12.”




1. Leon Davis runs around to his right to open up the angle.


James Hird appointed an All-Australian selector, replacing Rod Austin, who stood down after 10 seasons in the role. AFL RECORD visit 9

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This year’s Saints’ are stingier than 2004 A NDR EW WA L L ACE


s in 2004, St Kilda has made a perfect start to 2009, steamrolling its way through the first 10 games. While fans will be hoping for a happier ending than five years ago, when the club lost eight of its last 15 matches and bowed out in heartbreaking style against Port Adelaide in a preliminary final, it is worth weighing up the Saints of then and now. It is fair to say the team under Grant Thomas was more attacking, averaging 20 more points and six extra inside 50s a game than Ross Lyon’s squad. However, the 2009 version is clearly superior defensively, conceding 18 fewer points and racking up an impressive 18 more tackles a match.

Encouragingly, it is generally such teams that enjoy the ultimate success. The recent changes in tactics and the way the game is played are also evident in the statistics, with St Kilda this year averaging almost 100 more possessions a match than it did five years ago, including 65 extra handballs and 57 more handball receives. The difficulty in breaking down opposition defensive zones and floods is highlighted by the fact that, despite retaining the scoring power of Nick Riewoldt, Justin Koschitzke and Stephen Milne, the Saints have required 10 more possessions per goal in 2009. Only eight players who took the field in round 10, 2005, played for the Saints against Melbourne last weekend – Riewoldt, Koschitzke, Steven Baker, Luke Ball, Jason Blake, Nick Dal Santo, Brendon Goddard and Lenny Hayes – but it is important to note that these remaining individuals are no longer generally young, inexperienced and prone to inconsistency, but AFL-hardened and in their football prime. Perhaps this will prove the difference late in the year.

St Kilda to round 10, 2004 v 2009 Wins Losses Ave. points for Ave. points against Ave. disposals Ave. kicks Ave. handballs Ave. contested possessions Ave. loose-ball gets Ave. handball receives Ave. hit-outs Ave. tackles Ave. inside 50s Ave. disposals per goal Ave. age (full list)

2004 10 0 126 76 308 191 117 118 57 94 33 46 58 16 23 yrs 37 days

2009 10 0 106 58 404 222 182 125 49 153 36 68 52 26 23 yrs 79 days

Then and now These 14 players were in the Saints’ round 10 team in 2004, but not in last week’s side: Xavier Clarke*, Fraser Gehrig, Brent Guerra, Aaron Hamill, Robert Harvey, Max Hudghton*, Austinn Jones, Trent Knobel, Matt Maguire*, Stephen Milne*, Luke Penny, Stephen Powell, Troy Schwarze and Andrew Thompson. They were replaced by Raphael Clarke, Zac Dawson, Sam Fisher, Michael Gardiner, Jarryn Geary, Sam Gilbert, Jason Gram, James Gwilt, Clinton Jones, Steven King, Andrew McQualter, Leigh Montagna, Farren Ray and Adam Schneider.


Heading inside 50


CHRIS JUDD (Carlton) The Blues skipper’s signature – a hard-ball get, a shimmy, a burst and a pin-point pass to Fevola and co. – continues to be a regular sight. Inside-50 disp.

Disposal efficiency

Ave. disp.




JASON GRAM (St Kilda) Despite being dropped for round eight, the dashing blond defender has remained the Saints’ best source of forward entries. Inside-50 disp.

Disposal efficiency

Ave. disp.






ADAM GOODES (Sydney Swans) One of the most awe-inspiring sights in football is this 194cm Swan in full cry and delivering lace out. Inside-50 disp.

Disposal efficiency

Ave. disp.





DANYLE PEARCE (Port Adelaide) In four games this season, the speedy left-footer has sent the ball inside 50 on at least eight occasions. Inside-50 disp.

Disposal efficiency

Ave. disp.





STEVE JOHNSON (Geelong) With his freakish skills, Johnson is perhaps the man the Cats would most like to have the ball forward of centre. Inside-50 disp.

Disposal efficiency

Ave. disp.




BRAD SEWELL (Hawthorn) The Hawk is renowned for his work at stoppages but has gradually added an outside, offensive element to his game. Inside-50 disp.

Disposal efficiency

Ave. disp.






DANE SWAN (Collingwood) Ungainly and unfashionable but extremely effective. Amassed a remarkable 48 touches last week. Inside-50 disp.

Disposal efficiency

Ave. disp.




CYRIL RIOLI (Hawthorn) Perhaps the most watchable player in the AFL. Creates opportunities out of thin air, and don’t we love it? Inside-50 disp.

Disposal efficiency

Ave. disp.








Richmond fined Ben Cousins $5000, with $2500 suspended for 12 months, for making an obscene gesture to a television camera.

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300 games Tyson Edwards Adelaide

AFL 200 Club Cameron Mooney Geelong

Port’s speedy exit NICK BOW EN


ort Adelaide is renowned as a quick team but showed last weekend it can be just 150 Games as speedy off the ďŹ eld. Ryan Hargrave After ďŹ nishing last Sunday’s Western Bulldogs twilight match against Collingwood at the MCG at around 7.16pm, the Power 100 Games players were on a ight back to Adelaide just two hours later. Matt Maguire St Kilda Head ďŹ tness coach Cam Fallon says the tight timeframe meant Paul Bevan Sydney the players’ usual post-match recovery routine was cut Simon Meredith ďŹ eld umpire from 45-60 minutes to about 25 minutes. Still, in that time, the players managed to drink energy 50 Games supplements and eat food packs, Setanta O’hAilpin* undergo a medical assessment, Carlton apply ice where necessary, Hayden Skipworth stretch, shower and have an Essendon ice bath. Sam Gilbert From there, they rushed to the St Kilda team bus, where on the trip to *O’HAILPIN JOINS STYNES &23PORTSENTRALPDF0AND KENNELLY, SEE PAGE 15

the airport the players ate dinner and those with sore spots or niggles continued to apply ice. While they may be footy stars, they get no special treatment at the airport, and, like the rest of us, were required to check in about 50 minutes before their 9.15 ight. “It’s very rushed, our trainers do a fantastic job looking after the players and packing everything up, to get to the airport in time,â€? Fallon says. The Power decided to make their lightning dash to the airport because they faced a six-day turnaround before their round 11 game against Fremantle on Saturday night, while they were also coming off two interstate trips in a row (Port travelled to Sydney in round nine). “On interstate games we’ll often stay overnight, have our recovery sessions and team meeting the next morning before ying back later that day,â€? Fallon says. “But (last round) we decided it was best to get home and get things started for our next game a little bit earlier than usual.â€? On the ight home,

the players’ recovery regime continued. Falloon says they are well drilled to drink plenty of water during ights, which are extremely dehydrating, and are also encouraged, where possible, to walk around the plane and stretch. “This can sometimes prove difďŹ cult when they’re wheeling out the trolleys with drinks and dinner for the other passengers,â€? Fallon says, laughing.


Reliving backyard games MICH A EL LOV ET T


he Selwood clan will join a select group this weekend if Adam and Scott line up for the West Coast Eagles and Joel plays for Geelong. Adam, 25, and Scott, 19, will be just the seventh CON T IN U ED NE X T PAGE

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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.





set of brothers to have gone into battle against a sibling. If Adam and Scott remain together with the Eagles, it will occur on a regular basis over the next few years, with Adam’s twin Troy an established player at the Brisbane Lions and Joel, who has just turned 21, destined for a long career with the Cats. The first set of brothers to play against a brother were South Melbourne’s Stan and Arthur Hiskins, who played against their younger brother, Carlton’s Rupert, twice during 1920 and 1921. They remain the only instances of two brothers playing one brother on more than one occasion. It took another 63 years before

ON A STRING: Dane Swan

The first set of brothers to play against a brother were Stan and Arthur Hiskins who played against Rupert Geoff and Kevin Ablett played for Richmond against Geelong star Gary Ablett, then in his first season with the Cats. Interestingly, it happened again over the next three seasons, with the Danihers, Morwoods and Cordys (see table) before there was an 11-year break until James and Anthony McDonald played for Melbourne against older brother Alex from Collingwood.





Stan and Arthur Hiskins (SM)

Rupert Hiskins (Carl)*


Stan and Arthur Hiskins (SM)

Rupert Hiskins (Carl)


Geoff and Kevin Ablett (Rich)

Gary Ablett (Geel)


Neale and Terry Daniher (Ess)

Anthony Daniher (Syd)


Paul and Shane Morwood (Coll)

Tony Morwood (Syd)


Neil and Graeme Cordy (Syd)

Brian Cordy (Foots)


James and Anthony McDonald (Melb)

Alex McDonald (Coll)

had 48 disposals against Port Adelaide last week.


The extraordinary number of disposals amassed by Collingwood midfielder Dane Swan against Port Adelaide at the MCG last week. With 22 kicks and 26 handballs, Swan accumulated the most touches since former Magpie skipper Tony Shaw had 50 against the Brisbane Bears at Victoria Park in 1991. Swan’s effort is the equal third-best since 1987, behind Greg Williams (53 for Sydney v St Kilda at the SCG in 1989) and Shaw, and level with Steve Malaxos (48 for West Coast v St Kilda at Subiaco in 1987).


Victorian Government Appliance Incentive

Get Green on whitegoods The Victorian Government, through its agency Sustainability Victoria, is helping you buy an environmentally friendly washing machine or dishwasher to save money and help save the environment. Buy an energy and water efficient washing machine* or dishwasher** from a participating retailer between 5-28 June 2009 and receive a $100 discount. This is a strictly limited offer so get in quick. Visit to find participating retailers. * Washing machines with at least a 3.5 star energy rating and a 4 star water rating. ** Dishwashers with at least a 3.5 energy and water star rating.

Conditions apply Ask in store or visit

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Setanta makes it three


Perkins was a ferocious Tiger J IM M A IN


ill ‘Polly’ Perkins, the last surviving player from Richmond’s 1943 premiership side, died last week in Melbourne, aged 89. Perkins played 148 games for the Tigers from 1940-49 and was in the Richmond team that lost the 1944 Grand Final to Fitzroy. A hard-hitting defender, Perkins was born in Leicester, England, in 1920, and migrated to Australia with his family when he was three. He barracked for Collingwood as a boy, but caught Richmond’s attention while playing for Noble Park in Melbourne’s south-east, which was in the Tigers’ suburban zone. He played two seasons in the reserves before his senior debut in 1940 and is believed to have been the first Noble Park footballer to play at VFL level. His nickname came from the 19th century music hall hit Pretty Polly Perkins From Paddington Green, a reference to his English background.

 Carlton’s Setanta O’hAilpin is set to become just the third Irishmen to play 50 AFL games, against the Brisbane Lions on Saturday. Of the Irishmen who have relocated to Australia and made the transition from Gaelic Football, only Jim Stynes (264 games for Melbourne from 1987-98) and Tadhg Kennelly (158 for the Sydney Swans from 200108) have played more games. (Sean Wight played 150 games for Melbourne from 1985-95 after relocating from Ireland but was born in Scotland.) O’hAilpin joined the Blues in 2004 as a rookie and made his debut in 2005. Making his milestone even sweeter is his effort to rebound from a pre-season training controversy. NICK BOWEN

A ferocious competitor, he once said: “I believed in playing the ball and, if the man was there, I would take him too.” A great friend of Richmond legend Jack Dyer, Perkins moved to VFA club Brighton in 1950 and joined radio station 3AW in 1956 as one of the first “around the grounds” commentators. He worked with a succession of broadcasters for 29 years, including Norman Banks, Doug Heywood and Bill Jacobs. Perkins’ death means there are no living Richmond premiership players from the 1920s, ’30s or ’40s. Another former Tiger, Ron Serich, also died late last week, aged 69. Serich, a forward, played 28 games from 1961-63 after being recruited from Broken Hill.


Review leads to change NICK BOW EN


he AFL last week expanded its rules prohibiting vilification of players or officials to specifically outlaw vilification based on special disability (including a disease or illness) or sexual orientation, preference or identity. After Essendon’s Michael Long took a stand against on-field racism in 1995, the AFL introduced a rule prohibiting racial and religious vilification, which established a process to

deal with complaints and annual education programs for clubs and officials. AFL football operations manager Adrian Anderson says the previous rule had made it clear no form of abuse or vilification was acceptable, but, as part of a wider examination of its rules, the AFL had decided to expand the scope of the conduct it specifically prohibited. “The game has acted strongly for more than a decade to work against racism,” Anderson says. “However, we had not specifically laid down the areas of disability or sexual preference in our rules, and this has now been addressed.” Anderson says the amended rule will continue to operate as it had previously, just with a wider scope, while the new forms of prohibited conduct are now included in the AFL’s vilification education program. “The AFL competition expects the highest standards of its players and officials, both on and off the field, to reflect the level of support we are privileged to enjoy from across the community with nearly 600,000 club members and more than seven million fans attending our games every year,” Anderson says. “On the field, our players deserve and expect the right to compete as hard as they possibly can, in their work environment, free from any form of abuse or harassment.”


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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THE GODFATHER OF STATS Ted Hopkins Founder of Champion Data and Carlton premiership player

Target 90 points  The Godfather has attitude in spades, believing that to win a premiership a team has to have a rock solid defence. Since 2000, the average points scored against the nine premiership teams is just 83. The Brisbane Lions in 2001, with an average of 90 points against, are the only premiership team since 2000 with an average of more than 86 points against. Teams with aspirations should target 90 (or fewer) points against per game. That’s The Godfather’s advice. It is also the advice to coaching selection panels when choosing a head coach. The first question that should be asked of an aspirant is, “Can this bloke teach us defence?” Reaching Target 90 is the equivalent of a mountain climber reaching base camp. Progressing further then becomes a matter of design and fate. Below is a list of head coaches with more than 50 games’ experience and the average points their teams have allowed. 50+ games coached T. Wallace (WB/Rich) D. Laidley (North Melb) R. Eade (Syd/WB) A. Clarkson (Haw) J. Worsfold (WCE) M. Williams (Port Adel) M. Malthouse (WB/WCE/Coll) M. Thompson (Geel) R. Lyon (StK) P. Roos (Syd) N. Craig (Adel)

Ave. points against 101 98 95 93 93 91 88 87 83 81 79

Michael Malthouse, Mark Thompson, Ross Lyon, Paul Roos and Neil Craig are all below Target 90, and have attained The Godfather’s

stamp of approval. So too have premiership coaches Alastair Clarkson, John Worsfold and Mark Williams, notable for being close to Target 90 and, importantly, in their respective premiership seasons all were under the target. Hawthorn conceded just 84 in 2008, West Coast 84 in 2006 and Port Adelaide 83 in 2004. At the opposite end of the scale, Terry Wallace at the Western Bulldogs and Richmond, with a combined average of 101 points conceded, coaches for the last time this weekend. Dean Laidley (98) is charting dangerous territory. Rodney Eade’s 95 is high, but compensated by his philosophy of playing attacking football. The Godfather appreciates entertainment. But if the flag is the game, Target 90 is the key. DICK AND WELLINGHAM  Against Port Adelaide last week, Dane Swan ran riot in amassing 48 touches and was involved in 10 Collingwood scoring chains. But something else was needed during the second term to lift the flagging Magpies. It came in the unlikely form of young duo, Brad Dick and Sharrod Wellingham, who provided critical avenues to goal. With 25 disposals and nine inside-50 entries, Dick was involved in 13 Collingwood scoring chains, not surprising given 17 of his disposals were within 70 metres of goal. Wellingham also provided admirable linking support between Swan and Dick. Of his 24 disposals, 11 were won mainly in the corridor, either within or close to the centre square. He had five inside-50 entries and 10 score involvements.

Outage could have been dire for Pies A NDR EW WA L L ACE


t 4.53pm last Sunday, precisely 13 minutes into the CollingwoodPort Adelaide twilight clash at the MCG, a large number of the 34,793 fans present gasped as one. However, it was nothing to do with a spectacular mark, goal or on-field incident. The reaction was caused by the sudden loss of power to three of the ground’s six light towers, which left the northern side of the stadium noticeably darker as the sun sank in the Melbourne sky. While play continued in the fading light, people began to query what would happen if power could not be restored promptly. Also affected, the Port Adelaide coaching panel packed up its gear and scurried from the box down to ground level to continue its role. Unbeknown to most, there was no need to panic. The outage, caused by a cable fault that impacted a substation feeding Jolimont and East Melbourne, lasted a few minutes.

Needing 15 minutes to cool down before being switched back on again, the lights were always going to come back before night fell. The situation, however, invoked memories of round 10, 1996, when the lights went out in the third quarter of the St Kilda-Essendon night match at Waverley Park. While the AFL Commission decided to complete that game three days later, a new set of regulations now exists to cover such circumstances. “If for any reason beyond the control of the clubs the game is not able to be continued, we can wait up to 60 minutes to restart the game,” AFL media manager Patrick Keane said this week. “If the match still cannot be restarted and it’s prior to halftime, the match will be declared a draw. If it’s after half-time, the winner is declared by the score.” In both cases, the standing score is applied to the teams’ percentage. Collingwood, which went on to record a 38-point victory, should be thankful of the timing and short duration of the power outage. If the problem had been unfixable on the night and had occurred early in the third quarter, when it narrowly trailed Port Adelaide before going on a nine-goal rampage, the club would now be sporting a 4-6 win-loss record, with its season shrouded in darkness.

Minimal touches, maximum impact  Good forwards don’t need many kicks to be damaging. Last week alone, West Coast’s Mark LeCras and Sydney’s Barry Hall both slotted six goals from eight kicks, while Collingwood’s John Anthony had four from four kicks at one point. Below is a list of the AFL’s most efficient converters this season. BEN COL LINS Kicks per goal





Barry Hall (Syd, right)



2.47 2.68

Lance Franklin (Haw) Jarryd Roughead (Haw)

84 83

34.18 31.13

2.75 2.85 2.97

John Anthony (Coll) Mark LeCras (WCE) Warren Tredrea (Port Adel)

66 74 89

24.11 26.13 30.15



Jack Watts, the No. 1 draft pick from last year, set to debut at AFL level for Melbourne this round.

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T H E C O M PA R I S O N : T H E A F L’ S B E S T R U C K M E N

Cox still towers above the rest  Who is the best ruckman in the AFL? Luke Darcy, the former Western Bulldogs ruckman and now Channel Ten commentator is adamant West Coast’s Dean Cox is the best by as much as 20 per cent. “Although Cox has been a bit quiet the past couple of weeks, he’s quite comfortably still the benchmark,” Darcy says. “He’s a fairly complete ruckman who wins as much ball as a lot of midfielders.” Darcy believes little separates Cox’s next-best challengers, Fremantle’s Aaron Sandilands and Sydney’s Darren Jolly (see graphic). Of Sandilands, Darcy says: “A few years ago, I thought he was a fair way off the pace because he just wasn’t having anywhere near enough influence and only really had one trick, which was dominating centre bounces. “But now he’s kicking goals and his possessions and hard-ball gets are up – he’s grabbing it out of the ruck – and he’s quite influential.” Of Jolly, he says: “I reckon that when he senses he has an opponent, he can physically dominate. He does that better than the other two. “He can really monster

blokes. I watched him do that to Brent Renouf (in the Swans’ Club round two win over Hawthorn Born at ANZ Stadium). “I still think he could do Debut more around the ground, but Height he’s kicking more goals Weight this year. “In fact, I’d be inclined Career games to keep my quality big men 2009 games on the park by giving them more time in the goalsquare Hit-outs and allowing them to Hit-outs to adv. develop into real weapons Marks with their marking, which all three have shown they can Cont. marks do at various times.” Disp. Interestingly, each took time to develop – a common Disp. eff. % trait among ruckmen – after Kicks starting on rookie lists. And Handballs Jolly didn’t find his niche until he joined the Swans Cont. disp. after a four-year stint Clearances with Melbourne. Honourable mentions go Clearances (team) to ruckmen such as North Tackles Melbourne’s Hamish McIntosh Free for/against and Collingwood’s Josh Fraser, who have also been Scoring (G.B.) consistent, and exceptional All-Aust selec. at times, while Port Adelaide’s Dean Brogan boasts the best hit-outs-to-advantage percentage in the competition (31.39 per cent – at least eight per cent better than any of our top trio).

Aaron Sandilands


Dean Cox


Darren Jolly


West Coast Eagles

Sydney Swans



















336 (1st in AFL)

273 (3rd)

294 (2nd)

74 (22%)

64 (23.4%)

68 (23.1%)

























343 (8th)

346 (7th)

381 (1st)















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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Everyone’s favourite number this footy season. Public transport is the easiest way to get to AFL matches. Buy a 5 x Weekend Daily Metcard before you travel and you’ll save time and money on Saturdays and Sundays. For more information, go to or call 131 638. a better way

women’s round

Women are playing an increasingly more important role in football at all levels, from grassroots to the AFL. The AFL this weekend celebrates their contribution, which is fundamental to the development of the game. NICK BOW EN


omen have been an integral part of Australian Football since it was first played in 1858. Initially, they remained on the game’s periphery as spectators and players’ mothers and partners, however, many soon took on valuable and selfless roles as volunteers. It wasn’t until the 1980s that women finally started to crack football’s inner sanctum, first as match-day reporters, then as club board members – Elaine Findlay was the first at Fitzroy in 1985. In the 1990s, Elaine Canty was appointed to the AFL Tribunal panel and goal umpire Katrina Pressley became the first woman to officiate in a League game. In 2005, Sam Mostyn became the first woman appointed to the game’s governing body, the

AFL Commission. Just three years later, she was joined by Justice Linda Dessau. (See next page for interview with Mostyn and Dessau). It’s a longstanding contribution and one that has reached all levels of the game. Importantly, it is also one where women have brought a different perspective to issues surrounding the League, its clubs and the future of football. This contribution is recognised this weekend, with the AFL hoping Women’s Round will encourage more women to become involved in football. Besides the increasing number of leadership roles being filled by women throughout football, their participation numbers as players, supporters and officials are extremely healthy, and growing. Women represent 43 per cent of football’s television audience, 41 per cent of game-day

Women have brought a different perspective to issues surrounding the League, its clubs and the future of football attendees, 35 per cent of local club volunteers and 40 per cent of AFL and AFL club members. But, in a sign of how much their involvement in the game has changed, women now account for 13 per cent of football’s overall playing participants (78,000), while 1500 are accredited coaches and more than 700 are umpires. Speaking before this week’s launch of the 2009 AFL Women’s National Championships in Perth, the AFL’s community development manager Dean Warren said the involvement of women in football was fundamental to its development. “The AFL is committed to providing pathways

for women and girls to be involved in the AFL, whether it is in participation, umpiring, coaching, volunteering, administering or as a member,” he said. “In 2008, participation in dedicated female football programs and competitions grew by 54 per cent, a fantastic result which we hope to build on in 2009.” The Women’s National Championships started in Perth last Wednesday. As part of the Women’s Round activities, the division one final will be played as a curtain-raiser to the West Coast-Geelong match at Subiaco Oval on Sunday.

THE NATION’S BEST: (from left) Daisy Pearce (Vic), Ellie Kemp (WA’s second-tier team), Jaylene Chevalier (NT), Meg Wilsdon (SA), Loren Fricker (WA), Nikki Harwood

(WA, front), Aasta O’Connor (Qld), Angela Ballerini (ACT), Jodi Maisey (umpire) and Trish Muller (NSW) are taking part in the Women’s National Championships in Perth. AFL RECORD visit 19

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women’s round

The AFL’s two female commissioners, Justice Linda Dessau and Sam Mostyn, share their views on the importance of female participation in the game, the meaning of leadership, what skills women bring to the code and some of the female-related challenges that must be addressed. PETER DI SISTO Why is it important for the AFL to specifically recognise women with a dedicated round? Linda Dessau: It is important

because the extent of women’s involvement in football is vast, but not always visible. Most people realise that women make up almost 40 per cent of AFL members, attendees at games, and viewers of the game on television. I’m not sure, though, that they realise that nearly 80,000 girls and women now play football, in Auskick and various leagues and competitions, and that women are represented in huge numbers as volunteers in every aspect of community football. And they are working in the AFL industry in growing numbers. This round gives us the opportunity to showcase women’s contributions and to encourage their further participation and leadership. Sam Mostyn: Women have always played important roles in the success of the game – whether as fans, mothers, partners, players, volunteers, commentators, umpires, officials, administrators – and it’s important for us to take the opportunity to celebrate that involvement. We also need to reflect on what we can do better, and how we can open new opportunities for women across the industry. The theme for the round is ‘leadership’. How do you define it? LD: Leadership comes in many

forms, some more obvious than others. Yes, there are two women on the AFL Commission, there are women on AFL club

boards, there are high-profile journalists, and there are several women highly placed in the AFL itself. But just like on the football ground, it’s not just the captains or the leadership group who ‘lead’ the team. There are players all over the ground who contribute leadership roles in different ways at different times in the game. Similarly in the wider AFL world, there are women in different places and leadership roles who are not always readily recognised. SM: Leadership is a quality, not something determined by position or hierarchy. Leaders can be found across our community at all levels – they stand for something and have strong values, great passion, inspire others and constantly evolve. The leaders I admire are compassionate, courageous and generous – and almost always refuse to be honoured or singled out for mention. Why has it been so challenging historically for women to make progress in the game? LD: The challenges for women

in the football world are simply reflective of the challenges for women when it comes to participation in any area traditionally dominated by men. In that regard, we live in a time of transition, and football is in the process of change. No sport or industry can afford to draw on only half of the available talent pool. SM: Female representation in business, sport and traditionally male-dominated industries across Australia has always been

poor. So this has been a broader societal issue, not one confined to the AFL. Fortunately, we live in a time where our participation in governance and management roles is now seen as important and reflective of successful and inclusive cultures. There’s a long way to go, but my experience of being welcomed into the AFL family as an equal contributor has been terrific. What skills and perspective do women bring specifically to leadership roles in football? LD: I genuinely believe

that diversity makes every organisation stronger. It is never a question of whether men or women have superior skills or perspectives. SM: Sometimes it’s too easy to suggest that women and men have different sets of skills and perspectives based purely on gender. We all have unique perspectives based on our own experiences of life. What’s important in football is to have a diversity of skills and perspectives around the table – and that cannot be achieved when only one gender is represented. Why was it important to have female representation on the AFL Commission? LD: It’s not a matter of including

women to make up the numbers. Generally, a range of skills, ages, genders and backgrounds will ensure the richest debates and the best outcomes. SM: Every organisation or industry needs to reflect the diversity of the community in

This gives us the opportunity to showcase women’s contributions and to encourage further participation and leadership AFL COMMISSIONER LINDA DESSAU

which it operates. In order to remain relevant and connected to our communities, it’s vital that women are represented in management and governance across the industry, including the Commission. What was your interest/ involvement in the game before joining the AFL Commission? LD: My involvement goes back

more than 50 years (don’t ask precisely how many!). I have barracked for the Bombers since birth. I married a Bombers supporter, and produced a few more Essendon fans. About 12 or 13 years ago, I helped start a women’s coterie group, the Essendon Women’s Network, and worked with other clubs which later started similar supporter groups. SM: Prior to joining the Commission, I was a passionate fan of the game – but from afar. My dad was a passionate St Kilda supporter, which meant I also became one. Living in Sydney meant much of my football was experienced watching television and listening to radio, with the occasional Swans game at the SCG. Did you have a perception of the game before joining the

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women’s round

Commission that has changed or been confirmed? LD: The perception that has

been confirmed is just how much people love their football, their clubs, and their favourite players. The other perception that has been confirmed is the importance of football at community level. Although nearly 4.5 million of us have the pleasure (or sometimes the agony) of watching AFL football at the elite level every g weekend,, either at games or on ball is also such television, footba football i l part pa ar t off community i an integral lub level. We are life at local cclub tha hat in the aftermath seeing that ecent bushfire disaster of the rrecent Vic ictoria. To get a local footy in Victoria. cllub back up and running can club give people somewhere to meet and to talk and to just be together, as well as the fun of the sport and the spectacle.

SM: My perception of the game today is one of egalitarianism, deep community involvement and an unparalleled sporting spectacle. What surprises you most about the industry? LD: The commitment to it that

motivates so many people from so many different walks of life to volunteer and devote so much of their time to it, from serving on boards to making banners, g Auskick,, cooking, g, coaching running the canteen, managing k i the h time, i i teams, keeping sewing numbers on jumpers, etc. SM: I’m constantly surprised by the pure joy of the game and how much I love it – the spectacular athleticism, the high marking, the freakish goals, the sportsma manship and exhilarating sportsmanship crow cr o d experience. crowd

What are the code’s biggest challenges in relation to women? LD: It is inevitable that not

everyone behaves properly all of the time, particularly when it comes to young people. What matters most is how we as a community and, in this instance, we as a football code, respond to the challenges. The AFL not only has a well considered Respect and Responsibility Policy, but under it is a policy that is well supported by appropriate p g programs and resources. It is education du important that the education h players l con ntin tinues a nd d off the continues and p r erly lyy dealt dea ealt lt that issues aree proper properly Althou ough gh mos ostt pl play ayer erss with. Although most players beh ehaved, the the profi profile le of are well-b well-behaved, pllay ayeers is such that th hat when AFL players some meth thing goes wrong, wro ong, it something ery public. Hope efull lly, y iss vvery Hopefully, th committed wor rk we we the work resp pectt undertake on respect responsibili litty and responsibility wome men will towards women also be veryy public,

so that we can help make a difference in the wider community. SM: Like all parts of the community, the AFL has to continue to work hard to understand and respond to the social issues of our time. We need to be vigilant and self-reflective about the respectful treatment of women across the game, and continue to find ways to provide women with meaningful pp career opportunities across the industry.

RESPECT: Commissioners Justice Linda Dessau (left) and Sam Mostyn have been welcomed into the AFL family as equal contributors.

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women’s round Brooke Acquaviva, viva, football department ment

assistant, Port Adelaide

Women are playing key roles for AFL clubs at all levels. Here is a snapshot of female contributions to the game.

Eve Goodings, patron of Adelaide’s Birds of a Feather group

Amanda Cox, chief financial officer, West Coast It’s strange to use the term pioneer to describe a woman in the 21st century, but in football circles, women are still making inroads every day. At West Coast, the 30-odd female staff look to Amanda Cox as their role model. The 29-year-old became the first woman on the executive following her appointment as chief financial officer this year, having joined the club more than four years ago as an accountant. Cox goes about her business quietly and professionally and is widely known around the club as the last one to leave the office each day. Her record stands at 1am. “When I was appointed to the executive, I guess it was a pretty big thing for the women at the club,” Cox says. “The AFL and the club have really embraced women in football and are really encouraging their development.”

Eve Goodings’ job is to rally the troops and bring out the passion of the club’s female supporter base. A homoeopath/ naturopathic nutritionist, Goodings has been patron of the Birds of a Feather for five years. Married to Adelaide ambassador Graeme Goodings, she has supported the Crows since they joined the AFL in 1991 and relishes the fact she has a formal role with the club, which allows her to use her networking skills. “We have created a wonderful supporter base for women to come together to embrace football and our beloved Adelaide Crows,” Goodings says.

Isobel and June, The Angels, St Kilda With the largest playing list in the AFL, St Kilda places a great emphasis on player welfare. To maintain standards of excellence on the field, it is necessary to have the right support staff and volunteers off the field. This is where The Angels step in. Established in 1986, The Angels are a supporter group for women of all ages. They strive to raise money and since inception have donated more than $150,000 to the club. While financial support is a core function, The Angels are simply a collection of like-minded women who will do anything they can for the club, including washing jumpers, planning social events or buying memberships for disadvantaged St Kilda fans. This year, they started preparing food for the players after their main training sessions. “It’s a great feeling to be able to do what we can to help the boys,” says Barbara Datson, president since 2006.

Brooke des Acquaviva provides administrative ch assistance to coach nd the Mark Williams and ment. football department. red “I am empowered to do whatever is k with necessary. I work o keep great people who nd me on my toes and ery challenge me every day,” she says. “I enjoy being part of isation a dynamic organisation that takes great pride in its work and is committed to achieving organisational performance objectives and contributing to the company value. “It’s important to retain your individuality in male-dominated organisations. A woman’s confidence and zest to achieve is her empowerment. “Today, within the AFL, we see women moving into leadership roles where they can make decisions to change rather than just being part of change. “Women seek to take on the challenge, overcoming obstacles, and are now taking responsibility for their own future. I view every challenge as an opportunity. “Women can be empowered only if they are confident, have professional knowledge and experience in the field.”

Debbie Lee, community manager, Melbourne Debbie Lee has made a significant contribution to women’s football and local sport since the late 1980s. She started as a basketballer with the Coburg Cougars in 1987 and took up football with the East Brunswick Scorpions in 1991, aged just 17. Always an innovator, in 1993, Lee started her own football team, the Sunshine YCW Spurs, which still operates in St Albans. She is a five-time women’s league best and fairest winner, has represented Victoria 15 times, is a five-time All-Australian and was assistant coach of the Australian International Rules Series women’s team in Ireland in 2006. Lee has served on the Victorian Women’s Football League executive since 1993 and was elected president in 2004. She has overseen substantial growth and development in women’s football, and is a member of the Women’s Football Australia advisory board. Lee worked at the Bulldogs before joining Melbourne this year.

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women’s round Jane Maddern, supporter operations manager, Fremantle

Leigh Russell, general manager, people and culture, Essendon

Sandra O’Mara, membership manager, North Melbourne

Jane Maddern never planned to work in sport, choosing to study microbiology at university and then working as an industrial chemist. A stint at Mars saw her take on a sportsrelated marketing role – “a real eye opener for me”. Maddern later took a role as sponsorship and events manager at Essendon. “I just got in at the right time. Football was becoming very professional and Essendon was a particularly good club to work for,” she says. After moving to Perth for personal reasons, Maddern worked for the Hopman Cup tennis tournament before joining the Dockers. “I think for any female to work within the industry is really worthwhile because it is such a great business to be in,” she says. “I am also dealing with a wide range of responsibilities and people within my role as supporter operations manager and that keeps it challenging, too. “It’s professional, there are brilliant opportunities, interesting roles, but mostly it’s dynamic and it’s topical too, which adds that extra element to the workplace.”

Leigh Russell started with Essendon twoand-a half years ago in what was a challenging period for the club. On-field performance was poor and soon after she started, the club farewelled coach Kevin Sheedy and champion James Hird. With a young list, a new coach and a supporter base demanding improved performance, Russell had her work cut out in helping develop a culture that would underpin improvement. “Everything I do is linked to winning a premiership, but it is not as obvious or tangible as the role of the coaches,” she says. Russell previously worked at the AFLPA as national career and education manager, focusing on building off-field plans for players. She also spent a year at Hawthorn in player development. “I play a pivotal role in the development of all Essendon staff. “Obviously, football is a male-dominated environment but it is one that is after the best people to perform at the highest level, and values highly the contribution women have made at all levels of this game.”

Sandra O’Mara is known as one of the hardest-working employees at North Melbourne and is usually the first to arrive at the club and the last to leave. After developing a strong work ethic and reputation at Collingwood, O’Mara was approached by the Kangaroos last year to head their membership department. “Sandra’s customer service, attention to detail and dedication to the role has been enormous and is unequalled in my opinion,” says director of commercial operations Anthony Trainor. “She manages a terrific team and receives a terrific contribution from many volunteers.”

Jeanne Pratt AC, patron, Carlton The Pratt name is synonymous with Carlton. The association between family and club started nearly 50 years ago when the late Richard Pratt started a promising career with the Blues in the under-19s, and it continues today. Pratt’s contribution to the club has been well documented: he played, served on both the Carlton Football Club and Carlton Social Club boards and supported the club in numerous ways for many years including sponsorship. He also served as president in 2007-08, and is widely recognised as the man who saved Carlton. He was club patron until his death in April, with wife Jeanne to take over the role. Jeanne and Richard opened the family home for many Carlton functions and activities and Jeanne has hosted many Women of Carlton events. She has devoted much of her life to community service through support of an extraordinary range of philanthropic and arts activities and, with Richard, established The Pratt Foundation to provide support to charities across the world. In June, 2002, she was one of eight people and the only woman to be awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday honours.

Lesley McGrath, finance manager, Sydney Swans Lesley McGrath has witnessed plenty in her 23 years at the club, weathering some tough times on and off the field. But her upbeat attitude has kept her in an environment she loves. When McGrath joined the Swans in 1986, the floor she was working on had only two other staff members. Now McGrath is one of 25 administrative and operations staff, 50 per cent of whom are women. Her passion for the club is the main reason she has stayed so long, and the reason she hopes to continue working here until her retirement. “You’re working in an office job, but you’re working for this other thing on the weekend, where everybody is together,” she says.

Lynne Kosky MP, No. 1 ticket holder, Western Bulldogs Lynne Kosky, the Victorian Minister for Public Transport and the Arts, is well known in Melbourne’s west for her community work. In 1989, Kosky was appointed to the Bulldogs’ board – only the second woman on a League club board at the time. She was on the board until 1993 and maintains an important relationship with the club.

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women’s round Paula Allen, manager, hospitality services, Geelong In 21 years with the Cats, Paula Allen has seen the club and her role grew exponentially. “When I arrived, the match-day president’s function was about a dozen people in the boardroom. Now the function usually has 400 attendees which requires an enormous amount of preparation,” she says. A local girl who grew up supporting the Cats, Allen has seen the change in culture, from a ‘boys club’ mentality to one which celebrates the role of women in the sport. “Every department has women with key roles in it,” Allen says. “When I was starting out, I had lots of women at the club who were great role models, including Helene Bender who was a director, and Carol Szymczak, who was here for 25 years and was one of the first people to set up human resources within an AFL club.” Geelong’s chief operating officer Stuart Fox says Allen’s impeccable customer service allows her to thrive in her role. “Paula is the complete package. Not only does she have an amazing work ethic but she also interacts with patrons in a way which makes them want to return to the club time and time again,” he says.

Peggy Haines, board member, Richmond Peggy Haines, a partner at law firm Freehills, joined the Richmond board in November, 2005. Haines arrived in Melbourne from the United States in 1989 and soon realised if she wanted to be part of any conversation in Melbourne, she needed to pick a club. She was living in Richmond, so the Tigers were a natural fit. Haines could not believe how accessible sport was here. “In the US, professional sports can be quite inaccessible, but here you could become a member and really feel part of a club. That really impressed me about AFL.” She says being the first and only female board member at Richmond is an honour and would like to see more female representation. “I don’t subscribe to the theory that, because the female spot on the board is filled, we can just tick that box and move on,” she says. “I have many women come up to me at games and club functions and say thank you | for representing their interests. “Women do so much more for our game than just take their sons to the football. We have a lot to say, we have business acumen, and there should be room for everyone.”

Rebecca Shaw, membership manager, Brisbane Lions

Amber Crimmins, multimedia producer, Hawthorn

Rebecca Shaw manages a staff of 12, handling membership and daily ticketing sales, as well as the club’s charity assistance, community programs and match-day activities at the Gabba. A mother of two with another on the way, Shaw says the Lions hire people on merit, with staff working together “respectfully and professionally”. “In four-and-a half years at the club, it is a great testament to the AFL and this sport that I have never felt or experienced any kind of gender imbalance, sexual discrimination, female tokenism or awkwardness about being a woman involved in this code,” she says. “To be honest, that is the greatest compliment I can pay. “I am not the female manager blazing some kind of trail for females, because women already permeate this entire organisation. “I am purely the membership manager who just happens to be a woman. “The only thing we cannot do in this industry is play, because of physical differences, but everything else is open slather and up to your own ambitions and talents.”

Amber Crimmins joined the Hawks in late 2007 and is now producer of the club’s children’s television show HawksKids, which airs weekly on Southern Cross television in Tasmania and streams through She has worked on the club’s website and its weekly internet radio show. Crimmins previously worked at Collingwood, starting as a volunteer once a week while studying and eventually accepted a full-time role for three years. Crimmins, who manages production and technical support staff and talent for the show, is considered an integral part of the team at Hawthorn. “I certainly couldn’t do it on my own. We have a great team here to pull it all together,” she says. Crimmins enjoys working for a football club because she is “working for a brand that so many people are passionate about”. “But why wouldn’t I love it? All the hard work I put in is for the fans who care so much about this great club. It’s extremely rewarding.”

Tracey O’Connor, executive assistant to the football department, Collingwood Tracey O’Connor has forged an outstanding career in football through loyalty, a strong work ethic and reliability. O’Connor works closely with chief of football Geoff Walsh and coach Mick Malthouse in ensuring the smooth running of the club’s football operations. She has worked at the club since 1998, having started as the executive assistant to the CEO. In more than a decade at the club, O’Connor is pleased to have seen how women have become more prominent in the industry. “At Collingwood, women make up about 50 per cent of the total staff, so it’s satisfying to see women recognised through women’s round,” she says. While it may seem daunting to some, O’Connor is not fazed by being the only full-time female employee in the football department, and is renowned for being able to make players listen. “I’m fairly forthright, so I’ve never had a problem making myself heard,” she says, with a smile. “And the guys have always treated me well.”


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One of modern football’s quietest achievers is set to become the 60th player to reach the 300-game mark at League level. It’s a tribute to the perseverance of a champion who once doubted he could play at the highest level. SH A NE MCNA L LY


e doesn’t have the profile afforded past Adelaide teammates Tony Modra, Mark Ricciuto or Darren Jarman, but those who really know their AFL, regardless of club affiliation, recognise Tyson Edwards as one of the elite players of the modern era. That’s a fair endorsement for a boy who grew up in the small Mallee town of Wynarka (about 120 kms south-east of Adelaide) and followed older brothers Duane and Kym to the local club trying to get a game and then having to deal with the fact he was usually half the size of his opponents. Or for the teenager who never gave himself credit for his ability when he moved to the city and joined SANFL club West Adelaide in the early 1990s, and later had to be convinced he belonged at AFL level. Belong he certainly does, and this weekend against Essendon at Docklands, Edwards will become yet another Crow to play 300 games, a remarkable feat for such a young club. AFL RECORD visit 61

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(Edwards will join Ricciuto, Ben Hart and Andrew McLeod). In and out of the team in his early days (after being picked in the second round of the 1995 pre-season draft), Edwards has emerged from that shaky start to become one of the most damaging andd efficient midfielders in the competition, producing without some of the headlines that have accompanied others of his type. His commitment to the ball and to contests, supreme fitness, football smarts and neat disposal skills have set him apart and made him one of those rare players who simply gets better with age. From his nervous days under South Australian legend Neil Kerley in the SANFL and having learned the game under four coaches at Westlakes, Edwards has grown in stature and confidence to be, quite frankly, better now at 32 than he was at 22. “I played Teal Cup (the under-17 state carnival that preceded the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships) and the last two league games for Westies in ’93, so I only had ‘Kerls’ (Kerley) for a while, but he scared the hell out of me,” Edwards says. “His speeches before the game were all about the team, but they were made with so much passion that it was very intimidating for a boy from the country. “The next year, I played the majority of the season with West Adelaide and was invited to do the pre-season with the Crows. “My biggest problem was confidence. Growing up, I knew I was a pretty good footballer, but I didn’t want to be a big head and probably talked myself down too much, really,” Edwards says. “Part of the battle was analysing games and to give


he hasn’t attracted the same headlines as some of his more flamboyant teammates, Edwards has been equally as effective.

myself a pat on the back when I did play well.” Edwards has certainly done that for the bulk of his 15-season career at the Crows, finishing second in the club’s best and fairest award three times and third once. “Not getting too many injuries was always an advantage for me. I think I’ve only ever missed a chunk of one pre-season, which puts you in good stead,” Edwards says. “I knew I needed to be consistent and, when ‘Blighty’ (Malcolm Blight) was coaching, I made a deal with myself that I’d be as consistent as I could.

Growing up, I knew I was a pretty good footballer, but I didn’t want to be a big head and probably talked myself down too much TYSON EDWARDS

“If you’re always contributing and playing well, and my disposal was always pretty good, it’s hard not to get picked in the team. So I tried to make consistency my strength.” The young Edwards was not as consistent as he was to become after three or four

seasons in the system, but his raw talent earned him a place in two premiership teams by the time he’d played just 70 games. He cherishes the premierships, but rates two matches against the Bulldogs as the other major highlights of his career – his debut in 1995 and that remarkable 1997 preliminary final victory. “The first game at Football Park (now AAMI Stadium) is probably still my most memorable,” he says. “It was the most nervous I’ve ever been, the whole family came down, but we won (by 44 points) and I played OK. “Obviously, the finals series in 1997 and ’98 were standouts, but the preliminary finals really stick with me. “We were still one step away and winning them was just so exhilarating. “That first one in ’97 (which the Crows won by two points) was a real team effort. That’s why we were able to go all the way to the flag, when there might have been more talented sides.” His four AFL coaches, Edwards says, have all played an important part in his development as a player. Robert Shaw made him think about game plans, Blight encouraged him to back himself and Gary Ayres helped him develop his defensive game. And then there’s Neil Craig. “‘Craigy’s’ probably the best coach at developing relationships with players and understanding them,” Edwards says. “He’s a very attacking coach as well, even though he’s seen the other way by people outside the club, probably because he’s meticulous in his planning and that’s sometimes confused for being defensive.”

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For all of Edwards’ commitment to the game and the club, he knows how to switch off and enjoy family time. He likes a hit of tennis on the home court or a round of golf at Glenelg with brother-in-law and ex-teammate Darren Jarman. But with three young boys, he’s never far away from a game of football. When he’s not training or playing at the highest level, he and wife Mandy watch sons Jackson (nine) and Luke (seven) – Brodie is too young at five – having a kick for their school or the local Henley club. There’s no chance, though, that Edwards could intimidate the boys’ coach with his football profile, because it’s Port Adelaide coach Mark Williams who usually puts the kids through their paces on training nights and game-day. “Jackson loves his footy, I can definitely see him playing at a competitive level,” Edwards says. “The middle one, Luke, has just started this year and he’s pretty good, too. Watching them is a FAC T F I L E


Tyson Edwards Born: August 6, 1976 Recruited from: West Adelaide Debut: round 11, 1995 Height: 178cm Weight: 81kg Games: 299 Goals: 186 Honours: 2nd best and fairest 2002, 2003, 2006; 3rd best and fairest 2004; International Rules Series 2002; premiership sides 1997, 1998; pre-season premiership side 2003.

great way to spend time away from my football. “Mandy goes every week and I go when the games don’t clash with the Crows matches. “Mandy and I just enjoy sitting back and watching them have a kick. I try and give my boys a few pointers every now and then; sometimes they listen and sometimes they don’t. “But when someone like ‘Choco’ (Williams) tells them, they listen. He’s amazing, he’s there every week and the kids really respond to him.” While Edwards prides himself on an ability to separate family life, his own time and football duties, it may become a more difficult task when he eventually retires. He has plans to start a sports and player management business with tennis champion and good mate Lleyton Hewitt, an enterprise that will cast a wide net over a range of sports including the AFL, tennis, rugby league, soccer and basketball. “We’re keen to get involved and we have people interested interstate,” he says. “Part of the reason we’re doing it is that we think we can really expand on the player management services and offer more. “We’re looking beyond just negotiating contracts to really looking after the player and providing genuine career management and mentoring after the contract’s signed.”


Edwards has benefited from his ability to separate his family life, his own time and his football responsibilities.

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What the coaches say about Tyson Edwards... Malcolm Blight, coach from 1997-99 PREMIERSHIP HERO:

A beaming Edwards after playing in his second successive flag with the Crows in 1998.

“Tyson has an unbelievable story. I had a weekly talk with him about his form and where he was going and he told me he’d never had three votes in all his playing days, from a junior out in the bush through to AFL level. He had this wonderful balance and kicking style but was never best on ground. I kept working on his confidence and then one day, someone gave him three votes in the paper and I didn’t say a word to him, I just stuck it on his locker. From that day onwards, he was never to go out of the team.”

Gary Ayres, coach from 2000-mid-2004 “One of the things that stands out about Tyson is just how hard he works, how professional he is, how good he is at looking after his body. He probably was in the shadow of (Mark) Ricciuto and (Simon) Goodwin and (Andrew) McLeod early, but he’d be rated very highly in that group now. He’s been unheralded in Melbourne but certainly if you speak to people close to Adelaide Football Club, they’ll tell you how much they think of him. He’s self-driven and was very easy to coach, no fuss with Tyson, just a great team man and committed family man. He has great flexibility – he can play on taller opponents and he’s excellent on both sides of his body. He’s going to make an indelible imprint on the club’s history.”

Neil Craig, coach since mid-2004

For now, Edwards’ focus is squarely on helping Adelaide reach another finals campaign. The club has indicated Edwards and veteran teammates Simon Goodwin and McLeod will each play at least one more season. He’s confident the Crows’ mix of experience and quality youth makes anything possible, as seen last week when they played a superb brand of team football to beat Hawthorn at

home, with the old and the new among the best. “I don’t like talk of rebuilding – I tend to think it’s a bit of a cop out,” Edwards says. “We’re always striving to make the eight, no matter what sort of squad we’ve got. That’s Craigy’s philosophy and, as a player, it’s great to know. “To have a coach saying you’re rebuilding is not great going into a season. As a supporter, I’m sure you don’t

“To reach 300 games at this level requires unbelievable durability over a long period. Not only has Tyson done that, he has performed consistently at a remarkably high level for many seasons. It’s fair to say that Tyson had to work extremely hard to make his mark in the AFL. So as a senior leader at the club, the way he goes about it is a great example.”

want to hear that it’s going to take five years to play in finals again. “We’ve got some young kids we put a fair bit of pressure on and we expect them to perform. Do that without going over the top and they thrive on it. “That mentality has got us to a couple of finals series in recent years when many people

thought we wouldn’t get close. The way we’ve developed these young kids and our structures, that’s our edge. “We can perform against great teams – we just have to put it together for four quarters. And we can. We’re here to play finals footy.” And if they do, Edwards will likely be a driving force, in his own quiet way.

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Wallace legacy Terry Wallace was a champion player and an innovative coach who has shaped several aspects of the modern game. MICH A EL LOV ET T


he final act of Terry Wallace’s coaching career will be played out this weekend but don’t imagine for one moment that the football world has heard or seen the last of him. Wallace decided last Monday to call it a day as Richmond coach – probably wisely under the circumstances – but you can bet he will be up for the next challenge. Some might interpret Wallace’s decision as walking away from the job, but when you think about what he has endured this season, you could hardly blame him. The constant line of questioning, being door-stopped by television reporters and the Tiger talkback syndrome – those fans who constantly called radio shows calling for his head – would be enough to send any normal thinking person insane. But Wallace knows it goes with the territory. All through his playing and coaching life, he has never been afraid to put himself out there, be it by offering an opinion or as an innovator. He will finish on 501 games as a player and coach on Friday night and that puts him in some pretty good company. Only 16 others have achieved that feat at League level: Kevin Sheedy, Jock McHale, Leigh Matthews,

Mick Malthouse, David Parkin, Ron Barassi, Norm Smith, Allan Jeans, Robert Walls, Tom Hafey, John Kennedy, Percy Bentley, Dick Reynolds, Paul Roos, Phonse Kyne and Rodney Eade. Wallace might not have had the rat cunning of Sheedy, the longevity of McHale, the articulation of Parkin or the bite of Barassi, but he has left his mark on the game. But to know Wallace the coach, you have to look back to his time as a player. He wasn’t a precocious talent but he could win the ball, run all day and find his teammates. He came on to Hawthorn’s radar in 1977 when he was playing for Camberwell in the Victorian Football Association. The VFA wasn’t a place for the faint-hearted, let alone a teenager with ability and confidence to match, but there was a connection to Hawthorn that gave Wallace his opportunity. The captain of Camberwell was John Hook, who later served for many years at Hawthorn as football manager. Hook liked what he saw in the youngster so when he was approached by then-Hawthorn selector Brian Coleman, he had no hesitation recommending him. “Terry came from the under-19s and straight into the Camberwell side and you could see he had the talent to be a League player. He had a fantastic

Terry came from the under-19s and straight into the Camberwell side and you could see he had the talent to be a League player EX-CAMBERWELL CAPTAIN AND FORMER HAWTHORN FOOTBALL MANAGER, JOHN HOOK

season as a 19-year-old in the VFA so ‘Coley’ was the instigator in getting him to Hawthorn,” Hook said. The stumbling block was the fact Wallace was living in Fitzroy’s metropolitan zone, but the Hawks offered the Lions 75-game utility Gerry McCarthy and a $15,000 transfer fee. In the end, the Hawks were the big winners. Wallace played 174 games (and was a member

of the 1978, 1983 and 1986 premiership teams), won two best and fairest awards, and was equal third in the 1982 Brownlow Medal. Out of contract at the end of 1986, Wallace made an ill-fated move to Richmond in 1987 that netted just 11 games as he struggled with a back injury. As he said this week, maybe Punt Rd wasn’t for him either as a player or coach. But he underwent a football renaissance when he crossed to Footscray in 1988 where he added a further 69 games and two best and fairest awards before injury and father time caught up with him in 1991. Wallace’s time at the Whitten Oval is also remembered for the jaw-breaking hit Melbourne’s

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It has been a long journey for Terry Wallace whose fifth year as Richmond coach will end this round. He started his AFL involvement as a player for Hawthorn (top right) in 1978 before a short stint at Richmond followed by a successful stay at the Western Bulldogs as a player and coach. He was appointed coach of the Tigers in August, 2004.

Rod Grinter laid on him in round two, 1988, which saw the unreported incident referred to the Tribunal. It was the first time a report had been laid by video evidence and Grinter was suspended for six games. A keen student of the game, Wallace’s foray into coaching was hardly unexpected. He served as a reserves coach with the Bulldogs, taking them to a flag in 1994, and was an assistant to Alan Joyce before taking the senior job when Joyce was sacked after round 12, 1996. It was a tumultuous season for the Dogs, who had started to show improvement through the mid-1980s under Mick Malthouse and into the 1990s under Terry Wheeler and Joyce. The 1996 season also gave

an insight to Wallace’s coaching demeanour when, as part of the documentary Year of the Dogs, he didn’t hold back after the Bulldogs were narrowly beaten by Collingwood in his first game. “If I see one bloke walking out of here getting a pat on the back from people out there for a good effort, I’ll spew up!” he screamed at his players, his jugular strained at Parkin-like proportions. The Bulldogs, who finished the season 3-7 under Wallace’s stint, were a kick away from making the 1997 Grand Final and were preliminary finalists again in 1998, as Wallace put his stamp on an emerging team. He became a media favourite and understood the importance of that part of the industry, becoming the first coach to grant

a television interview during a game. On the field he also led the way, introducing the idea of teams warming up on the ground pre-game. Perhaps Wallace’s crowning moment came in round 21 of 2000, when he brought about Essendon’s only loss for the season by throwing numbers behind the ball and frustrating the rampant Bombers. Two seasons later, though, it was all over at the Bulldogs and after a stint in the media, Wallace was given a five-year deal by Richmond. His Richmond tenure didn’t go according to plan and Wallace would be as frustrated as any Tiger fan at the lack of success in his time. He departs beaten, but certainly not bowed. AFL RECORD visit 67

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Melbourne This weekend, Melbourne plays its main rival Collingwood for the 223rd time. The Demons are in the middle of a major overhaul on and off the field, and those in charge know they just have to get it right. PETER W ILMOTH


Melbourne president Jim Stynes enjoys being out among the fans.


t the Melbourne Football Club, it’s the beginning of a beginning. “I can really sense at board level, and with players and supporters, that there is a new dawn,” says president Jim Stynes, a club champion and Brownlow medallist. “We are creating a new way that we are all going to be proud of. Our history is important but our future is full of hope, excitement and energy.” No one was using those three words 12 months ago. The dark chapter that was 2008 – a debt of $5 million and being anchored at the bottom of the ladder after a season of soul-destroying blowout losses – was the tipping point. On and off the field, Melbourne had bottomed out. Rebuilding and reinvention was the club’s only choice. Halfway through 2009, the tipping point has become the turning point. Membership is at a record level, having surpassed 30,000 for the first time. The team is competitive and there are signs the young players on the list are, in Stynes’ words, “making their own history”. The mood around the club is upbeat. Late last month, club stalwart Garry Lyon wrote in The Age that “the pall of gloom that has descended on the club in recent years is dissipating at

a rapid rate and the first rays of sunshine are beginning to emerge”. And it’s happened out of a mix of passion, belief and fear: those who loved the club didn’t want to see it die. “The last 12 months has been about people having the courage to stand up and make a leap of faith,” Stynes says. “It’s been a series of leaps of faith.” They say the darkest hour is right before the dawn. And Chris Connolly, the head of the football department, agrees. Bottoming out, he says, is what the club needed. “It has taken all the greyness out and made it black and white.” “All we want to know from people is: ‘Are you going to

help us or not?’ There is no in-between. There is too much at stake for ifs and buts. Bottoming out puts a stake in the ground, saying ‘It’s now or never’.” The rebuilding of Melbourne since Stynes took over the presidency a year ago is a series of remarkable stories. Two months after Stynes was encouraged by a group of exteammates to take the job, former club CEO Cameron Schwab was lured back from Fremantle for a second stint in the job. Stynes and Schwab joined former Demon and ex-Fremantle coach Connolly, who had returned to the club in September, 2007, and coach Dean Bailey, appointed about a month before Connolly.

It was a formidable quartet of football people. Stynes’ impact was immediate. Money raised at the ‘Debt Demolition’ function wiped away $3 million of debt, leaving a liability of around $2 million. The playing list was turned over (the club introduced 21 new players in two seasons) and a 30-year deal for a much-needed, well-resourced training base at Casey Fields in Melbourne’s outer south-east was signed. The dramatic changes didn’t stop there. The club began the season – and was playing in the NAB Cup – without a major sponsor. Then, within days, the club confirmed two significant deals. LD Wholesale Tyres, a AFL RECORD visit 69

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major distributor of Hankook Tyres, and whose owner Lawrie De La Rue is a passionate Demons supporter, signed as a major sponsor. Andrew Mamonitis, another Melbourne supporter, also helped. While in a Kazakhstan restaurant in Moscow (complete with belly dancers), Mamonitis suggested to his boss, the new managing director of Russian computer security firm Kaspersky, that the company might consider sponsoring an AFL club – namely the Demons. Kaspersky also signed up. The two deals are worth $5 million over three years. Closer to home, realignment in April with the Melbourne Cricket Club, from which the football club extricated itself in 1981, means the club can use the MCC’s brand and tap into its financial, social and cultural muscle. And, rather than selling home games on an ad hoc basis, the club is considering pursuing a long-term deal to establish a second market in Darwin, with a view to building a presence in the Top End community. The Casey Fields arrangement, which, aside from state-of-the-art training facilities, will give the club an opportunity to involve itself with the Casey community in what is one of Australia’s fastest-growing areas, and attract new supporters. For a club that grew out of a stadium – the MCG – not a suburb, says Schwab, a sense of place is critical. The foundations are in place, he says. “The club needed a leader and it needed a legend. Jim came in at a time when it would have been easy to say no, and he was able to attract a board which could run any business at any level.

BUILDING BELIEF: Brent Moloney (left), Colin Sylvia and Brad Miller enjoy that winning feeling after the victory over Richmond in round four.

We have to walk the talk. If we can’t do that from the top down, forget about it happening elsewhere in the club MELBOURNE PRESIDENT, JIM STYNES

“Chris Connolly is loved and respected by Melbourne people. There were probably stages over the past 18 months where the club turned to him for a way forward when things looked very bleak. “The significance of his role went well beyond his title.” For Melbourne, the planets are starting to line up. And the story of the Demons’ new spirit is told not only through numbers. Stynes is committed to a Melbourne that fosters strong values and inclusiveness. The president, who famously took a mark while sitting in the crowd behind the goals at the

MCG earlier this year, organised all football club staff to meet the board, some staff telling him it was the first time they had spoken to a board member. Stynes also organised a gathering of female staff, and partners of male staff, board members, players and coaching staff. “It was awesome,” he says. “It was about inclusion. This is what we want to be – a club that involves everybody.” He has also reconfigured the game-day president’s function to include a children’s room where kids draped in Demons gear can play safely under supervision or join their parents watching the game. “We have to walk the talk,” Stynes says. “If we can’t do that from the top down, forget about it happening elsewhere in the club.” Stynes rejects all suggestions of merging, including Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett’s view last

year that Melbourne consider relocating to Queensland. “In hindsight, Jeff’s comment didn’t do us any harm because it woke people up and made them realise how bad things were,” he says. Bailey’s first year at Melbourne – its 150th birthday year – coincided with off-field instability, including the departures of CEO Steve Harris, his replacement Paul McNamee and president Paul Gardner. Bailey worked, says Connolly, under “as difficult an environment as you would ever have in AFL football”. And now, his efforts look like bearing fruit. Says Schwab: “He has gone from having the toughest coaching job in the game to possibly the most exciting.” It’s a challenge Bailey is relishing. “We’ve noticed a change because most of the players have been able to complete most of the pre-season,” he says of the team’s improvement. And, again, it’s about belief. “The more games they play with each other, the more they build belief. The more belief and trust they have in each other, their confidence stays at a higher level.” As they say in football, out of crisis comes opportunity, but also humour. “Chris Connolly said to me ‘This could go really well, or you could be the last president of the Melbourne Football Club’,” Stynes says, laughing. The true believers at Melbourne are putting their energy into making sure it’s the former. Peter Wilmoth is a Melbourne-based freelance journalist and has written or co-written several books, including Reading The Play, the autobiography of James Hird.

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demon honoured

Forgotten hero hailed at last It will be a case of better late than never for former Melbourne star Geoff McGivern when he is honoured by the club at this weekend’s Queen’s Birthday clash with Collingwood. BEN COL LINS


eoff McGivern’s mantra – “Don’t let it worry ya” – fits perfectly with the Melbourne great’s affable, laid-back nature. And it’s remarkable McGivern has managed to maintain such a demeanour considering he has had plenty of cause to worry in his 79 years. The lesser of several setbacks came last June, when McGivern should have been named one of Melbourne’s’ ‘150 Heroes’ (as part of the club’s 150th birthday celebrations), but was accidentally omitted. The Demons acknowledge, following further research, that McGivern should have been “an automatic inclusion”. After all, he was a superbly talented, high-flying utility who could play in any key position, and he was quick too, being in the top half-dozen for pace in a Melbourne side renowned for its speedsters. He played 105 games for the Demons from 1950-56, winning their 1952 best-and-fairest and being a member of the 1955 premiership team. To remedy the situation, the Demons will recognise McGivern as a ‘hero’ when they play Collingwood in the Queen’s Birthday game. But that oversight was nothing compared to other torments McGivern has endured (and continues to do so). Just days after last year’s AFL Grand Final, his right leg was amputated below the knee. “There was a lack of blood supply to my foot, so it had to come off,” he says, matter-of-factly. So off went the lower part of his old kicking leg – the one he relied on most for balance when playing his regular round of golf. “It has caused a lot of pain and stress, no doubt,” McGivern


Geoff was a AGNA McGivern FEU F: eummod Melbourne champion dolorper sum veliquat. in the 1950s,essi. playing in Nummodip Uptat. the 1955 premiership. Ectem veleniat. Faccum He is holdingfeugiamet the dolortionse trophy won as the euguerihe ustinci blaor 1955 alit best and fairest.

concedes, narrowing his gaze, before the old glint returns to his eye. “But don’t let it worry ya – one way or the bloody other, I’ll get back out on the golf course again.” He will. He has jumped back on the horse, so to speak, many times in his life.

McGivern lost his first wife of 22 years, Jan, to melanoma in 1978. They had three teenage children at the time. (He met current wife Josie three years later.) Anything else, of course, pales in comparison. He could have played in a second premiership, but missed

the 1956 flag through injury. “That’s life,” he says, shrugging his broad shoulders. “You just can’t let things get on top of you.” Very few obstacles have stopped McGivern. Born the day after Boxing Day in 1930, he has always AFL RECORD visit 73

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been a fighter. He had to fight, too. At 15, he was tall but pencilthin and couldn’t even get a regular game in the school footy team at Box Hill High School. “I just wasn’t good enough,” he says, speaking with reverence of schoolmates such as Dave ‘Froggy’ Morgan, who later played one game apiece for Collingwood and Hawthorn. The winters of his youth still hold such wonderment that McGivern describes his time with his mates in the second 18 of suburban side Croydon as “the best time of my life”. That’s despite the primitive changeroom – “a tin shed with a dirt floor and an old chip heater”. The cold turned bodies into stiff boards, but McGivern’s form was hot. In 1947, he kicked a hundred goals from full-forward in a premiership year with the seconds, and repeated the effort in the seniors the next year. (He was later named captain and centre half-forward in Croydon’s Team of the Century.) Richmond came knocking, and McGivern played one practice match with the Tigers in early 1949, and kicked a few goals, but his father Frank, a strongly built “straight up and down” quarryman, declared: “You’re not playing there – they’re a pack of bloody idiots,” offering no further explanation. Sixty years later, his son explains: “In those days, if your old man said ‘Jump’, you said

I was under a high ball and could hear footsteps thundering towards me. It was Mopsy – and he said ‘Gotcha!’ GEOFF McGIVERN

‘How high?’ I don’t know if the younger generation would cop that now.” Soon after the Richmond episode, McGivern copped a d bout of appendicitis and missed most of the 1949 season. Melbourne upset the Tigers by signing the 19-year-old, and he was surprised to be named at centre half-forward for round one, 1950. (His debut clashed with his sister’s wedding. As was the custom, he only attended the reception.) A train delay caused him to arrive just 20 minutes before the start of the game against Carlton. He played on Blues champion Bert Deacon, took a mark early and hit the post, but “didn’t do all that well”. The next week, McGivern faced Richmond and Don ‘Mopsy’ Fraser – one of the most feared men in football history. “I went to shake his hand before the game and he went bang! He flattened me. He was vicious.” McGivern barely survived, but he prevailed. With just seconds left and Melbourne trailing by five points, Fraser flattened him again.

TOUGH: McGivern b ilt hi lf up iin th built himself the family quarry business.

“I was under a high ball and could hear footsteps thundering towards me. It was Mopsy – and he said: ‘Gotcha!’” Blood streamed from McGivern’s face but he had held the mark. He had to be turned around to face the goals (“I didn’t know whether I was Arthur or Martha,” he says), but he kicked truly in a heroic win. Over summer, the Demons sent McGivern to the gym to bulk up, with moderate results. The turning point in his footy career – indeed, his life – was a dramatic change of occupations.

Believe it o or not, big st strapping ‘Macca’ ha had travelled th the Victorian cou countryside selling lad ladies’ hats. His mat mates gave him hell – som some called him ‘McG ‘McGirly’. Th Then he joined the fa family quarry busine business and the hard physic physical work – often in hairhair-raising positions on cliff ffaces that horrified coach Norm Smith – b built his frame and his st strength, without sacrificing any pace. “It was like being be in a gym all day,” he says. sa He would arrive at training in filthy, old work clothes – quite a sight among the suits at Melbourne. He “couldn’t do a thing wrong” and won Melbourne’s best and fairest that year, 1952. He even caught up with his old mate Mopsy, using all of his 189 centimetres and 80-odd kilos to crunch him, legitimately. After the game, Fraser conceded: “I suppose I deserved that.” McGivern didn’t deserve the king-hit he received just before half-time in the 1954 first semi-final against North Melbourne. “One of my mates up in the stand saw it coming and told me he’d

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3/6/09 3:52:03 PM







called out. I said: ‘I didn’t bloody hear you!’” McGivern has always refused to name his attacker, and won’t start now. “He’d be ashamed,” he says. “I reckon it’s the only time he ever thought of hitting someone.” McGivern shook off the knock and the Demons awarded him a watch for best-on-ground, but he can’t recall any of it. This was reinforced three weeks later when, after Melbourne was thumped by Footscray in the Grand Final – in which Ted Whitten thrashed McGivern – coach Smith told him he should never forget the quality of his semi-final effort. “Forget it?” McGivern replied. “Norm, I can’t even remember it.” It was classic McGivern – the man his teammates love like a brother to this day. McGivern played some unforgettable games at centre half-back in 1955-56, eclipsing the likes of Whitten and Collingwood hard man Murray Weideman. His best contribution to the Demons’ 1955 success was keeping Magpies leading goalkicker Ken Smale to a combined tally of two goals in the second semi-final and the Grand Final. He was particularly good in the second semi, belying the wet conditions to snare three crucial overhead marks as Melbourne held on by 11 points. Smith marvelled that

Let’s say I gave the quarry away to play football. What if I broke my leg? I’d have nothing, would I? GEOFF McGIVERN

McGivern did “something special” in the wet, although he couldn’t quite pinpoint why. McGivern can. He says there were a couple of factors. First, he worked in mud and slush, so it never bothered him on the field. And he had followed the advice of an “old trainer” at Croydon named Henry Pride, the village blacksmith, who had instructed him to lock his wrist joints with strapping, and use the stop-and-grab marking technique. But McGivern had little idea about how to combat Hawthorn’s 198cm forward Clayton ‘Candles’ Thompson, who “seemed nine feet tall” and was “marking everything”. McGivern obeyed and exhausted various instructions from Smith to play from behind, from the side and the front. When all failed, the last exasperated message was: “Please yourself!” McGivern did just that one day when he went against a Smith edict that discouraged defenders from going past the centre. McGivern dashed forward and launched a torpedo, which sailed through for a goal. Even

POPULAR: McGivern retired at just 25, but is revered by his former teammates.

McGivern thought it was “a freak occurrence”. The runner told him: “Don’t get carried away.” McGivern waved to Smith on the bench, and the coach waved back. Few players could get away with such things. An ankle injury cost McGivern back-to-back premierships in 1956. Teammate John Beckwith fell across his leg in the second semi-final. “I can still hear it going ‘urrgh’!” he says, wrenching at his good leg. McGivern had played his last game – at just 25. It was becoming too difficult to combine work and football, and his father’s death only months earlier had left a void in the lucrative quarry business. Despite Smith’s protestations, McGivern retired. There was little money in League football back then. McGivern asked Smith a hypothetical: “Let’s say I gave the quarry away to play football. What if I broke my leg? I’d have nothing, would I?” Smith reluctantly agreed: “Well, you climb up in the air and sometimes you come down like a bag of bones and we wonder if you’re going to get up. I see where you’re coming from.” Melbourne’s continued success was bittersweet for McGivern.



Geoff McGivern Born: December 27, 1930 Career: Melbourne 1950-56 Recruited from: Croydon (Vic) Height: 189cm Weight: 80kg Games: 105 (inc. seven finals) Goals: 53 Honours: best and fairest 1952, premiership 1955. Brownlow Medal: 19 votes.

He was rapt for his mates, but he’d think: ‘I could have been part of that.’ Considering the warm regard with which those very same mates hold McGivern, you’d think he was part of all six flags in that golden era anyway.

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time on Answer man

AFL history guru Col Hutchinson answers your queries.


p8 4


Sheepish players

Unhappy hunting ground I was confident Fremantle would defeat North Melbourne at Docklands Stadium in round nine but went home disappointed. The Dockers have now lost 12 matches in a row in Victoria. Which club visiting a particular state has lost the most consecutive games? NORM SNOW, EAST FREMANTLE CH: From round two, 1990,

the Brisbane Bears suffered defeat in Victoria 23 times in succession. The drought was broken at Princes Park in round 18, 1992, when the Bears outscored Fitzroy by 41 points. The relief was temporary. The club lost its next 16 in the state until again tasting success, against Geelong at Kardinia Park in round 11, 1994. The Sydney Swans lost 16 consecutive matches in Victoria

BAD NEWS: The Brisbane Bears lost

23 matches in a row in Victoria from 1990 to 1992.

from 1992-94. Melbourne has lost its past 13 matches in South Australia.

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 player, James Gerald Sheahan?  Sheahan was born about 1872 and attended St Patrick’s College, East Melbourne, before joining Melbourne in 1891. For six seasons, he played in the VFA, and his only match at AFL level was in 1897 as a wingman in a final

against Geelong. His brother, Fred, played on the other wing. Gerald died on August 30, 1959. The only other Sheahans to play senior football were Richmond father-son combination Maurie and John,

who both attended St Pat’s College, Ballarat. If you have any information on Sheahan, including his date of birth, height and weight, contact Col Hutchinson on (03) 9643 1929 or col.hutchinson@afl

 Hayden Skipworth’s surname indicates a family background of the north of England. Skipworth (pictured) is the Lancashire version of the Yorkshire name Skipwith. The latter is recorded in the famous census book of the 11th century, the Domesday Book, as Schipwic which derived from the Old English words scip (sheep) and wic (outlying settlement). Under the influence of the Viking settlement in England, the soft sch- sound changed to sk- and eventually -wic changed to -with and -worth in Yorkshire. Essendon’s connection with sheep does not stop with Skipworth. In the late 1950s, there was defender Bob Shearman and, in more recent times, James Hird and Shane Heard. Hird’s surname is a Yorkshire variation of Heard, both being occupational names for someone who tends animals, usually sheep or cattle. KEVAN CARROLL


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A mug, but no cup A weekly look at collectables, memorabilia and all footy things stored in boxes and garages. RICK’S RARITY

I have a 2004 Brisbane Lions premiership mug and, as we all know, Port Adelaide defeated the Lions in that year’s Grand Final. I believe my mug was a prototype for a possible Lions’ premiership and would appreciate a valuation. PETER, VIA EMAIL RM: I have never seen one of


The Lions’ 2004 ‘premiership’ mug.

these as most would have been destroyed immediately after the 2004 Grand Final. You have a rarity and I value it at $100. I have two signed and mounted football jumpers I would like valued. The first is a Jonathan Brown jumper I bought for $350 and comes in a frame with the plaque: “Jonathan Brown, triple premiership player Brisbane Lions”. The second is a Footscray jumper signed by 1954 premiership captain-coach Charlie Sutton. This is a very old jumper and my partner bought it via the internet about two or three years ago, although I don’t know how much she paid for it. GREG DUMBRELL, VIA EMAIL RM: The Sutton jumper is

I have a full 72-card set of the 1953 Argus football cards. Do these have any value? SHARON HICKEY, VIA EMAIL RM: They sure do! These are

worth a lot more than Brown’s. I believe the price you paid for the Brown one is about right, but I believe the Sutton guernsey would be worth up to $600.

I have a print of an old colour photograph of VFA stars from 1884. On the left are J. Cordner, J. Shaw, A. McIntyre, A. Alexander, A. Shearwood, H. Elms, G. Smith,

quite large cards, about twice the size of postcards, and feature six players from each of the then-12 VFL clubs. They are not quick sellers, but are worth $15 each in good condition.

A. Berry and J. Lyons. On the right are J. Barwise, W. Jones, E. Cherry, P. McShane, J. Young, J. Baker, T. Robinson, J. Worrall and G. Miller. In the left corner is D. Sebire, and in the right corner is J. Lawler. In the centre is Carlton’s George Coulthard. Value? GEORGE, VIA EMAIL RM: This particular print

has been laminated, which reduces its value from about $300 to just $50. These turn up quite often and I know there is one for sale at a stall (not mine) at the Camberwell Antique Centre.

 Here’s one from left field! This T Tasmanian Football Guide from 1947 is packed with good football news and information from the Apple Isle. By Jack Donnelly, who wrote under the pseudonym of ‘Half-back’ for the Launceston Examiner, there are many outstanding stories. According to Donnelly, Tasmania’s best fforward to that date was Alan Rait, who did well in the VFL with Footscray. It is a great publication from the state that gave us Darrel Baldock, Roycee Hart, Peter Hudson, Ian Stewart and a host of other champions. I’d pay $75 for one in good condition.

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


57 55 54 52 51 27


MICK Richmond St Kilda Brisbane Lions Port Adelaide Essendon Hawthorn Geelong Cats Collingwood

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LEHMO Western Bulldogs St Kilda Brisbane Lions Port Adelaide Essendon Hawthorn Geelong Cats Collingwood

DAVE Western Bulldogs St Kilda Carlton Port Adelaide Essendon Hawthorn Geelong Cats Collingwood

STRAUCHANIE Richmond North Melbourne Brisbane Lions Fremantle Adelaide Sydney Swans West Coast Eagles Melbourne

SAM Western Bulldogs St Kilda Brisbane Lions Port Adelaide Essendon Hawthorn Geelong Cats Collingwood

ANDY Western Bulldogs St Kilda Carlton Port Adelaide Essendon Hawthorn Geelong Cats Collingwood

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Relive the game over a meal in the city. After the final siren, head into the city and relive every kick, tackle and goal over a meal or a beer. With so many great pubs, bars and restaurants, you’ll find the perfect place to talk footy. And next week, why not kick off with a drink or bite to eat in the city before the game? For ideas on where to go, visit




Spot the difference

Scrambled footballer Shy, able

ond photo of Chance Bateman? Can you spot five differences in the sec

Cryptic footballers 1. Harmes upset with first

night at Brisbane. 2. Good-looking lasses

embrace Eagle defender. 3. A saint among men at

West Coast. 4. Umpire indicating time,

reportedly. 5. Kelly and Enright initially

follow North Melbourne player at Geelong. 6. Rugby union player

with the Dons. 7. Magpie’s team last on ladder. 8. Crow’s breathing apparatus. 9. Otten upset, becomes an Eagle. 10. West Coast player not

making comeback for Western Bulldogs.


SCRAMBLED FOOTBALLER: Hasleby CRYPTIC FOOTBALLERS: 1. Sherman 2. Glass 3. Masten 4. Wenn 5. Rooke 6. Hooker 7. Sidebottom 8. Gill 9. Notte 10. Eagleton

SPOT THE DIFFERENCE: Yellow ball, tattoo missing, Puma logo on front of jumper missing, gold hoop on left sock missing, gold piping on shorts missing.

AC R O S S 1 3

Used on ankles, etc (4) Former St Kilda premiership player Rodger .... (4) 7 Underrated footy verb, now considered a noun when applied to a group (3) 10 Gavin started with the Bombers (9) 11 Former Adelaide Crow Nigel ..... (5) 12 Promising young Magpie forward, Sean ....... (7) 13 Darren ...... added more than iron to the Roos (1984-92) and Cats (1993-4) (6) 15 The Roos’ skipper from 2004-2008 (7) 17 Mark ....... played with Richmond, then West Coast. Won goal of year in final season at West Coast (7) 18 David ....... was twice Swans’ best and fairest, (1980, 1982), then a Roo (7) 20 Fremantle’s nickname (7) 22 Full-forward Brett played with West Coast, then Geelong (6) 24 Dwayne played with the Cats (7) 28 Geelong-Fremantle father-son surname (5) 29 Head of a club (9) 30 A club can ..... at the bottom of the ladder (5) 31 Former Eagle who finished a Demon (4) 32 Given name of former Hawk, Tiger Martello (4)

DOWN 1 2 4

Some say clubs live in an ivory one (5)


Given name of coach renowned for one-liners during press conferences; e.g. “You can’t stroll up Lygon Street and buy confidence.” (5)


The person who rubs the players up – the right way (7)


His twin played with Hawthorn and Port Adelaide (4, 5)

8 9

Nickname of the goalkicking Coventry (4)

Darren Millane’s nickname (5) Player named in case of injury to selected 22 (9)

This former Blue was drafted in 2001, Justin ...... (6)

14 Lots of big goal tallies (4) 15 Injured players get it at clinic or hospital (4) 16 Former Roo defender – ‘The Peacemaker’ (9) 17 Period of the game, since 1970 or thereabouts (6, 3)

19 South Australian Matt ....... was a big, strong Lion (7)

21 Father and son, Jack (Essendon, 1936-47) and John (Essendon, North, Fitzroy, 1971-82) (6)

23 For veterans, there’s a ..... rules competition (5) 25 Gavin ..... played for Geelong and Fitzroy (5) 26 An unlikely opening, or a ... .. (3-2) 27 Danny Frawley was no couch potato (4)

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Taylor-made star Promising key forward Taylor Walker is being touted as the Crows’ new Tony Modra. A NDR EW WA L L ACE


ould Taylor Walker be the key forward Adelaide has been searching so desperately for? The 19-year-old is only 10 games into his AFL career, but the signs are promising for the Crows. The youngster from Broken Hill, recruited to Adelaide via the NSW/ACT scholarship program, has blossomed in his second season at AFL level, playing every game and booting a career-best bag of five goals straight against reigning premier Hawthorn last week. The effort, which brought his season tally to 20, was enough to earn Walker a NAB AFL Rising Star nomination. However, it all could have turned out very differently for Walker. Five years ago on his Easter break, the country boy was out motorbiking with a friend when disaster struck. “I came off my bike, and he clipped me as he was going by,” Walker said. “I fractured my pelvis, and there was massive doubt whether I’d play again.” Fortunately, the injury healed well, and the teenager made it back for the final few games of the season for Broken Hill North. An unexpected phone call then changed his life forever. “Mum answered the phone, and it was someone asking if I wanted to go on the scholarship,” he said. “She thought it was someone playing a prank, but it turned out to be Mark Ross, one of the Crows’ recruiters.” Walker, then 15, travelled to Adelaide in his school holidays

NAB AFL Rising Star nominees 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) HIGH FIVE

A growth spurt between the ages of 14 and 15 converted Walker from a midfielder to a key forward. 2 Mentor at Adelaide is Brett Burton, who hasn’t imparted any tips on high marking. “You can’t teach what Brett can do,” Walker said. 3 Always puts his left boot on before his right.



Taylor Walker has kicked 20 goals in 10 games for the Adelaide Crows in 2009, including five last week against Hawthorn.

Likes a joke – teammates

4 Scott Thompson and

Kurt Tippett believe he has a future as a circus clown. Has not ridden a 5 motorbike again since the accident.

I set my goal to play in round one, and to try to cement my spot and play some consistent footy for the club to take part in the club’s fasttracking program, while also working alone back in Broken Hill to further his development. By the end of 2007, the Crows had seen enough to select him at No. 75 in the NAB AFL Draft.1 “Coming from Broken Hill to training pretty much every day at Adelaide, I had to work

on everything – my game knowledge, fitness, strength – and I had to embrace my SANFL club Norwood and try to play some competitive, skilful footy there,” he said. Fifty-six goals in 2008, including a haul of nine against Woodville-West Torrens, convinced the 192cm forward

that he could have an impact at AFL level this year. “I set my goal to play in round one, and to try to cement my spot and play some consistent footy for the club,” he said. 1

Scholarship players can be elevated to a club’s primary or rookie list at the end of October, but still need to be formally drafted at the following NAB AFL Draft.

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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Dream believers The Dream Team craze has given footy fans an even stronger affinity with the game. NICK BOW EN


oticed how the subject of your typical Monday morning office gabfest has changed in recent seasons? The workplace equivalent of an AFL team’s Monday review used to revolve around the weekend’s all-important footy tips. Those who’d had a good round could be relied on to get the ball rolling. “How many did you tip on the weekend?” they would ask, not giving two hoots about the answer, merely fishing for a reciprocal inquiry on their own fortunes. “Oh me? A lazy eight,” they would respond, relishing the chance to rub their mates’ noses in their tipping wizardry. But, nowadays, footy tips often get no more than a fleeting mention before talk turns to what most now sweat on all weekend – the results of their intra-office Dream Team matches. Not surprising, either, given the time they’ve invested in their squads. Many Dream Team participants put in their own pre-season, devouring every statistic they can get their hands on in the hope of unearthing the lesser lights, who, together with competition staples such as Gary Ablett and Dean Cox, will help land them their league premiership. Then, once the head-to-head matches start in round four, there’s the weekly agonising over trades. You only have to cast an eye around your office on a Friday afternoon before the trade lockout to see how seriously people take their Dream Team selection responsibilities. Huddled over their computer monitor with furrowed brows, they rack their brains on, say,


Another Dream Team is discussed, analysed ... and, more than likely, pulled apart, while (below) the round’s results bring joy or misery to Dream Team coaches.

whether to let the injured – and expensive – Paul Chapman cool his heels on the interchange bench for several weeks, or trade him straight away. And that’s before they grapple with the decision of who they make captain – and designated double-point scorer – that round. Such decisions often determine whether your team wins or loses – and that’s the beauty of Dream Team. You have a sense of ownership about your team, you are guiding its fortunes. In tipping, you’re often left trying to predict how unpredictable teams will perform. Luck, it seems all too often, plays a big role. In fairness, tipping often makes games not involving your own team more interesting. Where a Collingwood supporter may not normally give a damn about a game between Geelong and Hawthorn, for example, they’ll happily cheer the Hawks on if they’ve tipped them. But Dream Team has taken many people’s interest in such neutral games to another level.

Where, as a tipster, you might switch off a one-sided neutral game once you knew the likely winner, as a Dream Team coach, you will ride every kick, handpass and mark until the final siren, urging any of your team members to eke out every point they can. Many of us aren’t satisfied either when that match’s top-10 point scorers are flashed across our television screens and the ground’s scoreboard at regular intervals. Where possible, we will have a computer nearby, anxiously checking our up-to-the-minute progress score against that round’s enemy. Adding to the tension, you know you won’t get any sympathy from an opponent who has got you on the ropes. On those weeks, expect the sledging to start early. The phone calls, text messages and emails seem endless. Your only comfort is knowing that if you turn things around the following week, it will be you in the sledger’s seat. Don’t get me wrong. Tipping will always have a place. It

appeals to the expert in all of us; you are backing your footy knowledge against your mates. And with no shortage of expert tipsters featuring in publications such as the AFL Record and the daily papers, you can always compare your weekly tips and, more importantly, your running total against theirs. And when your gut feel proves right in a 50-50 game or, better still, convinces you to thumb your nose at the expert consensus and correctly call an unlikely upset, it never fails to stoke your competitive fires. Just not as much as Dream Team does.

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To win the game, everything has to work together. That’s why there’s a car with V6 power and outstanding fuel economy, and exhilarating pace with impressive handling. To fi nd out more about the game-changing 200kW Toyota Aurion visit It’s a whole new ball game.


oh what a feeling!

Official car of the AFL

AFL Record Round 11, 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...

AFL Record Round 11, 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...