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THE OFFICIAL FFICIAL MAGAZINE MAGAZINE OF THE AFL GAME

It felt like a training drill

ROUND 15, 20111 JULY 1-3 3 GST) T) T $5 (INC. GST

West Coast’s Nic Naitanui on his magnificent mark

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D DEAN BROGAN BROG G

Port ru ruckman u reflec c on a ects greatt career

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MATTHEW A THEW ATT PAVLICH VLICH VL

Six things h gs you hing h not ht no ot know might Freemantle’s aboutt Fremantle’s g me captain gam 250-game

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FROM THE BOTTOM TO THE TOP

Lessons for developing teams from those who have reshaped their clubs


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round 15, july 1-3, 2011

features featur 57 A look at centresquare players such as North’s Ryan Bastinac.

10 CROW’S 200TH Quiet achiever Michael Doughty celebr celebrates 200 games for Adelaide. Adel KATRINA GILL reports.

12 DEAN BROGAN B

Port Adelaide’s premiership ruckman will ca call it a day at the end of the 22011 season. KATRINA GILL reports.

regula regulars 4 7 25 53 70 74 76

Backcha Backchat The Bou Bounce Matchday Matchd Dream Team T Answer Man Kids’ Corner Co NAB AFL AF Rising Star

Gold Coast’s Da David Swallow.

78 Talking Point

Ted Hopkins be believes the AFL’s continuing stance stan on making the game safer is a high priority.

64 TEAM BUILDING Leigh Montagna and others: from ‘little fellas’ to earning their stripes.

THIS WEEK’S COVERS Eagle Nic Naitanui’s magnificent mark (national cover). There are also special covers for Richmond and Essendon home games this round.

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Your say on the world of football EDITOR’S LETTER

Patience is one of the keys

» It often appears preaching Give ‘Bomber’ some respect

As a Geelong fan, I hope our rk ‘Bomber r’ supporters give Mark ‘Bomber’ ect he Thompson the respect deserves when he walks on to Etihad Stadium at the quarter-time break this Saturday night. Anyy Cats o him fans tempted to boo his is the should remember this man who delivered us the mierships. 2007 and 2009 premierships. So what if his exit wasn’t naged? Thee perfectly stage-managed? ng is he most important thing realised it was time he moved elong are on. Both he and Geelong better off because he had the courage to make thee hard ng Cats call. That’s something eful for too. too. fans should be grateful RESPECT: A reader hopes Geelong fans will acknowledge former coach Mark Thompson this week while another was thrilled with the debut of Ian Callinan (middle) last week.

SID McENTEE, KEW, VIC.

Petrie now key y to Kangaroos

Drew Petrie deserves es a lot of credit crredit n able to come for the way he’s been l back from his broken ffeet last year. At 28, the big man is playing better footy than ever in 2011. I must admit I had my doubts about whether he was athletic enough to hold down a key-forward post permanently, but he’s proven me wrong. Emphatically! The way he’s holding his marks at the moment, I don’t think there’s a more important player on North’s list – ‘Boomer’ Harvey and Daniel Wells included. DAVID RINTOUL, BALLARAT, VIC.

GENERAL MANAGER, COMMERCIAL OPERATIONS Darren Birch AFL CORPORATE BUSINESS MANAGER Richard Simkiss AFL RECORD MANAGING EDITOR Geoff Slattery

AFL RECORD

Could Ian Callinan be this year’s James Podsiadly? We all saw the impact ‘J-Pod’ had as a 28-year-old debutant for the Cats last year. His effort to kick 49 goals in his first season after being rejected by AFL clubs for so long was heart-warming. Hopefully, ‘young’ Callinan can be just as good a story. Certainly, the parallels are there. Like ‘Podsy’, he made his debut at 28. And, like Podsy, he looked at home from the moment he

PRODUCTION EDITOR Michael Lovett WRITERS Nick Bowen, Ben Collins, Paul Daffey, Bruce Eva, George Farrugia, Katrina Gill, Ted Hopkins, Jordan Laing, Jonno Nash, Peter Ryan, Nathan Schmook, Ian Syson, Callum Twomey, Michael Whiting, Jennifer Witham SUB-EDITORS Gary Hancock, Howard Kotton, Michael Stevens

AFL RECORD EDITOR Peter Di Sisto

4

Callinan the next ‘J-Pod’

STATISTICIAN Cameron Sinclair

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took the field for Adelaide – 21 possessions and a goal is a good return for any first-gamer. All the best for the rest of the year, Ian. ROBERTA YARD, GLENELG, SA.

HAVE YOUR SAY

The best letter each round nd will receive the 2011 AFL Record Season Guide. Email aflrecordeditor@ slatterymedia.com or write to AFL Record, Slattery Media Group, 140 Harbour Esplanade, Docklands, VIC, 3008.

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Andrew Hutchison DEPUTY ART DIRECTOR Sam Russell DESIGNERS Alison Wright, Daniel Frawley PHOTO EDITORS Natalie Boccassini, Ginny Pike PRODUCTION MANAGER Troy Davis PRODUCTION COORDINATOR Stephen Lording DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Callum Senior

COMMERCIAL MANAGER Alison Hurbert-Burns NATIONAL SALES MANAGER – SPORT Shane Purss ACCOUNT MANAGERS Kate Hardwick, Callum Senior, Rebecca Whiting ADVERTISING SALES COORDINATOR Laura Mullins (03) 9627 2600 PHOTOGRAPHY Sean Garnsworthy, Michael Willson, Lachlan Cunningham, Tim Terry, Justine Walker, AFL Photos, (03) 9627 2600, aflphotos.com.au

patience in football is a futile exercise, such is our desire for instant success, either from our club or individual players, especially highprofile draftees. AFL Record writer Nick Bowen spent several weeks speaking with key people involved in developing recent premiership teams, including West Coast, Geelong, Hawthorn and Collingwood, as well as personnel from teams aiming to build towards a flag. Although the circumstances at each club varied, some common themes emerged, especially in interviews with those who built – or who are building their teams – via youth. The lessons are simple: clubs in this mode need time, patience and conviction. “There are a lot of hurdles along the way, sometimes there are some pretty significant roadblocks. But if you share that common view on where you need to go, then it’s very, very easy to make sure you continue to map out that journey,” Hawthorn premiership coach Alastair p C Clarkson said. In an accompanying feature on teams within a fe team, Peter Ryan analyses te tthe importance of the four players who line up in the p ccentre square for a bounce. PETER DI SISTO

PRINTED BY PMP Print ADDRESS CORRESPONDENCE TO The Editor, AFL Record, Ground Floor, 140 Harbour Esplanade, Docklands, Victoria, 3008. T: (03) 9627 2600 F: (03) 9627 2650 E: peterd@slatterymedia.com AFL RECORD, VOL. 100, ROUND 15, 2011 Copyright. ACN No. 004 155 211. ISSN 1444-2973, Print Post approved PP320258/00109


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EAGLE SOARS

Nic Naitanui describes his mark of the year contender.

10

MICHAEL DOUGHTY

The quietly spoken Crow reaches 200 games.

20

MATTHEW PAVLICH

Six things you don’t know about the 250-game star.

Just don’t make me wear the little shorts Meat Loaf to rock the Grand Final, p22

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Cats’ next generation confirms Wells’ eye for talent MICH A EL LOV ET T

W

hen the ground announcer read the changes to the Geelong side at Skilled Stadium last Sunday, it sounded like a day at the spring carnival after a heavy downpour. There were three late ‘scratchings’ and the Cats’ team that took the field against Adelaide was minus seven players from the previous week’s win over St Kilda. In terms of experience, out went 1161 games (Darren Milburn, Brad Ottens, Jimmy Bartel, James Kelly, Josh Hunt, Mathew Stokes and Nathan Vardy) and in came 183 games (Shannon Byrnes, Tom Hawkins, Tim Gillies, Allen Christensen, Dawson Simpson, Steven Motlop and Mitch Brown). Of those coming in, Byrnes had played 99 games and Hawkins 69. So how does the best-performed side of the past five years do it? To use another racing analogy, the Cats keep turning up at the AFL’s equivalent of the yearling sales – the NAB AFL Draft – and finding bargains. Their long-serving recruiting manager Stephen Wells runs his eye over the available talent

NEXT GENERATION: Youngsters

Dawson Simpson (left), Allen Christensen (middle) and Mitch Brown (right) with skipper Cameron Ling.

like Bart Cummings would inspect a staying prospect and, as Sunday’s game showed, the proof is on the scoreboard. This week, Wells took time from studying the next batch of young stars playing in the 2011 NAB AFL Under-18

There is no secret. It just comes back to good players STEPHEN WELLS

Championships to reflect on how he unearthed the talent the Cats turned out last Sunday, plus others who have been used at various times this season. MITCH BROWN (No. 15, 2008 draft): Made his debut last

Sunday and kicked three goals. “I first saw Mitch the year he was drafted. He played at Mentone Grammar, then played some TAC Cup football for the Sandringham AFL RECORD

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7


Player manager Alastair Lynch says Melbourne fans should be “optimistic” about seeing Tom Scully in a Demons jumper in 2012.

Dragons. He’s been unlucky with injuries in his first two years, but he has made the most of his opportunities.”

good attributes … he’s quick and is a nice kick. Did well for Vic Metro in 2008.”

ALLEN CHISTENSEN (No. 40, 2009 draft): Played his seventh game

Played 15 games and is a star in the making. “Made the 2009 (under-18) All-Australian team efender. Played a game of as a defender. seniorr footy for Central District at the end of 2009.””

last Sunday and gathered 26 disposals. “He was a good player for Vic Country in the year he was drafted and being a local (from Lara) didn’t hurt.” JOSH COWAN (No. 56, 2009):

DANIEL MENZEL (No. 17, 2009):

STEVEN EN MOTLOP (N (No. No. 39, 2009):: Played his se second econd game

Played two games earlier this season. “Missed the second half of his draft year with a broken thumb, but saw him play well in a final for North Ballarat.”

unday. “Saw him h in the last Sunday. r-16s with thee Northern under-16s ory. Played o n (AFL) Territory. on d Final day at the MCG Grand ooked at hom e.” and looked home.”

MITCH DUNCAN (No. 28, 2009):

DAWSON ON SIMPSON (No. ( 34, 2007): Played his th third ird game

Played eight games in 2010 and 11 this year. “Did a great job for Western Australia at the 2009 (under-18) championships. Played some senior footy for East Perth, which also helped him.” TOM GILLIES (No. 33, 2008):

Played six games in 2009 but had to wait until last week before returning to the AFL team. “Saw him play well in defence for the Dandenong Stingrays. Quite often played on the opposition’s best forward.” CAMERON GUTHRIE (No. 23, 2010): Played the first

two games of 2011. “Liked his versatility and he played well in a strong Calder Cannons side.” TAYLOR HUNT (No. 49, 2008):

Played 18 games in the past two seasons. “Had a lot of

LIST MANAGEMENT

Cats leading the way in resting stars PETER RYA N WARRIOR: Joel Corey is just one of two Cats to play every game this season.

unday. “Was a big lad back last Sunday. der-18s with th he Murray in under-18s the angers and sh howed he Bushrangers showed could compete.”

NATHAN AN VARDY (No (No. o. 42, 2009):

Played d five games this t year ooks a prospe ect. “Took and looks prospect. w Vic some good marks with try in 2009. Can C ruck or Country ward, so he was w one we go forward, encilled in.” had pencilled

pick in the Thee Cats’ first pick S (No. 2010 draft, Billie Smedts 15), iss injured and is unlikely 2012. So what to be seen until 2012. ls’ secret? “There “Th here is is Wells’ ret,” he said. no secret,” mes back to “It comes ifying) good (identifying) rs in the underunderrplayers nd watching 18s and them closely.”

G

eelong’s management of its playing list is proving one of the most fascinating aspects of the 2011 season. After 13 games, only two of its players – Joel Corey and Travis Varcoe – have dressed for every match. r possibility those There is a real two might ear tw earn a break before thee end of the season, too. C Corey is a 2 29-year-old veteran wh ho has played playe 226 games who wh hile Varcoe was recovering while fro om shoulde from shoulder surgery for much of tthe pre-season. pre-sea A th form is good, Although their it iss a long yea year for midfielders, par rticularly with w the new particularly su ubstitute rule. rul substitute The most recent r premiership te eam to take the field on Grand team Fi inal day without wit Final at least one pl layer in the line-up having player pl ayed every game was Essendon played in 1984, 1 a team known for its ver rsatility und versatility under Kevin Sheedy. T Bombe The Bombers were full of run nning too when w running it mattered, kic cking 9.6 (54) (5 in the last kicking qua arter to ove quarter overrun the Hawks, tur rning a thre turning three-quarter time defi ficit of 23 points po into a 24-point vic ctory. Geelo victory. Geelong appears to have bee en heading down this path been of p player man management since it lo ost the 2008 Grand Final to lost Ha awthorn, after aft it won all but one Hawthorn, gam me leading into the decider. game T year, the Cats had six That pla ayers in the Grand Final side players wh ho played every e who game (five pla ayed every game in 2007). played In 2009, that figure was red duced to tw reduced two – Joel Selwood

HUNGRY JACK’S MARK OF THE YEAR CONTENDER

Like a training drill as Eagle takes flight

» West Coast’s Nic Naitanui

took one of the great marks of the year last weekend, against Carlton at Etihad Stadium. Naitanui recalled resting as a deep forward when teammate Shannon Hurn took possession on the half-forward fl ank and kicked long to a contest. Contested marking has been a key to the Eagles’ resurgence in 2011, and Naitanui

8

AFL RECORD

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is used to being on the end of Hurn’s long bombs. “He kicked it long under pressure and I saw the chance to mark the ball and just jumped at it,” Naitanui said of his thrilling grab. “He kicks to me a fair bit at training, whether it be kick-ins or to the marking bag. We all have a crack at jumping on the blue marking bag, so it felt a bit like a training drill.

“I wasn’t really expecting to take a hanger. I just saw it coming in, read the flight, and I only took a couple of steps,” he said. “I don’t remember any of the guys boosting me up. I just attacked the footy.” The crowd roared as Naitanui fl ew, and again when a replay was shown on the scoreboards, but the young star was oblivious. He was

focused on capping the eff ort with a goal. “When guys take a big mark, they tend to have a bit more confidence to go back and kick the goal. Luckily it paid off,” he said. “Then it was my turn to come off so I was straight off to the bench. That’s probably where I heard the crowd the most. I didn’t want to come off.” NATH A N SCHMOOK


More than $200,000 raised for charity at this year’s Reclink Community Cup event in Melbourne.

Geelong has used only 33 players this season and Corey Enright – and last season no player on the Cats’ list played every game. Whether or not it was planning or circumstances that led to this outcome, there is no doubt the Cats had learned their lesson about peaking at the right time well before Chris Scott arrived as coach. Geelong has used only 33 players this season, three fewer than Carlton, Fremantle and Melbourne, but four more than another premiership contender Collingwood. The Hawks have also used 33 players while the Eagles have had just 32 players run out. It is the quality of the 33 players the Cats have used (or maybe it is the quality of the system those players have slotted into) that is the envy of most clubs. Many of the Cats’ seven changes for last Sunday’s game – with Fremantle’s seven the same weekend the equal-highest for the season – were forced, with Jimmy Bartel, James Kelly and Darren Milburn injured and Josh Hunt and Mathew Stokes suspended. Brad Ottens and Nathan Vardy were suffering general soreness and the opportunity to rest them was taken. Having players fresh

and available at the business end of the season in late September and early October is the priority. That is the luxury winning close games provides. As the season develops, team changes are becoming more frequent, with last week’s total of 54 by the 16 teams the highest for the season. The average number of changes a game is increasing as the season takes its toll (and clubs turn to young players), with the early-season average a game just below four steadily increasing to 6.75 a game. It’s no wonder Cats president Colin Carter suggested a month ago that a premiership medal should be awarded to all players on the club’s list. He knows every player on the list matters when it comes to qualifying in good enough shape to be fit and firing in finals.

Recent premiership teams Year

Club

Played Every Game

Players Used

2010

COLL

6

33

2009

GEEL

2

33

2008

HAW

5

31

2007

GEEL

5

31

2006

WC

3

34

2005

SYD

9

32

2004

PA

6

32

2003

BRIS

3

31

2002

BRIS

5

30

2001

BRIS

5

35

2000

ESS

4

31

SORRY: Justin Sherman issues his apology earlier this week.

No place for racism, says AFL

» The AFL has restated its

commitment to stamping out racism following Western Bulldog Justin Sherman’s four-match suspension for racially vilifying a Gold Coast opponent last weekend. Sherman will play the next four games in the VFL and donate $5000 to a charity after being ordered to attend a conciliation hearing as part of the AFL’s racial and religious vilification code. Sherman is the first player banned for breaching the code since St Kilda ruckman Peter Everitt was handed a four-game suspension and a $20,000 fine for vilifying Fremantle’s Scott Chisholm in 1999.

“It’s been a long time, fortunately, since we’ve had one of these cases and may it be a long time before we see one again,” the AFL’s general manager of football operations Adrian Anderson said. “There’s no place for it in football anymore. AFL is a game for everyone and we won’t tolerate this sort of behaviour. “It does beggar belief that a player in this day and age could racially vilify an opponent and I hope to never see it again.” Sherman apologised to the Gold Coast player and said he was “extremely ashamed and embarrassed by my actions. I recognise what I said was off ensive, degrading and very hurtful”. ADAM McNICOL

THIS IS AN EDITED VERSION OF A STORY FIRST PUBLISHED ON AFL.COM.AU

SOARING: Eagle Nic

Naitanui ‘s screamer from ground level.

PHOTOS: MICHAEL WILLSON/AFL PHOTOS

AFL RECORD

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9


ANZ Stadium management admits dmits it “failed” to provide a safe playing p ying surface, after metal pegs were found on the ground last week. pl pla

MILESTONES ROUND 15

QUIET ACHIEVER:

The club needs leadership and hopefully I provide that

Michael Doughty will reach his 200-game milestone in this round.

250 GAMES

MICHAEL DOUGHTY

Matthew Pavlich Fremantle

200 GAMES

Michael Doughty Adelaide Scott Jeffery umpire

AFL 200 CLUB

Michael Gardiner St Kilda Luke Hodge Hawthorn

150 GAMES

Nick Maxwell Collingwood

100 GAMES

200-GAME MILESTONE

No-fuss Crow a model of consistency K ATR INA GIL L

Sam Gilbert St Kilda Hamish McIntosh North Melbourne

50 GAMES

Nathan Krakouer Gold Coast Colin Garland Melbourne Todd Goldstein North Melbourne Matt de Boer Fremantle Chris Mayne Fremantle Jason Armstrong umpire The list includes those not necessarily selected but on the verge of milestones.

10

AFL RECORD

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M

ichael Doughty is set to play his 200th game this weekend, but it is easy to forget the Adelaide defender was nearly spat out of the AFL system before he had reached his full potential, and on more than one occasion. In the past four years, Doughty has been a model of consistency for the Crows. The reliable half-back and occasional midfielder has played 80 of the past 82 games, missing two matches earlier this season after receiving a nasty cork, which resulted in a bruise that covered his whole thigh. He has finished top-five in the best and fairest award in each of the past three seasons, with a career-best third last season. Doughty contributes every week without fanfare or recognition away from his club.

Despite playing at the highest level for 12 years, he is not a household name. In fact, some football folk still pronounce his surname wrong (it’s Dow-tee, not Doh-er-tee). He’s simply ‘Dogga’ to his mates. Early in Doughty’s career, the pronunciation of his name was the least of his worries. The promising South Adelaide junior was overlooked at the draft as an 18-year-old and forced to wait until 2000, when he was rookie-listed by Adelaide. After playing only five games in his first two years at West Lakes, he appeared to have his career on track in 2002, playing all 25 games, including three finals, but struggled when he was shifted from the wing to defence the next season. By the end of 2004, he had still not secured a place in the team. Doughty’s desire to make it at the elite level was also questioned. The then 25-year-old wasn’t a troublemaker, but his commitment to football wasn’t as strong as it should have been. Fortunately, the Crows showed patience and Doughty rewarded them by playing all but two games in 2005-06, including the preliminary final losses to West Coast. However, a knee injury hindered his

performance in 2007 and, when he was left out of the team for four of the last five games of the season, he found himself back at the crossroads. “I was contracted for another year, but I didn’t feel safe because my form hadn’t been great,” Doughty said at the time. “I’d battled injury and I was creeping up to the 30 mark, so I was on the edge, close to getting the axe.” Doughty got himself in peak physical shape and completed the best pre-season of his stop-start career, but the biggest change was in his attitude. “There was a turnaround in his behaviours, the way he thought about things, his core values,” coach Neil Craig said. “He reassessed and changed where he was at and I think that flowed over to his football.” Doughty’s new attitude was reflected in his form and also recognised by his peers, who voted him into the club’s leadership group in 2008. The softly spoken defender has since developed into a respected member of the team. Doughty’s leadership and consistency are more important to his team than ever, as the Crows build a team capable of challenging the best clubs. Doughty, who turns 32 in August, is the only player on Adelaide’s veteran list, but was confident he could play well past 200 games. “As long as you’ve still got that drive and desire to play, there’s no reason why you should stop, but that will be a decision I’ll sit down with the club and talk about later in the year,” he said. “The club needs leadership and hopefully I provide that for the younger players. I’ll just do as well as I can this week and try and help the club get out of the situation we’re in at the moment.”


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West Coast’s Quinten Lynch suspended one match for rough conduct against Carlton’s Marc Murphy.

BROGAN TO RETIRE

Tough career er ends with easy eassy y decision sion n

P

K ATR INA GIL LL

ort Adelaidee man Dean Deean ruckman gan said d his Brogan sion to decision nd of retire at the end as a the season was “no-brainer”, given ebuildin ng the path the rebuilding n underr club has taken ew Prim mus. coach Matthew Primus. 2, announced annou unced last Brogan, 32, sttep aside to Tuesday he would step er an opportunity op pportunity to give the Power p their next unearth and develop men. generation off ruckm ruckmen. ub to mo ove in the “For the club move n, they need to get right direction, an and new leader a new ruckman on beca ause I’m not in that position because here forr the next going to be there n said. premiership,”” Broga Brogan n important imporrtant “It’s such an position and you justt can’t throw

anybody in there. They need time. They need experience and there’s no point me being there. “All I want to do is see this club get back to where it m mea deserves to be. If that means me stepping away and d sspot someone taking my spot, h tha I’m comfortable with that because it’s time.” Brogan, who has been battling g several injur ries injuries, was a late withdrawall las last weekend a and won’t playy thi this round. It’ ’s It’s unclear how many m mor more appear ran appearances

Hawk pair relish playing the Pies » It is easy to see why Hawthorn is

viewed as a serious threat to Collingwood’s charge towards back-toback premierships, despite the Hawks’ injury list mounting each week. Hawthorn, in very good form, has won five of the clubs’ past six clashes since 2007 by an average of 35 points. Collingwood’s only victory in this period was last year in round four, when it won by 64 points. And it has been two players, Lance Franklin and Sam Mitchell, who have been central to the Hawks’ recent victories over the Magpies. In the five wins, Franklin has kicked 29 goals at an average of 5.8 a game. This includes hauls of six, five, eight, six and four goals. (He missed the loss.) The star forward kicks more goals (an average of 4.7 a game) against Collingwood than any other team in the competition. In Mitchell’s 186-game career, he averages 25 possessions a game. In the Hawks’

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STEPPING DOWN: Dean

Brogan will retire at the end of the season.

the 173-game veteran will make for Port Adelaide. Brogan, a member of a National Basketball League championship team with the Adelaide 36ers, started his AFL career on the rookie list in 2000. Initially, he was mocked for his decision to switch codes. “Everyone said, ‘You won’t do it. You’re not a footballer. You’re kidding yourself’,” Brogan said. “The way the game (football) has changed, it’s more for athletes now, and, with the amount of coaches you have and training you do, the skills come along with it. “The game is heading that way and, with the zones, it’s sort of like a massive game of basketball.” Brogan played in Port Adelaide’s 2004 Grand Final win over the Brisbane Lions, becoming the first athlete to win an NBL championship and an AFL premiership. “You don’t know how hard finals and Grand Finals are to get to until you’re where we are now (16th on the AFL ladder),” Brogan said. “It’s so much hard work and I was very lucky that when I got here, I was able to jump on. We used to win 17 games a season

past six encounters against againsst Collingwood, he hass been even more prolific, with an n average of 30 disposals. sals. The pair has polled led 17 of a possible 30 otes Brownlow Medal votes orn in those five Hawthorn n wins. It has been an n show. show w. incredible two-man ave However, both have been beneficiaries of tly matching up perfectly d when when it was still against Collingwood ked strong-bodied strrong-bodied developing and lacked ck, tall talll defenders. midfielders and quick, as had d 38 disposals Mitchell (who has m in each of his last three matches this year) and Franklin have exposed these areas in previous years as a the Magpies ards their th heir premiership p were building towards last season. Collingwood gwood d now has a mature core group of midfi mid dfielders and a her backline. ba ackline. The return retu urn strengthened, tougher of Chris Tarrant, playing aying primarily in defence, has helped d it further. furrther. CALLUM TWOMEY TWO OMEY

(We’ll miss) his love for the club MATTHEW PRIMUS

and I’m very lucky I can look back and say I was a part of that.” Port returned to the Grand Final in 2007 but was on the end of a 119-point loss to Geelong. “It was probably one of the worst days of my life. The journey to get there was pretty incredible, coming from nowhere with new players popping up and playing well, but it’s something I don’t want to touch on too much. I’ve still got scars from that,” he said. Primus said the club would miss Brogan’s leadership, as much as it would miss his ruckwork. “His passion and his want to make this club better have been nothing short of extraordinary. He’s left a legacy here,” Primus said. “(We’ll miss) his love for the club and ability to want to drag everyone else along and make them better better.”

TWO-MAN SHOW: Lance

Franklin (left) and Sam Mitchell produce their best when they meet Collingwood.


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AFL RECORD PROMOTION

Tiger vision taking shape

A

little over a year ago, Richmond had lost nine consecutive games and was firmly grounded on the bottom of the ladder. There was talk of special draft concessions, even dire predictions about whether the once-great club would survive. Around that time, the AFL Record sat down with CEO Brendon Gale, who explained a vision for “transformational change” at Tigerland that was both exceedingly ambitious and optimistic. With the exciting young Tigers now in finals contention, Gale’s vision is proving to be rather prophetic. But to make the “quantum leap” and “break the cycle”, as Gale termed it, Richmond has some way to go – hence the Fighting Tiger Fund. Launched in February, the initiative aims to raise $6 million over 12 months, which will help to retire the club’s debt of about $4.5 million. Gale says the fund will also support a commercially viable, properly resourced football program “that is competitive on a

LEADING THE FIGHT: Skipper Chris

Newman is confident the Tigers are heading in the right direction.

sustained basis, that plays in finals and ultimately wins premierships”. His first priority is redeveloping Punt Road Oval into an AFL-standard training ground, built to the dimensions of Etihad Stadium. The extra money will also allow the Tigers to pay 100 per cent of the salary cap, so they can retain their young stars and recruit via free agency, while Gale

also foresees investment in everything from sports science to a possible reserves side. Richmond has already raised about $2.5 million, and those who have donated more than $5000 have had their names embroidered on the jumper worn by the Tigers this weekend against Carlton. The blockbuster clash is also the centrepiece of Gale’s strategy to

escalate fundraising efforts – supporters will be encouraged to make donations and bid in auctions, while “the proceeds from the game that are above budget will be designated to the Fighting Tiger Fund”. Skipper Chris Newman has no doubt the Tiger Army will respond. “I think the supporters feel what the players feel at the moment, that we’ve got some really good direction,” he says. “They’re definitely the most loyal supporters out there. We just hope to keep improving, to be really competitive, and to show the supporters we are going places and that we’re on the right path.”

YOU ARE OUR 19TH MAN! We thank our members and supporters for their continued support of the Fighting Tiger Fund, which is vital for our future success. Donate today at Gates 1, 3 and 5 or online at fightingtigerfund.com.au 14

AFL RECORD

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Fremantle midfielder Michael Barlow extends contract to end of 2014 season.

UNDER-18 CHAMPIONSHIPS

Tasmania breaks the ice for timely win JOR DA N L A ING A ND MICH A EL W HITING

LIVELY: Brody

Mihocek was busy with 24 disposals for Tasmania.

T

asmania and Queensland scored wins in the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships games played last weekend. Impressive performances by John McKenzie and Ben Brown helped Tasmania record its first victory of the carnival, by 18 points over NSW/ACT at Aurora Stadium in Launceston. Ruckman Brown dominated all over the t ground, with 12 pos ssessio and 12 hit-outs possessions bef fore in before injuring his shoulder early in the t third th term. M eelder McKenzie elevated Midfi hi is draf his draft prospects with a sc cintill scintillating first half (19 dispos d disposals and 25 for the match). Brody M B Mihocek was lively with 24 posse possessions and seven marks and d Julia Julian Dobosz was also infl fluenti uential with four goals. NSW/ N NSW/ACT trailed by 46 points at tthe las last change but rallied to gett to within wi two kicks, with Tom Ste evens tthe catalyst. Stevens Forwa F Forward Jack Lynch (one goa al) and an Beau Black were also goal) str ong contributors. co strong Highly rated Queensland H hal lf-bac Jackson Allen helped half-back hiss team to a 38-point win

over the Northern Territory at Metricon Stadium. Allen had 10 disposals in the first quarter, 11 in the second and finished with 30 and 12 marks in a dominant display. After a tight contest all day – the host team led by seven, nine and 12 points at the changes – the Scorpions powered away with six goals to two in the final term. They dominated possession (368-254 disposals and 127-72 marks) and deserved the final margin. Allen ran without an opponent for much of the day and made the Territory pay with his superb ball use. The AFL’s national talent manager Kevin Sheehan was full of praise for the 18-year-old. “His elite kicking was superb,” Sheehan said. “He showed he could take an overhead mark by standing on their shoulders in the first quarter and his work from setting up the game in the back half was super. “He was the most influential player on the field.” Tom Fields, son of former Essendon player Neville, continued his strong carnival with 27 disposals and 13 marks.

Midfielder Tom Overington worked hard and finished with 31 disposals. Gibson Turner kept the Northern Territory in contention in the first half with three goals, and finished with four. Midfielder Jed Anderson was kept quiet in the first quarter by Richard Newell but worked his way into the match. Vic Metro was due to play South Australia and Vic Country was to meet Western Australia in division one games early on Friday afternoon (July 1) at Skilled Stadium in Geelong. And on Saturday, the Northern Territory was set to take on Tasmania and Queensland was to face NSW/ACT at Visy Park in Carlton. The carnival ends next week, with Vic Metro meeting Vic Country (5.35pm) and South Australia playing Western Australia (7.35pm) at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne on Wednesday, July 6. The following day at Skilled Stadium, Queensland faces Tasmania (12.15pm) and the Northern Territory battles NSW/ACT (2.30pm). THIS IS AN EDITED VERSION OF STORIES PUBLISHED ON AFL.COM.AU

WIN – THE ULTIMATE

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SHORT STORY COMPETITION BROUGHT TO YOU BY VIRGIN AUSTRALIA

The 2011 AFL Record Short Story Competition is open to all football enthusiasts. We’re looking for the ultimate short story on the 2022 AFL World Rules. Entries must be previously unpublished and no longer than 2000 words. The winning entry will be published in the 2011 Toyota AFL Grand Final Record. THE SHORT STORY COMPETITION HAS TWO GOALS: 1. To promote fine short story fiction

about Australian Football. 2. To fantasise about the future of Australian Football. THE TOPIC

AFL 2022: the game has gone international, with professional teams playing in Zones across Asia, Europe, America, South America, the Pacific and Australia. Every four years, the world unites to play for the AFL World Rules. This is the story of the 2022 World Rules – the second since the inaugural event held in Australia in 2018, to celebrate the 160th anniversary of the birth of the game. The first AFL World Rules was won by a team from Japan, beating Australia by two points (15.10.100 to 14.14.98) before 101,200 people at the MCG. The event is held from October 15 to November 20.

1ST 2ND 3RD

THE STORY MUST INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING ELEMENTS:

How the game became international. The Australian team is drawn from all leagues, including the AFL. The game took off internationally from 2013 with huge crowds across the globe. Writers can concentrate on one Zone, describing the impact of the game on the local culture and how it has overtaken soccer as the “world game”. The story can take the reader anywhere – from a team perspective, from an individual perspective, preparing for the series, the final ... Let your imagination run wild. The Laws of The Game are broadly the same, but innovations can be included in the text. Preliminary events must be held internationally. Total word count must not exceed 2000 words, but must not be less than 1000 words.

2 V AUSTRALIA RETURN INTERNATIONAL PREMIUM ECONOMY FLIGHTS TO LOS ANGELES 2 PACIFIC BLUE RETURN INTERNATIONAL ECONOMY FLIGHTS TO FIJI 2 VIRGIN AUSTRALIA RETURN DOMESTIC ECONOMY FLIGHTS

WIN !

Competition entry closes midnight, August 7 For entry and terms and conditions visit aflrecord.com.au/shortstory

the official airline of the AFL


Carlton defender Michael Jamison set to miss a month th with torn meniscus in left knee.

THE LEGEND OF BUNTON

A champion who was a step ahead of the game BRUCE E VA

T

here’s been discussion this year about the possibility of Chris Judd joining the exclusive club of triple Brownlow medallists. Next Tuesday, July 5, is the centenary of the birth of the great Haydn Bunton – the ďŹ rst of only four players to have won three Brownlow Medals, the ďŹ rst two won in his ďŹ rst 32 games across two seasons as a rover for Fitzroy. Making the feat even more extraordinary is the fact the ’Roys won only seven games in Bunton’s medal-winning campaigns of 1931 and 1932, ďŹ nishing 10th of 12 on both occasions. The brilliant on-baller missed four games in ’32 (rounds 12-15 with a leg injury), but polled votes

STAR OF HIS DAY:

Next Tuesday marks rks the centenary of n the birth of Haydn Bunton, one of thee all-time greats of the game.

in 11 of his 14 matches for a total of 23 and a commanding seven-vote win.. Chased by every League club except Collingwood, Bunton had been signed by Fitzroy for a then astronomical ďŹ gure of more ds, but than 200 pounds, was refused a permit to play in 1930 due to the VFL’s Coulter Law restricting player payments. He returned home to Albury each weekend to play throughout that season. Bunton made his League debut in 1931 aged 19, the ďŹ rst season the ďŹ eld umpire awarded

votes to the three fairest and best players on the ground. He pipped Footscray’s Allan Hopkins by a vote (26-25) for the medal. (The Bulldog was awarded a retrospective Brownlow in 1989 for his tie in 1930 with Stan Judkins and Harry Collier.)

Following Bunton’s rrunaway victory in 1932, h he won again in 1935 (by eeight votes), having ďŹ nished rrunner-up by a vote to Essendon’s D Dick Reynolds in 1934. It was the ďŹ rst of Reynolds’ t three medals (he also won in 1937-38), with Bob Skilton (1959, ’63 and ’68) and Ian S Stewart (1965-66 and ’71) c completing the quadrella of t three-time winners. After seven seasons and 117 g games with Fitzroy, Bunton m moved to Perth and won three S Sandover Medals (1938-39 a ’41) playing for Subiaco in and t WAFL. Due to war service, the h returned to Melbourne and he p played two more games for the ’ ’Roys, in 1942. Noted for his humility, the c champion once said: “When I a playing well, I seem to have am f functioning some faculty by which I know, even before I have gathered in the ball, the one right move I must make.â€? Bunton died from injuries received in a car accident north of Adelaide in September 1955. He was 44. He is one of only 23 Legends in the Australian Football Hall of Fame.

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MELBOURNE’S OWN AFL RECORD

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17


AFL RECORD PROMOTION WHAT THE FANS SAY

» Merna Slattery, who

Fans play key role for Bombers

B

omber fans have long been a force to be reckoned with. And this year, more than 50,000 of them have signed up as Essendon members. Life member and former Essendon player

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AFL RECORD

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Steve Alessio knows what it is like to play in front of large crowds. He says big crowds at home games create a fantastic atmosphere. “In big games, like the Anzac Day match against Collingwood, players can’t even hear themselves speak,” he says. He fondly recalls players often interacting with fans at training. “There were lots of familiar faces in the crowd. Those were the diehard and

dedicated fans who were at the ground every ry week,” week he says. “On behalf of the playing group, I want to say thank you to our members. Your support gives us so much and we want you to know how much we appreciate it.” JOBE WATSON, ESSENDON CAPTAIN

has been an Essendon member for almost 70 years, says she loves the friendliness of the players. One of her favourite memories was the 2000 season, when the Bombers won the premiership in emphatic style, and she fondly recalls the Kevin Sheedy era. “Sheedy really encouraged everybody,” she says. Joanna Hornstra lists the back-to-back premierships in 1984-85 as her favourite Essendon memories, and says her favourite match of the season is the round-one clash, when there is so much excitement and anticipation. She also loves how “Essendon is such a traditional, family-oriented club”. Chris Burke, a cheer squad member, appreciates the culture at Essendon and regularly travels interstate to attend matches. “I attempt to go to every game, and Perth is just another part of the fixture.”


You can y into Etihad by tram, train or car. THERE ARE THREE WAYS TO TRANSPORT YOURSELF QUICKLY IN AND OUT OF DOCKLANDS FOR THE FOOTY.

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A simple and effective way to access Docklands is via public transport. Etihad Stadium is located next to Southern Cross Station and is serviced by six trams, the free City Circle tram and four buses. If travelling by car, the best route is via the state arterial, Wurundjeri Way, which travels from the east to west side of the CBD.

1 2 3

TRAM TRAIN CAR


This year’s Australia-Ireland International Rules matches to be played on October 28 (Etihad Stadium) and November 4 (TBC).

BLANKET APPEAL SIX THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT…

250 GAMES

Matthew Pavlich

» Since being recruited by

Fremantle with the fourth selection in the 1999 draft, Matthew Pavlich has become one of the game’s most celebrated – and scrutinised sc t se – players. playe s It’s a point illustrated by his last month of football, which drew criticism for below-par performances, whispers of an injury and, finally, praise for a best-on-ground eff ort against the Brisbane Lions last weekend. Revered at Fremantle for his professionalism,

roundly admired a for his loyalty and holdi holding a unique place for being selected sele in the All-Australian team in fo four different positions (as well as tw twice on the interchange), tthere’s e e s no not much else to say about one of the t modern era’s most outstanding outstan ndi players. Ahea Ahead ad of his 250th game this weekend, weeken nd, the AFL Record dug up six thin things ngs you might not know about tthe Fremantle captain.

1

T Sacred Heart College The student sstu was a talented all-round alla cricketer and toured South Africa as part of a So combin ned private schools team. combined

2 3

His first job, as a 15-year-old, was selling 115iice cream by the sea in Adelaid Adelaide de suburb s Glenelg. On hour into his first One training session with tra Fremantle, at Aquinas Fr Coll College leg in 1999, he passed out.

4

He has completed a bachelor of science (human movement) degree and is i embarking on a master of business administration qualifi qua cation at the University of Western Wes W Australia.

5 6

ALL-ROUNDER:

Matthew Pavlich has done it all, from kicking goals, to completing his degree ... and he fancies himself as a karaoke singer.

His father Steve was a terrific player for SANFL ter club West Torrens. clu

S Some So former teammates claim Pavlich fancies himself ccla as a better singer than Pearl a Jam’s E Eddie dd Vedder, singing the band’s popular pop p song Better Man at every k kara karaoke opportunity.

PHOTO: LACHLAN CUNNINGHAM /AFL PHOTOS

NATHAN SCHMOOK

Piiees Pies P es ssp spreading prea pr ead adi din ng ng the warmth » Collingwood forward

Travis Cloke and teammates Alan Toovey, Tyson Goldsack and Cameron Wood recently toured Melbourne streets after dark with the Salvation Army in a bid to spread some warmth and generosity to those less fortunate. The foursome spent time at various locations and in the Salvation Army outreach van, a refurbished coach where homeless youths can relax, use the internet, watch television, play video games, have something to eat and drink, and generally get away from the often isolated and difficult life they lead. Cloke, who wants to do more work with the Salvos, said the experience had been a “real eye opener”. The Magpies are raising awareness of homelessness this weekend by accepting donations of blankets. Donations can also be made at Crazy John’s outlets or online at facebook. com/bringablanketday or salvationarmy.org.au/ jasonbringablanketday. JENNIFER WITHAM

20

AFL RECORD

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Western Bulldogss fined $5000 ($2500 suspended) after their runner stayed on the ground grou too long in the round 13 match.

ENTERTAINMENT

Meat Loaf to rock Grand Final

ROCK ICON: Meat Loaf will perform at this year’s AFL Grand Final.

Thumbs up for new Perth stadium » The West Australian

M

eat Loaf, the artist responsible for the third-biggest selling record of all time, will perform at this year’s Toyota AFL Grand Final at the MCG. “What better way to kick off my Australian tour than to play at the AFL Grand Final. I hope to see you there – just don’t make me wear the little shorts,” Meat Loaf said this week. Meat Loaf’s 1977 album Bat Out Of Hell has sold more than 43 million copies worldwide. It is still the No. 1 selling international album in Australia with more than 1.6 million copies sold. Bat Out Of Hell helped transform Meat Loaf from a stage actor into a rock icon. The AFL’s general manager of commercial operations Darren Birch said securing one of the top-selling solo artists in rock music was fantastic for AFL supporters. “It is extremely important to provide members and supporters attending and watching the Grand Final a quality experience,” Birch said. “Our thanks go to Carlton Draught for helping secure the pre-match entertainment. “The positive reaction to last year’s Grand Final performance paved the way for another international icon and I’m confident Meat Loaf will add enormously to the occasion this year.”

I hope to see you there – just don’t make me wear the little shorts MEAT LOAF

Meat Loaf will also perform post-match at Centre Square, the corporate hospitality village located in Birrarung Marr. For more information on Centre Square, visit centresquare.com.au. Meat Loaf’s Grand Final appearance will coincide with his Australian ‘Guilty

Pleasure’ tour, which starts in Wollongong on Tuesday, October 4. Promoter Frontier Touring is offering AFL Record readers the chance to win two tickets to an Australian show of their choice (conditions apply). For your chance to win, go to frontiertouring.com.

NEW WINTER RANGE AVAILABLE NOW. DIRECT FROM YOUR CLUB. 22

AFL RECORD

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Government’s decision to build a new major stadium in time for the 2018 AFL season has been welcomed by all levels of football, with AFL Commission chairman Mike Fitzpatrick describing it as a boost for the game. West Australian Premier Colin Barnett announced last Tuesday that the multi-purpose stadium would be built on the Burswood Peninsula with a capacity of 60,000 and the ability to expand to 70,000. The $700 million venue, with the working name ‘Perth Stadium’, will be modern and iconic with lighting that will “dress” the stadium in the home team’s colours. It is unclear if the unique ground dimensions of Patersons Stadium would be replicated, but Fremantle CEO Steve Rosich said his club would have input into that. Rosich said Fremantle would work with the State Government and the stadium steering committee to ensure the club benefited financially as a new tenant. West Coast chairman Alan Cransberg, whose club has a seated membership waiting list of almost 8000, said he was delighted with the decision to build a world-class stadium. Patersons Stadium will be retained as a football venue, potentially hosting WAFL matches and pre-season games. NATHAN SCHMOOK


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*Terms and conditions apply. See participating outlets for details. Cash or credit card sales only. Monthly competitions closes and is drawn at Margo’s at 10am on 30/06/11, 01/08/11, 31/08/11, 30/09/11, 31/10/11, 30/11/11, 04/01/12, 01/02/12, 01/03/12, 02/04/12, 1/05,12 and 31/05/12. Winner will be notified by telephone and mail with details published in the Herald Sun on 08/07/11, 05/08/11, 05/09/11, 08/10/11, 09/11/11, 09/12/11, 13/01/12, 10/02/12, 09/03/12, 09/04/12, 09/05/12, 08/06/12. East2West, Margo’s, Shò Noodle Bar, Tia To, Riverside Café & Restaurant are on the main gaming floor, patrons must be over 18 years. Crown practises responsible service of alcohol. Private box provided by Top Shelf Management. #Limit of one per person and per ticket. Total number available 1,000 for the 2011 season. Offer valid while stocks last. After any round 15 AFL game, show your AFL match tickets at Sports Bar at Crown to redeem a free inflatable Sherrin mini-football.


essendon is all in Your team, your shirt, your stories We searched for the ultimate Bombers fan and we found you. Congratulations to Curtis McGlone, winner of the adidas all access competiton

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CENTRE-SQUARE SPECIALISTS

GETTING THE

BALL ROLLING

They are a football team’s fab four – the centre square quartet at each bounce who, working as a unit, are the key to a game’s outcome. PETER RYA N OUT OF THE MIDDLE: Three of North Melbourne’s centre square specialists (from left) Jack Ziebell, Levi Greenwood and Andrew Swallow move the ball clear of Port Adelaide’s David Rodan last week.

D

on’t underestimate the importance of centre clearances for a second. Fremantle coach Mark Harvey’s comment after the Dockers’ round-10 loss to St Kilda sums up the feeling inside clubs: “That’s the best one to win: the centre square.” You only need watch Melbourne’s clearance specialist Brent Moloney at a centre bounce to know he believes that comment to be true.

He hunts the ball with ferocity. And he often wins it. “Obviously, with (ruckman) Mark Jamar in there, it gives me a lot of confidence to run at the footy. A lot of the time I know where it is going and I have the confidence in him putting it in that spot.” Moloney is one-quarter (albeit a very effective quarter) of a team within a team, a starting four pitted against the opposition’s centre square specialists. In that sporting furnace, it is not just see the ball, get the ball. The best starting

AFL RECORD

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57


centre-square specialists fours – such as Geelong’s or Collingwood’s – work as a collective, blocking, hunting the ball, holding their position, tackling, and running to space. “It’s a mind game,” Moloney said. “They (opponents) pretty much know where you are going to hit it as well, so it’s all about timing, holding your ground and protecting space.” The purpose of systems in football is to multiply the value of the individual, increasing the team’s overall output. An effective system is also more predictable, less susceptible to the ebbs and flows inevitably part of individual performance. Yep, a champion team surely will beat a team of champions. Nowhere on the ground do we get a better snapshot of this reality than at a centre bounce. It’s a microcosm of the synchronised teamwork expected all over the ground. Players need to switch in an instant from attack, to defence, to providing coverage, to receiving the ball. Those four who work together will be more effective than those working as individuals. Some combinations attack better, others defend, others can neutralise the contest. “It’s like the quarterback’s huddle (in NFL games) where they say the play and then break,” Moloney said of the conversations that happen between starting fours before each centre bounce. Champion Data knows it is the starting-four collective that produces the outcome, hence it measures the performances of starting-four combinations, measuring each quartet’s clearances for and against, ability to create second stoppages, as well as scores for and against. As well as seeing which combination attacks best, protects a lead or neutralises the contest, clubs can see which individuals work together well, who adds and who detracts from the team’s performance in winning centre clearances. These numbers might not attract as many headlines as individual clearances, but it is this data that interests midfield coaches. When assessing clearances, ‘who’ is as important as ‘how’. Eventually, good midfields 58

AFL RECORD

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ON TARGET: A well-directed hit-out

from Melbourne ruckman Mark Jamar gives Brent Moloney (No. 22) the chance to hold his ground.

learn the truth of collective that sprint cyclists play at a action, understanding that it velodrome, there’s more than becomes easier to take in the one variable in play. four dimensions of football “It’s about using your body – space, your teammate, the in ways that protect the space opposition where the and the ball – ball’s going and respond to go and appropriately in there’s also given situations an element the longer you are of which around the same ruckman’s teammates. going to win Read how North it so you Melbourne’s Jack have to have Ziebell explains those bases BRENT MOLONEY what he faces at a covered, too,” stoppage and you he said. can almost picture him taking Change from an individual in the four dimensions. mindset to a collective one does “Around the stoppages, it’s not happen overnight. The mostly about just getting inside comments from even the most (between your man and the team-oriented players such as ball) at the right times. (Your North Melbourne star Andrew opponent is) trying to get in Swallow reveal the battle that front of you and you’re trying occurs within everyone’s mind. to get in front of them, so “It’s always nice to look up and you’ve got to work to run at the see you have some nice stats,” right time without getting too Swallow said. “But in the end, close to the ruckman, so it’s a it’s about winning for the team, bit of a game,” Ziebell said. so it’s a lot more enjoyable when Although what he is you’re winning even if your describing sounds like the (individual) statistics aren’t as game of cat and mouse great as they could be.”

It’s all about timing, holding your ground and protecting space

Admittedly, Swallow made a fair fist of turning things into a one-man show against Adelaide in round 11 when the ball appeared to follow him around at clearances, but it wasn’t a coincidence that Levi Greenwood had returned a week earlier to bolster the midfield. Swallow said midfield depth had a big impact. The return of Greenwood and Ryan Bastinac was critical to North Melbourne going from being competitive to winning consistently. “Having Levi as well gives us a bit of extra size and he’s got a great motor. So that allows us to rotate and really keep the pressure on at the source,” he said. The return of Tom Scully and Jordie McKenzie to Melbourne’s midfield has been a big factor in the Demons’ recent consistency, too. “The more guys we can get through there the better off we can be,” Moloney said. Leading the competition (see table page 62) in creating scoring opportunities is the North Melbourne combination of Todd Goldstein, Swallow,


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centre-square specialists Ben Cunnington and Daniel Wells. But North also has depth, with Ziebell, Greenwood, Ryan Bastinac, Brent Harvey, Liam Anthony and Leigh Adams all capable of taking their turn in the centre square. Swallow said players working through that space understand their roles: “We want to get blokes into space and get them free but, if we can’t, we’re happy just to kick it in as quickly as we can because you’ve got more chance of kicking into a one-on-one than into an outnumbered situation.” Emerging midfield groups at North Melbourne and

We want to get blokes into space and get them free ANDREW SWALLOW

ime together to Melbourne need time g to damaging. go from promising ntually the Ziebell said eventually shift that happenss is one where nication constant communication is required, with players ther what thei ir reminding each other their toppage, to roles are at each stoppage, mmunication one where less communication y. becomes necessary. That’s when thee implied g (often unstated) understanding ng great that happens among omes combinations becomes any ways, entrenched. In many he way in this Geelong showed the area. The more thee Cats worked as a team, the moree individual plaudits came theirr way. ood followed Then Collingwood with a damaging group, te more insidee combining to create 50s a match than we had ever thought possible. Those old pros, the Sydney Swans, remain as steady and as good as ever, while the gled in this Saints have struggled ce of Lenny area in the absence el Gardiner, Hayes and Michael and are spending a year pace. reinventing that space. nge for Now the challenge those chasing the big five wood, (Geelong, Collingwood, n and Carlton, Hawthorn West Coast) is to develop

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PERFECTION-PLUS KANGAROOS

The system at work Early in the third quarter of last week’s game between Port Adelaide and North Melbourne, there was a 15-second patch of football from the Kangaroos that was a good example of a perfect centre square clearance (and the important role each player had). It is hard to imagine being able to script a scene better. The ball was bounced in the centre. As it reached its highest point, Jack Ziebell moved and stepped in front of Matt Thomas, blocking him from the ball. At the same time, Todd Goldstein outleaped Daniel Stewart, his left arm raised to tap the ball right towards Levi Greenwood, who had shaken off Travis Boak and was already on the move. Greenwood’s momentum allowed him to steal the ball THAT WORKED: Roos Andrew

Swallow (left) and Jack Ziebell played a major role extracting the ball for a crucial goal last week.

from Matthew Broadbent’s hands. Broadbent was static because he was worried about letting Andrew Swallow, a clearance master, near the ball. Coming off the wing were Kane Cornes and Ryan Bastinac. Bastinac trusted Greenwood to get the ball and waited back, while Cornes had committed himself to stopping the charging Greenwood. Greenwood handballed into open space and the ball landed behind Bastinac, who took possession and kicked on his left foot to a leading Cameron Pederson. Greenwood, Ziebell and Bastinac kept running, giving Pederson several handball options. In the vernacular, it is called a ‘spread’ and takes concentration, good decision-making and, when the lungs are screaming, courage to keep pushing. Pederson handballed inside to the running Bastinac who kicked, this time using his right foot, to Aaron Edwards who marked in front of opponent Jackson Trengove. Ziebell and Greenwood’s running i went unrewarded in terms of a possession, but anyone watching the

Predictability is a big focus for us BRAD SCOTT

game live – and particularly the coaching staff – would have recognised it because it showed individuals prepared to “run in case”, a habit that turns good teams into great teams. Swallow was the same, standing at Edwards’ feet as he marked. The midfield had done what was expected. “The quicker you can get it in, the more chance you have of having an even-number situation up the field,” Swallow said. “We’re happy just to kick it in anyway and try to press in and hold the footy up in our forward half.” forw When the ball was bounced, W there was 16 minutes, 35 ther seco seconds of the third quarter remaining. When Edwards rema took the mark, there were 16 minu minutes, 20 seconds left. On the North Melbourne bench were Ben Cunnington, benc Dani Daniel Wells and Leigh Adams, leaving the job in capable leav hands, resting, ready to take up hand baton when it was handed the b to th them. In statistical terms, Goldstein would have recorded a hit-out, woul Gree Greenwood the centre clearance and handball, Bastinac a handball receive and a couple hand kicks, Pederson a mark and of ki handball and Edwards a a han mark, a kick and, because he mark never misses (does he?), a goal. neve (Edwards has 24 goals and two (Edw behinds for the season). behi Importantly, the GoldsteinIm Greenwood-Swallow-Ziebell Gree combination had created a score com by working w together. The system had prevailed, employed with skill, discipline and fitness. skill Be Belief in the system is the reason why North Melbourne reas coach Brad Scott said after the coac gam game: “Predictability is a big focus for us.” focu


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centre-square specialists experience and understanding to match those teams. North Melbourne and Melbourne are the leaders among the chasing group that includes Richmond, Essendon and Gold Coast. That’s why coaches plead for time, for patience, for people to hold their nerve. That’s why North Melbourne and Melbourne know, regardless of results, the need for improvement is ongoing. Moloney is relishing that prospect. He is a student of the stoppages who watches the best go about their business in order to learn how to enjoy the responsibility he and his teammates have to get the ball going in the right direction. “It’s a challenge every week. It’s great. That’s why you play.”

Best starting combinations by team Adelaide: Sam Jacobs, Scott

Geelong: Brad Ottens, Joel

Thompson, Brent Reilly, Richard Douglas

Selwood, Joel Corey, James Kelly

Brisbane Lions: Matthew

Gold Coast: Zac Smith, David

Leuenberger, Simon Black, Jack Redden, James Polkinghorne

Carlton: Robert Warnock,

Chris Judd, Marc Murphy, David Ellard

Collingwood*: Darren Jolly,

Dane Swan, Scott Pendlebury, Luke Ball Essendon*: Tom Bellchambers,

Jobe Watson, Sam Lonergan, Heath Hocking

Fremantle*: Aaron Sandilands, David Mundy, Matthew Pavlich, Matt de Boer

Richmond: Andrew Browne,

Daniel Jackson, Dustin Martin, Trent Cotchin

St Kilda**: Ben McEvoy,

David Armitage, Clinton Jones, Jack Steven

Swallow, Michael Rischitelli, Gary Ablett

Sydney Swans: Shane Mumford,

Jude Bolton, Kieren Jack, Jarrad McVeigh

Hawthorn: Max Bailey,

Brad Sewell, Sam Mitchell, Jordan Lewis

West Coast: Dean Cox,

Daniel Kerr, Matt Priddis, Scott Selwood

Melbourne*: Mark Jamar,

Brent Moloney, Jordan Gysberts, Jordie McKenzie

Western Bulldogs: Ben Hudson,

North Melbourne: Todd

Callan Ward, Matthew Boyd, Ryan Griffen

Port Adelaide: Matthew Lobbe,

*Jobe Watson, David Mundy, Aaron Sandilands, Darren Jolly and Mark Jamar are included, despite missing extended periods of 2011 through injury.

Goldstein, Andrew Swallow, Jack Ziebell, Daniel Wells

Travis Boak, Hamish Hartlett, Domenic Cassisi

**St Kilda’s clearance specialist Lenny Hayes played only two games in 2011.

A statistical measure: successful combinations (in terms of scoring) Times at bounce

Scores for (%)

Scores against (%)

No score (%)

Todd Goldstein + Andrew Swallow + Ben Cunnington + Daniel Wells (North Melbourne)

16

31.3

6.3

62.5

Tom Bellchambers + Ben Howlett + Heath Hocking + Jobe Watson (Essendon)

21

28.6

0

71.4

Darren Jolly + Dane Swan + Luke Ball + Sharrod Wellingham (Collingwood)

17

29.4

0

70.6

SOURCE: CHAMPION DATA. CENTRE-SQUARE COMBINATIONS HAD TO HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN AT LEAST 15 CENTRE BOUNCES.

"LACKWOODSÏÏ.ORTHÏ-ELBOURNE !Ï7INNINGÏ#OMBINATIONÏ)NÏ "LACKWOODSÏSUPPLIESÏ !LLÏ9OURÏ7ORKPLACEÏ.EEDSÏ INCLUDINGÏGREATÏBRANDSÏSUCHÏAS

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DEVElOpINg A GrOUP Of PrOmISINg YOUNgStErS INtO THe NUCLeUS Of A PrEmIErSHIP TeAM ReQUIReS TIMe, PAtIEnCE AND COnVICTIOn, BUT THE JOURnEY CAN ULtIMATeLY Be ReWARDINg. NICK BoWEn

rom round 10, 2002, an exciting young Geelong team won seven games in a row. Sixteen of the 22 players who would be part of the Cats’ 2007 premiership team played in at least one of those wins. They included youngsters Joel Corey, Paul Chapman, Cameron Ling, Corey Enright, Jimmy Bartel – then known as James – Gary Ablett, James Kelly and Steve Johnson. Geelong’s victims in this run included one of that season’s Grand Finalists, Collingwood, and three other finalists, Essendon, Melbourne and West Coast. Under coach Mark Thompson, the Cats were playing an exhilarating brand of football. At the end of the streak, after round 16, they sat fifth on the ladder, just percentage outside the top four. However, they won just one more game for the season – against 15-placed St Kilda by one point – to finish ninth. Their losses included a 45-point humbling at the hands of 13th-placed Fremantle.

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Still, it seemed a promising season. And, after investing heavily in youth at the 1999 and 2001 drafts, logic suggested Geelong’s young squad would continue to improve the following year. It was not to be. The Cats won just two games in 2003’s first 10 rounds and just seven – and a draw – for the season. They opened 2004 with three straight losses, including 61-point and 54-point thrashings by St Kilda and Carlton in rounds one and two respectively. At the time, there was no shortage of journalists and Geelong fans calling for Thompson’s head. As we now know, the Cats regrouped to make the top four that year and – after an unexpected detour into the bottom half of the ladder in 2006 – took out the premiership three years later. Geelong’s journey from its decision at the end of 1999 to reinvigorate its list with youth to the premiership cup is a good example of the rocky path that awaits any developing club.

This season, Melbourne, Richmond, North Melbourne and Essendon seem to be the teams similarly placed to Geelong’s class of 2002. All have invested heavily in youth at recent drafts and, after several lean seasons, appeared well positioned to climb the ladder sooner rather than later. But, like Geelong in 2002, each has demonstrated some of the telltale signs of young sides. Most obvious has been their inconsistency – from month to month, week to week and, even, from quarter to quarter. All four have been guilty of it, but Melbourne’s lapses have been most heavily scrutinised. Its win against Richmond last weekend marked only the second time this season it has won consecutive games. And, on several occasions, the Demons have followed big wins with big losses and vice versa. North Melbourne coach Brad Scott has had two regular laments this season: his team’s relatively poor skill execution and its inability to compete with the competition’s top-four sides.

Again, these are regular characteristics of developing groups. If we assume this year’s top-four teams will come from Geelong, Collingwood, Carlton, Hawthorn and West Coast, the four developing teams have collectively registered only one win against top-four opposition – Essendon’s victory over West Coast in round seven. This is nothing new. In 2000-01, a rebuilding West Coast won just one of 12 games against those seasons’ top-four teams. In 2002-03, Geelong won two of nine; in 2000-02, St Kilda won two of 21; from 2004-06 Hawthorn won one of 17; and in 2004-05, Collingwood won one of 11. But all these clubs eventually developed into powerhouses, the Eagles winning the 2006 premiership, the Cats winning in 2007 and 2009, Hawthorn in 2008 and Collingwood last season. The Saints did not win a flag, but made the 2009 and 2010 Grand Finals. All are examples developing teams can aspire to, and follow.


LUKe SHUeY

JACK ZIeBeLl

JIMmY BArTeL

The AFL Record spoke with six men who were central to these club ‘rebuilds’ – Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson, West Coast assistant coach Peter Sumich, former St Kilda assistant coach Matthew Rendell, former Geelong VFL coach Ron Watt, Geelong recruiting and list manager Stephen Wells and Collingwood national recruiting manager Derek Hine. All agreed youth-based rebuilds are an inexact science, with clubs requiring patience and conviction to negotiate the inevitable road humps sent to test their faith in their long-term plans. But Clarkson said a club that was able to stay this course could reap the rewards. “My experience has been if you inject a lot of youth and energy into the place and a clear sense of direction and purpose, you can accomplish some great things in a quick space of time,” he said. But how does a developing club best nurture a promising batch of youngsters into the core of its next premiership team?

As a starting point, it makes sense that you have to understand the challenges young players face in the AFL today. Watt, Geelong’s VFL coach when many of its 2007 and 2009 premiership players were starting out, said players coming into an AFL club from the junior ranks faced a massive learning curve.

players is important in their development. The way you sell the message about what they’re seeing in their review is important.” Just as most young players have work to do on their skills and decision-making, Watt said they also needed at least two or three seasons to develop the fitness and strength to compete weekly against seasoned AFL players.

(Mark Thompson) wanted me to learn more about the game, how to set up in the team’s structure JIMMY BARTEL ON BEING DROPPED TO THE VFL EARLY IN HIS CAREER

For example, Watt said players’ skill errors might not have been highlighted at junior level, but that soon changed at AFL level. “The feedback and the intensity with which they’re reviewed is a big step up for them,” Watt said. “So setting reasonable and consistent expectations for

“Going back 10 years, we had a lot of young people in the team and knew what it was like to be pushed around a lot,” he said. Watt said even Geelong’s best young players in the early 2000s had inconsistent patches and periods where they were sent back to the VFL to work on their skills.

Bartel is a good example. In his Sunday Herald Sun column last week, the Cat star said he received “seriously tough love” from then-Geelong coach Mark Thompson early in his third season, 2004, when he was dropped to the VFL for seven weeks. “In hindsight, it was the best thing that happened to me,” Bartel said. “I was playing in the AFL the way I’d played junior footy, basically running around trying to get as many kicks as I could. “(Thompson) wanted me to learn more about the game, how to set up in the team’s structure, how to play in more positions and to use my voice more.” Bartel returned to the senior side in round 10, 2004, and played every game for the remainder of the year, as the Cats finished in the top four for the first time since 1997. He has not been dropped since. Rendell, who served as an assistant coach to Grant Thomas at St Kilda from 2002-06 and is now Adelaide’s national recruiting

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65


FROM THE BOTTOM TO THE TOP manager, cited two-time All-Australian midfielder Leigh Montagna as another player who benefited from tough love early in his career. When Montagna arrived at the Saints, Rendell said he was “a little fella who was not that physical, someone who’d rather run around the edges”. But Rendell said Thomas identified Montagna was someone who would respond to being made to earn his AFL stripes. And earn them he did. After being drafted by St Kilda with pick No. 37 in the 2001 NAB AFL Draft, Montagna played just 30 games in his first four years. But, by 2007, he had improved the physical side of his game to the extent he finished that season in the Saints’ top four tacklers. “Grant didn’t give him a free ride,” Rendell said. “I bet you there were times when ‘Joey’ (Montagna) felt like giving it away because of all the hard stuff. But I’m sure he sees the benefit of that now.” Scott took a different approach with two of his young players, Jack Ziebell and Ben Cunnington, at the start of this season. After injury interrupted starts to their careers at North, Ziebell, 20, and Cunnington, who turned 20 on Thursday, started the 2011 season slowly. After the Kangaroos’ round-five loss to Richmond, former Sydney Swans coach Paul Roos said the pair was “unfit for AFL level”. “They’ve been next to useless today,” Roos said of the pair on the Fox Sports’ telecast of the match. “It’s a tough game with this new ‘sub’ rule and I know they’re only young players, but maybe they should be playing in the (VFL) to get their fitness up.” After the game, Scott acknowledged Ziebell and Cunnington had work to do on their fitness, but said both otherwise matched “the pretty high standards” the Kangaroos set for their players. Instead of dropping them to the VFL, Scott continued to play them, with both assigned extra 66

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RESPONDED: Leigh Montagna

developed from a “little fella” when he arrived at St Kilda to a player respected for the physical side of his game.

aerobic training on top of North’s player in rounds six-eight, has team training sessions. played out the past six matches. Scott’s patience, particularly Cunnington was used in the with Ziebell, has been rewarded. substitute role in rounds six Ziebell averaged 13 possessions and seven, and replaced by the in North’s first four games this substitute in rounds 10 and 13. year, but has since averaged 17.8. But he has shown his He has also recaptured the versatility by moving into form that defence in the made him such past month, an exciting and told prospect in his afl.com.au debut season, recently he was 2009, before he determined suffered two to build broken legs. his fitness. Ziebell’s As such, we games against suspect Scott PETER SUMICH Melbourne in will continue round eight, to back him. Adelaide in The round 11 (25 possessions, difference in Scott’s approach 11 tackles and a goal) and and that of Geelong and Port Adelaide last Sunday (a St Kilda with Bartel and career-high 27 disposals and a Montagna in the early 2000s goal) were outstanding. is perhaps due to the different And, in a sign his fitness is mindset of today’s players. improving, Ziebell, who was Sumich, who has been John replaced by North’s substitute Worsfold’s senior assistant since

Communication has probably become the No. 1 thing now

2002, said the Eagles’ coaching staff have had to take a different approach with the current crop of youngsters to the one they took with players such as Dean Cox, Daniel Kerr and Chris Judd a decade ago. “We’ve used a similar model but what’s changed is the attitude of players, and the way they think and operate,” Sumich said. “So, we’ve had to adapt to them a little bit. The systems and structures we had in place back in 2002 won’t work now. We’ve had to adapt them slightly to the ‘Gen Y’ attitudes.” Sumich said the biggest change had been the growing importance of coach-player communication. “I think communication has probably become the No. 1 thing now,” he said. “That’s something I work on a fair bit, the one-on-one stuff, the day-to-day chats. It might not even be about footy – I think that’s really important with this generation.” The proliferation of club development coaches in recent years has meant youngsters have all the hands-on tuition they needed to bring their skills and decision-making up to AFL standard. “Development is massive and that’s why clubs are spending more and more money in development and trying to fast-track their young players,” Rendell said. But Rendell and Watt said just as important was ensuring players had a sense of belonging at their club. “The young players who started with us many years ago felt that we were developing a list that was handpicked by the people here and they really belonged and they were going to be part of a bigger picture,” Watt said. “If they were doing the right things and working to the club’s expectations, there was always the opportunity for them to be a player here.” Part of the reason why Adelaide and Port Adelaide want to field their own reserves teams in the SANFL is so their young players won’t be farmed off across that competition’s nine clubs each weekend, Rendell said.


FROM THE BOTTOM TO THE TOP Obviously, a club’s senior players have an important role to play in a developing club, principally through the on- and off-field example they set for their impressionable young teammates. We’ve seen that at the Eagles this year. Granted, Luke Shuey, Nic Naitanui, Scott Selwood and Jack Darling have played their part in the club’s climb from 2010 wooden-spooner to top-four contender this season. But West Coast coach Worsfold told Fox Sports’ On The Couch program last Monday night the re-emergence of senior players Cox, Kerr, Andrew Embley and Darren Glass had been crucial to helping such youngsters gel together as a group. But, above all, clubs hitching their masts to youth must set their sights high and maintain their faith that, in time, their core group of youngsters will deliver success. As heavy and demoralising as losses against top-four teams can be, Clarkson said they should be regarded as a learning experience.

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u’re searching “What you’re ose demoralising for out of those ndards that losses is the stan standards ry, ve ery best teams,” drive the very, very id. Clarkson said. as you u’re deficient in “The areas you’re ed into in nto you are drummed cause quite clearlyy bec because playeed a you’ve just played alentted very, very talented opponent. And the change that is activated on that basis is of us an enormous benefit. “Some of g the learning may be as simple as a young ing ruckman going up against a enceed more experienced d ruckman and al getting a real tha at wake-up calll that nto he needs to get in into m the gym, putt on more weight and have a really on.” big pre-season.” ay, In this way, ormeer Clarkson’s former amien n assistant Damien alvag ged Hardwick salvaged

some positives from Richmond’s 6 Richm 63-point loss tto Haw Hawthorn in rou und thr round three. Chie fly, he p Chiefl praised the p perform performances of defenders deefender David As tbury, iin his Astbury, 20th gam 2 game, and Dyl a Dylan Grimes G Grimes, in his ssecond, on two off the ga game’s be est power pow best for rwards forwards, Jar rryd Jarryd Roughead and Roughead Lan nce Franklin Fra Lance resp pectivel respectively. Allthough Although Rou ughead kicked k Roughead threee goals and three Frank klin five, Franklin go ot to the th Grimes got contests and Astbur Astbury was on nce. outmarked just once.

PRAISE: Young Tig Tiger ger David Astbury

performed admirably adm mirably on o Jarryd Roughead earlier earllier in the th season.

After such losses, and in the inevitable lean patches of a rebuild, it was important a coach projected the confidence to his players that the club remained on the right track, Clarkson said. To do so, it was sometimes important to block out external factors such as media and supporter criticism, Clarkson said. In such circumstances, the counsel of trusted mentors was invaluable, he said. For Clarkson, these mentors included then-Hawthorn president Ian Dicker, director Jason Dunstall and then-CEO Ian Robson. All were among the Hawks officials who gave him the mandate to invest in youth when he was first appointed. “Once you’ve got that shared view, it’s just a matter of continuing to drive towards that target,” Clarkson said. “There are a lot of hurdles along the way, sometimes there are some pretty significant roadblocks. But if you share that common view on where you need to go, then it’s very, very easy to make sure you continue to map out that journey.”


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Our AFL history guru answers your queries.

NAME GAME

RUN OF OUTS:

Melbourne players celebrate their most recent win at Etihad Stadium, in round 19, 2007.

Battling Blair » Every week, young

Demons’ unhappy hunting grounds

I believe the Demons have not won any matches at three venues for quite some time. When was their most recent victory at Patersons Stadium, Etihad Stadium and AAMI Stadium? What is the record losing sequence for a club at any venue? B. SHARLAND, EAST MELBOURNE, VIC.

CH: Melbourne’s most recent

win at AAMI Stadium was in round two, 2001, against Adelaide. Its next 15 encounters in South Australia have been

losses. Since the team’s success against Fremantle at Patersons Stadium in round 11, 2004, 10 losses have followed in Western Australia. This weekend at Etihad Stadium, the Demons will be keen to beat the Western Bulldogs to end a run of 10 losses at the venue, which began after defeating the same club in round 19, 2007. The Swans possess the unwanted record for most consecutive losses at a venue – 34 at Princes Park from round eight, 1966, until round 22, 1987.

GENUINE SENIOR FOOTBALLERS » Ernie ‘Snowy’ Lumsden was born on July 27, 1890, and joined Collingwood from Northcote as a 19-year-old. After 15 appearances in three seasons, he switched to Essendon. In 1917, he was enticed back to the Magpies and gained selection in the 1917

and 1919 premiership teams. He played the last of his 112 matches in the losing 1920 Grand Final team. He lived to the age of 92. One of his great grandsons is Chris Bryan, who played for Carlton and Collingwood from 2005-09.

Do you know of other senior players who are close to 90 or older, or who reached such an age before calling it a day? Should you have such information, contact Col Hutchinson on (03) 9643 1929 or col.hutchinson@afl.com.au. 70

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men enter the battlefield that is League football, and none enters more appropriately than Jarryd Blair, a Collingwood premiership player in just his 12th game. The surname Blair is another example of the popularity in medieval times of giving surnames connected with geographical features (e.g., Hill, Lake). Blair is a Celtic name deriving from blár meaning a field or a plain. It would have been bestowed on someone who lived near an open space. More specifically, a blár was a cleared plain, the sort of place where the Celts generally chose to fight their battles. Thus blár also came to stand for “battle”. A suitable opponent for Blair this weekend might be Hawthorn’s Brent Guerra, guerra being Italian for “war”; wars are usually fought on battlefields. Only four other Blairs have played AFL/VFL football, the best being the Bulldogs’ Dennis Blair, who played 41 games from 1976-78. KEVAN CARROLL

WRITE TO ANSWER MAN The Slattery Media Group, 140 Harbour Esplanade, Docklands, 3008 or email michaell@slatterymedia.com

C

M

Y

CM

MY

CY

CMY

K


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rick milne

Ask the expert about all your footy memorabilia. We have a Gladstone bag with the initials ‘EJW’. It is in worn condition, but the initials are quite readable.

RICK’S RARITY

» This is one of the truly

BARRY, VIA EMAIL

RM: Barry, I reckon you’ve got the real thing – the Gladstone bag carried to training by ‘Mr Football’ – the great Ted Whitten. I referred to the book The Ted Whitten Album by Paul Harvey and John Ross (Pan Macmillan) where there is a photo of an overcoat-wearing, Gladstone bag-carrying young Ted. Now my guess is that he might have had a couple of Gladstone bags during his 321-game career. Nonetheless, a wonderful piece of sporting history. That said, Gladstone bags aren’t the biggest sellers. Maybe $750 or a bit more. I have supplements from the Argus newspaper dated 1952 with head shots of the Carlton, Collingwood and Footscray football teams. Players include Ern Henfry from Carlton, Collingwood’s Lou Richards and Charlie Sutton from Footscray. Good condition. Any value?

BULLDOG GREATS: A reader has a Gladstone bag which once belonged to Ted Whitten (left), while Charlie Sutton featured in a series of colour photos printed in the Argus in the 1950s.

They put VFL team photos in the Friday supplements for quite a few years, but 1952 is the only time they used single head shots. All others were team photos. These are clearly the hardest to find. About $75 each in nice condition, more if perfect. I have every AFL/VFL Annual Report from 1970-2010. Any value?

JESS ALFORD, VIA EMAIL

RM: The Argus was a wonderful

Melbourne-based newspaper. It went out of business in 1957, but was the first newspaper in the world to print in colour.

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Somebo told me St Kilda Somebody goalsneak Stephen Milne is your son. Is this correct? BRADY, VIA EMAIL

RM: I’m asked this question

every few weeks. Yes, Steven n Milne is my son, but not Stephen Milne. A couple of years back, Steven, who is a journalist, interviewed Stephen for Inside Football magazine!

VIC, MIDDLE PARK, VIC.

RM: Modest value, Vic. There

seems to be plenty of AFL/VFL collectables from the 1970s onwards. Somewhere around $400 the set.

visit aflrecord.com.au

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

bizarre stories in footy collectables. Back in the early 1950s, caricaturist Lionel Coventry prepared a set of 40 SANFL cards for the Easi Oats breakfast food company. One of the players was South Adelaide’s Len Lapthorne. But Lapthorne was so incensed at the way he was depicted, he sued Coventry and won. All of Coventry’s royalties were awarded to Lapthorne and the entire set of cards was taken off the market. Hence, they are very valuable today. The Lapthorne card is reproduced below (he’s the one with the football). The other is Don Taylor, who played for Norwood. He had previously played p yed with South Sout Melbourne.


BRAINS

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Find the 5 DIFFERENCES between the 2 cards

Unscramble Banjo Want Horn to Can you guess this AFL discover the AFL player’s name! Player’s NICKNAME?

________ _____

____

Hawks have been the AFL's most successful side of the last 4 The 50 years. How many Premierships have they won in that time?

NEW!

B. 10

C. 12

D. 14

Silver CODE cards and enter codes to play

Answers: 1. Black around arms of guernsey , leg moved back, black wrist bands, white and red stripes reversed on back leg, “Kilda St” instead of “St Kilda” 2. Jonathan Brown 3. Chip 4. 10

A. 8

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SPOT THE DIFFERENCE

FIVE TO FIND

SPOT THE DIFFERENCE: Power player Matt Thomas’ mouthguard changed to black; bandage removed from head of player in the background; number of Port Adelaide’s Andrew Moore on the left changed to 8; sock of North Melbourne’s Liam Anthony in background changed to black; extra seams added to football.

E X TENDED P L AY T I M E The AFL Playground outside the MCG will continue to operate for the rest of the season due to popular demand. The playground, the coolest fan zone for kids looking to test their footy skills and warm up before watching the footy, attracted more than 14,000 kids and families in the first nine

rounds of the season. Located below Gate 6, the playground features activities of all types for kids, with club mascots also in attendance. It is open 90 minutes before the start of the match until the end of the half-time break. Visit afl.com.au/ playground for more information.

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74 AFL L RECORD R EC RECO RE CO COR ORD OR RD visit viis vvis isit it afl afl flrec record.com.au rree ord.com.au


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Coping with expectations Young Suns star David Swallow wallow has felt no extra pr p pressure ressure to perform as the No. 1 draft choice.

L

ast year’s No. 1 NAB AFL Draft pick David Swallow started the AFL season as a hot favourite to take out the NAB AFL Rising Star award, despite the fact most of the football world hadn’t actually seen him play. It might have surprised many that Swallow had to wait until 14 weeks into the season before he was nominated, but the Gold Coast midfielder said he was taken aback when he heard the news that his 21-possession, two-goal game against the Western Bulldogs had got him the nod. “I was pretty surprised. Tom Lynch had a good game for us on the weekend and I think a couple of the boys thought he was going to get it,” Swallow said. “I’m pretty surprised, but also pretty happy at the same time.” Swallow is the third Gold Coast player to be nominated for the award this season, after Zac Smith and his housemate Brandon Matera. He said he felt no pressure to be nominated and that living with high external expectations was just part of the life of a No. 1 draft pick. “It’s a bit like that. You can’t really control where you get picked up and at what number,” he said. “I guess there was probably a bit of pressure at the start of the year, but you just concentrate on the things you can control. That’s to play good footy and play your role within the team. “I’d gotten a bit of stick from the boys for not getting one (a nomination). I was just trying to

LUK E HOLMESBY

2011 NAB AFL RISING STAR NOMINEES

RISING SUN: David

Swallow is focusing on adapting to AFL football and playing his role in the team.

Round 1 Dyson Heppell (ESS) Round 2 Luke Shuey (WCE) Round 3 Mitch Duncan (GEEL) Round 4 Jasper Pittard (PA) Round 5 Brandon Matera (GCS) Round 6 Jack Darling (WCE) Round 7 Zac Smith (GCS) Round 8 Shane Savage (HAW) Round 9 Reece Conca (RICH) Round 10 Jack Steven (STK) Round 11 Jordan Gysberts (MEL) Round 12 Sam Reid (SYD) Round 13 Daniel Menzel (GEEL) Round 14 David Swallow (GCS)

play some consistent footy and I think I’ve been able to do that throughout the year without really dominating or doing overly well. I’m just trying to get used to playing AFL footy.” It is no secret the Suns had Swallow in their sights for a long time before the draft. He had moved to the Gold Coast from Western Australia a year earlier and spent a season as a Gold Coast player in the VFL, where he finished fourth in the Liston Trophy for the competition’s best and fairest player. So confident were the Suns that Swallow could handle the hype of being the top pick that his face adorned

banners all around town in the days leading up to the draft. And, although he joined the AFL’s 17th club with big wraps, he said he still had plenty of improvement and much to learn. “My run and carry has improved a little bit. (Assistant coaches) Kenny Hinkley and Shane O’Bree have encouraged me to take the game on as well, break lines and that kind of stuff,” he said. “My stoppage work was quite good at the start of the season. I’ve gone away from that a little bit over the past month or two so I’m looking to get a few clearances from stoppages in the latter half of the year.”

THREE THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW

1

Swallow shares a house with teammates Brandon Matera and Trent McKenzie. But he has plans to move in with Charlie Dixon and Piers Flanagan in coming weeks for no reason other than the chance to get a larger bedroom.

2

Older brother Andrew was the Rising Star nominee for North Melbourne in round 17, 2006.

3

Believes West Coast’s Luke Shuey is the most likely to win the award at the end of the season.

Each week throughout the home and away season, a panel of judges will select the nominee for the 2011 NAB AFL Rising Star. At the completion of the season, one outstanding player will be chosen as the 2011 NAB AFL Rising Star winner. He will receive an investment folio, a dedicated personal banker, a financial planner and the Ron Evans Medal, all courtesy of the NAB. The NAB Rising Star award is the final stage of the NAB AFL Rising Stars Program, which supports grassroots players and football communities and helps young Australians fulfil their dream of playing in the AFL.

76

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Applying data laterally to analyse and understand the modern game.

Making the game safer our highest priority

I

adore watching Geelong’s Jimmy Bartel at work for his skill, courage and selfsacrifice for the team and often gasp at the risks he takes. But please, don’t make his job any more difficult than it is. The concussion received by Bartel following his accidental collision with teammate James Podsiadly in round 13 against St Kilda should be a reminder of how dangerous it is to play football. Although accidental collisions are an expected part of Australian Football, measures to protect the head, groin and spine warrant the highest priority. Regulators are bound to mollify actions of intent and technique resulting in a high chance of carnage. Otherwise, public support and participation rates falter. This is not a new concern. From its inception and in its evolution, footy has undergone a series of interventions that have made it more attractive and safer. Appeal and safety are two of the golden rules of modern sport. Keeping your eyes on the ball is the best rule there is. In a groundbreaking article published earlier this year in New Yorker magazine, ‘Does Football Have A Future? The NFL and the concussion crisis’, writer Ben McGrath argues that “averted danger is the essence of football”. His account of NFL history and recent data relating to the consequences of player

78

AFL RECORD

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FRIENDLY FIRE: Accidental collisions like that between James Podsiadly (left) and teammate Jimmy Bartel are part of the game, but “bone-crunching pile-ups” at stoppages are causing new concerns.

concussions tells the tale of how football blossomed from its dour, rugby-like origins, in which maiming and death occurred regularly, into an attractive “American spectacle”. Australian Football stems from similar rugby origins as the American game, having undergone its own form of homegrown inventiveness that created a unique free-flowing spectacle, starting even earlier, in the mid-1850s. According to McGrath, from the outset, team doctors and administrators had played an important role encouraging and introducing safer standards of play. He cites the 1906 legalisation of the forward pass, “thereby transforming football from a militarised, or corporatised rugby to something more like contact ballet”. In a similar vein, he notes: “But, even as the game was becoming safer, through better equipment and further tweaking of the rules (calling a play dead as soon the knee touched down, say, to limit

bone-crunching pile-ups), it was evolving in a way that was becoming more dangerous ... from all these developments we got smash-mouth football and, later, the spectacularly combustive open-field collisions that seem to leave players in a state of epileptic seizure nearly every weekend now.” Much of what McGrath writes about stems from more rigorous and independent medical research into the likely long-term consequences of multiple concussions that had come to light. This research, combined with the NFL medical team’s findings linked to government studies of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, painted a much grimmer prospect resulting from concussions. Players, their families and supporters took notice. Their concerns about welfare and payment compensation have partly resulted in a breakdown of collective bargaining negotiating, which threatens the 2011 season. McGrath quotes retired Tampa Bay player Dave Pear

as typical of the problem. Pear was crippled by injuries incurred on the field and impoverished by subsequent medical costs. “It’s not that I don’t like football. (But) I wish I never played it,” he said. Footy involves high-impact collisions and the AFL is doing the right thing via education, refining the laws of the game and handing out stiff penalties to mitigate the risk of willful damage. Any time a commentator, player or coach who earns a living from the game gripes about the hand-in-the-back rule, undue penalties for sling and spear tackles, hits and avoidable contact with the head, I’d like them to put money into a compensation fund for retired players suffering post-career disabilities. During my playing days, brutality was accepted. Often brutes boasted openly about taking scalps, grabbing an opponent’s scrotum, stomping on feet or landing an elbow to the head by stealth. These tactics were stamped out and footy flourished. Even in my time, there were always enough courageous players who could avert danger while displaying football genius. The same principle still applies. But new dangers have emerged for players. Too many passages of play, especially around stoppages, look like tangled rugby-like scrums. Any AFL innovations reducing the frequent ‘bone-crunching pile-ups’ involving at least half a team from both sides will be safer and look better. TED HOPKINS IS A CARLTON PREMIERSHIP PLAYER AND FOUNDER OF CHAMPION DATA. HIS BOOK THE STATS REVOLUTION (SLATTERY MEDIA GROUP) WAS RELEASED RECENTLY AND IS AVAILABLE VIA FOOTYBOOKCLUB.COM.


Kluger. Getting your little legends to the game. Kluger. It’s a family thing. Kluger understands what you need to get your little legends to the “big� game on the weekend, offering enough safety, comfort and versatility to impress the entire team.

toyota.com.au


AFL Record, Round 15, 2011