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VALE TRIBUTE TO COACHING LEGEND ALLAN JEANS

THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF THE AFL GAME

P58 The Saint with unfinished business

TED HOPKINS ON TWO CRUCIAL CATS P78

INSIDE | PAGE 64

RORY SLOANE

THE CROWS’ A CTION ACTION MAN

ROUND 17, 2011 JULY 15-17 $5 (INC. GST)

Many cultures. One game.


round 17, july 15-17, 2011

features

27

57 ANDREW HOOPER

ALLAN JEANS

In a short career, the Bulldogs small sm all man has shown he can make ma ake an impact impac . JENNIFER JEN NNIFER WIT WITHAM reports.

Football lost a premiership coach and a man of principle and great integrity this week.

58 8 LEIGH MONTAGNA M Thee star midfielder e is leading thee Saints back into serious finals na als contentio contention. CALLUM CA LLUM TWO TWOMEY reports.

r egul regulars 4 7 25 5 5 3 53 70 70 74 76 6

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

Richmond’s Ric hmond’s Jake Ja Batchelor.

78 8 Talking Point

Ted d Hopkins na names his two most influential Geelong players.

64

R y Rory Sloane S loane

The Crows’ man The of action is also a a loveable lovveable larrikin.

8 Which footy player wants to be a rock star?

THIS WEEK’S COVERS Leigh Montanga appears on the national cover. There is a cover for the Tigers-Suns game in Cairns. NATIONAL COVER PHOTO: LACHLAN CUNNINGHAM

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time on EDITOR’S LETTER

The two sides of a legend

» Football has lost another

Jeans an ornament to game

I had to write to say just how much I admired Allan Jeans. As a longtime St Kilda supporter, I am old enough to have been around when Allan led us to our first and only premiership. I couldn’t help following his coaching career when he later went to Hawthorn and I always marvelled at the quiet dignity he always maintained. Obviously, the fact he took another club to a premiership – lots of them! – shows what a good coach he was. But I’ll always remember him for his decency and humility. Allan, thank you for the memories.

MAGNANIMOUS MAGPIE:

Mick Malthouse showed great sportsmanship by being gracious in victory last week, according to one reader.

SUSAN PHILLIPS, CRANBOURNE, VIC.

Dogs barking again

What a great effort by Rodney Eade and the Western Bulldogs to turn their season around. It seemed everyone had Eade pegged as a ‘dead coach walking’ and the Doggies as a team on the slide. But, now, after four straight wins, things suddenly seem a lot brighter. We’re just half a game outside the eight and a red-hot chance of making the finals. Then again, should we be surprised? People were very quick to write off players like Adam Cooney, Shaun Higgins and Big ‘Bazza’ Barry Hall. But they’re all starting to hit some good form, so if we can slot a fit Brian Lake back into the team, the rest of the competition better watch out. TONY ROGERS, HOMESGLEN, VIC.

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

4

AFL RECORD

Malthouse a true sportsman

Most media commentators who talk about Mick Malthouse seem to refer to his prickly, contrary nature. The same experts seemed to overlook the extraordinary sportsmanship Mick showed after his Collingwood team had thrashed North Melbourne last Sunday. Rather than rejoice in the win, Mick took time out to say how sorry he felt for North coach Brad Scott. I know Scott used to

PRODUCTION EDITOR Michael Lovett WRITERS Nick Bowen, Ben Collins, James Dampney, George Farrugia, Katrina Gill, Ted Hopkins, Peter Ryan, Callum Twomey, Michael Whiting, Jennifer Witham SUB-EDITORS Gary Hancock, Howard Kotton, Michael Stevens

work for him at Collingwood, but I still thought it was a nice gesture that was largely overlooked. BETTY RAMSDEN, SOUTHPORT, QLD.

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.

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legend, with Allan Jeans dying this week (see tribute page 27). Dermott Brereton once described Jeans in one sentence as “frightening” and “beautiful”. If you conducted only football business with Jeans, you might have understood the frightening reference, for he was a fierce, determined man who took the game seriously. But Jeans had another side. He was a warm, funny and engaging man whose greatest strength was probably his ability to understand people and personalities. Jeans frightened me when I phoned him out of the blue some 13 years to ask for an interview. “ALLAN JEANS SPEAKING,” he barked down the phone. He hesitantly agreed, inviting me to his home. When I arrived, the former policeman addressed me suspiciously. “WHAT’S YOUR ANGLE, SON?” Several hours later, we were enjoying a cuppa with his adoring – and adorable – wife Mary, banter and laughter filling the room. He invited me back the next week. We were standing in his driveway just before I left, but he wanted to make sure I understood the importance of fierce tackling. Without warning, he grabbed me from behind and applied a vicious tackle. “SEE, YOU CAN’T ta GET AWAY, CAN YOU?” he said, GE with a laugh. w It was the most frightening and beautiful – thing I’ve –a experienced in football. ex 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 17, 2011 Copyright. ACN No. 004 155 211. ISSN 1444-2973, Print Post approved PP320258/00109


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12

SIMON BLACK

The Lions veteran gets better with age.

14

THE HUDDLE

18

Drew Petrie on the Roos’ work in the community.

LATE CALL-UP

Luke Parker’s unusual game for the Swans.

20

UNDER-18 CHAMPS

Captain Billy Longer one of seven Vic Metro All-Australians.

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THE

Swingmen adept at switching their focus

A

NICK BOW EN

fter his team’s round 15 loss to St Kilda, North Melbourne coach Brad Scott said Lachie Hansen and Cameron Pedersen were key-position players with the versatility to play at either end of the ground. Against the Saints, Hansen, who had previously spent nearly all of this season in attack, spent the first half in defence, manning St Kilda captain Nick Riewoldt. At the other end of the ground, Pedersen, who had played in the ruck, defence and attack since being elevated from North’s rookie list before round one, was stationed in the forward 50, alongside Drew Petrie and Aaron Edwards. Although Hansen impressed with his one-on-one efforts against Riewoldt, he conceded three second-quarter goals as the Saints midfield got on top. Meanwhile, Pedersen had kicked one goal from limited opportunities. With St Kilda 20 points up at half-time, Scott switched Hansen and Pedersen. The move proved a good one, as Pedersen kept Riewoldt scoreless in the second half and Hansen gave North a target up forward and kicked a goal.

ATTACK TO DEFENCE:

After Nick Riewoldt threatened in the round 15 clash against North Melbourne, the Roos were forced to shift Cameron Pedersen on to the Saints skipper.

Having such versatile key-position players obviously gives a team added flexibility in matches. Essendon’s Michael Hurley is another player who has proven just as effective in attack as defence, while Carlton’s Lachie Henderson, who has spent most of his four-season career in attack,

has competed strongly as a key defender in the past two rounds in Michael Jamison’s absence. Defenders Chris Tarrant (Collingwood), Luke McPharlin (Fremantle) and Bret Thornton (Carlton) have also shown they can perform in attack when required. But not every tall is capable of moving from

one end of the ground to the other and playing a different role for his team. And those who can generally have to work hard on the training track to ensure they can fit in with the vastly different team expectations on defenders and forwards. North Melbourne assistant coach Darren Crocker said Hansen and Pedersen split their specific group training time between the defensive and forward groups, with Hansen spending about 70 per cent of his time with the forwards and Pederson about 70 per cent of his time with the defenders. “They need to learn the leading patterns as a forward, whether that’s creating space or being on the end of passes,” Crocker said. “And, as defenders, they need to know when to defend really strongly, when to take the proactive position, when to press up and when to come off their opponent and go third-man up. “They are two very different roles but two super-important roles. There are some players who’ve got the understanding and capabilities to be able to play both. And then there are guys who are just suited to playing one role.” Carlton assistant coach Gavin Brown said although Henderson’s move to defence had been born out of necessity, he had the necessary attributes to play a key position at either end of the ground. “He’s got the big body you need because you’re going to be in a lot of contests,” Brown said.

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7


Carlton’s Jarrad Waite likely to have hip surgery and is expected to miss four weeks.

“I think those type of players have also got to be pretty good readers of the game. It’s a completely different game up forward to what it is down back. “One minute you’re leading at the footy to create space, the next you’re working out how to shut down the space of the opposition forwards.

HOW GOOD WAS THAT:

Mark LeCras and Shannon Hurn were jubilant after the Eagles’ win over Geelong last week.

You want your key position players to use the footy well GAVIN BROWN

“So they’ve got to be comfortable with that and good concentrators because things can change dramatically from one end to the other. “The other thing is you want your key position players to be able to use the footy well and Lachie ticks that box as well.” Above all, Brown said players had to embrace the challenge of leading a nomadic key-position existence. “Some players cope better than others and they’re the ones who work and you’ll always go back to,” Brown said. “You try some and they don’t work because they prefer one position to the other, they’re not comfortable or they can’t switch their focus.”

SOARING UP THE LADDER

Bottom to top – Eagles out to defy history NICK BOW EN

A

t the start of this season, if you wanted to bet on 2010 wooden-spooner West

RIDING HIGH: Luke Shuey and Brad Ebert

celebrate at the final siren last week.

nning the premiership, Coast winning rtsbet was offering $67.. TAB Sportsbet y punter with a hunch But any es’ young list was ready the Eagles’ fter three consecutive to soar after seasons near the bottom of the ould not have been ladder would ged by a look through encouraged L history. AFL/VFL They would have learned n the competition’s no club in ons has collected the 114 seasons

When they’re not playing Sportsperson (other than an AFL player) you love watching the most:

Coach’s pet:

If you weren’t a footballer, what would you be:

Th The person you would m most like to meet:

Clinton Jones St Kilda

Adam Gilchrist

Lenny Hayes ayes

Ro Rock star tar

W Will Ferrell rreell

Sam Jacobs Adelaide

Shaun Tait

Ph Phil Daviss

Cr ter Cricketer

M Michaell Jo Jordan

n Daniel Jackson Richmond

Devin Hester e er (Chicago Bears) ea ars)

Jake King Jak g

Professional Pr sional backpacker/ Getaway Ge ayy host

M la Kunis Kun nis Mila (actress) (a tress))

Jarrad McVeigh h Sydney Swans

Cristiano Ronaldo

Pro surfer

Kobe be yant Bryant

PLAYER

8

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Daniel Hannebery


Geelong ruckman Brad Ottens suspended one match for striking Eagle Mark Nicoski.

GREAT MARK

HOCKING TAKES HIS GAME TO NEW HEIGHTS FLYING BOMBER: Heath Hocking

added his name to the list of big marks taken in recent weeks.

PHOTOS: GREG FORD/AFL PHOTOS

wooden spoon one year and won the flag the next. Just two teams have come close: Essendon in 1908 and Collingwood in 1977. Both entered those seasons the wooden-spoon holder and finished runner-up. Essendon finished the 1908 season second on the ladder and lost the Grand Final by nine points to minor premier Carlton. The Magpies of 1977 came even closer to the feat, winning the minor premiership under first-year coach Tom Hafey, drawing the Grand Final against North Melbourne after squandering a 27-point three-quarter time lead, and losing the replay by 27 points. West Coast’s improvement this year has been so dramatic that after last Friday night’s win over Geelong, it sat half a game outside the top four with a game in hand on fourth-placed Carlton. TAB Sportsbet had also slashed its premiership odds to $15. Obviously, history is not the only thing counting against the Eagles’ chances of winning this year’s premiership. Reigning premier Collingwood and 2007 and ’09 premier Geelong, in particular, loom as considerable roadblocks. Still, with 2006 premiership heroes Dean Cox, Daniel Kerr, Darren Glass and Andrew Embley returning to form this year, and the rapid improvement of youngsters Luke Shuey, Nic Naitanui, Brad Ebert and Ashley Smith, West Coast is a genuine top-four contender. A quick look at the 2010 and 2011 ladders shows West Coast has increased its average score from 86.3 points (13th in the AFL) last year to 98.6 (sixth) this year. It is also conceding 25 fewer points a game, down from 104.5 (14th) last year to 79.6 (sixth) this season. Since 1977, three teams have come from last on the ladder and finished in the top four the next year: Fitzroy in 1981, Melbourne in 1998 and the Brisbane Lions in 1999 (all finished fourth). Adelaide holds the record for the biggest rise up the ladder to claim a premiership, coming from 12th in 1996 to win the 1997 flag.

» Heath Hocking’s i ’ spectacular

mark over Richmond’s Brett Deledio last weekend was affirmation of how far the tough, hard and robust Essendon midfielder has come in the past two seasons. When he made his debut in 2007 as a tagger after spending almost two years on the Bombers’ rookie list, Hocking was an unfashionable, awkward player with an unusual kicking style. His mark last Saturday in Essendon’s 39-point win over

the Tigers proved he has added other strings to his bow. Now, he is a complete midfielder who finished runner-up in last year’s best and fairest and, at 23, is the youngest member of the club’s leadership group. Not that many saw his ‘hanger’ coming. As Brent Stanton sent the ball deep into Essendon’s forward line, few would have predicted Hocking to be the marking target. Hocking leapt, planted his right knee on Deledio’s shoulder,

gained a little more leverage and took the mark cleanly. In front of him at ground level, teammate Alwyn Davey’s reaction said it all. Ready to take the crumbs from the marking contest, Davey’s mouth opened in surprise – and delight – as Hocking got lift-off, before clapping his hands in glee. Adding substance to the style, Hocking, from the top of the goalsquare, went back to calmly kick the goal and give the Bombers an unassailable lead. CALLUM TWOMEY

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9


Saints Stephen Milne (one season) and Nick Winmar (two) sign contract extensions.

CHANGING OF F THE GUARD GUAR RD

BLUES-PIES BLOCKBUSTER

Old foes set for record crowd

» Only bad weather appears

to be standing in the way of Collingwood and Carlton establishing a home and away attendance record when the AFL’s oldest rivals meet at the MCG on Saturday. The AFL advised last Monday that all ticketing in the public section of the ground and all reserved seats in the AFL Members had been sold for the clash between the top-of-the-table Magpies and the fourth-placed Blues. With the MCG’s capacity at 100,018, the record for a Carlton-Collingwood home and away game could be broken for the second time this season.

TOP 5

In round three, 88,181 fans watched the Magpies defeat the Blues by 28 points in a Friday night game. It will be the 243rd clash between the clubs, which hold the record for most meetings (see table below). The Blues have won 123 and the Pies 115, with four draws. BATTLE: Robert Warnock (left)

and Darren Jolly in the round three match this year.

CARLTON v COLLINGWOOD ATTENDANCES

HOME AND AWAY ONLY 88,181

Round 3, 2011

MCG

87,119

Round 1, 1995

MCG

86,196

Round 6, 1993

MCG

85,831

Round 17, 1994

MCG

85,063

Round 2, 1994

MCG

TOP 5

CROWDS OF ALL TIME

HOME AND AWAY ONLY 99,256

Round 10, 1958

MCG

Melbourne v Collingwood

94,825

Round 4, 1995

MCG

Collingwood v Essendon

92,935

Round 11, 1981

Waverley Park Hawthorn v Collingwood

92,436

Round 4, 1977

MCG

Richmond v Collingwood

91,571

Round 20, 2000

MCG

Carlton v Essendon

TOP 5

CROWDS IN 2011

89,626

Round 5 (MCG)

Essendon v Collingwood

88,181

Round 3 (MCG)

Collingwood v Carlton

83,985

Round 15 (MCG)

Collingwood v Hawthorn

83,563

Round 9 (MCG)

Richmond v Essendon

81,691

Round 8 (MCG)

Geelong v Collingwood

MOST HEAD-TO-HEAD MEETINGS GS

10

242

Carlton v Collingwood

233

Essendon v Carlton

226

Collingwood v Melbourne

223

Essendon v Collingwood

AFL RECORD

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Bombers ers reaping ng g the e rewards ds with youth outh

S

C A L LU M T WOMEY EY

ince 2000, 00, when it beat b elaide by 31 Port Adelaide o the points on the way to rship, Essend don premiership, Essendon es at has lost 14 of its past 16 game games AAMI Stadium. It is a horrible record, often arge losing exacerbated by large ng a 138-poin nt margins, including 138-point Adelaide drubbing at the hands of Adelaide 006, the club’ss in round 10 of 2006, sing margin. sixth-greatest losing he Bombers’ most m But perhaps the nue demoralising defeat at the venue came in 2009, when they sent an inexperienced and undermanned line-up to tackle the Crows in the first elimination final. Essendon lost by 96 points and, in many ways, started a challenging period for coach Matthew Knights, which ultimately ended with his sacking at the end of last season. Track the development of the team that played on that damp Adelaide night to the one which overran Richmond in the final quarter last weekend to notch its seventh win of the season, and one can see an obvious trend. Youth is now the focus, with young players entrusted to take the club back to the finals, and beyond. Only nine players who faced the Crows in 2009 – Ricky Dyson, Dustin Fletcher, Michael Hurley, Heath Hocking, Mark McVeigh, Angus Monfries, Tayte Pears, Brent Prismall and Brent Stanton – met the Tigers last week. Admittedly, injuries this season have skewed those numbers. Courtenay Dempsey, Cale Hooker, Nathan Lovett-Murray, Jobe Watson, Andrew Welsh and Jason Winderlich all played against Adelaide but missed last week’s victory with injury. Dyson Heppell, Kyle Hardingham, Michael Hibberd, Leroy Jetta, Jake Melksham, Stewart Crameri, Kyle Reimers, Ben Howlett,

YOUTHFUL:

Leroy Jetta, one of many young Bombers making his mark.

It could ld be a good opportunity to go over there and get a win DAVID ZAHARAKIS

Patrick Ryder and David Zaharakis (all 23 or younger) have replaced more senior types from two seasons ago. Interestingly, Essendon – with Hille injured and Ryder suspended – tackled that 2009 final without a ruckman, instead using Lovett-Murray in the role. With Tom Bellchambers’ rapid improvement, the Bombers have been forced to juggle their ruck combinations this season in attempting to give all three opportunities to impress. This round’s meeting between the teams is intriguing, with the timing appearing to suit Essendon. The Crows have won only four games this season, and have lost four games at home. The Bombers broke an eight-game losing streak in MCG games when they beat the Tigers. “It’s no secret our away record isn’t that good. Adelaide isn’t flying at the moment so it could be a good opportunity to go over there and get a win, but it’s going to be a tough game,” Zaharakis said.


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Twenty Richmond, Essendon, Port Adelaide and St Kilda players fined for involvement in melees last weekend.

RACKING UP THE STATS

Lion champ getting g ter better with h age MICH A EL W HITING

N

eve ever ver in his de ecorated decorated car reer has career Br isbane Brisbane n Black B Lion Simon dss got his hands ba all on the football more often.. Black racked up 0 another 30 disposals in last week’s osss against 42-point loss o take Hawthorn to 00 0 in his him past 400 t 15 matchess this att’s a season. That’s 27 tick under 27 n outing. o touches an yea ar-old is in The 32-year-old asson and has his 14th season m played 289 matches, yet his sposal count has average disposal o high. never been so B Not in hiss Brownlow Medal year i the years when he of 2002, norr in r-u up in 2007-08. was runner-up oree remarkable is the Even more A form three-time All-Australian’s th he Gabba. away from the

500 in sight as Brown is Lions’ goal king » Jonathan Brown’s three goals against Hawthorn in Launceston last weekend made him the Brisbane Bears/Lions’ all-time leading goalkicker. The Lions captain has kicked 498 goals, two more than Daniel Bradshaw (496). “It’s a tremendous honour and something I will look back on at the end of my career with pride,” Brown said. Brown, the Coleman medallist in 2007, 12

AFL RECORD

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Although it is thought teams (and individuals) tend to perform better in front of their home fans, that is not the case for Black this season. In his eight away matches, he is averaging just over 30 touches, while on his home track, the average is 23. Black was typically humble about his form. “I’m reasonably happy without being over the moon,” he said. “I can still find the footy, I’m still finding the body is holding up OK and my reaction is still there, so I’ve been reasonably happy with the year so far. “I probably haven’t, compared to other years, had as much impact at times. I’m probably not being sat on every single week as I have in the

has led the club’s goalkicking three times (2007, ’09 and ’10) and needs two more goals to become the 49th player in League history to kick 500. He is fourth on the list of goalkickers for Fitzroy and the Bears/Lions. Alastair Lynch leads that list with 633.

I feel very grateful to still be playing the sport I love at the highest level SIMON BLACK

past, so o wh whether it’s a bit more freedom m, I don’t know.” freedom, Alth hough Black’s influence has Although alwayss bee been more than the sum of his n numb numbers, on stats alone he is havin ng a stellar season. having He iss fou fourth in overall disposa als, a disposals, and eighth in his bread-a andbread-and-butter contested posses sion Black is on a possessions. one-ye ar co one-year contract with the Lions and hiss fut future has been a big talking g poi point in footy circles. The 200 2003 Norm Smith medall list said s medallist he was still undeci ided on what to do. undecided “I’ll m mak make a call in the next couple of m months and talk to ‘Vossy’’ (coa (coach Michael Voss). I’d like to play on, but I won’t make that ca all de call definitely until later in the yea ar,” h year,” he said. “We hav haven’t had much succes successs thi this year, but I’ve still really enjoyed eenjo my time around the clu ub an club and tried to have a p ositivve at titude. positive attitude. “I re ckon n at times you can reckon take things g a little bit for granted, but this year I definitely haven’t and feel very grateful to still be playing the sport

NO. 1: Jonathan Brown is now the leading Brisbane goalkicker of all-time.

MOST GOALS FOR THE BRISBANE BEARS/LIONS Jonathan Brown

498

Daniel Bradshaw

496

Alastair Lynch

460

Jason Akermanis

307

Roger Merrett

285

I love at the highest level. At my age, I still really value that. “It takes longer to recover, but I don’t feel like I’m 32.” Black said he had enjoyed working with young Lions midfielders Jack Redden, Tom Rockliff, James Polkinghorne and Daniel Rich. “We have to grow from within, so it’s important those guys come through. We need as many A-grade players in our side as possible and we have to find them from within,” he said.

Black’s best by the numbers 15 games

2011 404 possessions (ave 26.93) 21 games

2008 539 possessions (ave 25.66) 18 games

2010 460 possession (ave 25.55)

» Black’s most disposals in

a season came in 2003 when he tallied 634 in 26 matches, including 39 in the Grand Final win over Collingwood.


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Port Adelaide trains in heat chamber to prepare for this weekend’s match in Darwin against Melbourne.

THE HUDDLE

Kangaroos building closer ties with community

A

NICK BOW EN

s the AFL hosts its multicultural round this weekend, North Melbourne continues to build closer ties with its diverse local community. When the Kangaroos opened their revamped $15 million headquarters at Aegis Park early last year, one of its key features was ‘The Huddle’ classroom. The classroom is the centrepiece of North’s Huddle program, which caters primarily for local school children. The club runs a series of education and life-skills programs aimed at meeting the needs of its multicultural local community.

Majak has been a great ambassador for his people DREW PETRIE

As part of the program, North also runs a football academy for indigenous and multicultural players, who predominantly come from inner-city Melbourne. Vice-captain Drew Petrie is the player ambassador for The Huddle. As part of his involvement in the football academy program, Petrie has been coaching a multicultural team that will take on an indigenous team on Sunday afternoon at Aegis Park. (The game is the centrepiece of a community day at the Arden Street ground, with players and spectators walking to 14

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COMMON BOND: North Melbourne star Drew Petrie with members of the

World XVIII team which trained at Arden Street – from left, Alex Tivy, Muris Bartley, Miki Masaki, Abraham Kur, Henry Peni and Keitumetse Molelle. Inset: Roo rookie Majak Daw, with younger brother Anthony.

Etihad Stadium afterwards to watch the Kangaroos play the Western Bulldogs.) “There’s a bit of talent in the group,” Petrie said. “(North rookie) Majak Daw’s brother Anthony is in the team and he’s got a lot of height. He’s got a couple of mates who are also from Sudan. “The skill level of the group is very good, which has been pleasantly surprising. I still remember thinking before our first training session here, ‘What am I going to come up against?’ But it was really good; I was really impressed. “They’re not fearful either of attacking the footy. A lot of young kids can be scared of the football, but with these guys, it can hit them in the face and in the fingers and they just keep going 100 per cent at the footy.” Petrie said North players involved in The Huddle’s programs built up a good rapport with the children they worked with. “When the kids come into the classrooms, they come two or three times and during lunchbreaks they’re up at training, so you see a lot of the same kids coming through,” he said. “You build a bit of a relationship with them. If I see a face once, I generally remember it. And the

kids start to recognise some of us. A lot of them have never really followed footballl and don’t have a team, but there are a few kids now who say they barrack for the Kangaroos.” Petrie said the Sudanese-born Daw had been a great example to local multicultural children of what they could achieve with hard work. “When young Sudanese kids see what Majak is doing at the moment, I think it gives them some inspiration to follow in his footsteps,” he said. “Majak has been a great ambassador for his community and his people. I think when you look at his athleticism, we’re going to see more and more African people playing AFL. “He’s happy to do whatever he can for The Huddle but his No. 1 priority is still to play footy. And some people forget he’s

still only 20 years old.” Petrie said North had lost touch with its local community in recent times but The Huddle’s programs had helped it reconnect. “When this new facility was built, the community was at the forefront of our minds. By including The Huddle classroom as part of it, we’ve created a bit of a hub for people to come to now,” he said. “The old building never had anything that was user-friendly or a space the community could use. But now we have that extra space and people want to come down to North Melbourne. “Bringing the kids through The Huddle is a great way of reintroducing the local community to the North Melbourne Football Club.”

Bringing people together

» “Not only does the AFL engage

people through entertainment but also through a deeper level. We must use this responsibility wisely because the potential for us to create change and bring people together is enormous.” COLLINGWOOD’S HARRY O’BRIEN, WHO HELPED LAUNCHED THE AFL’S MULTICULTURAL ROUND


Carlton, Victorian Government and Pratt Foundation launch initiative to fund research into prostate cancer treatment.

MULTICULTURAL PROGRAM

Raising awareness » By hosting a multicultural

round, the AFL aims to raise awareness of the game (and encourage engagement in various aspects of it) among people from multicultural backgrounds, particularly those from China, south-east Asia and Africa. The AFL employs 10 multicultural development officers who this year will visit more than 300 schools introducing the game to youngsters from newly arrived communities. More than 700 children involved in the program will play in NAB AFL Auskick games during half-time breaks at AFL matches. Through the AFL’s multicultural program, more than 25,000 people have attended an AFL match (many for the first time) in recent years.

NEW FANS: Harry O’Brien, Drew Petrie and Majak Daw at a clinic for children from multicultural backrounds held at Arden Street this week.

For the second year, a ‘World’ team comprised of players born overseas is competing at the NAB AFL Under-16 Championships. Fifteen new Auskick centres (1250 participants) have ve ve recently been established in multicultural communities. Earlier this week, a clinic forr children from multicultural backgrounds was held at North h Melbourne to coincide with thee launch of the round. Cultural diversity forums attended by AFL industry personnel were held in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. Players from multicultural backgrounds will take part in the coin toss before each AFL match this weekend. Goal umpires will wave orange fl ags (orange is the internationally recognised colour of harmony). Children from multicultural backgrounds will take part in

various NAB AFL Auskick games. A clinic for multicultural children will be held at TIO Stadium in Darwin before the Melbourne-Port Adelaide match on Saturday.

North Melbourne will host a multicultural-themed match at Aegis Park at 2pm on Sunday, followed by a walk to Etihad Stadium for the Roos-Western Bulldogs match.

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Port Adelaide’s David Rodan ďŹ ned $900 for making contact with an umpire in last weekend’s match against St Kilda.

GOALLESS QUARTERS

Defenders tightening their grip PETER RYA N

S

omething about the goalless quarter grabs my interest. It is, in some ways, the ultimate expression of the ‘everyone defend everywhere’ philosophy that sees teams restrict their opposition better than ever before. Sure, points are kicked and opportunities lost, but when you don’t kick a goal for a quarter, you are clearly battling for avenues to score. At its best, St Kilda made keeping the opposition goalless for a quarter an art form. Even in a season in which the Saints have struggled, they have achieved the feat on ďŹ ve occasions in the ďŹ rst 14 games. St Kilda became so good at the process in 2009 (keeping the opposition goalless for a quarter 14

times) and 2010 (nine times), but went one step further this year, keeping itself goalless in the last quarter in round 15 against North Melbourne, and still winning. While we’re on goalless last quarters, it seemed they had disappeared this year. Despite 23 in 2010 and 16 in 2009, we spent much of the ďŹ rst half of the season lamenting (or celebrating) their absence. We saw only one in the ďŹ rst nine rounds – Richmond against Carlton in round one. The Tigers managed to go back to back in that statistic in 2010-11. Many attributed their absence to the introduction of the sub rule, which opened up the game to give teams opportunities to score. However, the new dawn has proved false. Slowly, as the season has moved deeper into winter and players seemed to adjust

On ďŹ ve occasions, a team has been held scoreless

to the ďŹ tness demands of the sub rule, the goalless ďŹ nal quarter returned. In rounds 10, 11, 12 and 14, at least one game ended with a team being held goalless in the ďŹ nal term. In the past two rounds, four of the 15 games have ended that way. That makes 11 instances this season. On ďŹ ve occasions, a team has been held scoreless in the last quarter – kaput, not troubling the scorers. Could that be the sub rule having the opposite effect, as fatigue sets in late in the season? The bye might also be playing a part. It is almost as though the goalless last quarter has taken off from where the goalless ďŹ rst quarter left off. Only twice has a team not scored a goal in the ďŹ rst term since round 10; it happened 10 times in the ďŹ rst 10 rounds. In fact, the number of goalless quarters is down this season compared to last. We have had 49 quarters in which one team has failed to kick a goal (496 quarters have been played). That equates to 9.87 per cent, marginally down from last year’s ďŹ gure of 10.9 per cent but still higher than 2009 (8.64 per cent).

SCORING DROUGHTS NUMBER OF GOALLESS QUARTERS Rds 1-16, 2011

49

2010

81

2009

64

NUMBER OF GOALLESS LAST QUARTERS Rds 1-16, 2011

11

2010

23

2009

16

2008

12

2007

13

2006

14

AFTER A BYE

Âť The last seven teams

coming o a bye have been outscored in the last quarter. Two of the seven have been held goalless. Twelve of 17 teams coming o the bye and playing a team not coming o a bye have ‘lost’ the last quarter.

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17


Melbourne sets club membership mark, with th

36,937 signed at the official cut-off at the end of June. J

LATE CALL-UP

Young Swan the right man in an emergency JA MES DA MPNEY

M

oments before the Sydney Swans were due to take on Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium last Saturday night, emergency Luke Parker was sitting in the rooms while teammate Jude Bolton was attempting a seemingly innocuous kick in the warm-up. Since he made his debut in 1999, Bolton has been one of the Swans’ most durable players. He had played all 14 games in 2011 and had logged 145 matches on end, the longest streak among active players. Third on Sydney’s games list (271), Bolton hadn’t missed a match since round 14 of 2005 and had been in some of the best form of his career.

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ANSWERING THE CALL: Luke Parker was

impressive after replacing Jude Bolton, who was injured in the warm-up.

But the 31-year-old hyper-extended his knee in the warm-up and was unable to take his place in the team against the Suns. Coach John Longmire was understandably surprised by Bolton’s late withdrawal, but quickly turned to first-year Swan Parker. “We literally walked straight in after the warm-up

and said, ‘You’re playing’,” Longmire said of his instructions to Parker. “He had 10 minutes to get himself mentally and physically ready to play. “It’s a real credit to his mental resilience to be able to prepare himself and then have a real impact on the game. “I think he might have (had his boots on), but that’s probably

standard for an emergency to be fully su suited up. “Obviousl “Obviously, you’re not allowed on the ground or to do any warm-up, (but) he’s a quality kid, so it was good to see him h perform the way he d did.” Far from b being rattled, the 18-year-old rresponded with 26 disposals and two goals in just his fifth AFL game. Pick No. 40 in last year’s NAB AFL Draft, Parker clearly has a level head on his shoulders. “It was basically five minutes before the game. The boys had come in from the warm-up and John came in and said, ‘Get ready’,” Parker said. “I was hoping I would get a go. You have to prepare as if you are playing (as an emergency). “I was a bit excited, but it was not a good way for Jude to go.” Longmire said Parker had done enough to retain his place against Fremantle this week, regardless of Bolton’s recovery. “It would be hard to put him out of the team anyway just in regards to that performance,” he said. “He was really good and showed some energy.”


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North Melbourne captain Brent Harvey in doubt for this weekend after sustaining a thumb injury.

UNDER-18 CHAMPIONSHIPS

Triumphant Vic Metro dominates All-Aust selection JASON PHEL A N

S

even players from Division One champion Vic Metro and two from Division Two winner Tasmania were picked in this year’s NAB AFL Under-18 All-Australian team announced last weekend. South Australia contributed six players to the 22-player squad, with four from Vic Country, two from Western Australia and one from the Northern Territory. Jonathon Patton, Stephen Coniglio and Chad Wingard, considered likely to be picked in the top three at this year’s NAB AFL Draft, were named in the team. “Many of the All-Australians will likely be playing at AFL level this time next year,” AFL national talent manager Kevin Sheehan predicted. Fifteen players selected in the team are eligible for the 2011 draft, while bottom-age players Sam Mayes and Lachie Whitfield will be eligible for the 2012 draft. Four players – Brad Crouch, Jaeger O’Meara, Ben Kennedy and Brodie Grundy – turned 17 before April 30 this year and can nominate before August 1 for a ‘mini-draft’ that is part of the Greater Western Sydney Giants’ entry conditions for the 2012 season. The Giants do not have the right to claim these players, but

20

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BACK-TO-BACK: Tasmania, coached by Mathew Armstrong, left,

celebrated its second Division Two title win in a row.

Many will likely be playing at AFL level this time next year KEVIN SHEEHAN ON THIS YEAR’S ALL-AUSTRALIAN TEAM

can trade with any of the other 17 AFL clubs, which can then gain selection rights to this pool of players. Greater Western Sydney can trade up to four selections across 2011 and 2012 to the other clubs, with the Giants to decide how those selections will be split. They can trade with other clubs for the right to select in the mini-draft during trade week (October 10-17), which will be conducted after the end of trade week, on the afternoon of Monday, October 17. One player – Northern Territorian Jed Anderson – is zoned to Greater Western Sydney and has already played

for the club in the NEAFL competition. Anderson decided to return to Darwin earlier this year, but will rejoin the Giants before their inaugural AFL season. Vic Metro coach Rohan Welsh was named All-Australian coach, with Tasmania’s Mathew Armstrong the assistant. Sheehan, AIS-AFL academy high performance coach Michael O’Loughlin and AFL club recruiters Kinnear Beaton (Sydney Swans), Jason Taylor (Collingwood), Simon Dalrymple (Western Bulldogs), Wayne Hughes (Carlton) and Neville Stibbard (Greater Western Sydney) selected the All-Australian team.

Undefeated Vics claim title

» Vic Metro was undefeated in five games at the carnival, which ended when Tasmania beat Queensland at Skilled Stadium on July 7. It was Tasmania’s second straight win and third in the past four years. The night before at Etihad Stadium, Vic Metro was too strong for Vic Country to claim its 12th title since the championships went to a twodivision format in 1992. West Australian skipper Stephen Coniglio was awarded the Larke Medal as the outstanding player in Division One. Tasmanian captain John McKenzie won the HC Harrison Medal as the best player in Division Two.


Richmond indicates it plans to be “a major player” in this year’s trade period.

2011 NAB AFL UNDER-18 ALL-AUSTRALIAN TEAM

MILESTONES ROUND 17

AFL LIFE MEMBERSHIP (300 total matches)

DEFENDERS: Jed Anderson

(NT), Michael Talia (Vic Metro), Brandon Ellis (Vic Metro), Brad Crouch (Vic Country), Brody Mihocek (Tas), Alex Forster (SA) James Hird Essendon

MIDFIELDERS: Billy Longer (Vic

Metro), Dom Tyson (Vic Metro), Stephen Coniglio (WA), Jaeger O’Meara (WA), Toby Greene (Vic Metro), Will Hoskin-Elliott (Vic Metro)

200 GAMES

FORWARDS: Chad Wingard (SA),

Ryan Houlihan Carlton

Sam Mayes (SA), Lachie Whitfield (Vic Country), Ben Kennedy (SA), Jonathon Patton (Vic Metro), John McKenzie (Tas)

INTERCHANGE: Mitchell Grigg (SA), Brodie Grundy (SA), Taylor Adams (Vic Country), Clay Smith (Vic Country) COACH: Rohan Welsh (Vic Metro) ASSISTANT COACH:

Mathew Armstrong (Tas)

AFL 200 CLUB

TOP TALENT: WA’s Stephen Coniglio won the Larke Medal as best player in Division One. He made the All-Australian team, together with SA’s Chad Wingard (inset) .

Michael Gardiner St Kilda Martin Mattner Sydney Swans Matthew Primus Port Adelaide

100 GAMES UNDER-16 CHAMPIONSHIPS

PROGRESS: Coach Chris Johnson

with his World XVIII players.

Historic victories

Andrew Swallow North Melbourne Hamish McIntosh North Melbourne Nick Malceski Sydney Swans

H

istory was made at Blacktown International Sports Park last weekend when the World XVIII and South Pacific teams registered their first victories in the NAB AFL Under-16 Championships. The World team defeated the Northern Territory by 16 points while the South Pacific edged out Tasmania by two points. The teams were introduced to the Division Two pool of the championships last year to establish a pathway for talented young footballers throughout the world. The AFL’s director of coaching Peter Schwab said the World XVIII dominated the last quarter, outscoring the Territorians 5.4 to two behinds. “The World team had good players across the board and beat

100 CLUB GAMES

the Northern Territory with run and speed. Their ball use was excellent,” Schwab said. “The team had great determination and their skill level after half-time was outstanding.” Inacio Da Silva Amaral, Majok Aneet and Adam Saad were the World’s best and tall players Aliir Alliir and Abraham Kur were also influential. The South Pacific team played aggressively in beating Tasmania, tackling hard and running well throughout the match. Brendan Beno

from Papua New Guinea was outstanding with five goals. He was well supported by Joses Lawrence and Anthony Joel. Another highlight was the performance of Kiwi ruckman Shem Tatupu in the final quarter. He kicked two goals and showed great strength to help steer the side to victory. In last Tuesday’s Division One games, also played at Blacktown, Vic Country defeated Western Australia by 38 points and South Australia beat Vic Metro by 30 points.

Brent Moloney Melbourne

50 GAMES

Nathan Krakouer Gold Coast Aaron Joseph Carlton Rhys Palmer Fremantle The list includes those not necessarily selected but on the verge of milestones.

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21


Melbourne to “reach out” to forward Austin Wonaeamirri, who took indefinite leave of absence from the club in May.

HOMECOMING

Brothers putting the Cape on the AFL map

T

his round’s match between Richmond and Gold Coast at Cazalys Stadium in Cairns has extra significance for Suns defender Jarrod Harbrow and his older brother Marc. After playing all of his junior footy in Cairns, the 22-year-old

MICH A EL W HITING

There’s endless talent up here MARC HARBROW

LOCAL HERO: Suns defender Jarrod Harbrow is one of many success stories from North Queensland.

Harbrow gets a chance to play an AFL match in front of his home fans for the first time. Ha Harbrow’s elevation to the big b time from North Que e Queensland is one of a growing num m number of success stories from wha a is a vast region. what Th Harbrow brothers share T The a sp pe special bond. Marc was a pro om promising footballer but was diag g diagnosed with leukemia as a teen n Jarrod became his bone teen. mar rr donor. marrow Al A Although their desire to bot h play at the top level never both cam m to fruition, the two are came wor rk working together to promote the game g and provide guidance to youngsters. yyo JJarrod is an ambassador of the No Boundaries o p program established by AFL C Cape York. The program eencourages students to cco continue with school, become lead d and participate in leaders com mm community sports and events. M Marc plies his trade as the AFL L Cape York senior regional dev ve development officer. He travels mon n monumental distances to search for th the next star among the 35 com mm communities in his region. “C “Cape York alone is something likee 2 270,000 square kilometres; it’s a almost its own state,” he said. “T “Then you’ve got the Torres Stra ai Islands, which is another Strait regi io We also service the Gulf region. but w we only get out there three to fou fourr times a year.” Itt’ not unusual for Harbrow It’s and dh his two development officers to drive dr anywhere from six to d 15 h hours to do a clinic, stay ove er overnight, and return home. i a hectic schedule, but in his Itt is seve en years in the role, he has seen seven eno or enormous growth in the region. “I love it. I’ve seen massive “I resu ul in terms of kids results succ ce succeeding with going to boa ar boarding schools and university and d tthose type of things,” he said.

Get personal this Father’s Day

“There’s endless talent up here with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander boys. Skills are last on the list of things for us to develop. “They’ve got natural skills already; for us it’s about getting the message that you have to go to school with sound behavior, and doing the right thing in order to play.” Jarrod Harbrow is a prime example of the talent that has come from the area in the past decade. He believes there is plenty more gold to be found. “There are a lot of players up there who have natural talent,” he said. “They can kick and handball, they have speed and agility and all the attributes to make a good AFL player, but it’s just a matter of them getting noticed. “They’re certainly going to get more (players) coming out of that way with the programs AFL Cape York and AFL Cairns have set up. “There’s a lot of talent not just in Cairns, but in all the little communities going to the far north of Queensland and you just don’t want it to go to waste.” In the past 12 years, AFL Cairns has increased its junior numbers by a double-digit percentage each year, with school participation also increasing, from 50 to 200 teams. Gold Coast has the Far North as a priority recruiting zone with an academy established in the region. The Suns have Harbrow, Rex Liddy (Hop Vale) and Charlie Dixon and Lewis Moss (Cairns) on their books. Essendon’s Courtenay Dempsey (Cairns) is another success story. “With Jarrod and Rex Liddy, kids can identify that no matter how far up Australia you live or how remote you are, it doesn’t mean you can’t make the AFL,” Marc Harbrow said.

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ANDREW HOOPER

A forward with bite After a hiccup over the off-se -season, youngster Andrew Hooper H is back in the Bulld Bulldogs line-up and doing what wh he does best.

P

JE ENNIFER W ITH A M

ressure acts are among the new buzz statistics in football and hav have proved the driving force behind resu the resurgence of both Weste Bulldogs the Western secon and second-year forward H Andrew Hooper. Dog have won The Dogs fo games, with their past four intensi provided by the intensity (w came into the Hooper (who side in rou round 15 against Melbourne and zippy Melbourne) f first-year forward Luke v Dahlhaus vital. Hooper instigated 16 ac against the pressure acts Demo mons ns – which w Demons ranked h m fifth at hi a the club for him the game – and 20 against Carlton last w weekend, which third had him third. “They’re defined by putting pressure on the opposition in our m forward line; making them use quick kicks and keeping the ball explains in,” he explains. p “It’s a huge part of my role wan to get my and I just want u My goal each pressure acts up. week is to win (the count). de “I’m very determined to do that and have the confidence from the coach coaches that I can do it each week.” IN SHAPE: Andrew Hooper has

his naturally stocky frame in better condition.

Hooper has more than one reason to prove his commitment and determination to the coaching staff after an indifferent pre-season. At the end of last season, he was on top of the world. He had just finished his first year at Whitten Oval, and after being elevated from the rookie list in the middle of the season, had broken through for his first AFL match in the second week of the finals. His appearance in the Dogs’ semi-final win against the Sydney Swans was special – he was just the 33rd player in League history to debut in a final. He kicked a goal and had five touches, but it wasn’t quite enough to keep him in the team that lost to St Kilda the following week. Some 10 months down the track, the boy from Ballarat, who turned 20 in January, has only just found his feet again at AFL level. Hooper played his second AFL game two weeks ago. Why did it take so long? “I had a slow start in the pre-season and I came back the wrong way. I didn’t pass the skinfolds test, which showed I didn’t do enough while we were away,” he says. “I kept training but I didn’t recognise I was overweight. I should have done an extra bit to keep my body in shape.” It was coach Rodney Eade who came to Hooper in the days after the club resumed

training to tell the former rookie he had presented in unsuitable fashion. “He was disappointed in me,” Hooper recalls. “For him to come to me and tell me he was disappointed showed he really wanted me to get back to where I was. “It was a big wake-up call for me. I took it on the chin, I knew what to do and got on to it straight away.” Hooper has a naturally stocky frame and admits he has always found it tough to consistently hit the required skinfold targets. Once he got over the rude shock, he was determined to get his body right. He was given a diet plan and has stuck to it, although he doesn’t need to follow it as rigidly during the season when full-time training helps keep the weight off. “I’m back to where I need to be now,” he says. Hooper was involved in a night out on the team’s off-season trip to Hong Kong that he knows embarrassed him and the club (Bulldogs players were filmed skylarking on a busy street). The players received a reprimand for the incident which, combined with the weight issue, left Hooper more determined than ever to succeed. “I don’t want to lose the trust of ‘Rocket’ (Eade) and my teammates; that’s a pretty big part of me now.”

It was a big wake-up call for me. I took it on the chin ANDREW HOOPER AFTER COMING BACK TO PRE-SEASON OUT OF SHAPE

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57


CONTINUING THE JOURNEY: Leigh Montagna has experienced the highs and lows of AFL football but at the relatively young age of 27, he still has plenty of good times ahead.


LEIGH MONTAGNA

Slick Saint has unfinished business Suc Successive Grand Final done nothing to defeats have h diminish Leigh Montagna’s diminis and hunger for self belief b success. Nor has it dimmed success unshakeable bond he the un has w with his teammates. The classy midfielder is more determined than ever de to finish n what the Saints started a decade ago when recruited him as part they re of the co core group of today’s talented line-up. C A L LU M T WOMEY

F

or Leigh Montagna, the hard-running, brilliantly skilled and speedy goalkicking midfielder, playing football for St Kilda is about more than simply chasing success. It is about those he has shared the chase with. “That’s the best part about being a footballer – spending every day with your mates and enjoying your time with them,” says Montagna, whose closely cropped hair and the way he wears his uniform (socks always up with his shorts sitting high) gives him a classic neat appearance. Being part of the team – a collective – has underpinned Montagna’s 10-season, 160-game career with the Saints. As much as Montagna’s time at the club has been about persistence and an ability to evolve with the rhythms of

the game, the 27-year-old’s career has also been marked by the company he has kept, or so it seems. Nick Riewoldt to Lenny Hayes, Nick Dal Santo to Brendon Goddard, and Justin Koschitzke to Montagna – they have made up the face of modern St Kilda. When you think of one, it seems you immediately think of another. This group of mates, for better and worse, has provided a reference point to Montagna’s AFL career. “We’ve been on a hell of a journey,” Montagna says. It’s the perfect summation for the group, but probably one also appropriate when considering his own development. As a junior at Balwyn Football Club in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, Montagna was a small, skinny player. “I was never a tough, hard

From the moment he walked in the door, you could see he was going to be a good player FORMER TEAMMATE MAX HUDGHTON

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59


leigh montagna nut and am probably still not,” he says with a smile. His small stature (he is listed at 178cm but that might seem generous) counted against him, despite promising signs in the TAC Cup for the Northern Knights. “I was never on the radar or touted as a future draftee until late in my under-18s year,” Montagna says. “I managed to sneak into the Vic Metro team through a bit of luck and was playing some good footy at the right time and it just snowballed from there. “Obviously, my size was always against me, but St Kilda saw enough in me to think there was something there.” When Montagna joined the club at the end of 2001, Riewoldt and Koschitzke had already played, having been drafted in 2000 with pick one and two respectively. Hayes, a tough midfielder from Pennant Hills in New South Wales, was selected two years year before that, along with a nuggety back pocket, Colac’s Steven Baker. Along with Montagna, the Saints chose Luke Ball, Xavier Clarke, Dal Santo and Matt Maguire, and elevated rookie Stephen Milne to the senior list. A year later, Goddard was chosen with pick one, and a year after that Sam Fisher, with pick 55, was recruited to the club. It was a period of recruiting that

FACT FILE

Leigh Montagna Born: November 2, 1983 Recruited from: Balwyn/Northern U18 Debut: Round 6, 2002 v Collingwood Height: 178cm Weight: 78kg Games: 160 Goals: 93 Player honours: 2nd best and fairest 2010; 3rd best and fairest 2007, 2009; All-Australian 2009, 2010; International Rules Series 2008, 2010; pre-season premiership sides 2004, 2008 Brownlow Medal: career votes 52

RESCUE MISSION: Leigh Montagna (right) and skipper Nick Riewoldt have played

a major role in turning around the fortunes of the Saints in recent weeks.

attitude never wavered through that period. “He was always going to go somewhere. From the moment he walked in the door, you could see he was going to be a good player,” Hudghton says. Montagna, speaking to the AFL Record in a meeting room at

St Kilda saw enough in me to think there was something there LEIGH MONTAGNA

has sustained the club. The Saints picked survivors. But unlike most of his peers, who burst on to the scene and made an immediate impact, Montagna was made to wait. He made his debut in round six of 2002, but played only 30 games in his first four seasons. In a team striving to break its long premiership drought, Montagna was certainly on the fringe. Despite this, it was Montagna’s determination to succeed that stood out to people at the club. Max Hudghton, a former teammate, says Montagna’s 60

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11

St Kilda’s Seaford headquarters last week, says his drive came from watching others do well. “You never know when you first come into the system that you’re going to make it,” he said. “What probably pushed me along was seeing the other guys I was drafted with playing senior footy really early. That was probably more what egged me on, that my mates were playing seniors and I wasn’t. It was a healthy envy.” However, it’s a fi ne line between being envious and frustrated. Montagna saw

others getting opportunities, but he was made to earn his by then coach Grant Thomas. Coming straight from the TAC Cup and school football for Marcellin College, Montagna was forced to learn what it took to play elite football against men. He knew how to find the ball and could certainly kick it, but he didn’t know how to play football. That came in the VFL. He now recalls the period as “a blessing in disguise”. “At the time, it was quite frustrating. I was plugging away in the (VFL) and was quite consistent, but couldn’t get a regular senior spot,” he said. “Looking back now, with a mature head and in hindsight, no doubt having to play a lot of VFL football and developing my game really held me in good stead.” From there, Montagna – nicknamed ‘Joey’ after Milne once facetiously asked if NFL Hall of Famer Joe Montana was Leigh’s uncle – grew into the prolific, ball-winning midfielder he has become. In 2006, Thomas’ final season at the club before being replaced by Ross Lyon, Montagna led the

Saints for inside-50s and was third in tackles and hard-ball gets. In 2007, he had more possessions – 502 – than any other Saint and fi nished third in the best and fairest. He backed it up as the leading kick-getter in the AFL in 2008. Montagna’s ascension was incremental, but swift. And as he grew as a player, so did his teammates and the team. The player who couldn’t get a regular game morphed into a key in one of the League’s best teams, a genuine premiership contender. However, St Kilda’s rise under Lyon was kickstarted by a heavy defeat. Often in football, a heavy finals defeat can be written off as an aberration, a game to forget as quickly as possible, wiped with the thought improvement will naturally follow. But following their 54-point drubbing by Hawthorn in a 2008 preliminary final, the Saints knew they had to take stock. The heavy loss sparked a change of approach. St Kilda won its first 20 games in 2009 and set the benchmark for defensive football. With a slice of luck, it might have won the flag, losing the Grand Final against Geelong, by 12 points. “We didn’t get to play the way we wanted to play in that ‘prelim’ and Hawthorn dictated to us how they wanted to play,” Montagna says. “Ross and the coaching staff made a point from then on to never be dictated to by the


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leigh montagna opposition. We would play the way we wanted to play and we’d stick to that and make other teams adjust to us. We’ve kept that philosophy ever since.” St Kilda’s fervent tackling and pressure – it led the way in implementing what we now know as the ‘forward press’ – was crucial to its season. Every player was a defender of space and each was expected to guard territory and tackle hard when the opportunity arose. It was a dedicated, committed and steadfast system, with Montagna saying it developed as the season wore on. “It gradually evolved. It came from that Hawthorn model of zoning (in 2008). The coaches

LIFE AFTER FOOTY

A man of many talents entss

» We always hearr abo about bou out utt footballers taking g it i one on o nee week weeek wee w ek k at a time, but Leigh hM Montagna Mo Mon ont nta tag ag agn gna na a is looking further ahead ahea ah ahe ead ad d to what beckons when wheen wh n his his h ds. ds ds. playing career ends. Montagna, who o turns tu ttur urn rn nss 28 28 in November, is combining ombining o om mb binin bin in ng g and an d studies stu stu ud udie diees media, coaching and to give himself as many man ma nyy options as possible le when le when wh heen n he he p the tth hee boots. bo boot oo otss. decides to hang up “I’m at the age now now no w where wher wh heerree you start to think about abo ab ou out utt what wh w hat att o do do after affteer aft a you might want to footy and I’m dipping ping pi pin ing ng g my my toe tto oee in the water in a few ew w diff diff ffere ffer erent eren ent ntt areas,” he said. reeg gu gul ula lar arr Montagna is a regular nell Seven’s nel Se Sev Sevveen n’ss panelist on Channel rogram ro og ogr gra ra am m as as AFL Game Day program sspecial sp pec eci cia ial all well as providing spe mes m me ess during du d urrin uri ing ng g comments on games the season. mpleted m mp pllet ple ete ted ed d He recently completed hing hi hin ng g course co ccou ou urrsse a level two coaching nss – be be it it and has ambitions ment me men ent ntt or or at AFL, development co coac oa ach ch, h, junior level – to bee a coach, ing in ng g ffo for orr a and is also studying eess. es sss.. diploma of business. pportunity pp ppo po ort rtu tu un nittyy nity “I’ve had the opportunity to do some media a which whic wh hich hI finitely fi fin nittel nite ely lyy an an enjoy, and it’s defi nitely option after footy,” y,”” he yy, he said. sa ssai aid id. d. “But I’m just doing oing oin iin ng g little litt llitttl tle lee geett a feel g fee ffe eel ell bits and pieces so I get for what path I can n go go down dow do wn n when footy finishes.” es.” es es.” CALLUM C CA AL LLU UM M TWOMEY T TW WO OM ME EY Y

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identified that one-on-one football was starting to go out of the game and that you needed to be able to cover all areas of the ground and work together,” he says. “We took a little bit of that Hawthorn model and tried to apply it to us with a different twist.” Crucial to its success was teamwork, which is perhaps why, in our interview, Montagna appears keener to talk about the team, than about himself. He understands that team success requires individuals sometimes having to sacrifice for the good of group. The Saints again executed magnificently in 2010, but drew with Collingwood in the Grand Final. A little of that thing called luck might have changed everything. As it was, St Kilda lost the replay by 56 points. The d f defeat, M Montagna says, left the Saints mentally exhausted at the start of this year.

FOCUSED:

Montagna says the Saints are hungrier than ever for the ultimate prize.

It was, mentally, a really tough year last year LEIGH MONTAGNA

“There was a different feel after the ’09 disappointment because we still felt there was that mission to achieve what we wanted,” he says. “It wasn’t a revenge mentality, but it was that mentality of us not quite getting what we wanted so we were prepared to have another crack at it. And we put all ou our effort and all our focus into last season. “It was was, mentally, a really tough yea year last year because we were sso driven and focused to g ge get back there to give ou u ourselves a chance. We rre really focused on giving ou o ourselves another chance tto play in a Grand Final.” Just as the team pe ea peaked in the past two seasons,, so s has Montagna. In the two G Grand Final years, Montag n was selected in the Montagna All-Aust tr All-Australian side, along with four oth he in that period. others “One o of the keys to being a successf fu team is having the successful same core co or group of players week in, week k out, playing together,” Montag n says. Montagna “Whe en you’ve got that “When continui i you know what continuity, each oth h other’s doing.” Mont t Montagna averaged 28 possess si possessions a game in 2010, and fini nished second in the best and fai ir fairest. Being consistent, though h, isn’t easy. Montagna though, identifi fieed what had worked for him m in the past – and what hadn’ ’t – to develop a weekly hadn’t prepa ara preparation routine. “O Once you know what you “Once need d to do to play good football cons siste consistently, it becomes easier in th he se the sense that you know wha at to do,” he says. what “B But tthen there’s the hard “But par rt of a part actually being prepared to do d it eevery week.” This sseason has been far T fro om co from consistent for the Saints. Af fter a p After poor start – they sat 15 5th on the ladder after round 15th ei ight – tthe Saints have won five eight

of their past seven games after a mid-season shake-up which saw them focus on the basics. “We stripped it right back,” Montagna says. “We focused on how we want to play our footy and how we want to be perceived. “We were proud of our reputation as being really hard to play against. “You always knew what you were going to get from St Kilda teams but, at the start of the year, we probably weren’t giving that.” Montagna’s explanation of the Saints’ mentality at the start of the year is fascinating. Just as the football public was writing off their chances of finally claiming a second premiership, they too were asking questions of themselves. “We identified early in the year we probably got back to focusing on the result too much,” he says. “We were thinking about where we were going to finish on the ladder and whether we would play in another Grand Final.” Through an ability to concentrate only on what they could control, the Saints have slowly tweaked their style to be in contention of a finals spot. They have overcome the loss of Hayes to a season-ending knee injury by allowing younger players – including David Armitage and Jack Steven – to take more responsibility and bigger roles in the midfield. Ruckman Ben McEvoy has improved to be one of the keys to their revival. But, still, as St Kilda moves ominously toward a fourth straight finals appearance, it is the club’s core group that will play the biggest role. Although some of the personnel has changed – Clarke and Maguire have moved to the Brisbane Lions, and Ball left for Collingwood at the start of 2010 – the image of St Kilda as we have known it in recent years – with Riewoldt, Dal Santo, Goddard, Montagna and Koschitzke at the forefront – remains strong. So, too, does the hope that one day the group can achieve what it set out to do almost a decade ago, together. “We’re definitely still as hungry, if not more hungry after getting so close and not experiencing it. We’re certainly not giving up hope.”


DECEIVING: It looks like butter would

not melt in his mouth in this photograph, but Rory Sloane is a practical joker within the Adelaide rooms. PHOTO: LACHLAN CUNNINGHAM/AFL PHOTOS

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RORY SLOANE

The Crows’ man of action He may not be a superhero, but Adelaide youngster Rory Sloane is fast becoming a cult hero. A laidback joker off the field, the Crows midfielder is fierce and competitive on it. K ATR INA GIL L

F

licking back through Rory Sloane’s draft combine and club questionnaires, it would be safe to assume he was a fan of action movies and comic books growing up. In a pre-draft questionnaire three years ago, while most players listed skills such as speed, agility or kicking on their non-preferred foot, Sloane tongue-in-cheek responded ‘Kryptonite’

when was asked to identify his weakness. The fun-loving 21-year-old doesn’t remember providing the Kryptonite line, but his subsequent attempt at humour in a quiz before the start of this season leaves you with little doubt he said it. When challenged to reveal something not many people knew about him for an Adelaide player profile, he wrote: ‘I am Batman’. It didn’t take long for revelations of his alleged

superhero status to spread, with teammates, supporters and commentators alike now commonly referring to him as Rory ‘The Batman’ Sloane. “That’s gotten so blown out of proportion,” Sloane said with a grin. “I’m copping a lot of grief at the club because the boys are saying I gave myself the nickname, ‘Batman’. “I wrote ‘I am Batman’ as a joke in a questionnaire, but it seems to have been taken a bit further now.”

We probably should’ve picked Rory in 2007. Thankfully, he was still there the next year ADELAIDE RECRUITING MANAGER MATT RENDELL

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65


RORY SLOANE

Sloane didn’t dodge the pre-draft question about his weaknesses because he was in denial over his ability. He admits he has areas to improve on. Who doesn’t? But he figures he will let his opponents work those out. One of the knocks on his game as a teenager playing for the Eastern Ranges in the TAC Cup was his kicking. It wasn’t deemed a major deficiency, but the question mark was big enough to see him overlooked completely at the 2007 NAB AFL Draft, and slide all the way down to pick 44 the next year. The Crows seriously considered selecting Sloane as a 17-year-old in 2008 but instead took a punt on raw defender Aaron Kite, who was delisted after two seasons at the club. “We probably should’ve picked Rory with our last pick in 2007 (No. 71), but we didn’t. Thankfully, he was still there the next year,” Adelaide recruiting manager Matt Rendell said. “I thought he had too many things going for him in other areas to worry about his kicking that much. I just love the way he played. “He’s an influential player. He doesn’t need to have many touches to have an impact on a game and he plays tough footy.” Sloane’s influence and toughness were both highlighted in his performance against Hawthorn at AAMI Stadium in round one this season. The inexperienced on-baller was credited with keeping Adelaide in the contest in the first half and was also important after half-time, helping the Crows fight back from four goals down to record a memorable win in a match celebrating the 20th anniversary of the club’s AFL debut. His performance against the Hawks was heralded even more when X-rays the next day revealed he had finished the game with a fractured jaw and thumb. “My jaw and thumb were both pretty sore during the game,” Sloane said. “I remember saying to the doc, ‘My jaw is pretty sore’, after Graham Johncock accidentally 66

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ASTUTE PICK: Rory Sloane has proved a bargain selection for the Crows at No. 44 in the 2008 NAB AFL Draft.

He doesn’t need to have many touches to have an impact on a game and he plays tough footy ADELAIDE RECRUITING MANAGER MATT RENDELL

cleaned me up with his hip. The doctor had a fiddle around with my teeth and said they were fine. He didn’t think there was anything wrong. “I knew my thumb was pretty bad though, because I tried to take a mark and the ball just went straight through my hands. “I remember thinking, that can’t be good.” Sloane put on a brave face for the more than 70 friends and family he had invited to Adelaide from his home in Upwey in the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges in Melbourne’s outer east to help celebrate his 21st

birthday at a party the night after the game. The next day, he checked into hospital to have a metal plate put in his jaw and pins inserted to realign his thumb. It was the third straight year he had been injured in round one, having damaged ligaments in his ankle against Fremantle last season and injuring his knee playing for North Adelaide in the SANFL the year before. He spent five weeks recovering from the two surgeries, including a painful first week drinking “baby food” and soup through a straw under

the watchful eye of his mum at home in Upwey. But he maintains he would do it all again. “The win was definitely worth it,” he said grinning. “I think I got through the game on pure adrenaline. I didn’t have any painkillers. There was a massive crowd there. It was a huge game for the club and it was a close game as well.” Sloane is already developing a reputation for his ability to perform in big games, or at pivotal moments in matches. In just his 10th game, against Geelong at AAMI Stadium in round 16 last season, Sloane coolly slotted two goals late in the game, belying his experience and guiding Adelaide to an upset win over the reigning premier. He revealed his appetite for the big stage again in the Crows’ clash with the Sydney Swans two weeks ago, marking the ball just inside 50m in


RORY SLOANE

slippery conditions late in the tight final quarter. Sometimes, at crucial moments in games, it appears the player with the ball in his hands doesn’t want the responsibility of taking the kick, but Sloane calmly walked back to his mark and – just as he had done against the Cats 12 months before – nailed the goal that ultimately delivered a much-needed victory for his team. The kicking, which supposedly led to him being overlooked in the 2007 draft, has already won Adelaide two games. “Against Sydney, we’d lost six games in a row, ‘Craigy’ (coach Neil Craig) was under the pump, the players had been under the pump and our supporters were frustrated with us,” he said. “I thought, ‘There’s no way I can miss this. We need it too much as a footy club for me to miss’. “The feeling you get after kicking those sorts of goals is just amazing. “I can’t even remember the ball going through. I just remember hitting it well and then celebrating afterwards with all the boys.” Photographers at the ground captured Sloane’s goal celebration with teammate and housemate Jared Petrenko, who played his best game for the club in the win over the Swans. “‘Pup’ (Petrenko) jumped up in front of me and wrapped his legs around me,” Sloane said. “There are a couple of good photos of it actually. We might have to get one blown up and put up in the house.” There’s a bit of Superman and Clark Kent in the ‘double life’ Sloane leads. The loveable clubman is as laidback and friendly off the field as he is fierce and competitive on it.

Sloane had good reason to celebrate after getting the Crows over the line in round 15, much to the delight of his teammate and housemate Jared Petrenko.

His severe case of white-line fever is best summed up in a story told by his former Vic-Metro coach David Dickson. “Against Tassie in the second game of the (under-18) championships (in 2008), when we got belted around a bit, Rory really made the other players feel better about themselves,” Dickson said. “He worked his player over so much in that game that he wouldn’t shake Rory’s hand at the end of the game, but Rory wouldn’t let him get off the ground until he shook his hand.” Rendell also has fond memories of Sloane dating

elicious PERi-PERi Chicken Nando’s d is much easier to swallow.

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FACT FILE

MATCHWINNER:

9

Rory Sloane Born: March 17, 1990 Recruited from: Upwey-Tecoma/Eastern U18 Debut: Round 20, 2009 v Hawthorn Height: 183cm Weight: 79kg H Games: G 25 Goals: 15 Draft D history: 2008 NAB AFL Draft D 3rd round selection (Adelaide) (A No. 44 overall

back to his first meeting with the then 17-year-old in 2007. “When Rory came in for the first interview, it was like he’d known us all for 20 years. He was everyone’s mate,” Rendell said. “He’s just a bubbly personality. I knew he’d fit in at our club. He’d fit in anywhere. “He’s turned out exactly like I thought he would and he’s got a fair bit of improvement still to come, I think.” Sloane the superhero? No, sadly not. But Sloane the cult hero? Definitely. As Adelaide undergoes a major overhaul of its list, Craig has encouraged supporters to

find new heroes to replace lon long-time favourites Andrew Mc McLeod, Simon Goodwin, Tyson Edw Edwards and Brett Burton. S Sloane, who took over Edwards’ No. 9 jumper, has joined Patrick Dan Dangerfield (dubbed the new Ma Mark Ricciuto) at the top of the mo most popular list, endearing himself to the Crows faithful with his energy, enthusiasm and mop of blond hair. He has also become an instant favourite of the coach, who has expressed admiration for the competitive midfielder’s uncompromising style of play on numerous occasions. In the same questionnaire that he became ‘The Batman’, Sloane was overwhelmingly nominated as the ‘coach’s pet’, prompting larrikin forward Taylor Walker to stick a photo of Sloane surrounded by love hearts in Craig’s locker as a practical joke. “I knew it was Taylor. He kept denying it, but I knew it was him,” Sloane said when asked about the prank. “‘Craigy’ brought it up in a meeting and said, ‘Sloaney, stop putting photos of yourself up in my locker’. “The other boys think I’m Craigy’s pet … I don’t really know why.”


T S U J S I Y T THE DYNAS . D E T R A T S GETTING

The Pies are young and exciting, and last year’s Premiership has just left them hungry for more. So when that chant once again bellows and shakes through the MCG, and black and white fills the stands there is no other place you’d want to be on the first Saturday in October. You can now guarantee your spot at the 2011 Toyota AFL Grand Final with the AFL Event Office. Only the

AFL Event Office can tailor unforgettable Grand Final packages like no other with reserved seats to the biggest game of the year, access to AFL functions and entertainment, flights and accommodation. So when the Pies swoop into another Grand Final make sure you’re amongst the Collingwood faithful; book your spot today and ensure you’re a part of the 2011 Toyota AFL Grand Final.

Book at afl.com.au/eventoffice or call 1300 235 235 YOUR OFFICIAL GRAND FINAL DESTINATION OSAFL 11/25


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time on ADVERTISEMENT

Our AFL history guru answers your queries.

col hutchinson GENUINE SENIOR FOOTBALLERS » Lew Sharpe was born

FULL HOUSE: The old Arden Street ground, pictured here in 1973, held up to 35,000

fans. PHOTO: NORTH MELBOURNE FOOTBALL CLUB

Flocking to Arden Street Could you please tell me the record number of people to attend a match at the old Arden Street football ground? DAVID McILROY, VIA EMAIL

CH: Between 1925 and 1985,

North Melbourne won 239 and drew eight of its 529 League matches at the ground, which is now the club’s training venue. In their last home match of 1949, the Kangaroos met the Blues

in a contest for top place on the ladder. The match attracted huge interest and an estimated 35,000 fans paid a total of $3326 at the gate. North, inspired by star full-forward Jock Spencer with eight goals, won by 56 points. One of his teammates, wingman Keith McKenzie, was also outstanding. McKenzie recently celebrated his 89th birthday and still plays tennis several times a week.

on July 14, 1906, and was o rrecruited by St Kilda as a 119-year-old ruckman from Loch in Gippsland. After L eeight matches in 1926-27, he transferred to Footscray h where he played 19 games w iin 1929-30. He then joined Fitzroy for six appearances F during the 1932 season. d Two years later, he gained T ssenior selection once for Essendon. He also played E with Victorian country clubs w Wonthaggi, Blackwood and W Dayleston. He lived to the D grand age of 94. Do you know of other senior players who are close to 90 or older, or who reached such an age before passing on? Should you have such information, contact Col Hutchinson on (03) 9643 1929 or col.hutchinson@afl.com.au.

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

NAME GAME

Mountain Lion

» Players occasionally

have surnames that fit nicely with the clubs they play for, such as St Kilda’s Nick Dal Santo, Robert Pyman (when he was with Collingwood) and Ross Lyon (when he was at Fitzroy). Some are not so obvious. At 204cm and 102kg, Matthew Leuenberger fits the cliché of ‘man mountain’.

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He is also a Brisbane Lion. This is all as it should be. As a surname, Leuenberger is usually a habitation name referring to a number of villages named Leuenberg and would have been bestowed upon someone from one of those places. But the word itself derives from two elements: Leuen- is a form of the German Löwe, meaning “lion” (former

Saint Stewart Loewe’s surname is the English spelling) and -berger is based on the German berg, meaning “hill” or “mountain”. Leuenberger is indeed the “Lion Mountain”. Even more appropriately, Leuenberger was also sometimes bestowed as a nickname for a strong and brave person with regal bearing. KEVAN CARROLL


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rick milne

Ask the expert about ut all your footy memorabilia. I’ had two over the years – one I’ve fo for Melbourne and the other for ccountry club Sandhurst. They a are not hugely valuable, but I w would still pick up any I might find. I reckon they’re worth a around $20.

I have a collection of cards signed by ex-footballers who feature on radio and television. They include Rex Hunt, Brian Taylor, Dermott Brereton, John ‘Sam’ Newman, Chris Grant and Gerard Healy. My mother started the collection with Lou Richards, Jack Dyer, Ted Whitten, Alan ‘Butch’ Gale and many others. All up, there are more than 100 autographed cards.

I have quite a few Adelaide C Crows Football Records from the early days. I have a feeling th th they are not worth much, but I’ I’d like to be sure.

LORETTA PINKNEY, VIA EMAIL

RM: I’ve been valuing AFL/VFL

memorabilia for more than 20 years, and this is a first To my knowledge, you are the only collector in this area – and I love it. Hard to put a price on the collection – I’d probably need to see it to be specific, and you are welcome to contact me if you wish. As a rule of thumb, I’d say those collected by your mother would be worth at least $25 each, and the later ones might be worth $5-10 each.

Pulling out an old cabinet, I found a small badge. It shows a picture of a woman (looks

M. HOSKING, EDEN HILLS, SA. M

RM: You are right. By the 1980s, R

MEDIA STARS: One collector has a set of

cards featuring current media identities such as Sam Newman.

1920s-30s to me) in the centre, with blue and white stripes around the wording, ‘Queen of Nth Melbourne’. Any value? TERRY BEAVIS, FLEMINGTON, VIC.

RM: Terry, your dating is spot

on. These were very popular at the time and, to my knowledge, were fundraisers for the clubs.

m many footy fans were collecting F Football Records, so their value fr from this time on is minimal. Those from the Crows’ Grand Final wins would be the most valuable at around $40. Earlier home and away issues might sell for $3-$4 each. 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.

BUYER BEWARE

» If you’re a keen collector of footy memorabilia and you’re buying off the internet, here are two words

of advice: be careful. Recently, I’ve had more than a few emails from fans who have been taken for a ride. Here’s one example: a card “signed” by Fitzroy legend Alan ‘The Baron’ Ruthven. The card, in fact, was issued after he had passed away. I’ll say it again. If you’re buying off the internet, be careful.

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RICK’S RARITY

» Before I start, I should

declare my loyalties. In the SANFL, I’m a lifelong West Torrens fan – even though it is now merged with Woodville. That said, Lindsay Head is one of the greatest South Australian footballers of all time. He played 334 games with the (generally not so) mighty Eagles. Although he was part of the 1953 premiership side in his second year, that was the only flag success he tasted. Eight times best and fairest, 37 appearances for the South Australian team, including captaining it in 1960, he was the consummate football superstar. He rejected many offers to join VFL clubs and stayed true to West Torrens.


BRAINS

answers at bottom of page

Find the 5 DIFFERENCES between the 2 cards

Can you guess this AFL Unscramble Key Sell Jam to discover the AFL player’s name! Player’s NICKNAME?

_____ _____

B&F

game card

Which team won the first AFL Premiership way back in 1897? A. Carlton B. Collingwood C. Essendon D. Richmond

NEW!

Silver CODE cards and enter codes to play

Answers: 1. “Jurrah Liam”, yellow footy, no white pole behind, missing player, front right player has open eyes 2. James Kelly 3. Heater 4. C Essendon

4

______

TV N O N AS SEE


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SPOT THE DIFFERENCE

FIVE TO FIND

SPOT THE DIFFERENCE: Tape removed from Mitch Robinson’s wrist; Betts’ left thumb has been removed; top of Carlton logo removed from Betts’ jumper; number removed from Robinson’s jumper; AFL logo removed from Robinson’s jumper.

E X TE NDE D P L AY T I M E

FREE ENTRY

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. (A AFL Playground is also operating at Metricon Stadium.) Visit afl.com.au/ playground for more information.

Scrambled Sc S crra am mb blleed Footballer: Fo F oot otb ba all ller er: Cryptic Cr C ryyp pti tiicc Footballers: Fo F oo ottb ba alllleerrss:: BI B IG MOUTH: MO M OU UT TH H:: BIG 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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Young defender Jake Batchelor has proved a p perfect erfect matc match for Richmond. LUK E HOLMESBY

T

here’s a quirky connection between Tiger Jake Batchelor and Demon Tom Scully. Scully’s knee was a talking point in the early part of the season. The No. 1 draft pick from 2009 missed most of the first half of the year, severely impacting on Melbourne’s fortunes. But what isn’t quite as well known is that Scully’s knee also had a big part to play in the fortunes of Richmond’s Batchelor. Scully fractured his kneecap in the lead-up to the Dandenong Stingrays’ 2009 TAC Cup Grand Final against the Calder Cannons. The injury was a devastating blow for Scully and the Stingrays but it opened up a spot for Batchelor, who had been on the fringes for much of the year. The Stingrays lost the Grand Final, but Batchelor’s experience on the big stage played no small part in his eventual drafting by Richmond 14 months later. Batchelor, the round 16 NAB AFL Rising Star award nomination for his 22-disposal performance against Essendon at the MCG last Saturday night, said he knew how fortunate he was to not only be drafted but that he got the chance to remain home. “It wasn’t so much about whether or not I was going to stay in Melbourne, it was about whether or not I’d get drafted,” Batchelor said. “I’ve had a few mates from the Dandenong Stingrays who got drafted (by non-Victorian clubs) so I’m pretty lucky with that and also to go to such a fantastic club as Richmond.” Batchelor, the second Tiger to be nominated for the award

2011 NAB AFL RISING STAR NOMINEES

QUICK LEARNER:

Jake Batchelor has exceeded all expectations, playing 13 of Richmond’s 15 games this season.

Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6 Round 7 Round 8 Round 9 Round 10 Round 11 Round 12 Round 13 Round 14 Round 15 Round 16

Dyson Heppell (ESS) Luke Shuey (WCE) Mitch Duncan (GEEL) Jasper Pittard (PA) Brandon Matera (GCS) Jack Darling (WCE) Zac Smith (GCS) Shane Savage (HAW) Reece Conca (RICH) Jack Steven (STK) Jordan Gysberts (MEL) Sam Reid (SYD) Daniel Menzel (GEEL) David Swallow (GCS) Luke Breust (HAW) Jake Batchelor (RICH)

THREE THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW

We have been impressed at how composed he looks TIGER COACH DAMIEN HARDWICK

this year (Reece Conca was the first, in round nine, also against the Bombers) said he made as much of an effort as possible to speak with his former Stingray teammates, particularly those living away from Melbourne. “I spoke to Luke Parker (Sydney Swans) just a couple of days ago about his game. I speak to Tom Lynch from Gold Coast quite a bit,” he said.

Batchelor has exceeded all expectations, including his own, having played 13 of Richmond’s 15 games after making his debut in round one against Carlton. “He has worked really hard to get his opportunity and we have been impressed with how composed he looks at the highest level,” Richmond coach Damien Hardwick said. “He has become one of our most reliable kicks out of defence and is an outstanding character around the club.” Batchelor admitted he “wasn’t expecting much” this season but was pleased with his progress. “I would have been happy to play a couple of AFL games but to play this many is great,” he said. “I’ve been (thrilled) to have been given the opportunity by the coaching staff.”

1

He shares a house with teammates Reece Conca and Tom Derickx.

2 3

He is the youngest of four children. He played senior football with the Frankston Bombers, the club that produced Hawthorn great Dermott Brereton.

He hoped to solidify his role as a rebounding defender and had already picked the brains of two more experienced Tigers, captain Chris Newman and Brett Deledio, on how to play the position. “It’s great to have those two down there and be able to learn from them. If I can hold down a spot there, I’ll be a very happy man.”

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.

Cracks showing as old firm enter their twilight

A

mong the fondest memories of my time at Carlton is playing alongside the inspirational Syd Jackson. In the rooms and on the training track, Jackson led by example and took the time to mentor others. When I was in the seniors, I played mostly on the wing or as rover while Jackson played at half-forward. If you watch the 1970 Grand Final, you will notice how prolific and dynamic Jackson was from start to finish. In the hectic final term, he gave me two scoring assists: one was a goal and the other hit the post. Whenever playing alongside him, I was a better player. He encouraged awareness for reading patterns of play. A fundamental of good teamwork is the ability to sense or even predict what teammates are going to do, as well as the willingness to be there in support when the unexpected occurs. Sometimes, this sort of on-field relationship can be scripted; other times it cannot. Either way, you know it exists. I have borrowed a term from horseracing – stablemates – to describe the type of on-ground relationship that players can form. Companionship and compatibility between horses can lead to greater focus and less expending of energy when it comes to racing. 78

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DOUBLE ACT:

Veterans Darren Milburn and Matthew Scarlett are crucial to Geelong’s defensive composure.

And, sometimes, it can be a juxtaposition of unusual or contrasting personalities that draws the best competitive response. Cricket is another sport in which the value of this principle is well established. Selectors are mindful of pairing suitable opening batsmen in terms of type and temperament and the same applies with bowling combinations. Footy also abounds with examples of players who fit hand-in-glove within the team. Carlton greats Greg Williams and Craig Bradley had different playing styles yet, on the field, in tandem, were irrepressible and trouble for opponents. A feature of the powerful West Coast premiership teams of 1992 and ’94 was the strong teamwork of defenders Glen Jakovich, Guy McKenna and John Worsfold and midfielders Chris Mainwaring, Dean Kemp and Peter Matera.

At their peak, operating in unison, they were resilient and played with flair. In the past 10 seasons, there has been no better defence than Geelong’s. The two pillars holding the rock-solid backline together are Matthew Scarlett and Darren Milburn. As key defender and flanker respectively, Scarlett and Milburn are beautiful readers of the play coming towards them and don’t mind charging up field when it is on. They have provided the stability and mojo that has helped settle the rest of the team, allowing it to indulge in the riveting style of play. From 2007, the Cats’ frantic ball use founded on superb defence became so good and successful, opponents had to invent ways to counter it. Hence, we witnessed the introduction of strategies such as

Scarlett and Milburn are the most influential players of the past decade

Hawthorn’s cluster in 2008 and Collingwood’s forward press. The way football is played has changed dramatically in the past few years. In my view, the Geelong stablemates, Scarlett and Milburn, qualify as the most influential players of the past decade, because they helped the team play in a way that invoked revolutionary changes. Watching last week’s engrossing win by West Coast over Geelong prompted my thoughts about stablemates and footy’s evolution. The Cats were extraordinarily valiant, but did not have the familiar look their defensive composure normally provides. They conceded nine consecutive goals in the first half and gifted at least six goals to the Eagles as a result of disastrous defensive blunders. Milburn was missing because of injury, while Scarlett was subdued (for the second straight week). Regaining their defensive composure is necessary if the Cats are to win the flag. Their midfield resources are still brilliant and run deep and they have the extraordinary scoring talents of Steve Johnson and Paul Chapman. However, the great binding pillars, Scarlett and Milburn, are in the twilight of their careers and cannot be expected to be the same stalwarts of previous seasons. Nevertheless, they can still add composure and leadership to a youthful enterprise. For Geelong to threaten, it needs Scarlett and Milburn on the field, working and thinking together. 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


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

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AFL Record, Round 17, 2011  

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