Sunday, March 28, 2010

AFL 2010 - Round 1 - Geelong Vs Essendon Review.

Firstly, it's good to have footy back.

While I could watch the Grand Final about 100 times in a year, I think I reached that number in 6 weeks.

Also having something tangible to write about will slow the barrage of Ablett to Gold Coast articles.

So a good win to start the year.

I was there, collected my members cap and settled into my seat with a couple of frothies.

Have to admit there were times that I was a little worried about the outcome, but nothing too bad. We seem to have a knack for finding that next gear.

Looks like Gary Ablett has his head in a good place. Got a lot of the ball and used it well in most instances. Taking on Davey was perhaps a little foolish, but taking people on is what he does. Seems to struggle with kicking for goal at full tilt running at the goal. But if that's my major gripe all is good.

Cameron Ling's first game as full-time captain was a cracker. Shut down Watson and got plenty of the pill himself. Kicked a great snap from 15m out when the ball was in dispute. Got caught trying to take off from a standing start while in traffic, which shouldn't be attempted by someone of his pace.

Joel Selwood had a great game. Quiet in the 3rd term, but really put his head down and got on with playing footy. I wish all our players could be like that sometimes. Grabbed a few goals which is a good sign for the team when midfielders apply scoreboard pressure. Copped a bit of a knock when going for a mark in the centre which I felt shold have been awarded a free kick. Seemed a little slow to get up, but I was never worried for him. He's as tough as old boot leather.

Shannon Byrnes started the game of ok. Got some of the footy but wasted it a bit kicking a series of behinds before registering his first major. Ended up being in our best without a doubt. Looks like this year we won't be saying "BOO!", we'll be saying "BOO-YRNES!"

James Kelly and Andrew Mackie's disposal was a let-down at times throughout the night. It seems as if they take it a little too easy when they are not under pressure and fluff their delivery. A couple of easy passes to guys 20m in the clear went nowhere near the intended target. Again, it's a minor gripe.

I was a bit disapointed to miss out on seeing James Podsiadly, but we did get to see Mitch Duncan. While he was ineffective in a number of early contests he did get a number of possessions in the following 3 quarters and laid a few nice tackles.

A big surprise for me was Tom Lonergan. Last I heard Lonners wasn't in the team, so to see him on the field was a worry. He played pretty well, taking a number of good marks and seemed to be hitting targets. I believe he kept Gumbleton to 2 disposals, which is pretty good, but nothing to get excited about. This guy has 2 year breaks between games. The real test will be next week against the Hawks.

Cameron Mooney looked to have overcome the yips and started hitting the scoreboard. Good to see him get fired up too. That free kick against him for an early bump was one of the biggest loads of tripe I've seen. Not within 5m my butt.

Jimmy Bartel looked the goods. Got cleaned up by Hille when the game was well and truly lost. A dog act that will recieve weeks as the AFL likes to crack down on that sort of thing early in the season.

Joel Corey seemed to not get amongst it so much, but I guess that happens when you come back from injury. I would've liked for him to have a more memorable 200th game, but a win will do for him I'm sure. Smithy's a great clubman.

Some things that peeved me throughout the game were the number of holding the ball decisions not paid (both ways). Guys were dropping the ball when tackled and not being penalised. They had prior opportunity and made no attempt to dispose of it. I honestly don't believe that it was knocked free in the tackle either. Sometimes you gotta wonder about these calls.

Similarly guys were getting punched in the head in marking contests and not recieving frees, while a number of soft hands in the back frees were plucked out. It's getting to the stage where a whistle blows and everyone shrugs their shoulders and waits to be told what happened.

I also noticed a number of times the bullshit "pass it around the backline for 5min" ploy creeping back into our game. Thankfully it was punished twice, which I'm hoping with be a reminder not to mess around with it close to goal.

But enough whinging...we won. Four points on the board and some good signs that we will be able to successfully defend the flag in 2010.


2010 Supercoah Bargains

Here are the Geelong players that are going to be good value for money in Supercoach for 2010.

James Podsiadly- Should play a number of games with his elevation to the senior list. Will be played deep inside the forward 50 and will be a target. Expect to average 80 points a game.

Shannon Byrnes - Had a breakthrough year in 2009. Looks set to continue where he left off. If he can get his kicks to go between the two big posts he will be averaging over 100pts a game. The ban imposed on Mathew Stokes doesn't hurt either.

Brad Ottens - Had an extremely short season in 2009 due to injury, but is back fit & firing after a mishap with a propller. Will amass a number of points through hit-outs, marks and goals. I'd imagine 80+ average.

Josh Hunt - Kicks out from full-back. Is a link man when exiting the defensive 50 and an "out" when under pressure. Looks to have recovered fully from a knee injury in 2009. 70+ points per game from Josh.

2010 Ladder Predictions.


So we're most of the way through round 1, but I'm sure you won't hold that against me.

Premiers: Who else? The mighty fighting felines!

Wooden spoon: Gotta go with Richmond.

Grand Finalists: Obviously Geelong...and...Hawthorn.

Brownlow: Selwood. Non Geelong: Reiwoldt.

Final 8: Geelong, Hawthorn, St Kilda, Collingwood, Western Bulldogs, Adelaide, Carlton, Brisbane.

Coleman: Franklin

Geelong Best & Farest (Carji): Selwood

Gazza GFC or GCFC?: Gary Ablett to stay at Geelong.

Headline of 2010: Gary Ablett signs new 5 year deal with Geelong.

We Are Back!!!


Once again, my on-again/off-again love afair with blogging has blossomed.

After winning the 2009 AFL Premiership over St Kilda it all became too much or me.

Days of partying stretched into weeks, which stretched into Months.

And now we are back.

So strap yourselves in for another season of semi-regular installments filled with what's fallen out of my mind.