MRP, Coach Press Conferences, Names on Jumpers and not a full forward – The AFL Five

1. Match Review Panel

The Match Review Panel has been at its inconsistent best over the past couple of weeks outing Nat Fyfe for a head clash for two weeks and also metering out the same punishment to Daniel Merrett who clocked Andrew Swallow in the face with a swinging elbow. Hmmm.

Anyway that is nothing compared to the Raffety’s Rules going on at the WAFL tribunal. Former ne’er do well Demon Colin Sylvia is now at Fremantle and has been playing in their affiliated WAFL sidePeel Thunder. Last week Sylvia was reported for rough conduct after knocking over Subiaco’s Brett Mahoney.

Mahoney was assessed by the Subiaco physio after the incident and determined to be concussed; he can’t remember events of the game and is in doubt for this week. The WAFL MRP  offered Sylvia 3 weeks with an early guilty plea. Sylvia declined opting to take the matter to the WAFL tribunal where the Peel Thunder doctor, who just so happens to be the Fremantle docotor, produced a medical report to say that Mahoney wasn’t concussed. The result: Sylvia got 2 weeks. All above board and legitimate in WA.


2. Post Match Coach Press Conferences

Apparently these are the highlight of the week. Bomber Thompson is doing comedy routines, Mick Malthouse is blowing head gaskets every week and attacking the press, Ross Lyon is bullying cadet journos, Nathan Buckley is repeating things a lot and sounding forceful yet boring. It’s so entertaining it’s even broadcast live by Chanel 7 after the games on Friday and Saturday night with Mark Stevens getting his own personal camera to capture all his incisive questioning of the coaches. It shows just how bad the AFL game is going if post match coach press conferences are now seen as more entertaining than the onfield action.

Personally what do I want in football coverage on TV: the game, accurate, concise and informative commentary and analysis uninterrupted by in jokes, faux comedy and ego boosting  from the personalities ‘entertaining’ us with a backdrop of football. TV commentators need to stop calling the game like it’s radio. I can see who took a mark and who handpassed the ball on the TV but I’m not at the ground, you are, so tell me what you can see that I can’t see on the TV.


3. Jack Reiwoldt

It’s pretty clear to me that Jack Reiwoldt is a full forward, and Tyrone Vickery is not and no amount of Jack making way for Tyrone to aid his ‘development’ is really going to help Richmond to do what it is supposed to do – win games of football. The penny seems to have dropped for Damien Hardwick this week with Vickery dropped and Reiwoldt back in the goal square. Vickery’s ‘development’ as a forward will have to continue on the VFL.

A quick lesson from history: In his final season Matthew Llloyd, who after kicking nearly 900 goals over 14 seasons including two 100 goal seasons and two Coleman medals appeared to be a full forward to most observers. However he  was sent from the goal square to a half forward flank in 2009 to accommodate the development of …. Jay Neagle. Yes one of the brighter points of the Matthew Knights era at the Bombers.

How did that work out for Essendon? After 35 goals in 18 games in 2009 Lloyd pulled the pin at 31 years of age, perhaps a season earlier than might have been expected. Neagle? Well after his development season of 19 goals as a full forward in 2009, he was certain to achieve bigger and better things in 2010 as the main man in the goal square. After costing Essendon victory in it’s first game of the season by opting to play on and miss a goal rather than  take a set shot from 30 metres out directly in front, Neagle was dropped for the next 14 weeks and then demoted to the rookie list at seasons end. One of James Hirds first acts as coach was to axe Neagle from the rookie list and deny reports that he’d turned up for pre-season trining bigger than Eddie McGuire. Lucky Essendon put all that ‘development’ into him at the expense of Matthew Lloyd.

Jay Neagle shows his opponent he has better tattoos. This is all he did at Essendon.
Jay Neagle shows his opponent he has better tattoos. This is all he did at Essendon.


4. Names on jumpers

A brilliant and innovative concept that will make AFL a world leader in sports. Ok no, the AFL have been trailing behind other sports in this, but we are fortunate enough to have a 1 round trial of players names on jumpers over Easter. What could possibly go wrong? Well after one game it became evident that the names were too small to be read by anyone unless you were standing next to the player. There were some players getting around without names, and Lewis Roberts Thompson’s jumper is said to have “L.R.T.” printed on it. Why? Couldn’t find an even smaller font to fit “Roberts Thompson” on the back of the jumper? It is surprising the AFL didn’t trial this names on jumpers in say the NAB Cup where they could have found out the names were too small before launching it in the season proper. With this sort of planning and execution, this names on jumpers episode has all the hallmarks of one man: Is the Geisch still doing a bit of contract work at the AFL?


Marc Murphy: the name says it all
Marc Murphy: the name says it all

5. Good Friday Football on Channel 7

Yes this year Chanel 7 will broadcast football on Good Friday. Having theis year bought the TV rights to the SANFL from the ABC, Chanel 7 will broadcast South Adeliade v Glenelg live on Good Friday in South Australia. It’s a pity it’s not on 7mate Australia wide.

There is no AFL on but there is VFL, Bendigo Gold take on Essendon in Bendigo and in Melbourne there is a VFL Development League game between Coburg and the Northern Blues. There are also two Vic Country U18 trial matches against NSW and NT respectively taking place at Princes Park. In all there are 28 games being played in 18 leagues across Victoria, mostly in country areas but some games in the Melbourne metro area.

Carlton CEO Greg Swann wants the AFL to schedule a Carlton v North Melbourne twilight match on Good Friday. Why a twilight game you ask. Well the reason Swann gave is so that the teams could then present a cheque to the Royal Children’s Hospital Appeal that evening.

Channel 7 have said they would prefer an afternoon game rather than a night game on Good Friday to interfere less with the Royal Children’s Hospital appeal. If I were the AFL I’d say that’s fine, Good Friday football will be on Foxtel.

The Royal Children’s Hospital, whilst very much a  worthwhile cause deserving of funding, do not own Good Friday. Anything you want to do on Good Friday does not have to be run by  the Royal Children’s Hospital for approval. “Oh we are doing the wrong thing by playing football on Good Friday and ruining the Royal Children’s Hospital special day. It’s  their annual appeal day, won’t somebody please think of the children? So to make us feel better about ourselves interfering with the hospital’s special day we are donating money to the Children’s Hospital Appeal.”

Good Friday is a religious holiday not a day set aside to raise money for the Children’s Hospital. Can we not just be heathens, play football and be comfortable with that?


In other news…

Cricket Australia have just issued a press release. Due to lobbying from the retail sector who have a long standing and well known tradition of annual discount sales on Boxing Day and realising that some people like shopping, we have decided for the greater good and inline with community standards and expectations we will no longer play Test cricket at the MCG on Boxing Day.


Published by

Ross Slater

Blogging about the important things - AFL and cricket

One thought on “MRP, Coach Press Conferences, Names on Jumpers and not a full forward – The AFL Five”

  1. Luckily Essendon’s development of Jay Neagle has led to him being the co-advertised draw card (with Ben Johnson) in the Good Friday Eltham v Greensborough game.

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