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Mourning the lost art of goalkicking

Roar Guru
18th July, 2008

I’ve a been a fan of Australian Rules Football for over ten years now and have witnessed several changes to the game, most of which have been beneficial.

However, in recent times, particularly this year, I have witnessed a decline in the quality of goal kicking, particularly from a set shot among AFL players.

Fifteen years ago you would put the house on blokes like Jason Dunstall, Tony Lockett, Wayne Carey and Gary Ablett putting the ball through the big sticks.

However, in today’s game, I am pessimistic of players consistently scoring a goal thirty metres out directly in front.

What I find even more concerning is the nonchalant reactions by many players when they miss these very gettable shots. Most stick their hands up in the air, waiting for the kick out as if nothing bad has happened.

It is almost as if they don’t expect to score these goals from set shots.

I believe this may be a consequence of AFL clubs drafting athletes and training them to become footballers rather than the other way around

The Sydney-Hawthorn game last week was a classic example of the wayward goal kicking trend.

Sydney finished with 10.15 75, the second week in a row they kicked more behinds than points. In perfect conditions, this is simply unforgivable.


Amon Buchanen finished, I think, with 1.4 from 5 very gettable shots, and designated forwards Playfair and Moore also missed easy shots.

Hawthorn wasn’t much better, with Jarryd Roughhead coming in off two steps and missing shots badly and Buddy Franklin scoring 4.7 with 2 out on the full and 1 not making the distance.

Whilst I’m a great admirer of what Franklin can do, his goal kicking technique leaves a lot to be desired.

If a junior coach saw a young player going to the side like Franklin does in the set shot approach, the coach would correct it. Yes, Franklin has scored some great goals from set shots this season, but he has also badly shanked kicks in a game.

I believe Brendan Fevola is the best set shot for goal in the AFL at the moment. He too can be erratic but he has a great technique and is quite beautiful to watch when he is on song.

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