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Undoubtedly a coaching great, can Lyon save Freo?

Tim Lane Columnist

By Tim Lane, Tim Lane is a Roar Expert

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126 Have your say

    This column starts at an old-fashioned pie-night in 1981, Channel Seven’s Dorcas St studio in South Melbourne the venue. The event was a promotion for the grand final of the erstwhile mid-season night competition.

    Carlton were in the final and their coach, David Parkin, was interviewed during the evening for the benefit of the assembled throng.

    Perhaps imagining all present would have hoed into the free beer and pies, such as to have little memory of anything he might say, ‘Parko’ dropped one of his more candid gems.

    Questioned about the importance of coaches, the eventual overseer of four premierships said he felt the previous three VFL flags had been won in spite, rather than because, of the coaches involved. It was a self-effacing remark because he was one of the relevant trio (with Hawthorn in 1978), along with Alex Jesaulenko (the last playing-coach to land a flag) and Richmond’s Tony Jewell.

    That the question was asked at all indicates the issue of coaches’ worth was then on the radar. And the answer Parkin gave confirms the jury was very much out. To be fair, a couple of years after Carlton won the 1981 premiership, Mike Fitzpatrick told me a story about that grand final. Captain of the Blues, Fitzpatrick admitted trudging to the three-quarter-time huddle believing Collingwood had Carlton’s measure. Inspired by Parkin though, he came away convinced his team would win. Which they did.

    Nevertheless, you get the point. Coaching wasn’t particularly scientific back then and we all wondered whether it was over-rated. Clearly that’s changed. Look at the impact of Luke Beveridge and Alastair Clarkson.

    So, when did amateur motivation, long on passion and intimidation but not so strong on manoeuvring the pieces on the board, turn professional?

    Of course, it’s been an evolutionary process without one particular breakthrough moment. Len Smith is seen by many who followed him as the father of the next generation of coaches. His brother, Norm, became a legend. Norm’s protégé Ron Barassi, likewise. Tom Hafey preached new standards of fitness. Allan Jeans reinforced old-fashioned values. Kevin Sheedy challenged long-held orthodoxies. Parkin took individual player preparation and assessment to new levels.

    Then there was Mick Malthouse, whose West Coast Eagles defended across the ground’s entirety like no team before them. Paul Roos later took that to another level and won a flag in Sydney.

    Working alongside Roos at that time was Ross Lyon. I don’t think I’ve observed a more interesting coach than Lyon in close to 40 years covering this competition. I have not seen one – not one – who put his own stamp on a team, as visually identifiable as the goal-posts, as Lyon did at St Kilda.

    The list Lyon inherited when first appointed was in apparent decline and he took time to find his feet. When he did, he created a unit like no other. A group with a core of champions but a shaky bottom end was inculcated in the concept of team defence. Lyon’s players talked of ‘Saints footy’.

    In 2009, ‘Saints footy’ gave rise to an incredible season: 20 wins, 19 of them on the trot, with just two home-and-away defeats by margins of two and five points. The Saints ultimately suffered a heart-breaking, 12-point loss to Geelong in a thrilling grand final. The aggregate losing margin in their three defeats was, thus, 19 points (six of them after the final siren in the grand final). No other team in history has failed to win the flag off such a figure.

    The most telling number of all, though, is in the ‘points against’ column: 1411. That’s the lowest-ever in the 22-game season. Opposing teams were trapped in ‘The Lyon Cage’.

    Ross Lyon looks a bit sad

    If there was a knock on the coach, it was that he went full bore for a flag and didn’t prepare a list for the future. After the Saints slipped in 2011, Lyon was poached by Fremantle. In his second year there, he took the Dockers to a grand final in which they stretched Hawthorn but eventually succumbed. For four straight seasons, they finished top six and among the two lowest ‘points against’ teams in the competition.

    But, as at St Kilda, Lyon came up without a flag and with a fading list.

    Last year, the Dockers lost Nat Fyfe and Aaron Sandilands for much of the season, while a 35-year-old Matthew Pavlich was limping to the line. They plunged to 16th and were forced into a clean-out. The new season has started abysmally.

    While in 1981 we pondered whether coaches really mattered, today we know they’re critical. Ross Lyon has shown himself, in the last decade, to be with the best. Not so long ago, it seemed his method would ensure the competitiveness of any group he coached. In this game though, lists age and strategies move fast.

    While Lyon is in the fortunate position of having a long-term contract, it doesn’t alter the fact that he’s now facing his greatest challenge.

    He’s established a fine reputation, but now must go to places he hasn’t previously ventured if that’s to be sustained.

    Tim Lane
    Tim Lane

    Tim Lane is one of the most respected voices in Australian sport, having gained a strong following for his weekly AFL column in The Age. Tim has also called 32 AFL/VFL grand finals and was behind the microphone for Cathy Freeman's memorable gold medal at the Sydney Olympics. You can catch him on Twitter @TimLaneSport.

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    The Crowd Says (126)

    • April 5th 2017 @ 5:55am
      SmithHatesMaxwell said | April 5th 2017 @ 5:55am | ! Report

      “The list Lyon inherited when first appointed was in apparent decline and he took time to find his feet. When he did, he created a unit like no other. A group with a core of champions but a shaky bottom end was inculcated in the concept of team defence. Lyon’s players talked of ‘Saints footy’.”

      I just don’t think that’s true. The core of the Saints were a young team in 2004. They won the preseason comp Grand Final (when it still kind of meant something) against Geelong and both teams were touted as teams of the future.

      I remember Fremantle playing the Saints at Subiaco maybe round 6 or 7 2004. It was talked up by Connolly and the media as Ali and Frazier with both young teams set to square off for the next decade. Didn’t eventuate. Freo fizzled by 2007 and the Saints in 2011.

      Grant Thomas got this young Saints team to the preliminary final in 2004 losing by 6 points to the eventual premiers at Footy Park. 2005 he got to the prelim again losing to the eventual premiers. 2006 he given the flick after he got bundled out in the first week of the finals, but his papers had been stamped long before that. In the mind of the Saints brass top 4 was considered merely a pass mark with such a strong list.

      Lyon then walked into a team that had 12 All-Australians, he got Riewoldt, Ball, Dal Santo, Goddard, Hayes in their prime. Throw in Gardiner, Stevie Baker, Milne, Montagna. This was an AWESOME list at his disposal and the core of the team were peaking.

      Not to waste more time, but he walked into a similar situation at Freo with Harvey having rebuilt in 2009 and then making the second week of the finals in 2010. Harvey’s team had many injuries in 2011, so Lyon fleed the sinking ship that was St Kilda and got onto a good thing at Fremantle. Of course, the reason St Kilda fell off the cliff because he simply refused to develop youth and plan for the future. The same story has now played out with the Dockers.

      Lyon is finished as a coach. Tactically he’s a dinosaur. His attempt at adjusting his game plan last season resulted in the biggest fall from grace in AFL history. He tried to adjust again this season and Fremantle are even worse despite all of their star players being fit and firing.

      The players have clearly quit on him. No desperation, no energy, no effort. He burned through 3 senior assistants within 12 months of making the prelim. He’s coached two clubs and left both of them in a worse state than he started.

      Try selling Ross Lyon to your board. 2005 game plan, burns through assistants, doesn’t develop young players, will run your list into the ground 5 years from now.

      • April 5th 2017 @ 8:21am
        me too said | April 5th 2017 @ 8:21am | ! Report

        quite right, though you left out other AA’s in Fisher and Dempster. All Lyon had to do was find or develop one or two decent players so that journeymen like Eddie and McQualter weren’t deadweights in finals. He failed even though he has Steven and Armo playing VFL. He had a list that any good coach would have taken to finals. Gee, even a caretaker coach like GT took them close to a GF two years in a row when the core were just a few seasons into their football careers. This team should have won a flag and under GT were ahead of Geelong, under Lyon they fell behind.

        • April 5th 2017 @ 8:58am
          mattyb said | April 5th 2017 @ 8:58am | ! Report

          Never has a Thursday night been so important for a football club. I think Thursday selection will tell us if Lyon honestly believes his capable of starting again. Surely there’s no way they can go into this weekends game without multiple changes,and all those changes are going to have to be some of his more experienced and once favoured players.

          • Roar Guru

            April 5th 2017 @ 11:52am
            AdelaideDocker said | April 5th 2017 @ 11:52am | ! Report

            Couldn’t agree more, Matty.

          • April 5th 2017 @ 11:53pm
            Don Freo said | April 5th 2017 @ 11:53pm | ! Report

            It will make no sense to have multiple changes…that is…as many as there could be. That would have an even more destabilizing effect than no changes.

            I expect to see Collins, Balic and Hughes in. Logue will be named in the squad but probably won’t play yet. I would like to see Taberner in for Kersten. Sutcliffe, Suban and either Ibbotson or Dawson should go back to Peel.

            Not too many at once. Freo will have a 7-5 or 6-6 ledger by the mid-season break.

        • April 5th 2017 @ 9:16am
          Don Freo said | April 5th 2017 @ 9:16am | ! Report

          Do you really think that crooked bounce on Milney’s ball was Ross “failing”?

          • April 5th 2017 @ 3:36pm
            DeanM said | April 5th 2017 @ 3:36pm | ! Report

            Yes. If Ross Lyon coached his teams to kick more goals they may have kicked a winning score.
            Ross Lyon has time and time again proven his coaching style does not hold up in September.

            • April 5th 2017 @ 8:21pm
              Don Freo said | April 5th 2017 @ 8:21pm | ! Report

              They kicked as much as their opposition

            • Roar Guru

              April 5th 2017 @ 9:32pm
              Dalgety Carrington said | April 5th 2017 @ 9:32pm | ! Report

              I think making four GFs probably suggests that it doesn’t stack up too badly in September.

        • April 5th 2017 @ 2:33pm
          SmithHatesMaxwell said | April 5th 2017 @ 2:33pm | ! Report

          I should have thrown Koschitzke in there too. Incredible list.

      • April 5th 2017 @ 9:08am
        Arky said | April 5th 2017 @ 9:08am | ! Report

        Indeed. The Saints had an incrededible list, and the knock on Thomas was that he couldn’t get them all the way. Even now, sacking a winning coach in favour of a coach who’s meant to lift a team from “winning” to “champions” is referred to in my circles as Grant Thomasing someone.

        That said, after that initial teething period- where the change of coach looked like a horrible mistake until Lyon temporarily dropped Dal Santo and someone else I forget (Milne?) and got the team to buy into his brand of defence wholeheartedly – it completely worked. Lyon took that team from “good but not good enough” to “absolutely good enough if not for some unlucky bounces”.

        He wasn’t paid to look out for the Saints’ future. He was paid to maximise the chances of a flag with that list and he did it. Arguably, setting up the team to crash and get a #1 pick without having to try to tank IS looking out for the future, though.

        Anyway, we’ve never seen him attempt a full rebuild, so this will be interesting. He shouldn’t be judged on wins this year unless Freo win too many games by leaning too heavily on their remaining veterans, play Fyfe while injured etc etc.

      • April 5th 2017 @ 9:14am
        Don Freo said | April 5th 2017 @ 9:14am | ! Report

        The second tier of players you mention were not “awesome” at all. Just solid players. Well coached players.

        I suspect in your cut and paste from all your rants, you didn’t bother to read Tim’s actual article.

        • April 5th 2017 @ 2:44pm
          SmithHatesMaxwell said | April 5th 2017 @ 2:44pm | ! Report

          That’s every team in the league.

          • April 5th 2017 @ 3:18pm
            Don Freo said | April 5th 2017 @ 3:18pm | ! Report

            Exactly correct…so why tell a different story when Ross is concerned?

            • April 5th 2017 @ 3:58pm
              SmithHatesMaxwell said | April 5th 2017 @ 3:58pm | ! Report

              Lyon had an additional 12 All Australians.

              Ross Lyon is taking the mickey out of fans like you. He’s saying with a straight face that it’s only round 2 2017 and he has 2020 to win a premiership like he promised.

              Completely delusional. He doesn’t understand the gravity of the situation he faces.

      • Roar Guru

        April 5th 2017 @ 9:15am
        JamesH said | April 5th 2017 @ 9:15am | ! Report

        I’ve never seen Lyon at work so I can’t comment on any behind-the-scenes stuff. From a spectator’s POV, Lyon is very good at what he does – drilling discipline and a rabid defence into his teams – but he is yet to prove that he has another string to his bow. Teams are now working out how to get through a defensive press with quick ball movement and fast hands, which means Lyon’s plan A doesn’t work anymore.

        If he can re-shape Freo to be a flag contender with a modern, more attacking gameplan then I will take my hat off to him. Until then, Lyon will remain a good, but not great, coach.

        As a side note, I don’t think you can be a ‘great’ coach without winning at least one flag. Conversely, you can win a flag without being a great coach. I wouldn’t class Worsfold, Chris Scott or Longmire as great coaches, although each of them still has a chance to get there depending on how their futures with their current clubs pan out.

        Clarkson, Sheedy, Matthews and Parkin are/were great coaches. Perhaps Bomber Thompson too.

      • Roar Guru

        April 5th 2017 @ 9:41am
        Steve J said | April 5th 2017 @ 9:41am | ! Report

        I have worked it out….. anon is Grant Thomas!

        • Roar Guru

          April 5th 2017 @ 10:27am
          Dalgety Carrington said | April 5th 2017 @ 10:27am | ! Report

          😀 It would explain the excessive bitterness and overwhelming negativity.

          • April 5th 2017 @ 11:35am
            Don Freo said | April 5th 2017 @ 11:35am | ! Report

            …and lack of footy knowledge.

    • April 5th 2017 @ 6:02am
      SmithHatesMaxwell said | April 5th 2017 @ 6:02am | ! Report

      Ross Lyon in his last 25 games is 4-21.

      Mark Neeld in his 33 games (with an inferior list) was 5-28.

      Ross Lyon in 2016-17 is no better than Mark Neeld.

      • April 5th 2017 @ 9:11am
        Arky said | April 5th 2017 @ 9:11am | ! Report

        There’s no earthly point winning games when you have a bottom 4 list. Freo without Fyfe, without Sandi, and with a cooked Pav was a bottom 4 list.

        Neeld was sacked not for losing but because internally the club couldn’t see any development of the young players or any real game plan for the future. We know Lyon can do strategy, so as long as Lyon seems to be developing players they should and will keep him. If he can’t develop the young players he should be sacked ASAP. Irrelevant how much they lose this year.

        • April 5th 2017 @ 9:24am
          Don Freo said | April 5th 2017 @ 9:24am | ! Report

          He has a team full of young players. Aren’t you watching?

          Fyfe, Walters, Neale, Hill, Ibbotson, all developed under him.

          Watch Weller, Blakely, Langdon, Crozier…all in that 20 to 50 games played.

          Those of you who point to 4 wins only with Sandi and Fyfe missing conveniently overlook the 12 injuries per week all last season…not 2.

          Ross is developing the youth very well. Very few remnants from the Harvey days.

          • Roar Guru

            April 5th 2017 @ 12:33pm
            Rick Disnick said | April 5th 2017 @ 12:33pm | ! Report

            “He has a team full of young players. Aren’t you watching?”

            He had the third oldest list playing last weekend.

            • April 5th 2017 @ 12:43pm
              Don Freo said | April 5th 2017 @ 12:43pm | ! Report

              Average age of…26/27? That is young. Whether it is 3rd or first oldest makes no point. The delineation between oldest and youngest is hardly more than 2 years. Averages just indicate that there are one or two that are over 30. Most are between 21 and 26. A young side.

              Are you trying to make a point or to argue?

              • Roar Guru

                April 5th 2017 @ 1:47pm
                Rick Disnick said | April 5th 2017 @ 1:47pm | ! Report

                “Whether it is 3rd or first oldest makes no point.”

                Totally agree…if Freo were in the 8, not getting smashed by nearly 100 points & challenging for the flag this year.

                “Averages just indicate that there are one or two that are over 30.”

                I can tell you’re not a Maths teacher.

                “Average age of…26/27? That is young.”

                Relative to what? BTW, it’s closer to 24-25.

                “The delineation between oldest and youngest is hardly more than 2 years.”

                If most players are between 21 & 26 (as you say) then a difference of 2 years is significant. Go ask a maths teacher to explain this.

                “Are you trying to make a point”

                Yes. Why is Rosco playing such an old list (relative to the rest of the AFL clubs, not society) when he’s clearly rebuilding?

                Your argument is, “He has a team full of young players“, which just isn’t true.

              • April 5th 2017 @ 2:15pm
                Don Freo said | April 5th 2017 @ 2:15pm | ! Report

                None of what you say here makes any sense, Rick. Try writing without the intrusion of the quotes. Its hard to know what you are trying to say…but I suspect you have no point.

              • Roar Guru

                April 5th 2017 @ 3:45pm
                Rick Disnick said | April 5th 2017 @ 3:45pm | ! Report

                Totally agree…if Freo were in the 8, not getting smashed by nearly 100 points & challenging for the flag this year.

                If most players are between 21 & 26 (as you say) then a difference of 2 years is significant. Go ask a maths teacher to explain this.

                My point is: Why is Rosco playing such an old list (relative to the rest of the AFL clubs, not society) when he’s clearly rebuilding?

                Is that better?

            • April 5th 2017 @ 3:04pm
              dontknowmuchaboutfootball said | April 5th 2017 @ 3:04pm | ! Report

              Freo’s team selections are decided by a match committee, not by the coach alone. Undoubtedly, Lyon has the biggest voice, but there remains room for other voices.

              My feeling is that the club/committee thought it worth seeing how much immediate impact the new ins (B.Hill, McCarthy, Hamling & Kersten) could have, particularly given the return also of Fyfe, Sandi and Johnno. If you imagine each of these at his best, that’s an immediate injection of at least 6 of (arguably) Freo’s best 15 players.

              Given the alternative would be to effectively concede defeat by giving games to inexperienced players, it was neither a risky strategy nor much of a sacrifice of some other benefit (2 games of extra development for young players) to give it a crack and see if the team could perform well enough to make finals. The club’s public position preseason was something like an each-way bet: rebuilding, but hoping to have a crack at finals. Hence the experienced team in the opening rounds. In fact, average age would have been even higher if Ballantyne hadn’t done his hammy.

              Probably they would’ve been inclined to persist with that team (more or less) for the first 4 or 5 rounds, too, if it weren’t for Sunday’s pitiful display and absolute shellacking at the hands of Port. Pressure is now on, and some players were just too hopeless to justify their spots.

              I reckon the disastrous performance over the last couple of rounds was due to 1) the fact that 4 of the ins hadn’t played real football for 10 months or longer; 2) the need for time for this very new team to learn to play together; 3) the continuing need to adjust game plan in response to competition changes (both rule-based and tactical) that go against the “Lyon style”; and 4) the absence of players like Ballantyne, Barlow, Mayne and Mzungu.

              That last factor might surprise — and I’m not suggesting that Freo made a mistake in wielding the axe last year — but those players, esp. Ballantyne and Mayne, were/are pressure players and a huge part of Freo’s team defence. (Ballantyne’s out is currently hurting Freo more than most people would concede.) Truth is that Freo have been guilty of turning over the ball for years. It’s just that it wasn’t such a problem before, because team defence and forward pressure prevented opponents from capitalising on the turnover and, in turn, forced turnovers in Freo’s favour.

              • Roar Guru

                April 5th 2017 @ 3:14pm
                AdelaideDocker said | April 5th 2017 @ 3:14pm | ! Report

                Turns out, you actually know quite a bit about football 🙂

                I do, honestly, really like that anaysis, dude.

            • April 5th 2017 @ 8:21pm
              Basil said | April 5th 2017 @ 8:21pm | ! Report

              Rick, why argue?
              If Don is happy that Ross Lyon is coaching his club than great… just be greatful that he’s not coaching yours.

          • April 5th 2017 @ 3:14pm
            Redstar said | April 5th 2017 @ 3:14pm | ! Report

            “Very few remnants from the Harvey days” – That’s why they are at the bottom of the table.

        • April 5th 2017 @ 2:50pm
          SmithHatesMaxwell said | April 5th 2017 @ 2:50pm | ! Report

          I haven’t seen any evidence of a modern game plan from Lyon and as mentioned he has the third oldest team in the league meaning he has failed to develop young players while at the helm since 2011.

    • April 5th 2017 @ 6:45am
      Kane said | April 5th 2017 @ 6:45am | ! Report

      Ross Lyon will never coach an AFL premiership. I’ve said this for years.

      • Roar Guru

        April 5th 2017 @ 10:32am
        Dalgety Carrington said | April 5th 2017 @ 10:32am | ! Report

        I’d imagine the “reasoning” you’ve used that assertion is based more on emotion rather than decent logic, there is sound logic to that statement as I bet statistically the vast majority of coaches (good, bad or indifferent) do not win a premiership in their time in the AFL.

        • April 5th 2017 @ 1:04pm
          Kane said | April 5th 2017 @ 1:04pm | ! Report

          I’ve always said it because his style is way too defensive minded, they get lost going forward (a bit like Collingwood under Buckley). If St Kilda had a decent coach when he was there they would’ve won at least 2 flags, without a doubt. No doubt about his playing ability but there’s lots of doubts about his coaching ability.

          • Roar Guru

            April 5th 2017 @ 2:14pm
            Dalgety Carrington said | April 5th 2017 @ 2:14pm | ! Report

            I find it hard to accept the logic of the statement he’ll never win a flag because of his method, when he’s drawn a GF and in that same game were pressing on goals in the dying seconds, with nothing between the goals and your #1 goalsneak, other than the ball.

            • April 5th 2017 @ 8:12pm
              Kane said | April 5th 2017 @ 8:12pm | ! Report

              Has he won a flag?

              • Roar Guru

                April 5th 2017 @ 9:47pm
                Dalgety Carrington said | April 5th 2017 @ 9:47pm | ! Report

                On that argument, I’ve got some elephant spray you can buy, guaranteed to work. I use it all the time and never seen an elephant around here.

    • Roar Rookie

      April 5th 2017 @ 7:26am
      Seano said | April 5th 2017 @ 7:26am | ! Report

      You can go back to many stories on this page and see that I always said he wouldn’t win a premiership. Being defensive like he is basically tells your group they aren’t good enough to attack. Compare that with Beveridges, Bomber Thompson and Worsfolds attack with belief from the coach. Ross Lyon nearly so nearly ruined football. Thank god the cats won that day or we would be watching sub 100 point rubbish that Lyon dished up not the attacking beautiful stuff we have seen over the last 2 years.

      • Roar Guru

        April 5th 2017 @ 2:06pm
        Dalgety Carrington said | April 5th 2017 @ 2:06pm | ! Report

        The statement he “nearly ruined football” is indicative of the overly emotional hysteria that clouds people’s thinking on Lyon. Objectively, really all Lyon was doing was utilising elements of a game plan that he saw worked (interestingly you’ve left out names like Roos and Malthouse from your list) in his time as an assistant at Sydney. It was as successful as it could be without claiming the ultimate prize.

        The game will shift and evolve on its own (or like last year more actively with the AFL’s intervention) and the coaching group as a collective is in an eternal dance to counteract the strategies of the others. Some may be harder to counteract and over longer periods, but you can almost guarantee the swings and roundabouts will keep on the move. Now it’s Lyon’s turn to rethink how he joins in that dance.

    • April 5th 2017 @ 7:26am
      I ate pies said | April 5th 2017 @ 7:26am | ! Report

      Ross Lyon wrecks footy. I won’t be sad to see the back of him…as an old Fitzroy supporter I still have a soft spot for him, but his game plan turns a free flowing fun game into dour drudgery.

      • April 5th 2017 @ 9:29am
        BBJ said | April 5th 2017 @ 9:29am | ! Report

        Walked out of a few saints games. Just too frustrating seeing that style of footy. Thank God it was a failure.

        • April 5th 2017 @ 10:34am
          I ate pies said | April 5th 2017 @ 10:34am | ! Report

          That says something, when it’s unwatchable

        • April 5th 2017 @ 11:26am
          13th Man said | April 5th 2017 @ 11:26am | ! Report

          Look, i’m getting to that stage, when we were winning it was ok but when you are getting flogged it is the most awful brand of footy going around, and the sad thing is we have some exciting players. Fyfe, Neale, Walters. the Hills, Weller. These guys can play and are being held back by a poor coach is just devastating.
          I honestly don’t blame them if they left.

          • April 5th 2017 @ 11:31am
            Don Freo said | April 5th 2017 @ 11:31am | ! Report

            These “exciting” players were developed by…wait for it…ROSS!!!

            Can’t blame them for staying.

            • April 5th 2017 @ 1:09pm
              spruce moose said | April 5th 2017 @ 1:09pm | ! Report

              I’ll wager we see Fyfe in Hawthorn colours next year.

              A space and the captaincy gig awaits. Roughead won’t be a long term skipper.

              • April 5th 2017 @ 1:35pm
                Birdman said | April 5th 2017 @ 1:35pm | ! Report

                it’s possible but I’m not sure the Hawks will break the bank for Nat – IMHO they will have more pressing issues with renewing their half back line and ruck division.

                I think they are more likely to chase Tom Rockliff as a FA if they want another accumulating mid.

              • April 5th 2017 @ 2:03pm
                spruce moose said | April 5th 2017 @ 2:03pm | ! Report

                They don’t want an accumulating mid.

                They want the prototype future footballer. Fyfe offers excellence all over the park.

              • April 5th 2017 @ 2:13pm
                Birdman said | April 5th 2017 @ 2:13pm | ! Report

                ….at an astronomical price……I’ll trust Graham Wright and Clarko but I can’t see it myself…

              • Roar Guru

                April 5th 2017 @ 2:24pm
                Dalgety Carrington said | April 5th 2017 @ 2:24pm | ! Report


              • Roar Guru

                April 5th 2017 @ 2:47pm
                Steve J said | April 5th 2017 @ 2:47pm | ! Report

                Not going to happen.

                I think Fyfe knows that the Hawks won’t offer him the most $$ and are a team on the decline.

                He’ll be looing, if he is, to a team like Melbourne, St Kilda or The Dogs. Those are the teams with all the young talent coming through the ranks.

                The Hawks are stagnating at the moment

            • April 5th 2017 @ 2:54pm
              SmithHatesMaxwell said | April 5th 2017 @ 2:54pm | ! Report

              Fyfe was second in the best and fairest under Harvey.

              • April 5th 2017 @ 3:12pm
                Don Freo said | April 5th 2017 @ 3:12pm | ! Report

                …and he was only a forward pocket under Harvey. Ross developed him into the player he now is.

              • April 5th 2017 @ 4:08pm
                SmithHatesMaxwell said | April 5th 2017 @ 4:08pm | ! Report

                Don’t lie. He was a 25 possession a game midfielder in 2011.

              • April 5th 2017 @ 8:25pm
                Don Freo said | April 5th 2017 @ 8:25pm | ! Report


              • April 5th 2017 @ 10:30pm
                SmithHatesMaxwell said | April 5th 2017 @ 10:30pm | ! Report

                Must be the greatest forward in the game’s history to average 25 possessions a game?

                How many goals did he kick in 2011?

            • April 5th 2017 @ 4:00pm
              13th man said | April 5th 2017 @ 4:00pm | ! Report

              Yep Brad Hill was developed by Lyon… makes sense..

              • April 6th 2017 @ 6:38am
                Kane said | April 6th 2017 @ 6:38am | ! Report

                Gee these Docker boy’s love hangin it on every other club but don’t like an accurate argument about their own.

    • Roar Guru

      April 5th 2017 @ 7:26am
      Wayne said | April 5th 2017 @ 7:26am | ! Report

      I remember a very old quote back at Central District (SANFL) from pre 2000s. “Success is measured in Premierships”.
      At the time the club was 0 in 35 years at league level. Club went on to 12/12 grand finals, winning 9 in 2000 to 2011.

      I would rate their premiership winning coaches as successful.

      Peter Jonas – 2000
      Alastair Clarkson – 2001
      Roy Laird – 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010

      Ross Lyon had 0 premierships to show for his coaching career at AFL level. I stand by the comment “Success is measured in Premierships”

      • Roar Guru

        April 5th 2017 @ 10:38am
        Dalgety Carrington said | April 5th 2017 @ 10:38am | ! Report

        SANFL? Really?

        • April 5th 2017 @ 11:23am
          GJ said | April 5th 2017 @ 11:23am | ! Report

          The point Wayne makes seems reasonable. Using a SANFL clubs recent history to support his point also seems reasonable.

          • April 5th 2017 @ 2:16pm
            Birdman said | April 5th 2017 @ 2:16pm | ! Report

            sorry but second tier footy is a bit ‘apples and oranges’ for me too.

            • April 5th 2017 @ 3:13pm
              GJ said | April 5th 2017 @ 3:13pm | ! Report

              If it makes you feel better pretend for a moment the quote came from Hawthorn then. And that the premierships listed were 2008, 2013, 2014, 2015. And the coach is Alistair Clarkson.

          • Roar Guru

            April 5th 2017 @ 2:16pm
            Dalgety Carrington said | April 5th 2017 @ 2:16pm | ! Report

            Bleedin revelatory I think you’d say. I mean who’d of thought premierships are what coaches try to get? 😀

            • April 5th 2017 @ 3:19pm
              GJ said | April 5th 2017 @ 3:19pm | ! Report

              I think Wayne was trying to share something he’d experienced. Not much harm in that. And sure premierships are what all coaches are striving for. His point though was that at that particular club at that point in time “success was measured in premierships”. Ross Lyon hasn’t senior coached premiership, so Wayne doesn’t believe that he is a successful coach. Seems to be a pretty simple concept to me.

              • Roar Guru

                April 5th 2017 @ 7:57pm
                Dalgety Carrington said | April 5th 2017 @ 7:57pm | ! Report

                Overly simplistic perhaps.

              • April 5th 2017 @ 8:16pm
                GJ said | April 5th 2017 @ 8:16pm | ! Report

                Maybe, but that is a conversation you need you need to have with Wayne not me. All I said it was that it was not unreasonable. Wayne just offered an opinion. Perhaps go back to your original comment and see where it fits in to this conversation

              • Roar Guru

                April 5th 2017 @ 9:29pm
                Dalgety Carrington said | April 5th 2017 @ 9:29pm | ! Report

                Well to tie that in, I think winning premierships in secondary leagues is, as Birdman says, apples to oranges, compared to the level of competition in the AFL. There are quite different conditions in which they build and retain their lists. I’d also say that club slogans are about as deep philosophically speaking as “Coke adds life”, or “Just do it”.

              • April 5th 2017 @ 10:12pm
                GJ said | April 5th 2017 @ 10:12pm | ! Report

                OK DC .. I will try to explain it to you again. Wayne writes an opinion on Ross Lyon’s coaching history. Wayne does not believe that Ross Lyon is a successful coach based on the fact that he has not won a premiership as an AFL coach.

                All Wayne did was use an example of a sporting clubs attitude during an incredibly successful period to support his opinion. In all honesty i doubt whether it would have mattered if it was a netball or cricket team that Wayne used as an example.

                Waynes opinion has nothing to do with where the success came from, purely the attitude to success.

                It really is that simple.

                As i mentioned earlier to Birdman, would it be more palatable to you if the statement came from Hawthorn? In reality it doesn’t matter. He is making a statement about what he believes makes a successful coach.

                As for the fruit analogies, “how about you get back in the bowl you banana”

                You have added nothing of value to Wayne’s initial comment, and nothing of value since

              • Roar Guru

                April 5th 2017 @ 11:01pm
                Dalgety Carrington said | April 5th 2017 @ 11:01pm | ! Report

                Sure that’s your opinion (big ups for you fella on having an opinion) on the validity of his comment, mine is different. I’m sure Ross Lyon would ultimately see his job as winning premierships. But to say the only success is winning premierships is a bit unrealistic and over simplistic approach, not everyone is going to be in a position for the coaching skills to play out on even terms. That’s my opinion. Sorry if you don’t think it adds value, but after all that’s your opinion 😉 .

              • April 5th 2017 @ 11:13pm
                GJ said | April 5th 2017 @ 11:13pm | ! Report

                No .. all he is saying is he does not believe that Ross Lyon is a successful coach, using premierships as a measurement of success.

                So using that measurement Luke Beveridge, Alistair Clarkson, Chris Scott, Mark Thompson, Mick Malthouse, John Longmire, Paul Roos, John Worsfold would be considered successful coaches in recent times.

                I am not talking about the validity of his post. Just the content provided.

              • April 5th 2017 @ 11:17pm
                GJ said | April 5th 2017 @ 11:17pm | ! Report

                So again, lets go back to your original post .. “SANFL? Really?”

                If you thought his post was overly simplistic why not offer an alternative opinion then. Why post what could be easily perceived as a sarcastic or elitist response?

              • Roar Guru

                April 5th 2017 @ 11:43pm
                Dalgety Carrington said | April 5th 2017 @ 11:43pm | ! Report

                Please, not the straw man e-word, but sarcastic? Yeah, of course…look admittedly I was a bit rushed for time right then and that it jumped out first as a wonky comparison and I was going to write a bit more but had more pressing priorities.

              • April 6th 2017 @ 12:28am
                GJ said | April 6th 2017 @ 12:28am | ! Report

                Hope it was beer

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