Injuries no excuse for flailing Sydney

Cameron Rose Columnist

By Cameron Rose, Cameron Rose is a Roar Expert

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    Let’s get something straight – Sydney’s 0-4 start to the season is not because of injuries. It’s because of list management and poor form, and let’s not pretend otherwise.

    That said, the Swans’ future looks brighter than their fellow perennial contender but now fellow cellar-dweller Hawthorn. Knock-knock. Who’s there? Owen. Owen Four.

    Sydney brought in Kurt Tippett at the end of 2012 and Lance Franklin at the end of 2013, and in the ensuing years have had to let go a series of players, in part because of resulting salary cap pressure, that has eroded their depth.

    Tippett has missed the past couple, while Sam Naismith didn’t play on the weekend against Sydney. Toby Nankervis sought more opportunity at Richmond at the end of last season, and has proven across the first month that he impacts games more than Callum Sinclair does, despite being far younger and much more inexperienced.

    The Swans also lost Shane Mumford and Jesse White in securing Tippett and Buddy. Mumford remains one of the better ruckmen in the competition, and was more valuable at Sydney given his bullocking style and their stoppage-based game-plan. White is a better player than Sinclair in that supporting forward-ruck position.

    Gaining Sinclair at the end of 2015, and losing Mumford, Nankervis and White has been a clear cross for the Swans. First year draftee Darcy Cameron is highly rated, so the future may well be bright in this position, but it won’t help them this year.

    Sydney are the fourth lowest scoring side so far this season, despite Sam Reid averaging 2.75 goals per game, by far a career high. Support for Buddy is otherwise lacking, even allowing for bright forward showings from youngsters Will Hayward and Oliver Florent.

    Sydney Swans player Lance Franklin reaches after kicking a goal

    In fact, Hayward has arguably shown more in three consecutive matches than Rohan has at any time in his career, so Rohan’s absence through injury can’t be any excuse.

    There have been no goals from Luke Parker after kicking 90 goals across the last four seasons. He has had to spend more time through the midfield due to Tom Mitchell’s defection to Hawthorn after Sydney offered him ‘unders’ to stay. Mitchell would hit the scoreboard too, an underrated part of his game, with 15 goals last year.

    Isaac Heeney was rightly earmarked to take more responsibility in the midfield while still having an impact forward this season, as he did in the finals last year. Unfortunately for football lovers everywhere, he hasn’t played yet due to an untimely bout of glandular fever.

    No Heeney and Mitchell means more midfield time for Parker, Josh Kennedy and Dan Hannebery, and these players bearing more load while in there. With Parker and Hannebery out of form, there is no-one left to help carry the load consistently across a game. Mitchell’s absence hurts more badly than was supposed given these circumstances.

    Isaac Heeney Sydney Swans 2015 AFL

    Tim Membrey left Sydney for more opportunity at St Kilda at the end of 2014, after Adam Goodes was given one more year in his high half-forward position.

    Membrey kicked 44 goals from 17 matches at the Saints last year, and is leading the club for inside 50’s this season. How handy he would be between the arcs and up forward for the Swans right now. There’s a fair case to say he could have been the difference in a low-scoring grand final last year too. Certainly he would have offered more than Xavier Richards.

    Thinking of the grand final, Shane Biggs played every game on his way to becoming a premiership Bulldog last year, as a rebounding outside defender. Sydney have been weak in this area so far in 2017, thanks in part to Dane Rampe’s absence through a post-Round 1 injury.

    Nick Malceski left the club at the same time as Biggs, but played awful football at Gold Coast. Lewis Jetta has similarly disappointed at West Coast since his departure, but again we see a lack of depth in that outside running area, especially with Dan Hannebery out of form to start the year.

    Zak Jones has lifted well to try and fill that gap, and Nic Newman is also looking a handy prospect in his few games, but they are not as composed or consistent as those that came before them, but nor can that be expected of them at this stage.

    Michael Talia was ostensibly brought in to learn from Ted Richards with the view to replacing him, but that hasn’t worked as he’s played the princely sum of one game since his arrival. The club that set the standard in re-working players from other clubs has fallen by the wayside.

    As mentioned previously, Luke Parker and Dan Hannebery are down on previous outputs, but they have plenty of friends at this stage of the season.

    Jake Lloyd has continued on his rich accumulating and distributing form from the second half of last year. Josh Kennedy and Lance Franklin continue to maintain high standards. Zac Jones has improved. Apart from those four, it’s hard to find another Swan that has improved on last season’s output, or is playing to their best.

    Dan Hannebery Sydney Swans AFL 2016

    Sydney were well handled at home by Port in Round 1 with Rampe, Tippett and Naismith in the team. The Swans could only find five goal-kickers against the Dogs, with Franklin and Reid turning in supreme performances to no avail. It’s arguable that even with those players plus a slowing Jarrad McVeigh, they would still be 1-3 thanks to the under-performance of the team across the board.

    Younger players, regardless of talent, struggle for impact across four quarters. Fans are looking for signs they have the ability to ultimately make it, but understand those moments are likely to be fleeting in the initial stages of their career. That’s where the Swans are at with the likes of Hayward, Newman, Oliver Florent, Robbie Fox and Jordan Foote.

    Sydney are yet to see Heeney and McVeigh suit up so far this year. Rampe has played one game and Tippett two. It’s hardly a side being crippled by injury, which has been the story some are trying to spin.

    Adelaide has had Brad Crouch and Scott Thompson not play yet. Kyle Cheney played every game last year, had an injury-interrupted pre-season and hasn’t been seen. Josh Jenkins has played one full game, and Mitch McGovern is out for 2-3 months. Yet, the Crows are flying high undefeated second on the ladder.

    GWS are in a similar situation. Stephen Coniglio, Brett Deledio and Lachie Whitfield haven’t played at all, and aren’t close to doing so. Ryan Griffen is out long term. Jonathon Patton has missed a couple. But, the Giants have peeled off three in a row and are sitting in the top four.

    Steve Johnson and Toby Greene embrace in the AFL Finals 2016

    Sydney, Adelaide and GWS were all finalists last year, expected to feature again this year, and have had similar injury concerns.

    No. Injuries are simply no excuse for Sydney. Their form is down, and their depth is lacking. We all thought the Swans would be in premiership contention this season, but perhaps a year in transition is coming instead. This isn’t a bad thing, but expectations now have to be managed.

    We know Sydney will be back. They may even scrape into finals this year, albeit to win the flag they would have to win four finals in a row away from the SCG, and at least three interstate.

    But they can use 2017 to learn more about the undeveloped talent on their list, and make a full and frank assessment of where they can improve it going into 2018. There may be some short term pain, but the medium terms signs look good.

    Cameron Rose
    Cameron Rose

    Cameron Rose is a born and bred Melbournian, raised on a regime of AFL, cricket and horse racing. He likes people who agree with him but loves those that don't, for there's nothing better than a roaring debate. He tweets from @camtherose.

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    The Crowd Says (153)

    • April 18th 2017 @ 7:01am
      dylillama said | April 18th 2017 @ 7:01am | ! Report

      Good article Cam – all very fair. Some of those lost players really do start to look bad when you add them up. I remember arguing with someone here that COLA didn’t help us retain players. I guess you could argue the toss about when it was cancelled, but I think Tippett and buddy cost us plenty. And Tippett clearly hasn’t been worth it.

      Ah well. It was a good run and I don’t think a year or two out of contention will hurt them. At least their seeing what the young guys have, and haven’t yet lost to geelong by 100 points

      • Roar Guru

        April 18th 2017 @ 7:26am
        Cat said | April 18th 2017 @ 7:26am | ! Report

        Somehow I still expect Sydney to beat the Cats this year.

        Have to agree, well written and reasoned Cam, thank you.

        • Columnist

          April 18th 2017 @ 7:58am
          Cameron Rose said | April 18th 2017 @ 7:58am | ! Report

          Thanks for the kind words.

          Malceski was All-Australian in his last year at Sydney, and then he deteriorated badly. I wonder if he would have kept his form if he stayed at the Swans. It’s funny how some players are just suited by some teams. We’re seeing that now with someone like Bruest at Hawthorn.

          • April 18th 2017 @ 5:40pm
            davo said | April 18th 2017 @ 5:40pm | ! Report

            His LARS knee finally gave up the ghost and was in a bad team…

    • April 18th 2017 @ 8:11am
      GoSwans said | April 18th 2017 @ 8:11am | ! Report

      The big percentage of the salary cap going to Tippett and Buddy has forced out the depth as players moving into the middle of their career have left for more money / opportunity (Everitt, Biggs, Mitchell and Nankervis). It also relates to the point you make about the ability to bring in those underappreciated types that used to be a strong point at the Swans (with Tallia being the exception but not a success to date).

      On Thursday I was looking at too many young men playing that really need a year a two to develop. You can get away with one or two in a side but that’s not where Sydney are at the moment. Hopefully with Tippett’s contract coming to an end there will be more money to keep them than has been the case in the past few years.

      • April 18th 2017 @ 8:31am
        Reservoir Animal said | April 18th 2017 @ 8:31am | ! Report

        GoSwans- You’re dead right. The argument at Sydney used to be that no player was bigger than the club, but now they’re effectively in a position where Buddy and Tippett are treated as just that. No house can be built on a beach and the sooner the Swans accept their mistakes, the better.

        • April 18th 2017 @ 2:13pm
          Don Freo said | April 18th 2017 @ 2:13pm | ! Report

          I wonder if Xavier Richards wishes he’d stayed. He’d be a key player now.

        • April 19th 2017 @ 12:00pm
          Mark said | April 19th 2017 @ 12:00pm | ! Report

          Recruiting Buddy was a mistake? Nah.

      • Columnist

        April 18th 2017 @ 8:43am
        Cameron Rose said | April 18th 2017 @ 8:43am | ! Report

        I feel like Everitt was an under-appreciated player through his career. Not a gun by any means, but still a solid football citizen. He would have been very handy for the Swans as a utility, if he stayed.

        Your last point is a good one. It’s hard to have too many, and we’ve already seen a few games where Sydney have failed to run it out (Port, WB, WC) or had one bad quarter (Coll).

    • Roar Guru

      April 18th 2017 @ 8:15am
      DingoGray said | April 18th 2017 @ 8:15am | ! Report

      Depth is certainly a worry for the Swans.

      But I do think you understate the impact Rampe has on Swans backline.
      The whole backline is out of kilter. Grundy doesn’t have his third man up out and someone to run off him.

      Nick Smith is being hurt as he’s often been left one out on the small forward. Rampe ability to leave his
      man and help out in those contests.

      I think Rampe is the Swans most important player. He’s the barometer of the team and without him
      they are rudderless.

      • Columnist

        April 18th 2017 @ 8:46am
        Cameron Rose said | April 18th 2017 @ 8:46am | ! Report

        I understand how valuable Rampe is, given he can play tall and small, defend and create, play one-on-one or as third man up. He’s a rare commodity. But, a good side can cover an absence, no matter how valuable. And any system that relies on an individual being fully fit is a weak one.

    • Columnist

      April 18th 2017 @ 8:37am
      Ryan O'Connell said | April 18th 2017 @ 8:37am | ! Report

      Can’t wait to finish 8th, then win the flag. Four finals in a row away from the SCG, and at least three interstate? No dramas.

      Can’t wait to have that Twitter avatar removed either, Rose!

      • Columnist

        April 18th 2017 @ 8:44am
        Cameron Rose said | April 18th 2017 @ 8:44am | ! Report

        Haha, when does India tour Australia next? There’s a fair chance it will still be there based on our deal!!

    • Roar Rookie

      April 18th 2017 @ 8:38am
      Antony Pincombe said | April 18th 2017 @ 8:38am | ! Report

      Eski took a retirement package at the Suns. He wouldn’t have played any better for us. He was baked and the club knew it.

      White showed glimpses, but very few, at the Swans and twice wanted out before and wanted to be traded to Crows as part of the Tippett deal. He wasn’t happy at the Swans.

      Membrey & Biggs were victims of the Tippett & Buddy deals as you say. Biggs especially hurt.

      Mummy was reportedly offered a over $800,000 by GWS. I’m not sure that even in ordinary circumstances we could have or would have matched it.

      Toby was a plodder at our club. Not particularly quick, a good kick, but a plugger. He is playing better footy than he ever played at the Swans.

      I notice you didn’t mention Lamb, who also went to GWS on reportedly $600,000. What a joke. He was never worth that. I’d say whatever pick we got in exchange was a step up. Oh dear was it Isaac Heeney?

      The list management hasn’t been bad at all. A form slump by the experienced players like Smith, Parker, Hannaberry, Grundy, Cunningham, Tippett, Naismith (only half fit), Rampe (in the first game he was woeful) has been the problem.

      Injury doesn’t hurt Adelaide or other sides you say? I’m sure it will when the injuries get over 8 or 10. They hurt every side when it gets to that stage. It is also who is injured that counts. the whole ruck division was injured for the Eagles game, except of course Sinclair. Naismith did his leg at trainig. Tippet didn’t come up from an ankle. Cameron, who is a mature ager not a 19yo by the way, as you seem to think, and will play this year, injured his shoulder in the NEAFL match two weeks ago.

      The injury list;
      Rampe 5 weeks
      McVeigh 2 weeks
      Tippett test
      Naismith 2 weeks
      Heeney managed due to illness, maybe 2 weeks
      Rohan 1 week
      Cameron ?
      Robinson 7 weeks
      Johnson 8 weeks

      Robinson has been a very good and much underrated player for us. Basically the whole ruck division and half the mids. That hurts.

      While injuries are not the only reason swans have lost games they have been a contributing factor. As has the poor form of the experienced players. Bad drafting has absolutely nothing to do with it. The young blokes have been very good with little or no help from the experienced players. Hewett has taken more responsibility, Lloyd is our best player. Only buddy, kennedy & reid have played well in any game. Parker was ok in the last game.

      Form, not list management, is to blame for our downfall this year. Players who were expected to step up are in diabolical form. Cunningham, Towers, Brandon Jack (can’t kick), are simply playing woeful footy. They were all good for us two seasons ago but now struggle. But so are all the players who were at the Swans during the two GF losses. Only two players who played in both final series are even performing at all. Robinson was playing very good footy when injured against Port.

      So in some ways I agree with you but in others I disagree entirely. We will bounce back this year and may even make the finals. but it seems to me you love putting the boot into Sydney. In fact I don’t remember a positive article about Sydney ever being written by you.

      • April 18th 2017 @ 11:52am
        Winston said | April 18th 2017 @ 11:52am | ! Report

        I agree with this post the most. I think it is telling that the players we expected to improve haven’t done so. And when we add that to the injuries/inexperience mix, it ends up being that too much pressure is now put onto our senior players. I think it is fair to say Parker and Jack are not in good form, but that only explains part of their woes because it doesn’t take into account that there are effectively 6 players on the park the opposition can pretty much ignore and can double team all our good players instead. Makes it awfully hard to play in form like that.

        Cam, while I agree with you that Hayward is showing more promise than Rohan ever has, the difference right now between the 2 is you still have to put someone on Rohan. Whereas with all our youngsters, you can pretty much give them the spare 10m, and they won’t do too much damage anyway because more often than not they freeze like dears in headlights.

        If this continues, I just hope we get the number 1 pick…

      • Columnist

        April 18th 2017 @ 1:34pm
        Cameron Rose said | April 18th 2017 @ 1:34pm | ! Report

        Some excellent points Antony, but let’s not lionize Robinson shall we with his 12 games in three years.

        I’m not saying the Swans have been bad at drafting (excellent work identifying Heeney and Mills by the way), but lack of depth is a bigger problem than injuries at the moment, just as it was on grand final day.

        I think I tipped the Swans in their last two GF’s, and had them second this year, and also tipped them against West Coast last Thursday, all of which were in articles on this site. So perhaps I’m actually a curse!

      • April 18th 2017 @ 2:16pm
        Don Freo said | April 18th 2017 @ 2:16pm | ! Report

        So that is only 4 of the best 22 out injured. Rampe, Tippett, Rohan, Heeney. McVeigh was finished last year.

        • Roar Guru

          April 18th 2017 @ 3:49pm
          Pumping Dougie said | April 18th 2017 @ 3:49pm | ! Report

          I think you’re over-rating Rohan, Don.

    • April 18th 2017 @ 8:43am
      Roger of Sydney said | April 18th 2017 @ 8:43am | ! Report

      Gee we have short memories, the Swans almost won the flag again last year and with Allir Allir and Sam Reed in the team and some average umpiring they would have won. Its virtually the same team but with 5-6 key players out. They have lost 4 games but have been competitive the whole time. When they are at full straight and click again many people will feel they judged to harsh to early. I agree Tippet is way over priced and has never delivered but there is not a lot of other ruck talent out there. Loosing mumford hurt the swannies badly. Buddy has an ever growing number of companions in his pay grade and he is still a bloody handy guy to have on your team. When swans are full strength in two weeks and with Sam Reed adding overheating marking which the Swans lack, it swill be a different result. Hawthorn I can’t say the same about, they are gone. With the AFL players association about to win massive gains on the salary cap, buddy will be cheap compared to some new millions on the field

      • April 18th 2017 @ 10:28am
        Reservoir Animal said | April 18th 2017 @ 10:28am | ! Report

        “the Swans almost won the flag again last year and with Allir Allir and Sam Reed in the team and some average umpiring they would have won”

        Without COLA they wouldn’t have reached the Grand Final. Please tell us the whole story next time.

        • April 18th 2017 @ 11:56am
          Roger of Sydney said | April 18th 2017 @ 11:56am | ! Report

          Reservoir animal, A house in Sydney costs 25% more than Melbourne and 125% more than Adelaide or Perth or Brisbane. Getting around costs a lot more so Cola did not even go close to levelling the playing field. No company I have ever worked for paid the same wages for NSW as other states as the cost of living is over 50% more in NSW, thats just a commercial fact. $150,000 a year in Sydney is paid $90,000 a year in Adelaide. Cola was no advantage it was just a commercial evening up which was removed by whinging Vic clubs. But its a good topic

          • Roar Guru

            April 18th 2017 @ 12:04pm
            Cat said | April 18th 2017 @ 12:04pm | ! Report

            Yet people who earn 20% of what AFL players make somehow manage to live in Sydney.

            • April 18th 2017 @ 1:39pm
              Chris said | April 18th 2017 @ 1:39pm | ! Report

              And how many of those people are in demand in a competitive national work environment?
              Pretty sure the answer is somewhere around zero.

              • Roar Guru

                April 18th 2017 @ 1:48pm
                Cat said | April 18th 2017 @ 1:48pm | ! Report

                Nice straw man argument, has nothing to do with anything we’re discussing though. Cost of living ostensibly has to do with being able to afford to live in an area.

                A – people who make 80% less can do it so can AFL players
                B – if you make six figures a year and can’t afford to live anywhere, I’d suggest a financial advisor and learning to live within your means; an extra 9.8% isn’t going to help you.

              • April 18th 2017 @ 2:05pm
                Christo the Daddyo said | April 18th 2017 @ 2:05pm | ! Report

                You clearly don’t understand how either:

                a) a nationally mobile workforce operates, or
                b) the pressure the AFL is under in the non-footballing states.

                Perhaps do some research?

              • April 18th 2017 @ 2:08pm
                Reservoir Animal said | April 18th 2017 @ 2:08pm | ! Report

                Christo- perhaps show us your research. You know, the evidence that someone earning $300K can’t afford to live anywhere in Sydney.

              • Roar Guru

                April 18th 2017 @ 2:14pm
                Cat said | April 18th 2017 @ 2:14pm | ! Report

                More straw man nonsense. Can a person who live in Sydney afford to do so making in excess of $100,000 per annum? Yes, they can; therefore, no cost of living adjustment is needed.

                Are you sure you know what a mobile workforce is?

                What does Mobile Workforce mean?

                A mobile workforce refers to a group of employees who are scattered across various physical locations and are connected by computers, smartphones and other devices via the global Internet.

                I realise several Sydney players can be said to have been ‘phoning it in’ in this early part of the season but that doesn’t make them a ‘mobile workforce’

              • April 18th 2017 @ 4:25pm
                Christo the Daddyo said | April 18th 2017 @ 4:25pm | ! Report


                This is the trouble with Victorians – no concept of what it’s like for the AFL outside their bubble…

              • Roar Guru

                April 18th 2017 @ 4:26pm
                Cat said | April 18th 2017 @ 4:26pm | ! Report

                And yet another straw man reply.

              • April 18th 2017 @ 4:29pm
                Reservoir Animal said | April 18th 2017 @ 4:29pm | ! Report

                Because Swans fans don’t live in a bubble? The whole “it’s not a national competition unless the Swans win every premiership” attitude?

              • April 18th 2017 @ 5:21pm
                GoSwans said | April 18th 2017 @ 5:21pm | ! Report

                International agencies rate the cost of living in Sydney as 15% more than Melbourne.

                Let’s imagine a player who has a contract expiring. They happen to be from Victoria where all their friends and family are. Option A – Swans. 15% higher cost of living on living expenses of $60k means living costs are $69k plus a few flights back to Melbourne per year. Option B – a Victorian club. Reduced living expenses of $9k plus not needing the flights back to Melbourne. Which would you chose?

              • Roar Guru

                April 18th 2017 @ 5:38pm
                Pumping Dougie said | April 18th 2017 @ 5:38pm | ! Report

                I think the Cost Of Living in Sydney is a legitimate issue and should be factored-in to salary caps for relevant clubs. But there needs to be tighter regulation and control mechanisms than previously on how it is spread amongst the playing group. It definitely seemed that Sydney were able to purchase one more gun player than other teams when the COLA was in place.

              • Roar Guru

                April 18th 2017 @ 5:29pm
                Cat said | April 18th 2017 @ 5:29pm | ! Report

                If I am a free agent and making $250k+ (as most do) $9k one way or the other isn’t going to worry me one tiny bit. Would not even enter into my thought process.

          • April 18th 2017 @ 12:08pm
            Reservoir Animal said | April 18th 2017 @ 12:08pm | ! Report

            Roger- Name these companies. I do not know of any corporation that pays cost-of-living allowances.

            Roger and ETI- the cost of living in Sydney is very cheap if you’re on a footballer’s salary. I have family in Sydney who earn a quarter of what the average footballer gets. They own cars and have roofs over their heads.

            ETI- Every club had retirements in 2013. Only one club was able to offer such a high-value contract to Buddy, however.

            Roger and ETI- should every club have a COLA salary cap based on the costs of living within a certain km of the training ground? Or just the Swans because they’re special?

            • April 18th 2017 @ 2:12pm
              Cameron docile said | April 18th 2017 @ 2:12pm | ! Report


              In 2005 I worked for an ad agency (mojo) in Sydney. I was on a wage of 95k, which was fair coin back then.

              I moved to Melbourne in 2006 and doing so the same position was offering only 75k. I had to accept a reduction in salary because basically Sydney even at that time was an expensive place to live.

              I know of a fair few executives who moved to Melbourne and had to cop a reduction in pay.

              Even with the current bubble Sydney is waaaaay more expensive than Melbourne.

              As for your anecdote, all my family and friends live in Sydney and even on high wages they are struggling. No one who lives in Sydney bar those rich people are living a normal life, no one.

              But you know, people like you know better.

              • April 18th 2017 @ 3:12pm
                Reservoir Animal said | April 18th 2017 @ 3:12pm | ! Report

                “all my family and friends live in Sydney and even on high wages they are struggling”

                How high are these wages?

                If they are earning 300K a year and they’re struggling then I can only assume that at least 200K of that is spent on non-essentials. Or that they’ve chosen to live in a Vaucluse mansion without thinking about what it would cost them.

          • April 18th 2017 @ 12:10pm
            GJ said | April 18th 2017 @ 12:10pm | ! Report

            I think what you are saying Roger is fair enough. And to a large I don’t have an issue with COLA if it was used as intended. My understanding was that the allowance was being manipulated to make sure that high end players could be brought in or maintained. And that younger or fringe list players weren’t benefitting. And yet these were the players it probably designed to provide the most benefit.

          • April 18th 2017 @ 2:17pm
            Don Freo said | April 18th 2017 @ 2:17pm | ! Report

            Roger, you have Perth wrong. The highest cost of living anywhere…no COLA, yet.

          • April 18th 2017 @ 2:49pm
            TheCunningLinguistic said | April 18th 2017 @ 2:49pm | ! Report

            You are sprouting nonsense numbers… Real estate maybe most expensive in Sydney, but that doesn’t always translate to the highest cost of living. Why don’t you have a look at this page, which shows Perth actually has the highest COL in Oz?


            • April 18th 2017 @ 5:47pm
              davo said | April 18th 2017 @ 5:47pm | ! Report

              Its pointless comparing with ordinary jobs because this football money they earn (if they are lucky) for 10 years has to compensate them for a lifetime. Hust because Harry Smith can live on $80K in Sydney and has to commute 2 hours a day is not ideal for footy players who generally move interstate when they are still kids.

          • Roar Guru

            April 18th 2017 @ 3:52pm
            Pumping Dougie said | April 18th 2017 @ 3:52pm | ! Report

            If the Doggies had Bob Murphy, Mitch Wallis, Marcus Adams, Stuart Crameri and Matt Suckling playing in the GF we might have won by 10 goals instead of 4. If, maybe, coulda, woulda, shoulda, pffft – an ungracious, irrational Swans supporter

        • Roar Rookie

          April 18th 2017 @ 1:29pm
          Antony Pincombe said | April 18th 2017 @ 1:29pm | ! Report

          COLA does and never did help us pay more players or better players. It is paid directly to the players as an extra by the AFL. It does not affect how much we can pay players at all. It is simply a cost of living allowance because it is 25-35% more expensive to live here than there. Depending on where you live in Sydney. Take Bondi for instance. Rentals in Bondi, 2 beds are $1,273 on average. A loaf of bread there is $6. Rump steak $26-45/kilo depending on butcher or supermarket.

          In other words if we don’t have it players want to go home. Simple. that will happen again and already has. See Darrin Jolly.

          • April 18th 2017 @ 1:41pm
            GJ said | April 18th 2017 @ 1:41pm | ! Report

            I thought Jolly went back to Melbourne because his wife was struggling and wanted / needed more family support around her.

            It doesn’t matter now whether or not COLA allowed Sydney to pay more to the players. Perception is everything and the truth a distance second. Sydney by creative list management brought in Kurt Tippett and then Buddy Franklin. Probably pretty much every other club in the competition were left scratching their heads pondering how they managed to pull it off.

            I was always under the impression that the payments were discretionary (paid where and how they chose).

            Rump steak at the bottom end (excuse the pun) also starts at $24 per/kg where I am living at the moment. I come from a farming back ground and am used to going to the cool room and slicing slabs off at will. Living in the city is slowly destroying me.

            • April 18th 2017 @ 5:52pm
              davo said | April 18th 2017 @ 5:52pm | ! Report

              Darren Jolly is interesting. When Franklin went to Sydney McGuire said he should go to a struggling Vic club like Doggies?. When Jolly went back to Victoria where did he go – Collingwood and of course he got a guernsey on a Nine show which is where McGuire is employed as a thorn in the AFLs side from the NRL network. Do you think it was coincidence that McGuire staged the Buckley/Malthouse coaching changeover the night before the Karmichael Hunt Suns deal was announced (the biggest sports story of the year) and barely got a mention on the Nine AFL Footy Show that week.

          • April 18th 2017 @ 1:43pm
            Reservoir Animal said | April 18th 2017 @ 1:43pm | ! Report

            Antony- People are moving from other countries to live in Bondi. Most of them earn a fraction of what a footballer gets. Clearly a COLA isn’t the difference between someone staying in Bondi or going home.

            As for COLA being paid directly by the AFL, that is a furphy. Even if it is technically true, the reality is that the club can choose to pay players 10% less because they know the AFL will make up the difference. That leaves the club with extra cash to go out and buy Buddy and Tippett.

            I don’t know who you fool with your analogies, but certainly nobody that I know.

            • April 18th 2017 @ 2:22pm
              Juno said | April 18th 2017 @ 2:22pm | ! Report

              Do you make up stuff on the run?

              Seriously mate?

              No one is moving on a poor persons salary to bondi, they are called backpackers and are there as tourists.

              My family has lived in Waverly for nearly 70 years and scattered around Bondi, generational. No one, I repeat NO ONE is moving to Bondi from OS on a poor persons salary. Rubbish claim.

              As for your second point, another bit of rubbish. Its been explained plenty of times how COLA was applied, its just your hatred and pettiness does not allow you to sidestep your emotional response so you stick to what YOU want to believe.

              Classic example of the cognitive dissonance that is ruining the internet.

              • April 18th 2017 @ 3:09pm
                Reservoir Animal said | April 18th 2017 @ 3:09pm | ! Report

                “NO ONE is moving to Bondi from OS on a poor persons salary.”

                What about the backpackers that you yourself refer to?

                “Its been explained plenty of times how COLA was applied”

                I have never heard a pro-COLA advocate truly explain how it is applied. I doubt you will buck that trend.

              • April 19th 2017 @ 3:14pm
                Mark said | April 19th 2017 @ 3:14pm | ! Report

                Go on, since you’re such an expert. Please educate us all.

              • April 18th 2017 @ 11:58pm
                JVGO said | April 18th 2017 @ 11:58pm | ! Report

                Backpackers in Bondi live about 5 or 6 to a room.

            • April 22nd 2017 @ 8:56pm
              Wayne said | April 22nd 2017 @ 8:56pm | ! Report

              Companies that pay location allowance – army, navy, air force, bhp, shell, telstra – only little companies – well done Tom Mitchell though – Sydney will contest finals before Pawform

        • April 19th 2017 @ 9:25am
          D.Large said | April 19th 2017 @ 9:25am | ! Report

          As long as you were protesting COLA in 1996, your argument is valid.

          • April 19th 2017 @ 9:32am
            Reservoir Animal said | April 19th 2017 @ 9:32am | ! Report

            I first argued against it in 2002. Before then I didn’t know it existed. Maybe I’m a bit younger than you.

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