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Jake Stringer’s trade has turned into a lose-lose for the Bulldogs

Josh Elliott Editor

By Josh Elliott, Josh Elliott is a Roar Editor

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    One can imagine the mood at Bulldog HQ would’ve been pretty bleak on Thursday morning when news came through that Essendon had traded pick 11 to the GWS Giants as part of a larger deal that saw Devon Smith become a Bomber.

    The Western Bulldogs have taken a firm stance in the media ever since it became clear that Jake Stringer’s preferred destination in a trade was Essendon – pick 11, flat, or no dice.

    Essendon have rejected that demand emphatically by trading the pick away. The Bulldogs will now have to either accept something below their asking price, or keep Stringer around for 2018 and let a growing headache fester into a chronic migraine.

    From their first confirmation that Stringer was on the trade table the Bulldogs have said that for a deal to be done, it has to work for them – otherwise they will hold him to his contract, which expires at the end of 2018.

    However, there are plenty who are taking that statement about as seriously as an exhausted parent’s threat to turn the car around and cancel family vacation – back to Winnipeg. I’m one of them.

    It has been a pretty public falling out between the Bulldogs and Stringer. For the sake of not becoming a gossip column we won’t go into the details of what has been alleged and printed about his behaviour outside football, but safe to say it’s not savoury.

    Further to that, if what has been said about his teammates taking issue with that behaviour is true, it seems extremely unlikely that Stringer could be retained at the Bulldogs in 2018 in any kind of harmonious way.

    The far more likely scenario if the Bulldogs hold Stringer to his contract is that his presence either drives the wedge deeper into what may already be a fractured culture, or worse still sits on the sidelines for 12 months.

    Neither of those paths would do anything to increase his value ahead of presumably a second attempt to trade him at the end of 2018, and there would no longer be the threat of holding him to his contract to use as a bargaining chip then.

    Jake Stringer Western Bulldogs AFL 2017

    (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

    The alternative, then, is to find some new way of doing a deal to move him on in this trade period, but it is almost certainly going to be for much less than they expected.

    Stringer and his manager don’t seem to have completely ruled out the possibility of a trade to Geelong, and in terms of getting the highest pick possible, a swap for the Cats’ pick 20 is probably more likely.

    Essendon now hold picks 24 and 29 though, as well as both their own and GWS’ second-round picks in 2018.

    Perhaps the Bulldogs would be willing to accept some combination of this, or perhaps either they or Essendon can finagle a two-for-one deal with Brisbane or Richmond to move the pick up higher in the order.

    Brisbane have picks 18 and 19 at current, Richmond picks 15 and 17. Both have players who will be bid on in the draft his year – the Lions have academy member Connor Ballenden, Richmond have father-son Patrick Naish.

    Trading one of their picks for the combination of two second-rounders possibly makes it easier for those clubs to match those bids when they come, depending on where they think they’ll fall – so that’s an avenue that at the very least should be considered.

    The Bulldogs could demand Essendon’s 2018 first-round pick if they want to stick to that pricetag, but I suspect you’ll see Satan’s Daily News print record snowfall in hell before that happens.

    Even the best case scenario for the Bulldogs in this is pick 17 which, regardless of what you think of his recent form, training standards or non-footy behaviour is a farcically poor return for a player of Jake Stringer’s remarkable natural talent.

    Jake Stringer Western Bulldogs AFL 2017 tall

    (AAP Image/Julian Smith)

    If there’s any possible way for the Bulldogs to salvage his career at their club then they must surely consider it. It’s the only possible path to a win for them in what has become a lose-lose situation.

    But, their decision to push him out suggests things are already too far gone.

    Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, the fundamental truth of trade period is this: you don’t win or lose it at the trade table, the game is already over by then. You win or lose when a player decides to stay or leave – doing the trade afterwards is more like negotiating a peace treaty.

    When you push a player out of your own accord, you’ve pretty much shot yourself in the foot, forfeited the war before it even began. The damage is done – the only question that remains is how big the hospital bill is going to be.

    Josh Elliott
    Josh Elliott

    Josh Elliott may be The Roar's Weekend Editor, but at heart he's just a rusted-on North Melbourne tragic with a penchant for pun headlines - and also abnormal alliteration, assuredly; assuming achievability. He once finished third in a hot chilli pie eating contest. You can follow him on Twitter @JoshElliott_29 and listen to him on The Roar's AFL Podcast.

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    The Crowd Says (127)

    • October 13th 2017 @ 8:18am
      I ate pies said | October 13th 2017 @ 8:18am | ! Report

      That’s very melodramatic. It’s just footy. Stringer will stay and he’ll put his head in and become a good footballer again.

    • October 13th 2017 @ 8:41am
      Dan, Concord said | October 13th 2017 @ 8:41am | ! Report

      Josh you.seem.yo have summed it up pretty well. The Dogs do seem to have interesting off seasons where they find a way to implode (think Griffen and Macartney). Are there different factions within the club who have different ideas on how things should work and therefore clashing and imploding?

      • October 13th 2017 @ 1:44pm
        Gecko said | October 13th 2017 @ 1:44pm | ! Report

        Yes, player in-fighting has been part of Bulldogs culture over the past decade. It started with annoyance at Aka, continued with half the senior players walking out on McCartney…and now Stringer’s being strung up.

        • October 13th 2017 @ 1:46pm
          Macca said | October 13th 2017 @ 1:46pm | ! Report

          Anyone would think there is a “born to rule mentality”

        • Roar Guru

          October 13th 2017 @ 1:58pm
          Pumping Dougie said | October 13th 2017 @ 1:58pm | ! Report

          Unlike your Pies, you mean? Shaw, Thomas, Beams, Didak, Wellington, Lemumba, Seedsman, Witts, Bucks v Malthouse, staff walking out … hey, but at least they are quiet during trade week and staying out of the news!

          • October 14th 2017 @ 1:40pm
            Chris said | October 14th 2017 @ 1:40pm | ! Report

          • October 14th 2017 @ 1:45pm
            Chris said | October 14th 2017 @ 1:45pm | ! Report

            I love your anti-Collingwood attitude. We are ready for a full-blooded assault and you’ll be on the receiving end from Round One. The lot of you! Thanks Douggie but your comments are pure hogwash. Get your own house in order before you start bagging us! We are back and don’t you forget it!

            • Roar Guru

              October 14th 2017 @ 1:47pm
              Cat said | October 14th 2017 @ 1:47pm | ! Report

              back to the bottom of the ladder again.

            • October 14th 2017 @ 8:43pm
              Pumping Dougie said | October 14th 2017 @ 8:43pm | ! Report

              LOL. At least we’re only kicking one premiership player out, not a premiership coach and players! I look forward to Round 1. In fact I can’t wait.

          • October 16th 2017 @ 1:29pm
            Gecko said | October 16th 2017 @ 1:29pm | ! Report

            Oh yes, I forgot about that!

    • October 13th 2017 @ 9:09am
      Mattician6x6 said | October 13th 2017 @ 9:09am | ! Report

      Great summary josh. Hopefully we don’t end up with another cam McCarthy situation albeit this time with the club doing all it can to mentally destroy a young man.

      • October 14th 2017 @ 11:01am
        Don Freo said | October 14th 2017 @ 11:01am | ! Report

        Stringer’s choices have created those kinds of stresses. The club is saying, “Don’t do that in our jumper.”

        No destroying there.

    • October 13th 2017 @ 9:23am
      Aransan said | October 13th 2017 @ 9:23am | ! Report

      It seemed to me that GWS and the Gold Coast always rated Essendon’s pick 11 higher than the Bulldogs. The deal done to get Devon Smith was a very good one for Essendon.

    • October 13th 2017 @ 9:34am
      Macca said | October 13th 2017 @ 9:34am | ! Report

      I saw one prominent doggies supporter say that Stringer “can’t mark and is shy of the hard ball” given his off field issues why would anyone give up even a second rounder for him if that is true?

      • October 13th 2017 @ 9:41am
        Mattician6x6 said | October 13th 2017 @ 9:41am | ! Report

        Macca- I cannot recall a case were a club has destroyed their hand so royally as this bullies have, can you? Perversely entertaining watching them bumble f@#k their way through this I gotta say.

        • October 13th 2017 @ 10:07am
          Macca said | October 13th 2017 @ 10:07am | ! Report

          It is defiintiely an interesting strategy – “this player is so toxic we have to get rid of him but he is worth pick 11 and no less”, I could only imagine the comments if it happened at Carlton!

          • October 13th 2017 @ 10:20am
            Mattician6x6 said | October 13th 2017 @ 10:20am | ! Report

            Would say their touted plan to be a destination club is a bit in tatters now with way they’ve handled this, really lucky TeX and crows have kept them from being painted tools of this trade period.

            • October 13th 2017 @ 11:17am
              GJ said | October 13th 2017 @ 11:17am | ! Report

              Interesting that Caroline Wilson has retracted the comments that she made about the club and Walker, and publicly admitted she hadn’t done enough research. Damian Barrett is also making comments polar opposite to many in the media including himself from earlier this week and last week.

              The Lever trade is finalised and by all accounts a deal both parties are happy with was reached, irrespective of how the media thought it should have played out.

              You’re comment just paints you as another sheep who has done no research, dug no deeper into the truth and jumped onto the bandwagon with the rest of the click bait crowd. Kudos to you.

              • October 13th 2017 @ 11:36am
                Mattician6x6 said | October 13th 2017 @ 11:36am | ! Report

                Sorry GJ your club has looked like a flock of dh’s of late, carro and Barret retracting as adl probably put pressure on their outlets with threat of less than amicable relationship moving forward, not outside realm of possibility, but no it must be stupid anti crows propaganda that’s been going onhey I know a bad gf are hard to swallow( your teams performance was worse than wce in 2015 hahaha) but time to stop moping in your pea floater.

              • October 13th 2017 @ 11:55am
                GJ said | October 13th 2017 @ 11:55am | ! Report

                Hahaha .. and that is where it all comes back too. The club has had and has a clear relationship with the media since Andrew Fagan became CEO. That relationship is we have no relationship. The leaks to certain members of the media seemed to stop suddenly when Trigg went to Carlton.

                Some of the backlash now is directly attributable to the fact the club never responds to allegations in the media immediately. And often doesn’t even acknowledge them at all.

                The club may at some point in future may address some the rubbish that is being published. I doubt they’d say anything prior to the end of the trade and draft period. And they may well choose to say nothing at all.

              • October 13th 2017 @ 12:21pm
                Mattician6x6 said | October 13th 2017 @ 12:21pm | ! Report

                That clear no relationship was for all to see every Friday night when adl won with channel sevens lack of access I am mightily impressed. I’m in wa GJ caro and Barret do not enter my.mind as were to go for footy news so sorry. Now applying my opinion on statements and behaviors during final series and beyond your club has undoubtedly been acting like a flock of dh’s, bitter unprofessional dh’s don’t now what part of that makes me a sheep.

              • Roar Guru

                October 13th 2017 @ 12:07pm
                Pumping Dougie said | October 13th 2017 @ 12:07pm | ! Report

                Whaaat??! Caroline Wilson has apologised? Now there’s a first.

              • October 13th 2017 @ 12:12pm
                GJ said | October 13th 2017 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

                Was coughing and choking while being interviewed believe it or not. Still surprised many folk

              • October 13th 2017 @ 12:33pm
                GJ said | October 13th 2017 @ 12:33pm | ! Report

                Interestingly most of the same media outlets up until we lost the GF had a steady message of how well and how professional the club and the clubs administration is. I find it hard to believe that as result losing a game of football the club has instantaneously become a rabble.

                You’re entitled to an opinion. Thats fine. Just remember, the media in Perth just follows along and copies the messages coming out of the eastern states. Do you think parroting the messages from SA and VIC somehow makes the media message in Perth groundbreaking?

              • October 13th 2017 @ 12:38pm
                Mattician6x6 said | October 13th 2017 @ 12:38pm | ! Report

                Facts I base my opinion on is from statements made by those associated with the AFC gj not opinion’s pieces, so basing this on statements by Burton/walker etc and not unsubstantiated rumour is sound thinking I find.

              • October 13th 2017 @ 12:35pm
                GJ said | October 13th 2017 @ 12:35pm | ! Report

                6×6 – what are talking about?

                “That clear no relationship was for all to see every Friday night when adl won with channel sevens lack of access I am mightily impressed.”

              • October 13th 2017 @ 12:45pm
                Mattician6x6 said | October 13th 2017 @ 12:45pm | ! Report

                If adl had a clear no relationship policy as you state then why didn’t that apply to channel seven room access after Fri night victories. No teamed carried on greater than the AFC with roaming Brian. So positive stories and AFC are all for media relationship anything negative they get their nickers in knot hey.

              • October 13th 2017 @ 12:49pm
                GJ said | October 13th 2017 @ 12:49pm | ! Report

                Seriously. Channel 7 are broadcast partners with the AFL.

                My reference was to media outside of that little bubble. Every club has specific responsibilities it has to fulfil as part of the contractual arrangements the AFL. Beyond that is an entirely different kettle of fish.

              • October 13th 2017 @ 1:03pm
                Mattician6x6 said | October 13th 2017 @ 1:03pm | ! Report

                And Carlton mid is the official beer does that mean adl only drink Carlton mid? Broadcast partner or not clubs cannot have a one way positive relationship and call we have no relationship with media when talk is less savory.

              • October 13th 2017 @ 6:16pm
                GJ said | October 13th 2017 @ 6:16pm | ! Report

                You don’t understand. And I cannot be bothered explaining it to you. The club in recent times has never coveted a relationship with the media regardless of whether or not the external noise was good or bad, happy or sad.

                Enjoy your weekend.

              • October 13th 2017 @ 6:31pm
                Mattician6x6 said | October 13th 2017 @ 6:31pm | ! Report

                Gj it doesn’t need explanation your an Adelaide fan so believe them acting like a flock of dh’s is somehow justifiable in your eyes. Also for someone who covets this relationship is no relationship you seem very pre occupied with what their opinions are.

              • October 13th 2017 @ 7:34pm
                Mattician6x6 said | October 13th 2017 @ 7:34pm | ! Report

                Oh and pleasant passive aggressive nickers in a knot final post there, kudos to you and bravo clap clap clap.

          • October 13th 2017 @ 11:32am
            Aransan said | October 13th 2017 @ 11:32am | ! Report

            Macca, the Bulldogs give me the impression that there is no one person there entrusted to get this deal done. It will be difficult to get a decision if there is division about what can be expected for him. The general belief is that Stringer can’t stay at the Bulldogs, but the Bulldogs seem to be negotiating on the basis that this is a realistic fallback position.

            • October 13th 2017 @ 12:42pm
              Mattyb said | October 13th 2017 @ 12:42pm | ! Report

              Aransan,personally I think the dogs should move Stringer on but I must say some people are taking the media talk hook line and sinker.
              All Bevs said is we will look to trade but if a respectful trade isn’t offered Stringer stays.
              All McCartney has said is we will take a high first round pick or Stringer stays.
              All I’ve heard Stringer say is he admits he has done some wrong but his preference was to stay,he actually appeared close to tears while saying this. It also appears he hasn’t nominated a club with some word he’s struggling emotionally with the thought of leaving.
              I agree it seems there could be some division regarding who wants Stringer out and who doesn’t,I feel it’s player driven which might be why it’s getting messy.

              • October 13th 2017 @ 1:07pm
                Aransan said | October 13th 2017 @ 1:07pm | ! Report

                Matty, I genuinely believe Stringer staying at the Bulldogs would be a disaster for club and player. Essendon are trying to get Devon Smith, Saad and Stringer in this trade period. The offer for pick 11 by GWS and accepted by Essendon has given Smith to Essendon and strengthened their position to get Saad and Stringer. One proposal was for Essendon to give pick 11 for Stringer and to get back the Bulldogs second round pick, my suggestion is that a deal be done where the Bulldogs accept Essendons second round picks 24 and 29 — wouldn’t this equate to pick 11 being worth three second round picks? I assume Gold Coast are going to accept Essendons 2018 second round pick.

              • October 13th 2017 @ 5:23pm
                Mattyb said | October 13th 2017 @ 5:23pm | ! Report

                Aransan,like I said I’m keen for Stringer to go,and he’s been one of my favourite players. As for disasters, the club keeping Stringer won’t work and puts us back in our old culture that Bev is trying to eradicate.
                For the player,unless Stringer can get over himself all options are a disaster,best option for Stringer would be to go to Geelong,I can’t see him changing at Essendon because his manager doesn’t seem to be taking care in his client and Essendon don’t seem to be showing him much respect. The current situation has lose/lose written all over it,except if Geelong are interested,they’ve been very smart and respectful.

              • October 14th 2017 @ 10:18am
                Steve said | October 14th 2017 @ 10:18am | ! Report

                Hi mattyb, remember me a few weeks back when I started the conversation about Stringer joining Pies for their pick 6 and Mason Cox and also going through alternative scenarios.
                Well I still stand by that and would now consider giving pies our pick 9 also as an extra sweetener.
                This way both clubs don’t lose out on much.
                Pies get a talented forward which they’re craving for in stringer and pick 9, while we end up with Cox and pick 6. Win/Win for both clubs I still say.
                This would also hurt the bombers more for when they play pies every Anzac game I hope Stringer kicks 10+ goals against them to teach em a lesson for underestimating his value.
                Now that would be Karma LOL

              • Roar Guru

                October 13th 2017 @ 5:49pm
                Cat said | October 13th 2017 @ 5:49pm | ! Report

                Geelong is interested. I reckon they haven’t made a single move yet because they are holding out hope they get a chance still

              • October 13th 2017 @ 6:03pm
                Mattician6x6 said | October 13th 2017 @ 6:03pm | ! Report

                Could make up for tomahawk 😉

              • Roar Guru

                October 13th 2017 @ 6:13pm
                Cat said | October 13th 2017 @ 6:13pm | ! Report

                Tom has his issues but he is one of only 3 forwards who have kicked 50 or more goals in each of the last two seasons.

              • October 13th 2017 @ 7:18pm
                Mattician6x6 said | October 13th 2017 @ 7:18pm | ! Report

                I know cat just a fun little dig

              • October 13th 2017 @ 8:30pm
                Aransan said | October 13th 2017 @ 8:30pm | ! Report

                For Stringers sake I hope a deal can be done soon, he will have a significant say in where he finishes up.

              • October 14th 2017 @ 1:42pm
                Mattyb said | October 14th 2017 @ 1:42pm | ! Report

                Steve,if it were up to me I’d not really want Cox. I’d give something back for pick 6 but 9 would probably be a bit much. If pick six was on the table im sure something reasonable could be worked out around that,maybe if we gave you 9 we could also get a second round pick back also.

              • October 15th 2017 @ 11:56am
                David C said | October 15th 2017 @ 11:56am | ! Report

                Steve, Cox cannot change clubs because of work visa issues. That’s why is re-signed with Collingwood.

              • October 15th 2017 @ 3:26pm
                Pumping Dougie said | October 15th 2017 @ 3:26pm | ! Report

                Plus, nobody else is crazy enough to want him.

          • October 14th 2017 @ 11:04am
            Don Freo said | October 14th 2017 @ 11:04am | ! Report

            Eddie Betts?

    • Roar Guru

      October 13th 2017 @ 9:49am
      Pumping Dougie said | October 13th 2017 @ 9:49am | ! Report

      Excellent article Josh. I wonder if this outcome will encourage clubs to be less truthful and more clandestine again in regards to wanting to trade contracted players. Although to be fair, Melbourne have done the same thing with Watts and that doesn’t appear to have attracted criticism – maybe because in his case its purely about football performance?

      But I’m still surprised Saints, Dees and Tigers weren’t interested in Stringer. The guy is more talented than 90% of the comp.

      As for his player manager saying, “next time I get called to a meeting like that, I’m going to ask more questions”, he’s basically advertising to other players that he’s let Jake down here by not asking such a basic question as, “what do you want in return for him”. How incompetent is that bloke? (Of course he should be asking a few questions!)

      I think the Dogs need to have an honest talk with Jake and say, “mate, it’s apparent nobody else respects you, you’re a premiership player with us and an AA so we’re not going to trade you away for significant unders – see out your contract with us, adopt a professional attitude, get yourself ready to prove the industry wrong and if you perform as well as we all know you can, then you’ll be able to dictate where you play in 2019 and how much you earn. The ball’s in your court as to whether you turn this around or not. Don’t be a Tomic”.

      I don’t believe he’s a bad guy. He’s just a young guy who hasn’t grown-up and was enjoying fame for the first time in his life. There would be guys like him at every single club. That’s not condoning his off-field behaviour, but it’s putting some life perspective on it and questioning how many people can deal with being a football star and a dad at such a young age, to a partner you’ve been with since the age of 13, and have the fortitude to resist girls constantly throwing themselves at you. I think his mistakes are redeemable and his talent is too good to discard. The Bulldogs have handled this poorly, but other clubs are mad not to swoop with a good offer.

      • October 13th 2017 @ 9:55am
        Macca said | October 13th 2017 @ 9:55am | ! Report

        PD – If the dogs can get the best out of Stringer in 2018 after what has happened in the past month Beveridge should be put up for a sainthood – or at the very least become a professor in Psychology.

        I agree with pretty much everything you have said but I just can’t see how someone like Stringer could simply play happy families.

        If Stringers form drops again next year (which would be 3 years in a row from his 2015 AA) what would the dogs expect in a trade for him considering he is out of contract?

        • Roar Guru

          October 13th 2017 @ 10:05am
          Pumping Dougie said | October 13th 2017 @ 10:05am | ! Report

          Cheers Macca. In regards to your last question, I’d expect we’d give him away for not much, maybe a 3rd rounder. But that’s assuming he has another poor year.

          I agree it would be extremely tough for Stringer to adopt the attitude he needs to excel, given the public humiliation he has copped from the Doggies, his ex-partner, his player manager and to a lesser extent from the way Essendon has misled him into thinking they would trade seriously for him. But if he wants to command big bucks in his next contract and have the footy world at his feet again, then he’s going to need to be embraced by Bevo, club and teammates but most of all, he’s going to have to change himself and be determined to fight for his reputation.

          • Roar Guru

            October 13th 2017 @ 10:47am
            Paul D said | October 13th 2017 @ 10:47am | ! Report

            Good comments Dougie. That would be a great outcome for Stringer and the dogs if he could turn that around but I reckon the Dogs have put the boot in too hard and too deep to him for him to want to play ball with them anymore – metaphorically and literally

            • October 14th 2017 @ 11:10am
              Don Freo said | October 14th 2017 @ 11:10am | ! Report

              Except he is going to have to rebuild that level of humilty if he ever hopes to have a significant relationship with his kid(s). This will be his first step.

              I don’t think the Bullies are in a lose/lose situation at all. They may well lose a significant player but some other under achievers might get back on track. Libba?

          • October 13th 2017 @ 4:46pm
            Slane said | October 13th 2017 @ 4:46pm | ! Report

            Great comment

        • October 13th 2017 @ 11:58am
          GoSwans said | October 13th 2017 @ 11:58am | ! Report

          I thought maybe it is deliberate, float his name around knowing doing so makes him worth only a second rounder but demand a first rounder to smash his ego. If he pulls his head in then maybe he will perform.

          PS There’s no way I’d want him at my club.

      • October 13th 2017 @ 2:13pm
        Gecko said | October 13th 2017 @ 2:13pm | ! Report

        Dougie the Tigers’ premiership has also hurt Stringer because they showed that a strong work ethic in the forward line is crucial.

        Actually, Stringer could be the prototype target forward because he’s tall enough to bring the ball to ground but agile enough to follow up at ground level and provide defensive pressure. But it’s a big risk to hope he develops a work ethic because if he doesn’t, he could be bordering on a liability in a forward line (I though he was bordering on a liability with the Bulldogs this year).

        • Roar Guru

          October 13th 2017 @ 2:41pm
          Pumping Dougie said | October 13th 2017 @ 2:41pm | ! Report

          All true. But you can still carry one bloke in the forward line who applies less pressure than the others if he’s good enough offensively. Outside of Riewoldt, the Tigers don’t have any forward possessing star power and the ability to turn a game. Stringer’s offensive talent is not far behind Buddy. In the right forward line, he will be lethal. Melbourne and Richmond should be making a play for him, because he would be super-dangerous in their forward lines.

          • October 13th 2017 @ 4:48pm
            Slane said | October 13th 2017 @ 4:48pm | ! Report

            ‘the Tigers don’t have any forward possessing star power and the ability to turn a game.’

            You aren’t counting Rioli yet? You will be soon 🙂

            I still remember you saying you Don’t rate Dusty.

            • Roar Guru

              October 13th 2017 @ 7:58pm
              Pumping Dougie said | October 13th 2017 @ 7:58pm | ! Report

              Fair comment Slane. I reckon Dusty Martin is a studious fellow and was reading my comments on The Roar! From that moment on, he transformed from Clanger Martin to Brownlow Martin. He hugely improved his game this year and particularly the second half of the year. Like most people, I was super impressed. His finals series was not unlike Bontempelli last year – shining in big moments and lifting his team when the crunch was on. Good on him.

              Rioli may well become a star, but he hasn’t yet. He was brilliant in the PF, but apart from that hasn’t been anything more than modest. However, it was his first year and he did very well for a first year player.

              • October 15th 2017 @ 12:03pm
                David C said | October 15th 2017 @ 12:03pm | ! Report

                It was Rioli’s 2nd year actually

              • October 15th 2017 @ 3:27pm
                Pumping Dougie said | October 15th 2017 @ 3:27pm | ! Report

                Ok thanks … not so good then.

          • October 13th 2017 @ 5:21pm
            truetigerfan said | October 13th 2017 @ 5:21pm | ! Report

            Noooooooooo! And btw, Stringer aint close to Buddy, even on Buddy’s bad days!

          • October 15th 2017 @ 10:20am
            Tony said | October 15th 2017 @ 10:20am | ! Report

            Ha, “Stringer not far behind Buddy”. Nearly as stupid a comment as your earlier comments on Collingwood PD.

            • October 15th 2017 @ 3:29pm
              Pumping Dougie said | October 15th 2017 @ 3:29pm | ! Report

              LOL. Looks like I’ve hit a raw nerve with Collingwood supporters.

      • October 13th 2017 @ 8:21pm
        me too said | October 13th 2017 @ 8:21pm | ! Report

        The Saints were never going to be interested in Stringer once the ‘schoolgirl, allegations came out. Even though th eSt Kilda schoolgirl story was pushed falsely by the media (especially Caroline Wilson), once the truth came out there was no retraction or apology and the stain remained. All the Saints can do is wait for it to fade, not give it a fresh coat of paint.

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