The Demons jet will be at the club until the end of 2029… and Mark Robinson wasn’t thrilled that Petracca didn’t tell him about it sooner.
Most will review and overreact to the results over the weekend. That’s okay.
But let’s go over the movers and shakers, the blokes that performed incredibly well which regardless of the seriousness of the contest, is what fans want, we want good players playing good footy.
This isn’t the top three or Brownlow-style votes, just identifying three players from each club whose performance deserved a write up.
Andrew McPherson – with Rory Laird going into the midfield, Tom Doedee unfit and Wayne Milera going down, the Crows need rebounding defenders and McPherson had 21 touches, nine rebounds and went at 71 per cent. Very good.
Rory Laird – celebrated signing a five year deal to stay at West Lakes with a team high 25 touches, ten tackles but unfortunately, seven clangers. Five inside 50s and four clearances and went at 72 per cent so if there was rust, good time to get it out.
Brodie Smith – speaking of rebounding, Smith had 24 at 87 per cent with eight rebounds 50s. Has been below his best in recent times but four inside 50s and six marks, could be getting back into form.
Jarrod Berry – fellow writer Jake Smith wrote up that he’s bought his stock and what an observation! 28 touches, five rebound 50s, three clearances and five tackles was a great performance.
Dayne Zorko – He was back with a bang after halftime and fully fit, is a huge weapon. 19 touches, couple of goals, five inside 50s and five rebounds was a good return to form.
Charlie Cameron – it was a good pre-season for small forwards and it ended well with the former Crow snagging four goals and had a hand in four other scores. Charlie in form is a brilliant sight for footy fans.
Zac Fisher – touted as a small forward in the pre-season, he played more as a high half forward and had 23 touches, eight score involvements and five inside 50s read beautifully, just needed to convert (2.3).
Jack Silvagni – playing for his career in 2021, Jack got the footy (17), used it well (76per cent), tackled (four) and converted his shots with kicking 3.1.
Zac Williams – what a way to introduce yourself. Smacked Hunter Clark with a bump before the game turned ten seconds old and followed it up with two stoppage goals, ferocious energy, seven score involvements, six tackles, six clearances and seven inside 50s.
Jack Crisp – way better than the steak knives that was advertised in the Dayne Beams deal, the ever working running defender had a cheeky 29 touches at 82per cent and although he gave away some free kicks, his work over the ground was exemplary.
Jordan de Goey – one of, if not the best for the Pies, had 27 touches, kicked two, had eight score involvements and five clearances. Critical of him or not, you can’t knock these kind of performances.
Isaac Quaynor – has breakout written all over him. Six clangers is what pre season rust is to kick out but 23 touches at 78per cent and eight rebounds is a fantastic beginning for the young man.
Zach Merrett – A game-high 37 disposals for the hottest free agent on the park with seven score involvements and six tackles. Seven clangers is a concern but was a good hitout.
Darcy Parish – out of contract at the end of the year but a few 32 disposal, nine inside 50, six score involvement, performances go a long way.
Jordan Ridley – the best and fairest winner picked up where he left off in 2020, with 25 disposals, seven rebounds, six marks (three contested) and went at 84per cent. Great start.
Ethan Hughes – game high in disposals (31) and marks (13) as well as having five rebound 50s. Fremantle need some B Graders to really rise and take that step and he was fantastic.
Nat Fyfe – the two time Brownlow Medallist capped off 27 disposals (85per cent efficiency) and a goal with a game high ten clearances! His hands looked good and was everywhere.
Michael Frederick – the Docker cult hero has had some time in the system and had 17 touches, six inside 50s and six score involvements; but the most fun part was his speed as at times he just glided.
Jordan Clark – looks set in Geelong’s line-up with a performance like that; 29 touches, ten marks, four tackles and seven rebounds.
Tom Stewart – 29 touches for the rugged back pocket, went at 86 per cent efficiency, took eight marks and had six rebound 50s.
Tom Atkins – new role, who this? Played down back with his six rebound 50s but kept finding the footy with 28 disposals and went at an ultra efficient rate of 82 per cent.
Alex Sexton – kicking six in a preseason game is nothing to sneeze at and after being dropped during 2020, needs a big year and started beautifully.
Will Brodie – was shopped around reportedly and clubs may have missed out on a bargain. 25 touches with eleven score involvements was a great start, just needed to finish his work, kicking 1.2.
Lachie Weller – hoping he gets a set role this season but 29 touches, four clearances five inside 50s, six score involvements, a goal and 75per cent efficiency is a great start to his campaign.
Tim Taranto – so great to see this man back in form. Had 31 touches, kicked a goal, had five clearances, six inside 50s and four tackles in an all round fantastic performance.
Toby Greene – love him, hate him, the man is a star. Had 21 touches, kicked three goals including an outstanding tight soccer style goal and delivered inside 50 four times as well. Always dangerous.
Tanner Bruhn – barely any footy in the last two years with an ACL in 2019 and of course, the COVID crisis of 2020. However, he looked composed with his four goals and absolutely should be playing Round 1.
Jacob Koschitzke – the young key defender turned forward had eleven kicks for nine scoring shots, kicking 6.3! Six marks (five inside 50) and his spoiling was good too.
Tom Phillips – the biggest steal in the trade period, period. The former Pie was mostly an inside mid who went to the wing on occasion, had 30, eleven score involvements, seven tackles and inside 50s, five clearances and kicked his first goal in a Hawks jumper.
Changkuoth Jiath – the cult figure affectionately known as ‘CJ’ was great across half back with his athleticism and pace. 24 disposals at 83per cent, seven marks, four rebounds and four score involvements.
Steven May – his 2020 wasn’t a fluke and getting too far ahead here, will be All Australian. 27 touches, nine rebounds and nine marks, unbelievable.
Bayley Fritsch – in a double edged sword situation, he was Melbourne’s most dangerous forward. They’ll go nowhere if he wins the goalkicking again but 3.3 and nine marks is nothing to turn your nose up at.
Jake Lever – absolutely spoiled everything and looks the fittest he’s been since he’s been at Melbourne. Eight marks, seven rebounds and used it magnificently (86per cent). Hope he stays fit.
Dom Tyson – the most forgotten man reintroduced himself to the footy public with 23 disposals, three goals and eight marks. Went at 86 per cent with four rebounds and four inside 50s also.
Josh Walker – the biggest positive forward of centre for the Roos, Walker snagged a dozen marks (four contested) and kicked three goals and seems to be partnering Nick Larkey in attack for the Roos.
Luke Davies-Uniacke – went at 80 per cent with 21 disposals, six clearances, five inside 50s and a couple of rebounds. North still don’t look great but he was very good.
Dan Houston – Port Adelaide took a bonkers 190 marks on the weekend and five players had double digits! Houston was amazing though, with sixteen marks, a game high 34 disposals at 87 per cent efficiency and seven score involvements.
Riley Bonner – been a bit of a tease so far but how do you not be thrilled about 27 disposals (21 kicks) at 88 per cent efficiency, fifteen marks, eight score involvements, five inside 50s and four rebound 50s? The type of game running players dream of.
Allir Allir – tell you what, never played like that at Sydney! 21 touches (18 kicks), 14 marks (6 contested), six score involvements, four inside 50s and three rebounds, was just an unbelievable performance.
Jayden Short – 43 disposals is nothing to sneeze at, even during pre season. 35 of them were kicks, he went at 79 per cent, ten rebounds, six inside 50s and seven score involvements is an insane performance.
Liam Baker – from one running defender to another, the Western Australia bred gun had 23 touches, grabbed nine marks and went at 91per cent. Richmond’s defence looks very good.
Jack Riewoldt – the only rust in Jack seemed to be his goal-kicking with 2.3 but seven score involvements and seven marks (four contested, playing mostly on Darcy Moore), was a good performance by the ageing superstar.
Jack Sinclair – a game high 28 touches at 89 per cent efficiency, Sinclair was the best man on the ground with ten score involvements, seven inside 50s and three rebounds, he got it done everywhere and finished his work with a goal.
Jack Steele – the man who finished equal third in the Brownlow has kicked off in fantastic style with 27, eight score involvements, six tackles, five clearances and five marks.
Brad Hill – called him an AA smokey and some of that anxiety has been eased with a performance like this. Had 25 disposals (21 kicks), went at 88 per cent efficiency, nine inside 50s and six score involvements and more importantly, absolutely torched Jack Newnes, Will Setterfield and Sam Petrevski-Seton, who lined up on him at times.
Sam Wicks – you’d be forgiven if you weren’t overly across this man but if you saw him lay his nine tackles, take eight grabs, have six score involvements and kicked a goal, you’ll know who he is now.
Luke Parker – still somehow underrated in the league, Parker is in his prime and flaunting it. Had 22 in a midfield/forward role, kicked a team high three goals and had eight clearances. Outstanding.
Ollie Florent – really like where this young man is heading. 19 touches at 89 per cent efficiency, had five clearances, four tackles and three inside 50s. Could be set to really elevate himself further.
Dom Sheed – the epitome of doing the job required was the story of Sheed’s day. 29 touches, six score involvements, six inside 50s, four clearances, three tackles, went out and like he has for most of his career, got it done.
Tom Barrass – the lockdown in the Eagles defence took a dozen grabs with three of them contested, had 18 disposals (16 kicks) and four rebounds. With every other Eagles defender it seems has the ability to rebound and just go with the ball, he can shutdown a forward.
Liam Duggan – one of the more talked about ‘breakout’ names in the warmer months did himself no harm with his 22 disposal, nine mark, eight score involvement, seven inside 50s and six rebound performance, just showed how he was everywhere.
Jackson Macrae – had 39 touches in a performance very similar to his performances of 2020. Eleven inside 50s, ten score involvements, eight tackles, seven clearances, six marks and went at 87per cent. Nothing short of wow.
Marcus Bontempelli – looked like one of the best in the league with his 32 touches, thirteen score involvements, nine inside 50s and seven clearances but his ability to go forward and kick three was the icing on the cake.
Caleb Daniel – ‘Helmet’ was simply extraordinary with his 91 per cent efficiency across a massive 34 touches! He will benefit massively from the new rules put in place, All Australian is his to lose.