The Roar
The Roar

Darren McSweeney

Roar Pro

Joined March 2016







Darren shows a passing interest in sport in general from AFL, Rugby League, Formula 1, Olympics and occasionally curling! He can be found at the MCG supporting Melbourne in AFL, at AAMI Park supporting the Storm in NRL, or just curled up at home watching on it all unfold on TV!



I don’t think we’d parade the player around on stage like a prized bull though. I imagine it would work exactly like the current academy/father-son bidding process works. Clubs would nominate their initial selection exactly like they do now and then other clubs would match or beat the offer for points. I think there should be a default point value per selection though, so if a club nominates a spud for #1 they don’t get them for free if no one else wants to bid on them.

So long as we're shaking up the AFL draft, why not make it an auction?

It’s something I’d been thinking should happen for a while now. We already give picks certain currency called “points” now, and clubs use those points to bid on players they decide to retain. Why not allow all clubs the chance. I think we’d need to up the values of points per traditional pick and give the later rounds some point values also though. It would virtually eliminate the current complex pick swaps though, there’d be no point trading my 324 points for your 179 points without some other inexact trade currency like a player.

So long as we're shaking up the AFL draft, why not make it an auction?

Where did dropping the kick in from a behind come from? At no point have I heard anyone ask for this to be changed. It’s a fundamental part of the game. Also, the only reason the goal square exists now is for a mark taken directly in front. The primary reason for the goal square, and the sole reason for 100 years, was the bounding box for the kick out.

AFL unveils rule changes for 2019

As Josh says above, in 4 years Max Gawn will be 30. We need someone to succeed him eventually, and we need to get someone with some experience to start that plan now. Enough with the skinny injury prone ruck stocks. We’ve burned through six or seven in the last few years with none playing even a single game. Jake Spencer was the only real back up ruck we had for years.

If Melbourne are going to trade Jesse Hogan, here's how to do it

While I would really like to see Hogan stay, if he want’s to go, we need to let him. For so many years during the dark age we saw a lot of players choose to go to greener pastures (McLean, Frawley, Scully, Rivers, Sylvia, Clark) and I’m now of the opinion that we (and all clubs) need to focus on getting the players who actually want to be at your club. Having now seen multiple players choose Melbourne over other clubs (Vince, Garlett, Lewis, Lever) you can see the difference it makes to the whole playing group. Our future looks bright, and while Hogan’s importance cannot be underestimated, we will continue without him if that’s what he ultimately chooses. Play hard to get the best deal – like Adelaide did with Lever – and who knows, the whole overs and unders is irrelevant. A player is worth exactly what the club that wants him is prepared to swap for him.

If Melbourne are going to trade Jesse Hogan, here's how to do it

Melbourne don’t have a first round pick this year, we traded it to Adelaide last year for Lever. So in order to get that May trade done, we’d need to find a first round pick from somewhere else.

If Melbourne are going to trade Jesse Hogan, here's how to do it

It is thought provoking. As a long-suffering Melbourne supporter and member, I can certainly understand what you’re saying. There have been times where I had thought “is it worth it?” But I never considered changing teams, because who would I support? Sure there are teams I don’t mind, but really, I don’t want to support any team that’s not Melbourne.

I had a Carlton supporter American-born boss some 15-20 years ago and I still remember a discussion we had about football. He asked, if I like a particular player and they changed clubs, would I support the club he changed to. I said no of course not. His point was that if we’re not following the people, then all we really support is the jumper, which is a piece of fabric. I think it’s only slightly off. I think supporting a clubs is the communuity, the club itself, the history, the tradition, the sense of belonging as well as the people involved in the club, now and the past.

As far as Hannerberry, Carlisle, or Weller goes, my thoughts changed over the last 10 years or so. I am happy to pay “overs” for players who genuinely want to play for my club, rather than a high draft pick for an unknown. Melbourne has burned its share of high draft picks in the past. I don’t want to draft players who leave after a few years, so I think the Saints should throw everything at getting Hannerberry if he actually wants to go to Moorabbin. Who says draft pick number 3 might turn out to be?

Is supporter loyalty a lost commodity today?

….. Won’t make the finals…. Won’t beat Geelong… Won’t beat Hawthorn…. keep underestimating the Dees at your peril. We beat you guys over there four weeks ago, there’s no reason why we can’t do it again. This year we have travelled to Brisbane, Brisbane, Alice Springs, Darwin, Adelaide, Adelaide and Perth and have lost only 1 of those games. Our interstate record is quite good. Having said that, even if we do lose, making the prelim exceeds my expectations for 2018.

Dee-molition job: Melbourne end Hawthorn's September in straight sets

I think while big games may be part of the consideration, premiership success and lifestyle, whether that be family, money or city, are the main factors.

Players from every state will always want to go back home.

The advantage of certain Victorian clubs

Or even down to Geelong for that matter.

The advantage of certain Victorian clubs

Unless all games are scheduled at the same time, someone will have a longer break than someone else. The privellege of finishing top 4 is that you can lose the first game and still be in contention. There is no automatic right to a longer break.

As for the public, well someone’s gotta travel on a Friday night at peak hour to get to a game. The fact that it’s Geelong shouldn’t necessarily be a concern. Had they won the right to a home final, would we be complaining that Melbourne (or likely Sydney) supporters had to travel to Kardinia on a Friday night?

The Week 1 AFL finals fixture is a disaster

It’s good to see a team building and making improvements.
It does seem to me that you guys are on a similar trajectory that we were on.

My measure of success was to continuously improve. As long as we won more games than we did previously, and improved percentage year on year, I was satisfied with the progress.

Success takes time, particularly if you’re starting from a low mark.

Chris Fagan signs two-year extension with Lions

It shows a real lack of desire to bring success. It smacks of CEOs and board members saving their jobs/positions by not admitting fault.
There’s this misguided notion that stability is a component of success.

Sacking a coach as a knee-jerk reaction to one big loss, or one bad year is the antithesis of success. The thinking that simply changing the coach will bring success actually sets the club back further.

I know, as a Melbourne supporter, we sacked Neale Daniher as a reaction in 2007, and it set us back for over a decade.

Richmond is the other case in point. Harwick was almost a dead man walking in 2016. The board kept faith in him, but made changes elsewhere and look what happened.

There’s a difference between a wholesale, considered refresh of staff to a reactionary sacking.

Chris Fagan signs two-year extension with Lions

“The Tigers “indominable” midfield had their pants lowered by both Collingwood and Geelong in successive weeks…. “
Yet when the 120 minutes of football was over, Richmond won both those games. Pants lowered or not, they got the job done.

Are the AFL finalists premiers or pretenders?

The AFL is not about Australian rules football and nothing else. The AFL is one of the largest components of modern Australian society. the AFL infiltrates all through society. It’s talked about in the workplace, it dominates weekend television, entire radio stations are devoted to it, heck we even have a public holiday in commemoration of it. Motorists change travel plans (or rue that they didn’t) in response to the scheduling of games.

My point is, that sport is not an island distinct from politcs. They are both key parts of our everyday lives and inevitably will become intertwined.

Anyone who believes that they are not related is fooling themselves.

Eight hot takes from AFL Round 22

The AFL is a social influencer and has been for a long time. How the AFL world treat other human beings reflects society and demonstrates how we should all behave… racisim, sexism, homophobia is as much about society as it is about politics.

Hatred of any other human being for their race, sex, religion, sexual orentation, background, or disability (including mental health) has no place in this society, and the AFL is right to demonstrate this.

Politics is and always has been intertwined with sport.

Taiwan has to compete under the name Chinese Taipei in most sport because… politics.
The 1980 and 1984 Olympics had massive boycotts because… politics.
The Russians at the Sochi Winter Olympics were routinely booed, and Ukraine routinely cheered because.. politics.
Qatar are hosting the 2022 World Cup because… politics.
South Africa was banned from international sport for decades because… politics.
The Black Power salute at the Mexico Olympics was because… politics.
The Gold Coast Commonwealth Games (and Melbourne) had athletes from Afrian nations seek aslyum because… politics.
The Berlin Olympics in 1936 was used by Adolf Hitler because… politics.

And I guess that’s the end of the discussion, Godwin’s law and all that.

Eight hot takes from AFL Round 22

I almost can’t believe it that we will actually be playing finals. I’ll let it sink in for a bit.

Dee-lighful! Melbourne lock in finals berth with win in the west

The MRO will send him straight to the Tribunal I would guess. it will be up to the Tribunal to decide how many weeks.

Monday Morning AFL Podcast: Will we see Andrew Gaff in Eagles colours again?

Also with mobile phones there would have been plenty of opportunity to find out what was going on.

Remembering that the incident was a long way off the ball, most spectators at the ground would have been watching the play, not what happens a long way off the ball. They probably never saw the actual incident, only the repercussions that flowed from it.

I don’t know about you, but when I’m at the game, I’m watching the game. I’m not sitting on my phone. I generally don’t even notice any messages or missed calls. I’m certainly not trying to find replays of what happened. If it doesn’t happen at the ground, I don’t know about it.

It makes sense that many at the ground would have had no idea why Gaff was suddenly being targeted, except it involved Brayshaw’s departure.

Some perspective on West Coast fans' reaction to the Gaff hit


1. Higgins was not tackled.
2. He did not attempt to handball.
3. The ball did not hit the post.
4. No other player touched the ball.
5. He did not throw the ball aloft and regather with his hands.
6. He did not take the ball out of bounds.

Therefore, Higgins was in possesion of the ball, and from the point his hands stopped touching the ball, nothing else touched the ball, and it remained in play until his foot made contact with the ball and he executed a legal dispoal, being a kick.
Perfectly legal and a correct decision.

If a player in the open attempts to execute a kick and misses, and the ball hits the ground is that a throw too?

With four AFL rounds to go, every spot in the eight is up for grabs

that is true, but one can see what anyone within my department is paid by looking at that.
We already know what employer the players play for. The only thing we wouldn’t immediately know is their band.

Time to end the AFL's salary cap speculation game

I’m a public servant at the APS6 level. My salary is public. It can be seen on page 86:

Any wage or salary earner with an enterprise agreement should have their rate of pay listed publicly.

Obviously it’s listed in a band (in my case between $79,469 and $91,894),but why can’t we classify AFL players into bands with defined payments. If they get paid less than $300,000 per year then they are band 1; $300 – $500,000 band 2 etc. We’d at least know how good each player is actually considered, rather than pure speculation, as it is now.

We “know” Franklin is on a 9 year $10m contract, but do we actually know that, or do we just believe what the journos report. For all we “know” they could be making it up, elaborating or just pulling figures out of their……

Time to end the AFL's salary cap speculation game

I often consider that football and political media coverage is very similar.
The same people on multiple platforms in their own echo chamber. Trying to be as much of the story as the actual players (or pollies). They analyse every minute detail, while avoiding any scrutiny themselves.

They spend more time talking about personalities while ignoring the real issues.

They are partisan to extreme levels and clearly cheer on their chosen side/personality.

State of the game? It's the state of the football media that's the problem

Yeah on the whole, Channel Ten’s coverage was really good. Even Channel Nine were generally better (despite people’s dislike for Eddie McGuire, he actually can call a game well).

Obviously there were some commentators that were not that great on Ten (from memory, Robert Walls, and I personally don’t particularly like Andy Maher). Some would have moved on by now or gone to Seven or Foxtel, like Anthony Hudson and Luke Darcy.

State of the game? It's the state of the football media that's the problem

It was even better a few years ago when a commentator confused Christian Salem (of Lebanese heritage) with Neville Jetta (indigenous)…

I certainly agree that listening to the call during some games is so tiring. Some of the muppets that get paid to drone on is irritating, particularly when they clearly start barracking.

Then they ignore the actual game in front of them, and start going on about other teams, who else played well that weekend, whos going to go somewhere else, stupid in jokes and blokey comments, and how this young bloke came from a basketball career like the other guy that played basedball when he was twelve and how great is this player that came within about 190m of the ball, but is a superstar so we just keep talking about him incessantly.

Then there’s the former players who offer nothing but critisims, how this team should be doing that instead, why they are no good and what mistakes they made.

How about just calling the game, and telling us who has the ball, where, and what they’re doing with it.

I remember years ago, Foxtel used to allow you to press red to turn on game sound effects or umpires only. There was no commentary, and it was bliss. But I suppose when you’re paying the big bucks to dinosaurs that should have retired fifteen years ago, you need to make it worth it.

If I performed as poorly in my job as some of these so-called experts in the media, then I’d be out on the street. I have to wonder if they actually have performance reviews in their work, or is it just the ratings and the sales that determine their success? If they don’t, then they need to start revieiwng their performance, like they endlessly review the players, coaches and umpires performances.

State of the game? It's the state of the football media that's the problem