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Michael Filosi

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First week of AFL finals go to script

The first week of the AFL finals confirmed what many already suspected – Collingwood and Geelong are still the teams to beat in season 2011. After winning their respective qualifying finals, both the Magpies and the Cats secured the week off and can now focus on preliminary final matches in a fortnight’s time.

I think most football followers would love to see a non-midfielder win the Brownlow some time soon. It has truly become the ‘midfielders medal.’ Franklin is a star, and is the most likely player who does not get a regular run through the midfield to win Charlie. I hope that the umpires place more emphasis on the efforts of forwards and backlines when they give votes, rather than just the men in the middle of the ground.

Five fearless predictions for AFL season 2012

It is true that the Crows have been talked up the previous two pre-seasons on the back of five straight finals performances under former coach Neil Craig prior to season 2010. I think the club has the talent to make the top eight this year, maybe even a little better. If the side has a third poor season in a row in 2012, then it will be a lot harder to make that argument ahead of the 2013 season.

Five fearless predictions for AFL season 2012

Agree, can’t see any of Saints, Bombers of Bulldogs to make the top eight this year.

Five fearless predictions for AFL season 2012

I think the hardest teams to predict with confidence how they will go this year are Adelaid and Freo. As you note, these teams could finish comfortably in the top eight, or well outside if they continue their form from last year. I think that both will both surge into the top eight this year, probably at the expense of Essendon and St Kilda.

Five fearless predictions for AFL season 2012

Really hard to make a case for Bulldogs this year. With reference to getting predictions wrong, it’s bound to happen, we’re all just guessing at the end of the day. We all make the best predictions on the evidence available to us at any time, and if that all falls in a heap, what can you do?!?!

Bulldogs did seem ready to make a genuine charge at the flag last year, or at least to make the GF. What a difference a year can make now that everyone is talking them down. Maybe we will all be proved wrong again this year, but I doubt it.

2012 AFL season preview: Western Bulldogs

I think that the Hawks will add this year’s Premiership to their silverware in 2008.

Having said that, I felt something similar last year. More impressed by Hawthorn’s next generation of players that are coming through than I was at this time last year though.

2012 AFL season preview: Hawthorn

It was too easy to just run with GWS, Gold Coast and Port Adelaide as being the only sides without a realistic hope of playing finals football this year. You can probably throw Brisbane in that group as well.

In nominating a fifth side that would almost certainly miss out, I was left choosing between Melbourne and Richmond, and chose the latter. I kind of hope I am wrong though. The Tigers deserve some success (whatever that means), and I rate Hardwick as a coach. Plus, they have the best team song in all the league, and I would like to hear it more often.

I feel that Richmond could well be one of the best performed sides of the next five years or so, but that their upwards trend won’t start till next season. Too much of a drop off in talent between their best players and the next tier at present.

Which AFL teams won't feature in 2012 finals action

Great sports story, I have lost touch with the NBA a fair bit since Jordan retired, but the Lin story means I’ll have a reason to start paying more attention to it. Amazing. You just don’t expect to have diamonds in the rough in the era of professional sports where there are a million and one scouts finding the best talent. I wonder how long it will last, but hopefully he goes on with it and becomes a genuine star over the next few years. Sporting theatre rivals anything scripted you’ll ever see or read.

Who the hell is Jeremy Lin?

Rjanago, do you think your man Djokovic is capable of winning the Golden Grand Slam this year? All four majors plus the Olympic gold as well? Big ask.

Last person to do it was Steffi Graf in 1988. Not sure it will ever be done again.

2012 Australian Open preview: Djokovic and Kvitova lead charge

I’m a big Federer fan, but can’t see him making the final of this year’s Australian Open. I hope I’m wrong though.

Federer beating Djokovic in the final would be a fantastic storyline for the tournament, and would add interest to the rest of the year of tennis.

2012 Australian Open preview: Djokovic and Kvitova lead charge

Interestingly with the top three men’s players, they each have a different preferred opponent.

* Nadal would rather play Federer than Djokovic
* Djokovic would rather play Nadal than Federer
* Federer would rather play Djokovic than Nadal

2012 Australian Open preview: Djokovic and Kvitova lead charge

Well picked up, I obviously mis-read the draw, but have amended the piece. I think it will be Federer, Nadal, Murray and Djokovic who will make the semis, with Djokovic beating Nadal in the final.

2012 Australian Open preview: Djokovic and Kvitova lead charge

I reckon the Australian side will win relatively easily in Perth, but in Adelaide the Indian batsmen will finally get their act together and bat for a couple of days with the match drawn. Series will end 3-0 to Australia from where I sit.

Australians on the cusp of a whitewash

I agree that there has been a significant back-flip from a lot of his knockers, hence the intended tongue-in-cheek title “All aboard the Michael Clarke bandwagon.”

I disagree that Clarke “hasn’t changed anything.” Clarke does seem more at ease and forthright in my opinion since taking over the captaincy, which have helped people warm to him a little bit more. I think that the Australian public and Clarke have probably met halfway.

I don’t consider myself a Clarke knocker, but he is also not one of my favourite players. As I’ve written in the piece, I found him hard to warm to initially, but that’s no crime, and the bad press he got was excessive. The fact that I (or others) didn’t warm to him immediately doesn’t make him a bad person, or mean that the bad press he got was justified. It’s just an observation.

I think he is an excellent captain, and although it is a big call at this early point, it would not surprise me if by the time his career finished he was considered amongst the best Australian cricket captains we’ve had.

I wrote another Roar article previously which questioned why we, as Australians, hadn’t warmed to Clarke. It might provide an interesting comparison….

Why has Australia not warmed to Michael Clarke?

All aboard the Michael Clarke bandwagon

It is true that once Australia drops Ponting, they can’t very well recall him. I’m curious to know at what point you would consider dropping Ponting if he continues to fail, given that there are options outside the team who are pressing their case? How far would you allow Ponting’s form to taper off before you would consider dropping him?

Ricky Ponting should bid us farewell this series

I don’t think that the Indian bowlers hold Ponting in quite the same high regard as you think they do. Last time the Indian side toured here Ishant Sharma worked him over beautifully, and I think they would fancy their chances against Ponting in the twilight of his career.

Ricky Ponting should bid us farewell this series

I’m not so sure I agree Jack. I think that you can mount a valid argument that a few players outside the Test team do deserve their place in the side at the expense of Ponting based on form, not just potential.

Ricky Ponting should bid us farewell this series

Sometimes it is too easy and not the right thing to suggest massive changes. True, there are a number of potential changes which are required of the Austrailan Test side, but it’s my belief that there is something more to it than the playing list. It is the approach of the players which has lead to their downfall, and the notion that Austraila must at all costs play an attacking, aggressive style of play despite the opposition and the circumstances of the match.

Attitude not aptitude the problem with Australian cricket

It is funny how grinding out an innings is seen in such a poor light these days, and an un-Australian way of play. I think there is much to admire in an innings where a player hasn’t had it all his own way and has had to pick and choose the deliveries he scored from. You just have to pick your moments, and right now the Australian side isn’t able to do that. They have just the one speed, and it’s full steam ahead. As I mentioned in the piece, all the current group of players have ever seen of Australian sides is this attacking mentality, but it is time to reconsider this approach.

Attitude not aptitude the problem with Australian cricket

Wooblies, pretty sure I’m not on the CA paylist (although I’m happy to consider all offers.)

Attitude not aptitude the problem with Australian cricket

You hit on an interesting point, that playing attacking cricket is “the Australian way.” It might be true for the past fifteen to twenty years when we’ve had an ace side, but I think that comes out of the fact that we had a side that was capable of playing that way, rather than attacking flair being distinctly “Australian”.

Attitude not aptitude the problem with Australian cricket

Not a bad list, but maybe an over-representation of South Australian players (and I say that as a South Australian.)

The 30 greatest AFL players of all-time

I’m keen to know how whether many non-AFL fans watched and enjoyed the matches? Did it appeal to followers of league, union or soccer (sorry, football) much as a spectacle?

Why International Rules is the black jellybean of sport

That’s a great idea, I wonder how that would affect the Irish team playing on an oval rather than a rectangular field?

Why International Rules is the black jellybean of sport

Agree, playing only two matches and having the series winner be the team with the highest aggregate score is an issue which needs to be addressed. Having a third match would certainly help with this problem. Essentially the two matches comprise an eight quarter match, rather than two separate matches at present.

Why International Rules is the black jellybean of sport