The Roar
The Roar

Munro Mike

Roar Rookie

Joined September 2018









Masters/Supers footy was the best footy years of my life. I didn’t take up footy until age 14 (had to play a couple of seasons of basketball first – Mum thought I was too skinny to play footy….perhaps right – but lived on a farm and I was always out with the footy kicking it around and developing my skills).

As a footy player I was so so – I wasn’t really strong and the old school coaches were big on macho rhetoric and thin on strategic positioning/ball use. I was zonal ahead of my time!!!

I managed a D4 VAFA ressies game after my 40th birthday and figured that was it (my wife – secretly delighted).

Then I got a call from former teammates to give Masters footy a crack – down at the southern end of Albert park for the Melbourne Lions (Purple and gold, oh we’re from Lion land….). I was able to slot into the Supers side as a fullback – ironically most in the 35-40 age range were in the Masters (effective the reserves) and most in the Supers were over 40….but in pretty good nick!! The next 4 years were my most enjoyable. The first 2 years – we were a top team in North Zone and the culminated in winning the North Zone GF and 2 weeks later the inter Zone GF…..2 GF wins in a fortnight!!! Yeah!! And the 2nd one really felt something special……and my kids were there.

The next 2 years and another 2 years after that closer to home with Plenty Valley. Across that time in Melbourne Premier division Supers – a D4 VAFA full back got to play on Paul Salmon, Paul Hudson, Kris Barlow, Mark Graham, Joel Smith, Chris Johnson and cross paths Tony Liberatore, Daniel Harford, Richie Vandenberg, Michael Dimmatina, Stuart Anderson, Dean Rice…..I had no right to be there and some of those guys when first encountered we around 36 and taking it too seriously (Richie V in particular…prepping for the EJ Whitten games!!). I have some found memories of matching it with these guys – even in narrow wins where come the last quarter everyone’s competitive juices are flowing. These were my best footy years. Who knew??

Now – after a broken ankle/leg end of 2016 – I’ve taken up umpiring – and I’m loving this as well. Juniors, Womens, U19s…..and I’m so impressed with the behaviours – the old DVFL now the NFNL – running U13s-15s and the kids are so impressive. And now – – I’m getting paid!!! (for some, it’s their beer money, or petrol money…..for me….it’s my Lego money….keeps my inner 8 year old happy!!).

And my wife……is glad at least that when I go to a game now it’s in and out and not hanging around – – that and one of my sons is running the boundary of the games I do and age 14 to now 16 it’s great for him to be generating cash and keeping fit.

So many positives (others not mentioned) – – I’d encourage anyone to give it a go. I’d shied away from playing masters once I’d reached 35 because I was fearful of people taking it too seriously – but – especially playing Supers at 2:45 on a Sunday – – we’re all in the same boat, work the next day, just trying to stay fit and have some fun, winning is secondary to just being there and the break between training Wed and a game every 2nd Sunday is far better than for example stretching out your ressies career training Thurs and fronting up Sat midday.

Learning football at 35: It is possible, and loads of fun too

#Max power

Strangely enough – he’s playing the only code where you have to kick the ball to achieve the major score……

….that sounds like ‘Football’ to me.

It’s also the only code that has a specific in play reward for a kick (taking a ‘fair catch’ aka “Mark”).

Looking at a game like soccer – it is built not around the concept that you must use your feet – – but rather that you mustn’t use your hands (except for specific circumstances). Thus in soccer you have the header….and you have goals ‘scored’ and not ‘kicked’.

So – – yup – – I’m pretty comfortable that our friend IS indeed playing FOOTBALL……Australian Football (no matter what Qantas says).

Learning football at 35: It is possible, and loads of fun too

There are many attacking Brad Scott – reckon he hasn’t achieved in his almost 10 years at the club – however – to me, the 2014/2015 back to back prelims was the pinnacle of the build up with the core group that he inherited and developed around. 4 finals wins including 3 at the MCG (over Ess, Geel and Richmond) was mighty impressive and exciting.

The accusation of not developing talent – well – it was under Scott that Goldstein evolved to #1 at the club and after 107 games, Hamish McIntosh was let go at the end of 2012 – and by 2015 Goldie was the All Australian. Robbie Tarrant has been re-invented from a struggling key forward to a top rated key defender. Ben Cunnington, the pick before Gary Rohan – has evolved into a top rated mid field clearance player (although he annoys me by not pushing back hard enough off the mark, and being ‘too cool’ to raise his arms defensively to try to intercept/spoil opposition passes). Jed Anderson landed at North – and I’d seen some of his body of work including his last Box Hill premiership performance and I couldn’t see it…..he’s convinced me since. Jarrad Waite came to North and played probably his best/most consistent footy. Brown was how often overlooked and is now a top line forward and Dumont through 2018 to now evolving into a frontline mid.

The biggest issue to me – after the correct (and perhaps overdue) moving on of Spud, Petrie, Dal Santo and Boomer (yeah – another year and he could’ve got to 500 I’m pretty sure) – is that even through that last year of 2016 that the next generation were struggling to stay on the park. That’s where the rot started to set in for Sam Wright, Ben Jacobs and Taylor Garner and Mason Wood.

Look at the NMFC ‘class of 2012’ draft – and Garner has managed just 34, Jacobs 62 an Wood 42 and even Majak Daw rookied – 50. Contrast to the better returns on the class of 2013 with McDonald 100, Dumont coming very good now with 65, Brown with 104 and Turner 63. The class of 2012 – if on the paddock more regularly – would make a pretty big difference.

The focus from 2014 and alas Sam Durdin would be playing this season but for his finger/knife accident; EVW would’ve played a heap of footy last year and this but for PCL and now ACL injuries. Preuss is my grievance – should’ve got games in 2018 even if to increase trade value to potentially include in a GWS deal with J.Kelly (given they’re recalled Mumford). From 2015 – Ben McKay like his twin is a work in progress – and he was tracking ahead of Harry in the VFL initially and as a forward – has been put down back but right now I reckon get him back up forward and give him a crack at it. Wagner and Clarke are at other clubs – and Mountford I didn’t mind so don’t know what happened there.

From 2016 – Simpkin is nearing 50 games – needs to start showing what sort of player he is – I’m not sure yet. Larkey – was all at sea when he debuted – perhaps back half this year – just play him meanwhile Zurhaar has a bit of footy smarts and at 188cm has been our #2 ruck option the last 2 weeks!! From 2017 LDU is coming along okay, Will Walker impressed but has had injury issues so far this year – Xerri is highly rated and the reason Preuss was put back in the pecking order and hopefully Hayden might be nearing a call up although he’d been put on the rookie list at the end of last year. The fact that Thomas and Scott have both tasted it so far is great – I don’t want them over taxed this year, handle with care a bit like Ahern last year (and Ahern is someone who needs to show he can take the next step through this season).

The biggest issue is – the loss of Waite and absence of Daw – the bookends. Look at Essendon – now with Hooker and Daniher back in, they look a million dollars. I have no expectations of Majak Daw this season. And up forward – we need to develop either McKay or Larkey as the 2nd/3rd (with Wood – he has never played more than 7-8 successive games – he must get to 60 games this year and perfect his ‘trade’ at the top level in that time).

It’s not all doom and gloom. Confidence is very low. Even in the win, we were 1.6 at qrtr time and 1.9 midway into the 2nd term. Against Essendon again, 1.6 at qrtr time. Against the Hawks it was 7.11 to 8.6 at 3/4 time – we’d finished that term with momentum but a goal to Polec was bracketed by two ordinary missed shots by the skipper Ziebell – – we should’ve been 9.9 and not 7.11. Should’ve been 9 pts up and not a point down. Had we won that game the Hawks might well be the side at 1-4 right now.

Players aren’t robots; this isn’t an X-Box game; North need to persist but also to relax and not try too hard. If 1-4 and the VFL side going down by 94 to Essendon means we are at rock bottom – that may be a blessing – the only way is up and now there’s nothing to lose.

For the North Melbourne rebuild, the worst is yet to come

The BIGGEST AFL game in Brisbane town since ….. Kevin Rudd was there watching on.

Brisbane Lions vs Collingwood Magpies: AFL Thursday night forecast

When people chop and change between Union and League as readily as they do……it’s not wrong to bundle it all as ‘Rugby’.

The 15 man game vs the 13 man game and then there’s 7’s as a variant of the 15 man game and 9’s as a variant of the 13 man game……seems to me they want to evolve to an 11 or 12 man game and merge it all into one??

At any rate – I suggest that T20 Cricket vs Test cricket is a more distinct code of sport than is RL to RU.

We need to talk about Gold Coast


The great thing about Auskick is that it’s more a whole of body development program. If kids are doing MiniRoos …. their hands/hand-eye co-ordination is missing out. If they do basketball…..well, the hand to foot co-ordination is missing out.

Remember that Darren Lockyer was an
AFL kid first; Australian football is arguably a more multi faceted (skills) development environment. Put it this way – to me – – if I were an RL person – I’d very much prefer my kids doing Auskick than doing MiniRoos.

We need to talk about Gold Coast


No one goes to the Gold Coast expecting overnight success.

You may be too young to recall that the VFL/AFL has experienced the Gold Coast via the Brisbane Bears at Carrara until they moved fully to Brisbane and the Gabba.

The assertion that no one cares is interesting. So far this year (2019) the Gold Coast Titans have had surprisingly so far just the 1 home game for an ‘avg’ attendance of 9843 (down on 2018 avg of 12,807) compared to the Gold Coast Suns 2 home games at 12,148 (down on 2018 avg of 13,547).

So – – by the relative comparison to the NRL – I won’t get narky about this – I’ll simply say that it looks like a regionally significant number of people do actually appear to care.

For AFL in SEQ – what is very significant is that the Brisbane Lions 2 games in this year have averaged 19,994 and have sold out the Gabba for tomorrow nights ‘blockbuster’ against Collingwood. (the Broncos are still the main event in Brisbane town – no argument there).

AFL in SEQ is going okay. It was a massive gamble by the AFL to throw the Suns in (granted the Southport Sharks were pushing for their own licence – so – there was interest on the ground to make it happen). The effectively ‘split’ of the Lions/Suns was obvious – the Lions at their peak were averaging over 33K for 11 home games back in 2004 and 2005. Through 2006-2008 it was 28K and 2009-10 was 29K avg. That dropped immediately to 20K and got as low in 2017 as 16.5K.

What would be arrogance would be if we were to find out that the AFL had projected that the Lions would NOT be smashed. That I don’t know.

As it is – it is still pretty well a case of the AFL fan base got split…..the AFL will be desperate for this season – with at present well performing Suns and Lions to show a combined growth of the size of the ‘pie’. Round 6 (the Anzac day round) sees the ‘Q clash’ at Cararra – the AFL would be desperate for that to be close to a sell out. The return ‘clash’ will be early August with the Lions hosting at the Gabba……much water to go under the bridge before that one.

On the ground – Suns chairman Tony Cochrane is delighted with the grass roots development around SEQ; and having lost the co-captains at the end of last season – for them to start the way they have at 3-1 and sitting in the top 6 for the time being – – he must be ecstatic (relative to the car crash it could easily have been).

We need to talk about Gold Coast

I do feel the 6-6-6 rule is a bit of a line in the sand.

It ensures that we have 6 defenders, 6 mids/followers and 6 forwards – selected – reported in the paper and lining up on match day.

And – perhaps in part makes the wingers more identifiable.

Perhaps that’s a nod back – to a time when – as I grew up – we had ‘greats’ roaming their wings, one on one battles – Keith Greig, Robbie Flower, Geoff Ablett, Mickey Turner, Bryan Wood, Ricky Barham…..these were enthralling battles for ascendancy.

AFL media misses the point, yet again


My agenda?

I never brought up the AFL.

And this clearly isn’t the thread to engage in the discussion.

Now……I’m clever enough to realise that…..

A grand final at Optus Stadium in Perth is exactly what the A-League needs


You seriously don’t have a sense of humour at all – do you??

Lighten up good sir, lighten up.

A grand final at Optus Stadium in Perth is exactly what the A-League needs

No worries….btw – I used to go to the footy and cricket with binos and a trannie…..then it occurred to me I may as well be at home watching on the tele.

A grand final at Optus Stadium in Perth is exactly what the A-League needs


….well it’s not as if they have 50 pages of lucrative classifieds any more……

A grand final at Optus Stadium in Perth is exactly what the A-League needs


From what I’ve heard (reported) by experts (commentators here on theRoar) that one native Chinese spectator was paid that much to attend, with the funds raised by those paying for the right to NOT attend.

Or something like that. Anyway – I blame the complicit mainstream media and the Government and the lack of grounds and the private owners.

A grand final at Optus Stadium in Perth is exactly what the A-League needs

I’ll have what he’s having if it means getting 4 goals…..

In reality though – anyone given a shove at the wrong time can be sent flailing – Brown to my constant frustration is not (and Drew Petrie was the same) strongly attached to the ground; i.e. gets worked under the ball all too easily.

However – he is often double and triple teamed and gets nothing whereas at the other end of a ground in a one on one we’ll often see someone pinged for the most minor arm around the waist with zero impact on the forward……and a shot at goal.

So – – I’m just glad Brown finally got something from the umps – – I really wonder what they are looking at sometimes – I umpire lower levels and in a marking duel I try to focus on the people who are important to it. Forget the midgets!!

A rule change was never the answer to AFL's goal-kicking woes


You may label it ‘childish’, but I’d already owned up to being ‘facetious’.

6 of one, half a dozen of the other – – either way, it should be obvious I was being flippant.

A grand final at Optus Stadium in Perth is exactly what the A-League needs

Turned the corner this week…..I felt with the Ziebell snap that suddenly we had a bit of luck go our way.

I am annoyed though – Goddard’s childish attack on Ben Brown – who gets monstered every week.

The irony was it was the ruck contest – and, the AFL laws of the game explicitly state that “Ruckmen cannot push, bump, block or hold their opponents while contesting the ruck”. The umpire was therefore 100% correct to ping O’Brien for pushing Brown out of the way.

The problem is so many ‘expert’ commentators just don’t actually know the rules!!

A rule change was never the answer to AFL's goal-kicking woes


When it comes to ignorance I’ve yet to meet someone so expert as yourself.

It’s a fine thing that you are so able to practice it so publicly.

A grand final at Optus Stadium in Perth is exactly what the A-League needs


I know a couple of funny stories about people suddenly realising they needed glasses and going to the footy with their glasses and realising that those lucky sods with 20/20 vision could actually see the numbers on the players backs on the other side of the ground, and that in reality the sponsors weren’t wasting their money on signs that couldn’t be read!!!

A grand final at Optus Stadium in Perth is exactly what the A-League needs


Stick to the topic.

A grand final at Optus Stadium in Perth is exactly what the A-League needs

In the past North would’ve stuffed up the 4th kick…..they’re getting better at the control of the ball – – were good v Hawks in first qtr but forgot it after that. On Sat night it was important in that final quarter – more than anything – to not just panic it down the line and to give the guys more of a breather.

A rule change was never the answer to AFL's goal-kicking woes

…..ah gee – only in Australia does a soccer fan get his back up about playing on an ‘oval’ type arena – – given the number of FIFA WC finals played on pitches with running tracks around them.

I do feel the likes of ‘Nemesis’ doth protesteth way too much!!

And one day this poster will realise that the FFA are in the ‘entertainment’ industry – like it or not – and that revenue is hugely important without which players don’t get paid and clubs fold because private owners aren’t gonna keep stumping up the capital just for the little bit of ego they get in Australia…..and the owners will get a far greater ego boost via hosting their side in a decider at a venue like ‘Optus stadium’ with let’s just say at least 40K there (after all, they managed 40K for an NSL decider ‘back in the day’….at Subiaco oval…..ah Nemesis must HATE that??).

A grand final at Optus Stadium in Perth is exactly what the A-League needs

It’s not the rules. It’s not the coaching.

The goal kicking and general skills are the result of the ‘bucket of balls’.

A brand new shiny Sherrin with extra glossy lacquer over the sponsors logo is bad enough – but, having a bunch of them makes it ruddy difficult.

The brand new sherrin needs to be ‘kicked in’.

When a single Sherrin match ball is used – generally by the 2nd quarter it is coming good.

Eddie McGuire has argued that the ‘match balls’ should be used in the warm ups to ‘kick them in’ prior to the game starting. I tend to agree with that.

A rule change was never the answer to AFL's goal-kicking woes

You don’t need 60,000 fans – I doubt they have that – but you need up to 60,000 ‘theatre goers’ similar to what was at the Chelsea game.

And thus the potential value of the finals and a grand final.

The irony of some who are still against it – – is that if you favor the penalty shoot out (because of the drama and pressure) compared to a more ‘scientific’ scoring system to avoid draws – then – surely you’d be happy with the drama and pressure of a must win cut throat decider??

And without P&R, and without the finals campaign ahead – these last 2 rounds of the season would just completely fade from significance and public attention……well…..which it already has with Izzie Folau grabbing the national ‘cross code’ news cycle of late.

A grand final at Optus Stadium in Perth is exactly what the A-League needs


the urge to display ‘leadership’…….also might have come via pressure from sponsors and broadcasters etc.

By sacking Israel Folau, Rugby Australia showed what true leadership looks like

I pondered this last night.

The ARU in many respects had no choice – if they didn’t act in such a way the court of public opinion would turn on them.

‘Leadership’ by publicly acceptable consensus.

I suggest they’ve done the only thing they could really do.

Do we applaud that?

The Folau case is of course very different to an on field ‘vilification’ comment that is largely private/contained and often heat of the moment without appropriate cognizance for the possible impact.

Folau however – in the cold light of day – via social media, via a platform with tremendous reach directly and indirectly – preaching his gospel. To him – based on his beliefs – perhaps he might be negligent to not try to warn/save the heathens.

However perhaps he’d’ve been better served to simply ‘turn the other cheek’.

By sacking Israel Folau, Rugby Australia showed what true leadership looks like