The Roar
The Roar

Munro Mike

Roar Rookie

Joined September 2018









One way to put it – is – does anyone expect that were Warner to walk back out in an Ashes Test in England right now against Broad and Archer would we expect him to perform any different to how he did??

If the answer is “No” then it is a reminder that even in the domain of test cricket that it isn’t ‘apples with apples’.

This is why running a purely statistical (average based) analysis and comparison of players across eras is pretty well a waste of time. In most cases.

However – you can’t dismiss the innings entirely. Yes – you can only perform against that against which you are competing with. And – as an opener he still had to deal with the new ball, and subsequently batted on through the variation. Although as that ball softened on day 1 poor Yasir didn’t have much to play with. Perhaps though – batting first in a pink ball test on a good wicket is the key – bat a day and and a bit – and declare so that the opposition have to face the new pink ball under lights on the second evening. It’s that simple!!

David Warner: Timing is everything

The Mick Taylor 234* was made largely against ‘lesser bowlers’ as that game meandered on to a draw.

A flat pitch – the West Indies got their batting practice with 7-558 dec. Taylor came in at #5 so at 3-166 and yes – initially helped ensure that the 4th wicket partnership would dictate no collapse (4-327). Of the 174 overs – Roger Harper 51 overs for 1 wicket but 2 and a bit runs an over.
Gomes bowled 10 – not too unusual; but then Haynes 5, Richardson 10, Logie 10 and Dujon 7 (Payne was keeping). So – 43 overs between these guys with 2 wickets (Logie and Dujon) for 161 runs. Simon O’Donnell got bowled by Gus Logie (wonder if it kept low?) and Dujon took care of Dodders quick smart for just 3!!!

Take that with a grain of salt…….a bit like Warner’s 335* v a Pak junior attack and ….

Remembering the summer of 1984-85

Excellent win to the Kiwis.

Kiwi takes a blinder as England capitulate on Day 5

That was a big effort too – a 6 test series and the final test was the Gavaskar test, his highest test score and just having a look back that Marshall managed 5/72 out of 8/451 and it took for Shastri and Kirmani to give Gavaskar any decent support. That was dropping down to #4 in the order and rescued his series. Vengsarkar was the Indian batting star and Kapil the bowling start by a mile. And Mohinder Amarnath who had batted so well against the Windies in the Caribbean in 82/83 series – before being struck in the head (in the 4th test) and seemingly lost his ‘nerve’ against the Windies once the dust had settled on that tour – given that in ’83 he managed just 1 run from 6 bats…..he did return to the national side of course and had good tour to Australia in ’85/86 including his test highest in the Sydney test – only 138…..he never did go really big – still avg 42, a bit like Mark Waugh in that respect.

Remembering the summer of 1984-85

At age 30 1/2 with 68 tests and an avg of 64.56 is absolutely excellent.

Viv Richards was that age around 1982. At that point his average had just dropped from 62 to 58 on the back of a tough 1-1 series vs Australia here in the summer of ’81/82. After the 3rd test Viv didn’t play another test until the 82/83 tour of India.

A combination of factors came into play for someone like Viv. After the ’76 England tour he was going at 64 from 21 tests. Then a tough tour to Pakistan, 5 tests, avg 28.5, across 76/77. From that point on due to the WSC circus, in his peak years age 25-28 he played 2 tests in ’78 and until the summer of 79/80 he returned from WSC and was a force – next 4 series for 16 tests with 1469 at over 77. His average back up to 62.

What might have been……

And that was on somewhat less manicured pitches/grounds with no ropes etc. Viv even managed to somewhat master Pakistan.

Smith however has an astonishing number of series with average over 100. He is astounding to watch – a somewhat unique style. An avg of 77 in Australia has benefited from conditions that had elevated the career stats of the likes of Uzzie and Voges – but – it’s gotta be done. An avg of 60 ‘away’ though validates his numbers.

Sir Viv only had the one series with an avg over 100 (’76 v England).

A guy like Dilip Vengsarkar had a magical phase from 85/86 (in Aust) to 87/88 where he averaged 97.27 over 19 tests in that time, 2 series with avg over 100. Batted 28 times but with 10 not outs, only 18 dismissals against his 1751 runs.

Not outs certainly help. Sir Viv had only 12 across his 182 innings. Smith has 16 not outs from 124 innings. That helps. Even Vengsarkar had 22 no’s from 185 hits but avg’d 42.13. So – twice as many series avg over 100 compared to Sir Viv doesn’t mean so much. Steve Smith has 7!!

Bradman only played 11 test series. He averaged over 100 in 4 of 11, another 3 series over 90 and the other 4 between 56 (bodyline series) and in the 70s.

Smith – in 13/14 v RSA was his first series avg over 50 (67.25). Since then 2 series in the 20s, 4 in the 40s, a 56, a 71 and the 7 in the 100s. That’s the astounding thing – in that time, 2013/14 to now and EVEN with the missed 12 months due to suspension – Smith has played 16 series, 51 tests, avg 75.

At some point his ‘eye’ will desert him and his numbers will diminish. However – he’s certainly more able to make hay while the sun shines than some others before him.

Could Steve Smith actually be the best after Bradman?

And the West Indies made it 11 straight with the last 3 v Aust over there, a 5-0 whitewash of England and the first 3 against Australia before an MCG draw and Australia’s spin driven SCG face saver.

Larry Gomes confirmed again that he was an Australia specialist – a career of 9 100s and 13 50s, in 60 matches….a modest average of 39 – but against Australia 6 100s and 3 50s and avg 56 and even better IN Australia that avg was 70.33. I think he liked the ball coming onto the bat – he wasn’t a big hitter. Quick outfields too – back then, the grounds had more of a camber as well – sitting on the fence at the MCG and you could see heads and maybe shoulders on the other side of the ground – obscured by the raised centre of the field.

That first test in Perth – Australia had the Windies 5-104 with Haynes, Greenidge, Richardson, Richards and Lloyd all back in the sheds…..what a start on home soil. Gomes stood tall – some support from Dujon but at 5-154 he had to retired hurt. Could Australia knock them over for around 200? Marshall added some quick runs – Dujon resumed at 6-186 and departed at 7-335 having dominated with 139 of 158 balls – and Gomes last out with 120 off a more sedate 297 balls and 416 on the board. Australia in reply….bundled out for 76 with Holding 6-21 a reminder of his best – and the 4th member of the quartet – young Walsh – didn’t get a bowl. Following on – Wood got 56 but all out 228. Holding could only manage 1-53 and it was Marshall who asserted himself with 4. The tone was set.

In Brisbane it was Richardson (138) and Lloyd (114) and Marshall (7). In Adelaide Greenidge 95 in the first and Gomes a crucial 120* in the 2nd to allow the declaration – Marshall (10) and Harper 4 in the 2nd to help bowl to victory……a spinner in Australia and not at the SCG!!! Holding was out with a hammy was it?

The MCG – a drawn test – Richards finally hit his stride with 208* in the first….and a duck in the 2nd. Hilditch was the hero with 113 batting 339 mins – falling just short of the close – giving the Windies a look – at 7 down but Lawson survived until the last ball (bowled by Walsh) and so at 8 down the loss was averted.

On the back of that – to the spin friendly SCG and the questions would be posed….why was the first test scheduled at the bouncy/pace friendly WACA and not at the SCG instead??? Harper oddly enough made way for Holding. Wessels after a couple of earlier 90s managed to kick on with a 173. Australia even declared at 9 down – denying Dutchy Holland a bat (and a chance to add to his collection of ‘6s’). Marshall 0-111. And then Holland and Bennett went to work and Australia had an innings victory.

The Windies did have issues with spin – at times – including the 1st test of the 86/87 tour of Pakistan when chasing 240 to win they were bundled out for 53 (Qadir 6-16). (3 match series 1-1). The next year in India it was young Hirwani with 16 wkts for the match who feasted on the Windies (4 match series, 1-1). Somehow – the West Indies found a way to square these series…..that is what was so amazing about them.

Remembering the summer of 1984-85


What it is NOT is a ‘world cup’. Because world cup tournaments – as we see with the Rugby codes tend to have relatively loose eligibility.

The AFL IC is does NOT allow people to qualify on parentage/grand parentage – so although both my parents were Danish born – I was born and grew up in Australia. No qualify.

Aussie expats overseas DO NOT qualify.

The key criteria is where people spent most of their teenage years – the vast majority of the participants were first introduced to or first played the sport in their homelands, still reside there, and are having to raise funds and take time off work to come to Melbourne for the 2 week tournament.

#Justin Kearney – yes, international. You may not realise it but there are permanent AFL goal posts in place at ovals across Canada, in Vanuatu, in Denmark, among other places….just recently the Croatians have been working on setting up their permanent footy home base.
A couple of examples; check out in and around Toronto at Colonel Samual Smith park. And around the bay at Hamilton the Wildcats play here.

For the 2020 tournament – team squads have a limit of 28 players. Of that a maximum of 8 can be based in Australia during the 2020 footy season. And no more than 3 can have been playing the 5 years prior consecutively in Australia (there are people who have become footy immigrants but still qualify for their original nation).

The USAFL womens Freedom squad has some whittling to do – they announced a 54 player training squad.

International Rules back on the calendar in 2020

It’s nice – interesting the same day we hear that AFL-Victoria are canning the interleague footy although I think there’s still scope for Leagues that care to apply for funding and make something happen rather than all leagues forced into it.

I’m still waiting for info on the AFL International Cup 2020. So are nations hoping to attend – – needing to know firstly whether the format allows for them to attend and then to sort out travel and accommodation. It’s a big deal – especially somewhere like in India where the players who represent their country DO become local heroes and footys growth has been pretty amazing over the last 5 years and can’t afford to be stymied now.

International Rules back on the calendar in 2020


Actually apologies – not meant to be seen as sarcastic.

Am hopeful that we could set a record in Melbourne

100 days until the ICC T20 Women's World Cup

At this point….that’s the plan.

100 days until the ICC T20 Women's World Cup

The script writers have an Australia vs…..Eng? final at the MCG with over 90,000 in attendance to set a womens sport attendance record. 90,185 is the target (US v China in 1999).

….well…the script writers have been sharpening their pencils with this since about Jan 2018 so……no pressure.

100 days until the ICC T20 Women's World Cup

Cheers mate – good chat.

What exactly is football's reward for starting late and skipping international breaks?


If it’s the Roy Masters promoted scandal of 2012 – then it was found that the AFL-NSW folk were using Auskick numbers to inflate playing numbers.

It might be time to move on – the AFL has long since reported ‘Auskick’ under the ‘program’ label.

As far as I’m concerned – when I do my comparisons – I’m taking modified/introductory with a grain of salt. By the way – do they keep scores for the 6 year olds?? I know in the past there were some jurisdictional variations on just how serious that ‘competition’ should be.

The Auskick I did we always finished with a 30 min game at the end after an hour of drills and activities. In reality – all that really mattered was the hot chips at 10.30am on the Sat morning when it was all done – and the kids with red puffed cheeks were the happiest/most satisfied they were all week……even if they had to be somewhat dragged out of bed to get up there.

Largely doesn’t matter what kids are doing at that age – just get out and do something. A little secret – when I was coaching the older kids – in the age range where all the ‘good’ players were in junior club land – – I focused at the start with a warm up that included the standing one legged quad stretch (ankle pulled back up to your butt). By the end of the year the skills improvement was only so so……but by golly their balance was super and that transfers to any sport/activity they might take up.

What exactly is football's reward for starting late and skipping international breaks?


The factor for the AFL is that the Swans and Lions are reasonably bedded down. And the establishment of the Giants and Suns as the 2nd sides in the markets has short and long term benefits.

The NRL by contrast has Storm established in Melb – but – what next? No presence in Perth or Adelaide and one game a fortnight in Melb.

The comparison then to the ARU – is that they have single top level teams in Melb, Bris, Syd…..and Canberra. The AFL isn’t a distant #4.

What exactly is football's reward for starting late and skipping international breaks?



Any idea when the MiniRoos Kick Off program started? I note that it is advertised as a weekly 45 min ‘games based’ program for ages 4-9; but that it includes drills.

TO me – that sounds like Auskick. So – interesting as to whether the FFA includes that under the ‘competition’ tallies rather than under ‘programs’?? (i.e. AFL Auskick is entirely tallied under ‘programs’ while MiniRoos is clumped under ‘competitions’.).

What exactly is football's reward for starting late and skipping international breaks?


Yeah but now you’re just being mischievous.

The AFL I recall got in some bother in Sydney once upon a time on an technicality – in that the Auskick numbers are regarded as ‘programs’ by the good folk there (even if the session finishes with a 30 min game). Meanwhile the NRL and FFA etc run their intro programs as ‘competition’.

You can argue all you like about whether a skills based intro program is better or worse than chucking the kids straight into “competition”.

To me – it’s a matter of semantics. Given that intro programs/games are heavily modified and geared to suit the age group and the kids involved I’m happy to bundle it all.

But that’s where we see the AFL report juniors and Auskick while the FFA just reports ‘MiniRoos’ which effectively IS their juniors.

That’s where – my friend – all numbers need to come with a warning – because it can be tricky trying to compare ‘apples with apples’.

What exactly is football's reward for starting late and skipping international breaks?


AFL is big enough in NSW and QLD for the time being. Not the biggest.

For all the codes being the ‘biggest’ is a bit of a misnomer anyway.

Being efficient with their own resources is far more important.

Certainly for AFL we don’t have the international competition to gauge the quality coming through the development pathways.

We DO though for the ARU (and the Wallabies appear to have slipped) and the FFA (and the Socceroos don’t seem more than a faint shadow of the 2006 line up) and to a lesser extent the NRL.

All the codes need to focus on their development, talent programs, coaching etc.

The flip side is – as seen with Victorian based cricketers in the last month (Maxwell, Maddinson, Pucovski) is that too much focus/pressure might be bad for mental health.

So – dunno – but having big numbers just for the sake of having big numbers is a silly goal without having everything else to support it. And that includes facilities of course!!

What exactly is football's reward for starting late and skipping international breaks?

#Maximus Insight

Yep – on the surface – it looks like an anomalous record. A jump from 18K to 28K in one year in one age group stands out like a beacon.

However I assume there’s a valid story behind it. I assume it’s the Aldi MiniRoos Kick-off program picking up kids from ages 3 and 4….whereas MiniRoos previously was promoted as ages 5-11.

What exactly is football's reward for starting late and skipping international breaks?


What’s really interesting on the Football NSW annual report is the Age Comparison table on page 83. It shows the age breakdown for each age from 6 to 19 individually, then 20&21, and then the rest.

The ages 6-12 all increased in real terms from 2017 to 2018.

The ages beyond that all (except 20-21) fell. The absolute key there for FootballNSW is that the 6 yr olds jumped a whopping 10,358. They went from comprising 7.9% of total to 12.1% of total. Generally there seems a reasonable hold on the 7 year olds to around 10-11 and after that it falls away.

SO – – watch that space. Can that 2018 cohort of 6 year olds be locked in??

What exactly is football's reward for starting late and skipping international breaks?


Mate – I’m not telling you what to believe.

I’m simply making a point that:

Ausplay numbers ARE an extrapolation of survey numbers. Similar to OzTam.

Any time you try to refer to those you should qualify that they are NOT actuals. They are statistical models. And then it’s worth understanding what the methodology is.

In the case of claims of participation – – it’s actually pretty easy – – as we do have actuals provided.

In the case of the FootballNSW you can see player numbers and club numbers on a per league/association basis. You’ve got the numbers based on male/female and junior/senior.

And you’re telling me I should ignore those actuals and rely on the survey??

You do realise that’s like saying I should declare the federal election based on 1% or 2% of the vote counted. Thankfully our democracy doesn’t work that way.

I DO realise that the AFL is not number 1 in QLD or NSW. However – what I do hate is people picking out something they’ve heard – not understanding the context – and then referring to it as fact.

I’ll call out the individual codes – AFL or FFA or NRL or cricket where I can illustrate it.

I’ve actually commended FootballNSW on the level of detail. I can’t actually find that sort of granular detail for example on the AFL Victoria reports – we just see ‘infographics’ with totals.

I would like to think I can trust the codes on the ‘registered participants’ as that can be audited pretty well. I’m more dubious about the grand totals that get pushed out and that is – as I’ve stated – because of the potential overlaps of double and triple dipping on individuals. That’s why in this case – I’m ignoring school comps.

What exactly is football's reward for starting late and skipping international breaks?


That ‘independent Government’ sports authority is based on a survey (similar to OzTam tv ratings).

The methodology includes minimum ‘once a year’ involvement.

Far more illustrative is FootballNSW annual report for 2018 which showed a drop from 733 to 727 clubs. But an increase in registered players (227,132) to (234,346) of 3.2%.

However – of the total of 234K male junior (5-17) comprised 53% of total and junior female 17% of total so 70.1% of registered players are juniors. The adult registered participants fell in absolute terms by 3241 (male snr -2339 and female snr -902). In 2017 juniors were 67.7% of total.

That paints a fairly clear picture of the dominance of the junior category in soccer participation – throughout FootballNSW (note – does not capture the separate Nth-NSW association). Given that Sydney is the heartland of soccer in Australia.

Obviously for this cohort – need to see what happens in say 5-10 years time. That’s the challenge.

For the FFA stats they classify MiniRoos as ‘competition’ so they report on Youth and MiniRoos. The FFA 2018 annual report indicated of their outdoor registered participants the following breakdown:

MiniRoos: 227,734
Youth: 161,848
Senior: 138,068

So that national number shows 73.2% in the 5-17 bracket.

HOWEVER – what’s it all mean??

The AFL by contrast reports on Youth, Juniors and Auskick (but there can be some overlap with Juniors and Auskick although in my experience that was marginal…..around 10% at most – based on having been involved in Auskick for about 6 years as a coach).

If I combine Auskick into juniors and youth then the AFL has 79.1% of registered participation in that range.

SO…….draw conclusions on that!!!

Note – I’ve stuck to registered club competitions stats and ignored school comps and programs/events/tournaments etc.

What exactly is football's reward for starting late and skipping international breaks?


On my behalf – re OzTam…….Nah.

Grain of salt. They can illustrate trends and that’s really about it.

I’ve always suspected that the people who need to know will be factoring a broader selection of data than just OzTam/RegTam.

What exactly is football's reward for starting late and skipping international breaks?


That’d be for the AFLX-WC…….gawd help us!!!

Actually next year is the 7th instalment of the AFL International Cup.

But – as proof of how little focus there is (I think running the AFLW is stretching the thinking power at HQ) – they still haven’t confirmed the dates/venue.

Generally it’s late August on ‘suburban’ fields in the N-E area of the Royal Park precinct… fine…..not sure what the AFL have in mind but we’ve heard rumblings about putting a limit of 16 (2 divs) to the mens…..question then is who would miss out. And teams really need to be arranging their travel and accommodation now otherwise it all gets very expensive.

I saw a great commentary from a fellow very exposed to footy in India and the value for game growth of those who have travelled to Australia to represent their country. The AFL is at a cross roads – they need to decide whether it just costs too much to put it on (but it’s not like the AFL are paying travel/accom) or whether it’s a worthwhile exercise…….I wonder if the AFL are actually afraid that the game might boom somewhere like India and they loose control……might be an AFL tab article in that. You’d be welcome to “Tell ’em their dreamin'”).

Ten years ago the phoney code war went ballistic


The statistical strength of soccer participation is Sydney in particular re Football NSW and then the Northern NSW association.

You can access their annual reports. Football NSW for example lists clubs per association – and in 2017 that was 733 clubs and dropped to 727 in 2018. Page 88. Registered Futsal was interesting – with a 40% drop from almost 13K in 2017 to below 8K in 2018.

The male player numbers 180,646 and female 53,700 with numbers allocated to each association so that’s worth a look. Page 83 has the break down though which is most telling. Male juniors is over half (age 5-17) and increased 5.33%. Femalie Juniors is almost 40K and up 12.19%. Male Senior is around 25% and fell 4% and Female senior about 6% of total and fell 6.13% in relative terms. So the big numbers are the juniors/youth.

Where this is interesting is the counting that the FFA uses is that MiniRoos is part of this – it’s considered junior competition but also the introductory program.

I give them credit for the level of detail that is included.

What exactly is football's reward for starting late and skipping international breaks?


Firstly – my ‘sole’ focus was across the board. I presented the opening plays via the media of the FFA, the NRL and the AFL. They were the big 3. As it eventuated – no one much took notice of the NRL. I did. You see – the AFL was NOT my sole focus but it (the AFL) was the sole focus of many it seemed both back then and still. Why is that? The NRL rejected, the NRL spoke of losing clubs, the NRL spoke of compensation, the NRL didn’t want to be forced to play the SoO’s before May and the NRL was nervous about losing venues to matches/training bases. Did you not hear the NRL war talk too?

The ‘war talk’ though was arguably initiated via the late Michael Cockerill (Oct 26th) and Michael Lynch (Oct 23rd) via their October 2009 articles forecasting that the AFL and NRL would have to shut down for 2 months and vacate host cities.

That’s a pretty nice opening gambit wouldn’t you say?? That was the FFA’s “media arm”.

Were they (the FFA) the only ones allowed to play the game?? Apparently – you’re suggesting a ‘national interest’ to be served.

Then throw in the threat of legislation being used by Govt on behalf of the bid – 14 Nov 2009.

But – seriously – you know the jobs of those in charge of the AFL, NRL (and the other signatory for compensation – the ARU) – the jobs of those people on the executives was to protect their interests.

Do note though – it was the job of the FFA to make the prospect of hosting seem doable. The comparison is that I come to the local Fish and Chip shop and let them know that I’d really like them to move out for 3 months – I need a month to remove all signs of them, and then for 2 months I’m going to operate an international branded eatery. Where are the F&C shop proprietors going to go?? No idea……haven’t really thought about that……compensation!!….the nerve of them…..can’t they see this is for the best for the community!!! Oh….but we’re only staying 2 months but the community will feel great reflected glory when they think back…..and if they don’t move out voluntarily then we’ll get the council to force them out. That’s the way to do business and curry favour!!!!

btw – ‘sabotage’ wasn’t my word. ‘Sabotage’ is what the soccer folk were asserting was being done by anyone not happy with proposed elements of the bid…..that to me was a bid characterised by too many bad bits… the end… was a far, far better bid than it looked heading to Christmas of 2009. Although you might argue that the guarantees given by Govt in the MOU – going against the FIFA prescription – made it a bad bid. So – perhaps on that front alone we could never reach agreement.

Ten years ago the phoney code war went ballistic