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The Doc

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Joined February 2012

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im a bit torn on this whole rules debate. The afl has intervened many times over the years to incredible effect – out on the full, centre square, limiting numbers wtihin centre square, interchange, rushed behind rule etc. AFL tactics also changes in cycles – there was the sydney that brought the flood to come degree, contested stoppage based brand but then countered by the great geelong sides 2007-2011, hawks played great skilful footy with an effective press/.defensive system and now we have WB/richmond winning with pressure, contested footy, quality by hand, small forward lines.
The game waxes and wanes but I think the AFL generally has its finger on the pulse when it comes to the game – i dont want to be cynical and think this all TV driven and happy to give the AFL some leash to make some tweaks – larger goal square I think is a brilliant idea

Panic! at the AFL

Great read Matt. love the feature piece! Need more of them across the different sports.
As for SOO, I imagine there will be more balance now – should be a fascinating few years to come but as a NSW fan wouldnt mind some domination for all the hurt since 2006

Origin's great shift: How New South Wales ended Queensland's dynasty to start an empire of their own

yep it hurts – a forward line of waite, gartlett, betts look good. Except waite never gets on the park long enough or when it mattered the most. Betts was sad to see go for virtually nothing as was gartlett. But i doubt any 3 of them would have been part of the next premiership push and that is a position we were put in largely due to the failed recruitment period of 2009-2014

Why the Blues must lose to snare the young gun you’ve never heard of

good read. been mulling over this one. Cant make same mistakes of previous drafts and get too much of the same player e.g. mistakes made when picking kreuzer, hampson, jacobs and trading for warnock to then have 4 ruckmen on the list with arguable the best one leaving to adelaide.
For mine, I think mackay will be good and with curnow we perhaps have the key forwards sorted. What we dont have is midfield class -outside ball winners with good decision making, speed and skill by foot. That and a medium sized forward – half forward-midfielder and a small lock down defender. My sense is to pick Walsh. If i was ess sold on mackay then i would argue we must pick Lukosius

Why the Blues must lose to snare the young gun you’ve never heard of

Good points. Agree with all
Stuart’s points. I was very sceptical of VAR but agree that it has been an excellent addition. Some tough penalties given for handball but VAR merely flagged – the ref still had to make the decision. Handbal clearly a decision that needs some clarity across the globe. wish more yellows for blatant dives – there have been some shockers the refs have been right on but not given yellows.

Most of my World Cup wishes came true, especially VAR's success

shambolic performance. Lack of pressure and depolorabke skill level.
Hard to know where to start and based on performances from previous wks- an anomaly of sorts.
Ultimately the list still needs a lot of work and don’t think we will b competing for finals until 2021. The backline looks ok and will b better with Doherty back. The midfield is real concern and will be until sps/Dow/Kennedy/O’Brien rack up 60-70 games + free agent + outside midfielder from this years draft.

The forward line has curnow a lock. Hoping Gartlett/Pickett will b the small
Forwards. We just cannot lock it in forward line.
But jury out on Harry- think it is lack of consistent effort at vfl cos otherwise makes no sense to have him in reserves. He has better stats per afl game thank Levi yet Levi gets picked after breaking 2 Ribs and dislocating finger

Six hot takes from AFL Round 16

Great read and some good Points. I like the blue card system- provides some objectivity or at least measurement to determine when a player has crossed the line for repeated infringement as opposed to ref just deciding.
Love the challenge system – something football should consider with their VAR system.
I too agree there needs to be some rethink about the red card- bringing another player on really Just benefits the better teams who have greater squad depth. Perhaps the answer is a prolonged period off e.g. 25min. This would punish the offending and team without killing the game. Longer than a standard sin bin but not so long it ends the game as a contest

Seeing red: We need to even the playing field

good read. cant wait for game 2 in a couple of hours. Defence was a big difference. Making better, earlier, harder switches on defense enabled more stops, they started running and getting better looks on offence – which they made the most of. That will be the difference – who can get more stops by switching more effectively and then run the floor.

Rockets showed that there is more than just an ‘I’ in isolation

as a test cricket fan I am really disappointed by the decision. I think day-night tests are the future of test cricket and INdia needs to get on board. india have never won a series in australia in living memory (closest was a draw i think). WIth no smith/warner this is their best shot in a long time and i think their decision stems from a lack of experience playing day-night tests and the fact the pink ball will move more perhaps providing the aussies with advantage. adelaide has traditionally been a decent hunting ground for india and along with syndey usually their best chance of winning a test. With no GABBA and the perth an unknown, i can understand the need not to add the day-night element into the mix at a venue where they have their best chance of winning a test

Adelaide day-night Test scrapped for Indian tour in 2018-19

nice read. no chance against USA. History is a great predictor. We have never won a medal and USA won gold at all recent olympics in my living memory (since 1985) with the only exception being when argentina won.
I would be happy if oz got their first medal. I think we have all positions covered
– point guards in simmons, exum, mills, delly
– perimeter shooting in ingles/wings
– Maker/bogut centre rim defence
– baynes at power forward.
Perhaps slightly unbalanced at no2 position. Simmons/exum/mills/delly all point guards rather than pure scorers. Of that bunch simmons has the greatest potential as im sure he will go to work on his jump shot and perimeter threat over the next few seasons

Can the Australian Boomers contend in Tokyo 2020?

Great read PaulD. Clearly spent a lot of time researching and writing article. Have to disagree though. I’m a Carlton supporter and our demise has to do with horrible list management and recruitment rather than the loss of players to potential finals clubs. We let Betts because we undervalued him, Kennedy was lost as part of judd trade, Waite went on free agency and I don’t think that was a big loss, we chose to trade Gibbs, Jacobs was traded as we was the 4th ruckman (thus surplus) on our list (and the best as it turns out), gartlett and Robinson ‘let go’ after off field discretions. We got Henderson from Brisbane as part of Fev trade. The ones that hurt were tuohy who we brought from Ireland too care off only for him to jump ship to a finals playing Geelong but perhaps he got more money and a bigger contract. Our drafting from 2011 -2014 was shambolic (bar P cripps) and if u tank at the draft repeatedly u have no hope.

There are 180 reasons why bad clubs are so bad

Nice work AdelaideDocker. Might be a silly question and perhaps you have answered many time already (so apologies in advance) but how do calculate power rankings? are they based on a changing metric of some sort or gut feel?

AFL Power Rankings 2018: Round 3

Everyone doctors pitches. And of course only the aussies are above that sort of action. And of course only reason certain aussies fans (and it’s just a minority) want a neutral pitch is because that helps you the most because the batsmen (bar smith) have shown they struggle on spinning subcont pitches and swinging English decks. for mine it is the beauty of test cricket – the away conditions are an enormous test of technique and skill and only the best are performing. Don’t blame the pitches blame your batsmen and perhaps the lack of preparation time they are afforded in between meaningless ODI and T20I fixtures

What wicket suits a Rabada-less South Africa in Cape Town?

nice read. v bowler friendly would be the way I would have thought. A dry, batting paradise plays into hands on an australian line up that has more firepower (given rabada and steyn are out) and thus more able to grind out wickets on flatter surfaces. A green top will bring the two bowling line ups closer together and then just a matter of which set of batsman adjust better and im betting SA given they are more used to those conditions that australia

What wicket suits a Rabada-less South Africa in Cape Town?

hope he comes good but wouldnt expect much. COming off a long term injury and adjusting to game pace will take time. Look at Isiah thomas; troubles coming back and he was a superstar. I have tempered expectations and just hoping he can contrubite to the rotation in some way

With Dante Exum set to return, how will the Jazz reintegrate him into their surging system?

Good point Fads. But I have to say what is earnt? I think it is great to see Man city challenge the status quo. It was a monopoly, ‘big 4’ have the most money and the big name status, get the best players, qualify for UCL/win trophies, get more money and the cycle continues. City and chelsea (to a lesser extent) have shown that they can subvert this and it has increased competition and no question that Guardiolo has elevated the quality of football.
but you are right it is all based on perspective and age

Why we won't look back on this footballing era fondly

couldnt disagree more. From an EPL perseptive, the last 5 years has been brilliant. THe rise of city and spurs extended period of good form has meant that there are 6 legitimate contenders for the title each year- not to mention the anomaly that is Leicester. Yes, it is sad that teams dont have a chance to take time to build but with transfers the slow rebuild can be done much faster e.g. city took a year under pep to get going, Man u 1 under Jose and liverpool 1 under Klopp. COntracts dont mean much in world soccer and american sports, but there are plenty of players that have been long term players at various vlubs e.g. silva, aguero, Kompany, toure at city, vertonghen, LLoris, eriksen at spurs and plenty more on that list. Do agree that that the rapid sacking of coaches is frustrating but the cost of relegation is huge and chairmen/owners have to be seen to be doing something and when you cant change all your players,only option is to change coach

Why we won't look back on this footballing era fondly

Fair point Mike. im not a WH supporter and so cant claim to understand their roots. Perhaps akin to Melb V move to Etihad that angered supporters (also had plenty to do with a stadium management that had no clue about football fans). Less history there of course but left olympic park to play at a souless stadium that had no atmosphere in return for increased profit and capacity (still play there so not just a case of relocation whilst AAMI being built). To really compete and increase revenue to increase wages, transfer you need to boost attendance, corporate revenue and hard decisions need to be made. im sure it is a mixture – anger at performances, the move was supposed to generate more revenue that hasnt translated into better players being brought in (sold their best player to marseille in fact). i just think protest peacefully if u want, nothing excuses on-field pitch invasions or vitriol directed at others

Do legal pyrotechnics mean the FFA is now going to listen to fans?

good points. west ham move to a more accessible area of london, lower ticket prices, get more people to the game, get a new stadium virtually for free (2.5 mill/year lease) and enable them to compete more with the additional revenue. The anger is cos they are in a relegation battle and emotional fans are taking out their anger on whatever they can. Had they been comfortable mid table you would not be hearing about any of this. And we should never excuse or give any sort of validation to this behaviour. I see a lot of ‘but you cant blame the fans for being angry’ in the london papers which i think is nonsense. eject these fans and ban them forever. Leave the management to the CEO, im not sure any of the supporters would have been able to ngotiate such a great deal for the London stadium or manage an EPL club

Do legal pyrotechnics mean the FFA is now going to listen to fans?

Test crickets doesnt need to change drastically – just needs a few tweaks. Most ideas mentioned already but come down hard on over rates – fines dont achieve anything and neither do suspensions it appears. Perhaps run deductions from a total may do the trick (a bit drastic perhaps but a thought). Day night tests I think are a massive step forward and need to be embraced by all nations. Its simple math – on a weekday many people that would ordinarily come are at work and cannot attend but plenty would go for an evening session.

It's time to take a baseball bat to Test cricket

Nice read Alec. A worry for mine. As purist I have little time for t20 and even meaningless ODIs. It’s a balance though
– I think t20 should be limited to domestic comps. This would limit more meaningless international t20, have enough meaningless ODI and would return international odi to increased importance (I hope anyway)
– daynight test cricket needs to adopted more. Anyone who works can’t attend but plenty would go for an evening session
– improve overrate (don’t have stats to compare overrate these days to previous)
– bowler friendly pitches. No one likes roads
Test cricket still the pinnacle and perhaps t20 generated income will offset the losses made in test crickets

What does South Africa's poor Test attendance mean for the format's future?

Nice read and food for thought. In London and haven’t watched a moment of super rugby. If what you say is true I think it’s a positive (not a negative) that all super teams are using the same structure. Wallabies (and most international teams) play 1-3-3-1 and makes sense to use it at super level. I think like most things it takes time to embed these structures. Once you embed it you can add the frills and variations- we need patience. Ideally I hope that wallabies can seamlessly transition from 1-3-3-1 to 2-4-2

Australia finally have a master plan – now they must abandon it

Brilliant read Clint.
I have been a MV supporter from the beginning and stood with the north end, south end and in the seats. It is a tough balance – the active support from the north end was a huge advertising ticket for fans and the league but unfortunately garnered bad press for the club and league due to the actions of a small minority mainly via the lighting of flares. MV worked hard to get them good rights e.g. no reserved seats for active support but some just had to light flares and ruin it for everyone. I was never part of these negotiations and cant comment for how fair they were
Its a catch 22, the vast majority of patrons out of 25000 members are families and if they feel scared to bring kids, the club stands to lose much more. There is also the sanctions from the FFA about supporter behaviour – both monetary and points. There is sponsorship money at stake as well with poor fan behaviour potentially costing sponsors. mv had to clamp down. As for banners – it is draconian but better to get them taken away outside IMO. Once they get raised inside and if offensive then getting them down is a big problem for security staff and leads to conflict in the stands that can escalate. Given I dont trust the supporters to keep banner clean – i think the current methods of checking outside are for the best. MV tried hard but you cannot stop silly individuals ruining it for everyone

Active support, passive leadership: What makes the A-League great, and what's holding it back

Great list. id add in a couple more:
1. Rugga matrix on youtube. They do a good job covering rugby from an australian angle mainly
2. 1014 – my favourite lately. Got an app and available on all social media platforms. An irishman and a kiwi talking about rugby… sensational. Excellent broad coverage of international rugby

11 rugby podcasts to follow this season

People should stop whining about pitches. Aussies whinge about ‘doctoring’ in india. Aussies do the same, flat track drop in pitches that enable their excellent fast bowlers to do the job and create separation between teams. India create pitches to enable spinners etc. It is what makes test cricket so brilliant – probably the biggest home groudn advantage in world sport.
Thought the pitches in SA were great for cricket. Got 3 results, close and gripping matches and batting was tough. Watching batsman get hit and have to work incredibly hard to make runs was great to watch and a great contrast to ODI/T20 where bat dominates ball.

Green seaming nightmare awaits Australia in South Africa