The Roar
The Roar

Thom Roker

Roar Guru

Joined February 2018

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Thom Roker is an avid AFL fan. He has been writing and podcasting Gold Coast Suns content since 2017, with a focus on Academy players, NEAFL games, list management and player profiles, as well as the inaugural season of the Suns AFLW team.

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Roar Guru
Roar Guru

We need to talk about David Swallow

Ten months ahead of the 2010 AFL National Draft, the newly formed GC17 pre-cast what would become its number one pick on a Western Australian kid to be the player they would build a franchise around. That prodigy was a 17-year-old David Swallow, who had just earned under-18 All Australian selection as a bottom-ager with […]

Roar Guru
Roar Guru

Buddy Ugle-Hagan or Jamarra Goodes?

The 2020 AFL carnival of AFL was benighted by the lockdown and cancellation of junior and second-tier footy in the eastern states, robbing the footy-loving public of a large proportion of the ever-increasingly popular pre-draft speculation and analysis of potential AFL talent.

Roar Guru
Roar Guru

Trade and draft review: Giants punch back

The Greater Western Sydney Giants have been the envy of list managers since their entry into the AFL in the 2011 draft, also making enemies with their trading strategies that poached top talent, as the newest franchise set about becoming a top-performing team ahead of schedule in their formative years.

Your straw man arguments positively reek of privilege and apologist swagger. Boris Becker isn’t much of a role model even for Germans as he didn’t pay tax during his highest earning years and that’s almost the worst thing a German can do. I find most Germans take more shame in their past than most Australians do for the way indigenous people have been treated for the past 233 years.
I go for the Suns, Graeme.
#NeverSayDie

Could we have an indigenous play-by-play commentator?

Stan Grant is much more than just some media hack. He’s published several books and wrote the film, The Australian Dream, which covered the Adam Goodes racial vilification saga. He’s the closest thing we have to a high profile commentator, except he covers politics and indigenous issues instead of sport unless they intersect.

You’ve got the welfare perspective all wrong. Indigenous people don’t get one cent more than non-indigenous. Their payments just have different names. The employment programs have different names. Any mining/resources money is a pittance compared to what the miners should be paying the owners of the land, but there’s white privilege for you.

If you envy indigenous people for the government funding they get, do you also envy homeless people because they get to spend so much time hanging out in the park? I’m glad you have elders to speak with and hope you do so more often. I do too. They agree with me, or more accurately, I get my views from their perspective.

What you are doing when you minimise or deny the massive problems of systemic racism and inequality is called Gaslighting. It does you no credit. Indigenous Australians had their country invaded, lands stolen, peoples raped and killed in massacres too numerous to count and their culture wiped out. All so you can enjoy your “Fair go” and give your privileged opinions that show you have 0 effs to give about the issues facing indigenous people.

Could we have an indigenous play-by-play commentator?

Yep. Tony Abbott is a poster boy for CTE.

Paddy McCartin to play for Swans' reserves

Shh ????

The order of merit: Gold Coast Suns 2021 season

There’s 2 Darcy Macphersons. The one from 2019 that averaged 19 disposals, 6 tackles, 4 marks and 20+ pressure acts was easily best 22. However, the one from 2020 who had barely 11 possessions, less than 3 tackles, 2 marks and was in and out of the side is no certainty to start in 2021.

IMHO, Darcy went through junior footy believing he was going to be drafted as a father-son by the Western Bulldogs. He was overlooked and the Dogs marched to a flag, one that he might have been part of considering their significant injuries, while they also had success in the VFL. Darcy’s brother Ewan was similarly passed over last year, although now they are looking at him for the SSP. How much has this distracted Darcy?

The emergence of Izak Rankine has put Darcy back down the pecking order. The best thing he can do is put in the performances that won him a top 5 finish in the Suns B&F. The experiment of playing him in the midfield needs to be shelved too. Just play him forward and rate him on 1%ers/pressure.

The order of merit: Gold Coast Suns 2021 season

I hope Paddy succeeds, yet I don’t think he will. CTE is far more ubiquitous than any of us are willing to admit. If Polly Farmer, Danny Frawley and Shane Tuck had it, how many other footballers will turn out to have had it?

Dollars to donuts Sam Newman has it!

Paddy McCartin to play for Swans' reserves

Let me make a couple of adjustments there. The AFL side will have a non-playing emergency who will travel when they play away and most likely be unavailable for reserves at home as they play before the seniors and sometimes away.

The reserves will also have 23 players, so there will be 46 fit humans required each week for Sydney’s two teams.

The 14 extra VFL players may include some U19s that may be available for both VFL and NAB League. Some may play for neither.

I speak from experience having followed the NEAFL. Whether Sydney decide to fill their 44 man roster or not comes down to whether they want to save that portion of their salary cap or put Paddy on their VFL salary cap. Every bit counts.

Paddy McCartin to play for Swans' reserves

Wow. You just flat earthed your way out of that one. If I want to learn about how indigenous people are disadvantaged, I’ll stick with Stan Grant rather than your hot takes or the assertions of a dubious poster who won’t give his name or authenticity.

Could we have an indigenous play-by-play commentator?

Ben Ainsworth deserves his own reply. He’s a gun and put together his first injury free season. It really shows when he can put some games together that he’s an elite player.

Wait until you start to see Ainsworth, Izak Rankine and Mally Rosas together in the same forward line. If they can bring the forward defensive pressure, they’ll have the pace and skill to dismantle backlines. There are others in competition for those same spots, but those three make a mouthwatering small forward trio. Rosas is lightning fast, Rankine is super skillful, while Benny has both. All can improve their second efforts and defensive play in the forward half.

The order of merit: Gold Coast Suns 2021 season

Brayden Fiorini had an injury interrupted season. He played in some big games and had a couple of mares. 2020 is behind him and he’s well in the mix.

The problem for him and Will Brodie is that the club keeps bringing in inside mids and neither really has a second position to either rotate through or play in as a best 22 player. Dew’s game plan calls for flexibility, so guys like Nick Holman get a game because he can play forward or mid or tag. And they aren’t fast.

Matt Rowell will need both of them to provide inside grunt to help him find space and get them into the game. It’s a deep midfield that can be better utilized with longer quarters and fewer interchanges, but they need to contribute in that secondary role to win a place in the 22.

The order of merit: Gold Coast Suns 2021 season

I guarantee you that the Fox Sports Suns team for Round 1 is way off, but it says a lot that they kept Sexton in and omitted some other big names.

The order of merit: Gold Coast Suns 2021 season

Nobody has gone past Secco. He did his hammy in the preseason and just wasn’t the same player until later in the year. Dropping him didn’t make the team better, unless you count the drawn game, but it made him better when he came back against North Melbourne with a 4 goal bag and a Brownlow vote. He was dropped after a 4 point loss to St Kilda and a 21 point loss to Richmond, neither of which were good games for him, but it is thought that he broke team rules in terms of two way defence and burning players in goal scoring positions.

19.12 from 14 games is a better goal average per game than Max King and is top 5 in the comp for small forwards. He should also be commended for his 7 goal assists, which is an underrated stat that puts the lie to Dermot Brereton’s claim that he is selfish in goal scoring situations. Over his career, he has averaged a goal a game and a goal assist every 2 games. You have to go back to 2015 for the last time the Suns won a game without Alex Sexton in the team, in which time he missed 18 games (16 losses, 2 draws, 0 wins), which is the longest such streak in the current Suns list.

At 27, Sexton is in his prime and will only thrive with the ever improving midfield and better weapons in the forward line. With Ben King and Sam Day in the key positions, Secco can play a crumbing role, high half forward and one out in the goalsquare. With Izak Rankine, Ben Ainsworth, Mally Rosas, Ace Paul Oea, Darcy Macpherson, Sean Lemmens and Sam Flanders battling it out for small forward positions, you then have Nick Holman, Josh Corbett, Jacob Townsend, Joel Jeffrey and Jy Farrar all playing for Sexton’s spot, not to mention Will Brodie wanting to crack into the midfield rotation in a mid-forward pattern with David Swallow and Hugh Greenwood. Wait until Elijah Hollands makes the grade.

It is a relevant question because 2020 wasn’t Secco’s year and the talent coming up behind him is strong. However, he’s an onfield leader and the best avenue to goal over the past three season under Dew. With King getting amongst the goals and the side becoming more competitive, the role for Alex Sexton is clear: kick goals, win games and lead by example.

The order of merit: Gold Coast Suns 2021 season

How so? If it quacks like a duck…

Could we have an indigenous play-by-play commentator?

We are Australians. Most of us have multiple nationalities. Many of us have white privilege too. Maybe you are indigenous, I’ll take you at your word, although you didn’t offer that straight up and neither do you put your name or reputation on the line when you throw Adam Goodes, Nicky Winmar, and other indigenous players who have suffered systemic racism under the bus when you say “Sick of this racism crap it ain’t as bad as what everyone makes it out to be.”

Ignorant and misinformed is certainly how you sound. And your comments are that of a privileged position without regard to the commentary by leading indigenous academics such as Stan Grant, whose research and articles also disagree with your position. You gonna argue with him too?

Could we have an indigenous play-by-play commentator?

Nice list. You can’t have everyone’s favourites and you’ve limited your choices to the 10 most likely, but 2 blokes who nobody should sleep on are Jack Bowes and Charlie Ballard.

Jack is the calibre of Scott Pendlebury and Luke Hodge, but has had to play roles out of position for the team. Look for him to star off halfback and get up into the midfield, particularly with the longer games and reduced interchanges.

Chuckie has bulked up in the offseason – don’t forget that he did his shoulder in the last preseason – so his ability to play the big opponents has increased. Watched video of him wrestling with 10 year veteran Sam Day this week – he’s grown to 197cm and is almost as big, which was unthinkable in 2018 when he debuted. He was actually a 180cm pacy outside mid for SA U17s, but grew 14cm in a year and became a bit uncoordinated, so he slid from an early draft prospect to a third rounder, despite being the only defender in the SANFL that year to keep young Jack Lukosius goalless. He’s arrow up!

The order of merit: Gold Coast Suns 2021 season

I think you’ve pretty much named the most likely players to succeed over the next few years, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t more players to step up. For starters, you left out Holman, who Dew never leaves out. You’ve also omitted Harbrow, Hombsch, Brodie, Sharp, Corbett, Townsend, Powell, Lemmens, Burgess, Murdoch, Farrar and Graham, all of whom have played over the past seasons and will be gunning for spots.

Suns yet to debut, as well as Davies and Hollands, are Jeffrey (rated first round talent), Rosas (rated early rounds talent), McLennan (late first round pick), Fyfe and Nichols (rated within the first 3 rounds), Irish convert Towey, plus greenhorn ruck forward Conroy. Paddy Murtagh is a 196cm 96kg tall forward under development in the VFL.

Ace Paul Oea is an experienced NEAFL veteran who came through every level with Connor Budarick, but was held back a year because being from PNG he didn’t need to go through the Draft – he played for the Suns reserves in the AFL hub scratch matches and is the players’ tip to get a starting the AFL this year.

Rory Thompson is the forgotten man of the Suns, returning from an ACL partial tear in the opposite knee that he previously had a full ACL tear reconstruction. He was playing scratch matches in August with a view to return to the AFL team late in the season. If he can get on the field, no forward in the AFL presents any fears for him.

If Rory’s year is called over within the next 5 weeks – or the Suns lose a player for the season – undrafted key forward prospect Kaine Baldwin, 195cm 90kg is training with the Suns Academy U19s and has enrolled in Uni on the Gold Coast. He wasn’t drafted after injuring his ACL in the SANFL, but is tracking to be back on the field in April or May for the NAB LEague and possibly a VFL call-up. If he isn’t snapped up in the SSP before Round 1, he can still be claimed in the MSD (if he nominates) or else he goes back into the national draft.

The order of merit: Gold Coast Suns 2021 season

Your white privilege is showing. Equality isn’t about saying all who have gone before deserved their chance and black people weren’t good enough, it’s about acknowledging that the playing field has never been level and asking why.

I find your comments ignorant and misinformed.

Could we have an indigenous play-by-play commentator?

The Gold Coast had a very competitive outing against the Demons in Round 1, despite the final score line making it look like a good win to Melbourne. If you’d watched it, you wouldn’t be making these remarks. The Suns are not in the same bracket as Richmond and West Coast, even if they had a blowout in the Q-Clash. They’ve played 3 of the best sides of 2020 and now play the best, which goes to show that Covid has trashed the competition equalisation mechanism that would have seen the Suns play West Coast instead of Brisbane.

The haves, the have-nots, and the tepid trio

The media can choose to side with the victims or the racists. When they choose both, it’s dogwhistling. Of course such disingenuous messaging should be condemned.

Shut up and play footy: Why do we take down players who stand against racism?

Unless two whole drafts have changed the data you are correct. Nonsense.

Absurdity on the AFLW ladder

You are operating on such a small sample size it is ridiculous. And your made up stats are wrong. Queensland produced double the number of players in the AFL draft than the quotient of players in the AFL per Queensland club. It is Victoria that is now producing fewer players than the number of players required per club.
Your logic is skew whiff and dated AF.

Absurdity on the AFLW ladder

Heritier Lumumba suffers from PTSD. Look it up. It isn’t about when he is bringing it up, why he is pushing so hard now. Don’t question his motives or you are as bad as the people who vilified him in the first place.

Victims deserve to be believed so that the proper investigations can be made. Leave it the truth seekers to justify or disprove him. Anything else is just punching down on victims.

Shut up and play footy: Why do we take down players who stand against racism?

It happens in the men’s game too, they simply have longer kicks and more training to work themselves into scoring situations. 16 players doesn’t really help in those situations either, even if it does prevent congestion.

The VFL will this year have a 3-12-3 at stoppages, which is being trialled for the AFL. Having 6 players in each 50 means less congestion and should have been brought in to the AFLW this season instead of the “lasso” rule.

Absurdity on the AFLW ladder

Yeah, the interpretation leaves much to be desired in all forms of the game, but especially in AFLW.

In round 1 when the Demons were continually encroaching the protected zone around the mark I was doubting myself that maybe the rule had been taken out of women’s footy, then 3 50m penalties resulting in goals killed the Suns.

Per Bec Goddard, they were deserved and the losers paid the price, but it wasn’t consistent at all, which is the frustrating thing.

AFLW needs a different set of rules. Nothing drastic and, as you say, just a finer adjudication which allows better footy when the rules are consistently applied.

Absurdity on the AFLW ladder

I love this article and the discussion it is producing.

Personally, I’ve met Eddie McGuire and he is a really classy guy. I believe his workaholic nature and ivory tower lifestyle simply means he is surrounded by sycophants and rarely enough people with progressive philosophies that could have educated him enough to allowed him to evolve as a person.

There is no excusing his tone deafness though, so he had to hari kari instead of remain for a testimonial year.

Shut up and play footy: Why do we take down players who stand against racism?