The Roar
The Roar

Antony Pincombe

Roar Rookie

Joined October 2014







I have a BA in Writing from MacQuarie University. Crazy Swans Supporter & Member.Live in Sydney. I played Aussie Rules from the age of five, starting in Mosquito Fleet in Broken Hill. I believe in a fair go but also believe that teams have to prove on and off the field they have what it takes. Love the local footy because there is less bull.



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The ball is a big issue. Players who would genreally kick over 50 metres are only kicking 40 metres. some of the kicks have been dreadful because they fell well short. Yet looking at the player’s action they did everything right. This goes back to the old arguement as to what is the best ball to use in top flight footy. The Sherrin has NEVER been the best ball.. In fact the Faulkner South Australian ball has always been superior ro the Sherrin. The Sherrin has a problem with balance and always has. Now obviously those problems have gotten worse as the ball isa either too heavy or too light.

On the other hand the Faulkner footy is perfectly balanced, the right weight and the workmanship is superb. The stitching, the cutting of the four sections and the making are done with incredible skill. Whereas the Sherrin, which was already an inferior product, has gone downhill

Eddie McGuire is convinced the ball is a big issue in the AFL

Do you know the Vics have buried footage of that game. There are full matches, highlights and snippets of any game before or after but non of that particular game anywhere. Not on YouTube or any other Video format. Certainly not on the AFL site. I wonder if AFLNSW has a copy? Probably not now it has been taken over by the AFL.

The greatest AFL State of Origin of all time

Who said he is in doubt? If the surgery was a success, and there is every reason to believe it was, then he has every chance of playing Round 1. He started training today. They are bringing him back slowly which is not unusual for an elder statesman. But if he starts today on a limited program and they keep extending the program he will be training with the main group by the first official preseason game.

Franklin in doubt for Round 1 following knee surgery

Wanna bet

Sydney Swans 2020 preview: Finals on the agenda again

I am going to enjoy seeing you eat your words young person. The Swans are not too slow in any shape or form. The time trials of all our recruits over the last 6 years proves that. I would not like to try to run down Papley, Buddy, Dylan Stephens, Riley Stoddart, McInnerney, Lewis Taylor, Harry Cunningham, Will Hayward, Matty Ling, Ryan Clarke, Ollie Florent (not because cof explosice pace but agility and his ability to dodge and weave), Zac Foot, Nic Blakey, Barry O’Conner (194cm Irishman, very quick), Colin O’Riordan and if you put Dawson in there for his agility rather than outright speed then you have more that half a team. Rampe is also quick.

But this game is not all about speed. Dawson is the best kick in the AFL by a long way. Buddy the second best and Papley, Florent and Lloyd are up there. I’d say you don’t watch the Swans very much do you? Haven’t for at least a few seasons? We are developing a very exciting game plan. You obviously missed it because your eyes have been closed.

Sydney Swans 2020 preview: Finals on the agenda again

Will one of the things the Swans have to stop doing is relying far too heavily on Franklin. I think he will play up the ground a bit more this season. He is an elite ball user and our forwards will appreciate that. I’m not saying he should not be close enough to kick goals, that would be stupid, but playing further up the ground will free him up more.

You have Rowbottom in the backline. Why? He’s an inside mid and toward the end of last year was showing us why he was drafted for that possie. his extraction techniques are many and varied. He seems to be able to get the ball out even when gang tackled. Hayward will always play forward. He is that permanent Forward Pocket who can play small or tall. A very dangerous player and I think he will have a break out year. The talk about Lewis Taylor playing in the first game is a little premature. He has to fight, Ronke, Sam Grey, Matty Ling (who plays HB or Inside/Outside Mid), Dylan Stephens and a plethora of others like Harry Cunningham for a spot.

Will Gould will play back in the first game depending on his form in the preseason games. He is a big unit, Will, and is body ready for AFL footy. There are a few different scenarios for this team and I think they are on the way up. The Regeneration has happened, only two oldies remain, Buddy and Joey.

Sydney Swans 2020 preview: Finals on the agenda again

I think there is a larger problem. Equalisation. Thev problem here is that some sides end up in the finals and then get blown away. Sydney in 2018 (the Swans raw was pretty easy and probably shouldn’t have been but they are in a regenerative phase), Essendon in 2017. The bottom of the eight will be a place for sides who have not won on merit but on compromised draw to inhabit. This presents a huge problem when it comes to finals as those sides get blown away. this is going to become even more pronounced as the stronger sides in the eight, probably top 6, annihilate them year after year.

Mind you in 2017 even sides in the top four were blown away. In 2018 the Swans were murdered by GWS and one of the top four contenders, Cats were bundled out in straight sets. Last year it was even worse. Essendon were absolutely annihilated by the Eagles. GWS & Richmond each had over 50 point victories. There are more one sided finals than ever before. Sure I remember blowouts in finals in other years. But not so many that you could say at least four sides were annihilated.

Let’s get more creative with AFL fixturing

Good article Josh. It is definitely food for thought. I fail to see how cutting the lists to 30 would help the club at all. Yes, it would give more money to top enders as you say but at the expense of players who make up the guts of your club. not only that what would the club do if they get hit with lots of injuries. some seasons clubs use well over 30 players due to injuries, soreness and resting players to reduce the chance of stress related injuries.
I agree the current draft and trade system is unwieldy. We seem to constantly borrow from the Americans without really understanding the concepts or how over burdening some of these systems are. we need to move on and develop simpler systems that suit our game not someone elses.

Time to kill off the AFL rookie list

Just a little thing but we don’t have pitches in Aussie Rules we have ovals. You are obviously a Soccer convert.

Fremantle AFLW player brings down pitch invader during Derby

Interesting concentrating on those few players. These are the reasons I think Sydney will do very well this year.
Swans have not only traded very well for this coming season they have had several very successful drafts and managed to get quite a few early draft picks due to trading out. The addition of Brand, Taylor and Grey, a player rated by most Port fans, as well as the return from the draft is going to make the Swans far stronger and the talent pool is getting huge. Turning that talent into a reality is something the Swans are very good at. For examples see Heeney, Mills, Papley, Lloyd & Dawson in the current team and Smith, Grundy, McVeigh, Mattner, Richards, LRT, Pebbles in past teams.

The Swans have successfully blooded players in the last few years and new draftees Stephens and Gould will undoubtedly play AFL this season. The young players in the reserves have improved and developed AFL bodies in the last two to tree years and are ready to go. Maibaum was very close to senior selection before injury and will provide great defence depth. The Swans now have speed on every line and lock in small forwards have been a priority over the past few years. Sam Reid had his best year for the club last year and there is no reason that can’t continue if he stays fit. Getting 15 or more matches out of Buddy would be a bonus but if not McLean, Amarty or Sinclair can step up. I think the Swans have the most exciting list in the comp. But then again I’m biased. But I do remember when we could not pick up to 18 players and say they were VFL/AFL level.

Five reasons to watch Sydney in 2020

Joe Daniher had better spend at least 18 matches on the park and be a star mate. If he doesn’t spend a great deal of time on the park his value decreases incredibly. As for the Next Gen Academy player. The rest of the Comp could do the same to them as they could do to the Eagles. The fact is Dodo plays tough and there are a lot of scores to be settled.

Should the 17 other AFL clubs hold the West Coast Eagles to ransom?

You are right. It is not State of Origin. It is an All Stars game. But then again State of Origin was only played between three states, Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia. What about the rest of us mate. We had to play in a different comp. Then the last year of State of Origin we actually took part as the All Stars. While we were happy to be a part of it we were unhappy that this is what it takes for us to play SOO footy.

SOO is a concept invented for three states and fuck the rest.

The AFL bushfire relief game is not State of Origin

Ok I didn’t rate the Swans but it is not due to the personnel. It was and is the game plan. If the Swans change the game plan then the personnel will do the job. Longmire has already changed one thing at training, he has instituted special skills sessions. I hope he maintains them for the whole season.

Now to my point about personnel. Injury and the game plan killed the Swans last season. The Swans have recruited very well. Clarke and Thurlow were both originally top 10 draft picks and I’m sure if anyone can get their best out of them it will be the Sydney team. We managed to get a 25 (Rowbottom) pick to go with Blakey and Rowbottom is rated. As for the injured players; Naismith (our first ruck), Reid, Ling (pick 14), Nick Smith (for long periods of 2018), Melican will all be fit to play. Oh and Menzell is a pretty good pick up seeing he averages two goals per game.

I think 2020 will be the year of the Bloods. But 2019 will still be competitive year. If the game plan changes then top four. If it doesn’t then 9th on talent only.

My 2019 AFL bottom ten predictions

The idea of a finals system is to pit the best teams against each other. Generally the top 25% of the competition plays off in the finals. In a ten team comp it was four teams mainly because to get near 25% you would need either two or three teams to play off. So even if we say 40% of the competition plays finals as the AFL have always adopted then only eight teams play off.

Any more would be diluting the strength of the finals. Sure 2018 produced a very tight race for the finals. But several sides were highly favoured by the fixture. Had they not been so favoured I wonder if it would have been so close. Essendon played Sydney in the 2017 Elimination Final and were annihilated. Essendon had a very easy draw that year and it showed in the finals. The AFL should scrap this stupid Equalisation Draw as it is giving sides a false sense of security. The draw should be equal for every side and rostered on a round robin basis.

So what do I think of your proposal? Not your best idea. In fact probably the worst yet. Leave the finals system as it is. I actually think there are two sides too many in the finals.

The AFL is ready for a ten-team finals series

Can’t see Adelaide winning.

Can’t see how Bullies can score enough goals to beat Sydney. what’s more with Mills and Jones going into the mids and a fit Bud, Naismith and Reid back I think the swans will smash doggies by at least 100 points.

Lions have recruited well and you forget that they play very well up there. It is difficult to beat them at the Gabba, especially for a team from the West, premiers or not.

I think the cats will get pulverised.

You’ve picked the Saints to smash Gold Coast. The Saints couldn’t win a prize in a raffle if they had all the tickets. Hannaberry’s finished. His body is stuffed. The Saints list is even worse than Suns. A few players who were any good deserted them in the off season. This will be closer than you think.

AFL ladder predictions: Round 1

I’m not a Collingwood fan but surely injuries to Elliot, Goldsack, Dunn, Wells, Moore and Howe have impacted your team. Tim Broomhead, while a young player is a very good player, also deserves a mention.

But I think you are right in one thing in that all teams have experienced injuries this year. GWS, Swans, Bombers, Eagles and the list goes on to all except Richmond. What concerns me is the number of season ending injuries. There is definitely something wrong with the surfaces, boots, training methodology or player balance.

I am a Swans fan and believe me we understand the impact of injuries, not only this season, but for years now at the wrong time. This year we had up to 10 first 22 players out at one time. Naismith, Mills, Reid, Melican, Johnson and Smith all will not play in the finals. Franklin and Parker will be back.

What happened? AFL Round 23, 2018

You obviously didn’t watch the swans v Hawks. Mitchell was actually well held by Hewett until the last quarter. That was about the only quarter where he was effective. Shiels, Impey, Burgoyne and Worpel were much more effective.

Even though Gunston only got 12 disposals his ability to impact the game at crucial times was telling.

Mitchell’s opponent, George Hewett got exactly the same disposal count and was far more effective in his delivery, 85% and 12 clearances compared to Mitchell’s 7. What’s more Hewett’s effort was even more outstanding considering the Swans only got 36 clearances. So he managed a third of all Swans clearances.

What happened? AFL Round 23, 2018

GWS will have to play far better than they have in the last two weeks. Sure they have been cruelled by injury but so have the Swans. Out of last weeks game against the Hawks were; Franklin, Parker (arguably the Swans two best players although Lloyd and Kennedy would be close), Reid, Naismith, Rohan, Mills, AJ (at his best he is easily best 22 and he looked good on his comeback), Smith and Melican. That is nine players who would have easily made the team last season.

Of the injured Giants these injured players would be walk up starters for the team each week;
Griffin, Greene, Delidio, DeBoar, Skully, Shaw and maybe Corr and Patton. That’s eight players.

The reason I only say maybe to Patton and Corr is that patton has had a dreadful season and has under performed for a few years now. I think the coachoing staff would have been very disappointed with Jonno over his journey. He would be close to getting the chop. Corr is a good player who is a fringe dweller at GWS. He has onlt made it in recent times. He is probably more deserving of a best 22 than Patton.

GWS in the last few weeks have started to get players back. Last week two of those injured in the Swans match returned and they got Kelly back for that match as well. Williams returns next game. Unfortunately he will have only one reserves game under his belt because GWS did not make the NEAFL finals. Add to that Corr, Greene, DeBoar, Deledio and Griffin will all be available. I think most of those players will play.

Sydney will get Franklin and Parker back. Maybe Rohan if his form warrants it. That is about all for the Swans. Smith, Melican and Reid are all too far away to play next game. Reid is the closest with 1week. Smith, 4 weeks, will not play again this season. Melican, 1-2 is a chance to play Reserves GF if the Swans make it.

But even with key players out the Swans have been able to beat Melbourne and GWS as well as take Hawks to the limit in a game they should have won. Inexperience lost that game for the Swans. Without Franklin and Parker against a Hawks side that was without Ceglar, Sicily. Birchell (virtually the same as Reid he has not played the majority of the season), Frawley & maybe Howe if you consider him best 22. Most if not all of those will step out against Richmond.

It will be the Swans who have the more best 22 players injured against the Giants in a fortnight. So if I hear excuses for GWS like them being cruelled with injury I am going to refute this claim as most of their injured best 22 will be on the park or close. The same can’t be said of the Swans.

GWS ready to tear it up in AFL finals

Matty you have no mention of Jake Lloyd. He was the Runner up in the Bob Skilton Medal last year, many thought he should have won it. He is averaging over 27 disposals at 80.7% DE. This bloke would walk into any side in the league. As a Swans fan I’m sweating on him being re-signed. But I’m sure there are 17 other clubs who are cruising like a school of sharks for his signature.

The left-field AFL trade targets nobody is talking about - but should be

I started going to Swans games in the early 1990’s. We were dreadful. We were not looking to win a game we were looking to just get close. effort was all we expected from the players then. My friends and I would join the other 5,000 to 10,000 people at the game. We got front row seats every time and the swans Pass was bought at the raliway station with the train fare included.

In the mid 1990’s our stocks improved. Ron Barassi had come up from Melbourne to rescue the Swans and the veteran super coach did not disappoint. Barassi had a succession plan and Rodney Eade was appointed senior coach in 1996. Barassi had prepared the Swans really well for Eade and the Swans played off in their first Grand final since 1945. Unfortunately Eade had a penchant for playing injured players with Michael O’Loughlin the major victim of this policy. Eade never repeated his 1996 success to get the swans to a Grand Final and was replaced by his assistant, Paul Roos, in 2002.

Roos got players like Mickey ‘O’ fit and free of injury and started planning a defensive strategy that would see the swans play in the 2005 and 2006 Grand finals, winning the 2005. The Swans first premiership since 1933. Roos game plan was so unpopular with AFL head office that Andrew Demetriou called it ugly footy. Roos retired at the end of 2010 handing the reins to his senior assistant John longmire.

Longmire inherited a pretty strong Swans squad and within two years had a premiership in his tuckerbag. But for some unknown reason the ice calm Swans have become the wilting flowers of the premiership circuit. many blame the lack of bottoming out to get better draft choices. The AFL Trade ban, this did have an impact but not as big as many people think due to the lack of salary cap available to us anyway. The buying of Tippett and Franklin, this certainly did impact the salary cap and many good players left for greener pastures. But in reality it is the coaches inability to get the players motivated for the big ones that has told the greatest story. We make finals and grand finals but don’t win the latter. That as much as anything is a head problem.

The next phase of the Swans development has been to develop very high end talent recruited through the draft. We have been able to do this by swapping draft picks, planning for the Academy selections and recruiting a range of top quality players left over from the draft as rookies. we have been lucky enough to draft Jake Lloyd (I think the most underrated player in the AFL), Robbie Fox, Tom Papley, Dan Robinson, Sam Naismith and Lewis Melican all from the rookie list all having played senior football. Add to that the success of Heath Grundy, Keiren Jack & Dane Rampe and that is huge success from the rookie draft.

Recently we have managed to acquire quite a few early draft picks due to players wanting to leave. Those picks are starting to show success now. The Swans list is in great nick but we need to start thinking of the future by drafting more tall defenders and maybe looking to switch Toby Pink to defence. The kid has Dustin fletcher attributes. With Blakey choosing the Swans and a very good academy crop, the future bodes well as long as the coaches can get it right

The pros and cons of barracking for the Sydney Swans

I think the Plan B myth has gone on in every footy club in the land for a long time. what coaches have is a set of strategies they can employ in an effort to defeat the opposition. the criticism of Longmire, and rightly, that is more pertinent to the argument is his inability to react quickly in a situation where the opposition gets a run on.

Take for instance the weekend. Scott decided we were far too dangerous in attack and he put an extra tall in defence therefore blocking our avenues to goal and clogging up that narrow Kardinia Park air strip. What did Longmire do? Nothing for nearly two quarters and consequently the cats got on top. But when the penny dropped ‘We have to man him up and go man on man’ we ran all over the top of them. The reality was the reason we were winning in the first place, first quarter, was man on man footy.

Horse allowed the Cats to take the momentum from us. If he had have stayed with the man on man strategy and not allowed an extra defender the fact is we would have flogged them. We were winning most of the stats, we just couldn’t get the ball past Centre Half forward due to the extra. One man was virtually killing us and they swapped that extra around to provide more run out of defence. Sometimes back in the deep defence sometimes at CHF but the one thing he did create a disadvantage for our forwards and clog up space for them to run into.

Horse reacted far too slowly and the fact we came home like a train when he evened the numbers up and played the first quarter strategies says it all.

No plan B? No worries for the Swans

Yes and the Balmain Dockers, Drumoyne Power, Leichhardt Cygnets, East Sydney Bulldogs, Glebe Greyhounds, Moroubra Saints, Moore Park Tigers, Concord Giants and the ones you have mentioned Newtown Swans and Western Suburbs Magpies.

these clubs all provide mixed boys/girls comps up until youth level and then the sexes split. There are six girls divisions in the Sydney Harbour zone.

A comparison of AFL growth in non-heartland states

Yes like Jesaulenko

A comparison of AFL growth in non-heartland states

The suns drafted dreadfully and the Gary Ablett move was stupid. He has always been a receiver and still is. They keep saying is he or Franklin the best player in the AFL. I wish they’d get over it. I have always thought Ablett wasn’t even fit to do up franklin’s bootstraps. The suns needed a Marquee player who would give them a profile but all they got was the bible basher. God never lifted any footy team’s profile except Cats.

What Suns should have done was draft well instead of building a team around an outside receiver.

A comparison of AFL growth in non-heartland states

I don’t believe soccer will be as successful as people seem to think even though most of the immigrants are from Soccer background. Most our immigrants originally came from Soccer background, that is Great Britain, Italy, Greece etc. Either that or they came from RL or RU background, New Zealand or the Islands. Yet none of those sports have overtaken AFL. In fact while grassroots Soccer is suffering under the prop up the A League policy AFL suffers no such thing. The A League attracts an average of 14,000 people per game. The junior footy subsidise the A League clubs through junior player payments.

Parents are getting a bit sick of paying thousands every year and getting nothing for it. Not only that if a player reaches 14 yo and the coaches don’t think they have the chance to make the A League or similar they are basically not given game time. In soccer only the so called potential star players get any time put into them. They stop developing players well before their bodies stop developing. In AFL we don’t do that. A gangly awkward kid could end up developing into a star ruckman or key forward when they start developing a body.

The switching of codes or sports at about 13 or 14 away from soccer is quite large. In fact AFL has benefited greatly from this policy of trashing players who soccer Coaches think have no talent and are not coordinated enough for the game at 13/14. So has basketball recently.

Add to that the infighting and corruption that pervades Australian Soccer and Soccer worldwide and Australian people are getting a little suspicious of the sport. The recent fight between Lowey and the clubs is not helping. The sub standard football in the A League is not helping either as most clubs are too broke to be able to attract the real marque players. So they get Has Beens. The wanderers are broke and if something doesn’t happen soon they will be foreclosed upon. Several other clubs are in a similar state. The television deal doesn’t help the clubs and it is bad because nobody watches the a League on TV. They rate the lowest of any television sport during their season.

So to sum up I can’t see them taking over footy in this country. Not in 10 years, not 20 years. They don’t have a good enough infrastructure. They are divided. They don’t have solid, successful, financial clubs. They don’t have good junior programs. They charge far too much at a junior level. They don’t encourage developing youth, they can them. They don’t put money into junior development programs, only corporate sponsors do that and even then it is double ended.

A comparison of AFL growth in non-heartland states