Ding Dong – The NAP Cup Witch Is Dead!

Oh crap…what have I done? 

Oh crap…what have I done? 

Carlton’s reign as champions of the game’s biggest irrelevant competition has come to an end! It was looking pretty freaking ugly for a while and not even the overwhelming power of Chris Judd’s leadership aura could save them! The Blues did fight back after everybody else lost interest but at least it gave Brett Ratten valuable experience on working out how many goals to concede early before realising your team is not switched on. Apparently, it’s four!

The Hawks should be happy with some of their young players, particularly this famous football name, but watching brave Campbell Brown get reported for charging through a rookie would have pleased no-one…except for maybe his dad. A suspension for Brown would mean that four of their best players start the season on the sidelines…a prospect that leaves Alistair Clarkson ‘worried’. And by ‘worried’, Clarkson means ‘totally pissed off’!

Meanwhile at Manuka Oval in Canberra (what the heck is a Manuka?), it’s the Upset of the Season! Is it too early to say Premiership Hangover? Of course it is, and there were quite a few absentees, but Geelong has not lost anything for a long time…

Even if the result is somewhat of a surprise, the Saints experiencing injury problems is not. The ‘comeback kid’ will be grounded until round one while Justin Koschitzke and Max Hudghton are not actually injured…they were just practicing hobbling off the ground in preparation for the regular season.

AAMI Stadium, Adelaide- 4:40pm (local): Adelaide v Fremantle (FOX)

Adelaide may have won big in the desert two weeks ago but feel that this clash with Fremantle will be a better indicator on how well prepared they are for 2008. What’s this? Refusing to revel in a flogging of Collingwood? That’s no fun!

Well, maybe that’s the whole point for Neil Craig’s Crows. Since Adelaide have returned from Dubai, the coach has pushed for a ban on alcohol and the club is looking to introduce a tougher stance on drugs…no wonder former Crow Scott Welsh reckons it’s no fun playing in Adelaide!

As for playing at Fremantle, you could never describe that experience as boring…though Paul Haselby will unfortunately be left twiddling his thumbs for the next twelve months. But it is up to Mark Harvey to find a suitable replacement…that is, when he is not channeling his former mentor Kevin Sheedy.

Will it be the oft-maligned former Bomber Kepler Bradley? Harvs reckoned he earned the respect of everybody at Fremantle by getting knocked out cold in South Africa…does that mean he will be a walk-up start for round one if he gets carted off on a stretched in the NAP Cup? We may yet find out…though it’s probably better for everyone that he makes it by playing well and staying awake.

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