Tag Archives: Gary Ablett

When The Game Takes Over Our Drunken Idiot Coverage! (2009 AFL Grand Final Preview)

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drunkfev

We will now briefly focus on a football game before returning you to your regularly scheduled programming…which, apparently, is this guy!

Relax, people! Once Saturday’s game is over, we can go back to the main reason we all follow the game…what stupid Brendan Fevola up to now and what EVERYBODY ELSE thinks about it! Or maybe you’ve had enough of Fev and would prefer to talk about trades – where Shaun Burgoyne thinks he is going or where Brock McLean says he is going.

Perhaps you are stunned that Marty Clarke is choosing to go home or that Matthew Lloyd is choosing to stay home. But for now, the 2009 AFL Grand Final needs to take centre stage so you’ll just have to make do with that…

Not a bad consolation though…the two best teams in the comp are virtually at full strength (sorry Max fans!) and primed to present us with a fitting finale to the footy season. It’s going to be entertaining day and a great spectacle but, please, remember to behave appropriately. You don’t want to end up like Stupid Fevola (that is, a big blokey legend!), do you?

ST KILDA SAINTS

SaintsPlane

The secret to St Kilda’s success? Not catching swine flu from the filthy, germ-infested masses!

The dominant team of 2009 but not a clear favourite… a lack of respect or is this just history talking?

The Team
B:
Jason Blake, Zac Dawson, Steven Baker
HB: Brendon Goddard, Sam Fisher, Sam Gilbert
C: Farren Ray, Lenny Hayes, Nick Dal Santo
HF: Andrew McQualter, Justin Koschitzke, Clint Jones
F: Stephen Milne, Nick Riewoldt, Jason Gram
Foll: Steven King, Leigh Montagna, Adam Schneider
I/C: Luke Ball, Raphael Clarke, Sean Dempster, Michael Gardiner
Emg: David Armitage, Jarryn Geary, James Gwilt

In: Dempster
Out: Robert Eddy

GEELONG CATS

AblettPolice

The secret to Geelong’s success? Police arresting anybody that goes within one metre of Gary Ablett!

The Team
B:
Darren Milburn, Matthew Scarlett, Corey Enright
HB: Tom Harley, Harry Taylor, Andrew Mackie
C: Joel Corey, Cameron Ling, James Kelly
HF: Jimmy Bartel, Cameron Mooney, Steve Johnson
F: Travis Varcoe, Tom Hawkins, Paul Chapman
Foll: Mark Blake, Joel Selwood, Gary Ablett
I/C: Brad Ottens, Shannon Byrnes, Max Rooke, David Wojcinski
Emg: Shane Mumford, Simon Hogan, Mathew Stokes

No change

So…who wins this bloody thing? St Kilda made the one team change but it will not result in a fairytale send-off for stalwart Max Hudghton. Geelong are unchanged but have sterner opposition compared to last week. Hard to predict a winner with any great confidence; hence the call of a draw’ being quite popular.

For me, the deciding factor is simple…and probably a touch immature, but oh well. I just don’t want to see Stephen Milne win a grand final. The thought of that little twerp receiving a premiership medallion and whooping it up would ruin my entire year.

MilneSucks

For the love of God, do not let this twerp win a premiership!

If St Kilda did win and for whatever reason; concussion,  injury, diarrhoea; Milne was not involved at the end, I could live with that. If they could vote him off the podium and replace him with Robert Harvey, even better. But please Geelong..do not let this twerp win!!!

CATS by 22

About Freakin’ Time! (2009 Brownlow Medal)

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For just a split second, Adam Cooney made Gary Ablett wonder whether winning the medal was worth it…

He has been the best player in the competition for the past three seasons but, finally, Gary Ablett has a Brownlow Medal to his name. After being pipped at the post in 2007 and 2008, the Geelong midfielder led from the opening game and had the award all wrapped up with two rounds left to count.

The ending may have lacked the drama of previous seasons but having watched a clearly nervous Gazza watch on helplessly as less-favoured (but still deserving!) players took the honour two years running, it was more a sense of relief once the result was beyond doubt.

AblettWins

He’s been crapping his daks about making a Brownlow speech for three years, now that time had come…

As expected, a number of St Kilda players polled very strongly, as did many of Gary’s teammates. Carlton’s Chris Judd finished second while Lions pair Simon Black and Jonathan Brown each picked up 19 votes. As usual, midfielders featured prominently in the votes but Brown’s equal fourth placing showed that forwards are capable of polling well.

Brendon Fevola was probably being light-hearted about the extra focus on-ballers receive from the umpires at the expense of forwards but, considering Fev has been known to check out of games when things aren’t going his way, the joke is on him!

FevDisapproves

Fev shows his displeasure at a midfielder, one whose level of effort is never conditional, taking votes off him. He has to be joking, doesn’t he?

But enough of Ablett! More importantly, the evening kicked off with the traditional red carpet fashions. And, in typical AFL style, any hint of tradition was sold off to the highest bidder as the carpet went from ‘red’ to ‘blue’. Apparently Toyota have a new car…and it’s blue. Wow, the things you can do with technology these days! Ground breaking…

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Brownlow night is the highlight of the season for many a WAG… including the Princess Bride of Bogans, Alex Fevola!

The ‘blue-red’ carpet saw the usual mix of elegance, class and skank; from the half-mill diamond dress (ever taken a wee surrounded by four bodyguards?) to the eye-popping squeeze of former Sydney Swans supremo Dr Geoffrey Edelston! But the award for best couple of the night was unanimous…Adam Goodes and Simon Black!

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As soon as it became obvious there was no need to stay sober for a speech, Simon and Adam lived it up! You boys have my three votes!!

I Got A Fever! (Septocemia – 2009 AFL Finals Series)

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PaddyPunch

No final for you, Paddy. But if you have a handful of jumper when you hit a bloke, exactly like Luke Hodge did to you, you get away with it. Jumper punch equals no suspension…

LloydSewell

Same for you, Lloydy – a handful of jumper and you get away with it. Jumper Bump equals no suspension…ok, maybe not!

It’s finals time…you little ripper!!! After a home-and-away season filled with thrills, surprises, inspiring stories and some downright weirdness, we have eight teams left and four weeks to sort out the wheat from the crap.

This September, the League have again gone into promotional overdrive and declared the finals series as being In A League Of Its Own…it’s going to be harder, faster and fiercerer than ever before! Well, that’s a relief.

Personally, I think that the propensity for rugby league players to poo on the floor of hotels kinda puts the NRL in a league of their own but that’s just me.

Here at Half Back Flanker, the finals series will always be known as Septocemia in homage to my favourite AFL finals promotion from 2007 when the League attempted to transport us all to the mystical footballing fairyland that was Septopia! And it all kicks off tonight when Adelaide defeats Essendon in the opening game of the finals series…come on – they can’t win, can they?

FRIDAY NIGHT

BurtonMOTY

How the heck are you supposed to defend against this?

First Elimination FinalAAMI Stadium, 7:45pm (local): Adelaide v Essendon (SEVEN)

Gee, they are getting a little bit excited in Adelaide, aren’t they? Apparently this side is going to make history because they are better than the group that won two flags in the nineties! They are fully primed for finals action, choc full of flair (a term not usually associated with the Crows) and not even remotely fussed about missing a couple of key players. Are they getting too far ahead of themselves? Even if they are, they probably won’t get caught out this week…

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Essendon might just celebrate wildly tonight…if they kick more than two goals in a row against the stingy Crows, that is!

…because they are facing a depleted Essendon outfit that have little finals experience and a crap interstate record. They have some nice young kids and that ‘nothing to lose’ attitude but can the Bombers really pull off an upset of massive proportions? Um…no. Just no.

CROWS by 35

SATURDAY AFTERNOON

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Time for more Gary Ablett magic…the Cats certainly need some!

Second Qualifying Final MCG, 2:30pm (local): Geelong v Western Bulldogs (TEN)

Poor Geelong…what do you have to do to earn some respect around here? You dominate the comp for almost three seasons yet the Doggies were stoked to finish third (don’t be fooled!) to play them and avoid St Kilda. The Cats will find it tough to go all the way this year but with a little tackling practice and some good players returning, they might just earn the week off. This bloke sure hopes they do

ThumbsUpRocket

Beating the Cats, a prelim final, a week off…surely that would be worth two thumbs up, Rocket?

The Bulldogs have a couple of nice additions as well, meaning the coach has had one of those nasty selection headaches all week! It’s not about revenge from the 2008 finals…well, maybe a little – however the Dogs say they are better and not bitter. They are definitely better but if they can’t shake Geelong here, their path to the flag will become extremely difficult.

CATS by 21

SATURDAY NIGHT

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Are Brisbane a little nervous leading into this elimination final? Looks that way to me…

Second Elimination Final – GABBA, 7:30pm (local): Brisbane v Carlton (TEN)

The once-mighty Brisbane return to finals action but there were concerns early in the week that they might not be able to field a full team! Of course, that all changed come selection time and you just know that Michael Voss has been waiting most of his adult life to play all these crazy coaching mind games!!! Between that and his Rising Star, Vossy would be loving the week…

FevDenial

Given that he stops trying in the odd game throughout the season, Fev should be fresh and ready to fire in the finals!

And Blues fans are loving it too because Carlton are here – back in the finals! They would have loved it a little more had their team not screwed up royally last weekend to lose the home final…but they have a proven finals performer leading the way and the timely addition of a few time-challenged players. But I think that every Blues player can chuck their alarm clocks away after the weekend because they will be on holidays.

LIONS by 9

SUNDAY

MaxBaby

To play Max or not to play Max…what a tricky question

First Qualifying Final – MCG, 2:40pm (local): St Kilda v Collingwood (SEVEN)

A lot can change in a month. St Kilda went from being on the verge of immortality four weeks ago to being questioned about their somewhat flaky play during irrelevant games and upcoming team selection issues. But they have finished off an outstanding regular season and can focus on winning that flag…though facing the Pies at the ‘G is not the greatest reward for finishing a clear first.

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Not meaning to bash Collingwood…but is THIS what we want to see on Grand Final day???

Collingwood didn’t fire in last week’s big game but it might be the kick in the arse they needed. But Josh Fraser has a bit of ‘the Adelaides’ about him; he reckons his Pies are fully primed for finals action and poised to go all the way. Yet he also thinks that Anthony Rocca can still play a role…really? Rocca might get a chance if/when St Kilda do the business on Sunday but not sure how much help that will be…

SAINTS by 19

Round Twenty Two – Well, Wasn’t That Fun!

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The League announced the finals schedule during an ad break on Channel Seven’s Dancing With The Stars

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…and it looks like Tim Watson grabbed one of the latin dancers from the show to help him!

And just like that, the AFL home-and-away season is done and dusted. It only seems like yesterday that Richmond was being destroyed by Carlton in the season opener, doesn’t it? Actually, no it doesn’t! Season 2009 has been so eventful and action packed that it has felt like this long-standing, never-ending provider of highlights, lowlights and bizarre occurrences. Hard to believe that it is now over…

But never fear, we have a finals campaign that will undoubtedly provide even more of the wonderful, the weird and the wackiness that we’ve come to expect from footy these days. And if round twenty two is anything to go by, this year’s finals series is going to be plenty wacky! It started with (yet) another deplorable showing from Richmond against a West Coast team that the Herald Sun flat-out accused of tanking in order to qualify for a priority draft pick yet ended up winning eight games and would have finished above Hawthorn had they snuck a ninth win! What chance they receive a well-deserved apology from the hacks? Hmmm, not great…

The round then finished with the Western Bulldogs winning by just enough points to leapfrog Collingwood into third spot on the ladder; meaning that they now face the (seemingly) more vulnerable Geelong and the Pies are relegated to fourth and a date with the (almost) all-conquering Saints. But it was the events on the Saturday afternoon of the final round that will be remembered for a very long time to come…

LloydSewell

Clearly Matthew Lloyd didn’t read any of those articles about the bump being dead last week. He should probably avoid reading the papers this week as well!

The playoff for eighth spot always promised to be memorable for one reason or another. And if you thought Essendon and Hawthorn hated each other before Saturday’s game…how about now! Bombers captain Matthew Lloyd’s attempt to exert some influence on the second half ended up with Brad Sewell ironed out on the ground, sparking a wild response from the Hawks that continued on after the match. This included coach Alastair Clarkson going off his nut as he left the ground and hardnut Campbell Brown talking all sorts of smack from the rooms.

CaMMMpbellBrown

Pot-Kettle? Takes one to know one? Stones-Glass Houses? Own backyard? Call it what you like, they all seem to work in this case!

Essendon took charge in the second half to qualify for September, something Matthew Knights feels they deserve but it’s a view not shared by their opposition. For the Hawks, who lost control of their composure and the match following The Incident, it was a frustrating end to an equally frustrating season that saw them behind the eight-ball all year as they tried to defend their fine win in 2008. They will be back in 2010, and regardless of whether Mr Lloyd is still available, that first Hawks-Bombers match will be…emotional!

KennettBananas

Embarrassing yourself by going bezerk at the umpires while your wife/girlfriend/significant-other looks away and laughs at you! Don’t worry Jeff, it’s happened to all of us!!!

Essendon’s win left us with the potential of a blockbuster elimination final at the ‘G against Carlton. All the Blues needed to do was claim fifth place on Saturday evening…but no! Now both teams head interstate this weekend and will probably head home with their season over, free to drink as much alcohol as they can manage on the flight back! The Blues might feel they will be better off for banning three players for a spot of tardiness but what they really need is a mature response this week in an elimination final is Brisbane. Yep, a team with Brendan Fevola needs to show maturity…gulp!

MickyOver

Cheer up, Micky O! What’s that? It’s your last game? Oh. In that case, cry away!

The final round of the season also gave us the opportunity to bid farewell to those who are giving the game away. This resulted in some emotional matches; particularly in Sydney for some premiership heroes, at Melbourne for some club stalwarts, and at Richmond…where most of them should probably give it away! Then again, maybe next year the Tigers can start to bounce back and gain respectability in the footy world again. There is always next year…

The Games:

RelievedRawlings

Jade Rawlings contemplates all those weeks of his life that he can never have back!

Good luck Dimma…you’re gunna need it! West Coast embarrass Richmond in the final game of the season to reinforce the massive task Damien Hardwick has in front of him. The cull has started already but there could be plenty more on the way out if Richmond are to become relevant again any time soon!

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Hardwick’s first move at Richmond? Installing a very large door…preferably extra wide!

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Brad Ottens is back for Geelong! That makes things interesting…

Geelong eased into another finals campaign in a dawdle against Fremantle at Kardinia Park, the most notable event was Brad Ottens not crumpling in a heap in his comeback from a long-tern knee injury. The Dockers can now prepare for 2010 where they will aim to improve their performances on the road and figure out whether it is worth holding onto Paul Hasleby.

And congratulations to Geelong’s Gazy Ablett on winning the Brownlow Medal! That’s what the Herald Sun online reckons…hang on a sec! Who is Gazy? Bit of a mix-up between the formal Gary and the nickname Gazza I suppose. But if you are going to spell a player’s name wrong, it probably shouldn’t be arguably the best player in the game…and one that actually works for your organisation!

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Let’s hope they get Gary’s name right on the medal…if he wins it, of course!

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As an Essendon supporter, can I just say – I love Michael Hurley!

First Buddy, then Bailey (poor kid!) and finally Brad Sewell…but the worst B-word for Hawthorn on Saturday was Bombers!  They all conspired against the Hawks as they went from premiers to outsiders in the space of eleven months. Essendon now have a finals campaign to prepare for and feel that they are not cannon fodder for the Crows. Mmm, not so sure about that…

Oh yeah…the game got a bit fiery too!

CyrilRioli

As a football fan, can I just say – I love Cyril Rioli!

BurtonMOTY

This guy is over thirty and coming off a knee reco? That’s un-freakin-believable!!!

Carlton’s timing has been off all week. It started with three players missing a recovery session and being dropped from Saturday’s match and ended with the team missing a great opportunity to play their first final in ages in front of their home crowd. Adelaide crushed the Blues and looked scary good in the process…no wonder Neil Craig and co. are thinking big things!

ClarkScreamer

This would be mark of the year most seasons. But thanks to the Birdman, it wasn’t even the best grab we saw that day!

Space was the final frontier in Star Trek but Michael Voss is probably not into all that sci-fi bulldust! For him, Sydney was the final frontier…which his team has now conquered! The Lions crashed the Swans farewell party and set up a big gathering of their own at the Gabba next weekend against Carlton. Retiring Swan Michael O’Loughlin thinks that his club will never bottom out…they can’t afford to!

HappyChoco

Is it just me or is Mark Williams a little bit too excited that these two veterans are calling it quits?

Port Adelaide are no St Kilda but the Kangaroos managed a second tight upset win in succession…though it is hard to classify any win over Port as an upset these days. In front of very few fans, the Power tried to lift for their retiring stars but still couldn’t stop the determined Roos in the final minutes. They can feel dudded by a late fifty-metre penalty awarded against them if that makes them feel better…but the call was right so it’s a waste of time!

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The St Kilda doctor stood next to Nick Riewoldt all day just in case he got hurt. Thumbs up…he’s OK!

All St Kilda wanted to do was run around on the MCG and not get hurt. Mission accomplished…we think. Melbourne wanted to celebrate their retiring champs…just not with a win. They didn’t and they now have access to the best two kids in the country. Forget Robbo, Wheatley and Whelan…the players should have chaired off Tom Scully after the match!

DoggiesThird

They had the game in the bag but Jonno’s late goal gave the Doggies third spot!

It was a footy statistician’s wet dream! Two good teams fighting for ladder position and it went down to the final minute…it was the Western Bulldogs who claimed the prize and head into September choc full of confidence. Will slipping to fourth on the back of this effort cost Collingwood dearly? Mick Malthouse hopes the loss will be a wake-up call for his side. Personally, I hope they don’t get the wake-up call until it’s too late – Betts-Garlett-Cloke style!

Round Twenty – The Round Where Chris Judd Earns His Money

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I know it was your final game and all but come on Joel Bowden! This was Green Round…you couldn’t have tried carpooling?

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Or maybe you could have hitched a ride in the nearest wheelie bin…like Hawthorn’s Brad Sewell?

We bash each other’s heads in on Rivalry Round, put aside just one weekend to acknowledge what amounts to almost fifty percent of the game’s supporters during Women’s Round and wear jumpers that look nothing like the current day edition during Heritage Round. Now we have Green Round – a great opportunity for us all to feel warm and fuzzy as we do our bit for the environment. Andrew Bolt will be ecstatic…

Green Round gives the league a platform to demonstrate their commitment to climate change by making Australian rules football more environmentally friendly. Of course, this strategy is sure to include the scheduling of less prime time night matches in order to decrease the number of kilowatt-hours each of the six MCG light towers burn up. No doubt the League truly values reducing our carbon footprint over profit…

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Hawthorn’s water harvesting program also doubles as a blueprint to how their 2009 season just went down the drain!

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The Juddster appears impressed with the Ruddster’s technique. He should be…whether it is responsibility, blame or a green footy; the ability to handball is an essential element for any politician.

Green Round is also Carlton captain Chris Judd’s busiest week of the year. And with Judd being paid more than handsomely to be an environmental ambassador/eco-warrior for the Visy corporation, he has been doing a whole lot more than his usual ‘couple of talks about recycling’ or ‘nothing at all’ this week. So there you go, Mark Robinson – you can stop wondering whether the League is concerned about the Visy-Judd arrangement!

And whether it was karma or the football Gods are just a bunch of greenies, Judd’s good deeds paid dividends on the field as Carlton’s win over Port Adelaide keeps them with a slight chance of a top four finish. Conversely, that environmentally-friendly imaginary football force might have punished the Power for all the unnecessary production that goes into creating their over-abundance of crappily-designed jumpers!

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Is the 18th AFL franchise being based out at Uluru? That’s a little further west from Sydney than I expected…

And how did the League celebrate Green Round? By using a Sydney Swans home game to launch the second Sydney franchise, of course! Andy D schmoozed 500 Sydney businessmen in the hope they would buy into the new venture, now known as GWS or Greater Western Sydney. At least the League can recycle that bland looking logo in the future should they expand the competition to include a team from the Northern Territory! Don’t laugh…they will probably get a team before Tassie!

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Essendon celebrate wildly after not only jumping into eighth spot but helping to save the rain forests!

While all sixteen clubs used Green Round to display how environmentally friendly they are, one team in particular stood out in demonstrating their commitment to the cause. Essendon scored a shock upset win that ended St Kilda quest for The Perfect Season and the opportunity to rewrite the record books. As a result, there is no need to use up a shitload of paper on new record books. Well done Bombers…you all just saved a tree!

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Judd Apatow used his appearance on Rove to jump on the Eric Bana-St Kilda bandwagon. His timing could have been better. Um…did nobody explain to him that they just lost?

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Every single week, Jake King has his jumper ripped in a wrestle. All those wasted jumpers are not good for your carbon footprint

When Jake King annoying the shit out of Alan Didak is your lone highlight of the afternoon, that can only mean you have a pretty crappy football team. And that is exactly what Richmond has at the moment! The distance between the Tigers and ‘good’ is massive and the Magpies didn’t think too highly of their approach to Saturday’s game. Forget climate change, this mob needs a culture change! And whoever is crazy/brave enough to take on the Richmond job has a shiteload of work to do in order to make this happen. Good luck…

JohnsonThirsty

Now why would this classy young lady throw all of her beer over Brad Johnson? What a waste of a precious natural resource!

Mark Robinson

That’s probably why this journo was so disgusted by the act. He would have happily recycled all that alcohol…

The Games:

HawksCrows

Look at the score! Look at the time! The ball is in Hawthorn’s forward line! Chalk up an easy win to…the Crows? What the hell happened?

Well, that’s just about it for Hawthorn. Adelaide made sure that they will take part in September action at the expense of the reigning premiers. The Hawks may not feel finals worthy but they could yet face a winner-takes-all clash against Essendon in round 22. The Crows may well be proud of their unbeaten run at the MCG this season but that little winning streak St Kilda is on was on probably tops it…

ClokeBite

Is that Travis Cloke having a little nibble on Luke McGuane’s finger? Well, at least it’s not a processed food!

So, ya think that spray about Richmond’s culture from caretaker coach Jade Rawlings had the desired effect? That outburst may not have harmed his chances at winning the full-time gig next year…but that slop the Tigers served up on Saturday certainly will! And to think Mick Malthouse went to the trouble of warning his players about treating Richmond lightly…like it would have mattered. At least there was some biffo to provide some entertainment!

EaglesSnap

Kicking freaks goals off the ground like this is a clear indication of the ‘T-wording’ that is happening in Perth…it’s called TRYING!

Those knobs at the Herald Sun should be feeling pretty stupid about their West Coast ‘T-Wording’ campaign now that the Eagles have just won their third straight game and, before Sunday’s upset result, actually had a mathematical chance of finishing eighth. Well, they should…but given the attitude usually displayed at the home of Victoria’s entertainment-focused tabloid, they will probably take full credit themselves for inspiring West Coast to try and play well!

RoosLongmire

Marty Mattner, Rhys Shaw, Ted Richards…now the Swans know how to recycle! And take a look at their Replacement Coach Planting Program in action!

After sitting through two shithouse free-to-air games to start Chris Judd Round, all I can say about the Sydney-Geelong clash is…thank you!!! Mark Thompson was very pleased with the form of his key players while Paul Roos has liked what he has seen recently too. So everybody is happy, right? Well, not exactly

AkermanisPumped

If Brad Johnson copped a beer in the face after beating Brisbane, imagine what the Lions fans would have thrown at Aker if given the chance? A half-finished keg, I suspect…

They lost to the West Coast last round and then lost Ryan Griffin (injured…not misplaced) but the Western Bulldogs found whatever it was they lacked a week ago to win up in Brisbane. Rodney Eade doesn’t strike me as a guy who is easily impressed so when he says ‘best win of the season’, I’d believe it. Michael Voss still thinks his Lions can finish fourth…I don’t believe that!

RobboPumped

One last overexuberant goal celebration for the road from Russell Robertson? The Demons sure hope so…

A ten-goal win involving Melbourne…where they were not on the receiving end? Yes, I shit you not…the Dees made an absolute mess of Fremantle for what was their best win in three years. You know what would be their worst win in three years…if it happens in the next two weeks and they lose that priority pick! And what’s this about Mark Harvey being puzzled by his side’s performance? Dude, you have coached Fremantle for almost three years – how can this tripe be of any surprise?

StevensHouse

Carlton’s message to the world for Green Round? Please, please, please help Nick Stevens sell his house!

There are a number of F-word that can be associated with the Carlton Football Club. There’s that one, there’s Fevola (these two are often used together!) and the recently-added ‘finals’. Now, after the Blues smashed Port Adelaide, you can include the word ‘four’…just don’t mention it to Brett Ratten! Mark Williams questioned his side’s work rate but they were probably just conserving energy for the finals. It’s not like Essendon could possibly beat the mighty St Kilda and leapfrog them into the eight…

RiewoldtThinks

Victory and The Perfect Season is in your hands, Nick. No pressure though…

RiewoldtMisses

Time to be a hero…or not!

Think again! Essendon hang on to win a classic after Nick Riewoldt sprayed an after-the-siren set shot wide, the Saints losing their first game of the season and Riewoldt losing the battle over his goal-kicking reputation. And it so easily could have been Brent Prismall playing the role of ‘goat’! The Bombers are now in the box seat for eighth spot…all they need now is to find a fit team!

Fantasy Finals Frenzy – Week Two (Geekin’ Out – Fantasy Footy)

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Many of my fantasy opponents had star players that were laid low by injury in the first week of finals…

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…and now we can be laid back this week as we enjoy a break before the prelim finals!

Half Back Flanker is officially…one lucky son-of-a-gun! While many owners struggled mightily to field full squads in round 19 due to the massive injury toll of key fantasy players, we capitalised big time in AFL Dream Team and Premium Dream Team by winning all four qualifying finals to earn a preliminary final spot and one week’s rest. When it became apparent that each of my opponents in the AFL Dream Team finals would be short anywhere between four and eight players, I used up one of my final three trades to ensure I filled all 22 on-field positions and secure my path to the final four in each league.

While the trade (Liam Jurrah for Brennan Stack) was not really necessary as I would have won all three matches comfortably with one forward down, I have two trades and a wad of cash awaiting me for preliminary final weekend. How I use those trades could determine how many grand finals I can qualify for…or if I even make it into one!

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Nick Dal Santo, and a few of his teammates, sat out last week…it helped me immensely!

My strategy for Premium Dream Team also paid off, electing to wait until the final minutes of trading on Friday night to release my two injured key defenders, Brendan Goddard and Jack Grimes, in order to field a full team. It was a risk but, considering my league-leading opponent Teal Power refused to part with injured Saints midfielders Lenny Hayes and Leigh Montagna, it was worth taking if I wanted any shot of the upset. And when Nick Dal Santo failed to make the trip, leaving my opponent another mid short, I managed the win by 124 points and my tactic paid off. Now having traded my key defenders back in, let’s hope that they are both fit and firing come round 21.

However, it wasn’t all good news for Half Back Flanker last weekend. The good fortune on the injury front did not extend to our Herald Sun Super Coach team, knocked out in the elimination final stage by the team we easily defeated just the week earlier. Too many absent players meant that even with the addition of two new elite players via trade, we were well short of a competitive team and a 500-point drop from last round meant our year was over.

So, no matches this week…but still plenty of homework to be done. We are planning to make the most of our final trades and field the strongest possible lineups in the upcoming preliminary finals. Hopefully we can win our way into some grand finals but if we do, we might find ourselves in a couple of rematches against the top-ranked teams we just knocked off that won their way through…and have all their injured players back!

BuddyToothless

Buddy took one for the team! He’ll be right…but if he wants to take it easy this week and be right for round 21, fine by me!!!

Dream Team 36,906 points overall, 8,596th place – best overall position for the year, probably overtook many teams choc full of St Kilda players!

Last Week: 1,896 points – a drop of almost 400 points from last round…but it was still good enough.

Good:  Having 22 fit players was great! Five players over 100 points (including captain Dane Swan with 103), three of those over 120 – Joel Selwood and Greg Broughton (128) and the much maligned (by me!) Shannon Hurn (121).

Bad:  Big names Lance Franklin (55), Chad Cornes (57) and Luke Hodge (70) not up to standard. Concerned that any or all three of these guys might not be major contributors in the final two rounds, especially if finals are out of reach for their teams.

Ugly: The Stack for Jurrah trade ensured I had 22 players, and a little extra cash, but it was probably a panic move that wasn’t required considering the size of my winning margins. Stack (20) didn’t produce and provided Jurrah is back by round 21, he would not be the preferred option if I needed a replacement forward to play anyway.

Public League

2nd Qualifying Final – defeated Woosha Warriors (1,205). Fielded just 13 players.

The Finals – Prelim final in two weeks verses winner of Fats Rockets (1,873) and Uninformed (1,702). Expecting to face the minor premier Fats Rockets for a spot in the grannie.

SENFrank01

1st Qualifying Final – defeated Princess Superstar (1,619 last week). Good score considering they only had 18 players, unlikely to have beaten this team otherwise. But…I’ll take it!

The Finals – Prelim final in two weeks verses winner of The Dominators (1,904) and mansnotacamel (1,759). Dominators would have beaten me this week and they had just 20 players…will need to make the most of my final two trades to beat them!

Twitter DT

1st Qualifying Final – defeated BigAl’s Bombers (1,619 last week). Big Al just had 17 players so feeling fortunate that he wasn’t at full strength as well. But that’s the way it goes.

The Finals – Prelim final in two weeks verses winner of The Irish Invaders (1,645) and D Team (2,021). Irish actually had 20 players while the D Team had a full team and a good round. Might be the 6th-placed D Team that wins through.

Potential changes/trades: Can stick the feet up this week in terms of trades but will keep a close eye on which players do and do not run out this weekend. Hoping that Goddard, Grimes and Hayden Skipworth will be ready for round 21 so that my final two trades can be used to bring in some elites.

xmenstyle

The loss of Goddard (and many others) was too great to cover…so cross us out for season 2009!

Super Coach 38,777 points overall, 20,427th place – big drop. Big big drop!

Last Week: 1,599 points – the biggest round of the season and it’s our worst score!

Good:  Not much…four 100-plus scores

Bad:  Nine scores under 80 points…the last thing you want when you are three players down to begin with.

Ugly: We were relying on a massive night for captain Gary Ablett in the hope that the double points could somehow keep us competitive. Alas, a mere 81 – his lowest score for the year. In fact, it was probably his lowest score in five years!

GMHBA

1st Elimination Final – lost to Hardy’s Heroes (1,799).  From our meeting the week before, they dropped almost 30 points. We dropped almost 500 points! And just like that…season over.

BrennanCarr

Jared Brennan kicked arse last round…just don’t headbutt anybody on the weekend, I will need you!

Premium Dream Team

Last Week: 1,659 points – Second best weekly score for the season and best of all teams in the league this round.

Good:  Seven 100-plus scores including a 127-point effort from Jared Brennan and four of our five midfielders. The only midfielder under 100 was Brent Prismall…who chalked up a 93 after being a replacement for Hawthorn’s Brad Sewell.

Bad:  Shannon Byrnes (58) is another victim of Geelong’s overall struggles, Aaron Davey (60) seems to be fading out a bit.

Ugly: Injury concerns over Josh Drummond (67) – wished he was a late scratching after reserve back Jason Blake pulled out a 102!

Public League

1st Qualifying Final – defeated Teal Power  (1,535 last week). Those three missing Saints midfielders made all the difference but, provided at least two of them fire this week, this team should feature in the other prelim final. Will we meet again in the big one?

The Finals – Prelim final in two weeks verses winner of TheDream Team (1,490) and Shelleys Boys (1,552). Can sixth-placed Shelleys Boys make the prelim? Interesting that TheDream Team has drafted retiring Richmond stat-machine Joel Bowden…does he have one last pearler in him before hanging up the boots?

Potential changes/trades: As soon as the Sunday lockout ended, went back in and reclaimed our two key defenders Goddard and Grimes, dropping Campbell Brown and Bachar Houli in the process. So unless something catastrophic occurs to one of our players before Friday, we might use our last trade on a speculative pickup for an injured player that should be back in action for round 21. Bulldog Shaun Higgins is a prime example and if he was right to go next weekend, would be a better option that teammate Jarrod Harbrow.

Update: just checked all the available forwards and somebody has already taken the gamble and drafted Higgins. Skipworth is still there but might just wait until team selection and see if any players suddenly become available.