Tag Archives: Justin Koschitzke

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

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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

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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

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Grand Final Week – Fantasy Finals Frenzy! (Geekin’ Out – Fantasy Footy)

DrunkGeek

Hey, Mad Monday for fantasy footy geeks can get pretty crazy too!!!

September is now upon us, which means that fantasy must make way for the reality of what promises to be (all together now…) “The Best Finals Series In Recent Memory”! Well, the best since last year – and until next year, of course…

That said, the top four teams all look capable of winning through to a grand final so it will be fascinating to see which two earn the week off in the next few days and if they can follow up again in the preliminary final. Adelaide appear to be the only outsider truly capable of shaking up the finals with a win over a top four opponent but needs to overcome a far from glittering finals record to do so.

But before we delve too far into the AFL finals series (or ‘the real stuff’) let’s take a look at how Half Back Flanker fared in ‘the imaginary stuff’…the grand final week of our fantasy footy leagues! We started the season with five leagues over three separate competitions – the AFL Dream Team, Herald Sun Super Coach and the AFL Premium Dream Team. Despite taking an almost-too-conservative approach to trading in order to have options galore for the finals, all five squads finished inside the top eight, with only the Super Coach team failing to make the top four…and subsequently bombing out straight away in the elimination final.

However, week one was a triumph for all our other squads with four comprehensive wins – although they were mostly due to St Kilda’s mass omissions unsettling the lineups for our higher-ranked opponents. With a direct path to the preliminary final, we kicked back during the semi finals with fingers crossed that injury wouldn’t strike any of our players…which, of course, it did!

The injuries, plus a stupidly unnecessary panic trade in week one of the finals, forced me to use my last two trades of the Dream Team comp in preliminary final week, hampering my ability to upgrade the midfield. It was good enough to get me into two of the three grand finals but missed out in the Francis Leach SEN league – the one I really wanted to win. Oh well.

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For the second consecutive year, he has come up big in round 22 and helped us win a virtual flag. If you need a player to fire in fantasy footy grand final week, Brett Deledio is your man! Write it on your hand so you don’t forget!!!

So with three virtual premierships up for grabs last weekend; two in Dream Team and one in Premium Dream Team; how did we fare? Well, the wrap-up from last weekend is below but we couldn’t produce our best performance of the season, losing in the Twitter DT grand final and the Premium DT…badly! But we didn’t come home empty handed either, sweeping to victory in our DT Public league…repeating our premiership win in last season’s DT Public league. Back-to-back baby!

But with round one of the 2010 season many months away, what’s a poor fantasy footy geek supposed to do? Well, there is always the AFL Finals Dream Team! Plus we have two grand finals this weekend in rugby league fantasy comps. Then there’s the early stages of the A-League and English Premier League seasons…and the new NFL season kicks off in the States next week…and the NBA around November.

Maybe this fantasy sports thing is starting to get out of hand…

Dream Team 42,864 points overall, 8,693rd place – was way back in 20,948th place nine weeks ago so a good finish to the season.

Public League

Grand Final – defeated Roberts Rollers by 1,965 to 1,827. Lost David Wirrpanda on the eve of the match which proved costly. And seeing Campbell Brown score a lowly 38 for Roberts Rollers made my win just that little bit sweeter!

Twitter DT

Grand Final – lost to Bloodbath 1945 by 1,965 to 2,190. Too good luke2177, too good!

Good:  Brett Deledio (136) and Bryce Gibbs (128) have been great during the fantasy finals . And three others topped the ton, including Geelong’s Simon Hogan (who came in for Lance Franklin) with an even 100 points.

Bad:  Greg Broughton’s last three weeks were well down but his 43 on the weekend was his lowest score of the season. Ditto for Hamish McIntosh (47). And while it didn’t really make a difference, playing Beau Muston (55) at the expense of Daniel Rich (82) and Patrick Dangerfield (74) didn’t work.

Ugly: Apart from Gibbs, all our elite midfielders failed to fire. Captain Dane Swan (81), Chris Judd (77) and Joel Selwood (75) all underperformed while Scott Pendlebury didn’t even front! And worst of all, we used our last trade on Alan Didak and he failed to deliver, averaging just 75.5 points during the past two rounds.

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Geez, you hate to see this happen on the footy field…especially if the guy knocked out is your captain during fantasy footy grand final week. D’OH!!!

Premium Dream Team

Public League

Grand Final – lost to Silly Fairies by 1,532 to 1,827. Wow, that was ugly! Not unexpected, mind you…I’m still trying to figure out how I scraped into fourth spot a month ago, let alone playing off for the flag!

Good:  The midfielders who weren’t stretchered off the ground with a fractured cheekbone and eye socket! Bernie Vince (134) topped 100 in eight of this competition’s 13 weeks. while Gibbs (124), Adam Cooney (105) and Brent Prismall (101) also delivered. Colin Sylvia was on his was to a 200-plus score before a quiet second half saw him finish with 128.

Bad:  My defenders have been nothing but trouble since my draft thirteen weeks ago. Josh Drummond (22) failed to complete another game while the Cale Hooker (39) experiment failed. Aaron Davey (54) also struggled to shake a strong tag.

Ugly: Sewell had 60 point to half time and then Lloyd happened…any faint hope I had was snuffed out at this point! And to rub salt into the wound, all my non-scoring reserves fired – Clint Bartram (91) would have been my best defender had his score counted while Justin Koschitzke (91) almost doubled McIntosh’s output!

Fifth Disease! (Geekin’ Out – Fantasy Footy)

NumberFiveSmall

Pick any fantasy football league that Half Back Flanker is involved in…and all you see is this number!

Apparently, fifth disease is a minor illness that young kiddies get that makes them look like they copped a football to the face…just like Sam Mitchell against Collingwood last week. But I may have just discovered a new strain of the disease that only affects fantasy football team owners! It’s kinda like the disease that Richmond reportedly suffers from where they have to finish ninth…

What are the symptoms? Well, we entered five different leagues over three separate competitions and this week, we sit in fifth spot on the ladder in every single one of them! At least Half Back Flanker has managed some consistency during the 2009 fantasy football season. And with only two rounds remaining in the regular season, every match is crucial for making the top four and ensuring a double chance in August – the ‘Virtual September’!

But if we want to claim a spot in the top four for these leagues, we will have to earn it. And what better way to achieve this than to knock off the fourth-placed team…a task we face in three of our leagues this round! Amazingly, the fifth-placed Half Back Flanker plays the team directly above them in the Public and SEN leagues of the AFL Dream Team competition and the GMHBA league of the Herald Sun Super Coach competition. Fifth verses fourth…win and we are in! Lose and face the possibility of being ‘one-and-done’ in the finals.

But to give us every chance to finish in the top four, it might be time to reach into our collection of remaining trades and cap space to boost our squad. We have some big names Jimmy Bartel and Matthew Pavlich back this week but still no sign of Steve Johnson for my Super Coach squad…and now that ruckman Mark Jamar is out too,  we either need a back-up or a straight trade with him! Didn’t need that right now…

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Luke Hodge is firing again…can you feel the love!!!

Dream Team 30,513 points overall, 16,116th place – crept up a couple of thousands spots overall, nice little bonus.

Last Week: 2,187 points – a season-high weekly result…just when I needed it!

League Results

Public League – defeated Superstars (1,688). They struggled big time without Peter Burgoyne and Aaron Sandilands.

SENFrank01 – defeated Soti’s Superstars (1,653). Not a bad score for them considering the number of injured stars out.

Twitter DT – defeated Comsroom Killers  (1,594). Only two 100-plus guys and another two missing really gave them no chance!

Ladder Positions

Public League – 5th place (9-4, 119.70%) – One win behind third and fourth but have the best percentage in the comp.

SENFrank01 – 5th place (8-5, 103.85%) – Less than one percent behind fourth…which is probably the highest we can get.

Twitter DT – 5th place (9-4, 106.49%) Equal with fourth on wins but percentage not good enough. Need the extra win for a double chance.

Good:  Hawk duo Luke Hodge (138) and Lance Franklin (106) among our ten 100-plus guys this week. Our risky choice as captain paid off with Hamish McIntosh racking up 120 points while our trade for Geelong’s Simon Hogan (104) paid immediate dividends.

Bad: The loss of Jed Adcock in defence leaves us a little vulnerable when our inexperienced guys like Greg Broughton and Jack Grimes don’t pull big numbers. Shannon Hurn (54) is not producing either but he will either be an upgrade target or an emergency come finals time anyway.

Ugly: Every week that Matthew Pavlich misses with his calf problem. He has selected to play this week and would love him back firing for the finals rather than breaking down again and us burning one of our final trades to replace him.

Next opponents:

Public League – 4th placed 2009t1 (2,038 last week). Hawk heavy team that is also loving the resurgence of Hodge and Buddy!

SENFrank01 – 4th placed HARDCORE HARRY (1,691 last week). Would be even more hardcore if Jimmy Bartel, Steve Johnson, Pavlich and Cox had played. If they are out of trades then we might be fourth next week!

Twitter DT – 6th placed Germinators (1,971 last week). Must win against a team that should improve if Steve Johnson plays.

Potential changes/trades: The injury to Jack Grimes has forced our hand in defence as we have seen that playing Courtenay Dempsey and Shannon Hurn together doesn’t usually end well…plus we have no emergency defender. Time to cash in Jed Adcock for an elite…how about Tarkyn Lockyer? Rarely fails to produce and, believe it or not, actually costs less than Adcock so we have a few extra grand for later! This move allows us to bench Hurn and provided Grimes will be back in time for the finals, the back line looks good.

If we make a second trade, it would be to upgrade the midfield. There has been doubt over Paul Hasleby all week and with Daniel Rich still powering on, the temptation is there to cash in Hasleby and turn him into Dane Swan. We have the funds and would still have plenty to spare for our final three trades of the season…

Captain: Scott Pendlebury is very reliable and now that the Hawks had success with tagging Alan Didak, the Blues might follow suit. If this allows Pendlebury to rack up the stats, great for us!

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James Bartel was sidelined last week…hopefully he has a big one in store on the weekend!

Super Coach 32,734 points overall, 20,217th place – again down slightly, suffering from playing short.

Last Week: 2,136 points – not bad for just 21 players…and three definite forward line starters out!

League Results

GMHBA – defeated Champs (2,058). It wasn’t by much but an important win with one less player that guarantees finals action.

Ladder Positions

GMHBA – 5th place (9-4, 107.12%) Could finish anywhere between fourth and sixth…but most likely to stay in fifth and miss the double chance.

Good:  Eleven players over 90 points with Daniel Rich (149) leading the pack and looking like a keeper the whole way – rare for a rookie. Dane Swan (140) was next best while captain Gary Ablett (124) is still great value even during his quieter games.

Bad:  Patrick Dangerfield has had a good year but unlike Rich, he doesn’t score big every week. His 42 point effort didn’t quite fill the shoes of the injured James Bartel.

Ugly: My face if Pavlich and Hayden Skipworth do not play this upcoming week. Steve Johnson is out already so we would be a player short yet again…

Next opponents:

GMHBA – 4th placed All Champs No Duds (2,381 last week). Unfortunately for us, the name is pretty accurate. If they all fire, we are toast!

Potential changes/trades: Pavlich and Skipworth (Sunday squad) are both named so we have cover for the absence of Johnson but have none for Jamar in the ruck. He is listed as out with a quad…which is potentially a number of weeks. We were hoping to use our final four trades on upgrading rather than replacing but we can’t afford to be one player down. Jamar out…and Sydney’s Darren Jolly in!

We also have a Grimes/Adcock bench in defence and Melbourne’s Kyle Cheney is in the Sunday squad but no guarantee of playing. So time to cash in on Adcock…but do we go with Lockyer here as well? He is significantly cheaper so we stand to make a nice profit but Adcock’s Brisbane teammate Josh Drummond is slightly cheaper again and one of the few defenders with a 100-plus average. However, Drummond is injury prone so while the payoff could be high, Lockyer is a safer bet to survive the season.

Captain: Whispers of injury troubles for Gary Ablett will have plenty of owners nervous but we will stay with him as captain, Swan is a more than capable vice captain should Ablett sit this one out.

Premium Dream Team

Last Week: 1,393 points – Just when we were getting better with every week…disaster!

League Results

Public League – lost to Shellys Boys (1,562). No nailbiting finish this week…this one wasn’t even close!

Ladder Positions

Public League – 5th place (4-3, 99.06%) Behind fourth on percentage only but top three out of reach.

Good:  Hamish McIntosh (120), Adam Cooney (108) and Sam Gilbert (100) were the few shining lights, Cooney’s double points as captain proving handy.

Bad:  Only one midfielder topping the 100 mark with Jobe Watson (38) and Bernie Vince (49) well down on their averages. Sub-50 scores from Bret Thornton and Josh Drummond didn’t help either…

Ugly: Should have known that whoever I benched out of Bombers Watson and Brent Prismall, the benched guy will score higher. And sure enough, I missed Prismall’s 91 point effort.

Next opponents:

Public League – 3rd placed Silly Fairies  (1,628 last week). Really good team. Think I’m in line for a third straight loss…

Potential changes/trades: Justin Koschitzke’s one-match suspension and far from stunning scores saw him kicked to the curb this week, Freo’s Dean Solomon coming straight in. Jared Brennan has been selected to play but if he pulls out late, Cyril Rioli is waiting in the wings. Campbell Brown will also start in the place of the injured Grimes.

Captain: Adam Cooney will need a big game against the Saints to help get the Doggies home – he is my captain again so I’m banking on it! Hamish McIntosh takes Bryce Gibbs’ spot as deputy.

Round Sixteen – Let’s Help Nathan Buckley Find A Job!

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Nathan Buckley is interested in coaching? He has kept that quiet…

Half Back Flanker would like to take this opportunity to apologise and correct what appears to have been a poor lapse in editorial judgement. It has become quite apparent that this site has failed to give due consideration to the importance of the future direction of Nathan Buckley’s football career. See…we have not really focused on this story a great deal – mainly due to the eight games of football played every week that kinda determine who makes the finals and wins the premiership. Yeah, you know…the football games. Clearly this is a total mistake and we are really very sorry.

The amount of discussion about Buckley’s future employment status has been freakin’ intense, even by AFL standards. Half Back Flanker could only resist for so long but the power of Buckley is too great! The media discussions that start with “I know everybody is sick to death talking about Buckley but…” and then talking about Buckley for 45 minutes! The man himself making media appearances, paid and unpaid, to announce that he will not discuss his position in the media! And the articles…the endless stream of articles! Not sure which one was the final straw for me – maybe it was this one…or this one…or this one…or this one…or this one…or this one…or this one…or this one…or this one…or this one…or this one…or this one

So if it is Buckley we want (and clearly, this is all we want!) then it is Buckley we will get. Initially, I was hoping to concentrate on Andy D’s “What Tanking?” media campaign on the weekend. The big man on the AFL campus spoke to every radio station on Saturday afternoon to announce the League’s official position on the perception of teams being rewarded for losing and exploiting the priority draft system. His stance is this – unless a football club proves that ‘tanking’ exists by formally announcing that they are not trying to win games, then it does not exist.

Of course, we all know that a club would never, ever say that they are deliberately losing games. That does not mean it could never happen! And if you use the same ‘Andy D Logic’ for other issues in footy, like the prospect of playing football on Good Friday, it also makes little sense. “Um, we won’t play footy on a Good Friday until God proves that He/She would not be offended? So we have to wait until He/She materialises on this Earth and gives us the Thumbs Up? Or does Andy D require He/She to release a press statement?

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“Good Friday footy? Yes, you have my blessing! But only if Nathan Buckley is coaching one of the teams…”

Andy D’s woeful strategy of denial deserves more attention and scrutiny than it has received. But it won’t happen. And why is that? Nathan Bloody Buckley…that’s why!

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“Great, we are getting flogged by Richmond! Nathan Buckley will never want to coach us now…”

Luckily for James Brayshaw, his Kangas fought back for a draw. Will that effort help them snag Bucks? And if so, can they just do it quickly so we can all get on with our lives?

The Games:

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“Dennis…if you ask me one more time about ‘my new job’, I’ll be forced to apply some frontal pressure on you!”

Essendon did all they could to knock off the favoured Western Bulldogs in the pressurised, cauldron-like atmosphere of Whatshishead Stadium…but somebody must have lifted the lid at half-time and the Dogs ran over the top of the Bombers. Rodney Eade was saying the ‘F’ word after the match – fitness. Matthew Knights was probably saying the ‘F’ word during the game but afterwards, the only ‘F’ word he uttered was ‘footskills’…or a lack of them.

Nathan Buckley called this game as a commentator for Channel Seven and his in-depth analysis demonstrated why he is guaranteed to be a coaching great.

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“Come on boys, we’ve gotta keep winning games and make the finals! Otherwise Nathan Buckley might think the Carlton job is available too!!!”

Carlton had not won three games in a row for a number of years but numerous high draft picks and a Chris Judd later, they have done it! It was one of the more disappointing days for Swans coach Paul Roos though Ted Richards didn’t have a lot of fun either!

Nathan Buckley called this game as a commentator for 3AW and his in-depth analysis demonstrated why he is guaranteed to be a coaching great.

Geelong’s worst losing streak in ages is finally over! The Cats can finally sing the club song again after two weeks of post-match silence with an easy win over Melbourne.For Dean Bailey, well…it was fun while it lasted!

Nathan Buckley watched the game tape in the early hours of Sunday morning and, based on his coaching philosophy, projected that he would have guided the Dees to a two-goal win had he been Melbourne coach for the day.

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If the Pies kept winning, they couldn’t possibly replace Mick Malthouse as coach. So when Buddy, Clarko and Sammy sang loudly on Saturday night, Bucks might have joined in too…

Stopping Hawk Lance Franklin was supposed to be the main focus for Collingwood last Saturday night…which is great in theory. But the reality proved to be too tough and, all of a sudden, the Hawks are back in the finals race and looking dangerous.

Nathan Buckley watched the game from home, dressed in one of his old Magpie tracksuits, using the quarter time breaks to sprint down his driveway in preparation for running onto the ground to deliver stirring speeches to his players when he becomes a coach.

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The Dockers didn’t handle the rainy conditions well. No doubt Bucks has a kick-ass wet weather game plan…

Nine losses in a row now for Fremantle…though they were in front of Brisbane for a while, and Mark Harvey has a handy list of excuses on hand, so it’s not all bad. What would be bad is if some rookie other than Daniel Rich won the Rising Star award. Not even notoriously dodgy award voter Kevin Bartlett could selet anybody else but him…could he?

Nathan Buckley was very pleased to hear the result as his own coaching mystique is enhanced with every win rookie coach Michael Voss chalks up!

BradshawHammie

…and a thorough rotation system to avoid hamstring injuries to key veteran players!

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Another new jumper for Port Adelaide? Did they deliberately make it look more ‘Collingwoody’…just in case Mark Williams quits and Buckley is still available?

Port Adelaide had no trouble beating the Eagles. West Coast had no trouble losing their 19th straight away game. Nathan Buckley has a soft spot for Port; having played there as a heavily mulleted teenager; but would have some trouble going back there to coach…well, he would be forced to grow back the mullet for a start!

RawlingsBrothers

“Sorry lil’ bro…but Bucks should come to the Tigers, not the Roos. Sure – I would lose my job but, come on…it’s Nathan Buckley!!!”

Wow – a draw! There really were no winners after the Tigers-Roos clash. Not the coaches. Not the players…especially those denied a potential match-winning shot at goal. But most importantly, the media couldn’t make the audacious leap that the winning team would be the best coaching option for Buckley!

The man himself called this game as a commentator for Channel Seven and while his in-depth analysis demonstrated why he is guaranteed to be a coaching great, he changed his mind on which club he would choose 18 times during the match and now needs another few weeks to ‘weigh up his options’!

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Clumsy Kossie cops a week…Bucks wouldn’t stand for that type of ill discipline!

Lemme get this straight…The Perfect Season remains alive for the Saints after they won their 16th straight game, rendering Adelaide helpless at times…and they think they are the underdogs heading into their next match? Wow…not even Nathan Buckley would attempt to sell such a crazy mind trick. Would he? Will we ever find out? Will we ever f*#@$ng shut up about Nathan  f*#@$ng Buckley?

The Cats Of Australia Have Made Their Choice! (Media Street)

Geelong had nine All Australians last year but only seven this time around. Clearly the AFL have it in for them…

A few Australian footy players managed to force their way into the All-Geelong team! Well, not exactly, but seven Geelong players were selected in the 2008 All Australian team, announced last night by the League. Sure, they couldn’t match the record they set last year when nine Cats were selected in the team despite being more dominant this season in only losing just the one game. But logic and All-Australian selection rarely seem to go hand-in-hand.

Of course, narrowing down the very best players in the competition into a team of 22 is always going to cause some consternation, especially when the rationale for selection is not clearly defined as the team don’t actually play an opponent of any kind. But that won’t stop calls of favouritism from the All Australian selectors, particularly when many worthy players in less talented teams are overlooked.

It didn’t help Geelong skipper Tom Harley though. Having barely lost a coin toss, let alone an actual game, in the past two years, Harley missed out on the AA captaincy! That honour went to Carlton’s Chris Judd but Harley didn’t seem too disappointed though…and he will probably get to hold another shiny cup aloft in a couple of weeks. Not that we are getting too presumptuous, of course…

But news stemming from last night will not fill Western Bulldog fans with a lot of confidence. Adam Cooney was a no-show at the All Australian team announcement last night due to illness…the type of illness you get when your knee is buggered! He is a certainly to play on Friday night, naturally, but for a game where the Doggies will need everything to go right for them in order to progress, an underdone Cooney is bordering on disastrous!

Other awards from last night’s dinner:

Somebody get this man some clippers!!!

In other footy news:

No Major Surprises…Yet! (The Lost Weekend)

Yes, we’re in the prelim! One win away from the Grand Final! Woo hoo!!! All we need to do is beat…Geelong? Oh shit!

We are down to the final four teams battling for premiership glory and, according to both the ladder and the weekend’s results, the best four teams in the competition remain in contention for the flag. Despite our (wishful?) predictions on Friday, the Dogs and Saints made the most of their double chance to qualify for the preliminary finals, both of which will be played at night. While the League has generously resisted the temptation to schedule a night grand final, it seems that the compromise will be that every other important game will now be played in prime time.

It seems everything is hard earned in finals footy…and that includes the normally straight-forward player interchange!

The Western Bulldogs proved that they belong in the final four with a spirited win over Sydney, though they were forced to recover from an interchange blunder from Tim Callan, and will go into Friday night’s prelim against Geelong as clear underdogs. But the players feel they are a good chance at upsetting the football applecart…with Jason Akermanis (who else!) declaring the Cats as being too cocky to win the flag. Yep, that’s right – Aker calling somebody else ‘cocky’! It’s like Barry Hall ordering a team mate to keep his cool or Paris Hilton calling one of her gal-pals a slut!

That young Koschitzke assaults an elderly gentleman in full view of the general public. What on Earth is wrong with the youth of today? Bloody Generation Y…

St. Kilda went a long way to prove that their top four finish was no fluke by disposing of Collingwood in front of a big crowd at the ‘G and now face Hawthorn; who they beat earlier in the season so if there were to be a prelim surprise, it’s more likely to happen in this game than the Cats and Dogs! Skipper Nick Riewoldt, who starred on Saturday night, feels that the Hawks have put together a strong list that could dominate the competition for years. Which is exactly what most people have said about St Kilda for years now…and they have absolutely zip to show for it!

FRIDAY NIGHT

Bye Spida. Now Sydney need to find another beaten up old ruckman to take his spot. Oh look, here’s one!

Second Semi Final – Western Bulldogs 16.10.106 def. Sydney 9.15.69

Season 2008 is no longer worthless for the Western Bulldogs after disposing of Sydney in impressive fashion. After a tight opening half, the Doggies ran over the top of the Swans after the main break and earn the opportunity to be devoured by the Geelong juggernaut next Friday night. But Rodney Eade believes that his side is not quite done yet…but really, he’s just saying that because he has to!

Paul Roos may see plenty of good points about Sydney’s season overall but you can’t lose a final without tough questions being asked about the future of your team! But one of the positives for the Swans is that the football career of Peter ‘Spida’ Everitt has come to an end. Big Spida announced his retirement after the loss…but the way he played during the finals series, it looked liked he had already hung up the boots. Apparently he still had a role in that team…we’d love to know what it was!

SATURDAY NIGHT

Sure, they lost…but at least everybody in that room can now get away from that grumpy old Malthouse fella for a couple of months!

First Semi Final – St Kilda 17.4.106 def. Collingwood 9.18.72

We didn’t think that St Kilda would recover from the Geelong shellackingwrong! The Saints benefitted greatly from some straight shooting in front of goal; with Riewoldt kicking five in a dominant display, Koschitzke shedding off the Chris Guccione tag we gave him on Friday with three goals while Stephen Milne kicked three…but even if he kicked 20 goals, don’t expect any praise from us for that annoying little twerp!

It was a limp exit from a Collingwood side that peaked back in round nine when they flogged Geelong and dined out on that result for most of the year, especially when they dropped winnable games. But reality, and the loss of key players from everything from injuries to dirty lies, finally set in. The grumpy old coach refused to use any of this as an excuse for their performance but perhaps he should before fingers are pointed directly at him…which would be unfair considering his record.