Tag Archives: Nathan Buckley

The Best Case Scenario! (Septocemia – 2009 AFL Finals Series)

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GoldenCat

Imitation is usually the best form of flattery…but not down at the Cattery!

So much for that whole ‘excruciating pressure‘ theory! Septocemia 2009 will have the best possible finale as the two best teams in the competition will face off in the AFL Grand Final. Sure, we love a Cinderella story…but if it happened to involve Collingwood, that sure is one ugly Cinderella!

Thankfully, we don’t have to worry about that.  St Kilda squeaked past the Bulldogs on Friday night but Geelong roared its way in by making an absolute mess of Collingwood to qualify for a third straight premiership decider. The Cats produced close to their best football on the big stage with their star players stepping up when it mattered most.

The Pies can talk about the experience being good for their group but this club has played finals in each of the past four years, with at least two finals in the last three Septembers. How much more experience do they want before they show some true substance?

DavisMalthouse

Look – photographic evidence that All-Australian Leon Davis actually got a touch in a finals game! Cue the Bronx cheers from Magpie fans…

Whether the intent of Mick Malthouse’s widely-discussed ‘pressure’ article was overblown is up for debate. But after this trouncing on preliminary final night, one thing is certain – few coaches will be under more pressure next season than Malthouse. Season 2010 will be his eleventh year in change and second last chance to ever win a premiership with Collingwood.

And he has to do it with a shattered group of players, including some alleged high quality guys who inexplicably disappear once the ‘August’ page flips over to the back of the calendar. And did we mention that his successor will be sitting in the office next door?

HulkHoward

Channel Ten gave us Hulk Hogan. Channel Seven gave us David Schwartz wearing tights. Advantage Ten!

While last night’s match lacked any drama or intensity after the main break, I won’t complain. The very thought of the Magpies winning a premiership freaks me right out so Geelong’s dominance after halftime was fantastic view ing for me and capped a dismal day for Collingwood, who were also flogged in the VFL prelim during the afternoon.

And it just gets better Magpie fans…because we can all sit back and relive Collingwood’s back-to-back grand final defeats to the Brisbane Lions on Channel Ten’s One HD! What a great way to get Grand Final week kick-started!!!

Damn Stupid Pressure! (Septocemia – 2009 AFL Finals Series)

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WHAT…ME WORRY?

Pressure. It has cost us some wayward government ministers,  it can drive young divas into a head -shaving, umbrella-waving fit of rage and it forced the temporarily rampaging Adelaide Crows into their shell during the third quarter last Saturday night. And Grant Thomas ate it for breakfast (plus a little bit more, you suspect…) but look where it got him!

That’s right – it’s preliminary final weekend and the buzzword this week has been ‘pressure’. Our two grand finalists will be determined by the end of Saturday night and for all four competing clubs, the pressure is freakin’ ginormous. Though Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse has his own little theory. He reckons that this pressure mainly applies to Geelong rather than his own club!

Apparently, the Cats are suffering under the weight of excruciating pressure that comes with being the outstanding team of the past three seasons but only have one flag to show for it. The Saints and Dogs are also under pressure having not won the comp for well over 40 years. His own club, however, seems devoid of pressure somehow…

MalthouseCake

Under pressure? Feeling stressed? Mick has just the thing for you…a nice piece of cake!

So lemme get this straight – the coach with ten years in charge at the self-proclaimed ‘biggest club in Australia’, responsible for a couple of really good years but no ‘great’ year and, most notably, no premiership to show for it; this guy is not under any pressure at all? And he thinks Geelong is under more pressure than anyone? Um…ok?

Not saying that Malthouse is a bad coach or even an overrated one – the guy is good; see last weekend as a case in point. But he has been at his current club longer than the other three coaches taking part at this preliminary final stage and, unlike the others, he also has a concrete deadline of September 2011 before handing over the keys to Nathan Buckley. No pressure though, Mick! Maybe writing these opinion pieces relaxes him…

His misguided attempt at psychological warfare has made this week a little more interesting but Bomber Thompson would not be the only person to laugh off something he has said this year. But before we see the Pies and Dogs do their best to handle the occasion on Saturday night, we have ourselves another little pressure-soaked prelim tonight!

FRIDAY NIGHT

First Preliminary FinalMCG, 7:45pm (local): St Kilda v Western Bulldogs (SEVEN)

RiewoldtIce

After being wrapped in ice for two weeks straight, Nick’s knee feels fantastic! A little numb though…

St Kilda have been the best team all year but not so great in recent times trying to leap this particular hurdle. But things are different this time…honest! And Shane Warne has been talking to the players so what could possibly go wrong?

They do look the stronger side and should prevail but if something bad were to happen to an especially important but troublesome knee joint, anything is possible. Except for Max Hudghton running out to play…that ain’t happening tonight.

DogsIce

If being coated with ice works for Nick Riewoldt, it’s good enough for the Dogs! Next…the head!!!

The Doggies are in the mood for an upset…but not the type of upset they felt after losing last year’s prelim! Saints coach Ross Lyon is aware of the danger the Dogs present but then again, what else is he going to say?

One thing he won’t say is ‘We’ve gotta shut down Will Minson’. Now, big Will is important to their structure and is a handy player and all but seriously – if he is so crucial that he holds the key to the Western Bulldogs making a grand final, I’d be more than a little worried…

SAINTS by 28

Sorting The Wheat From The Crap (Septocemia – 2009 AFL Finals Series)

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The flowing long locks of Ryan Griffin – perfect product promotion for Garnier Fructis!!

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But Nathan Eagleton? Nah, not so much…

Septopia 2009 is all going to script so far. Top two teams in the prelim, bottom two teams on the drink. And now the Brisbane Lions can enjoy a nice shandy or two having been eliminated from the premiership race by the Western Bulldogs. While the game was quite physical at times, it lacked a lot of the tension we saw in three of the four matches last weekend…mainly because the result seemed assured from midway through the first quarter.

AkerSlammed

Relax everybody, Aker’s ok. But did anybody else kinda secretly enjoy this? Or was it just sadistic little ol’ me?

The Dogs didn’t allow last week’s setback to rattle them and the Lions just weren’t up to it. And that means the 2009 AFL Grand Final is now assured of having at least one participant with a legion of  long-suffering fans that have not seen a premiership for many decades. It’s the Saints and Dogs next Friday night – get ready for a barrage of emotional reportage!

But the early part of next week could well be dedicated to ‘Collingwood Stuffed Up…Again’ if tonight turns to disaster for the Pies. Either way, let’s hope for a less one-sided event than the slow inevitability of last night.

SATURDAY NIGHT

Second Semi Final – MCG, 7:30pm (local): Collingwood v Adelaide (TEN)

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Don’t worry Pies fans – that bloke on the left will help the bloke on the right next year.

Collingwood is not the most desirable place to be at the best of times but how sucky would it be if they were eliminated tonight? They lose some big names to injury as well, which usually spells danger but Pendlebury is the only one that will be tough to replace. Apparently Travis Cloke would really love Anthony Rocca out there but he is injured again…plus, doesn’t Travis realise that it is no longer 2002? Clokey has other things to worry about anyway…

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Geez, Adelaide are confident…the fans are giving Simon Goodwin a standing ovation as his teammates carry him to the airport!

And why wouldn’t they be! They are in great form and intend on sticking with what works…apart from some ‘fine tuning’ direct from Neil Craig mechanical coaching workshop. Adelaide bring back Shirley and, sorry Jeff Kennett, this will be the closest we ever get to a female playing AFL. The Crows may not run away with the win like they believe they can but timing seems right for a semi final upset.

CROWS by 9

Thank Goodness. I Was So Worried… (Media Street)

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WHY SO SERIOUS? Gee, life at Collingwood is going to be one big barrel of laughs for the next five years, isn’t it?

Now we can all get on with our lives! You know how anxious I was getting about the future of Nathan Buckley. I thought he would never find a job. But we can all relax now – we know what Bucks is going to do for the next five years…well, sorta.

Both he and Mick Malthouse have signed five-year deals with the Magpies with Malthouse remaining as senior coach for two more seasons and Buckley starting off as an assistant…though Eddie McGuire and friends will probably invent a much more important sounding title for Bucks. Football Intelligence Coordinator, perhaps? Vice President of Onfield KPI Production? Director of Training Fluid Replenishment?

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And the crowd goes wild! The gathered media could barely contain their excitement!!!

Despite some nasty cynics suggesting that Malthouse would struggle accepting this type of succession plan, he appears happy to step aside for Bucks to take the helm. Though it could be a case of Mick being so stressed out about his contract negotiations that he was prepared to agree to anything! What he does for the remaining three years has yet to be fully sorted out…Football Overlord? Executive Producer of Monotone Press Conferences? Guess the Pies can make it up as they go along…apparently that is what ‘prototype’ means!

Opinions will vary greatly about the decision. Is this a footballing masterstroke? Will it turn into one big stinky pile of poop? But we shouldn’t be that surprised…this is the Collingwood way, after all!

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The off-kilter tie. The shirt that doesn’t match. There is your Channel Nine exclusive…Tony Jones dresses in the dark!

Maybe that was little harsh on Tony Jones. It must have been a busy day yesterday – you know; with the press conference, recording and filing news reports and, most importantly, writing grovelly, suck-hole articles about how the guy that once ran his TV network is a freakin’ genius! But, in all honestly, it appears to be a great arrangement for all parties involved and Magpie fans should be delighted with this.

However, there is just something about the thought of Eddie McGuire’s wildest dreams coming true that makes me want to mix Red Bull and Stilnox together, drink it to excess and hope I forget the whole thing is even happening! Apparently, it works a treat

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!

BrayshawPissed

“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.

ClarksonSong

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.

RainingFreo

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!

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…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’!

KossieStrike

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?

Round Twelve – What Happened Again?

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Mmm…tasty! Friday night viewing at its finest starring Chris Judd

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But not even the prospect of a blood-splattered reunion could keep his girlfriend away. Now that is true love!

Wow, that split round seems to drag on forever, doesn’t it! Feels like an age between Juddy’s face explosion on Friday June 12th and Cam Mooney brain explosions yesterday at Subiaco. Can barely remember most of what happened in between. If only one could find some kind of pictorial montage to help jog the memory…

Hmmm…

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Looks like the guy responsible for captions at Channel Seven took time off during the split round! Wonder who filled in for him and came up with this howler? My money is on David Schwarz…

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Ben Cousins and Daniel Kerr reflecting on old times…the ones they can remember, of course!

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If you thought Juddy’s nose made you a little squeamish, how did you go when the Brisbane medicos popped Troy Selwood’s shoulder back into place!

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Sorry, did you say $800,000? How is this guy going to find enough money to pay Nathan Buckley to coach his club?

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Well done, Mick. Remember – if the knife touches the bottom, you have to kiss the nearest boy! Now imagine if Buckley was the coach…Eddie would bring cake every week!!!

The Games:

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Suffer in ya jocks, Hawthorn! Hawk reject Zac Dawson actually kicks a goal of his own that helps sink Carlton and keeps St Kilda unbeaten after 12 rounds.

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Anyone ever associated with the Richmond Football Club joins in to sing the song after they beat West Coast. Well, it rarely happens so let them have their fun!

CoolroomDarwin

The Doggies took a nice trip to Darwin, chilled out inside a coolroom and they destroyed Port Adelaide during the split round. It was like they have just had two weeks off…lucky them!

BrownyVoss

Great win by the Lions…and you just know that whatever Browny is drinking there, it sure ain’t Powerade!!!

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Dean Laidley’s wild week started with an important trip to Adelaide…it ended with a sudden resignation and a visit from Mick Molloy! Rough week…

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Very predictable result on Friday night. Melbourne = shit, Essendon = promising, Mark McVeigh = dumb!

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I tipped Sydney to win, I have Scott Pendlebury in my fantasy team and I don’t like Collingwood very much. What a shitty Saturday night! Thumbs down, Barry. Thumbs down!

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They keep racking up win after win but any time a Geelong forward misses a sitter in front of goals, that’s the story right there! Especially when this hairy bloke is involved…

Round Eight – Give Us A Cuddle!

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Collingwood’s season is TEETING? Nice work by the Herald Sun! Sure, most people think that the Pies suck at the moment but teeting could be going a little too far…

Wow, it was probably confusing enough that journo Mark Robinson described Collingwood’s indifferent season as “teetering, a whiff from being pole-axed by the winds of mediocrity, uncertainly and the unlucky”. Um…what the f&!# does that mean exactly? No wonder the person responsible for providing the headline for this online article used the word “teeting”. With an opening sentence like that, the heading writer probably thought that teetering must have been a typo as it was the only part that made any real sense! Gotta love the Herald Sun, don’t you?

Ah….don’t you?

Speaking of love, there was plenty of it on display during round eight. Not the distatsefully outnumbered NRL version of love – no, in the nice way. Buddy Love had his admirers out in force at Subiaco, Carlton dished out some tough love on the Pies, Jason Akermanis is loving his own work so much that he wants to play forever and Mike Sheahan is having lusty thoughts about the young Bombers!

But surely the image that captured the love best was this young couple up at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium during the Swans-Eagles match…

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Well, if this goes on during a close, thrilling contest like the Swans-Eagles game, imagine what would happen if the match was a one-sided blowout!

Honestly, there has been way too much stadium talk this season. Not without reason though, with some less fortunate Melbourne clubs suffering at the hands of the MCG and Whatshishead Stadium due to poor financial returns and now Visy Park is being considered as a viable third option in the future. So it’s great to show an image that highlights all that is good about going out to the footy and having yourself a great time…up the back of the grandstand while nobody is watching!

The Games:

MarriageBuddy

Ok, Buddy might be a nice looking lad but come on ladies…where are the ‘Marry Me Roughy” t-shirts?

Alright, ‘fess up…who else out there tipped Fremantle to beat the team that won the premiership last year? Wrong! Sure, the Hawks have injuries all over the shop and yes, the game was in Perth. But one team is a proven winner…the other is not! And I fell for it again!!! I feel so ashamed…

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Just how valuable is Gary Ablett? Well, it looks like he has police protection wherever he goes!!!

Eight matches for Geelong in 2009 and eight wins…this time a 70-point snoozer against “El Norte de Melburne Canguros” – which is how you say “the North Melbourne Kangaroos” if you are from Argentina! The Roos again wore their Argentine inspired clash strip and they performed just like Diego Maradona…you know, after he was wasted on cocaine and required gastric bypass surgery because he was obese! And, by the way, the best player in the comp should be back in the Cats line-up next week. Gulp!

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Not the best day for the Dogs, barely scraping past Melbourne and losing Robert Murphy to injury. At least Murph can dedicate the next few weeks to his writing…

The result was as expected but the Dogs were not super impressive in defeating Melbourne, who are pretty good at the whole honourable loss thing…now to take the next step into ‘win’ territory. It took a typically smartarsey performance from Jason Akermanis to get the Dogs home – now he wants to keep playing after this season. Sorry but this is the high definition television era…that two-tone head just shouldn’t be broadcast in HD!!!

KeiranJack

Kieran Jack looks as excited as that lovey-dovey couple up the back of the grandstand after kicking the winning goal for the Swans!

What is it with Sydney and West Coast? They just know how to turn on a thriller and they did it again on Saturday night. And this time the hero was young Swan Kieran Jack, the son of rugby league legend Gary Jack…making him the most positive result from a league player having sex! Paul Roos seemed pleased with the win and the contribution from maligned forward Barry Hall while John Worsfold is trying to focus on the positives…one being that Hall didn’t thump Brent Staker in the head this year!

Well, it was kinda boring for a while and one of his players broke his jaw but rookie coach Michael Voss doesn’t give a crap what you think because his team won. Brisbane win their third in a row as they beat the Crows at home and if you could predict the typical cliche that a football coach from Adelaide would use in defeat, it surely be that his side was ‘found wanting’! Well, ‘wanting’ can be pretty hard to find…

TredreaMark

Hey, it’s Warren Tredrea winning the match for Port Adelaide…and this wasn’t from 2004, it was yesterday!

Damn, hasn’t Warren Tredrea come back from the dead this season! And they needed him at his best yesterday as he kicked seven goals and took a match-saving mark as Port snatched a dramatic victory over the luckless Richmond. Terry Wallace showed plenty of composure during the week by not smacking that dumbass Channel Nine jouro in the face…shame his side couldn’t keep their cool yesterday!

ElderlyPies

And just when these poor elderly Collingwood supporters thought their afternoon couldn’t get any shittier…now they are being harangued by Ricky O on live TV! Poor dears…

To the joy of many, Collingwood’s season is going downhill fast! Coach Malthouse is trying not to blame the injury toll, though they just keep on happening, and likes the spirit with which his side plays. Still, they never looked like beating Carlton, even with a second straight no-show from Fev. And with every week that Malthouse loses and Michael Voss wins, the Nathan Buckley coaching speculation will just get nuttier and nuttier!

Look at all the love pouring in for Essendon. They were brave! They made St Kilda bleed! They impressed Ross Lyon…not to mention Mr Sheahan! Um, St Kilda led the entire match to win their eighth straight with three days less to prepare than an opponent with nothing to lose. That’s not bad either, you know…