Draft position and finals

statsSome interesting stats from Chris (one of our veteran Commissioners).

Draft Seat Titles – getting No 1, 9 or 10 are historically the better seats. Seat 2 is the worst. In fact in 35 season (across a few grades) only 1 title has been won from seat 2.

Draft Seat for Wooden Spoons – There have been 6 wooden spoons for draft seat 2, 5 for seat 8.

Draft Seat for getting a finals birth – 1, 6 and 7 are the best. 4, 5 and 8 the worst.

Once in the finals – winning the minor premiership counts for 51% of GF victories.

Across the 35 seasons, 5 coaches whom won the minor premiership have been knocked out in straights sets (we call it the JL’s after after a coach with a history of it).

Of those finishing second 6 have been JL’ed. Of those finishing third 15 JL’s.

A grade produced an average score per week during the reason season in excess of 185 in 2015. That was 8 up on last year. When we started in 2004 the average score was 153.6 using the same scoring methodology.

Rules, Rules and More Rules

Shepelle blamed the baggage handlers, Hirdy blamed Dank, Dank blamed ASADA/WADA or the WIGGLES? and Kevin Barlett has blamed the AFL commission.

In the past ten years there’s been an enormous development in the way the game we view today. The grounds are superior, players are full time athletes and  the weekends fixtures are solely to please Channel 7, not you or I wanting to head to the Royal before a match at the MCG on a Saturday arvo.

Having some spare time last Friday night (as the game between Collingwood and Richmond was awful) I dug up the changes in rules that effectively have been developed purportedly to improve the way the Australian Rules Football is played.


At first these all seemed reasonable however once you start considering the consequences it could be argued KB and his merry men (and women, just in case there are any on that committee) must also wear some of the responsibility.

Since the implementation of the interchange sub in 2011 there has been an increase of 50% in the number of players gathering 25 or more possessions each week and a 84% in the number of players making 5 tackles or more each week, the majority however as a result of the changes to the interchange cap last year.

My understand of the interchange cap was to improve the spectacle of the game by reduce congestion on the field?

WRONG.. todays game is much like an under 9’s match at your local ground on a Saturday morning.

My view on why this is happening is quite evident.

Midfields now rest in the forward line, Swan, Cotchin, Rockliff, Watson, Fyfe and Bartel have all been seen standing at full forward. This means Forwards such as Buddy, Jack, Cloke, Pav have all pushed up the ground to provide these midfielders with a rest.  This creates the ability for the ball to be transitioned into the opponents forward line quickly as players are fitter than ever before they are able to get to the contest where a resting midfielder is located putting a higher number of players in that area.

Whilst I’m taking aim at a legend of the game I find it completely ironic its only until Kevin leaves the AFL inner rules sanctum to take aim at those running the show.

Personally I see no other way but to reduce the number of players on the field, certainly we don’t want to start turning our game into a netball field, the sub rule in soccer is one that would suit and we don’t want entire line ups changed like an American football match.

Its unfortunate that in its current format we’re unlikely to see the scenario of a 100 goal a season full forward (not unless GWS can revolutionise the game with Patton, Cameron and Boyd) but here’s hoping

Mitch Clark – Draft Night Scars

Whilst we all wish the best for Mitch Clark in is search for better health there are now many bench coaches with their own mental scars when revisiting draft night.

Review of the bench draft stats illustrate that Mitch Clark was on average an 8th round pick demonstrating that most coaches were expecting him to be either their 2nd or 3rd lead forward.

I had considered drafting Mitch as my 2nd forward, although my seat at the draft did force my hand to take an alternative approach, certainly I am now thankful for my seat 8.

For those with Mitch, not all is lost!  You’ll now be entitled to ‘free delist’, enabling you to pick a player actually taking the field. Certainly forwards are hard to come by but here are some unlikely to have been selected in your respective leagues.

Chris Dawes (Melbourne Demons) – Pi$$ off I hear most of you yell but consider that Melbourne do have a better midfield this year and they just need someone to kick it to, its not as silly as it sounds.

Sam Day (Gold Coast Suns) – Hard to rely on forwards at the Suns when you’ve Ablett snagging them from the boundary however he’s had a great start to 2014 with 8 goals in 3 matches.

Jamie Cripps (West Coast Eagles)Its always going to be hard to select a player that’s playing with forwards such as Kennedy and Darling but consider he’s snagged 5 goals in 3 matches and with Mark LeCras out for 6 weeks it’s surely possible the new TIP RAT (seriously he looks like Milne) could be a handy inclusion.

Another positive is that you get to look at your squads with the forthcoming byes in round 8, 9 and 10 and bulk up another department.

On the Dee’s, Mitch’s retirement gives Melbourne some extra room in their salary cap to pay more for their exceptional player in James Frawley? Seriously I’d be pencilling a letter right now to Paul Roos demanding he go after Jack Reiwoldt. Jack is obviously out of flavour at Richmond and would given the Dees an actual target rather than Shannon Byrnes.


Travis Cloke – A Bench Favorite?

clokeWritten in today’s Herald Sun is an article called AFL umpiring department does not see an issue with lack of frees paid to Collingwood’s Travis Cloke’

In writing this entry I’ll be the first to admit that not having him in my Bench team makes it easy to take the ump’s side but because he is a pie, it makes it so much more enjoyable.

In July 2013 a similar article was written in the Australian Newspaper when head coach Nathan Buckley approached the AFL Commission for an answer to the lack of frees paid to Cloke, whilst not privy to the response, the resultant outcome for the rest of the year was 12 frees for and 10 against.

Like many I get frustrated watching Travis Cloke play primarily because the only way he seems to kick goals is as a result of a one on one tussle and if he doesn’t take that mark, out come the Kleenex.

Coaches today have worked out how to play Cloke. Ross Lyon in round 1 had Michael Johnson dropping back to help McPharlin, in round 2 against Sydney, Richards and Grundy doubled up and on Saturday night against Geelong the whole team understood their role in helping Lonergan.

I remember watching full forwards of the past, either climbing packs or taking marks on the lead at full pace. Ablett, Lockett and even Fevola all had the full complement in their artillery.

When was the last time Cloke took a screamer or even managed to take a mark on the lead.. certainly not this year as his only 2 goals have been a result of a mark on the boundary line and you guessed it, a free kick.

If you’re in front of your opponent on a lead there has never in the history of the AFL been a free kick against the lead for contact made to his direct opponent, perhaps this something Cloke and his brains trust should consider.

In round 9 I’ll be up against a coach with Cloke as one of his full forwards, that game is against Adelaide at the Adelaide Oval. Needless to say I’ll be holding my breath every time the ball is launched into the Collingwood forward line where a possible one on one matchup  it taking place, here’s hoping the umpires maintain this current stance.

Don’t get me wrong he is a power full forward, and at over 105kgs he’s one big unit, but  next time you watch a pies game (if you must), take note of which player initiates contact and how many times that contact could be deemed illegal, most of the time it’s in fact Cloke.