Nathan Buck-leave?

Is that Hi or Goodbye?
Is that Hi or Goodbye?


Should he stay or should he (Buck)leave?

The question on many Pies supporters minds along with many other fans, pundits and AFL enthusiasts.

So lets look at some stats…

Buckley took charge of the Pies in 2012 having spent two seasons under Malthouse. In the 2010 and 2011 season they finished top of the ladder and won a flag as well. A good grounding perhaps…

But since then, with Buckley in sole charge, they have fallen fallen fallen. League positions since have been 4th, 6th, 11th and 12th…. And the start of this year has been less than promising aside a very close victory against the Tigers…

That said, Buckley’s win ratio stands at 55.8%. That is 95 Games in charge with 53 Wins – 42 Loses – 0 Draws . How does that compare? Malthouse only had a 56.6% record over his entire career (which includes the time dismantling, I mean coaching, Carlton).

Of recent ‘greats’ Kevin Sheedy only had 57% and Leigh Matthews a little better at 57.9%. Stellar coaching careers but not stellar stats by any means… So does that help Buckley’s case to stay?

All these records are easily overshadowed by Chris Scott of the current crop of coaches who has a stunning 71.1% win ratio. Wowsers !

But what does this tell us? You can prove anything with stats. We can carve up the coaches various teams and how they performed with each club at different stages and before you know it we can prove a point.

The key to Buckley has to be that he took over a top performing team and has been going downhill since then.

Let AFL not get into the crazy ways of the Soccer and sack managers after half a season. The players must take responsibility too (imagine if Cloke could kick straight!). But Buckley has had a long time in an increasingly hot seat… Is it time for Nathan to (Buck)leave?




The (Potential) Game of the Week – Round 2

The POMs
Round One done and we dance along to Round Two
There were some crackers in that opening round including the demolition of the Pies, the smashing of Freo, the squeaky bum win by the D’s and the wonderful win by the Cats with one Mr Patrick Dangerfield performing rather well (imagine when he kicks straight as well!)
All sets us up for an intriguing Round Two…. Now, we all know that the reigning Premiers (whoever they are) tend to start a little slower the next season. Maybe due to one long and well deserved party, a lethargy over being champs, a downright lack of motivation… Whatever it may be it results in a sluggish start. But I for one didn’t expect the 30 point smashing by the Cats. That should kick start the Hawks into a sense of commitment !
On the other hand the losing finalists tend to be a little more motivated, assuming they didn’t get lucky in getting to the final in the first place of course. And whilst West Coast didn’t have the hardest Round One opponents against the Lions they still handed them a very good flogging!

With Round Two throwing up (not literally) the 2015 Grand Final replay at the MCG, the Hawks v Eagles is my “Game of the Week”. A must watch to see if the Eagles can take their good form into a game against the wounded Hawks.


The (Potential) Game of the Week : Round One….

The POMs

With the new season kicking off shortly there are a number of fans who have heightened anticipation around their teams chances. Expectation, hope and plain delusion lead to thoughts of:

– Can we make top 8?
– Can we make Top 4?
– Can we be minor premier champions?
– And can we go all the way?

For one clubs set of fans, theirs is a more pressing question. Can we avoid the wooden spoon and can we even win a game?!?!

Usually reserved for the like of Melbourne or Brisbane of late this is the question being asked by the Bombers (very loyal) fan base. Right or wrong, whether known by the players or not the punishment has been handed down. A saga lasting for years will certainly continue until the players have served their bans.

But what this does make for is a MUST watch game in Round One. A depleted side in the Bombers but one where youth will be given a chance to stake a claim.

History for these clubs is obviously short but the stats show:

Played: 5
Essendon: 4
Gold Coast: 1
Draws: 0

The only win for Gold Coast came last year with a margin of just two points… and 2015 had them close in the table, though at the wrong end of the ladder:

15th – Essendon – W 6, L 16
16th – Gold Coast – W 4, L 17, D 1

So with a new makeshift team for the Bombers and little separating them last year Gary Abletts Gold Coast go in as clear favourites.

It may not be the prettiest of games, but Essendon v Gold Coast is a must watch and my (Potential) Game of the Week.

This will show what 2016 holds for Essendon. Anything but a clear loss will be seen as a victory in most parts.


Top 5 Forwards for Round One


top 5Top 5 Forwards for Round One only.

But who makes the list?

Most banter over a beer would reel off a couple of names straight away… Kennedy, Franklin, Gunston….

But lets look at the stats… And importantly, which stats to look at?

2015 – Top Goal Kickers

Obviously a quick glance at the last years top goal kickers gives an indication:

1 Joshua Kennedy (West Coast)            80
2 Eddie Betts (Adelaide)                         63
2 Jeremy Cameron (GWS)                     63
4 Taylor Walker (Adelaide)                    59
5 Jack Gunston (Hawthorn)                  57

No Franklin for well known reasons but still I would have in my Top 5 Forwards for Round One… Wouldn’t you????

2015 – Top Averages

Maybe a better indication would be to look at an average, as the top goal kickers includes players who went further into the competition… Kennedy played in the Grand Final, but Cameron only played up until Round 23…

Lets have a look at that….

1 Joshua Kennedy West Coast     3.20
2 Jeremy Cameron GWS              2.86
3 Lance Franklin Sydney             2.76
4 Eddie Betts Adelaide                 2.74
5 Taylor Walker Adelaide            2.57

Kennedy still there ! As you’d expect a few similar names but a couple of new entrants to our Top 5 all of a sudden….

However, this still only gives you an average…. It doesn’t account for the other possible factors that really cam influence a score, such as:

1 – Opposition in Round One… A major factor of course ! For example consider these….

Geelong play Hawthorn so Gunston from our initial list may be scratched???

Adelaide are away to North… Betts and Taylor scratched??? Or keep one…

GWS play Melbourne and West Coast host Brisbane… Cameron and Kennedy are definite starters for sure. So we have two of five….

2 – Slow starter… Players can be really slow to start the season but give them a few games to warm up and watch their numbers fly. A Round 5 Top Forward may never make your Round One Top 5!

3 – One off performance (or inconsistent performance…. such as one Travis Cloke

4 – Pre-season form and any injuries. The latter is a major blight of any Fantasy Coach and a worry for this question…

5 – A newbie or rank outsider… Who knows who will come good this year!! And will they perform on Game Day One !!

So how easy is it after all…. we have left many out in our discussions above  who could be included and the question remains … who’s your Top 5 Forwards for Round One?




A Crafty Draft (by the POM)

20140819hokissmagAn obvious question is what makes a great team. An obvious question that is difficult to answer…

To make it even more complicated take a game that is not played on the world stage, that you didn’t grow up watching or playing and that you have only really seen live at the ground about five times… Though one of those was a Grand Final… and it makes even damn harder to put out a Bench team.

(BTW I am still not sure why it has to be a called GRAND Final… surely The Final is enough…)

Anyhow, all that tells you is that as a Brit (or POM) picking a team of eight players for a game that contains 18 a side and with scoring that makes little to no sense (i.e. why do you reward people with a point for missing?) means I have had to ensure I have used as many backhanded ways to get a team together than most people. But it seems those backhanded methods have allowed me to rise the heady heights of my own draft league (which has 5 teams) to get into Division 1 from an initial Division 3 spot in about four years…

So, if a POM with no knowledge of the game can get up, how have I done it and what wisdom can I impart…


Find a good player who is not in your Division and who is willing to sell  you his stats. No, not the stats you can download from the net on players scores last year, but the stats that talk to the last six games of last season. The stats that highlight the rising stars coming through, the stats of outsiders who you should choose if you are in the number 6 seat of the draft.

Basically, buy knowledge if you don’t have it… and buy it well!

Lesson 2 … RUCK & TACKLE

Now this will be obvious to those that play in my leagues. You WILL win with good Ruckman and Tacklers. You may win with good forwards but they are hit and miss and midfielders are a dime a dozen…(unless it’s our little G. Abblet). But get a solid Ruck & Tackle combination (like Kirk and Jolly from a few years back God Bless ’em) and you are set for a long season with a finals appearance pretty much guaranteed.

Lesson 3 … TRADE

One of the hardest things to do in our league… but if you aint doing well, do something different… And that means time and effort to trade your players with other teams. Otherwise, put simply,  you will continue to do badly !

Just a few tips from a POM with an ability to work his way up the rankings and leave a path of Aussie destruction in his wake… A bit like the Ashes (though that is another story).


The POM !

(So what has this got to do with KISS on the feature image… about the same as I know about AFL… nothing)…