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Author Topic: AFL 2008
Trimster
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OK, here we go again.....

I'm not capable of doing a massive pre-season preview, so I'll just mention that the pre-season cup final (the cup nobody wants to win....) is between St Kilda and the Adelaide Crows. There is, of course, massive interest here in Adelaide, with the AAMI Stadium attendances so low that they are not even published in the paper (they are probably about Adelaide United size).

I expect to see a new squeaky-clean image in the code this year... after all the depressing drug and alcohol binges of last season. Hopefully Interpol will round up Wayne Carey and lock him safely up before the season starts.....

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Melbourne Arab
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St Kilda coach Grant Thomas and captain Lenny Hayes show how much it meant to them when St Kilda won the 2004 Pre Season Cup Grand Final. If they were carrying a coffin, I think they would have exactly the same expressions on their faces.

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I'll save my massive season preview for after this weekend's NAB Cup Final, and assorted challenge matches, not because the results matter but, if a Justin Koschitzke, a Jonathon Brown or a Gary Ablett breaks a leg, it would change my thinking quite a bit.

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Trimster
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Just read in today's paper that they are considering moving the pre-season cup final from Adelaide to Melbourne, because they don't think it will draw a decent crowd in Adelaide. Appearently, the rival attractions of jugglers and fire eaters at the Fringe, not to mention Australia playing India at cricket for about the 500th time this season, will be too great for the Crows to compete with.

And the St Kilda coach (I forget his name...)has just said that he doesn't care if his side doesn't win the pre season cup final.... and Jason Akermanis has called for the competition to be scrapped...

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Melbourne Arab
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Ross Lyon (St Kilda coach) said yesterday "it wasn't our intention to get to the final." I think that was fairly obvious from the team selection in Round 1. On Friday night, Nick Riewoldt was left on the bench for the entire final quarter even after we went behind. Somehow, we still stumbled over the line. Actually, it was a great game with, believe it or not, a fair amount of crowd trouble. There was a fight behind the goal at the St Kilda end during the second quarter and again at full time. One of my workmates, a Western Bulldogs fan, was at the game as well with some St Kilda mates of his and he saw a serious punch up on the concourse outside the ground after the match.

There's no mention of any of this in today's newspapers. If it had been a Melbourne Victory game…

Adelaide have rejected an offer of financial compensation to switch the match to the Telstra Dome.

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Melbourne Arab
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St Kilda coach Ross Lyon and captain Justin Koschitzke with the preseason cup. Not quite as glum as 2004 I'd say:

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The match started in 36 degree heat and there was only 1 goal in the first quarter. St Kilda's tactic of handballing more than kicking was bewildering in the heat. Still, it ended up being a close, exciting game in front of less than 27,000. The match being in Adelaide was probably a good thing - a 50,000 crowd at Telstra Dome might not have kept the lid on things.

Now we have to hope the Curse of the Preseason Cup doesn't strike. Carlton have won it twice in the last 3 years and finished 16th and 15th. Geelong won it in 2006 and finished 10th when they were premiership favourites.

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Melbourne Arab
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Touching on something Jason Voorhees was talking about on the Australia's Footy Wars thread, it was interesting to note the identity of the two best players on the ground on Saturday night.

Jason Gram of St Kilda and Kurt Tippett of Adelaide were both snatched by the AFL from under the noses of the National Basketball League. Watching Gram play, his basketball background is obvious - he's the best run and bounce player in the AFL with a fantastic ability to turn defence into attack (he plays off the half back line). Tippett's performance on Saturday was characterised by his vertical leaps and overhead marking. He ended up as top goalkicker in the game with 4.

With Aussie Rules becoming less physical and more athletic, basketball players could be a really good source of talent - that combination of height and mobility is ideal.

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jason voorhees
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I'm telling you, Dennis Rodman in his prime would've been one of the great AFL players of all time. Or any of the '89 Detroit Bad Boys save Isaiah.
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Trimster
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.... If only the ball was round!!
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Uncle Ethan
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Gerrard Neesham was laughed at a few years back when he suggested the basketball link. A clever man Neesham, who is now achieving incredible results working with kids at an indigenous college (high school) in Perth.

The pre-season cup has been shambolic and the sponsors must be ropable, with every man and his ruckman calling it a waste of time.

The AFL has meanwhile been proving yet again how lucky they are that the sport is indestructible.

The latest cock-up involved investigating a coach after he jokingly told a bloke who rarely kicks goals not to get one when he was sent onto the field.

This was construed as a possible breach of match fixing rules.

As MA says the media is fortunately very compliant in protecting the code from bad press so the fights will go unreported until a couple kids let off a flare at a football match.

[ 10.03.2008, 06:53: Message edited by: Uncle Ethan ]

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Jamzinho
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Speaking of Gerrard Neesham, I read about him in a great book about Freo. I forget the name of the writer, but he used to have a column in the Australian.

Looking forward to watching the NAB repeat on Setanta a bit later.

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jefe
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Is the preseason cup something that could be exported in the light of what was mentioned on the other thread about clubs having networks in South Africa and other places?
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Trimster
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Yeah, play it in South Africa.... according to AFL marketing mouthpieces, there are thousands of kids in Soweto hanging around with nothing to do, just waiting Aussie Rules to fill the void in their lives...(!)

On the subject of crossing over into Aussie Rules from other sports and codes... does anyone remember a player called Sean Wight? He came over from Ireland to Melbourne at the same time as Jim Stynes, and is supposed to be one of the few people to have played four codes of football at a reasonably high level. He played AFL with Melbourne, and represented Victoria; played soccer at League of Ireland and Victorian state league level; and played first class gaelic football and rugby union in Ireland, too.

Pity there are not more all rounders like that around these days... it would make AFL more interesting. Aussie Rules has always picked up the occaisional basketballer... it is surprising there has not been more.

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jason voorhees
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Rodman.
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Melbourne Arab
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quote:
Is the preseason cup something that could be exported
One of the games was played in Dubai this year. There are plans for games in South Africa, the US and China in the next couple of years. Apparently, a 25,000 capacity oval is now in place in Fort Lauderdale so there's a fair chance a game will take place there fairly soon.

Kevin Sheedy, the former Essendon coach who now works for the AFL, has suggested building a 40,000 capacity ground in California and, within 20 years, having a US team playing in the AFL. Mr Sheedy is famous for being slightly eccentric.

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Uncle Ethan
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Speaking of Gerrard Neesham, I read about him in a great book about Freo. I forget the name of the writer, but he used to have a column in the Australian.

Perhaps Matt Price, who sadly died last year from cancer aged just 46.

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