Monday, 11 September 2006

Surprise Midweek Update Corner

Bet you'd never see one of these eh?

First things first we play Fremantle in Perth on Friday night at 8.30. It's the best draw possible in my book because it doesn't force us to confront our wonky record at Football Park, and we get the Dockers on the back of a potentially slump starting first loss in ten weeks. Make no mistake we can take them. Chances are that we won't but it's much more likely than it would have been if we'd drawn the Crows.

And thanks to Sydney doing West Coast the dream prelim final scenario is on for the next week. The prospect of going north rather than to the west will have to give the boys extra motivation. In my sixteen odd years of following this sport (and yes I am older than that..) I've had my hopes crushed so many times that I can't imagine Melbourne winning a flag but in the era of interstate club dominance we'll very rarely get as sweet a run as we have this year. As we always say stay tuned.

Before that is the All-Australian team tonight. We're used to seeing our players shafted when it comes to this award (see for instance Robertson last year) but surely there's at least one in there this year. The contenders are as follows,

McDonald, James
Morally a lock. Despite being written off by several expert commentators (and me) in the last couple of seasons has had a huge year. Should at least sneak in for a place on the bench.

Davey, Aaron
Easily one of our most important players. And if you got in for kicking goal of the year contenders then he'd be the captain/coach but will almost certainly miss out tonight as his statistics alone don't show what an important player he is to our side. Next year. Will probably get rolled by Jeff Farmer.

Bruce, Cameron
Has had a good year but "good" isn't enough to force your way into a midfield featuring the likes of Judd/West/Cousins etc.. I'd expect him to go close if they had a second squad but is, in my book, no chance of cracking it for this one.

Whelan, Matthew
Desperately underrated. Won't crack the squad but deserves a mention for being one of the best small defenders in the game.

Rivers, Jared
Personally I think he should be a lock, having saved our arse in defence more times this year than is healthy. Without him the rest of our backline would have been left dangerously exposed. Fearless backing into packs for marks and found his way forward to kick a few goals as well. Apparently I'm the only person, Melbourne fans included, calling for his inclusion so don't hold your breath waiting for it to happen. But if it does I'll be right here giving it to anyone within range about how I was right for the first time ever.

Carroll, Nathan
Sadly not. Has had a wonderful year for us, but sadly not enough to crack it for a spot amongst the best 22 in the country. Just console yourself in the knowledge that he's got nine or ten years left in him and you'll probably not see Nicholson again.

Johnstone, Travis
Surely you jest? Has been nowhere near good enough.

Smith, Nick
Now you're taking the gimmick too far..

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