Sunday, 4 January 2009

While You Were Sleeping

It's been a while hasn't it? Since the last time we saw the slopfest team play a lot has happened. Not, however, on this website. Long term readers will know that every off-season follows the same pattern - I promise wild updates, trade week talk, draft previews and all sorts of other bollocks and then deliver NONE of it. And you still love us. But for maximum effect come back a few hours after the first practice match of the year and then normal service will be resumed. Until then, let's look at what we've missed..

Goodbyes

Retired

Yze - to Box Hill
White - to some fake Gold Coast side
Holland - to the Supreme Court presumably

Delisted

Weetra - cheers for two of the worst games in history. Will probably bob up somewhere else and win a flag
Bode - looked alright for about ten minutes, and shithouse for the rest
Carroll - Decidedly inconsistent defence option, finally pushed out by the emergence of Warnock and Garland, as well as an apparent desire to live his life like a massive Rodney Rude routine. Was
hilariously booted out after biffing Ben Holland at a taxi rank.
Johnson - Johnson who? Err, yes Chris. Average player who cracked the sads at not being able to be a regular in the worst team in a decade and did a runner to Carlton. Despite lining up behind a gun midfield is expected to crash and burn before ending up doing the janitorial duties that Chris Judd (the good CJ) is being paid $3 million a year to do at VISY headquarters.

Disappeared

About two million dollars - as well as any hope that we'll ever be a powerhouse in this competition again.

The Sandringham Zebras - it was nice while it lasted, and thanks for giving us the closest we'll ever see to a real premiership ever again but now that our players are gone you'd might as well finish last without winning a game.


Welcomes
It may have come to your attention that we finished stone motherless last in the 2008 AFL competition. If you were unaware of this due to having just woken up from a year long coma (if so there must be a lot better things for you to be doing than reading this bollocks) I suggest asking the nurse to dose you up with enough gear to put you out for another year at least because it's not looking much better.

Due to the 6 months of horse shit that we were required to sit through during 2008, we did have a swag of draft picks. Ladies, and gentlemen (let's be frank... gentlemen) meet;

1. Jack Watts
Not to put too much pressure on this kid but if he's not the BEST PLAYER EVER BORN AND A FUTURE HALL OF FAMER THEN THE WHOLE CLUB IS GOING TO FOLD AND MOVE TO JAKARTA. Enough pressure on him then? He keeps getting talked up as the new Riewoldt - does that mean we're destined to build a decent list and then do nothing with it ever?

17. Sam Blease
Midfielder. I'm sure you can find your own analysis of his ups and downs elsewhere. I'm just hear to tell you that sub-editors across the nation - not to mention me - are dying for him to explode onto the scene and become a game turned because there's a billion different headlines based around the words "ease" and "easy" that they're sitting on.

"Bleasey as 1-2-3"
"Dees win with Blease"
"Bleasey as you like"
"Three Bleasy Pieces" (I'm not sure how they'd manage to work this one in)
"Blease Me, Please Me"

etc..

19. James Strauss
An allegedly penetrating kick off the half-back line. Will presumably eventually fill the 10 cent coin sized gap filled by Chris Johnson. While we're doing headlines how about "STRAUSS OF PAIN"? Too easy.

35. Jamie Bennell
Quick but apparently thinner than Ryan "Where Are They Now" Ferguson. Were we any good I'd tell you that you wouldn't see him next season, but given that we're likely to use the entire list at some point as form and injury cut the team to shreds he'll probably be playing by Round 5.

51. Neville Jetta
The new Wonaeamirri/Celebrator, who was the new Davey but not quite. So god knows what will actually happen.

64. Rohan Bail
20 years old and apparently 'ready' for AFL football. Another medium sized midfielder. Do you think we've got enough midfielders? Now I know we finally got some love from the backline last year - and may I say thank christ because otherwise we would have been Fitzroy '96 - but let's get serious about this our forward line is still iffy and the ruck division if Johnson hurts himself again is so ordinary that even Nick Smith might have gotten another game.

Pre-Season Draft 1. Liam Jurrah
There's more mystery about this guy than Batman. Played a handful of games for the Collingwood 2's last year - but we won't hold that against him - before bailing for home and returning to dominate in the NT league where he booted four in the first quarter of the grand final. Apparently English is his fourth language - and if that's not one of the best gimmicks ever at this club then I'm not here. Will probably dominate for 6 weeks, get jack of everything and do a runner. Only time will tell.

Rookie Draft 1. Jordie McKenzie
Jordie? That's the most obscure first name we've sent out since Jamie Shanahan.

17. Rhys Healey
No idea. Played in a Bendigo league grand final as a 17-year-old apparently. That'll do nicely for now. Call me when he plays for the Casey seniors.

33. Danny Hughes
Back again after a year off with injury. May eventually get within three area codes of the seniors if he's luckily.

Welcome also to the Casey (nee Springvale) Scorpions as our new VFL affiliate. Lets hope that they do whatever we tell them to do and our young players are given the chance to develop quickly down there. My advice if you're visiting Cranbourne is to put your car on bricks in advance to save time.

Where Are You?
Sponsors? Any chance? With Luxbet, Sportingbet, Centrebet, Betfair, the Casino et al poisoning our community with their gambling advertising you'd think that at least one of them would be interested in bunging us a few hundred thousand to be major sponsor. No? Well, how about Foxtel? They gave us a hundred g's for Debt Demolition month and got very little out of it - why not spring the $50 it would take to be our major sponsor? Not allowed to due to broadcast rights?

At this rate we'll be sponsored by Ray's Tent City

Did anyone else notice that the members brochure had an advertisement for pre-purchasing the '09 jumper where it had SPONSOR written in Times New Roman across the jumper where said sponsor would be. Do you think if we don't get anyone soon then we really will be going into the regular season dressed like that? It would still look better than the shithouse silver clash jumper.

Questions that must be answered
Is John Meesen the second coming of Ivan Bartul? I'm still not convinced either of them exist.

Early Predictions
I'm not convinced that I can find anyone who will finish below us, but I refuse to believe we're bad enough to be last again so I'm tipping a big 14th place finish this year. Sadly this will lead to the same bullshit that we slaughtered Carlton fans for two years ago when half of their muppet fans wanted them to lose every game at the end of the season just for the draft picks.

Besides, I reckon we can take North in Round 1. The Junkyard Dog is rapidly losing his appeal at Arden Street, and there's nobody better to sow the seeds of doubt at North than a rabble like us. Round 1, 1997 anyone? We all remember how well that season went from there!

Captain: They'll be boring and go for McDonald or Bruce even though everyone wants BROCK AND ROLL to run riot.
Goalkicking: Robertson
B&F: Surely Brock
First major injury: Would have to be Moloney wouldn't it?
Surprise package: Rivers to avoid injuring himself for at least half the season
Disappointment: Wonaeamirri - Looks a bit too much like a one trick pony for mine.

Next?
Pre-Season training is the most tedious time of the year. Yes, half the side are injured, and the other half are either training the house down (aka Meesen) or have apparently buffed up to the point where they look like they should be appearing at Wrestlemania. However, if you do the rounds you'll find that the exact same thing is happening at 16 clubs in the competition.

Same goes for intra-club games. If somebody is dominating then it means one of our other players is rubbish. Such is life. The only test that matters is when the pre-season games against other sides begin. We've won one in two years (and this is no Sydney-esque "oh we accidentally lost" thing) and it's proven to be an excellent guide of what was to come. We've been dealt no favors by getting the reigning premier in the first round of the Escort/Panasonic/Ansett/Wizard/NAB Cup for the second season in a row, but the good news is that even though it will do precisely nothing for our footballing development it does provide us an opportunity to pull off a sick trip to Launceston, a place which more than one commentator has referred to as the Las Vegas of the south.

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