Wednesday 18 January 2006


I am forever in shame that from about five rounds into 1995 until halfway through 1997 I fell out of love with football. I blame the delisting of Allen Jakovich, I really do. Once the great man was gone I showed up and realised that it just wasn't the same without him kicking 5.6, having an argument with somebody and getting injured. Didn't help that I was 14 years and probably spending Saturday afternoons sleazing onto myself. And thus it was that I ended up watching the Hawthorn merger fiasco from the sidelines.

Seems ludicrous now, but it was probably Don Scott ripping velcro Hawks off Melbourne jumpers that saved us. Rampant stacking of the vote and apathetic knobbery caused our members to vote for it, and if you think we're ever going to hear the end of that you're sorely deluded. In 2056 we'll win the flag - at last - and it'll be "Yeah, but you voted to merge!"

The point of this is that I saw the R22, 1996 game against Hawthorn for the first time ever last night and it looked like nobody cared that both clubs were about to be dicked. Granted most of the people in the ground were probably bleeding about it but where were the mass protests, sit ins on the ground and threatening banners reading "MFC BOARD: WE KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE"? Just a few dinky "No Merger" signs being waved around. I'd like to go back in time and just lose the plot. Organise a mass pitch invasion when Dunstall kicked his 100th and refuse to leave. Burn effigies of the board etc..

Do you think we'd so apathetic now? I'd like to think not.

Your memories of the time please. Fill me in on what people were thinking, and what was going on. Would Danny O'Brien have gotten a guernsey in a merged squad?

Friday 13 January 2006

The Dream Is Alive

Our pre-blog idol returns. Back on the list in '07 I tell you. And captain by 2010. Cue heartwarming scenes.

Former Melbourne and Sandringham players Guy Rigoni and Chris Lamb will both play for the Sandringham Zebras in 2006.

[We love you Guy, but not as much as we love the other guy]

Lamb will be returning to VFL football after having a year off from playing the game. Lamb travelled during 2004 but is keen to return to VFL football, where he played an important role in the Sandringham 2004 premiership win. Lamb also played 21 games for Melbourne while on their list.

Duel Sandringham premiership coach Mark Williams said, "It's great to have such good players wanting to return or continue their affiliation with us, and to have Guy and Chris line up with Sandringham next year is great news, and will add to our team experience.

"These two, along with the current crop of players that have been part of our club over the last couple of years, will be very important toward developing our younger players, especially those who will join us from the Sandringham Dragons.

How much do you think it would cost to be his player sponsor at Sandringham this year? Wouldn't you just go wild for walking into the Beach Oval clubhouse and seeing that? In fact it could be the move that finally inspires me to accept the VFA again fifteen years after the death of Camberwell.

Saturday 7 January 2006

Like Eating Glass

Have I explained just how much I fear the upcoming season? No really, I'm not looking forward to it in the slightest because with the team we've got nothing less than a deep, deep run into the finals will suffice. If we had a gun full-back and Neitz was two years younger I'd hold out some hope that we could win the whole thing.

We can't of course. For all his heroics last season there's no way that Russell Robertson is going to kick another 73 goals, Neitz has pretty much lost the plot and will be extremely fortunate to put 50 on the board and other than a few cameo performances here and there that's our forward line gone. As previously discussed I've got a fetish for Sylvia at FF, but I can't see it happening anytime soon. I wouldn't mind seeing some pre-season "Who gives a rats about this trophy anyway?" experimentation with Miller up front either and Holland at CHF. Everyone knows that Holland can't kick a goal from inside 30 metres but he can take a grab so it would be worth a try. Better than the usual tactic of throwing Green to FF and watching him flail about with absolutely no comprehension of how to play the position. It's a make or break year for Brad. I like him as a player but unless he can provide something more than occasionally showing up and being able to kick straight then we may as well try and flog him to a team with more money than brains for a high draft pick.

It promises to be a big year for,

* Daniel Bell - If he doesn't get injured every five minutes.
* Nathan Carroll - Encouraging late season form could see him make the FB position his own. Wrecked Matthew Lloyd in R22.
* Travis Johnstone - Surely. This is the year. Get your Brownlow on.
* Brock McLean - Firmly cemented himself as a starting player. Not a bad outside bet for the B&F
* Brent Moloney - Loved his work last season. More of the same please.

On the other hand,

* Clint Bizzell - I'm not suggesting we give him the arse but improvements are required.
* Nathan Brown - Pretty much necked after this year.
* Simon Godfrey - Trains to Sandringham depart from Platform 10
* Ben Holland - Is going to have another up and down year if they continue to play him as a spare parts forward. Is likely to miss some sitter goals from within 10m
* James McDonald - Not past it yet, but rapidly approaching. Can expect to sit on the bench a lot more this year.
* Alastair Nicholson - Daniher loves him so I wouldn't expect him to cop a bullet anytime soon but he's frustratingly inconsistent. Wheel him out to do the yearly hack job on Matthew Richardson and then pack him away.
* Shannon Motlop - Handy at times last year, but even he'd know that he's there for a good time not a long time. Performances whilst wearing #53 during that epic victory in Geelong will live in our memory. For a while at least.
* Demonblog's Own Phil Read - If he gets delisted I'm going to burn my membership. We love you Philthy.
* Nick Smith - I remember you.
* Adem Yze - If you still care give us a sign.

Pff... Roll on the pre-season comp and final confirmation that there's absolutely no surprises in store for us and that they've finally accepted mediocrity.

Wednesday 4 January 2006


The 2006 season is already proving to be a complete disgrace, and it doesn't start for another three months.

YOUNG Melbourne on-baller Colin Sylvia is still hampered by a groin complaint heading into the heaviest load of the pre-season program.

Sylvia only completed light running and didn't try twisting or turning when the Demons resumed training at the Trevor Barker Oval at Sandringham yesterday.

The highly-rated Demon is likely to be overlooked for the NAB Cup series starting late next month in a bid to be ready for the AFL season start in March.

"We're still managing him. It is a bit of a concern," coach Neale Daniher said after training. "He had the shoulder operation and came back to training with us. He has pulled up a bit sore, so we're still quite conservative with him.

"We're still very optimistic that he will be right for the season proper. He did a bit of running and kicking today, but all on a straight line."

Sylvia, who turned 20 in November, was restricted to three senior games by osteitis pubis in 2004, although he managed 16 games last season before shoulder surgery.

"He has had it before, but he went through all of last year without a problem. So we're just making sure we keep on top of it," Daniher said.

"Everyone else is pretty good at this stage, so we're in pretty good nick."

I have a bad feeling about this year. Perhaps that's just because I'm a pessimistic bastard.