Saturday 25 February 2006


I thought the game was tomorrow night. I really did. But even with our gimmick lineup we won. I'm telling you the Bulldogs will be shit this year, it's my ace prediction.

Have the report. I've become confused already and the season hasn't even started yet.

Robbo slots winning goal
12:02:28 AM Sat 25 February, 2006
Jason Phelan
Exclusive to

A Russell Robertson goal in teeming rain with less than three minutes remaining has given Melbourne a memorable 0.9.15 (69) to 1.7.12 (63) victory against the Western Bulldogs at Marrara Oval in Darwin on Friday night.

Scores were tied for much of the frenetic final term with the Dogs missing a golden opportunity when Brad Johnson sprayed a set shot wide just a minute before Robertson iced the win after marking strongly in front.

Thunderstorms during the day made conditions difficult for the players in a match that was played in hot and steamy tropical conditions.

With several high-profile Demons not taking part in the match, the near full-strength Bulldogs were highly-favoured to come away with the win, but it was Melbourne that held sway in the early running.

Aaron Davey was a livewire from the outset and he got the ball rolling for the Dees with the first two goals of the match. Melbourne was full of running and had the Dogs' defence under plenty of pressure before Robert Murphy opened his side's account with a booming nine-pointer.

It failed to stem the tide, however, with goals to Robertson and James McDonald giving the Demons an 18-point lead at quarter-time.

Byron Pickett had been unsighted in the first term, but he goaled with his first kick in a Melbourne guernsey early in the second to set alarm bells ringing for the Bulldogs.

Cameron Faulkner got on the end of a slick passage of play to edge the Dogs closer and his goal seemed to provide the spark that his side had been missing. The run that has become the trademark of the Bulldogs under Rodney Eade returned and Murphy - playing closer to goal - banged through successive majors to reduce the deficit to nine points.

Davey continued to exert his influence on the match and moved the Demons 17 points clear at half-time with his third goal.

However, Dale Morris was moved onto Davey at the start of the third quarter and he was able to keep him in check to a large extent. With the main attacking option for the opposition shut down, the Dogs made their move, slamming through three goals to nil to grab the lead with Murphy again in the action with his fourth.

The Bulldogs started the last quarter leading by just five points, but appeared set to run away with the contest when Johnson goaled early. Shannon Motlop had played well for much of the evening and kept his side in it with a quick answering goal and Robertson swung the pendulum right back in Melbourne's favour with a goal one minute later.

Both sides were out on their feet as the match wore on, but it was the stand-in skipper for the Dees who stood tall in the dying minutes and coolly slotted the winner.

Melbourne will now face Brisbane in a quarter-final clash at Telstra Dome next Friday night after the Lions snuck home against Essendon at Carrara.

WESTERN BULLDOGS: 1.0.1, 1.3.4, 1.6.9, 1.7.12 (63)
MELBOURNE: 0.4.4, 0.6.12, 0.6.13, 0.9.15 (69)

NINE-POINT GOALS: Western Bulldogs: Murphy
Melbourne: Nil
SIX-POINT GOALS: Western Bulldogs: Murphy 3, Faulkner, Johnson, Giransiracusa, Minson
Melbourne: Davey 3, Robertson 3, McDonald, Pickett, Motlop
BEST: Western Bulldogs: Giansiracusa, Gilbee, Murphy, West, McMahon, Morris
Melbourne: Johnstone, Davey, Yze, Robertson, Motlop, Rivers
INJURIES: Western Bulldogs: Gilbee (leg)
Melbourne: Bizzell (back)
UMPIRES: Jeffery, Donlon, Woodcock, Grun
At Marrara Oval, Darwin

Sunday 19 February 2006

Like a red headed stepchild

Ladies and gentlemen,

Please welcome Demonblog's adopted player for 2006. We give you,

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the man named after a harvestable crop. No, not Bob Corn. Not this year anyway. We've ended up with Paul Wheatley in Big Footy's "Adopt A Player" thread. What exactly this means is still a mystery to everyone, and I was spewing to come in too late to nab Demonblog's own Philthy Phil Read, but we'll be following the performance of our finest #31 since Rod Keogh closely during the year.

Where's "Adopt a Historical Figure"? I want Jakovich.

Saturday 18 February 2006

Pre-Season Fever

Hands up who really takes intra-club games seriously? For every player going ballistic and having a hundred touches it usually means that he was playing against somebody who is also contracted to us and happens to be shit. At least wait until the gimmick practice matches against Fremantle in Bunbury to start making decisions about who's a gun and who is for the tip.

Not that I was actually there today, but when has that ever stopped anyone from providing quality reportage. Either that or I could just pilfer the report instead,

Russell Robertson kicked an attention-grabbing five goals, but Melbourne looks to have found a ready-made senior player in top draft choice Nathan Jones after the solidly built youngster starred in Friday's intra-club match at Victoria Park.

Jones, who turned 18 last month, was taken at pick 12 by the Demons in last year's NAB AFL draft after a stellar season at under 18 level which culminated in 36 touches in a losing side in the TAC Cup grand final.

And in his first hit-out at senior level the 179cm pocket rocket showed why he was regarded as one of the fittest players in the TAC Cup last year as well as the best ball winners as he helped himself to more than 20 possessions in an eye-catching performance that has almost certainly ensured him a place in the Demons' side for the first round NAB Cup game against the Western Bulldogs in Darwin next week.

However what made Jones' performance even more noticeable was the fact his 85kg body already looks capable of standing up to senior level football as showed when he courageously stood under a high ball in the opening minutes and was met heavily only to immediately get up and keep playing.

And his smother directly off the boot resulting in yet another possession in the second term had the couple of hundred Demons' fans in attendance in raptures.

After the game Melbourne coach Neale Daniher attempted to play down the excitement over Jones but was candid when asked whether his performance ensured a place in the NAB Cup next week.

"I would have thought so," Daniher said.

Daniher was more effusive over the performance of the Demons' top draft choice from the previous year in Matthew Bate, a wingman who did not play in the AFL last year but was a member of Sandringham's VFL premiership side.

"Matthew Bate is ready to play and that's what you take out of a game like this," he said.

"We will take Bate to Darwin and we think we might have a footballer there this year."

In hot conditions, which Daniher said was an ideal preparation for next Friday's clash in the tropical heat of the Top End, the Demons also unveiled some exciting rookie list players.

The first was 18-year-old Andre Gianfagna, who began the game by kicking two goals (one a great goal on the run from near the boundary) on Brad Green while 19-year-old Daniel Hughes - a player Daniher described in the Cameron Bruce mould - also looked promising.

However another rookie in defender Matthew Warnock had a far tougher morning opposed to a red-hot Robertson, who was easily the most eye-catching of the Demons' senior players.

Robertson kicked 5.4 and took two of his trademark screamers to show he is more than capable of matching last year's fantastic season in which he kicked 73 goals and was considered the most unlucky player to miss All-Australian selection.

"He is a good player that Russell Robertson," Daniher joked after the match before praising the performance of young Warnock.

"It was a good experience for young Matty, we have got a lot of faith in him and we might take him away to Darwin next week."

The Demons were without skipper David Neitz (resting), Daniel Ward (calf), Brent Moloney (shoulder) and Ben Holland (finger) and that quartet will all miss next week's NAB Cup opener, but Brock McLean and Phil Read could play after missing the intra-club match with minor niggles.

Veteran midfielder Simon Godfrey (rolled ankle) was the only player injured on Friday but will play in Darwin while other players to impress were new recruit Byron Pickett, experienced trio Clint Bizzell, Mark Jamar and Shannon Motlop - who all look much fitter, youngster Chris Johnson and the classy Travis Johnstone, who racked up possession after possession until being rested early in the third quarter.

This bit should concern anyone,

The first was 18-year-old Andre Gianfagna, who began the game by kicking two goals (one a great goal on the run from near the boundary) on Brad Green

Was Gianfagmania running riot, or has Green completely lost the plot? Personally I'm favor of flogging him off to the highest bidder at the end of the year - if we can extort a first round pick from a dud side on the basis of his goalkicking alone it'll be the biggest scandal around. Good news for us if the Pies are rubbish again and their mutant fans start clattering for "big" signings. He played for Manchester United once you know, in case you missed that nugget of information on one of the 9545 occasions commentators have pointed it out.

Roll on Darwin and the Bulldogs. We're taking the pre-season cup lightly this year, and they're huge candidates to be hyped by everyone and do nothing so if we plaster them I'll start thinking about finals football. Until then nothing has been proven and we still exist in some sort of existential footballing limbo.

Next week: Nietschze, Nihilism and how it fits perfectly into being a Melbourne fan.

Saturday 4 February 2006

Lucha Libre

You may remember my balaclava clad shenanigans from last season. Twice (1, 2) when the game was beyond doubt the mask came on and I turned into Mr. UBP. Cue wild disgust scenes from conservative idiots in the crowd who didn't recognise what a groundbreaking piece of performance art it was.

Anyway, this year I've got a new gimmick. I hope to debut it during the fourth quarter of a big win at some point during the season. Say hello to the last untried angle left in VFL/AFL supporting. The Mexican wrestling mask,

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Courtesy of the recently unmasked Cibernetico, and Ebay you'll be seeing this fine creation in all sorts of Demonblog shenanigans during the next year. Be prepared.

Friday 3 February 2006

It begins

It's going to be one of those seasons. I can tell.

A MELBOURNE Football Club player has been ordered not to assault his teenage girlfriend after an early-morning incident last weekend.

Colin Sylvia, the AFL's No. 3 pick in the 2003 national draft, was yesterday also ordered by a magistrate not to harass, threaten or intimidate her.

The club may now be obliged to report the matter to the AFL under the league's new policy that promotes a safe and inclusive environment for women.

Sylvia, 20, appeared in Melbourne Magistrates Court yesterday accompanied by his girlfriend, Elise Whichello, after police were called to a road in Albert Park at about 3.30am last Sunday.

Police saw a woman, later identified as Ms Whichello, upset and found Sylvia nearby and apparently affected by alcohol. The court heard Sylvia had allegedly threatened to kill a man who witnessed the alleged incident if he reported it to police.

Ultra farcical.