Friday musing – A-League final, AFL, Mick Malthouse, NBA Playoffs, Andrew Bogut…..

Chris Barwin HillsThe biggest thing in local sport in the last week was the A-League grand final and what a comprehensive result for the Melbourne Victory. They were aggressive and positive from the start and played almost the complete game. Sydney FC only had two real shots on goal and both went straight to the keeper. Speaking of the keeper, Lawrence Thomas, in my far from expert opinion, he is better than
the injured Nathan Coe so they didn’t lose anything there. I think in Unknown-4the previous week Melbourne City put more pressure on the Victory defence for the same score line. This is perhaps the most complete side to take out the title and while they lost and drew a few games during the year that they should have won, it was evident that if they clicked no other side in the competition could beat them. Mark Milligan was a deserved winner of the Joe Marston Medal and it is surprising that he has not find greater success overseas.

In the AFL it is interesting to see the issue about the head high tackles and the tactics employed by the likes of Lindsay Thomas in drawing free kicks. I raised this issue earlier in the year and players Unknown-3that drop their knees and dip/raise their shoulders are almost impossible for the umpires to detect even though it is the equivalent of ducking the head. I think it is unfair to be critical of the likes of Thomas, the Selwoods, Shoey and Puopolo when coaches from all teams should be teaching the players the same tricks. Every supporter hates when these frees are paid against them, but delight when they go in their favour.

The heat on Mick Malthouse continues and it reminded me of when Ron Barassi went back to Melbourne. He had been successful at two clubs, but could not work his magic a third time. I think the main issue at Carlton is their atrocious disposal. They win the ball in Unknown-2contested situations and then give it straight back to the opposition. I think they could be a sneaky chance tonight against Geelong, but I am still not prepared to pick them. My upset for the round is the Saints to topple West Coast.

The NBA finals are entering the final phases and wouldn’t it be great Unknownif the Golden State Warriors played off against the Cleveland Cavaliers so we could be guaranteed an Australian was on the winning side. Andrew Bogut v Matthew Dellavadova. From a personal point of view I Unknown-1would like to see the Golden State Warriors win the title for Andrew Bogut given his constant battles with injury he deserves the reward.

Have a great weekend!

Some sports teams keep making dumb decisions

meIn September 2011, the Miami Marlins appointed Ozzie Guillen as their manager on a four year contract. Guillen brought a .524 winning record from his seven year stretch as the Chicago White Sox skipper. Whilst not setting the world on fire in his first season Unknown-2with the Marlins, he could have reasonably expected his tenure was not in jeopardy. What Guillen didn’t plan on was the intervention of Marlins’ owner Jeffrey Loria who fired Guillen and appointed Mike Redmond.

Redmond, who last year had his contract extended to 2017, had his managerial appoinment terminated yesterday after a 16-22 start to the season. He was replaced by Marlins’ General Manager Dan Jennings. Jennings has no Big League or managerial experience.

Due to prior questionable decisions, the Marlins now find themselves with three managers on the payroll being Guillen, Redmond and Jennings. What a waste of money!

That is not the worst of it. There is every possibility that the Marlins will have four managers on the payroll before the season is too much imagesolder. I say this as owner Loria has not shown any patience with his managers and if Jennings doesn’t win games, he’ll be the next casualty.

Aside from the managerial sackings, the decision to appoint a person with no managerial experience is a stunner. Would you employ a person who hasn’t flown a plane as a pilot? How about a person with no medical degree as a doctor? Whilst I wish Jennings well, the cards are certainly stacked against success.

Given the recent decisions, is it is surprising that the Marlins are equal last in the NL East?

Gelding’s red hotties for today’s Caulfield meeting

Feb 20 2011 015After a reasonable day on the punt last Saturday, the Gelding’s attention turns to his home track at Caulfield. The track should be relatively heavy after the week’s rain.

As always the bets are on an each way and all up basis.

Caulfield

Race 3 Horse 17 – Battle of Troy
Race 4 Horse 1 – Angels Beach (for the ladies at the Tennis club)
Race 6 Horse 1 – Red Bomber (also for the ladies at the Tennis club)
Race 7 Horse 4 – Second Bullet
Race 8 Horse 1 – Fontein Ruby

Good luck and good punting!

The Gelding

Friday musing – WADA wades in with an appeal in the Essendon supplements saga, A League final…

Chris Barwin HillsWell Tuesday morning I awoke from my slumbers to the news that I had not anticipated. WADA had lodged an appeal against the AFL Tribunal’s decision in the Essendon supplements saga. I had not considered that WADA would have much interest in a domestic sport where the team under investigation had not actually won anything, as opposed to the Lance Armstrong/Marion Jones cases.

This seems to be very much driven by ASADA’s Ben McDevitt as it is hard to see why WADA would instigate an appeal without a strong push from him. I must say his comments after the original decision 1427929273480was handed down smacked of sour grapes. In addition, if the case is as flimsy as was reported, it is hard to see why an international body would want to touch it. The big concern is still the very low standard of proof required.

Another confounding issue here is the innocence of the players. I don’t think any one thinks the players knowingly took a banned substance. I am sure the club didn’t sanction banned substances, so if banned substances were administered (and I understand there is no direct evidence that they were) why continue to pursue this matter?

There is no doubt the club should have taken more care to ensure that the records and the substances were all properly approved and documented, but the club has been dealt with by the AFL. What has Unknowncome out this week was that there was a spreadsheet as to what the club believes was administered. This should put to one side the comments that the club didn’t even know what was administered to the players, because clearly they knew what they believed was administered and anything else would have been administered without their knowledge and consent.

It is quite ironic that revelations regarding the use of stem cell injections to aid recovery from injury came out in the same week that WADA decided to appeal. I resolve not to make any further comments on this sorry issue until CAS decide on the appeal.

Moving away from this blight on the local sporting landscape to the A-League grand final, it would have been interesting to see what sort of crowd they may have got if the game was to be played at the graham-arnoldMCG. I have heard suggestions of 70,000 and that would not be out of the realms of possibility and would match the expected crowd for the Richmond -v- Collingwood game at the same venue. Either way you would think that the game would still attract a greater audience than the Western Bulldogs -v- Freemantle game at Etihad Stadium.

I am hoping for a Melbourne Victory win and while a lot of the focus has been on their strike power up forward, I think the key to this game will be the captain, Mark Milligan. Should the Victory win, I think he is every chance to be named the Joe Marston medalist.

Have a great weekend!

Success for the Gelding

gelding2Every reason for the Gelding to be smiling after bagging three winners and a third placing from his six selections yesterday.

His best tip for punters was the Ellerton and Zahra trained Face Forward that saluted and paid an outstanding $8.30 the win and $3.20 the place.

Also successful at Flemington was Kenjorwood whilst at Morphetville, Delicacy was first past the post.

Look for the Gelding’s selections again next weekend.

Gelding’s red hot tips for 9 May 2015

the gelding & othersThe Gelding’s attention is very much divided today as he looks to make his mark in three states. The horses selected in Doomben and Morphetville are his specials today but he still fancies a few locally.

As always the bets are on an each way and all up basis.

Doomben

Race 8 Horses 15 – Srikandi (for the ladies at the Tennis club)

Morphetville

Race 7 Horse 16 – Delicacy (also for the ladies at the Tennis club)

Flemington

Race 2 Horse 4 – Flying Aurora
Race 3 Horse 1 – Face Forward
Race 4 Horse 2 – Duibio
Race 7 Horse 4 – Kenjorwood
Race 9 Horse 11 – Prince Harada

Good luck and good punting!

The Geldingthe gelding & others

Friday musing – AFL, Premier League…..

Chris Barwin HillsThere has been a lot of discussion about the substitution rule in AFL recently and I am a bit bemused by some of the comments coming from coaches and ex-players who would have been familiar with the operation of the old 19th & 20th man which existed until 1978. I can see the merit in the current rule, but having spent time on the bench as a 19th or 20th man, I think reverting to the old interchange rule is best for all concerned. I would also cap the number of interchanges to twenty a quarter. If the number of interchanges allowable was higher perhaps you restrict the number of times an individual player could be interchanged in any one quarter.

Sticking with the AFL, I was very surprised to see the Gold Coast player Stephen May suspended for his bump with Tom Rockliff.It looked like both players were going for the ball and May did not line up Rockliff to hit or bump him, but they came together in a jostle for the ball. I didn’t see the front on vision or any slow motion footage, but on vision shown to explain the decision I did not see a problem and clearly neither did the umpire as no free kick was paid.

Well Chelsea have secured the EPL crown with three weeks to go and while I find Jose Mourinho annoying, you cannot doubt his quality as a manager. He has now led Chelsea to the title three times and also did the same with Inter Milan, Real Madrid and FC Porto. You also cannot doubt Chelsea is a justified title holder given they have the most miserly defence and are second behind Manchester City for goals scored. The race is now on for second and fingers crossed the Gunners can get there and then secure their second FA Cup in a row which would be a good stepping stone to the next Premier League season.

Have a great weekend!

Sports Marketing seminar not to be missed

Unknown-8A great initiative from the Southern Football Netball League in presenting a seminar that will provide tips to community clubs on sports marketing in the digital age.

Featuring Senior Associate Commissioner Dan Butterly and Sports Geek Sean Callanan, the seminar will be held on Wednesday 13 May 2015 starting at 6.30pm at Clayton Football Club rooms.  Both Dan and Sean are former Sportzfan Radio contributors and have a long history in sports marketing.

Unknown-4Dan is responsible for branding and marketing the Mountain West Conference which forms part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in the USA. He is the key person involved in marketing, promotions, merchandising, licensing and advertising.  The Mountain West comprises 12 colleges in 8 states of the USA with almost 6,000 student athletes involved in 15 different sporting disciplines.

The Mountain West has been a very successful conference having, in the last 16 years, had one of their student athletes selected as the number one draft pick in the NFL, MLB and NBA drafts. That includes Australia’s own Andrew Bogut who was the first Australian drafted at number one into the NBA.

Sean Callanan or the Sports Geek, as he is better known in sports digital Unknown-5circles, is at the cutting edge in the field and his expertise has seen him develop a client base in both Australia and internationally.  He
provides advice to teams in the NBA, AFL, NRL and cricket and is also a much sought after presenter at any seminar covering his area of expertise. He is fresh from presenting at the SEAT conference held in March 2015 in London.

This is sure to be an opportunity not to be missed to hear two  leaders in their respective fields.

Check out the SFNL website for further details.

Gelding’s red hotties for 2 May 2015

gelding teeThe Gelding’s attention turns to his home track at Caulfield today. After a fair start to last week, the tips were a tail of woe with two fourths for the ladies at the Tennis club. The Gelding is looking to return to the winner’s list for the ladies this week.

As always the bets are on an each way and all up basis.

Caulfield

Race 1 Horse 3 – Miss Promiscuity (for the ladies at the Tennis club)
Race 2 Horse 2 – Star Fashion (also for the ladies at the Tennis club)
Race 6 Horse 1 – Nordic Empire
Race 8 Horse 1 – Show a Star
Race 9 Horse 6 – Pyrrolic

Good luck and good punting!

The Gelding

Friday musing is back talking Mick Malthouse, Jock McHale, soccer….

Chris Barwin HillsWell this weekend we have one of the longest running records in VFL/AFL football broken. Mick Malthouse becomes the coaching games record holder and he breaks a record that has stood for 66 years.

There are a few points that are worth making when contrasting the careers of both men. The McHale record included five seasons as a Unknownplaying coach which at the time was not uncommon. This bolstered his record, but it should also be considered that he also coached in an era when the seasons extended to only 18 games (plus finals).

Unknown-1Without trying to denigrate Malthouse’s achievement, three premierships and a winning percentage of 57% pales a bit compared
to the McHale record of eight premierships and a winning percentage of 66%. To get to the record on the back of one premiership every ten years is a remarkable performance and I cannot see this record being broken in my lifetime.

It is also remarkable when you consider that two North Ballarat boys have broken two of the longest standing records in VFL/AFLUnknown-2 history with Malthouse taking the coaching record and Tony Lockett taking the goal kicking record from Collingwood’s Gordon Coventry.

While I am on the AFL, I watched the Anzac Day game and again the Essendon side has fallen into the trap of trying to play dry weather football in the wet. Everyone knows that when you get the ball you kick it as long as you can and get to the next contest. I blame the coaches.

I know there is little chance of any further representative games being added to the very busy international soccer calendar, but I was Unknown-3thinking the other day that it would be great to see a team representing the EPL playing a team representing the Spanish Primera Liga or the Bundesliga or Serie A. There is always a bit of chest thumping as to who has the best league so why not have a competition where they play each other. Imagine the Spanish team with Messi & Ronaldo in the same team. Who wouldn’t pay money to go and see that?

Have a great weekend!