Category Archives: Sports

The first of the Sportzfan Interviews – Axel Dench


In this first of a series of Sportzfan Interviews, the Professor talks with former College and NBL player, Axel Dench about his career in basketball and as Merumeru in Star Wars 3, Revenge of the Sith. In a career that included a March Madness trip to the Elite Eight with
Gonzaga, a Championship in his first year with Wollongong Hawks plus the 2001 NBL Rookie of the Year award, he believes he peaked early. A shoulder injury hampered his development and he eventually bounced around Europe until returning to Australia to play with the Melbourne Tigers in 2007.

Whilst he enjoyed playing at elite level in basketball, it wasn’t until his taste of Hollywood in Revenge of the Sith that he discovered he had a love for acting and movies. His one regret is that he declined another movie role to accept a three year contract with the Melbourne Tigers only to be released after one year to free up player points.

You can hear the full interview at https://soundcloud.com/sportzprofessor/the-sportzfan-interviews-axel-dench

Gelding’s red hotties for Flemington races on 7 October 2017

The Gelding’s attention is at Flemington today and he is confident of his form coming into this year’s Spring Carnival.

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

Flemington

Race 4 Horse 4 – Spieth (for the ladies at the Tennis club)
Race 5 Horse 2 – Winx
Race 7 Horse 1 – Almandin (also for the ladies at the Tennis club)
Race 8 Horse 16 – Petition
Race 9 Horse 8 – New Tipperary

Good luck and good punting!

The Gelding

Weekend musing – the Brownlow medal, Grand Finals in AFL & NRL……

I was pleasantly surprised to listen to Dustin Martin at his Brownlow presentation on Monday night. He came over a lot better than I had envisioned and he seemed like a reasonable bloke who loves his footy. Bruce McAvaney was a little sickening, but he did a good job getting Martin to talk so it worked.

With 36 votes Martin scored exactly the same amount as the entire All Australian back line of Rory Laird (9) votes, Alex Rance (8), Michael Hibberd (7), Sam Docherty (5), Michael Hurley (4) and Jeremy McGovern (3). While I am not suggesting that Martin did not deserve his votes, it is a little hard to accept that these six champion players could only amass 36 votes between them as most of them are big ball winners as well. The forward line did significantly better with a total of 75 votes, but the forward line included Dane Zorko (14) and Robbie Gray (12) who are essentially mid-fielders and Lance Franklin (22) who seems to capture the umpires eye. With five votes it did endorse my view that Eddie Betts was lucky to make the team.

It was also interesting to see that nine of the 18 clubs had two players that secured half or more of their teams votes and at Richmond, Martin almost did that himself with 36 votes out of a team total of 80. As much as it is great to have a Brownlow medalist from your team, from a team perspective it is better to have a spread of vote getters. The two top teams were Adelaide and Sydney who both had 88 votes, but the contrast was that Adelaide’s top four Sloane, M.Crouch, Jacobs & Atkins contributed 51 votes and Sydney’s top four of Kennedy, Franklin, Parker & Hannebery contributed 67 votes with Hannebery only contributing 6 votes. I think the upshot from this was Adelaide had more to handle in trying to control Martin it will than Richmond had trying to control Rory Sloane…and that is how it turned out yesterday. One thing that the Brownlow coverage brought home was how disappointing it is that Jobe Watson is no longer a Brownlow medalist. To see Cotchin & Mitchell lauded as medalists was disappointing whereas I had not thought about it much beforehand.

The Grand Final was a reasonable game and even though I thought Adelaide were the better side going into the game, the Grand Final was played on Richmond’s home ground which, in my view evened out the contest. Richmond were worthy premiers and it says something for a Club that decided to hold fast in the face of great criticism of their 2016 performance. If the Tigers had buckled at the end of last season and sacked Damian Hardwick, I doubt they would have climbed to the heights of premiership glory.

The Melbourne Storm are my fancies in the NRL decider today. They
have had a great season led by Dally M medallist Cameron Smith. North Queensland Cowboys have had a remarkable run to the Grand Final but I believe they will fall short especially as they are without their champion play maker Jonathan Thurston.

Have a great weekend!

Gelding’s tips for Caulfield races on Sunday 1 October 2017

The Gelding’s attention was briefly diverted yesterday from horse racing when he watched his Tigers win the 2017 AFL premiership. However, being the avid punter that he is, his mind is back on the job today with races at his home track at Caulfield.

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

Caulfield

Race 1 Horse 15 – Special Diva
Race 3 Horse 1 – Hardham
Race 5 Horse 1 – Catchy (for the ladies at the Tennis club)
Race 6 Horse 6 – Kementari
Race 7 Horse 1 – Hartnell (also for the ladies at the Tennis club)

Good luck and good punting,

The Gelding

Gelding’s red hot tips for Caulfield races on Saturday 23 September 2017

The Gelding’s attention is on his home track at Caulfield today and with the big Spring Carnival races just around the corner, he is using this meeting to finely tune his tips.

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

Caulfield

Race 2 Horse 1 – Eshtiraak
Race 3 Horse 11 – Sin to Win (for the ladies at the Tennis club)
Race 6 Horse 3 – Brave Smash (also for the ladies at the Tennis club)
Race 7 Horse 6 – Stampede
Race 9 Horse 11 – Petition

You can hear the Gelding and the Professor discuss racing on Sportzfan Radio tomorrow from 10.00am on 88.3 Southern FM. We’ll be broadcasting from the Southern Football Netball League Division 1 Grand Final at Springvale oval.

Good luck and good punting!

The Gelding

Gelding’s red hotties for Flemington races on 16 September 2017

The Gelding’s attention is at Flemington today and with the big Spring carnival races just arund the corner he is honing his tipping skills and looking for winners.

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

Flemington

Race 1 Horse 1 – Jorda
Race 2 Horse 1 – Royal Symphony (for the ladies at the Tennis club)
Race 4 Horse 3 – Redkirk Warrior
Race 5 Horse 6 – Catchy
Race 7 Horse 1 – Hartnell (also for the ladies at the Tennis club)

Good luck and good punting!

The Gelding

Weekend musing – Drew Morphett, Nathan Buckley, All Australian team, Chris Scott, Ange Postecoglou

One of things I want to discuss is the tragic passing of Drew Morphett. Drew was one of those classic ABC commentators who was comfortable commentating on anything from football to athletics to tiddlywinks. He was always interested in presenting the picture to the audience and not pumping up his own tyres. In a pretty cut-throat industry I think he was universally liked by his peers. He will be missed.

I was also pleased that Nathan Buckley was reappointed as Collingwood coach for another two years as this will consign Collingwood to another two years out of the finals. It has to be good for the competition.

It was interesting to see that three of the banned Essendon players made the All Australian team with Hurley the only player to have made the team previously. Unfortunately for Essendon, Paddy Ryder (Port Adelaide) and Michael Hibberd (Melbourne) no longer play for the club. What it does show is that a year out of the game is not fatal for a player in his 20’s, but perhaps once you get to thirty it is not a positive experience.

Chris Scott took Geelong into another finals series last night and his fellow coaches recently voted him as the hardest coach to coach against. He certainly has had a lot of success since taking over from Bomber Thompson, however, his finals record needs some scrutiny. Since the 2011 finals series where Geelong won three games, including the premiership, but with the loss to Richmond, he has now contested a further nine finals for only two wins and one of those wins was over Hawthorn last year when Isaac Smith had a shot after the siren that could have taken the game away from Geelong. I think a few questions need to be posed as to Scott’s finals coaching record.

Speaking of coaches I cannot believe that Ange Postecoglou has come under so much pressure recently. He got the Socceroos an Asian Cup and in the current qualifiers the Socceroos have only lost one game. They do have an issue with scoring, but I put that down to personnel, not system. His system creates scoring chances, but we don’t seem to have the quality of strikers to put the goals away and this was no more evident that the recent game against Thailand. I think Tommy Juric is a good developing striker in the Mark Viduka mould, but we need a Harry Kewell or Tim Cahill at his best to compliment Juric. This is not Postecoglou’s fault, he has tried to develop players, but Australia just does not have genuine strikers playing at the highest level. Let the World Cup campaign pan out and reassess at the end.

Have a great weekend!

Gelding’s red hot tips for Moonee Valley on Saturday 9 September 2017

The Gelding’s attention is on Moonee Valley today and after a good outing last week he is looking to maximise his return this afternoon.

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

Moonee Valley

Race 1 Horse 3 – Samovare
Race 2 Horse 10 РIllumicon (scratched)
Race 5 Horse 7 – Houtzen (for the ladies at the Tennis club)
Race 6 Horse 8 – Sanadaat
Race 7 Horse 2 – Brave Smash (also for the ladies at the Tennis club)
Race 8 Horse 5 – He’s our Rokkii

You can hear the Gelding discuss today’s race results with the Professor on Sportzfan Radio tomorrow between midday ad 2.00pm on 88.3 Southern FM, the Sounds of the Bayside.

Good luck and good punting!

The Gelding

Gelding’s red hotties for Caulfield races on Saturday 2 September 2017

The Gelding’s attention is on his home track at Caulfield today and he is keen to hit winning form with the big races of the Spring Carnival just around the corner.

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

Caulfield

Race 2 Horse 8 – Oregon’s Day
Race 4 Horse 2 – Merchant Navy
Race 5 Horse 2 – Fuhryk
Race 6 Horse 4 РSheidel (for the ladies at the Tennis club)
Race 7 Horse 5 – Vega Magic (also for the ladies at the Tennis club)

Good luck and good punting!

The Gelding

Weekend musing covers the AFL’s final round and the Dustin Martin saga

This weeks final round of football is an absolute cracker with every game having some influence on the final standings. In the Herald Sun they have equated this round to the final round of 1987 where several games impacted the make up of the finals. As an Essendon supporter I am happy that my team has control of its own destiny. The Bombers should account for Fremantle at home, but having seen my side cough up a 27 point lead against Brisbane at home you never can be sure. It also may be Jobe Watson’s last game in the red and black. He certianly got the most out of himself and it still riles me that he returned his Brownlow medal.

The Dustin Martin saga seems to be dragging on and it seems more likely that he will leave the Tigers. I know he is an important player and this year’s likely Brownlow medalist, however, if the reported offer from North Melbourne is $1.5m a year for 7 years the Tigers should not attempt to match it as it would jeopardise future contracts and their payment structure. I do not think he is worth anything like that sort of money as he doesn’t provide any sort of marketing clout save for his position as a star player. I also do not think that most Richmond supporters would want their club to go too far to keep him. Martin needs the money and I have no doubt he will go to the highest bidder. He is not a media performer and he is not coaching material, so he has to make hay while he is playing. If North Melbourne do get him there is no guarantee that he will be the panacea for their woes in any case. Paying a player that amount of money will no doubt cause a ripple affect amongst the other players as Tom Boyd’s contract apparently did at the Bulldogs. This guy is no Paddy Dangerfield.

Have a great weekend!