Tag Archives: athletics

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!

Weekend musing – Rio no go, the Nevill stumping and Michael Hurley re-signs with the Bombers…..

Sfan OB6The Olympics are coming to a conclusion and I must say that my interest levels have been as low as I can remember for an Olympic Games. I don’t know if it is the timing of the events or all of the negative stories before the games started, but I have been boltsignificantly underwhelmed. Perhaps my level of enthusiasm is matched by the Australian results where very few of our competitors have performed at their best. It would appear from the vision I have seen that the crowds have stayed away too. If the athletics didn’t have Usain Bolt these could be the dullest games of all time where the side stories have far more interest than the performances.

I was interested in the Peter Nevill stumping during the third test in stumpingSri Lanka when he waited for the batsman to lift his foot after playing the ball. The batsman was clearly out, but was it in the spirit of the game? I must admit some bias here, I was dismissed in a similar fashion playing school cricket and while I too was clearly out, I had avoided a bouncer and moved out of my crease before the keeper had passed the ball onto the fieldsman. I always thought it was unfair as it wasn’t the skill of the bowler that got me out of my crease. The same applied to the Nevill stumping.

Great news for Essendon supporters with Michael Hurley re-signing. When the players were suspended at the start of the year I hurleythought Essendon would lose one of Hurley, Hooker or Heppell and they have all re-committed to the club. Essendon now need Jobe Watson to play another year so he doesn’t conclude his career as a banned player. He deserves to finish on a high note even if he does lose the Brownlow medal.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – Justice for Jared Tallent

Coors lightRobbed of a chance to have the gold medal around his neck after the 2012 London Olympic Games, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (‘CAS’) has upheld an appeal by the world governing body for tallentathletics, IAAF against the winner of the 50 kilometre walk, Russian Sergey Kirdyapkin. Kirdyapkin failed a drug test and his results for the period 2009-2012 were annulled except for the Olympics title.

In a decision earlier this week, CAS ruled that Kirdyapkin could not retain the tile and the event was awarded to the Australian who was second over the line. Tallent said he felt ‘vindicated’ and AOC President, John Coates has said that a ‘meaningful’ presentation will be arranged for Tallent.

Seems that we are quite prepared to take the decision from CAS on watsonthis one when it benefits an Australian, but, CAS have got it totally wrong when it comes to the Essendon Football Club players – hard to fathom.

Friday musing…young athletes, Grand Prix, ICC World Cup & Ryan Crowley

Chris Barwin HillsI think we all get excited when a young up and coming sportsman or woman comes onto the scene and shows some real potential. Reading about the young sprinter from Tasmania, Jack Hale and the young high jumper from Victoria, Eleanor Patterson does get me a bit excited about two athletes who may establish themselves on the world stage. Hale has a best time for the 100m of 10.13 which was wind assisted and Patterson has a best leap of 1.96m which is only 2cm shy of the national record and, better still, both are still eligible for the world junior championships. These two will be worth keeping an eye on and I understand that Hale will be competing at the Stawell Gift so we will see him competing with open age sprinters sooner rather than later.

I am not a big motor racing fan, but I did sit down and watch a bit of the Grand Prix last weekend. What a procession! If the next few races go in a similar fashion I think even people who are into motor sport will start to drop off Grand Prix racing. The Mercedes car is that much better than everyone else it makes the sport quite boring. The two Mercedes drivers beat the third placed driver by over thirty seconds and lapped Daniel Ricciardo who actually got points for finishing 6th! It has always been a bug bear of mine that a sport is dictated by the equipment and not the sportsman. Put most of Sunday’s drivers in the Mercedes and the positions would have been no different. Where is the sport in that?

Well Sri Lanka are now out of the ICC World Cup, but we may not have seen the last Sri Lankan at the World Cup as I think the now retired Kumar Sangakkara will be named the player of the tournament for his four centuries in a row. What a player and even in his country’s paltry score against Sth Africa he top scored with 45. With form like that I wonder if he will be talked out of retirement.

Ryan Crowley was the big story in AFL circles this week. With the amount of scrutiny now placed on medication and supplements spiked by the ongoing Essendon saga, there really is no excuse. At 31 this could be the end of his career which could put a fair hole in Freemantle’s finals aspirations this year.

Have a great weekend!