Tag Archives: mark-thompson

Weekend musing – Essendon FC and the #1 draft pick, US Open, Jason Day

Chris Barwin HillsThere has been heated discussion over recent weeks as to whether Essendon should get the number one draft pick should they finish on the bottom of the ladder. Speaking from a purely one eyed position, surely if they finish last they get the number one pick. Hasn’t the Unknownteam been punished enough? three years of investigations combined with the most severe penalties ever dished out to a club….and all this when the Tribunal could not establish clearly that banned substances had been administered. Personally, I would prefer they didn’t justify the number one pick as the club has not won the wooden spoon since 1933 which is well before I was born, so in my life time I have not experienced the ignominy of finishing last. In 1933 there was only twelve teams, so they would be finishing six places lower this time!

I also noted with interest the comments from Mark Thompson during the week regarding the Essendon style of play. Bomber is watsonpart of the media and certainly entitled to his opinion, but I must say apart from the last two weeks I think their progress has been quite good. Even in the big loss to Fremantle, the Bombers won the last quarter. The loss to Hawthorn was certainly on the cards and I picked the Hawks to win by 100pts so I was not far off. One thing I will say about Mark Thompson’s comments is that they weren’t vindictive like Mick Malthouse’s continued comments about Collingwood. I think Bomber’s comments at least showed that he still cared.

OK, Essendon rant over for now.

The US Open is on at the fearsome Oakmont course. I was surprised to hear that Jason Day is feeling weighed down by the number one 1363998228672tag. That is unfortunate as surely that is what every sportsman strives for. His form has certainly dropped off since getting to the number one spot. I can’t get excited about the Aussie contingent this time around. Adam Scott is talking a good talk but his confidence seems to be lacking. I think the most likely winner is the home grown Jordan Spieth.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – AFL, Robert Flower, Essendon FC & more…..

Chris Barwin HillsWell my first comment has to be about the shock regarding the passing of Robert Flower. He is one of my most admired players from other clubs and I always felt he was stiff to miss out on a Brownlow. He had all the attributes to win the codes greatest individual honour, however, playing for a side that was nearly always in the bottom half of the ladder probably worked against him. I think he came third twice which was probably a significant achievement in itself. The Melbourne Football Club has suffered more than its fair share of tragedies have the last couple of years and for another icon of the club to pass away too early is just not fair. Vale Robert Flower.

Secondly the Essendon situation has taken a further turn this week. I did not hold out high hopes for the Federal Court application on the basis that the club had self reported and had submitted to the process, but was encouraged in the running by some reported poor performances by witnesses for ASADA and the AFL. Justice Middleton was not so persuaded and I can understand the club now wanting to move to the next stage and not appeal. Why James Hird now wants to take this on does really not make much sense to me and if he persists I would not blame the club for terminating his contract. I have really swung around to the need for Bomber Thompson to stay at the club with or without Hird. James is the clubs greatest living player and carries a lot of sentiment for everyone associated with the club, but you do not put the individual before the club. Despite it not being right, I am getting to the stage where I think the players should take the ASADA deal just to bring it to a conclusion.

Thirdly, how boring was the Grand Final! When you are a non-aligned supporter you want to see a good game and I kept watching thinking that the momentum would swing to the Swans at some stage and it never did. I thought Jordan Lewis would have been a worthy Norm Smith Medalist, but you could have raffled it between him, Mitchell and Hodge. It was interesting that Sydney’s best two players were Franklin and Kennedy and they used to play for Hawthorn! The Box Hill Hawks also played off in the VFL Grand Final, so it says something about their depth and now they look like getting James Frawley. I know they lost Franklin which freed up a lot of their salary gap, but how can they keep getting good players from other clubs and paying them accordingly?

Hopefully the NRL Grand Final between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs is a better spectacle this weekend.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – Essendon FC, James Hird, Father/Son rule……

Chris Barwin HillsThere have been a few Essendon issues popping up this week and I thought I would provide the perspective of a footy fan:

1) Should Dustin Fletcher play on? The question came up after a poor game against the Bulldogs and being left out of the team that beat Port Adelaide. I think he should play on next year, his form generally this year has been good, his game against Collingwood the previous week could not be faulted and I think you will find at the end of the year, in the previous game against the Bulldogs he will probably be in the umpire’s votes. If he plays on next year he will get to 400 games which is a significant milestone and even worth putting him on the list as a mature age rookie to try and get him over the line next year.

2) Should James Hird return to the coaches box once his suspension has been served? I think he should be able to return to the club, but he should stay away from the coaches box until the club has completed the 2014 campaign. Leave the match day coaching to Bomber and his assistants, but get involved behind closed doors as he will need to be across the list as soon as the season has been completed to prepare for the draft etc.

There has also been discussions about the Father/Son rule and the northern states academies. With regard to the Father/Son rule I think it should remain as it is as it is a great part of our game that a player has the option to play for his father’s ex-team in certain circumstances. I actually think there should be a brother/brother rule, particularly with regard to twins. I thought it was harsh when the Selwood twins ended up in Brisbane and Perth respectively, not only for them, but their parents as well. Then Joel ends up at Geelong! There is also the Brown twins, where Nathan ended up at Collingwood and Mitchell at West Coast, again harsh for them and their parents. Who do you barrack for?

With the northern states academies, I think if they have put the time and energy into preparing the players and that was the basis on which the academies were set up, then I don’t think there should be an issue. Having said that, perhaps the academies should be run by both clubs in that state, ie. Sydney and GWS and whichever team has first choice in the draft has the right of first refusal for that player.

Anyhow we have an interesting season panning out with five or six clubs vying for three or four spots in the final eight which should maintain the interest for those positions right until the end of the season.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – Essendon FC, the Hangar, Big Bash League……

Chris Barwin HillsWell my sporting highlight for the week had nothing to do with any particular sporting event, but rather a sporting ‘occasion’.

Last September, I entered a fund raising raffle for the Essendon Football Club. The ticket cost me $200 and it was to raise funds for their new high performance centre. I thought I had missed out on any prizes, but in mid November I found out that I had won a tour of the new facility out at Tullamarine, a meeting with the coach, Mark Thompson, a photograph with the player of my choice which was David Zaharakis and a jumper signed by the whole team.

Well on Wednesday I took two of my children and received my prize. The facility is quite amazing with an oval the size of the MCG and another the size of Etihad stadium, but the indoor training area, The Hangar is quite amazing. It has artificial turf and is about 50 x 60 metres so they could undertake drills indoors if required. The place is not complete as they didn’t get all the funding they hoped from the federal government, so no doubt there will be further fund raisers! They also have about eighty administrative staff out there so football clubs these days are big businesses. One of the things that was obvious that they need for the Hangar is air conditioning, it was probably warmer in there than it was outside!

The meeting with ‘Bomber’ and David Zaharakis went well and they were happy to have a chat for 5-10 minutes. Bomber seemed pretty comfortable with the coaches role which was good given his earlier reluctance. The jumper is worth more than the price of the ticket and once I get the photos I will think about getting it mounted and framed.

The entire thing took just over an hour and was over very quickly, but it was a memorable experience and we were certainly made to feel very welcome.

Before I head off to Hawaii next week, I will make one comment about the tennis, thank goodness for the Big Bash League!

Have a great weekend and I’ll be back on 14 Feb!

Sportzfan Radio #183.2

@SportzfanRadio now available on iTunes!12 December 2010 183.2 – Mark Fiorenti continues his discussion of the A League looking at Sydney Rovers dropping their bid to join and also reviews at Premier League and Champions League. John O’Callaghan and Nicole Chvastek return to discuss a number of sporting topics including the World Cup bid fiasco which highlighted the lack of leadership by those running the bid process for Australia and the secrecy of surrounding money spent on the bid. Daniel says that it was OK for Elle MacPherson to be involved with the bid….he wouldn’t complain about that. Nicole queries the cost benefit analysis of spending so much money for one vote. The Professor eblieves the money paid to consultants was an absolute waste.

John also looks at the ‘rivalry’ round in the ABL and he believes after four weeks that is an absolute nonsense idea. Sean says Brendan Fevola smashing a car windscreen in a baseball promotion gave the ABL some main stream press during the week but for all the wrong reasons. Daniel talks about the stupidity of one match last week being called a tie becaue of the time curfew restrictions at the stadium.

Nicole starts off a discussion with the Panel about Shane Warne – his suntan, his eyebrows and his teeth, the mediocrity that is Australia cricket and whether or not Warne will make a comeback. She also believes that Geelong officials should be deemed to be ‘negligent’ for allowing Bomber Thompson and Garry Ablett to not talk to each other for about eight months. She says whoever oversaw such a debacle should be kicked out of the Club.

Daniel and the Professor discuss the NBL, particularly the new imports with both the Adelaide 36ers and the Sydney Kings. They also talk NBA and the improvement of the New York Knicks this season after recruiting Amare Stoudemire.  Daniel wonders if Carmelo Anthony will sign soon with the Knicks.  He talks about Julius Hodge who says he has finished with Australia and won’t be back to play in the NBL.

Paul Dalligan also wants to talk ABL and he was impressed with his first game watching the Melbourne Aces. He also has NRL mail that Wayne Bennett will coach the Rabbitohs in 2012.