Tag Archives: nathan-buckley

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 – Eddie Maguire, Collingwood FC, Nathan Buckley, Mick Malthouse

Chris Barwin HillsIt was interesting to hear Eddie Maguire had considered giving up the Collingwood presidency after last weeks loss to Carlton. I am maguireglad he didn’t resign and while I am quite prepared to criticise Eddie, I must say he is not only good for Collingwood, I think he is also good for football. He has a profile which goes beyond Melbourne and beyond football. Once he does give up the Collingwood presidency, the AFL should have a think about how they could use him to promote football. A bit like getting Kevin Sheedy to be the inaugural coach of GWS, there would be a role somewhere there for “Eddie Everywhere”.

Sticking to the Collingwood theme it was also interesting to hear Unknown-3Mick Malthouse suggest that he thought that Collingwood was on the verge of a mini-dynasty when he left. From what I have heard there has been no support for this assertion. While I consider that they may have Unknown-2done better in 2012 with Mick than Bucks, that does not constitute a mini-dynasty. Mick obviously subscribed to the Richmond/Hafey/Sheedy philosophy that every team needs a few mavericks and it just a matter of how you manage them. Buckley obviously does not subscribe to that philosophy and got rid of some of the players that would have kept them up there longer.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – reappointment of Buckley and Hardwick

Chris Barwin HillsI was interested to see both Richmond & Collingwood extended Damian Hardwick & Nathan Buckley’s coaching tenure during the Unknown-3week. Damian Hardwick has reached the finals on three occasions for no wins and Nathan Buckley has coached in four finals for one win. Neither are premiership coaches and I seriously doubt that they would be on the radar of any other team at the moment….so why the rush?

I am not saying they cannot coach, I just cannot see the urgency. Essendon extended the coaching tenure of Matthew Knights in the martinmiddle of the second year of a three year contract and he was sacked at the end of the third year meaning a big pay out for the club. I am not comparing either Hardwick or Buckley to Matthew Knights as coaches, but what happens if both Collingwood & Richmond miss the finals this year? I would have thought consideration in the middle of this year would have been more prudent.

Have a great weekend!

AFL needs to re-think ‘illicit’ drugs policy

meIt is about time that the AFL amended its illicit drugs policy.

Sportzfan Radio has been calling for this for a considerable period of time. This week Melbourne Football Club coach, Paul Roos and Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley have added their voices to this imagescall. Buckley went as far as to say ‘if it’s a battle, we’re not winning it’ and wanted players to be held accountable for their behaviour.

The drugs policy indicates that the AFL does not condone the use of illicit substances and aims to identify AFL players who have substance abuse issues and place the necessary support around them to protect their health and wellbeing with a focus on education of the player. The policy includes a ‘three strikes’ component that means a player’s identity does not become public knowledge until he has been detected three times with illicit substances in his body.

First off let’s look at the word ‘illicit’. It means ‘forbidden by law, rules or customs’. In other words the policy can be described as the AFL’s illegal drug policy.

Interestingly, the AFL Player Code of Conduct that is incorporated into the standard AFL playing contract, is intended to ‘educate players on the importance of maintaining appropriate standards….’ Unknown-3and requires them to conduct themselves in a manner so as not to bring the game of Australian Rules into disrepute. The Code also indicates that AFL players must refrain from taking illicit and/or performance enhancing substances.

There are provisions in the Code that allow Clubs to penalise players where there has been a serious breach of the Code and, in cases of wilful misconduct, termination of the playing contract is open to the Club. I would argue that taking illegal drugs is a serious breach of the Code.

The problem with the current illicit drugs policy is that when a player is detected, he has already breached his playing contract with the Club. However, the Club is unaware of this until the third strike and is powerless to take any action it may deem appropriate. It is arguable that after a first strike and certainly after a second, the Unknownplayer comes within the ‘wilful misconduct’ provisions and could have his playing contract terminated. Without that knowledge of course, the Club is unable to act notwithstanding the player is engaged in illegal conduct.

Paul Roos’ analogy of ignoring motor car theft three times before taking action hopefully focusses those at AFL headquarters and the AFLPA on the problem of the current illicit drugs policy.

Time for a rethink!

Friday musing – Cricket, World Cup, Essendon FC…..

Chris Barwin HillsWell the Cricket World Cup is about to begin and I note that Australia is drawn play a game against New Zealand in New Zealand, so much for the home World Cup. With 2 pools the Australians and the New Zealanders should have been placed into different pools so that there was no away game for either team. In the previous World Cup in 1992 the same thing happened with Australia drawn to play New Zealand in New Zealand (and we lost!). With the 2 pools it is unlikely that either side would miss the next stage, however, I do have an issue with that type of fixturing.

It will be interesting to see how the World Cup goes. It would appear that some games will be very popular, like the opening game of the tournament tomorrow with Australia v England and the India v Pakistan game in Adelaide which was apparently sold out some months ago. However, many of the others could be television games only. The tournament is scheduled to go over seven weeks which to me is way too long and there is a big risk that the interest in the game will wain over that length of time. I think a compressed format of 4-5 weeks would have been more appealing. The Big Bash was played over a period of a month and I think they got that right.

I was bemused to hear Mick Malthouse and Nathan Buckley’s comments about the Essendon players and their stance regarding the NAB Challenge series. I think the club should field a team for the series, however, I also agree with the approach that the entire list from 2012 should not play to at least try and preserve the anonymity of the players to which they are entitled. There should be enough players that have come onto the list since 2012 and I wonder what Malthouse & Buckley’s views would be if the boot was on the other foot and it was their players that had to bear the brunt of this continued saga.

Have a great weekend!