Tag Archives: nathan-fyffe

Friday musing – AFL, Brownlow Medal, Nat Fyffe, Dally M, Jonathan Thurston, Wayne Bennett

Chris Barwin HillsI think everyone was impressed with the interview/acceptance speech from Nathan Fyffe on Monday night when he won the Brownlow medal. In my opinion it was the most impressive, natural post Brownlow performance I have seen. Not only is the guy a naturalfyffe footballer but he is a natural in front of the camera so you can imagine the media outlets will be lining up for his services and advertisers lining up for him to endorse their products. He is my favourite footballer that doesn’t play for my team and it was great to see him win.

The Brownlow voting seems to have changed over the last ten years. If you think back to 1990, Tony Liberatore and Gavin Wanganeen tied with 18 votes. Going back even further to 1986 Dipper and Greg Williams tied on 17 votes. In the last ten years only Ben Cousins in 2005 scored less than 24 votes (he scored 20) with five players HANNEBERYscoring 30 or more. In 2000 Essendon scored the most team votes ever in the Brownlow (116 votes), but James Hird was the highest with only 16 votes so the votes were more evenly spread amongst the players. Today we get star players dominating the voting. The best example of that is Josh Kennedy and Dan Hannebery from the Swans scoring 49 of the Swans 94 votes. That is more than fifty percent of the Swans votes between two players. It seems to me there is a bit of a “cult of personality” which has impacted upon the umpires and their voting.

I am hoping that the West Coast Eagles salute on Saturday, however, it is hard to see Hawthorn getting beaten.

The Dally M for the NRL was decided on the same night as the Brownlow and Jonathon Thurston won the award for a record fourth time. I am not a big rugby league aficionado, but that is a remarkable performance and now that the Storm has been knocked out of the johnathan-thurstonfinals it would be good to see his Cowboys salute in the grand final. Up against him is the Wayne Bennett coached Brisbane Broncos, who I understand has a perfect seven from seven record in Grand Finals. That is a remarkable statistic in its own right.

Have a great long weekend!

Friday musing – AFL, Finals Footy……

Chris Barwin HillsWell the footy finals are now underway and Essendon was eliminated in the first week after giving up a five goal lead early in the third quarter. A Richmond supporter posed the question to me on Monday, “Is it better to cough up a lead and lose as Essendon did or be blown out of the water in the first quarter and have no chance of winning as Richmond did?”. Whilst it was very disappointing to give up that lead, I must say it is a lot better to be in the game with a chance and the Bombers were still in the lead with five minutes to go, so give me the Essendon scenario over the Richmond scenario any day.

I thought after watching Geelong on Friday night that the winner of the North Melbourne/Essendon game would have a great chance of knocking them off the following week. Geelong dropped marks at both ends of the ground, missed simple targets with their disposal and could not lay a tackle. If North can match them early they are every chance to win and get the chance to play the Swans in Sydney. Geelong won 17 games this year, but probably played like a team who should only have won 13-14 games so they are about on par with North in my opinion.

With the other game I have been on Fremantle all year so I have to stick with them, however, Port Adelaide could not have been more impressive last week and they have a bevy of mercurial players that can really do some magic on the footy field. They got close to Freo recently in Perth and Ballantyne is not playing and Port have no injury concerns of any note. The big difference is that Nat Fyffe did not play in the recent game and in my opinion and the opinion of the other players in the AFL, he is just about the best player in the competition so he will make a significant difference and swing an even game in the favour of Freo.

In reference to my “musing ” last week, it was gratifying to note that the players voted Zach Merrett into equal fourth place on the Best First Year Player list having not secured any votes in the NAB Rising Star. As you may have worked out I am a bit of a wrap for him and I think he acquitted himself pretty well in his first final last Saturday night.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – AFL, Match Review Panel, Nathan Fyffe…..

Chris Barwin HillsIt has been a busy couple of weeks and I must say sport has probably been a long way from my thoughts.

One of the bigger AFL issues rearing it’s head at the moment is the prospect of Nathan Fyffe getting the most votes in the Brownlow, but being ineligible. I must say he was most unfortunate to be suspended for the incident that was in essence a head clash, but because of the change in rules and because he opted to bump, he was suspended. If the same thing happened last year he would not have been suspended and if the jungle drums are correct, the rule may be clarified next year which may not result in a suspension which would then not preclude a player from winning the Brownlow medal. So we may have the farcical situation where he misses out on the Brownlow on the basis of a rule which existed for one year. How ludicrous would that be!

You think of the other 2 “winners” who missed out on the Brownlow due to suspensions – Corey McKernan and Chris Grant. Both their incidents under the current Match Review Panel system, would probably only result in a reprimand due to lack of force. The AFL has amended rules in the past to allow winners who lost on a count back to be awarded medals and perhaps it is time that McKernan & Grant’s incidents were reviewed in light of current assessments. In McKernan’s case it would not jeopardise the actual winners as James Hird & Michael Voss had the same number of votes as McKernan, but Robert Harvey polled less votes than Grant and that may be an issue.

As an aside, Corey McKernan also missed out on the Rising Star award because of a suspension which was also lacking in force, but let us leave than one alone.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – US Masters, Adam Scott, Arsenal, Patrick Vieira…..

Chris Barwin HillsWith the US Masters now started, I thought it was worth remarking about those two fantastic shots from Matt Jones to qualify him for the Masters. First he drained a 45ft putt to make the play off and then he wins it by chipping in from off the green. Two miracle shots. My original selection for the Masters was Jason Day as I have selected him to win a major this year, however, his first round would indicate that he may not have recovered from his thumb injury so I will have to revert to the reigning champion, Adam Scott.

On a different note, I was thinking about the way Bomber Thompson is coaching at the moment and it brought to mind the change in the Australian Cricket team performance once Darren Lehman took over. Both men take a relaxed approach to their coaching which appears to bring about the best in their teams. One thing I have noticed about the Essendon team this year is that their disposal efficiency has improved immeasurably from previous years. Maintaining that efficiency throughout the season will be the big test as, like my EPL team, Arsenal, they have fallen away at the end of the season recently.

While on the football it is worth commenting on “the bump”. I think everyone who has seen the Nathan Fyffe bump and the Daniel Merrett forearm cannot believe they have been graded the same. Fyffe’s bump was an accidental clash of heads which resulted in a charge under the new AFL rules, whereas Merrett’s was an old fashioned whack which should have gotten four weeks. I think if there are many more incidents akin to the Fyffe suspension, the AFL will need to amend the rules, because in a contact game you cannot or at least should not be suspended for something which was accidental. Australian Rules football is a contact sport and accidents will still happen.

A very disappointing result for Arsenal in the EPL last week losing 3-0 to Everton and now jeopardising their Champions League position. Should they lose the fourth position to Everton and not win the FA Cup, there is every chance that Arsene Wenger will not be asked to continue with the team which would be a shame in my opinion. The owners are finally loosening the purse strings and he may miss out on building the team up again. I also read an interesting article in The Age during the week about Patrick Vieira the last Arsenal captain to raise a trophy. He is working with the Manchester City Under 21 team and enjoying the role. I am not suggesting he is a manager in waiting as it would seem he is a long way off that, but worth keeping an eye on his progress.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – AFL, Tania Hird, Andrew Demetriou…..

Chris Barwin HillsWell it is not very often I am angry on a Friday morning, after all it is the end of the week, however this week is different.

On the day before the Bombers first game of the year Tania Hird decides to give an interview to the ABC about some of the events of last year with regard to Andrew Demetriou and the so called “tip off”.  Why bother?  I can understand her wanting to support her husband, but save it for a book once he has retired.  It does not help the club one iota and certainly doesn’t help her husband who is already suspended, it just rekindles a story that all Essendon supporters and I am sure most football supporters are heartily sick of.

While I am back onto the Supplement Scandal I must say that Demetriou’s comment that he or anyone at the AFL didn’t inject anyone is quite childish.  He has said it on a number of occasions and it is not funny, it is not clever and it is not the point.

I am also puzzled about the ASADA findings.  A couple of weeks ago we were advised that the final report had been referred to a retired judge to consider if there was enough evidence to issue notices against any players.  Subsequent to that we now hear that ASADA are to interview Stephen Dank.  Should that not have happened before they finalised their report and sent it to the judge?

Let us not forget that the games have started and what an interesting first weekend of football.  The GWS must be one of the longest price winners in AFL history and they didn’t just win, they romped it in.  I think they were paying $11.00-$13.00 for the win and the Swans were $1.04- $1.05.  I don’t know what it says about either side for the coming season because you would not write off the Swans to still finish in the top four and equally the GWS finishing in the bottom four.  Maybe it is a portent for the future of both clubs beyond this year.

The Gold Coast beating Richmond was not a great surprise, although I am sure the Tiger supporters were very buoyant before the game.  Freo winning was expected, but the way they disposed of Collingwood after quarter time was very clinical and Ross Lyon could afford to rest Nathan Fyffe before 3/4 time.  It never ceases to amaze me how often Scott Pendlebury, Dane Swan and Dayne Beams get around 90 possessions between them, win lose or draw.  Port beating Carlton was also not a great surprise, Port play Etihad well and Carlton don’t.  The Cats have also saluted at home, which was also not a great surprise given that it is over ten years since Adelaide have won at Kardinia Park.

Roll on the rest of round 1 and may the discussion be around the games and not all of the outside rubbish.

Have a great weekend!