Tag Archives: zach-merrett

Weekend musing – AFL, All Australian team, 2017 improvers…….

Sfan OB6It must be a first for any form of football in Australia with AFL finals to take place in four different states next week. This shows it is truly tarranta national competition and the four finals spread over three days should be a great spectacle. While the bye may be frustrating for some it did allow flexibility with the scheduling of the last round and the finals so from a broadcasters point of view it is likely to be a success even if the coaches don’t like it.

The All-Australian team was announced last night and I thought there were a few surprises with Robbie Tarrant missing out andenright Corey Enright making the team, but the biggest surprise was eight teams missing out on a representative in the team. This must be a record and it is hard to believe that North Melbourne and St Kilda both winning twelve games did not have a player worthy of being a representative.

Next year it is anticipated that St Kilda, Melbourne, Collingwood and Essendon are the likely teams to improve, but at this stage only North Melbourne looks like sliding, so perhaps we are in for a very even season, just as it has been for the top seven teams this year. It makes for an exciting competition.

Now that the Bombers season is over I can say that having approached their season with very low expectations, I was pleasantly surprised. While the results were heavily skewed in tipungwutifavour of the losses, most games seemed to reveal some positives for the team. For an example you don’t need to look further than Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti. Other players have progressed, like Zach Merrett who I think was unlucky to miss out on the All Australian squad. I doubt the Bombers are under any illusions about next year. It will take time to integrate the banned players back in to the team and a season of 10-11 wins would be a huge step forward.

Have a great 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 – NAB Rising Star, Zach Merrett, AFL…..

Chris Barwin HillsI was interested to see the outcome of the NAB Rising Star this week as I thought the young Essendon player Zach Merrett could fare well given his excellent debut season. I was a little surprised to see he did not secure a vote and it got me thinking about the award and how it probably favours teams further down the table.

Of the eight finalists, five had nominees, two from Sydney, two from Essendon and one each from Fremantle, North Melbourne and Port Adelaide. Meaning Geelong, Hawthorn & Richmond did not provide a nominee. The top two vote winners were from Brisbane and the Western Bulldogs, with third coming from North Melbourne. Brisbane also had the fourth placegetter.

Young players are more likely to get games and more game time with teams further down the ladder and this probably works in their favour.

Incidentally, Zach Merrett’s stats were similar to Marcus Bontempelli and his player rating was higher than him and yet he could not get a vote. Perhaps he needed a few highlights! Disappointing.

Have a great weekend and go Bombers!