It has been a while, but I thought it was time to put pen to paper so to speak.
When the Victorian teams went into hubs and it was clear there was going to be no football in Victoria for the remainder of the season I think I “mused” that the season would favour Brisbane, Port Adelaide and West Coast. They would be able to play home games and have a relatively normal season compared to the Victorian and clubs. After the first week of the finals I was thinking I was right and was looking forward to a Port Adelaide -v- Brisbane grand final on the Gabba. This was a game where I didn’t particularly care who won, but would be favouring Brisbane at home.
Then along comes Richmond Geelong to upset the apple cart. While it put me into a conundrum about whom to support on the big day, you have to admire what both clubs have achieved by just getting to the final game of the year. Both teams have been in hubs for over 100 days which is a totally abnormal situation. Some clubs responded well to “hub” life which included these two and I would probably throw in St Kilda & Melbourne as well, while my team Essendon, North Melbourne and GWS clearly did not. It probably says more about the stability and cohesiveness of the clubs that did not respond well than those that did and these three clubs have been shedding players since their seasons finished.
Turning to the game itself, when it became clear last Saturday night that it would be Geelong -v- Richmond I did not favour one side over the other and I even contemplated not watching the game. Richmond have won two out of the last three flags and Geelong has had a lot of recent success and living in Geelong I didn’t know if I could put up with the local hysteria. I live in a street 10 minutes walk from Kardinia Park and many of the houses in my street are festooned with Cats paraphernalia. Walking past scarves draped around fences, it is in your face and just reminds you what you are missing. In the end I have decided to support Geelong. It would be good for the town and I think Patty Dangerfield does deserve a premiership. Not only is he one of the best players of the last decade he is also quite humble and anyone down here who has met him says he is very easy to talk to and always finds time for kids with photos & autographs.
Dangerfield and Dustin Martin have been identified as the key players for each club as both are great mid-fielders and very dangerous when they go forward. I think Geelong can win without a stellar performance from Dangerfield, but Richmond cannot win without a starring performance from Martin. Each player requires a different match up in the mid-field and in attack. For Martin, I would have Cam Guthrie run with him in the mid-field and Tom Stewart pick him up when he goes forward. With Dangerfield, I would have Shane Edwards go with him in the mid-field and Dylan Grimes pick him up in the forward line.
I think Richmond’s bottom 6 players are better than Geelong’s bottom 6 players, so that favours Richmond in a close game. However, I think Geelong probably have more match winning players and if there is a blow-out it is more likely going to be Geelong. The threat of rain would favour the way Richmond play as they play a wet weather type of game even when it is dry! So if it rains, I am picking Richmond and if it remains relatively dry I am picking Geelong.
If it had been a Port Adelaide -v- Brisbane grand final there may have been an asterisk on the 2020 season, but with neither team making it I think the winner this year will deserve every accolade.
Have a great weekend and I hope we get a game worth watching!