Dave Cardamone takes a look at the things we can expect to see as six more teams kick off their preseason campaign in the JLT Community Series.
No Rance no Richmond?
Alex Rance is treated like gold, such as that he’s a precious metal that the Tigers cannot afford to be without. But on the weekend they’ll get a look at what things will be like without him. Meanwhile, Adelaide have named their three big men in Walker, Jenkins and Lynch. Whilst their game time will be managed, it will be interesting to see who stands up from Tigerland in their general’s absence. We know Grimes is serviceable but would he be an adequate replacement? If I can make suggestion from left field: is there any reason Ben Griffiths shouldn’t be tried down back? He has the height, athleticism and a fantastic long kick. Given flexibility is key, it’s certain not out of the realms of possibilities this weekend.
Lingering Negotiation Discussion
The negotiations between the AFL and the AFL Players Association continues quietly behind closed doors with a naïve feeling that ongoing negotiations won’t lead to strike action and that an agreement will be finalised in the near future. The situation is what it is but has the media taken this issue seriously enough? How on earth has it even gotten to this point? A month away from the start of the 2017 Premiership Season and the individuals that put on the show are still to have an agreed contract? It’s amazing how the industry picks and chooses its battles, not enough heat has been created around this topic but it will surely come to a head if things aren’t negotiated before Round 1.
Auskick to continue
Nothing compares to real opposition and real match simulation, that’s unless you play for North Melbourne and fancy getting reported for striking during your own intra-club matches. Come on down Andrew Swallow! Add the opportunities afforded to the majority of AFL lists, the desperation from those players to make their mark and the eagerness of all players to finally be playing some sort of “real” match and it’s no wonder the skills were all over the place on the weekend. Yes there were passages of play with AFL brilliance (well done young Kade Stewart) but with another 6 teams to hit the track for the first time this week expect more kicks off the ground and missed handballs this weekend.
Playing in the “burbs”
I don’t know about everyone else but I stopped playing in sandpits some time ago and I bet when some of the Gold Coast and Brisbane youngsters lined up for their first competitive hit-out, they didn’t expect to be playing in the sand. While it made for a great spectacle when tackles were laid, the same couldn’t be said for poor Sam Day. As for this week, I’ve never heard of Wonthella Oval or Harrup Park but I do know Casey Fields and Arden St, sorry “North Melbourne Recreation Reserve”. What bollocks! Where’s the tradition! Everyone knows it’s Arden St! Get amongst it while it’s on offer, as there are only so many opportunities one gets to watch senior football up against a real fence.
Another week, another discussion about rule and format changes to be made to our great game. Is the bounce really that bad? No need to get into the conversation about it here but it does bring up an interesting point: what will be our next serious rule or format change? I say let’s just get the goal technology sorted first. It has clearly helped the competition and adjudicators to make the right decisions, so every ground should have it. No excuses, Mr McLachlan.