Dave Cardamone takes a look at what to expect around the league on the eve of Round 5.
AFL needs to get its act together
Listening to commentary this week with regards to the new third-man up rule, it has come to light that the AFL powers including former AFL Chairman Mike Fitzpatrick had personal intent on ensuring the rule was implemented for the 2017 season. Who knows if the AFL Laws of the Game committees hands’ were tied but there’s no doubt the rule so far this season has been a farce. The media have wasted far too much time discussing the issue due to its direct effect on games and instead of worrying about consistently changing the rules of our great game, the AFL should be more concerned with striking an appropriate bargaining agreement with the AFLPA. Flashback five weeks ago and footy’s pay stoush was reportedly ready to be agreed upon a week out from the beginning of the season. But as it stands today, everybody sits in limbo with the AFLPA ready to deliver a deal to the players with direction to reject the deal.
Some in the media are calling the AFL’s agreement with the AFLPA a “non-issue” but after negotiations of well in-excess of a year it seems the AFL have had their priorities in the wrong order. Rash rule changes required more competence and detailed thought while an agreement with the AFLPA, the players that put on the show needed more attention and priority from the outset.
How disappointed the Fremantle Football Club must be of Harley Bennell. Chris Bond (General Manager Football Operations) and Coach Ross Lyon have time and time again gone into bat for the injury-plagued 24-year old. Lyon even went to the extreme of calling out individuals who were seen to be making it a racist issue at one point. Yes it must be incredibly challenging with his chronic calf issues, but there’s just no excuse for being publicly intoxicated. Have we seen the last of Bennell? The outlook is looking grim indeed.
Yellow, Red and Blue kind of Saturday
Saturday afternoon’s clash between the Suns and the Crows will showcase four of the games in form forwards heading into Round 5. Eddie Betts is equal with Tom Hawkins in leading the Coleman with 16 goals; while Lynch with his seven last weekend has 12; and Taylor Walker with 11 all sit inside the top 10. Then there is Brandon Matera who has played just the two games for the year and kicked nine goals already. There’s no doubt the Suns will need to be at their best but a real goal-scoring shootout is on the cards.
They’ll be not excuse for not getting your football fix over the next two rounds with a game taking place on 8 of the next 10 days starting this Friday. The media contingent don’t like it with an “over-exposure” of football the “great” concern, but seriously can you ever have too much football during the season? I think not.
All ANZAC Day clashes have significant importance, but after another disappointing performance on the weekend, the heat is back on Buckley and Collingwood. Worsfold made some of the more interesting comments over the weekend, when post-match he implied that the wheels are already starting to fall off his suspended stars after four rounds so it really will be an intriguing battle. I do believe him to an extent but I think considering the occasion and the significance of the day to the players, Essendon will have enough in the tank to run out 16-point victors.