AFL Round 13 – Review: Priority pick? Tanks, but no tanks

It becomes readily apparent that Melbourne needs assistance now that the CEO, President and Coach are all past tense. However you cut it, it doesn’t entitle them to a priority pick. What would the AFL be rewarding if they gave the Demons a priority pick? I read with some disbelief the article in the Sunday papers yesterday about Melbourne’s failed sponsorship arrangements. In this day and age, surely potential sponsors are entitled to get some bang for their $. The fact that Kaspersky was signed off in China for $800,000 a season, only to be told upon the MFC touring party’s return to Australia that the price had risen to $1,500,000 per season. That’s just rank amateurism. Further failed sponsorship deals highlight the ineptitude that has left Melbourne in its current parlous state. Peter Jackson’s brief has been to get Melbourne’s administration back on track. Unfortunately, the Demons are suffering on field but injuries haven’t helped – add Mitch Clark, James Frawley, Jack Viney and Jack Grimes (a co-captain) back into the team and it looks vastly improved. Add to that first gamer Mitch Clisby got 24 possessions in his first game on Saturday. Not a bad way to start. Viney, Toumpas and Trengove will get better too with time.
If ever they need to look at a successful turnaround, look at Port Adelaide. The winds of change blew into  Port last year and look at where they are currently sitting – 8th on the ladder. Port arguably have a worse financial situation than Melbourne and a rookie coach. You can put good people in positions and start to reap benefits. Given the crop of youngsters now at Gold Coast and GWS, any Melbourne supporter would be entitled to feel peeved but arguably the Dees have the best young power forward in the land, Jesse Hogan, ready to play in 2014. Think Jaegar O’Meara at Gold Coast for immediate impact and Jeremy Cameron as another example. No point getting good young talent if you don’t develop them, as widely reported. They don’t need a priority pick though.
It can be done. The road ahead will be a massive challenge but Melbourne can do it.

West Coast had some welcome inclusions for its road trip to Melbourne to take on the Hawks at Etihad on Friday night. As Josh Kennedy bolstered the Eagle forward line, Shannon Hurn’s ankle injury within the 1st quarter hampered the Eagle back six. The Hawks forward line seemed to function better than the Eagles when it mattered. What Andrew Embley was thinking dropping the knees? Anyone’s guess. Hawks by 20pts.

Kurt Tippett returned to AAMI as a Swan. Port coach Hinkley said his team wanted to be like the Swans. At AAMI on Saturday, he got one better. Surprising everyone outside the Port Adelaide FC – a win by 18pts, coming from 4pts behind at 3 /4 time, against the reigning Premiers. Regardless of what Port does for the rest of 2013, therein lies the blueprint for the future. Chad Wingard kicked 3 and will be a star.

The two Saint Nicks – Riewoldt and Dal Santo – played game 250 against the Professor’s Demons, as coach Neil Craig took the reins over from the departed Mark Neeld. The Demons showed more spirit, but the Saints were never headed. Kosi had made it back into the St.Kilda lineup and kicked 2 goals, as did Jack Watts. Sean Dempster played game 150 also but the Nicks were chaired off as winners by 35pts.

Regulation wins are what the Tigers had to achieve to challenge deep into the finals. The Dogs are in rebuilding mode but have proven capable to surprising opponents who do not rate them. 4.8 by the Tigers in the first qtr hopefully not an indication of wasted efforts. A 10 goal win by the Tigers propelled them into 6th with good efforts from Martin, Jumping Jack, Grigg and young Conca. Griffen 38 stats for the Dogs.

Fremantle’s defensive efforts stifled North and the conditions did not suit either team as the teams faced off at Subiaco. 1 goal in the 1st qtr an indication of the Subi slush. The Dockers settled better and proceeded to master North’s rare forays forward, whilst keeping the scoreboard ticking over. A match winning lead almost at half time as the Dockers were up by 27pts. North improved after half time but 3.2 to 5.1, an indication that the purple haze had suffocated the Roos as expected. Freo by 38pts.

Geelong led by 51pts deep into the 3rd qtr, generally it’s a case of how far? At the Gabba late on Sunday, the Lions dared to unseat the Emperor! 2.1 to finish off the 3rd qtr gave the Lions momentum, but nooone predicted 8.5 to 1.4 in the last. Ash McGrath lived out the childhood dream of kicking the winner after the siren in his 200th. Amazing! Lions by 5pts and Cats coach Chris Scott…errr…not happy Jan!

Comments

  1. coconnor says:

    Agreed- given Melbourne’s poor infrastructure, throwing bonus priority picks at them isn’t going to help. They need long term assistance to set up a club that can actually stand on its own, independent two feet.

  2. Kath Presdee says:

    I wonder if the priority pick should be used not for the draft, but only for players in either the trade period (as a first round pick 19 or 20) or first dibs in the preseason draft.

    Sometimes when a club needs to rebuild (or in the case of the expansion clubs) they need a more senior player than someone straight out of TAC.

  3. Nice wrap Paul.

    Melbourne have been to the (draft) well for a number of years now and are further away from success than when they first visited. It’s obvious that other factors are at play and the most likely outcome if they do get a priority pick is the career of another promising youngster going down the gurgler.

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