Rocket’s rocket


by Andrew Gigacz


Rodney Eade no longer coach
True or a piss-take?
True it is I’m sad to say
I think it’s a mistake

Yes, it’s true folks. Sadly (in my opinion), my anagram from earlier this year – ROCKET RODNEY EADE = YEAR ROOTED? NECKED! – has become a reality.

Until now I had entertained a fairytale – one in which 2011 was our 2006, that 2012 would be our 2007, and that Rodney Eade would be our Mark Thompson.

There will be no fairytale.

I’m sad.

How do other Almanackers feel?

About Andrew Gigacz

Well, here we are. The Bulldogs have won a flag. What do I do now?


  1. Tough call and you’ve got to empathise with Rocket. Having endured the season from hell at Freo in terms of injuries, to look over at the Bullies and see they basically have none of their back six from 2010 on the park, well, it’s just further evidence the footy gods control the fortunes of AFL clubs at least as much as Demetriou and co.

  2. Gigs – something like this should be seen as an opportunity, despite the fact that its pretty tough on Rocket. Its an opportunity to start again and more importantly, the players have to re-prove themselves.

  3. cow shed end says:

    Unfortunately Gigs,he coached some of his better games in the last month (i.e Carlton, 2nd half v Weagles) but the board would be terrified of the hit membership will take into next year by not changeing things.
    It’s all about selling hope regardless of the prospects of success.
    Perhaps they can give Peter Rohde a call and rehash those cheesy car bumber sticker cliches “Unfinished business”… although i am being harsh.. we would never have got Cooney to the club without the “Rohder’s” inept coaching!

  4. That’s true, Dips. And for the Dogs’ sake, I hope that’s how everyone at the club sees it. I do understand the “wears a bit thin” argument about coaches who’ve been around for awhile, but in my mind Rocket had done enough this year to suggest he could be part of the “refresh” process.

  5. Gigs,
    I agree. I thought Rocket had somewhat re-invented himself this season. Not easy
    when you have been in the caper for as long as he has.
    And who is better equipped than Rocket to “re-fresh” the team?
    I don’t see any N Smiths, R Barassis or J McHales out there standing in line.

  6. Paul Daffey says:

    I agree with the idea to refresh the team. Often it’s for the best.

    Interesting to note Terry Wallet’s observation that the Dogs have plenty of oldies and plenty of newies but no player in the crucial 22-27 age bracket.

    This decision to change coaches suggests a direction in which older players will be phased out while young guys are groomed to become the middle-tier players.

    A few years of frustration and maybe pain ahead.


  7. Mark Doyle says:

    This decision by the Western Bulldogs is no surprise. It is another example of an AFL club overreacting to media speculation and wanting a scapegoat. It also shows that key managers lack courage and patience. There is also a probable issue of the Western Bulldogs not having the resources to be a premiership club – their revenue is short by approximately $20 million compared to other clubs.
    I am not sure whether Eade is a great coach. I do not think he is a good teaching coach. The media have also exaggerated his coaching ability. The Western Bulldogs would be well advised to look seriously at experienced assistant coaches such as Brendan McCartney, Ken Hinkley and Mark Neeld.

  8. Mark – The names you list are interesting. Will the board have the guts to give,whoever they appoint, the time to re-establish themselves as a competitive unit? Me no thinky.

    CSE – The ordinary W/L record this season will see a large hit to membership numbers. You would be well and truly aware The Dogs have a large proportion of “conditional” members – “I’ll see how they’re going after 4 weeks before I stick my hand in the pocket and buy one”

    Paul – “A FEW years of frustration……” – Did I miss the good times ?


  9. Andrew Walker says:

    As an almost sixty year Doggies supporter I am disappointed that Rocket won’t be re-appointed. We have had a tough year but injuries have played a big part together with very tough travelling schedule in the early rounds. My fish and chip man (also a Doggies supporter) says it’s not a draw, it’s an arrangement. If Rocket is not going to be re-appointed the club must feel that there is someone around who can do a better job. Looking at who is available I find it difficult to see who they might be thinking about. Royce might have improved with time.

  10. stayed a year too long

  11. Andrew W – please! I’m trying to forget Royce! (The coach, not the footballer.)

    We now have two bizzare (ridiculously unlikely yes, I know) possibilities come October:

    1. Todd Viney becoming a premiership coach after 9 weeks
    2. Rodney Eade becoming a premiership coach of the club that sacked him 7 weeks earlier.

  12. I agree with Daff. The Dogs need more refreshments.
    Doug Hawkins for coach!
    Is this helping, GIgs? If you love him, let him go.

  13. Tangles
    As you know I have just spent some time in mourning with the boys. Deeply traumatised as they are I ran a suggestion by them. The consensus among them, at my suggestion is to make Bazz Captain Coach. Not as silly as it seems. Hark back to 54.

  14. Bubble, you could be right. As long as we play Melbourne in the GF again, like we did in ’54.

  15. Hafey has been mentioned….but he’d want Royce to tag along.
    We need an outsider and a bastard.
    Wait and see what unfolds. No point getting too worried. Nothing we’ve not been through before.

  16. I am disappointed that neither Don McKenzie nor Bluey Hampshire have been mentioned.

  17. I can understand why it would be exasperating to be a Dogs supporter. Like the Saints always so near and yet so far. Always the bridesmaid never the bride.
    But somehow I think we miss the point by focussing so much on premierships. In a 16 or 17 or 18 team competition they can only be very infrequent. One thing I like about American sport is the way that they celebrate divisional, league and pennant titles. You can feel like a winner even when the World Series or Super Bowl title eludes. Seems like a proper sense of proportion to me.
    That is a long winded way of saying I wish the Bullies could have had more success over recent years (so long as the Eagles weren’t in contention) but you have had a great ride with an entertaining and wholehearted side. And the late 90’s were OK by the same standard, only you were dirtier and not so likeable then. I know I regard 2011 as a gift from heaven for Eagles supporters, even though I have (previously unspoken) doubts about our ability to get beyond Week 2 of the finals.
    So it is as much about the expectations you start a year with, as it is the result at the end of it.
    I suspect that is what makes this year and Rocket’s sacking so bitter to Dogs fans. Seems to me it is the acceptance that the current group can’t take the team much further. Hall is retired. Lake and Cooney seem permanently lost to chronic injury or whatever.
    It would just be too hard for Rocket to realistically say to fans or players that we need to largely start again and by the time we have the youngsters developed – Murphy, Hargreaves etc may be past it.
    The hope has to be that you can develop them quickly enough that like Cox, Embley, Glass and co they still have a year or 2 left in them.
    I wouldn’t have stuck by Woosha after 2008/9/10 but he and the Board knew more than me. Woosha had 3 premierships in the goodwill bank to tide him over the lean years.
    Rocket didn’t and it would have been a festering sore for starving fans and a voracious footy media.
    Not a fair decision, but it seems to me the only one the club could make looking realistically at the next few years.

  18. Dear Gigs, don’t be sad!
    change is good :(

    Much love, your favorite :)

  19. Thanks, Fave. ;-)

  20. As a Footscray supporter, I’m a bit perplexed.
    Gets me thinking about how do you rate a coach. Objectively it would be getting the most out of a given list and resources. But how do you measure that?
    We have almost a great psychology experiment set up with the Scotts (monozygotic twins). Hypothetically, what would happen if Brad and Chris swapped clubs? Extending this, what would have Footscray achieved over the last 7 years with Mick Malthouse, or Mark Thompson, or Alistair Clarkson etc.?
    In life, some people are great in crisis situations, while others excel when kicking with the wind (analogy intended). Was Rocket good enough to get us this far, while we need some-one else to put the icing on the cake?
    As ‘cow shed’ mentions in a previous post, it could be about selling hope (the Dons did it with Hird). To win a premiership requires all the stars to line up. Not sure if we even have the necessary stars.
    Oh well, Back to the drawing board.

    ps. don’t consider burning my membership card as I have mis-placed it.

  21. Chris and Brad have two brothers. The older one was a Victorian Rugby Union rep, the younger one made the twins looks soft. A left field appointment?

    This situation has also got me thinking how on earth Kevin Sheedy lasted so long. In today’s times he would have been sacked at least 3 times during his long reign at the Bombers.

  22. I’d like to add my vote to BARRRRRYYYYY!!! getting the coaching job. He’s so tough they’d all listen to him, including the board. You don’t mess with big Barry. Go Doggies. Go Saints


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