Fantasy Footy: Any pointers? I’ve just got to beat my mate

Flashback, January 2009:

My wife brags that she is taking these competitions seriously this year and will purchase the AFL Prospectus to assist her.

“You’re kidding. Just go with the players you know and see how you go,” I indicate to her, having confidence in her football knowledge.

My brother-in-law also lets on that he is keen to do well in Supercoach and Dreamteams in 2009 after winning the consolation final in 2008.

My goal for the upcoming season: put in a solid pre-season of analysing and watching NAB Cup matches and finally beat a good mate who has had the wood over me in EPL Fantasy Leagues, AFL Dreamteams and Supercoach competitions for the last couple of years and I haven’t heard the end of it: weekly texts (some from overseas) to tell me how we are performing.

March 2009:

It’s time to finalise the teams for the 2009 competitions and the following has happened:

No AFL Prospectus to be found in our household, which has resulted in my wife’s team consisting of a solid nucleus of very good players and then made up of what Jack Dyer called ‘good average players’. The emergencies: players who have no chance of playing senior footy or North Melbourne rookies (same thing in hindsight).

No doubt the first half of the competition for the lovely wife will be spent trying to strengthen her team and at the same time wasting trades. Unfortunately for her team, she remains stubborn on one North Melbourne rookie as she took a liking to him at training. One fewer competitor for me to compete against, I suppose. Yes, I do have a competitive streak.

My brother in law: well, in between face-booking, twittering, getting engaged and other happenings, he simply lost his initial interest. Suffice to say that the name of his team (‘Hawkstogoagain’) summed up a team full of Hawks.

As for myself, my wife will attest to an extremely solid pre-season. The reports in the mid-summer papers would have read that I was ‘burning up the track’ and expectations were for ‘a breakthrough season with the undoubted potential finally being fulfilled’.

After extensive analysis of all 16 teams lists, I was exceptionally happy with my team that started the season on Thursday 26 March. Thank goodness I didn’t get sucked into the Ben Cousins hype.

July 2009:

As expected, my wife and brother-in-law hold no threat to me taking all before me this year; hey, I even beat last year’s winner in our head to head clash.

My brother-in-law’s performance mirrored that of his beloved Hawks during 2009. Mind you, he did his best to have his sister and brother-in-law aka “trade coaches” save him (free of charge) but, alas, this was to no avail.

Unfortunately, the only setback is that I seem to be obsessed with ensuring that I have the best possible team each week and reacting too quickly to player’s ups and downs hence my available trades dwindling at a rapid rate. I will manage this, I keep telling those close to me, or I am I just trying to convince myself?

July 2009:

My obsession with beating my good mate has left me with no trades, I’m hoping that my present team provides me with enough points to clinch the title as I am safely in the finals!

August 2009:

Bloody St Kilda and Geelong have decided to rest their players for what is obviously going to be a physically demanding finals series.

Deep down I know that blame lays with myself for poor list management, but how can Bomber Thompson and Ross Lyon live with themselves for letting me down in my time of need?

Anyway, guess what: I lost the Grand Final to my mate. Not even a ‘No, I will let you have the prize as you were the best team all year’ from him erases the disappointment and hurt.

Just imagine Bomber Thompson giving the Cup to the Saints based on his proviso!

Needless to say I am spurred on for a bigger, better and SMARTER 2010 campaign.

I am, however, open to any suggestions on how to succeed as a third year of defeat at the hands of my mate may just do untold irreversible psychological damage.

My 2010 pre-season has begun with papers being read and draftees being analysed more thoroughly than in 2009.

Despite the next couple of months being spent working on my IMPROVED list management approach to the upcoming supercoaching and dreamteaming seasons, I am open to suggestions from fellow sports fanatics on how to achieve the ultimate prize.

Is Gary Ablett necessary given his price tag?

How many players can you afford to take from one team?

Was Bernie Vince a flash in the pan?

Will Daniel Rich suffer from second-year blues?

Can Alan Didak continue to rack up points week after week?

Will Fevola be better in Brisbane?

Can Riewoldt kick straighter?

Is it time to just accept that Lenny Hayes is a ball magnet?

Will Daniel Wells finally get on the park and produce?

How many first-year players do you take?

Is my mate really better than me?

Oh, and by the way, my wife and brother have indicated they will also take it seriously again this year. Notes to them: No North Melbourne rookies, and there are 15 teams in addition to Hawthorn.

This much I do know.

About Stephen George

I am an avid sports fan who admires anyone who can play or participate in sport at pretty much any level. My favourite sports are AFL, soccer, Major League Baseball, Rugby League and NFL. I have recently finished my Diploma in Sports Journalism and I am interested in improving my skills by contributing to the Footy Almanac

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