Round 14 – Sal’s Preview: Pinching yourself? You bet!

Greetings All,


Just a few issues covered in footy this week!  Pinching has been a niggling tactic in footy for many years plus its more perverse form in the “squirrel grip”, fortunately no-one in footy as far as we known have gone down the “Hopoate Path”.  So was Ben Stratton’s tactics against Orazio Fantasia last week that out of the spirit of the game?  Only because it was highlighted on Friday Night Footy, the previous game against Brisbane the same tactics were used and exposed against Charlie Cameron.  Why not the indignation after that?  Is Brisbane less important than Essendon?


It exposes the AFL, the MRO system and Hawthorn as completely reactionary.  The Hawks administration threw their captain under the bus saying that it was not what they stood for.  What a load of crap!  Why didn’t they have a quiet word to Ben after the Brisbane game if that was the case?  The club’s signature during its recent domination of the competition was “unsociable football”, they were unapologetic, won flags and allowed the rest of the competition to suit themselves.  At least his coach was more consistent with his commentary.  The AFL and MRO were also in a position to deal with this after the Brisbane game but stayed schtum!


What has changed from years gone by is that there is no room for retaliation in the game now, with such a high level of scrutiny.  If cameras are picking up pinching they are even better at picking up punching.  In the past the game had its own way of dealing with the pinchers and the grippers, but the level of scrutiny has changed so the competition now needs to set the tone.


Ben’s best mate this week has been Jaydn Stephenson.  Just not sure how the AFL message on betting on games did not get through. He might be young but there is ample time in a footballers life to deliver that message.  It further exposes the players’ penchant for having a punt as reported last weekend.  The reality is no different to young men across the board.  They are all exposed to relentless advertising and opportunity, young males are the targets.  The only difference for AFL players is that they have more time and more funds than most.


Jaydn’s punishment fits the crime in my opinion and I hope it stops all such behaviour in the future, not sure it will though.  What is of greater concern to me is players being provided credit by betting agencies. Getting into debt through gambling exposes them to all sorts of nefarious characters whose demands may not be in the best interests of the player or the game.


Now to see who wins this week!


Another Gaff ($1.39) vs Pinched ($3.55)


Another gaffe from a teammate had Andrew Gaff apologise again to Andrew Brayshaw.  The associated picture with the story on somewhat exposes one of the issues with set shot goalkicking.  His mates are standing in line either side sledging, all inside the protested zone with nobody standing on the mark.  While the sledging simulates pressure, surely there needs to be someone standing the mark.  Anyway not sure it will matter on their home deck where they should be too good for the Bombers.


Eagle Rockers ($1.54) vs Strattoned Out ($2.82)


The Swans flicked the switch last game with a great win over West Coast and, importantly, they did it on home turf and hit the scoreboard.  They face the Hawks who will have a further depleted defense without Stratton, but assume Sicily will return to that area of the ground.  No doubt Clarko will have a plan, just not sure about the team to deliver it.  The Hawks are in front by 5 points over their last six meetings and are 4-2, but I reckon the Swans will hit the lead after this one.


Need a Good Win ($1.80) vs Sonny Skies ($2.22)


The deckchairs have been rearranged in the Melbourne coaching ranks, just not sure they are just putting lipstick on a pig!  They host the Dockers who have the most dangerous player in the game in Michael Walters.  He is hitting the scoreboard, playing midfield. Astonishing to think that Nat Fyfe is now playing second fiddle.  Great signs for the Dockers who would love to get one on the MCG.  Expecting a better effort from the Demons, just don’t think it will be good enough.


Richoland  ($2.26) vs Feeling Blue ($1.79)


The St Kilda – Gold Coast games were supposed to determine the wooden spoon this year.  And well they might – it just will not be St Kilda who have played above most expectations but probably not Alan Richardson’s.  They host Brisbane who will be keen to put in a better performance in the Loungeroom after being beaten there by the likely wooden spooners.  At their best Brisbane wins, but the Saints do what is required are well-drilled and expect them to prevail at home.


West Off ($2.84) vs The Lid is On ($1.52)


My concerns for Geelong were allayed when a fan who receives this correspondence asked “Will we make the grannie?” I was expecting something more like “Who will we beat in the Grannie?” There is room for excitement at Geelong.  They will need to pass this Adelaide Oval test against Port who are reported to be ruthless at selection, dropping Justin Westhoff after 135 consecutive games.  Importantly they get Charlie Dixon back who is so important to their forward line, but not sure how ready he will be.  The Cats play this ground well with a 5-4 record and suspect they will put this one away too.


Redemption ($3.90) vs Feeling Jadyd ($1.33)


The Dogs made up for their earlier loss to the Blues scraping home by 3 points, but they will need to play a much more consistent game this week against the rampaging Pies.  The loss of Stephenson will have some effect, he has a great footy brain (not sure about the non-footy one) and plays the fourth banana very well.  Perhaps we just think he is fourth banana, the Pies are somewhat spoilt for bananas at the moment.  The Dogs have just one banana and Norton is a better defender, they have to make up the forward line with other types of fruit occasionally sacrificing the big pineapple out of the midfield.  Unfortunately Bontempelli might as well be kicking a pineapple with his accuracy.  The multi bananas to win.


Friar Time


Ivanhoe presented a well organised opponent for the Friars making scoring difficult early, eventually putting enough shots through the middle to come away by 59 points.  The reserves had a good win while the Under 23s kicked the sweep putting Old Camberwell to the sword.  The Girls were well beaten by ladder leaders Therry.  A triple header at Friar Park this week with the girls kicking off the dew against Old Ivanhoe in a battle for 3rd place on the ladder.  The senior teams face Glen Eira who are 3rd in the seniors coming off a huge win over Hawthorn last week, while the ressies are 2nd one spot above the Friars.  The Under 23s head to Beach Road to take on Old Brighton as they battle with Old Scotch and St Bernard’s for 3rd and 4th spot.


Go Friars!


Cheers, Sal


Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.





  1. Rulebook says

    Sal you mention a huge bug bear of mine practicing a set shot with out a man on the mark just don’t get it practising a skill but not under match conditions also have said it is ridiculous it is a constant pre all teams warm ups

  2. Sal, just this minute finished reading Rulebook’s tribute to the great Wally Miller on the Norwood website. What a fantastic job he has done about an equally fantastic Norwood person. I recommend it to all Almanacas

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