Round 18 – Sal’s Preview: Wheeling and Dealing for Coaches

Round 18 – Wheeling and Dealing for Coaches


Greetings All,


Another week and another coach gone – a shock to nobody that Alan Richardson’s time was up at the Saints.  An important dynamic coming through that conversation being the need for the club to “spruce” itself up to look appealing to prospective players.  The appeal of a club is more important now with the league looking to increase the movement of players between clubs – not necessarily a good thing in my opinion.


Juddy’s training wheels comments did make the headlines and rightly put his club and media personas in conflict – would much prefer him to choose one or the other.  However a look back over time would indicate that a set of good training wheels are pretty handy.  In the 2000s only two premiership coaches have come in after stints with other clubs, both of them having the ultimate success in their prior engagement all other premiership coaches were on their first gig.


We have to go back to Adelaide in 1997-98 to find a premiership coach whose previous engagement was not successful in Malcolm Blight at Geelong, prior to that Malthouse (Footscray to Collingwood 1990), Robert Walls (Fitzroy – Carlton 1987), an unfair guide as not many unsuccessful coaches get to have another crack these days..  In between there were also flags to Jeans and Parkin who had won flags elsewhere.  In fact going back 60 years the break down is


Started on Training Wheels Premiership Coach at Previous Club No Premiership at Previous Club
2018 Adam Simpson 2010 Mick Malthouse 1997-98 Malcolm Blight
2017 Damien Hardwick 2001-03 Leigh Matthews 1992,1994 Mick Malthouse
2016 Luke Beverige 1995 David Parkin 1987 Robert Walls
2013-15 Alistair Clarkson 1983,1986, 1988-89 Alan Jeans 1959-60, 1964 Norm Smith
2012 John Longmire 1981-82 David Parkin
2011 Chris Scott 1975, 1977 Ron Barassi
2009 Mark Thompson
2008 Alistair Clarkson
2007 Mark Thompson
2006 John Worsfold
2005 Paul Roos
2004 Mark Williams
2000 Kevin Sheedy
1996,1999 Dennis Pagan
1993 Kevin Sheedy
1991 Alan Joyce
1990 Leigh Matthews
1984-85 Kevin Sheedy
1980 Tony Jewell
1979 Alex Jesaulenko
1978 David Parkin
1976 John Kennedy
1973-74 Tom Hafey
1972 John Nicholls
1971 John Kennedy
1970 Ron Barrassi
1969 Tom Hafey
1968 Ron Barrassi
1967 Tom Hafey
1966 Alan Jeans
1965 John Coleman
1963 Bob Davis
1962 John Coleman
1961 John Kennedy
Totals 39 13 8


Some huge decisions to be made by the Blues, Roos, Saints and maybe more!


And apparently there is some footy on!


Sundowners ($1.44) vs Tip your Hat ($3.25)


Not sure the Bombers should have won last week, nevertheless they did and got the four points after a magnificent goal from McDonald-Tipungwuti.  It gives them a great chance to makes the finals after three on the trot, another win pops them above their hosts this week in the Crows.  The beat up on the Suns, just not sure what that really means.  Back at home is in their favour and no Hurley helps too.  The Bombers look thin in the ruck which gives O’Brien a big advantage which his team should take advantage of to put this one away.


The Lynch Mob ($1.31) vs Do we have a Problem? ($4.10)


Watched the Tigers last week, it looks to be coming together well for them.  Tom Lynch led the forward line in strong showing and just might be the pea.  A big test for them hosting Port Adelaide coming off a loss, they have won their last four games after loss.  Of course they have also lost their last four after winning.  Dan Houston coming back in solidifies their defense, will be interesting to see who they terrorise this week?  I doubt it will be the scoreboard with the Tigers to break the cycle for them.


Another Yo-Yo ($1.23) vs Dew Point ($5.20)


The Blues are WLWLW since Teague has taken over, they should change that against the disappointing Suns.  Being the shortest priced favourite on the weekend makes no sense.  The last time the Blues were favoured in a game I suspect was the corresponding fixture last year, The Suns outsmarted and outplayed them.  This is heady territory for a group that is so used to being the underdog.  It is also the first week where the media have really picked on the plight of the Suns, so a pretty willing contest can be expected from them.  If the Blues are genuinely better they win, but not trustworthy enough to back them with someone else’s cash.


Broken Maserati ($1.98) vs Willie Nelson ($2.00)


While critical of the driver still on training wheels, he has had to take the vehicle in for repairs and the replacement parts are just not as good.  This week Coniglio is added to Ward and Kelly missing from their best midfield.  Apart from a very poor opening the Giants stuck with the Tigers last week.  They can afford no letup hosting the Pies who just love to be on the road again.  There must be some doubt about Pendlebury taking the field, even so the midfield is still pretty solid.  Just think we might get a big response from GWS this week and get them back on track to chase a top four finish.


Trouble and Fyfe ($1.94) vs Wounded Ducks ($2.02)


Freo losing Fyfe might make a few more step up, their midfield has been far too dependent on him.  They get Herman back to take on the Swans who have some serious challenges to their structure with the absence of Sinclair and Franklin.  The lack of a ruckman was costly last week and expect it will be again this week.


It’s Showtime ($1.45) vs It’s Shawtime ($3.15)


Even when the Lions were down they were great to watch, they are even more exhilarating now.  Getting back three of their best in Hipwood, Hodge and McCluggage makes them even stronger.  They will be tested by Rhyce Shaw’s manic Kangaroos strengthened with the return of Shaun Higgins in what is like to be a high octane match.  Should be a ripper and going with the Lions on the strength of their advantage at the Gabba.


Home at the G ($1.42) vs Protecting the Shiel-ed ($3.20)


Chris Scott still banging on about not playing finals a Kardinia Park takes away from his job at hand, being a couple of games clear probably doesn’t make it a problem.  His attack on the AFL was littered with holes, especially around support for his own club’s members.  Unless there is some creative accounting involved Geelong has over 60,000 members they do not all fit into a “boutique” stadium, let alone if any opposition fans want to attend!  His commentary that the other Victorian clubs could get their own venue is as much crap – their choice of venue was taken from them many years ago and that is not going to change.  So he has a game to play against the Hawks where over 50,000 are expected to go and watch as Liam Shiels racks up his 200th.  The Hawks look as healthy as they have been for much of the season, however the Cats are healthier and better.


Playing next door to Alice ($2.98) vs Pie in the Face ($1.50)


The Demons take their show to the Red Centre taking on the Premiers who will be bruised and embarrassed after last week’s capitulation.  The Demons are spluttering, the Eagles need to get redemption and I suspect they will.


Could give a Ratts ($2.94) vs Sweet 16 again? ($1.51)


Brett Ratten gets the reigns after Alan Richardson’s departure, how poisoned is the chalice?  With the stock available Richo had not done much wrong – he just did not have the full support of the board.  Meanwhile the Doggies are making a surge towards September with some real improvement in intensity from a few players especially Josh Schache.  This will be a great duel between two of the up and coming ruck stars of the competition in English and Marshall.  In normal circumstances the Bulldogs should win this, but the record of teams changing coaches and winning is too strong.  Expect the Saints to be on and get up in this one.


Friar Time


Strong wins to the Seniors and Reserves over Hawthorn last week, a much sterner challenge this week at Friar Park up against the second placed Brunswick.  They are 2nd and 4th respectively in the reserves.  The Under 23s were upset by Fitzroy who had the benefit of their senior having a bye and were able to load up – them’s the breaks and the fight for finals continues kicking the dew off Friar Park against the Snow Dogs in a battle for 4th.  The girls lost to Westbourne last week and are in fight for finals, a critical game for them against Power House down by the lake this week.


Go Blues, Go Friars,


Cheers, Sal


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  1. Sal – spot on about the implicit advantage of being a destination club – and the difficulty of transitioning from basket case/joke status. Being a destination club is like a 20% salary cap bonus. Long term I suspect the non-footy states NSW and Qld can only sustain one team. GWS will be the Suns in 5 years. Coniglio likely to be the canary in that coal mine.
    The idea of mid-season trades with players turning up in different jumpers the next week gives me shivers. AFL will have jumped the shark when it happens. Lower clubs will be forced to sell off the silverware to contenders. Good players in struggling clubs will just “go through the motions” until they are traded.
    Professional sport always mirrors society and the rich are about to get even richer.

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