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Round 19 Preview: Congratulating Boomer

Greetings All,


Never thought Michael Tuck’s record would be broken when he retired, this week Brent Harvey will smash through it.  He might not be my favourite but his application, skill and dedication are impressive.  That he is still one of the most dangerous in Roos line up is testament to that.  Not many signs of his game dropping off either – who’s to say he can’t go for three more years and get to 500!  Congratulations Boomer?


Will Boomer’s record be beaten?  If he gets to 500 it will be difficult, but there a number of factors that are making it easier.  We are seeing more and more players pass the 300 barrier, it was once the realm of only premiership players or Brownlow medallists but that trivia question is long gone.  So what is behind this longevity, when so many clubs are fairly and squarely focussed on youth.  First the longevity – I hate to say it but sport science is key.  Improved training techniques and individualised programs has allowed clubs to extend the tenure of their very best players.  A 10% drop off from a 300 game star is much less risk than a 4th round draft pick if the club thinks it is in “The Window”.  Another key factor is that in most circumstances playing footy makes you a lot more money than not playing.  Media and coaching may beckon, but there are a lot more retired players than not retired and despite the view there is limited room in the coaches boxes.  As a result I think we will see plenty more players cross the 300 mark and well beyond in the future.


But so many clubs are focused on the kids.  No doubt everyone is looking to emulate the Hawthorn model who harvested top draft talent, they all grew up together and despite their age they are raging favourites for the title.  Much has been made of who they might have to squeeze out, it would appear they will not be taking the Geelong path and keep the veterans going.  Could the StevieJ decision cost the Cats?  Especially if he is playing for another top four team?  The answer lies somewhere in the early identification of the 200 gamers compared to the 50 gamers and how quickly that decision can be made.


The Giants were compelled to youth, but have augmented that with some strategic recruiting of experienced players.  Melbourne and St Kilda have brought in lots of young talent.  The Bulldogs are a couple of years ahead of them.  Carlton have just begun, but have also held onto a few older players.  Buckley has been building a Collingwood in his own image.  It will be interesting to see if any of these clubs can rise and entrench themselves in the top echelon – or will the system take over and allow the Hawks, Cats and Swans “culture” to prevail and have them continue to pick the eyes out of the free agency market?


Will those three win this week?


Oh Jimmy ($1.26) vs Oh No ($4.70)


Kardinia Park hosts the clash of domestic pets and we hope it is not raining like them during the game, because it is an appetising encounter.  The Cats will be keen to consolidate after last week’s destruction of the Crows.  They are looking healthy and their other games are much easier assignments than this.  Added is Jimmy Bartel’s 300th game – what a player!  Even in an off game for Jimmy he will do the right thing at the right time to swing the game his teams way.  He has been a delight to watch and who knows he might finish up breaking Boomer’s record.  The Bulldog outfit is in tatters after a horrendous last quarter last week losing Redpath and Wallis to long term injuries – the scenes in the rooms were heart-wrenching.  They have plugged away all year with new players stepping up in spite of their injury list, but losing another three experienced players might make this one a bridge too far.  The Cats have coughed up a couple of fur balls through the year and the Dogs are more than capable but the safe way will be a Geelong selection.


The Shop Window ($1.12) vs Goosey Goosey ($8.40)


Another day another rumour of another Giant set to depart – no doubt all the other clubs are perusing their offerings.  They are on show in the nation’s capital where they host the Tigers whose coach labelled himself a goose after rescinding his original description of Dusty’s performance against the Hawks.  But I reckon when it’s raw is when it’s honest and he was pretty close to the mark in that Martin’s disposals did not really damage the opposition.  He has the capability to really hurt with his penetrating kicking skills.  Suspect the issue is who does he kick to?  Ty is back and next to Jack will cause some headaches – but the spread of the Giants midfield will provide more opportunities at the other end and see another win to the Orange.


Launceston ($1.09) vs Resetting ($11.50)


The Blues get the joy of taking on Hawthorn at their southern fortress.  The Hawks get far better value out of this venture than Tassie – but this one is good for both parties.  My sources have indicated this has been a sellout for a while now despite the gap between these two teams.  Carlton are working towards a win over Hawthorn – but it will not be this year!


G Masters ($2.38) vs Gee Whiz ($1.70)


Not beating the Pies are the G for 20 years sounds damning – but they have only met there 10 times since that game in 1995.  Given the West Coast travel record it sounds reasonable!  As selected they look in good order, however the Pies are getting the band back together and have found some consistency.  The Eagles can’t be trusted away from home – Collingwood are in much better shape now and will stretch the hoodoo.


Leapt Out ($5.90) vs Snuffed Out ($1.20)


Leppa had his day with a terrific win over the Bombers, they will need to be all that and better against Port at the Gabba.  Port will have their challenges to be up for this one after their hopes for finals action was pretty much stomped on by the Giants.  Port might not be able to go with the Giants – but suspect they have the Lions covered.


Boom, Boom, Boom ($1.58) vs Washington Generals ($2.64)


A Saturday Night special!  Boomer breaking the record and a definitive eight-point game.  Whilst the Saints are being cast as the support offering, they have shown that they are worth top billing and have really taken it to the best teams.  North are not one of the best, but they will be very keen to put on a great show for their champ.  However, their form line compared to the Saints is poor and Goldstein is still struggling.  Wells is the game breaker – he went quiet in the second half last week and the Pies got too close for comfort.  The structural challenge for St Kilda will be the 3 tall forwards – Waite returning will help the frontal defence (can’t believe I am saying that – the term and about Waite).  It will need to because if St Kilda win the ball it travels pretty quickly and their own forwards have been good in the air also.  A Roo win puts them 3 games clear and probably safe – a loss closes the gap to four points.  North’s remaining games are Dogs, Hawks, Swans and Giants for St Kilda its Blues, Swans, Tiges and Lions – Game On!  Just think St Kilda might spoil this party.


Deliberate ($1.20) vs The Lynch Mob ($5.60)


One Monday umpire’s coach Hayden Kennedy will admit they got one wrong – but not in this lifetime.  So the Dees copped in the west but put a mighty show, they host the Suns who are looking much better even without Gazza.  Lynch, Day  and Two Metre Peter will present challenges for the Melbourne defence – however Gawn should control the stoppages and provide sufficiently to allow the Demons to notch a winning score.


The Big Pav ($4.70) vs Bit of a Ruck-us ($1.26)


Another milestone with Matthew Pavlich to play his 350th game – what a player he has been for Freo.  Get Stuffed Lyon would have loved him to win a flag and it would have been well deserved.  Did not play at the G often but I watched two outstanding performances.  A nine goal rampage against the Blues had all his talents on show then his first quarter destruction of the Cats in the 2012 Elimination Final.  His Dockers confront the Swans whose ruckmen are disappearing at an alarming rate.  They will need give Freo more respect than they afforded Carlton, but should ultimately prevail.


Back to the Cardboard ($1.03) vs What’s the Point? ($27.00)


That question has been asked of the Bombers all year, but it is what they have become really good at – kicking points.  Up against the Crows at Adelaide Oval – they need to do more than straighten up.  Adelaide has lost Tex and the fans will have downgraded their tipple to a boxed variety after their performance against Geelong.  I reckon the bottles will beckon after this week.


Friar Time


A desperate Prahran came at the Friars last week with five goal to zero opening term – however the Friars worked themselves progressively into the match to come away with a 6 goal victory.  This week’s encounter is against 2nd placed Old Geelong at Como Park.  The Under 19s played Parkdale for the final time for the season and put in a further improved effort.  This week they host St Bedes/Mentone at Friar Park.


Go Blues, Go Friars,


Cheers, Sal


  1. Sal Ciardulli says

    A poor typo.

    There should be no question mark on Congratulations Boomer! Anyone who plays for that long and that well deserves an Exclamation Mark!!!!!

    Possibly explaining my battles with English in academia.

  2. Ben Footner says

    I like that Boomer is still playing. The fact that he played against Adelaide in one of their GF wins keeps them relevant in my mind even though they happened nearly 20 years ago. Haha.

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