The 2016 Bill Barrot Cup – Planning Precedes Momentum

Greetings Tipsters


So the Monaros came of age last Saturday?  Yeah, sure, it was an almighty performance, utterly outplaying the neighing premiers, but it wasn’t anything they hadn’t already done.  They beat Hawthorn at the Showground last year.


This weekend is a far more significant game for the Orange Tide.  They’ve never gone to Perth and not been utterly outplayed.  Thrashed.  Humiliated.  That has to play on the mind.


Freo kicked 2.11 to halftime at the Oval.  Get it right, make it 7.6 like the good teams do, and it’d have been a very different game.  They’re at home, they’re desperate, pride on the line against the upstarts from the Cumberland Plain.


Yeah, I’m a bit nervous about this one.  If I were a Richmond fan (I’d have one stair for going up and one for coming down) I’d be very nervous about this weekend.  The Tigers don’t show signs of getting it together, the inexplicable comments from Dan Richardson won’t have helped.  How did the players take that?


Dustin and Jack might be thinking that they’ve wasted their careers.  Older recruits “What, I’m just a stopgap?”


As for that talk about having to give the fans something, f’gawsakes, don’t insult the members.  “We had a huge debt to knock over and facilities to upgrade.  We recruited to get us to the finals three years straight, it was a good earner.  Now we can give some serious thought to the playing list.”


The Tiger Army would be seriously pissed off to hear that but might eventually appreciate the honesty, if it was backed up by action.  The interweb has been riddled by articles and blogs and forums describing in pinpoint detail the drafting disasters of the Tigers.


Raising the question of club culture.  Richmond famously passed on Lance Franklin in favour of Richard Tambling, but would Buddy have become the beloved superstar if he’d played in the yellow and black or would he have gone home in four or five years and now be playing for NT Thunder in the NEAFL?  Tambling might have four medals and be spoken of in the same breath as Burgoyne, Hodge, Mitchell, Lewis.  Such are the chances of fate and football.


There’s been a few draft comparos, like Sydney getting Hannebery at 30, the examples mentioned all went to the serious teams.  Raising questions like, would Reece Conca be a star if he played for Geelong?


Any season, we know that there’s gonna be several teams with zero chance of winning the flag.  Brisbane, Carlton, Essendon, we didn’t expect anything from.  St Kilda, Melbourne, they might show some signs.  Etcetera.  Etcetera.


The Schoolies and Monaros have changed the landscape.  Three of the first four expansion teams were in Australian football territory, their entries spaced over ten years.  The last two came in consecutive years, neither in traditional football territory and one in an area that has proven to be a deathtrap for professional football of any code.


Having studied the early years of Brisbane Bears, AFL was gonna gift GC and GWS draft and recruiting concessions.  Already, there are distinct cultures.

”Who was the first coach of your club?”
”A damn good halfback flanker, played in two flag teams, no senior coaching experience.  Yours?”
”A back pocket plumber with three flags playing, four flags coaching, an alltime football legend.”


They sucked the guts outa the draft for a few years and left ye olde trad clubs by the wayside.  That’s one take.  North & ‘Scray might indicate otherwise, the smart clubs find a way around this and continue to be competitive.


The Schoolies blew it.  The Monaros have taken on a plan unique in Australian Football history.  Schoolies signed Gary Ablett (get us there now!), Monaros signed Dean Brogan (give us a few years to do it properly).


Richmond blew it.  They didn’t have to be this, they chose it.  Given the list he’s been saddled with, Hardwick may be a genius coach in search of a good team.


Cheers Tipsters


P&C, a Stop Privatisation Of Footy Production, a division of Trans-Dementia Inc.

Brought to you with the assistance of some great ol’ R&B, especially Tarheel Slim.


FAlmanac banner sq

About Earl O'Neill

Freelance gardener, I've thousands of books, thousands of records, one fast motorcycle and one gorgeous smart funny sexy woman. Life's pretty darn neat.


  1. Billy Barrott? I still have nightmares of going out to the 3/4 time huddle at Thebarton Oval in the early 70’s and seeing/hearing Billy berating the exhausted warriors of my West Torrens Eagles. Mad as a cut snake. I could sense in the eyes of every player a huge wish to clock him or tell him to piss off. Mutiny on the Thebby.
    Now I know where the Tigers get it from. Borderline Personality Disorder. Its in the genes and it runs in families.
    Earl – you are the David Byrne of the Almanac. Stop Making Sense. Tigers are Burning Down the House.

  2. Earl O'Neill says

    David Byrne? Them’s fighting words, Peter!

Leave a Comment