What a week it’s been in Footy Eddie.  The Fix is in the news again.  (Don’t you mean fixture Wrap – Ed)  Everyone’s onto it.  You can’t pick up a rag or tune into the electronic medjah without copping an eye or ear full of it.  You know – about the depth of available talent at the Highest Level.  Or rather, the lack thereof.  And the gifted points & percentage bonus that goes with playing one of the Tyroteams.  But is it just that there’s not enough quality players vetted at the elite level?  Maybe it’s not the lack of players but something deeper than that.  Which in turn begs the question: what role does leadership play in developing a Premiership Contender – at administrative, coaching and on-field levels?

All the top teams you look at have stable & creative administrations, experienced & respected coaching staff and players that have been brought up in the club culture.  See what happened to Collingwood when Mickey broke ranks on the Footy Show – when he said his heart was really at Punt Road where he played in his one and only Premiership Team.  Can you see that happening in Phonse Kyne’s day — let alone Jock McHale’s day?  And then he told his midfield coach to piss off to Melbourne where he’d just been appointed coach; he didn’t need him for the finals.  Was that all because he had his nose out of joint?  Only Mick and his confessor will ever know the truth of that one.

For club culture, look no further than The Bloods – two GFs for one flag and a narrow miss — with what Captain Blood would call a good ordinary side.  OK Ed – a very good ordinary side.  (A very very good ordinary side Wrap – Ed)   Geelong’s another one.  They reckon the Geelong Falcons are the football factory.  Bollocks, it’s the culture.  Adelaide’s the same.  They’ve only got to find 40 young blokes in the City State who passionately want to represent The Croweaters at the elite level in a winning combination — marry them up with a dedicated and competent coaching team and you’ve got a competitive outfit.  That can’t be too hard.

These new teams, and those struggling can’t match that.  Richmond started to improve once they got rid of the deadwood of Terry Wallace & Greg Miller and drew on Richmond people to saved The Endangered Species.  And while there’ll be scoffers who’ll have it that the snow leopard and the Indian rhino have more chance of surviving, those of us who call Punt Road home know that the worst is over.

Now here’s something to contemplate.  How would it be if we went back to state recruiting.  Run the eight Victorian clubs on a relegation system.  Lowest Vic club drops back to the VFL & the VFL Premiers move up to the AFL.  The draft can be maintained, but all the players come from Victoria.

Personally, and this may come across as a big statement, I’d relocate the Tigers down in Tassy.  They’re a natural fit – The Tassy Tigers.  And all their players are recruited from Vandermonians.  Vic members get home game rights when The Tiges play in Melbourne and to two or three games in Tassy.  Get rid of Hawthorn & North.  They don’t belong down there.

Sydney and GWS can work out how they’re going to divvy up the state — or work out a drafting process.  Queensland sides get QLD as their recruiting grounds.  This game is tribal.  The Great Helmsman has tried to Americanize it.  It hasn’t worked.   The man’s an egotist.  (Do I get the feeling you’re thinking merger in the intermediate term for the four Northern teams Wrap? – Ed)

North can be shifted to Darwin and become The Northern Kangaroos with the NT as their recruiting ground, with similar membership rights as The Relocated Tigers for their Long Suffering Faithful.  Similar rights to be offered to Sydney/South Melbourne members and Brisbane/Fitzroy members – Victorian supporters get home game rights for Brissy & Sydney matches in Melbourne plus 2-3 away games.  Whaddaya say?  Got legs?

We’ve got an ally in our campaign to cut out the mindless noise pollution at The G & The Dumb.  None other than Football’s First Lady.  (True, there are some that feel the Melbourne Football Club is Football’s First Lady.  But that’s another story)  Kero is on the case with this one, which may or may not necessarily be a good thing.  But it’s the squeaky wheel that gets the grease, so keep up the pressure.

And this Easter thing seems to have caught on.  Peter Costello is out defending banks and miners and the MRP has decided that Maggot Margetts was right; Whitecross’ head high contact was an unavoidable accident.  We can expect every one to revert to type once the compassion has ebbed away, but wasn’t it lovely while it lasted.

How about the musical chairs they’re playing in the FFA.  Frank Lowy sure knows how to swing the wracking ball, eh?  Would the last one to take their net and ball and go home please turn out the light.

Go you Aussie Good Things – Put a Gap In ‘em.  Let’s hear it for the Baggy Greens.  What a resounding Victory – in every sense of the word!  Backs to the wall, Pup & The Boys fought their way out of the corner and took the initiative.  Make no mistake; this was a Famous Victory on the road against a Traditional Foe, albeit in rebuilding stage, who had the upper hand.  Once more the Australian tail saved the day – with both the leather & the willow.  Are we ready for The Olde Enemy?  The next few weeks should tell.  And aren’t you getting to like that other Mickey: Mickey Arthur?

But enough of my gabbin, let’s see who’s going to be the running free after Round III.

The Miseries v Carringbush at The Home of Football tonight.  The Rattzbaggers looked invincible last round.  The Pies were lukewarm against The Tiges, but then, you can only play as well as the opposition let you.  Rance took 17 marks and pushed Cloke all night.  The rest of the no name Tiger defence would have held The Maggies to a losing score if their high profile attack had done their job.  In short, The Pies looked stale.  So what have they done about it?  They done what Carringbush always do.  They’ve hauled in a youngster.  Not you’re 17 year old kid from the Thirds this time, but the out of favour Cameron Wood.  Wood showed early promise but made elementary errors in skill & judgement before being sent back to Victoria Park to learn the trade under Tarkyn Lockyer.  They lost Tarrant but, like Brown’s cows, the injured are straggling back.  They regain Maxwell and Wellingham.  The Silvertails too have regained a couple: regular defenders Jamison & Duigan.  Arguably their two best backmen, they go in at nearly full strength.  The Bagmen are leaning towards Carlton.  The Sage’s Samantha Lane has given it against her Beloved Bluebaggers by two points.  We’ve joined the overwhelming majority of the Pundits and gone for Carlton.  Be prepared for a ripping match, one with as many twists and turns and highlights as an Eddie Betts player cam replay.  The Blues.

The Tigers v The Fuchsias on The Paddock That Grew on Saturday Arvo.  No 2nd prizes here.  The Tiges are settled and building for a breakout.  Their opposition is not.  In fact unsettled, re-building and looking for a hole to hide in would best describe the MFC at this sorry stage of their development.  How long is it since they offered Hawthorn a bed in the storm?  KB has said he’ll walk to Brisbane if Richmond loses this one.  We’ll ride our Malvern Star beside him with his cut lunch and water bag.  Sure, The Redlegs will bring the spirit of Twenty-six, Six, Six with them.  But they may find that seriously corked.  The Tigers to kick it long to Royce.

The Power v The Steak & Kidney at The New Arctic Park at the Traditional Time.  This is probably the toughest of the lot.  Port have shown that they’re on the move.  They shocked St Kilda (Or maybe they didn’t – Ed) over there and gave The Dons a good run for their money at Docklands.  The Swans will be without The Hyphen, and The Chokers have dropped Davey Rodan.  A real Danger Game this one.  The Visitors look to have an edge in class that should carry them over the line.  The Bloods.

Freo v Brissy at Paterson Stadium in the Saturday night twilight zone.  The Lions have served up a hiding and been at the wrong end of one.  There’s a feeling around here in the Wrapcave that they may be on the wrong end of another one tomorrow.  Freo OTR @ home doesn’t add up to much joy for The Visitors.  True, they’ve regained their Skipper and the dasher Raines.  The Homeside has regained van Berlo and Mundy.  The Barry Crockers for ours.

The Sunbeams v The Marshmallows at The Metricon on Saturday night.  There’s been a lot of build-up for Professor Gadget’s 350th game in the Red&Black, and rightly so.  He’s been a Favourite Son and Loyal Servant of The Club over his 17 years at the Elite Level.  The Bombers have taken the opportunity to swap a few players around.  Out: Hille, Lovett-Murray, Lonergan (suspended) Myers, McVeigh.  All the replacements are handy: Davey, Dyson, Hocking, Bellchambers & Reimers.  (Bellchambers Wrap? – Ed)  Similarly The Metermaids have swapped things around a bit too. (Are you saying this is no more than a practice match Wrap? – Ed)  The main interest in this one will be how Golly Josh Fraser goes against the Essendon Beanpole Bellchambers and how many Brownlow Votes Ablett picks up.  Quietly flows The Dons.

The Dishlickers v The Feeling Faints on Saturday night under cover.  The Doggies’ new coach is yet to get on the board.  The Sainters are in The Eight courtesy of their gifted percentage against The Sunbeams.  The Woof Woofs have had a couple of tough matches, true, but really haven’t impressed.  It’s always a brave move tipping St Seaford, that’s for sure.  But any side with Lenny Hayes & Brendan Goddard in it has to be a good chance.  And we’re giving them one more.  The Saints.

GWS v WCE up at Blacktown, wherever that is, on Sunday at 1.10 pm.  The outs for The Weagles are Glass, Priddis, Rosa, and Embely.  It will be interesting to see how they go without them. That Sheedy/Williams have stacked their experienced players down back may restrict Kennedy, Lynch and company, however, they don’t look like scoring themselves. The Eagles will prevail of course, but may not get the quintuple or sextuple percentage boost they would have gained at full strength.  Still, a triple or quadruple boost is not to be sneezed at.

The Mayblooms  v The Chardonnays at The People’s Ground mid Sunday afternoon.  The Hawkers will be smarting from their Final Stanza Fadeout last week.  If they’re going to stay on the top line around at Simon Beasley’s board they’ll need to win this one, and win it pulling away.  It’s not going to be easy.  The Crows appear to have picked up the best of the Rookie Coaches, although it’s fair to say that Coach Sando picked up a ready-made side.  They have a towering & lively forward line and some half handy midfielders wearing the tri-colours of South Australia.  And yes, there’s a more than a half handy attack wearing the GoldenBrown.  We’re going to go with the Local Outfit.  Not because we’re down on the Free Settlers.  In fact some of my best friends are from Adelaide.  It’s just that we can’t see Clarko’s Mob letting two slip in a row.  Not if they’re really Premiership Favourites.  For those who see value in the call of $4.85 for The Croweaters, don’t be shy.  It’s worth a spin.  But keep in down to a schilling or two.

The Shinboners v The Handbags under cover late on Sunday.  The Roos have been travelling thereabouts so far and maybe don’t need a reality check this early in proceedings.  However, they have to face it some time, and under what better circumstances.  The Moggies used up another of their nine lives last Monday and will be pretty sore after the six-day break.  The Roos had the Moral/Percentage Booster against Sheedy’s Shenanigans and should be as fresh as a Storm Bay breeze.  All that said, if they struggled against Essendon, it would suggest they’re not going to be able to roll up the Magic Carpet that Geelong ride to the game.  The Pussies.

Good tipping and even better punting.

And remember, if you read it in the Wrap you’ll know it’s not crap.


About John Mosig

I'm an Aussie Rules tragic who can remember, as a four year old, shaking the hand of Captain Blood in the rooms just before he ran out onto the ground after half time, as my Old Man slipped him a packet of under-the-counter Craven A cork tipped. Now it's my turn to take my grandson Ben through the ritual of character building that is the journey through PUNT ROAD to the outside world.

Leave a Comment