The View from Shepparton

Well, Hawthorn did it and it would be churlish to say that it wasn’t a well deserved premiership. I think that any team which finishes on top in the minor round has a more or less moral right to be the champion team at the end of the year. Freo were brave in defeat but one hopes that though understandable they don’t bask in the glory of only losing by fifteen points.

This was not a great Grand Final to watch. Most of the people, actually all, at the annual Schumacher footy fest were backing Freo but except when they drew to within 3 points in the third quarter there was  no genuine excitement generated in our living room at all. Early seemingly easy Freo shots for goal from an otherwise really exciting prospect, Nathan Fyfe, that missed underlined the general malaise that seemed to prevail. Even the mighty Pavlich was off his game, but in the games that he played this year one always felt uneasy when he was kicking set shots.

The Hawks winning was of course good for another reason, it showed again that a team which hopes to win at the very top level must be able to attack and not just defend. It has been argued, perhaps cogently, that this being Lyon’s fourth attempt at this level proves that his teams concentrate too much on defensive tactics, yet in the 2010 Grand Final it was a fickle bounce which cost St Kilda, and on Saturday just plain lousy kicking for goal that cost the Dockers. Oh and by the way Hawthorn were just too good, Buddy didn’t do much, but Gunston, well he was  another player who has swapped clubs to good effect with his four goals. Of course the ultimate reward for swapping clubs must be to win a Norm Smith in the year of the change. Well done Brian Lake. Crowley held Mitchell to twelve kicks but couldn’t stop Hodge or Birchall for example.

Lance Franklin, why do Sydney (Greater Western variety) want him so much? He can’t kick straight, he is up and down with his form, he gives away a lot of free kicks and they already have a gun full forward anyway. I can’t  see, to be honest, that Hawthorn will miss him that much.

It would not be fair to end this year without paying tribute to Alastair Clarkson. We all admired his losing with grace when he reminded us that there were much greater issues around than losing a footy match. His club did not fall apart this year which was a testament to his coaching ability. No wonder the Eagles want him.

Year’s Highlight: The American’s winning the “America’s Cup” from eight one down.

Year’s Lo Light. The Kiwis losing from eight one up.

Peter Schumacher

About Peter Schumacher

Wannabe footy commentator and writer, used to be a wannabe footballer


  1. Grant Fraser says

    “Lance Franklin, why do Sydney (Greater Western variety) want him so much? He can’t kick straight, he is up and down with his form, he gives away a lot of free kicks and they already have a gun full forward anyway. I can’t see, to be honest, that Hawthorn will miss him that much.”

    Not the first and presumably not the last person to ask this question, Peter. I really hope he reads the article by Helen Kapalos in yesterday’s The Age before finalising his decision. Staying put means he can remain part of something special; leaving means he will be just another knob with a lot of money.

  2. Luke Reynolds says

    Don’t really know why GWS would be prepared to pay so much for Buddy, do they even need him? They have Cameron, Patton, and access to probable No.1 pick Tom Boyd. How many big forwards does a team need? Will he help them or get in the way? Surely an experienced midfielder or defender or two would suit them better. How many more people will Buddy attract to Skoda Stadium?

  3. Kath Presdee says

    When we were discussing the Buddy Franklin question at dinner the other night, Master 6 said firmly “We don’t need Buddy, we need Nic Natanui” .

    I’m not alone in being a GWS fan who didn’t want Buddy and is pleased that we’ve withdrawn the offer as he’s supposedly off to the Swannies. Part of me wonders if Liam Pickering was playing for a better offer and it wasn’t made.

    It was acknowledged by the club during the year that one of the reasons we wanted Buddy was that he would help bring in bums on seats – we seem to like full-forwards in Sydney (Capper, Lockett, Hall). However, that’s a longer term strategy because without another experienced ruckman and another experienced midfielder we’re not getting that much ball inside 50. Cameron showed that when he got the ball he knew how to use it and use it well. But he wasn’t getting the ball. Based on our current stocks (and taking into account the likely loss of Taylor Adams) we’re still at least half a season from having a regularly competitive midfield. What’s the point of spending $$$ and wasting it. We are a season away from making use of Buddy – and it would be debatable as to whether Cameron/Patton partnership would make it worth our while anyway.

  4. Grant Fraser says

    If it is as reported, and he is going to Sydney, you can forget any “Gazza” fond farewells/always welcome. I won’t say anything more in case I say something

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