The Wrap Returns: Coaching Last Rites

It was one of those Desolate & Drizzly Winter days when we opened the office at Wrap Enterprises and our spirits were low.  Narelle had just come back from a bout of the flu which helped a little, and we’d passed the shortest day, but still the mood was gloomy in our Bleak City headquarters.  Then, as if by some cosmic epistle, there it was: an unaddressed envelope on the Editor’s desk.  Narelle was down the stairs and around to the newspaper kiosk before you could say Callum Coleman-Jones.  We didn’t have to go to the classified section of the Tibooburra Tribune verifying the missive’s authenticity before we went to press with it.  The answer was written in the grin spread a cross Narelle’s dial.  It was the all clear.  The letter was the real McCoy.  It was a letter from Pooncarie.


It’s still dry up here and the rabbits are lining up to be trapped, but from what we can tell from the video link at No. 9 Tarcoola Street you’re all getting a bit of the wet stuff down South of The Divide.  And I see The Tigers love the jungle when it’s wet with rain.  But what about the state of things?  Here we are at the end of the season and there seems to be only a handful of teams who have got their act together.  There’s already been blood-letting at Freo, St Kilda, Carlton & Arden Street.  But surely that’s not the end of it.  As Summer approaches and the circus comes to town you can hear the band music from the Coaches’ Carousel quickening.


Looking at who’s getting the job done is easy:  Dimma, Bucks, Clarko, Simmo, Horse, Bevo, Fages.  Stewie Dew’s job is safe. Stewie Dew?  Yep.  What would be the look to sack him with years to run on his contract; not to mention the payout?  But more to the point, who’d go up there to replace him and wreck their coaching career?


That leaves 10 clubs that are treading water.  Four of those have acted.  You watch the storm clouds brew at the other six.


Let’s start in The City of Churches.  The Pride of South Australia hasn’t recovered from its humiliation on TLSIS 2017.  Their list is ageing and there’s a bit of a rush to the exit.  Even if they make September they’ll be a Crow on a Barbwire Fence.  You’d be excused for thinking that The Terracotta Warriors need a new direction.  This is no reflection on Donald Lachlan Pyke.  He had his time in the Sun.  It’s his chance to spend more time with his family.  If he’s invested wisely he shouldn’t have to work again.  Moving on will allow the administration at West Lakes to take a good hard look at itself and regain a bit of harmony.  I mean really, you’d have to say that the head of the football department going onto the Picturesque Adelaide Oval at half time to comment over the ground’s PA system how he’d go about the team’s strategy for the second half was– as Mrs Wrap put it – nothing short of outrageous.


Out at Alberton they have a similar problem.  A high-profile public figure – Kochie – has enough to say about everything else without saying far too much about the way the Power Football Department should be run.  One solution that presents itself is to choose between The Coach & The Prez.  Another would be to get The List to stand in front of a wall of mirrors until they’d had a good hard look at themselves.  They’re certainly not playing in that True Port Adelaide Tradition.


Essendon may feature this September but only for the record book.  Another club that has a hot & cold performance record and with a question mark after the coach’s name.  His pressers haven’t convinced the Football Public that he’s got a firm grip on the task out there where the Maribyrnong meets the Mountains. It would only be fair to surmise that he’s been as unconvincing in the Locker-room.  Injuries haven’t helped but that’s what their VFL side’s for, isn’t it?  To be able to call up reserves.


The GWizz.  Where do they go from here?  They’ve had the dream run at the draft.  Now comes the graft.  They were a founded to appease a marketing itch at Jellymont House.  That itch, like the one up on The Gold Coast, has become a full-blown carbuncle.  Is it the coach or the attitude up at Breakfast Point?  It’s been called Football’s Truman Show: a phony world of make-believe happiness that rolls along in a state of perpetual sunshine.  The reality bares no resemblance.  Players make their reputation playing with the cream of the draft and use it to lever their price tag for the return journey to the Football World.


Go Dees!  But where to?  They’ve had a nightmare season and it’s been said they’re inconsequential to The Competition.  Their coach, like the incumbent out at Melrose Drive, hasn’t impressed in his public appearances.  Nor has his coaching results.  The Atrocious Football League, short of breastfeeding them, has poured quite a bit of nurturing into getting them up and running.  After their lacklustre efforts this season, a new approach from the Coaching Team would seem an imperative, eh?  If that involves a change to its structure, so be it.


That just leaves one: The Greatest Team Of All.  Yes, that’s right.  The Other Scott Twin would have to be riding on thin ice.  He inherited a team that coached itself to a Flag in 2011.  A team that had a point to prove to their departing coach.  The coach that walked out on them to become part of the St James of Perpetual Petulance coup at Whingy Hill.  Since then The Moggies – despite finishing second three times and third once – haven’t been past the prelims.  This season they looked unbeatable till the mid-season bye.  We don’t know what happened during the break.  Maybe there was a handbag sale at the Point Lonsdale Market.  Those Bangkok Pradas are hard to resist at giveaway prices.  Who knows what happened; but it hasn’t helped their game.  Nor has their coach’s ungracious comments after their unlosable loss up at The Gabbatoir.  Another poor finals series and you’d have to think he’d be on his way to follow Brother Brad into retirement.


So, what lies ahead in September Wrappers?  There’s still a round to play yet, and the Pies could finish up with the double chance should Richmond falter against the Lions.  If they don’t, it’s Dogs & Pies as the only two to scrape into the TV content finals series worthy of a Prelim berth.  Essendon & GWS are a total mess.  Both in freefall, which doesn’t say much for The Competition.  We’ve looked at the coaches whose tenures have been buried this year.  And we’ve looked at those for whom the bell tolls.  Let’s discuss the living once we know where they all sit in relation to each other, shall we.


Remember, if you read it in The Wrap you’ll know it’s not crap.


Good tipping and even better punting



Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


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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.


  1. How do you think Ross the Boss would go at Breakfast Point Mr Wrap? He’s not my cup of tea but he has always been good at whipping some structure and discipline into wasted talent. Sounds like a good fit for the GWizz.
    Not sure why they’re bothering with Round 23 and the Finals Series Mr Wrap. Could just have your mob and my mob tear fur and feathers off each other for a month. See you on TLSIS (or the day before at the North Fitzroy Arms).
    Have got the Flying Fijian on double doses of and running laps with Shandy the 14yo Wonder Dog at the local park. Both are flying. NicNait is locked in for the Qualifying Final, and Shandy is a cert in the Nationals at Sandown Park if he draws an inside box.

  2. Couldn’t agree more Mr B. Scrap the pre-finals bye and play a best of five GF. Matches could be played in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brissy. Only two home advantages: one each. And both teams travel.
    We really should be in charge of The Competition Mr B.

  3. BTW Mr B, we’ll see your Nic Nat and raise you a Soldo and a Cholly. And I’ve checked the odds on Shandy the Wonder Dog and Mick Malloy’s going to put him in his next Multi.

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