VAFA C Grade: The Next Revolution (Williamstown CYs Preview – Round 3)



By Darren “Smokie” Dawson

The next football revolution is coming. And, for us old-school perfectionists who are growing increasing frustrated with that one aspect of footy which does not seem to be improving, it will arrive not a moment too soon.

The triple-premiership-wining Brisbane teams had size, strength, muscle. With the Hawthorn machine it was a plethora of left-footers possessing pin-point accuracy. The next revolution will be different – and will not happen in the near future – but, it is on its way.

This revolution will be simplicity itself. And just as there were people in the wake of the baker who invented sliced bread, asking “Why didn’t I think of that?”, football people will be asking the very same question of themselves. “Kicking accurately at goal? Why didn’t I think of that?”

Billy Bragg will sing ballads about this goal-kicking evolution: “There is power in a goal-kicking forward.” Theses will be written. Doctorates in goal kicking will be bestowed on scholars. This revolution will be analysed; it will be hailed. But I reckon that Andrew Bolt and Gerard Henderson will not be as easily impressed.

For the team that ushers in this seismic change will have two or three forwards who can kick unerringly accurately at goal. When these guys (or girls) have ball in hand and are lining up for a set shot, your knowledgeable spectator will put down his glasses; he will then mark down a goal in the goals column in the Footy Record before the ball is even kicked. And this team will win more games than they will lose.

Draft camps will still have shuttle-runs, standing-jumps, beep-tests and the like. But there will also be a period set aside for goal-kicking – and it’s importance will not be estimated. And the kid at the vanguard of this revolution will have been discussed at length throughout his junior days as the kid who does not miss. Initially, he will be an object of curiosity. He will be dismissed as a flash in the pan. For he will not be an athlete or a freak of endurance. He will have only an accuracy which will allow him to the thread the needle from any spot within the 50-metre arc. And he will be mentioned in the same breath as Lockett and Coleman, before surpassing their numbers.

I continue to be amazed at the struggles of elite-level footballers to convert from set shots. It should not be that difficult! I take issue with Paul Roos, who said recently “You cannot replicate a game-type situation at training”; and in a few words he dismissed the notion of over-practicing goal kicking. Yes, he coached the Swans to a flag, and has a mighty fine hairpiece – but he doesn’t know everything. Give me someone, anyone, whose eye is as dead as Plugger. So what if he can’t mark, lead or read the play – teach him that stuff later on.

The revolution is coming. And just as other revolutions are surely on their way in this country, I await this revolution eagerly.

GURU 360:

Last time we met

Rd 15, 2016 @ the Fearon: Williamstown CYMS 15.13.103 defeated Caulfield Grammarians 11.11.77.

“Williamstown CYMS put a three-game winless streak behind them and kept their slender finals hopes alive with a 26-point victory over Caulfield Grammarians at Fearon Reserve. Trailing by five points at half time, the CYs booted 10 goals to five in the second half as Mitch Parkinson starred with five of his own. Daniel Calman-Orr registered two and was named best afield for the CYs, while Declan Reilly kicked three for the Fields.”

At selection

Two forced changes this week, losing Captain Fin to an ankle and back-up ruckman JJ to concussion. Two talls out that opened the door for Phil Johnson (defs not tall) to return after a very solid performance in the reserves last week, whilst Mick Venosta (unit) makes his senior debut and becomes Williamstown CYMS senior player no. 468 (in the VAFA).

What am I most looking forward to?

My man in the mobile coffee van out at Glenhuntly Oval. Does make a good brew.

It’s a sure thing?

Coach Montey and forwards coach Ross Cassidy will surely repeat their pre-game mantra from last week: “15 goals between you forwards and we’ll win the game.” We kicked 26 goals six! (If only it was always that simple.)

Most at stake?

Caulfield carried an air of invincibility about them at times last year, and appeared certain to end up in Premier B. But an unexpected straight sets finals exit followed by a thumping loss last week means they’ve dropped 3 of their last four in Premier C, and that is unfamiliar territory for all at the club. They need a win here for their own self-belief, and to reaffirm Glenhuntly Oval as a ground for opposition clubs to dread. The tip?Last week, Caulfield Grammarians were dismantled by Old Haileybury to the tune of 83 points. You’d suspect their easy win in Rd 1 (they belted Old Ivanhoe by 84 points), followed by the Easter weekend off, did the ‘Fields no favours. There will be no complacency here off the back of that, and the result from the last time we met.?And what about us? Kicking 26-6 and recording a thumping 51 point win over Old Geelong was simply magnificent, and after the Oggers unfurled their premiership flag at The Geelong College no less. It was a vintage performance by us, and if Old Haileyburians are indeed the measuring stick, we’d have to be the bookies favourites on Saturday on the respective losses alone.?Alas, that counts for little in the decidedly home & away comp we play in, and Glenhuntly Oval is a tricky ground that is played perfectly by the ‘Fields, although also a ground we recorded a win on last year in a transferred game against Ormond.?Caulfield are a very good team when in control of the ball and allowed to run and spread; but a poor one when asked to defend. That makes the stoppages and clearances key, and we will look to Blackers to follow up his great game last week with another one. It sounds simple, but a hard-nosed approach earning us first use of the pill into a potent and isolated forward line will win us another four points, and a replication of last week’s form will see us win this key clash by 4 goals.


Other teams

RESERVES: By almost as much as their seniors got beat last week, the Caulfield reserves did a number on Old Haileyburians and look to be one of the better equipped reserves teams in the comp, even at this early stage. Another big test here for our boys, who will need to perform a lot better than last week to record a win.

THIRDS: Get back to our home away from home to take on a West Brunswick side that recorded a cricket score (185) against St Mary’s Salesian last week. Mind you, SMS do have an early percentage of 7.41! Wyndy’s team to win and go 3-0.

U19 SECTION 2: Old Melburnians will test, but I suspect our U19s will win again at home and go 3-0.

U19 SECTION 5: Our colts head out to Gordon Barnard to take on Old Camberwell in what should be a very close contest. As per the previous, we’ll win here and go 3-0.


Coterie Luncheon

A reminder that the first coterie luncheon for 2017 is on Friday 12 May at the Prince albert Hotel, where $50 gets you entrée & main, and entertainment in the form of the legendary Mark Maclure. Drinks at bar prices. ‘Sellers’ is a notoriously good speaker. Fantastic detail in his stories. And a little old school. It all makes for another fantastic luncheon.



About Darren Dawson

Always North.


  1. Back to grassroots footy writing Smokie. Great stuff.

    Re: goal kicking. Probably the best explanation I have heard for the non-improvement over the years is the increased running in our game. Kind of makes sense. These days players can run between 8 and fifteen kilometres a week, so when they line up for a kick fatigue is a big issue. I watched Stevie J not make the distance from about 25 metres out on Friday night. He was knackered when he got the ball and kicked it accordingly.

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