Where have all the goalkickers gone…….long time passin’

I watched the opening round of the 2014 AFL season and at the conclusion, I thought – where have all the goalkickers gone?  Where are the Jason Dunstall’s or the Tony Lockett’s of today?  Is there anyone out there capable of kicking 100 goals in a season?  Oh I know that football has changed “for the better” where instead of passing to a full forward, the players swarm around the ball, and follow it around the ground – stuff that we got told off for by our coach at school footy.

It never ceases to amaze me how players can deliver the Sherrin to a teammate on the other side of the ground with pinpoint accuracy, yet when it comes to hitting a target the size of the grand canyon (the space between the goals) – they repeatedly miss.  There was a total of 30 behinds kicked in the Collingwood/Fremantle match, which could easily have been goals, as the majority were attempted from set shots – and – what is more disconcerting – from a relatively short distance from the grand canyon..sorry.. goal mouth.  Blokes like Pavlich should be doing better than he did.  But it is unfair to single him out – the season is still young, and I sure there will be more people showing off their lack of direction.

Each side has a ruck coach, a fitness coach, a midfield coach, a coach that takes them to matches, but who teaches them to kick straight?  Or are these finely tuned athletes so finely tuned that they might end up with RSI from repeated kicking for goal?  Heaven forbid they actually become more accurate.  I thought the whole point (no pun intended) of the game was to place the ball between the two larger of the four posts.  It seems almost as is if the kicking of a goal has become incidental to the rest of the game.  It’s not as they lack the power to kick – these blokes could pick up a small car and chuck it over the fence if it was parked in the coach’s parking space, so why doesn’t that power translate to accurate kicking?

I can remember (insert groans here) when the crowds grew exponentially larger the closer a full forward came to kicking ‘the ton’. Why do the coaches bother to name players at set positions when all they do is roam the ground?  I know the game has got faster, and the rules have changed and people’s attention span has got shorter and there are television imperatives to consider BUT…wouldn’t it be great to see someone..anyone.. boot 100 goals in a season?  Just because they could?


About Mark Seja

Now retired after working in the public sector for 38 years. With more time on my hands I have re-kindled my interest and love for Australian Rules Football. I call it this because it's not only the AFL that is important to me but grass roots football also. My local league, the SANFL in which I support the mighty Eagles, is the one I grew up with and I remember going to some wonderful games when you could reach out and touch the players and smell the liniment. Fortunately this still holds true, but the players seem to be a lot younger!


  1. Malcolm Ashwood says

    So true Mark it defies common sense that the skill required the most is not practised the most kicking for goal and with a man standing the mark ! I have watched AFL sides train and hours will be spent on a match simulated ball up trying to get the perfect play which might work once in a game if your lucky yet goal kicking is done almost as a apology for 10 mins at the end , while in a real game every side has at least 20 shots trying to kick a goal UNBELIEVABLE !
    Every 1 has also become he’ll bent on having alternative goal scorers even a natural full forward such as J Riewolt is consistently played elsewhere again quite often to a sides detriment Thanks Mark

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