Melbourne – The 2018 season in review
Hello True Believers,
Whilst the wounds of our finals departure are still raw, it is important to acknowledge the significant gains the club has made in season 2018 as follows;
1) – The club played finals for the first time since 2006 and in doing so entered the finals fray with a mere 44 games of finals experience of which Jordan Lewis had 23. From 2006 to 2017, a period of 12 years, seven of the 12 flags were won by Hawthorn or Geelong. Given that our two gritty wins were against these two clubs , our team has made enormous strides forward particularly when you consider that both Geelong and Hawthorn have been consistent heavyweights in recent premiership debate.
2) – Early in the season, the side had difficulty in establishing a smoother functioning forward 50 setup , sometimes playing as many as 4 talls inside the forward line. Jesse Hogan’s 47 goal contribution during the year was invaluable however his season ending foot injury inadvertently forced the coaching group to search for a better functioning forward setup and the 2 talls, 2 mids and 2 smalls combination proved to be a consistently more effective setup and certainly provided a far greater spread of goal kicking power. The talk (as usual) has been that Jesse is seeking a trade back to WA even though he is contracted to the end of 2019. Demon supporters would much prefer he remain with a club on the cusp of a dynasty but he will need to re-invent himself in terms of his versatility in order to remain a viable and integral part of the playing group going forward.
3) – Eighteen of the 26 players utilised during the finals games were experiencing finals for the first time. The exercise of doing so will prove essential going forward for the playing group as a whole but will be particularly enriching for the likes of Oliver, Brayshaw, Salem, Petracca etc. Players will no doubt realise just how much the speed of the game increases from the normal home and away fixture to finals and in particular how deep they must dig to grab victory in finals particularly in a hostile environment. I suspect the preliminary final will re-inforce this lesson above all else.
4) – The club FINALLY seemed to grasp he concept of embracing expectation in 2018 and it is imperative that this becomes the norm rather than the exception. Nothing will accelerate the cub’s development towards a consistent winning mentality/culture than this and any deviation in this can prove disastrous. No example supports this view more than our loss to St Kilda late in the campaign. That two point loss was instrumental in nor making top four and in fact could have ensured a top two finish.
Now that the club has set the bar for excellence , it cannot under any circumstances fall below same and 2019 must see the club strive for nothing less than a top four finish at the end of the home and away season.
In conclusion, may I take this opportunity to thank the committee of The Western Demons for allowing me to chart the club’s on field fortunes during the 2018 campaign and to you dear reader for taking a small portion of your most valuable time to read the ramblings of a paid up, proud and die hard Demon tragic!!!
All the best to the demon faithful for Christmas and the New Year and roll on 2019 (How may weeks till the JLT?????)
Yours in DEESperate search or flag 13,
PS – Congratulations to the following players who finished top five in the best and fairest in 2018- 1) – Max Gawn 2) – Clayton Oliver 3) – James Harmes 4) – Nathan Jones 5) – Tom McDonald
Composure DEEserts Melbourne in Preliminary Final pasting
Hello True Believers,
Now that the shock of witnessing our beloved Demons DEESintegrate has disappated somewhat (I still feel like Marlon Brando in “Apocolypse Now” though, given that I’m still waking in the early hours of the morning screaming “The horror, The horror!!!”), certain questions are still troubling me as follows:
1) – Why was our highest goalkicker for the campaign (Tom McDonald – 53 goals ) used as a “floating spare defender” across half back for the best part of the first half?
2) What “concrete evidence” did the coaching staff feel they had that West Coast were going to go with an additional tall in Nathan Vardy in their forward 50?
3) – Further to the above, if no DEEfinitive evidence was known other than a hunch, why would you change a winning line up (“If it ‘aint broke, don’t fix it) which in turn upset the balance of the side and created a DEEfensive match up problem for no reason!!!!
A competitive second half (8.4 to 7.7) did not make up for our worst overall performance of the season. Our experienced players were the worst offenders with dreadful ball handling errors and absence of any fanatical work ethic creating a non existent contested ball situation. This was especially irksome given our team was the best in the competition in this statistic all year.
With the team only applying a paltry 38 tackles for the game and 12 players laying one or less tackles, it was no surprise that our journey towards the holy grail in 2018 was effectively over at half time.
The team became the first side not to score a goal in the first half of a final since 1927 and for Melbourne in particular going back to 1897.
Whilst the manner in which the side exited the finals in 2018 was gut wretchingly disappointing, the positives of this years campaign far outweigh the negatives and will be reviewed after the grand final in The DEEsciber’s final column for season 2018.
(PS – Congratulations to Max Gawn and Angus Brayshaw on outstanding seasons as both finished top four in the 2018 Brownlow Medal count. I guess Angus’s invitation was lost in the mail ??????
Yours DEESappointed but NEVER DEESpondant
Hawks hunbled as DEEmons hellava ride continues.
Hello true believers,
Facing their second consecutive week in front of a crowd in excess of 90,000 (90152), the boys sought to continue theirs finals momentum with Harmes going to Mitchell and co-captain Jack Viney looking to build on an impressive return to the team against Geelong. The Hawks endeavoured to change the pace of the game by retaining possession whilst Melbourne’s relentless pressure to cause the “chaos ball” was equally impressive. The scores of 3.1 (19) apiece at quarter time seemed fair reward for the arm wrestle that the first term became.
The second stanza saw McEvoy up the ante against Gawn in the middle, so much so that Hawthorn’s impressive inside 50 sortees were not truly reflected on the scoreboard, despite Melbourne scoring the first goal of the term via Gawn. Hawthorn’s poor conversion in scoring 0,6 for the quarter effectively scuttled their opportunity to establish a commanding lead over the Dees. Further goals to Weideman and Brayshaw saw the Demons close out the half holding a slender lead of thirteen points. Scores were Melbourne 6.2 (38) to Hawthorn 3.7 (25).
The premiership quarter began with a bone crunching hip and shoulder by Nev Jetta on Tom Mitchell. This appeared to affect his AC joint and his effect on the contest gradually waned from this point onward. The Demons countered with a six goal term which the massive MCG crowd (and that at the Paddo!!!!) roared their delight at. Three quarter time arrived with the Dees holding a commanding 32 point lead, 12.5 (77) to 6.9 (45)
Hawthorn being the champion club that they are however, were not prepared to concede the game and a concerted effort early on in the final term saw the Hawks kick three quick goals courtesy of Smith, Gunston and Roughhead , whereupon in the blink of an eye the Hawks trailed by only two goals and Melbourne, not for the first time in the contest, faced a real test to reassert their influence on the game.
To their credit, the Demons fought back with goals from Melksham (2), McDonald and Spargo running out deserved winners by thirty three points. Final scores were Melbourne 16.8 (104) to Hawthorn 10.11 (71).
The team now face the Eagle’s at Optus Stadium on Saturday 22/9/18 at 1.20pm WST for the right to play in the Grand Final of 2018.
The Western Demons in conjunction with The Melbourne Football Club will hold a pre-game function at The Burswood on Swan at a cost of $55 commencing at 10.00am to 12 noon after which we will again have our March to the ground. Should you wish to attend this function prior to the game, please contact our secretary Joan Lawson on 0412 266 763 who will as always be delighted to hear from you.
Our boys have done us proud so far and their lack of finals experience does not seem to be a factor in their quest to date.
Irrespective of the result, we invite all supporters to gather back at The Paddington Alehouse at 144 Scarborough Beach Road – Mt Hawthorn after the game.
Good luck to our beloved Demons and remember – WHY NOT US!!!!!!
PS – Two incidents which occurred in the final quarter involving Gus Brayshaw and Jordie Lweis. must be mentioned. Both were penalised for supposedly taking out the knees of the opposition. This ridiculous below the knee rule which goes against EVERY NATURAL INSTINCT OF A PLAYER and like all recent rule changes is a kneejerk reaction (no pun intended) is extremely dangerous. The AFL needs to get of this rule immediately before someone is seriously injured and look to protecting the player whose sole objective is to obtain possession first.
Cats run out of lives in Elimination Final DEEmolition
Hello True Believers,
In front of a record crowd between the two teams of 91,767, the Demons embraced their first finals appearance commensurate with a team starved of finals for 12 years. With a mere 44 games of finals experience (of which Jordan Lewis had 23) within the side, you would have thought it was Melbourne who were more finals hardened as the team exploded in the first term with goals to McDonald, Gawn, Harmes and Wiedeman (2) whilst holding the Cats goalless. Camera shots of Selwood, Dangerfield and Ablett at quarter time DEEpicted looks of bewilderment as no doubt they were looking for the rego number of the Red and Blue truck that had just smashed them.
Facing a 31 point deficit going into the second stanza, the telecast showed Joel Selwood laying down the law to his troops. Although the Cats managed two goals for the term, the Dees missed a golden opportunity to ice the game missing some very kickable shots to register six behinds for the quarter. Scores at the main break were Melbourne 5.9 (30) to Geelong 2.4 (16). The third quarter became an epic arm wrestle with Melbourne striving to establish a match winning lead and the Cats desperate to claw their way back into the contest. Both teams scored 1.4 for the term and at three quarter time the Demon’s lead 6.13 (49) (having scored 1.10 since quarter time!!!) to 3.8 (26).
The final quarter began with Melbourne immediately going inside 50 where in a contested situation , Petracca fed a handball outside of the congestion to co-skipper Nathan Jones who from 30 metres out rammed the ball home for a goal.The sheer level of unbridled bliss DEESplayed by the skipper saw 12 years of being battered from pillar to post simply melt away as euphoric demons supporters at the “G’ not to mention the fanatical diehards at the Paddo party like it was 1964!!!!
At this point however the situation became identical to that at the Cattery some weeks before with the Demons kicking the first goal of the last term and going 29 points ahead. The difference on this occasion was that our boys had no intention of letting this mob off the hook and in the sweetest revenge possible scored 4.2 to 3.2 for the term to run out DEEserved winners 10.15 (75) to 6.10(46) and in doing so obtained the additional bonus of keeping the Cats to their lowest score of the 2018 campaign.
The fanatical nature of the team’s work ethic and fierce attack on the carrier and the ball proved too much for the Cats and the Dees now progress to week two of the finals.
This week the boys face Hawthorn at the “G” on Friday 14/9/18 at 5.50pm WST. The Hawks will be without key defender Ben Stratton but can expect improved performances from quality players such as Breust, Gunston and Burgoyne all of whom were well down against the Tigers. Hawthorn are a team who have never had respect for our club as an opponent and this week provides a DEElicious taste of irony should Jordan Lewis be part of a Melbourne side that gives this mob a long overdue belting, ends their dreams of a flag and leaves a decidedly strong smell of mothballs at Glenferrie!!!
As usual the Demon faithful will gather at The Paddington Alehouse, 141 Scarborough Beach Road MT HAWTHORN at 5.00pm this Friday 14/9/18 and we call on another impressive roll up of supporters to cheer our boys on to victory and continue our quest to the Holy Grail.
Look forward to seeing you all there even though I still have no voice from last week!!!
Yours in DEElicious DEElirium,
(PS – Can Channel 7 please sack the boofhead who decided that aerial shots of the “G” DURING play adds anything to the coverage. It doesn’t and is extremely irritating to viewers. GET RID OF IT!!!!!)
Demons take giant strides and secure home final.
Hello True Believers,
Forget the Baby Bombers of 1993, here come the Diapered Demons in 2018!!!!
Enthused with enormous confidence after their win against West Coast, the boys needed to back up against GWS at the “G” on Sunday 26/8/18.
The contest proved to be somewhat of an arm wrestle in the first quarter with the Dees immediately behind the eight ball after five minutes when Dean Kent suffered an ACL injury(when is this poor guy going to get a break- no pun intended) which immediately limited the side’s bench rotations. The Giants adopted the Sydney Swans game style of a fortnight before in attempting to stifle the Demons game style and whilst this was initially successful to a degree, the Demons managed a slender one point lead at quarter time, 4.2 (26) 4.1 (25).
The second stanza commenced much like the first ended however Melbourne started to gain a little ascendancy in the middle when a further injury, this time to Dom Tyson courtesy of Max Gawn saw our bench rotations severely affected for the remainder of the game, The team saw the half time siren holding a thirteen point lead , scores being 7.6 (48) to 5.5 (35) and the game still very much up for grabs,
Quarter three began with the Demons DEEtermined to stamp their authority on the game. By mid term , Harmes, Jones and Oliver were dominating centre clearances and providing an armchair ride for the forwards in Petracca (2), Jones, Gawn and Neal – Bullen (all 1) to establish a potentially match winning lead of forty three points whilst holding the Giants goal less for the term. The side turned for home leading 12.9 (81) to 5.8(38) and seemingly untroubled.
Both teams kicked three goals in the final quarter with the Demons holding sway to record a solid forty five point win. Final scores were Melbourne 15.12 (102) to GWS 8.89 (57) and the Dees securing a home final against Geelong at the “G”. Congratulations must go to Max Gawn who notched up his 1000th tap during this game to become the first ruckman to do so during a home and away season justifying both his and Clayton Olivers selection in the 2018 All Australian team.
The week the boys will relish and embrace their first final appearance since 2006 when they face Geelong at the “G” on Friday 7/9/18 at 550pm WST.
As usual, the Demon faithfull will congregate at The Paddington Alehouse, 144 Scarborough Beach Road in MOUNT HAWTHORN and we call on ALL SUPPORTERS to attend and cheer on the boys as we seek ultimate revenge on the Cats by ending their finals dream.
The Western Demons will supply platters for supporters on the evening whilst you avail yourself of WA’s best bar to quench your thirst and lubricate your cheering voice!!! The local supporter group will also run a money board, raffle and hope to have a 160th Anniversary jumper donated by the club to raffle. Make sure you get plenty of rest and bring plenty of money this Friday to celebrate a DEEmon DEEmolition!!!!
See you then!!
PS – It has been 4,363 days between finals games for our skipper Nathan Jones and our percentage of 131.4 after the home and away series is the best the club has achieved since 1964 (An omen perhaps? – Lets hope so!!!)
Finally congratulations to Bernie Vince on a stellar career as he announced his retirement last week from the game. He is only one of six players who have played 100 games with two teams and won the best and fairest at both.and his superb preparation not only during the week but on match days has left an the highest standard of professionalism on his team mates which will not be forgotten. Congratulations from all associated with the red and blue Weekend!!
DEESperate Demons dig DEEp for gritty gutsy win!!
Hello true believers,
Circle the date of Sunday 19/8/18 on your calendars as the momentous date which signalled the maturity of the playing group under Simon Goodwin. Having absorbed the media’s justified criticism of the Demon’s inability to beat a similarly credentialed team in the competition , club travelled west to face the Eagles in the Demon’s debut game at WA’s Optus Stadium.
After a most enjoyable pre-game function held at the Club Burswood Centre, the Melbourne faithful made their inaugural “Walk to Optus” hopeful of a first up win at the new venue to “bookend” our magnificent performance at our last game at Domain in 2017 (a win by 3 points).
With Jesse Hogan sidelined for the remainder of the year, the Dee’s forward setup was somewhat smaller including the return of Jake Melksham ( Trevor Johnson Inspirational Award winner for the day) and Mitch Hannan both of whom brought a greater degree of forward potency and flexibility as their four and three goal hauls respectively for the day ably DEMONstrated.
The Dees were inadvertently assisted with the early accidental but game ending concussion to Eagles forward Jack Darling. This necessitated throwing McGovern forward which in turn left the home side struggling to find suitable match ups for the rest of the game.
The team adopted a play on at all costs mentality and used the corridor when at all possible (surely this is the way to upset the Tigers if you can sustain it for four quarters!!) kicking 3.2(20) to nil in the early going. The Demons effectively managed to maintain this margin throughout the remainder of the game. An eleven goal shootout between the two teams in the third stanza saw the Dee’s hold a slender eight point margin at three quarter time. The boys kicked the first goal of the last term to lead by fourteen points but the Eagles rallied as you would expect a top two team to do and when Le Cras marked and goaled to give them a one point lead for the first time late in the contest, the Demons Supporters must have thought “here we go again. “
However with the game throwing up exactly the scenario the team had been criticized for failing to embrace all year, our leadership group led the way to “seize the day” , steadying the ship, by kicking the last three goals of the game to run out deserved winners by seventeen points and in doing so securing the club’s first finals appearance since 2006. Final scores were Melbourne 16.12 (108) to West Coast 14.7 (91).
This week the team need to back up their best win of the year by securing victory against GWS at the “G” on Sunday 26/8/18 at 1.20pm WST. As usual, The Western Demons will be holding a TV function at The Paddington Alehouse at 144 Scarborough Beach Road in MT HAWTHORN and we call on all whose hearts beat true for the red and the blue (and let’s face it, after last week isn’t that everyone???) to rally to the cause and cheer the side on to achieving the best possible position they can acquire prior to finals.
See you then and bring your loudest cheering voices!!!!
(PS – Can someone please tell me why as a supporter you would boo the umpire even when your team GETS THE FREE KICK.??? – Unbelievable)
Yours DEEliriously DEElighted
Sydney deliver swansong to Demons final four hopes
Hello true believers,
Well with the frustration of yet another missed opportunity against one of the competition’s better credentialed teams in Sydney gone begging, the team must steel itself for the final two home and away games against West Coast and GWS with victory against at least one being sufficient to guarantee the club its first final’s appearance since 2006.
The Demons fate is securely in their own hands and whist they will need to do a better job of converting than they did last week (10.18), it was arguably the boys failure to make the most of Sydney’s lack of rotation options off their bench once Nick Smith and Alex Johnston (yet the prospect of another ACL operation for this desperately unlucky player) were ruled out of the contest before half time that perhaps left the most bitter of tastes.
The final margin of nine points flattered the Demons (13.9 (87) to 10.18 (78) and with Sydney’s poise and composure holding sway in the final stanza, it was too little too late for the team despite kicking 3.4 to 0.3 in the final quarter.
Next up the side faces West Coast at Optus in our debut game at WA’s newest stadium. The season is eerily taking on a similar feel to round 23 2017 (Can anyone else hear The Twilight Zone theme?) and no Demon fan needs to be reminded of that particular scenario!!! I’ve no doubt the boys will travel here with a steely resolve to “Seize the Day” and we as supporters must back our Dees by continuing to “Dare to Dream”.
Over 100 Demon faithful will attend the pre-game function at The Burswood on Swan commencing at 10.30am prior to our inaugural “March to Optus” which we hope will become a permanent fixture in future WA games. Should you still wish to attend the pre game function, please contact our secretary Joan Lawson who will apprise you of details and availability. Accordingly, the Western Demons will not hold an official TV function at The Paddington Hotel this week but will be their with bells on Sunday 26/8/18 at 1.20WST for our final home and way game against GWS at the “G”, hopefully still sporting a carry over hangover from the Eagles victorious encounter!!!. See you all then.
Yours DEESperately seeking a repeat of our 2017 victory
Melbourne V Gold Coast – MCG -Sunday – 5/8/18 – 1.20pm
Hello True Believers,
With the bitterness of the Geelong game behind us yet a gritty away win over the Crows to build upon, the boys travelled to the “G” to meet an undermanned Gold Coast . Nothing but a huge percentage boosting win would do for the Demons especially as Sydney and Adelaide had opened the door to the top four with upset wins over Collingwood and Port Adelaide respectively.
Our boys were in no mood to do the Suns any favours and with a withering first term score of 9.3 (57) ( Its best opening term score for 30 years) to 1.0 (6) the game was effectively killed off as any sort of contest with the Demons holding a 51 point lead at the first change.
From that point onward, it was simply a matter of how much the Dees would win by with leads of 64 points (half time) 74 points (three quarter time) and although the margin did reach 100 points for a brief period in the final term, the Demons final winning margin was 96 points with final scores being Melbourne 21.17 (143) to 7.5 (47) . The victory was soured somewhat with Joel Smith suffering a broken collarbone early in the final stanza.
Clayton Oliver continued his massive 2018 campaign with a best on ground performance ably supported by Jesse Hogan (4 goals) , Sam Frost in defence and Chrisitan Salem and Nathan Jones in the midfield. MIchael Sexton for the Suns was easily their best player kicking 5 of the Suns’ 7 goals.
Aaron Vandenberg was serviceable with 14 possessions in his return since Round 23 2016 and will be better for the run. Our next three weeks will determine just how deep an impact the team can make into the finals with Sydney, West Coast and GWS proving tough opposition in our effort to retain a top four position.
As usual The Western Demons will hold a TV function for the Sydney game commencing at 1.20pm WST at the home of Red & Blue, The Paddington Alehouse at 141 Scarborough Beach Road in MOUNT HAWTHORN on Sunday 12/8/18. We call on everyone whose heart beats true for the Red and the Blue to attend and support our boys as we head into the business end of the season.
See you at the Paddo as we sizzle the Swans!!!
Yours with DEElight
PS – Belated congratulations on behalf of all Melbourne members and supporters to our Captain Courageous Nathan Jones who joins Allan La Fontaine, Robbie Flower, David Neitz and Garry Lyon as captain of Melbourne in at least 100 games. We sincerely hope Nathan goes one better and becomes the first Demon to lift that elusive cup since Ronald Dale in ’64!!!!
Melbourne V Fremantle – Tio Stadium
Hello True Believers,
On the back of three successive defeats, the boys travelled to TIO Stadium last Saturday to meet the Dockers desperately needing to notch a big win to boost confidence and percentage.
According to the players, the conditions were more conducive to a wet day at the “G”. The level of play certainly supported this view with players on both sides dropping simple marks and being unable to execute basic hand and foot skills. The margin at half time was only nineteen points however with the Demons having 14 more scoring shots (5.15 45 to 4.2 26) it was clearly Fremantle’s accuracy keeping them in the contest.
The game was going to be won by the side who could establish a winning break in the conditions. With Melbourne dominating contested possession and centre clearances, they extended their lead to 31points at the final change (9.18 72 to 6.5 41) and never looked like being headed from that point forward. Whilst the final margin of 54 points (13.24 102 to 7.6 48) was a comfortable win in the end, the amazing statistic of 78 to 28 inside 50’s probably should have seen a winning margin in the region of three figures and the Dockers coach Ross Lyon openly admitted the same.
Max Gawn, Clayton Oliver and Angus Brayshaw continued their stellar seasons however the biggest positive to come out of the game was the performance of Christian Petracca who had received some deserved criticism regarding the consistency of his work commensurate to his undoubted ability. “Tracks” responded with a 28 possession effort and more importantly a willingness to stay involved in the contest more often. We hope this game will represent the norm rather than the exception going forward.
This week the mighty Demons face the Western Bulldogs at 2.35pm WST at the “G” on Saturday, 14/7/18. As usual the Western Demons will hold a TV function to view the match at the Paddington Hotel, 144 Scarborough Beach Road in Mount Hawthorn. We cordially invite all Melbourne supporters to meet there and drown the place in blue and red as we enjoy good fellowship in cheering the boys to a gargantuan victory and continue our ascent towards a top four position.
We look forward to seeing you all there!!!!
PS – Can anyone remember the last time three sets of brothers played in an AFL game before last Saturday as we had the Mcdonalds, the Brayshaws and the Hills. Sounds like a three way feud !!
Power cuts Demons from Top Four
Hello True Believers,
Despite dominating clearances and inside 50’s. the Demons again failed to capitalise by way of the scoreboard losing their only Friday night game of the campaign by ten points. Final scores were Port Adelaide 11.9 (75) to Melbourne 9.11 (65). North Melbourne remain the only top eight credentialed team that the Dees have beaten in 2018 and the team’s apparent inability to rise to the occasion when facing better opposition remains a DEEp concern.
The team skipped way early against Port to lead by 14 points at the first change (3.5 (23) to 1.3 (9) predominantly by denying the Power access to the corridor. This tactic proved to be very effective in so much as Port scored their only goal for the first term right on the quarter time siren.
The second and third terms proved to be an arm wrestle with both sides struggling to achieve an advantage which could lead to victory and although the Demons held a 20 point lead at once stage, this was whittled away to eight points by three quarter time courtesy of a fortuitous mark to Lindsay Thomas inside 50 and a goal to Justin Westhoff (why do we always seem to run this guy into form???????) leaving the contest up for grabs at the commencement of the final stanza, scores being Melbourne 9.9 (63 ) to Port 8.7 (55).
With Wines, Gray and Westhoff rising to the occasion , Port kicked three goals in the final stanza whist holding the Dees goalless to record a hard fought ten point victory.
Viney, Brayshaw and Oliver dominated the centre with 31 and 28 (2) possessions respectively whist Tommy McDonald gave the side a pivotal target inside forward 50 with 3 goals.
Dropping to sixth position on the ladder proved a costly loss however this sees the Demons with an opportunity to bounce back and re set as they face St Kilda at the “G” on Sunday 1./718 commencing at 11.10am WST.
As usual we call on all those whose hearts beat for the Red and Blue to join us at the Home of The Demons in WA , The Paddington Alehouse- 144 Scarborough Beach Road – MOUNT HAWTHORN and cheer the boys on to a massive percentage boosting win.
DEE you all there!!!
Demons DEErailed by hot pies
Hello true believers,
After six consecutive victories against what must be said as mediocre opposition, it is an extremely bitter pill to swallow that given a finals type crowd of 83,000, an opportunity to grab second spot on the ladder and a perfect chance to inflict some long simmering revenge against the team that denied us a finals spot in 2017, the side ONCE AGAIN failed to embrace expectation!!!
The team appeared too “top heavy” inside forward 50 with Hogan, Pedersen and McDonald (at various stages) all up front. Our boys appeared to allow Collingwood to dictate the pace of the game all day. At no stage did the side keep possession , lower the pace of the game and try to “poke holes” in the Pies defence.
Melbourne trailed at quarter time by 23 points, 5.5 (35) to 2.0 (12) and to be honest never looked like bridging the gap. Whenever the Demons threatened, Collingwood had an immediate answer and eventually recorded a solid victory by 42 points 20.13 (133) to 14.7 (91)
Special mention must be made of Tommy McDonald who played a lone hand up front with 6 goals, Joel Smith (Shaun’s boy) who stuck manfully to his task on Mason Cox and will benefit enormously from the experience and Charlie Spargo who despite a quiet first quarter played especially well after the first break . He set a standard in persistent work ethic that a lot of his teammates could have done well to emulate.
There are however some questions that need to be addressed such as:
1) – If we play Pedersen as the back up ruckman to Max it must be off the bench. We cannot play Hogan, McDonald and Pedersen inside forward 50 simultaneously as this disrupts the matchups. Either Jesse orTommy must take on the second ruck mantle within the side. This means that unless Cam can reinvent himself with the team dynamic, his opportunities at the elite level going forward may be over.
2) – We cannot continue to play Jordan Lewis off half back.We desperately lack genuine pace in the side and each game allocated to Lewis continues to cripple the development of Jayden Hunt. Jordan needs to realise that there is no point getting plenty of the ball if you continue to turn it over!!!
3) – Expectation against better credentialed opposition continues to hamper the team’s development. Losses to Hawthorn (67), Richmond (49) and now Collingwood (42) suggest that unless the Dee’s can absorb and then apply pressure their finals appearance may be fleeting.
This week the boys take on Port Adelaide at the Adelaide Oval in our only Friday night game of the year. The game commences at 5.20pm WST and as usual we call on all supporters to gather at The Paddington Alehouse at 141 Scarborough Beach Road MT HAWTHORN to cheer the side on to a big win against the Power.
See you all there!!!
Yours with some DEEsappointment but never DEESpondant
Melbourne V Western Bulldogs – Etihad Stadium
Hello True Believers,
After superb percentage boosting wins against Gold Coast (69 points), Carlton (109 points) and a huge statement to the rest of the competition in belting one of the better credentialed teams in Adelaide (91 points) the Dees returned to Melbourne to face the Western Bulldogs on Saturday June 2nd.
Knowing as we all do the propensity to fail in backing up after a noteworthy effort, it initially appeared that we would suffer another embarrassment as the Dogs bounced out of the blocks kicking the first three goals of the game. The team eventually settled however and worked themselves back into the contest to trail by only three points at quarter time, 3.4 (22) to 3.1 (19).
Unfortunately a seemingly innocuous change in direction by Jake Lever early in the game forced him to leave and subsequent scans revealed a ruptured ACL which will necessitate a knee reconstruction and the end to his 2018 campaign. Wretched luck for the young man who was beginning to settle in as the teams centre half back. We wish him a speedy rehabilitation.
Gus Brayshaw (39 disposals) together with Neville Jetta (without doubt his best game for the side and a certainty for All Australian surely!!) and Jesse Hogan (5 goals)/ Tom McDonald (4 goals) were the standout performers on the day. Hogan and McDonald are proving to be the equal of Josh Kennedy/Jack Darling in terms of a forward 50 potent combination and the round 22 confrontation at Optus has fans of both sides salivating in expectation..
The Demons greater spread in goalkicking power proved too much for the Dogs in the end and they eventually skipped away to a solid victory of 49 points winning 15.10 (100) to 7.9 (51).
Co-skipper Nathan Jones celebrated his 250th game in this match so it was especially satisfying that the side could deliver a victory for him. No too long ago he was the only shining light in our team’s efforts to become a decent combination so to see him enjoying his footy and playing in a team which will smash the final hoodoo and has a real chance of going deep into September is no less than the “great man” deserves.
This week the side face “the old enemy” at the “G” on Monday 11th June 2018. This will be the fourth BIG FREEZE and with all eighteen coaches facing the slide it is hoped that an enormous amount of money is raised towards a cure for the “beast”. As we all know our previous league coach Neale Danniher suffers from this affliction and we encourage all the Demon faithful to dig deep. Remember that no amount is too small!!
The Western Demons will hold a TV function for this game at 1.20pm at the Paddington Alehouse, 141 Scarborough Beach Road MOUNT HAWTHORN. See if you can get a half day off, pop down for lunch and more importantly cheer the guys on to a THUMPING win. If Port Adelaide can manage an upset on the Friday preceeding our game, we will be playing for second spot so the stakes a high!!
Look forward to seeing you all at the Paddo on Monday. GO YOU GOOD THINGS!!!!!!!!!
Yours hoping for a Magpie DEEstruction,
PS – On behalf of Melbourne supporters Australia wide our heartiest congratulations to David Neitz on his election to the AFL Hall of Fame recently. Although his cv missed that elusive flag his record games (306) together with accolades as most games as captain, most goals and Coleman Medallist 1981 (81 goals) highlight an impressive cv non the less. Congratulation on a stellar career big fella!!!
Hello true believers,
Melbourne v Carlton
After solid wins against Essendon (36 points), St Kilda (39 points) and a terrific percentage booster against Gold Coast (69 points), dare we suggest that just maybe our boys are beginning to grasp the basics of embracing expectation by simply decimating the Blues last week by 109 points.
Ironically the Demons last 100 point win was back in 2004 (also against Carlton) however the first term of this contest initially gave no indication of the shellacking that was to come as the Dees held a mere three point lead at quarter time , scores being 3.4 (22) to 3.1 (19).
From the first break however, the floodgates opened with the boys having twelve separate goalscorers. Jake Melksham (5 goals) and Tom McDonald/Alex Neal-Bullen (each 4 goals) lead the goal fest and once a massive percentage booster was on the cards, the team applied the “killer” blow scoring 22.5 (137) to 4.7 (31) after quarter time to win 25.9 (159) to 7.8 (50).
The side now travel to Traeger Park in Alice Springs to tackle one of the competition’s better credentialed teams in Adelaide on Sunday 27th May at 1.00pm WST
As both WA teams are also playing on this day, we have arranged for our TV function to be held at The Irish Club of WA located at 64 Townsend Road in Subiaco. We call upon all Melbourne supporters to gather at 1.00pm this Sunday 27th May to help cheer the boys to victory as we search for win number seven and in doing so help to secure our top four spot (The club currently sits third).
(PS – On behalf of all Melbourne supporters our heartfelt thanks go out to Peter Jackson who has decided to retire and therefore step away from the club as its CEO. We cannot express our gratitude enough for the hard work Peter has given to ensure that the off field set up of our beloved club is now set in stone and will be the cornerstone of all endeavours both on and off field in future. Our next flag will indelibly be marked with Peter’s contribution and we wish him well in his retirement)
See you at The Irish Club!!!
Melbourne V Richmond Round 5
Hello True believers,
If our beloved Demons had any conceptions about their top four aspirations, they were well and truly delivered a reality check by the reigning premiers on Anzac Eve at the “G”.
Melbourne followed the lead of the Tigers by starting with a smaller forward setup (ie Melksham, Kent, Garlett, Neal-Bullen etc) with Jesse Hogan continuing his role initially as a high half forward but lacked the class and poise to maximise their inside forward 50’s.
The side trailed by 3, 20 and 19 points at quarter, half and three quarter time respectively and whilst the Dees had their moments of momentum, they failed to capitalise on them. When the Tigers decided to put Melbourne “to the sword” by piling on 7 goals to three in the final stanza, the Demons had no answer and finally succumbed disappointingly by 46 points. Final scores were Richmond 15.12 (102) to Melbourne 8.8 (56) in front of a crowd of just over 77,000.
SUMMARY – Whilst Max dominated in the ruck with 56 tap outs , our midfield were comprehensively outpointed and on numerous occasions the Tigers sharked the knocks. Jake Melksham played a lone hand up forward with 4 of our 8 goals and Dean Kent’s wretched run with injury continued with a hamstring strain ruling out of the game at the half,
Some of the side’s more glaring deficiencies that were painfully obvious as the game wore on were:
1) – No spread by our players (ie offering leads) across the board emanating from inconsistent application of work ethic
2) – The team is very lazy and displays no work ethic/pressure when they do not have the ball
3) – Our leadership group is impotent in adversity
The side can no longer afford the luxury of playing Jesse as a high forward ( wasn’t it three Anzac Eve’s ago that he played on Rance and took him to the cleaners?- why wasn’t that tried again?) especially as the team has had 100 inside 50’s in the last two games for a paltry return of 14 goals.
This week, our boys play Essendon at Etihad at 11.10am on Sunday 29/4/18 WST at the Paddington Alehouse (141 Scarborough Beach Road MT HAWTHORN) and we invite all supporters to meet, enjoy good fellowship and cheer the boys on to a much needed, confidence boosting win and in doing so level the ledger to 3-3. See you there!!!
(PS – Given that we are struggling for a tall option inside 50 to take a grab and convert, can anyone tell me why Cam Pedersen who booted 5 goals as a key forward for Casey last week STILL cannot get a game?)
Yours slightly DEEmoralised
RND 3 – DEF NTH 18.15 (123) to 13.8 (86)
Hello TRUE Believers,
To quote (partially) that great Etta James soul classic of the 1950’s, “At Last our victory has come along” although the first quarter did not seem likely that we would break the duck with North kicking the first four goals of the game. However, our Demons of 2018 are made of stern stuff and with big Max Gawn dominating centre clearances and Tomas Bugg lively with two goals, the boys steadied and only faced a thirteen point deficit at quarter time, scores being 5.33 (33) to 3.2 (20)
The second stanza began with Gawn continuing to give the midfield an armchair ride. Salem and Lewis (despite Madjak Daw’s bump) gathered possessions at will and delivered with poise and precision to allow Garlett, Kent and Bugg to hit the scoreboard with maximum effect. Whilst Brown strove manfully to provide a target up forward for North, half time came with the demons enjoying a nine point lead, 9.7 (61) to 8.4 (52)
The herculean performance of Max Gawn continued after the major break evoking memories of the great Jim Stynes as he simply was involved in everything! His teammates got on board sensing that this was the best opportunity to eradicate the seventeen match stigma the club had faced and with Jones, Oliver, Petracca and Frtisch all kicking goals the boys led by nineteen points 12.13 (85) to 10.6 (66).
With the cub sensing our ice breaking victory was close, the team pressured early in the fourth quarter and early goals to Bugg (his fourth), Vince, Garlett and Lewis stamped the clubs’ authority on the game and our boys finally ran our solid winners 18.15 (123) to 13.8 (86), a margin of thirty seven points.
The effort was extremely even over the course of the day and no player could have been accused of not contributing however Max’s magnificent 18 possession and 50 tap outs, Jesse Hogan’s 26 possession performance and Dean Kent’s first up effort of 20 possessions and 3 goals are particularly noteworthy.
This week the Demons take on Hawthorn at the “G” at 1.20pm WST on Sunday 15/4/18 and as usual the Western Demons will meet at the Paddington Alehouse (141 Scarborough Beach Road – MT HAWTHORN) and the team MUST build on last week in an effort to shore up a top four spot.
We look forward to a massive crowd to witness the plucking of the Hawks- Go the mighty Demons and see you at the Paddo!!
Yours with Deelief (relief)
Blistering in Brisbane
Hello true believers,
After handing four points to the Cats on a plate in round one, our boys traveled to the Gabba determined to make amends against the Brisbane Lions. With a blistering opening quarter of 5.4 (34) to 0.03 (03), the centre dominance of Gawn, Petracca and Tyson (great first quarter in his first game of the campaign) truly reflected the Dees midfield superiority. As a target inside forward 50, Jesse Hogan was especialv
lively with two first quarter goals.
The second stanza saw Dom Tyson tagged in an effort to quell his first quarter influence. This was an effective move for Brisbane for the remainder of the game but in doing so only served to release the shackles from Clayton Oliver who went on to become one of the dominant players on the ground.
Whilst the Lions hit the scoreboard with two goals in this period, the Dees also added with goals to Jones , Garlett and Hogan (his third) to hold a thirty seven point lead at the half, 8.7 (55) to 2.6 (18)
The third quarter commenced with Beams and Rockliff starting to wield an influence with Steph Martin in the middle. Charlie Cameron and Allen Christensen began to hit the scoreboard and with Brisbane adding 3.5 (somewhat inacurately thank goodness!! ) to Melbourne’s 1.4 for the quarter, the siren sounded with the Demons holding a 24 point lead heading into the final term 9.11 (65) to 5.11 (41)
A poor miss at the beginning of the last stanza from Jesse Hogan saw a sizeable shift in momentum to the LIons whose direct attacks through the corridor of the ground saw them draw level and the game was well and truly on.
With the challenge arrogantly thrown at the Dees feet, it required some individual brilliance by Jeff Garlett ably supported by Nathan Jones and Clayton Oliver to steel the group and draw away to win by 26 points. The final score being 14.16 (100) to 10.14 (74)
The question still remains in that whilst the boys won ugly, they were at one stage 42 points to the good and must learn to crush the opposition when the opportunity presents itself. Have they learned nothing from 2017(ie percentage?)
This week the boys will attempt to remove the stigma of 17 consecutive losses to North Melbourne at the “G” on Saturday 7/4/18 at 12.00pm WST.
The Western Demons call on all those whose heart’s ring true for the red and blue to join us the The Paddington Alehouse, 141 Scarborough Beach Road MT HAWTHORN to view the match and share the relief of getting this irritating monkey off our back by handing this mob a fearful belting!!!
Look forward to seeing you all then
Yours Deesappointingly (somewhat)
2018 Mebourne deeliver in 2018 pre season ( By ‘The DEEscriber’ )
AFLW – Our ladies entered season two confident of making a strong showing and making up for the disappointment of missing out on a grand final berth in 2017 on percentage. After two gritty wins against GWS (6 points) and reigning premiers Adelaide (32 points), the girls dropped the next two fixtures against Fremantle (5 points) and Collingwood (32 points) to be 2-2 after four games.
With the season on the line, the team registered strong showings against Brisbane (6 points) and Carlton (35 points- this being their most impressive performance of the year to date). Sadly however, Mel Hickey sustained an ACL injury in the Carlton game which cut short her season in the cruellest of fashion. The ledger now read 4-2 with the ladies needing to beat the top side in The Western Bulldogs to make the grand final.
In an ironic replica of the first season, the team fell agonisingly short of victory by two points and again missed the grand final on percentage. The girls can be proud of their efforts in AFLW2 and we congratulate coach Mick Stinear, his assistants and the playing group for doing our magnificent club proud.
SUMMARY – It is significant to note that goal kicking inaccuracy plagued the ladies efforts all season. In the three games that they lost, they kept Fremantle, Collingwood and The Western Bulldogs scoreless in the first terms but failed to generate sufficient scoreboard pressure themselves and in each game were overrun by the opposition. Some of the other teams, most notably The Brisbane Lions and Adelaide Crows seem to be better drilled when delivering the ball inside forward 50 (ie lowering the eyes) and perhaps some concentration on this aspect of the girls’ game prior to season three may see attacking opportunities maximised in 2019.
AFLX – The inaugural series of the AFL’S equivalent to crickets’ 20/20 met with mixed reviews from players and fans alike. Even with our beloved demons winning ” silverware” by defeating Hawhorn by 10 points in the second series decider, the AFLS’ boast that this abbreviated version of our game (ie seven a side and two ten minute halves) will be prominent in selling our game overseas is hard to comprehend given that physical clashes and high making are conspicuous by their absence. The long term future of this form of the game must seriously be in question.
JLT COMMUNITY SERIES – The boys recorded victories in both their JLT matches by 53 and and 26 points over North Melbourne (now do it when 4 points are at stake!!) and St Kilda respectively. The Roos victory was an extremely even performance by all team members. Mature age recruit Bayley Fritsch (taken at pick 31) showed that he is ready to play straight away with three opportunistic goals and the only down aspect was a slight calf injury to veteran Jordan Lewis He was substituted at half time as a precaution. Against the Saints, Fritsch continued his impressive form and must be uppermost in selectors minds for round one whilst Jake Melksham continued his sparkling AFLX form. Jesse Hogan looked extremely fit in gaining 21 possessions in all parts of the ground whilst reigning Best and Fairest Clayton Oliver inspired in a best on ground effort racking up 27 possession and most noticeably 2 goals.
ROUND ONE – The campaign kicks off in earnest on Sunday 25th March with a home game against the Cats at the “G” at 12.05 pm WST. As usual The Western Demons have organised a TV function to view the match at our spiritual home of The Western Demons , THE PADDINGTON ALEHOUSE at 141 Scarborough Beach Road in Mount Hawthorn.
We call on all those whose hearts beat true for the red and the blue to wear your colours proudly and join the WA Demon Army at The Paddo in cheering the boys on to a memorable first round triumph.
Thank goodness footy is back!!! – See you at The Paddo on the 25th and GO YOU MIGHTY DEMONS!!!!!!!
Yours in deelightful anticipation,