Some post-season thoughts
On the WAFL…
I was out on Subiaco Oval taking photos among the Thunder throng and saw some interesting things…
• A Peel offical seeking out defender Luke Ryan: “Liam, Liam…” he shouted. “It’s Luke,” said a team mate. Liam is the Subiaco star.
• Alex Silvagni was there. Now a Carlton player, he starred at full back for Peel in the the 2016 grand final. An example of just how much a WAFL premiership means, even to AFL-listed players.
• Subiaco coach Jarrad Schofield protesting loudly to no one in particular about the unfairness of the alignment, “We’ve gotta do something about these blokes,” he said and keep muttering.
The Schofield concerns, he repeated them later in a more official setting, are worth exploring one last time. A popular talk-back, pub and water cooler topic is about the “poor kids left out of Peel team” – these are the ones who have allegedly played all year and then been dumped for a Docker in the finals. I wondered if they actually existed and who among the Peel players could consider themselves unlucky…. Alexander Bray played 16 games, he was unlucky last year too; Hayden Matthews played 15 games; Corey Morris 14 and Calvin Thorne 10. The glaring omission from the grand final team was draft prospect Aaron Naughton who played six games and looked at home in defence and attack. Schofield was quoted in The West Australian as saying: “What are you doing to Peel? You’re not playing (Aaron) Naughton, you’re not playing (Haydn) Matthews because what? You want to play players you’re going to de-list.” His point is a good one.
The Richmond effect…
Excuse the Fremantle perspective here… Ross Lyon will like the fact that the Tigers built their run to the flag on defensive pressure and effort. However Damien Hardwick also introduced something else in 2017… fun.
Grand final presentations
Auskick kids have been presenting premiership medals for a long time now. It’s one of the best things the AFL and other competitions have done. Somehow the presence of the boys and girls has made the celebrations more dignified. Adults tend to be a bit more sensible when kids are about. I could, however, do without the Friday night TV interviews with the chosen Auskickers.
At the next AFLPA get together I think they should have a chat about whether they really need to punch one another. I think they could stop it and the game wouldn’t suffer at all.