AFL
AFL profile ‘damning evidence’ against Magpies
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Heritier Lumumba has responded to claims he wasn't offended by the nickname 'Chimp', pointing to the fact he always maintained that he went along with it during his time at Collingwood.In the aftermath of Eddie McGuire's exit from the club, supporters have come out and defended the fallen ex-president by highlighting an old AFL interview profiling Lumumba during his playing days at the club, which resurfaced online during the week. In it he lists one of his nicknames as "The Chimp".Critics of the former defender, formerly known as Harry O'Brien, say the profile piece is evidence he wasn't bothered by the moniker at the time but Lumumba has rejected that suggestion.AFL teammates nicknamed Lumumba “chimp”In a lengthy 15-part response on social media, the former AFL player reconfirmed his position on the matter, stating that he "went along with the nickname and a lot of other racist behaviour in order to fit in" at the club."A 2007 player profile that was published by CFC & the AFL has my nickname listed as 'Chimp'," he said. "Ever since I went public in 2017 with my experience, I've been consistent in saying that I initially went along with the nickname & a lot of other racist behaviour in order to fit in.The AFL profile resurfaced online. (Twitter)"The document is proof that the nickname did indeed exist and was widely known in the club. Some people are trying to use it as a means to discredit me, without realising that it's damning evidence that works against CFC and the AFL."The #DoBetter report states that "structural racism occurs not through individual action but through policy, institutional culture, representations in media, laws, conversational norms and normalised behaviours.Eddie McGuire announces resignation as Collingwood president"Player records were printed by the tens of thousands and distributed at games. How many people in leadership approved of this?"While the nickname 'Chimp' was overtly racist, sadly it was far from the worst thing that happened. Some things that were said and done resulted in verbal and physical altercations."When I began to formally address the club's racism, I was punished by the club's leadership."Lumumba also criticised McGuire's resignation speech as "somehow even worse than his last press conference", in which he described the release of the report as a "day of pride" and claimed the club was not racist."Denial, delusion and a complete inability to admit fault," Lumumba wrote."The 'CFC Do Better' report was not a 'response to the Black Lives Matter movement', as McGuire suggested."CFC themselves announced the review was commissioned 'following accounts of racism made by Heritier Lumumba'.Collingwood president responds to findings of 'systemic racism' at club"The club cannot simply use Eddie's departure to say they are moving on without addressing the extra damage he has caused in the last two weeks alone."If CFC thinks they can just wait this out and move on with whatever symbolic racial equality measures they have planned, think again."Lumumba played 199 games for the club from 2005-14 and won a premiership on the way to an All-Australian nod in 2010. He made the initial claims in the documentary Fair Game which detailed his life and his experience of racism while playing for Collingwood.He called the culture at Collingwood a "boys' club for racist and sexist jokes" and has taken legal action against his former team.
บ่อน คาสิโน สล็อต คาสิโน ออนไลน์ เกมรอยัล คาสิโน คาสิโน ฟรีเครดิต 2020 เกม คาสิโน ปอยเปต
Collingwood reveal McGuire replacements
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Collingwood has announced that Peter Murphy and Mark Korda will serve as as interim co-presidents following the high profile resignation of controversial club supremo Eddie McGuire on Tuesday.A teary McGuire fell on his sword after 22 years in the role in the wake of a damning report into systemic racism at the AFL club.The Collingwood board met on Wednesday to discuss the path forward and decided that club directors Murphy and Korda would fill the void until McGuire's permanent successor is found."The board believes that there are a number of high quality internal candidates and wishes to consider external candidates for the vacancy," a Collingwood press release said on Thursday.McGuire apologises"In replacing both the president and the casual vacancy role, the board wants time to determine what further professional expertise it wishes to bring to the board table."On behalf of the board director Christine Holgate will chair this process, which commenced when McGuire announced he was stepping down from the presidency late last year."It is expected to conclude within eight weeks."The club also revealed how it planned to tackle the findings of racism in the 35 page report.Collingwood responds to 'systemic racism' finding"It was determined that the expert advisory panel recommended by the Do Better report will be established as a priority and report directly to the board."This work has already commenced and an announcement on the formation of the panel will be made next week."Further, the club will employ a strategic advisor to provide expert advice as the club begins to implement all the recommendations of the Do Better report across the organisation."This role will report directly to chief executive Mark Anderson."This appointment is also expected to be announced next week."
บ่อน คาสิโน สล็อต คาสิโน ออนไลน์ เกมรอยัล คาสิโน คาสิโน ฟรีเครดิต 2020 เกม คาสิโน ปอยเปต
Shut up and play footy: Why do we take down players who stand against racism?
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A Set small text size A Set the default text size A Set large text size Fox Footy ran a story titled “Heritier Lumumba listed his nickname as ‘chimp’ in AFL Record” – a clickbait article which looked as if it had been intentionally devised to drive anti-Lumumba sentiment in the wake of the damning Collingwood report and subsequent fall of Eddie McGuire. It’s the Adam Goodes saga all over again. It’s Nicky Winmar. Why does it keeping happening? It’s easy to be high and mighty and say we are a racist country. There is certainly history – for example, I had no idea until recently, that Carlton great Syd Jackson was part of the stolen generation, as well as numerous accounts of someone’s race being used against them on the field or from the stands over a long period. As much as many of us would like to put our heads in the sand, that racist element is still prevalent. It will be for a long time. There is another factor at play too. Australians like people to follow our steady institutions, and as much as we like to think we love a rebel, we hate people who rock the boat. The AFL is definitely an institution, an organisation that can infiltrate schools and clubs throughout the land. We rely on AFL for fun, excitement, exercise, mutual conversation with friends. We even define people by the team they follow. So when someone shakes this up and calls out something we don’t like, the Australian culture is to make sure we collectively take them apart, like a swarm of wasps on a carcass. The problem is, when someone calls out a race issue, the shock jocks, and the dinosaurs who are in the system end up at the head of the swarm, and the institution follows. How many of you saw the Fox Footy article and decided Lumumba was full of shit, without reading? The reality is, every time we attack like this, we end up the worse for it. We lose the chance to gain a bit of Australian-ness that we long for. Kids who struggle with racism have their self-worth stripped a little bit more. Yet time and time again, these people speaking out are proven to be right. It’s high time the leaders in the AFL stop leading the swarm and listen to the change-makers.
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The order of merit: Carlton Blues 2021 season
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Who are the Blues players that should play to their optimum level in season 2021? To be eligible for selection, a player must have played at least five games in season 2020, so there can be a reference point as far as those players who apply their talent the best at AFL level. Here are the ten players (plus an honourable mention) who will stand out from the pack in season 2021 in terms of performing to their optimum level. Honourable mentionSam Petrevski-Seton has so much potential and would be more suited to playing on a wing than on a halfback flank. His form in season 2020 was patchy, despite only missing one game. He should get the opportunity to spend time on a wing, but he needs to show more endeavour; he averaged the tenth most disposals of any Carlton Blues players in season 2020 – that’s not adequate for a player of his ability. Despite that, he had the third highest average disposal efficiency of any Carlton Blues player in season 2020 with 74.19 per cent. 10. Ed CurnowCurnow is coming towards the twilight of his career, despite the fact that he averaged the third most disposals of any Blues players in season 2020. That’s impressive for a player who’s suited to play a negating role. It didn’t mean much though, as he averaged the 22nd highest disposal efficiency with 58.13 per cent. He needs to improve on that, because he is on the periphery of the Blues best 22. 9. Levi CasboultCasboult kicked 16 goals in 17 games in season 2020. He will want to improve on that to warrant being selected ahead of the likes of Mitch McGovern and with Charlie Curnow a chance to return from injury. Despite that, Casboult never shirks a contest and will continue to play his role for the team. 8. Marc MurphyMarc Murphy is a player that is past the prime of his career, but warrants selection in the Blues best 22. He played in all 17 matches in season 2020 and averaged the fifth most disposals. Expect him to play on the wing; the role should suit his style of play and temperament and take the pressure off him. 7. Patrick CrippsCripps is a player that has too much hype surrounding him. There’s no doubt that he has potential, but can he live up to it? He failed to get into the AFL All Australian squad of 40 in season 2020, which given how highly he’s regarded by the experts, would have been a shock. Despite averaging the second most disposals of any Blues player in season 2020, his disposal efficiency was 13th at 67.38 per cent. He needs to be better than that in season 2021. He does endure a lot of opposition attention, so he is an asset to the team, but he needs to improve to reach his potential in season 2021. (Photo by Graham Denholm/AFL Photos via Getty Images ) 6. Jacob WeiteringWeitering was the only Blues player that was selected in the All Australian squad in season 2020. There’s no doubt that he has the talent to be renowned as Carlton’s best player given his consistency in season 2020. The question is: can he keep it up? What would be pleasing is that he had the fourth highest disposal efficiency of any Blues player in season 2020 with 72.88 per cent. The only concern is perhaps he has too much to do, as he doesn’t have a capable key defender to help him out. He is a player that should be pushing for All Australian selection in season 2021, but he needs assistance to play at his optimum level. 5. Sam DochertyDocherty is co-captain of the Blues for a reason; he leads by example. He averaged the second highest disposal efficiency of any player in the team in season 2020 with 76.21 per cent. My only concern is whether his body holds up, in terms of getting injured. It’s obvious he is another Blues player past his best, but try telling him that! He won’t listen and will need to be at his best if the Blues are to feature in the finals in season 2021. 4. Harry McKayMcKay kicked the most goals of any Blues player in season 2020 with 21 in 13 games. He will benefit from Charlie Curnow possibly coming back into the team. It’s not only McKay’s goals that were impressive in season 2020, but he also proved to be an important part of their structure. He’s a player that should be in the prime of his career in season 2021 and will need to perform at an optimum level for the Blues to taste any success! 3. Zac WilliamsWilliams averaged the seventh most disposals of any Greater Western Sydney Giant in season 2020, with an average of 16.91 disposals in 11 games. He did that playing in defence. Expect him to benefit from being traded to the Blues, as he will be given plenty of midfield time and prove why he is capable of being renowned as a quality player if he can perform to his optimum level. 2. Sam WalshSam Walsh averaged the most disposals of any Blues player in season 2020. He even had more disposals than Patrick Cripps! Sam Walsh of the Blues (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images) On top of that, Walsh won the mark of the year in 2020, with a brave mark that epitomises the manner in which he plays and the endeavour that he has. He never shirks a contest and should be pushing for All Australian selection in season 2021 if he can perform to the level he is capable of. 1. Adam SaadSaad may prove to be a good recruit for the Blues. He is a player that they had to bring to the club, given the retirement of Kade Simpson. The fact that Saad finished third in the Bombers best and fairest in season 2020, shows what he is capable of achieving at the Blues in season 2021. He averaged the fifth most disposals at the Bombers in 2020, despite playing in defence. He never shirks a contest and always endeavours to perform at his best. Expect season 2021 to substantiate that.
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What even Eddie’s biggest haters must concede
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I recall a story Eddie McGuire told me probably midway through his 23-year reign as Collingwood president.He was walking down a street with his two then-young sons when a group of youngsters, onboard a passing tram, began hurling abuse at him.It was all Collingwood related but at that moment, he wondered if the presidency was worth being belittled in front of his boys.History will show the club won out and his sons would go on to accept that their dad would, at times, cop flak.And copped flak he has. Some justified, some not.Eddie McGuire resigns as Collingwood president after a report into 'systematic racism' at the club. (The Age)He's not naive enough to suggest he doesn't bring some of it upon himself; a sometimes blinkered view of the game he loves so much polarising public opinion.Indeed, public opinion of McGuire is split in the wake of his resignation as Collingwood president.In truth, he was always going to struggle not to step down following the leaking of the independent report that found Collingwood guilty of systemic racism.The report included a veiled reference to Eddie's apparent failings as an influential, if not THE influential, figure at the club.The situation was not helped by his now infamous, and now lethal, comment that it was a "proud" day for the club.McGuire went off script, prompting his detractors to go off tap.Eddie McGuire walks past premiership cups with his family, on their way to confirm his exit from Collingwood. (Getty)His opponents would've been high-fiving last night, celebrating the downfall of football's highest-profile administrator.But outweighing that will be those equally furious that McGuire has, quite possibly, become a victim of those who thrive on being outraged.But even his most ardent detractors would have to concede that McGuire has done more for his club than any other president in the game's history.Not just club, but community.The Magpies enjoy one of the most envied headquarters in Australian sport, right in the heart of the sporting precinct.It also has a premiership cup in the trophy cabinet, won on McGuire's watch.Brick and mortar and silverware are very much part of his legacy, but so too are the many projects to help those in dire need of support.The homeless were found homes ... the hungry were given food ... the lonely were taken in as part of the Collingwood family.These weren't photo opportunities for McGuire. Most of the work was done with not a camera in sight.So, as much as history will record his exit as a result of a racism issue that should've been dealt with much, much earlier, McGuire will also be remembered as a visionary.Eddie McGuire reigned over Collingwood for 23 years. (Getty)Many leaders are denied the dignity of exiting on their own terms and McGuire has clearly joined the list.He'll be hurting.There's no doubt about that.Nor should there be any doubt that when it's weighed up, his achievements will far outweigh his failings.For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!
บ่อน คาสิโน สล็อต คาสิโน ออนไลน์ เกมรอยัล คาสิโน คาสิโน ฟรีเครดิต 2020 เกม คาสิโน ปอยเปต
Complicated Eddie legacy splits opinions in farewell
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He has been one of the polarising figures in the AFL world, and outgoing Collingwood president Eddie McGuire has once again split opinions in his farewell speech.McGuire was overcome by emotion as he announced his resignation, effective immediately, from a role which he has held since October 1998. The 56-year-old referred to himself as a "lightning rod of vitriol" in his announcement, and he once again attracted a wide array of opinions.Eddie McGuire flanked by his family as prepares to face the media for the final time as Collingwood president (Getty)McGuire was praised for his speech by Perth Lord Mayor and ex-AFL commentator Basil Zempilas, as well as leading AFL journalist Rohan Connolly.Fellow commentator Andy Maher also praised McGuire, calling him a "leviathan of the game", but reminded fans that he was not the victim despite his resignation."If everything was as virtuous as Eddie has laid it out to be today, there's no way he stands down today, he sees it out," he told SEN's Bob and Andy."But this moment in time, he's probably done the right thing. Ed's not the victim here and that's not what the report was about."If you're walking out of this today thinking you're feeling sorry for Eddie McGuire, then you're missing the reason the report was put in the first place.McGuire did not have an apology to former premiership player Heritier Lumumba in his farewell (Getty)"Eddie's not the victim here. The victim here, the reason this report has come out and the reason Eddie has done what he's done is because of the history and his response and the fact that maybe he didn't get it when he needed to most."The victims are Syd Jackson, Nicky Winmar, Michael Long, Heritier Lumumba, Adam Goodes and others."That's why the report was written. That's why it came out the way it did and that's what has led Eddie to the position he's found himself in today."However, McGuire's farewell was not as well received by others, with fans also noting that there was no apology to Lumumba in his final address as Collingwood president.However, perhaps the most telling endorsement for McGuire came from former Collingwood midfielder Dayne Beams."Let's hope we can remember the amazing work this bloke has done for the club and football in general," Beams wrote on Instagram."Is Ed racist? Absolutely not. Has Ed made some mistakes? Absolutely. Have you? Yes you have."This bloke has always cared about me and my welfare and I have nothing but respect for him."Beams also vehemently denied rumours that McGuire had paid off his personal gambling debts in the past."Seeing as we all love the truth he's never paid off anything for me," he wrote.Retired Collingwood star Dayne Beams went in to bat for McGuire after his shock announcement (Getty)"He has been a friend when I needed one and always cared for me and is one of the first to check in."For those that have no idea who he is quit with the negativity and your witch hunt, this bloke is a genuinely good person."Beams, who was premiership teammates with Heritier Lumumba, also denied that the culture at Collingwood had been racist."I never felt once that I was involved in a racist club," he wrote."I can not speak for reports or anyone else's experience but my own I was always comfortable and (in) my observations of all my team mates they were the same."Quit with all the hate and negativity it's poisonous. One thing I do know is he acknowledges his mistakes and always looks to better himself as we all should do."Not one person is perfect let's not forget that."For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!
บ่อน คาสิโน สล็อต คาสิโน ออนไลน์ เกมรอยัล คาสิโน คาสิโน ฟรีเครดิต 2020 เกม คาสิโน ปอยเปต
Break: Eddie McGuire ลาออกจากตำแหน่งประธาน Collingwood
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Eddie McGuire ได้ลาออกจากตำแหน่งประธานของ Collingwood Magpies ตามรายงานในรายงาน Do Better รายงานที่ตีพิมพ์ใน The Age เมื่อวันจันทร์เปิดเผยว่าสโมสรมีความผิดในเรื่องการเหยียดสีผิวอย่างเป็นระบบ แต่เมื่อแม็คไกวร์และสมาชิกคนอื่น ๆ ในฝ่ายบริหารของสโมสรออกแถลงการณ์ในบ่ายวันนั้นเขาก็เปิดอ่านโดยกล่าวว่าเป็น "วันประวัติศาสตร์และความภาคภูมิใจของคอลลิงวูด สโมสรฟุตบอล." McGuire ขอโทษสำหรับความคิดเห็นของเขาในวันรุ่งขึ้นในการประชุมประจำปีของ Magpies แต่จดหมายเปิดผนึกเรียกร้องให้ลาออกทันทีได้รับการเผยแพร่เมื่อต้นวันอังคาร มีผู้ลงนามมากกว่า 70 คนรวมถึงนักการเมืองและผู้นำพื้นเมืองจำนวนหนึ่ง แม็คไกวร์กลายเป็นประธานของคอลลิงวูดในปี 2541 และได้ประกาศแผนการที่จะก้าวลงจากตำแหน่งเมื่อสิ้นสุดฤดูกาล 2021 แต่ก็ตัดสินใจที่จะทำในช่วงปลายสัปดาห์ที่แล้ว "ฉันไม่คิดว่าการสานต่อจะเป็นไปได้หรือเป็นที่ยอมรับของชุมชน" แม็คไกวร์กล่าวในการแถลงข่าวบ่ายวันอังคาร "ผู้คนก้าวเข้ามาในแนวรับของฉันเมื่อสัปดาห์ที่แล้วและด้วยเหตุนี้ฉันจึงกลายเป็นสายฟ้าสำหรับคำวิจารณ์ แต่ทำให้สโมสรอยู่ในตำแหน่งที่ยากที่จะหลีกเลี่ยงแผนของเราที่ชัดเจนในอากาศ" อย่างไรก็ตาม McGuire ไม่ได้กล่าวถึงในแถลงการณ์ของเขาว่า Heritier Lumumba อดีต Magpie ข้อกล่าวหาเรื่องการเหยียดเชื้อชาติที่สโมสรเป็นสิ่งที่นำไปสู่การส่งรายงาน Do Better 22 ปีที่ดูแลสโมสรของแม็คไกวร์ประสบความสำเร็จในสนามโดยคอลลิงวูดคว้าแชมป์ AFL Cup ในปี 2010 และคว้าแชมป์อีก 4 ทัวร์นาเมนต์สำคัญ แต่พวกเขาก็วิจารณ์คำวิจารณ์ที่สำคัญของประธานาธิบดีด้วย ในปี 2013 หลังจากอดัมกู๊ดส์ถูกเหยียดผิวโดยผู้เขียนร่วมของคอลลิงวูดแม็คไกวร์กล่าวทางวิทยุว่าควรใช้หงส์ซูเปอร์สตาร์เพื่อโปรโมตเพลงคิงคองในขณะที่ในปี 2559 เขาบอกว่าเขาจะจ่ายเงิน 50,000 ดอลลาร์เพื่อดูแคโรไลน์วิลสันนักแสดงนอกบ้านใต้น้ำ
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Time for change at the Pies
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A friend often says to me: “Only Collingwood can kill Collingwood.” They weather every other assault. They survive media condemnation, opposition ridicule, and indignation from their own fans. If they’d hit the same iceberg that sank the Titanic (presuming the Magpies could hit a target), they would’ve been fine. But somewhere, inside, something would be happening. Somebody would be opening a port window to get a look outside, only to let the water in. And, as the fore of the ship submerged, as everybody scurried for the bow and the inevitable became the inevitable, somebody would be assuring us that everything was okay, and to stay with the ship because exciting times lie ahead. Because that’s what Collingwood do: fiddle while it’s coming undone, and then tell us it’s Mozart. After the 2018 grand final loss, you would’ve thought the Pies were entering a great era: finally, this list had come together; finally, enough games had been pumped into the next generation of players that they were starting to assert themselves upon the competition; finally, the coach’s gameplan had clicked and was producing consistency week after week. Finally. How quickly it’s unravelled – they’ve bungled the salary cap, driven players out and got unders, struggled with their on-field identity, and now here’s something much more serious: the report that’s shown the club is guilty of systemic racism (among other things). I understand how parts of society can go on obliviously, claiming everything’s okay. You’ll always have people like that – those who deny an issue’s existence, or try to rationalise it, or offer a reason (read: excuse) for why it’s happened, while assuring us that nothing’s as bad as it seems and we’re getting it wrong. We’re seeing it right now. Check the message forums and social media. Startingly, there remains a lot of pushback. Not least of all from the president, Eddie McGuire, who opened a press conference with: “This is an historic and proud day for the Collingwood Football Club.” It was a terrible way to lead. While some of what McGuire said made perfect sense, he’d already prejudiced everybody against his explanations with his confrontational attitude. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images) Jodie Sizer was great. Well done, Jodie. Pity her voice was lost under spin that made Hurricane Katrina look like a gentle northerly. I don’t get how a professional organisation – a business – can remain so obtuse, especially one which has had so many missteps that, if you were watching them closely, you’d be forgiven for mistaking they’re drunkenly attempting the tango. I grew up in the 1980s, hearing racial taunts in the outer. It hadn’t changed in the 1990s. So with this constant storm of conscience battering against the Pies over the decades, how hasn’t anything changed? I appreciate there’ll always be outliers but there have been enough instances now that those within the club should’ve addressed it unequivocally, rather than downgraded or dismissed it or even normalised it as everyday banter. The greater reality is, even without the incidents, how has the collective conscience and the prevailing attitudes of a club remain unchanged while the world outside of their walls tries to evolve? One of the most disappointing aspects is that this has unfolded during a period of stability for the club – over the last 22 years, just three people have occupied the two most powerful positions at the club: president Eddie McGuire (since 1999), and coaches Mick Malthouse (2000-2011) and Nathan Buckley (since 2012). You’d think with that sort of permanence, somebody would’ve produced some insight and attempted to drag the club – kicking and screaming if necessary – into a new era, but it seems longevity has only produced not just a lack of objectivity, but a complete absence of it. I grew up with this club being proud of its working-class roots and relishing being the underdog who fought against the odds to produce improbable outcomes, only to fail too often at the final hurdle. The working-class roots are consigned to the dim past – rightly so, as the game’s become professional, and each club has gravitated from the historical identity of the suburbs that birthed them. I have no problem with the club becoming upmarket as they moved their base of operations, but in doing that, they seemed to have become bereft of forging a genuine identity – neither this nor that, but Collingwood in name, laden with all the conceits and foibles. What do they stand for? They espouse values, but how true are they? How defining? I don’t want to throw out some blanket condemnation, because I’m sure the club has instilled some worthwhile properties – witness how Jeremy Howe had Jaidyn Stephenson confess his betting indiscretion in 2019, when the club could’ve attempted to cover it up. There are undoubtedly great people involved at every level within the club. And I’m sure they do a lot of good things that we don’t hear about, or for which they don’t chase praise. But in the last 20 years – in a new millennium that was meant to usher in a period of reinvention for the club – we’ve simply had more of the same: the racial injustices, the player indiscretions, the presidential gaffes, and the grand final failures. It’s the same stuff I grew up with. Every club has their problems. That’s going to happen when you have so many individuals involved in one organisation. But Collingwood sure do seem to have a lot of them. The club won a flag in 2010. Great. Good on them. Thank you. But what have they built? What are their core values? What identity have they forged that will determine how this club, as well as its employees – from administrators to players to staff – forage into the future? What will endure? Because, right now, we’ve got what we’ve always had. I don’t want to be one of these people who insists that key figures – such as Eddie McGuire – stand down immediately, but 2021 is obviously going to be a season of great upheaval. I would urge them to perform some serious soul-searching and finally grow up. You want to take Collingwood into the future, it’s time to wipe clean who you have been, stop building on everything we’ve known, and cultivate a new identity.
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AFLW Round 2 takeaways
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There’s been a lot of talk about how the standard of play in Rounds 1 and 2 are the best opening two rounds in AFLW history. Well sure, but that’s not saying much. Problem is, the women are always coming off a ten-month off-season. If the men had a ten-month off-season, their skills would be pretty dreadful in Round 1 also. The AFLW does this to itself by the structure of the competition – they say they can only increase the length of the competition once the standard improves, but for as long as the season remains two months long, the first four rounds of the competition will continue to be well below the actual standard the players are capable of producing. Typically the AFLW skill level increases dramatically by about Round 4 or 5, as you’d expect, because it just takes that long for part-time players to get their eye in. But that’s too late for a lot of potential fans, who often decide to ‘give the AFLW one more shot’ in the first round or two, and are turned off by what they see. My advice to footy fans who haven’t been watching AFLW, but would like to give it another try – wait until the tail end of the season heading into finals. By then not only will the players be one-touching the ball instead of three-four-five touching it, but you’ll know which teams are worth watching this season. Thus far, it’s looking like the Dockers, Crows, Kangaroos and Lions… but the Lions will probably screw it up later in the season by playing 48 players behind the ball and still seeming puzzled when they can’t score, so mostly those first three. And maybe the Pies and the Dees. Sarah Rowe (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images) The lopsided results in many Round 2 games also brings out the usual conversations about how the AFLW has expanded too fast and spread the talent too thin. Well no. I’ve written about this in more detail before, but in short, most people making this argument have no clue what the AFLW’s actually for. Sure, not having huge blowouts would remove those games from TV, but at this point, the AFLW is primarily about development. Big blowout margins are the price to be paid for that development, and it’s a price well worth paying. Would the AFLW be improved if Gold Coast weren’t in the comp to get thrashed by the Lions like they were on the weekend? The Queensland junior all-stars game a few months back showed a huge pool of exciting young talent coming through the Gold Coast ranks. Given the AFLW’s state-by-state system, most of them can’t play anywhere else but Queensland. With the Lions the only team in Queensland, most of them would be struggling for a spot. Would that make the AFLW ‘better’? To remove the huge incentive of an available playing spot on an AFLW list, in your home state, from all those big-dreaming juniors? (Chris Hyde/AFL Media/Getty Images) Would it be better if Richmond weren’t in the competition? Richmond will keep losing until they accumulate enough high draft picks that they start winning. The maths aren’t hard. Unlike in the men’s, the players coming through women’s junior ranks get better and better every year, and it’s technically impossible for AFLW teams, in any state that’s developing great juniors, to stay on the bottom of the ladder for more than a couple of years. My advice to the ‘we expanded too fast’ brigade: get a grip, and be patient. After all, the baby Bulldogs were being written off after Round 1, despite only losing by nine points, and in Round 2 they beat Carlton. Half of that team is barely out of nappies. By Round 9, they could be eating solids and playing finals. RichmondRichmond’s improvement is real, but as I expected, the rest of the competition has improved by at least as much, leaving Richmond languishing down the bottom of the ladder as before. And now they’re playing Ellie McKenzie in the forward line. So all that hope that Tigers’ fans invested in the club, that finally they might have grabbed a second star midfielder in the draft to back up Mon Conti, was apparently misplaced because the Richmond coaching staff think instead that they drafted a forward. I’m sorry? Have they actually seen the Richmond forward line? You know, Brennan, Traub, Wakefield, Bernardi? (AAP Image/Daniel Pockett) That’s the one area of the field where Richmond were actually good. Their problem last year was that their midfield stank and they couldn’t get their forwards the ball. This year, similar deal, because instead of using McKenzie to support Conti in the middle (as would appear blindingly obvious) they throw her forward then wonder why once again they’re getting smashed in the middle and their forwards never see the ball. The bright side for Richmond fans is that the way they’re going, next year they’ll have automatic number one draft pick Georgie Prespakis in the team as well, and she might be even better than McKenzie, which is saying something. The less bright side is that the coach will probably play her in the goalsquare, and Richmond will still get flogged in the middle and lose every game. While we’re at it – I don’t like to be too critical of individual AFLW players, they’re not getting paid huge money, and they’re all doing the best they can under trying circumstances. But for Katie Brennan, I must make an exception. She’s the star forward of her team, but she misses goals, drops marks, opportunity after opportunity goes begging but commentators still have nothing to say but what a big-time player she is. Well, I’ve yet to see it. Most of us are. Either she steps up, or we start referring to her as just another average player, and the club puts their marquee money somewhere else. CarltonCarlton think they’re as fast as last year, and try to play like it, with lots of dinky handballs to unleash the runners. Unfortunately, their fastest player is Chloe Dalton, and she’s headed to the Tokyo Olympics this year (COVID allowing). Her replacement is Elise O’Dea, and whatever O’Dea’s many attributes, speed isn’t one of them. The Blues’ midfield has also been missing Lucy McEvoy with injury, and their forward line has lacked Brooke Walker, who’s nearly as fast as Dalton. While fellow youngsters Mimi Hill and Abbey McKay have been good, thus far into 2021, it’s not the same. Against the Bulldogs, for most of the game the Blues had more handballs than kicks. Only in the frantic final quarter, when they had no other choice, did they start kicking long, ending the match with 130 kicks and 118 handballs. The recurring problem with women’s football is congestion. If you always pass short, you create more congestion, unless you’re super fast. Fremantle are perhaps the one team in the AFLW freakishly fast enough to get away with it, but so far this season Fremantle’s kick-to-handball ratio is more like two-to-one. In other words, Carlton need to start kicking the ball long, and stop relying on midfield speed they no longer have. Does this mean Elise O’Dea is a bad player? No, not at all. Does it mean that her, plus Maddy Prespakis (herself no speed demon) in the midfield together, might create a speed deficit? Absolutely. Carlton will need to change the way they play, put away the endless handballs to players who get dumped in the turf immediately after, and kick long instead. Like Fremantle. Can’t everyone just be more like Fremantle? The AFLW would be so much better if they were. AdelaideThe Crows are back, and it’s beautiful to see. What a difference Erin Phillips and Chelsea Randall make, and they haven’t even welcomed back Chloe Scheer, who will one day be spoken of in the same awed tones. Yes, the Crows have a loaded forward line, but it’s their ability to get the ball into that forward line, repeatedly and deeply, that makes it so effective. If only Richmond would learn this lesson. Anne Hatchard (Tamika Walker, AFC Media) Adelaide is the big reason why I’m not fussed at the inequality of AFLW results. Yes, Adelaide are going to trash a lot more teams than just GWS and West Coast this year. But I was at the 2019 grand final where 53,000 fans turned up, and apparently had a grand old time. Crowds like that don’t just turn up for okay teams who beat oppositions two times out of three by an average of a few goals. They turn up for champions capable of grinding good opponents into red mince. The Crows will have a much harder time doing that to Freo and North in 2021 than they did in 2019, but in a time when the AFLW struggles to be taken seriously by some, the Crows remain the most seriously-taken team in women’s football. Adelaide loves them, and not just because they love Erin Phillips. They play fun football, which at its best is watchable for pretty much any footy fan. They’re not at their best yet, because AFLW teams are never at their best before Round 4, but when they are, they’re the most marketable asset women’s football has, and they fly the flag for what the AFLW is capable of one day becoming. That flag is worth flying, even if it means some huge scoreboard blowouts. Final notesLast season, Georgia Patrikios was one of the best players in St Kilda. This year, she’s clearly the best. The speed of her elevation resembles Maddy Prespakis’s ascent at Carlton. That’s probably no accident. Which leads me to a pop quiz. What do Saint Kilda, GWS, Carlton, Richmond and Geelong all have in common? Answer; the clear outstanding star of each team is a recent draftee who was too young to play in the AFLW’s first season -that’s Patrikios, Alyce Parker, Maddy Prespakis, Monique Conti and Olivia Purcell. And were it not for her horror run of knee injuries, Nina Morrison could easily have joined Purcell at Geelong, while next year McKenzie could be right up there with Conti at Richmond. That’s five teams out of 14, and more on the way. With all the kids at the Bulldogs, you’d think the same might happen there very shortly – except that Ellie Blackburn is fast becoming not so much a gun in this competition as a cannon, and my current prediction for AFLW MVP. Any of the Doggies’ kids will have to get very, very good to move ahead of her.
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