2021 football LEARNINGS™ | NOW: three things I learnt from... Round 4!

Remove this Banner Ad

Headless

My username is Headless. 🤗
May 27, 2006
22,184
39,380
Australia
AFL Club
Melbourne
CONTENDER (23).png

2021 will surely be a season like no other.

Well, it might actually be very much like a number of other seasons - but there will surely be some differences.

And in this thread, we should muse about our LEARNINGS™ from each round. I'm talking more broadly than just the Demons, here, but your LEARNINGS™ can be Melbourne-centric, too! Let's kick things off with our LEARNINGS™ from Round 1.
 
Last edited:
Round 1 learnings New

Headless

My username is Headless. 🤗
May 27, 2006
22,184
39,380
Australia
AFL Club
Melbourne
CONTENDER (24).png

For me:

  1. Sydney is an unbelievable and frustratingly good organisation. Even when they're poor, they're not really poor. I think they could surprise a few this year.​
  2. Steven May is IMO the best player we've had in about two decades.​
  3. The STAND on the mark rule wasn't as intrusive as expected for me.​

Over to you, Melbourne board! 🥳
 

adonski

Senior List
Sep 27, 2018
268
375
AFL Club
Melbourne
For me:

  1. Sydney is an unbelievable and frustratingly good organisation. Even when they're poor, they're not really poor. I think they could surprise a few this year.​
  2. Steven May is IMO the best player we've had in about two decades.​
  3. The STAND on the mark rule wasn't as intrusive as expected for me.​

Over to you, Melbourne board! 🥳
Sydney one doesn't get talked about as much as it should. They've finished bottom 4 in back to back years but have always felt like they're this fringe finals threat if it all aligns? Amazing really.
 

Log in to remove this ad.

schmuttt

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 12, 2014
22,673
36,161
AFL Club
Melbourne
Other Teams
West Ham United
1. Its really unfair Richmond have Bolton, Baker and Balta as up and comers
2. Dogs still have flaws in their forward half which could cost them
3. The current Melbourne board mod team might be the best ever (With respect to those who have been in the position before I know its a sh*t job)
 

Proper Gander

Owl whisperer and secret agent
Feb 15, 2015
23,627
48,516
South Yarra
AFL Club
Melbourne
Other Teams
Mt Buller Demons
1. Its really unfair Richmond have Bolton, Baker and Balta as up and comers
2. Dogs still have flaws in their forward half which could cost them
3. The current Melbourne board mod team might be the best ever (With respect to those who have been in the position before I know its a sh*t job)
Where does that leave me? I’m kind of on both sides of that equation.

Actually don’t answer. Please. I like the idea of going from the here and now. Here are my learnings:

1. Adelaide / Sydney deserve a hats off. Good preparation for round one to pounce on unsuspecting finals finishers last year. Really enjoyed that.
2. Any action that leads to concussion will be a big talking point in 2021 media.
3. Melbourne are my team and I love them, and they won and all, but they still annoy me to tears.

Unofficial fourth is that virtually everyone I work with is a total campaigner and I’m really over it. I really hope none of you are involved here
 

MarcMaverick

Melbourne Buccaneer
Nov 20, 2008
5,919
5,122
#freeMelbourne #SackDan
AFL Club
Melbourne
Other Teams
The Super Saiyans, Tampa Bay Buccs
1. Form lines and crystal balls can be thrown out the windows. Saturday made everyone sit up and take notice.

2. Even though the stadiums were with varied capacities, the noise was much more noticeable and heartwarming to see life back into Footy.

3. This season already feels different than the last half a decade of it

Fourth, the tech servers were not prepared for the season. We employed chickens back in the vBulletin days. When we moved to Xen, the chickens became fat and old so we had to replace them with differing rodents and woodland animals, until we settled on ferrets. . This weekend, the ferrets were overwhelmed and look bushwhacked. Now I think something more robust needs to be put in place.
 

Dory_77

Premiership Player
Apr 2, 2012
4,965
4,375
AFL Club
Melbourne
1. Axing the SME was a mistake by the Lions. Tom Hickey (!) Dominated them while Stef played a good role to help the Dogs quell Grundy for the first time.
2. Footy media reacts to the slightest change at lightspeed. After one round with the MOTM change I've heard that footy is now more open, higher scoring, made rucks useless, set shots from 50m too easy, and needs reviewing soon because teams are already exploiting it (which was the point, I thought? To make attacking more easy and appealing?).
3. Sydney are a great club. As others noted, they never really bottom out and always seem like they could snag a spot in the 8. Look thereabouts this year too, and if not, very soon. Their kids are good.
 

Crusty Demon

Premiership Player
Sep 20, 2009
4,248
4,176
Ferntree Gully
AFL Club
Melbourne
Other Teams
Leeds United
1. Not sure if it was the crowds, or Round 1 excitement or some of the rule changes etc but footy was more watchable/enjoyable.

2. Kangas will win the wooden spoon and Collingwood made a huge mistake signing Grundy onto big $$ and letting go of three very good players. I can't see them making the 8.

3. Dusty is still the best player in the comp and Tigers still the team to beat.
 

Topkent

Hall of Famer
Aug 29, 2010
43,138
55,144
Canada
AFL Club
Melbourne
Other Teams
Winnipeg Jets
1. Shits me when we pay pick 2 or whatever for Jackson and then bombers roll out and Draper, Tigers Balta etc.
2. I honestly think the teams that will do well this year will leave and rest blokes further forward, ball transitioned from D50 to F50 more than anytime in the last decade. Teams that leave blokes forward will drag the zones back and won't get caught in defence.
 

Meds

Club Legend
Nov 12, 2008
1,095
2,446
Melbourne
AFL Club
Melbourne
1. Shits me when we pay pick 2 or whatever for Jackson and then bombers roll out and Draper, Tigers Balta etc.
2. I honestly think the teams that will do well this year will leave and rest blokes further forward, ball transitioned from D50 to F50 more than anytime in the last decade. Teams that leave blokes forward will drag the zones back and won't get caught in defence.
One of the commentators in our game (think it was Jono Brown) was talking about this. He was calling for the Freo forwards to play a lot deeper so May/Lever/Tomlinson weren't set up to intercept everything around the wing.

Makes a lot of sense as it:
a) makes our mids actually defend from a stoppage at which they're inconsistent at best, and
b) means if you do concede an intercept mark that it's inside your forward 50 and therefore easier to defend going back the other way

You can run and carry off half-back all you want, but if your forwards are static and bunched up then it will be a one-way ticket to turnover-town.
 

Topkent

Hall of Famer
Aug 29, 2010
43,138
55,144
Canada
AFL Club
Melbourne
Other Teams
Winnipeg Jets
One of the commentators in our game (think it was Jono Brown) was talking about this. He was calling for the Freo forwards to play a lot deeper so May/Lever/Tomlinson weren't set up to intercept everything around the wing.

Makes a lot of sense as it:
a) makes our mids actually defend from a stoppage at which they're inconsistent at best, and
b) means if you do concede an intercept mark that it's inside your forward 50 and therefore easier to defend going back the other way

You can run and carry off half-back all you want, but if your forwards are static and bunched up then it will be a one-way ticket to turnover-town.
I saw on the couch say that kick ins that made it to the forward 50 were up 15% this year.
So instead of everyone being bunched up and locking the ball in you can get it to the centre square with ease now which means teams might have to defend deeper. Which is just fantastic for footy.
 

Meds

Club Legend
Nov 12, 2008
1,095
2,446
Melbourne
AFL Club
Melbourne
1. Duty of care will be the buzzword of 2021 in the AFL. For those that need a translation, that means you can and will be rubbed out for legal tackles/bumps/sneezes-in-the-wrong-direction if the person you tackle/bump/sneeze-at is seriously injured/infected. Cranial-contact, in particular, will be treated severely

2. The last two kicks (inside 50, and then kicking the goal) will be the difference between a lot of wins and losses this year. GWS and Essendon both win if they convert some key opportunities, the Dogs thump the pies and our game is either down to the wire or a massive blowout if freo/us convert better. The rules make it much easier to get to half-way, what you do with it from there makes all the difference.

3. Players haven't realised it yet, but the baulk is back. By Saturday, players and umpires had cottoned-on to the player kicking at goal running an arc to exploit the MOTM rule. Play-on was called quicker and a few smothers eventuated with the player on the mark launching themselves at the boot. I want to know who's got the balls to line up from 50, run the arc, then baulk inside the diving opponent before striding in to slot one from 40. I reckon Jack Higgins will give it a go this week and make someone like Hunt look an absolute fool
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

Islanda22

Club Legend
Feb 11, 2014
1,030
466
Australia
AFL Club
Melbourne
1. Jackson is not ready for AFL footy in the capacity we want him to play
2. Clubs will cherry pick Maxy all year in the centre
3. We have the best defence in the game
 

Toump Ass

Norm Smith Medallist
Jun 14, 2015
8,876
18,744
TOUMPASSO LAND
AFL Club
Melbourne
1. Radio calls are a treat. The TV guys napped during the last quarter of Dees v Freo which is fair enough given the game turned to muck but non-existent crowd noise (21k!) and occasional umpire whistle doesn't "pop" on radio. Shocked some "TV personalities" were tolerable when they talked about footy. Who knew!

2. If your surname is MacDonald you are a gun footballer- even if your first name is Oscar.
 

KickLongTackleHard

Club Legend
May 2, 2008
2,808
1,714
Perth
AFL Club
Melbourne
Other Teams
Chelsea FC
I saw on the couch say that kick ins that made it to the forward 50 were up 15% this year.
So instead of everyone being bunched up and locking the ball in you can get it to the centre square with ease now which means teams might have to defend deeper. Which is just fantastic for footy.
Did they say why?
 

bjwilliams

Team Captain
Apr 6, 2015
511
562
AFL Club
Melbourne
1. Radio calls are a treat. The TV guys napped during the last quarter of Dees v Freo which is fair enough given the game turned to muck but non-existent crowd noise (21k!) and occasional umpire whistle doesn't "pop" on radio. Shocked some "TV personalities" were tolerable when they talked about footy. Who knew!

2. If your surname is MacDonald you are a gun footballer- even if your first name is Oscar.
He was at the game on Sunday for us too. Good to see him there!
 

Toump Ass

Norm Smith Medallist
Jun 14, 2015
8,876
18,744
TOUMPASSO LAND
AFL Club
Melbourne
Unofficial fourth is that virtually everyone I work with is a total campaigner and I’m really over it. I really hope none of you are involved here
Feel like there could be a half-decent gag about working as a Liberal party staffer here, but as much as I'm fumbling in the dark I really can't find it.

Maybe not though, what would I know about humour.
 

ImissFrosty

I miss frostball :(
Mar 4, 2020
1,713
3,351
Melbourne
AFL Club
Melbourne
1. Geelong's cliff could be approaching faster than expected. You just can't be a premiership contender and lose to Radelaide with no excuses.
2. Clarkson is still the best coach of the modern era and in the league today. Hawthorn will win 3-5 games just as a result of his coaching.
3. Even with what appears to be a faster ball movement and higher scores in games, defences are still extremely important. We don't win without May and Lever, Collingwood would've been smashed by 10 goals if not for their defence lead by Moore.
 

Remove this Banner Ad