Mega Thread 2024 Media & Miscellaneous Thread

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I'd be very happy with Reid, if I were them (and also, if I were them, I would punch myself in the face to start every day) but I would also be thinking, "Where's the plan for the imminent demise or departure of Yeo, Kelly, Darling, and McGovern?" - ie, the bulk of the ******* spine?

Weirdly happy-for-him that Waterman is playing good footy but don't tell me the fullbacks of the comp haven't just had their attention drawn to his existence and that his little renaissance has the shelf-life of a teenager's hardon.

I have no doubt that eventually the Weavils will come good but it's just birdsong at midnight at the moment. There is at least one false dawn to come before they genuinely come good.
Poetry, Bigger, and keep it coming. Wish there was more fact to it though. I can see the Weags attached to Harley's fiery chariot and going places sooner rather than later. Alas.
For once I'm on same page as Mick Malthouse. Re 'interstate' travel, he argues 1 - players' health & safety must come first, 2- the AFL needs a Western voice who understands the realities/disadvantages of air travel & distance, and 3 - the AFL doesn't need more new teams and should relocate/fold old struggling Vic ones.

Given the current, hopefully enduring focus on concussion I reckon a Health and Safety pitch is the big one to push ad nauseam till we get some bloody parity.
I'd have someone in Victoria quantify how much less career travelling players get and then push for that percentage to be accommodated in the salary cap for WA sides.

If it's 20% shorter careers for older players then +20% salary cap.

They'll adjust the fixture the very next day so all teams play the same number of games in their home state.

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Mick confounds more than a few expectations. He was one of the first to welcome Danni Laidley back into the fold, which I did not see coming.

And he's dead right on all three of those things.

Being lashed into a cattleclass plane seat for three hours when you are 6'4" and sore as buggery wouldn't feature highly on a standard recovery program.

I know we have to do it, but there has to be greater thought given to managing it than "**** 'em, they're Freo."
Did my best to remove the paywall / photo's etc. Text below - from the Herald Sun article s_wd6 posted in the JLo thread..

Slow movement? Too many rucks? Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir whacks Dockers’ critics​

Fremantle is boring. They play slow footy.

Are the Dockers really a slow ball-movement team? They ranked No. 1 for handballs in 2022 and No. 4 in 2023. This year they are No. 1 again.
“If I wanted to protect the goals with our ball movement I wouldn’t be telling our players to handball the most in the comp, because over-handballing leaves you really vulnerable to turnover,” Longmuir told this masthead.
“We’ve been playing like that for two and a half years. If you’re a bona fide analyst of the AFL, and that’s your job, I don’t know how you can analyse our game and leave out handballing.”
“One thing we don’t do is defend with ball in hand. Like, we just don’t.
“We don’t kick the ball around in our backline thinking we want to take time off the clock or we want to get set up.

“I don’t understand how you can line those narratives up, so that frustrates me and then our fans hear our game-style getting talked about like that and latch on to it and get frustrated.”
Caleb Serong and Nat Fyfe combined for 33 handballs in the first half against Western Bulldogs. The Dockers had 111 compared to 100 kicks.
But the handbrake had hardly been released given their history as happy handballers.
“I get frustrated by it because you have one game where you win and you score and you have a high handball and it’s like, ‘You freed them up!’” Longmuir said.
“I think the general public get ball moving and scoring confused. People think, ‘Oh, you’re a high-scoring team, you must move the ball really sharp’.”
Longmuir took aim at other baseless beliefs about the Dockers.
Like the school of thought Sean Darcy and Luke Jackson star as individuals and stunt each other as teammates … so the Dockers should ditch Darcy.
“It makes me think people don’t watch our games sometimes,” Longmuir responded.
“They compare it to Grundy-Gawn when they genuinely are two ruckmen.

“If you look at the way Luke plays he’s a forward, he can be a midfielder, he’s a great ground ball player … I just don’t see them as two ruckmen.
“And the fact that in 2021 Gawn and Jackson actually played in the same team and won a flag … I just don’t get it.
“Luke is a good ruckman, but against the bigger guys he struggles a bit because of their size and his lack of size. He doesn’t win a lot of hit-outs against the bigger guys.
“But Sean is a big guy and one of the top three rucks in the game when he’s had some continuity.
“So that allows Luke to do the things that he’s really good at.
“That’s fly for marks down forward, be a ground ball player in the midfield and pinch-hit in the ruck when he’s full of energy, rather than get worn down.”
They are close mates who meet monthly for ‘ruck’ dinners (…even though Jackson is not a genuine ruckman).
Last week Jackson became just the eight player to record 20+ contested possessions, 10 clearances and 10+ hit-outs to advantage, joining the likes of Max Gawn, Brodie Grundy and Nic Naitanui.
Darcy and Jackson have played 18 out of a possible 33 games together. Listening to Longmuir it sounds like there are more than 100 to come.

They have dropped their anchors – Darcy is contracted until 2030 and Jackson until 2029.
So too have Serong, Hayden Young, Luke Ryan, Heath Chapman, Brandon Walker and Cooper Simpson (all contracted until 2027), Jordan Clark (2028), Jye Amiss (2029) and Brennan Cox (2030).
That is a lot of premium talent in the bank to pair with three face cards in this year’s draft – currently No. 10, 14 and 15 … and a list with no glaring holes.
The 2021-2025 strategic plan is targeting a maiden flag by next year.
“That document has a lot of clout,” Longmuir said.
“But if we don’t achieve the high-end public goals I don’t think there will be a clean-out and everyone will get sacked.”
A hard deadline would seem foolish given Fremantle appears to be approaching the premiership runway full of fuel.


Longmuir, 43, is the AFL’s second-youngest coach and steering the competition’s second-least experienced list.
Longmuir is in his fifth season with a winning record of 50.5 per cent. It would be slightly higher, but assistant Jaymie Graham claimed two wins when he had Covid.
Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks is also in his fifth season. His record is 35 per cent.
Longmuir led the Dockers to a finals victory in 2022 and at 6-4 they are back in the hunt.
Nicks has not made finals and the Crows appeared cooked after round 10.
The clubs share a similar list demographic, although Adelaide was consigned to 0-4 this year when Longmuir improved his record against Nicks to 4-1.

But it was Longmuir who spent summer in the spotlight. The scrutiny on his future stemmed from last year’s stumble out of September. Supporters had not expected to regress,
But the Dockers did. They felt a dip coming after losing David Mundy (retired), Blake Acres, Rory Lobb, Griffin Logue and Darcy Tucker (traded) … although perhaps not from 5th to 14th. Nat Fyfe also fractured a foot.
“The amount of experience we lost at the end of 2022 gets overlooked. It was a real transitional period,” Longmuir said.
“Here’s a question – how many games do you think we were older than the opposition last year?
“Once, against Hawthorn. It’s not an excuse, but it’s a fact.
“Young teams are inconsistent and added to that we were asking a young team to carry a higher burden of expectation from the year before.
“Then when the season doesn’t start the way everyone wants it to, they feel that pressure and that burden. It was hard.”
Was the talk of finals or bust for Longmuir fact? Or more fiction?

Fiction, of course. He re-signed on the eve of the season. Nicks (until 2026) followed, leaving all 18 coaches contracted beyond this year.
Longmuir’s contract was criticised as “farcical” and a “PR stunt gone wrong” whereas Nicks’ was seen as good business.
“Some people got their back up about me signing a contract,” Longmuir said.
“But I’ve got good relationships with ‘Garlo’ (chief executive Simon Garlick) and Joe (Brierty GM) and the board and so I don’t feel under any pressure.
“I didn’t sign it because of the outside noise. I didn’t feel internally that was the same narrative.
“It’s just restructured this year and added another year, and it gives me more security and some other things as well, which I won’t go into detail.”
Could those ‘other things’ be triggers to coach beyond 2025?
Nathan Buckley called for “the character assassination of Justin Longmuir” to end after the Dockers downed Brisbane in round 1.
Longmuir appreciated it.
“It’s always good to have someone have your back,” he said.
“He’s been a senior coach and understands that you can’t be fire and brimstone all the time.”
How does the 2024 version compare to 2022?
“We’ve improved,” Longmuir said.
“If we can keep this group together … we’re going to be a good side for a long time.”
Remarkably, Fremantle has fielded a younger team than its opponent in nine out of 10 matches.


Longmuir has been depicted as a dour, defensive coach. But Fremantle’s ball movement ranks No. 1 over the past six weeks.
Only Port Adelaide has gone charging through the corridor more than the Dockers. Young and Fyfe’s aggressive handballs have the Dockers ranked seventh for metres gained by hand in that time.
So much for a supposed safe and stodgy style.
Over the past month they rank No. 1 for taking shots on goal (29 per game) and No. 1 for conceding shots on goal (19.5).
But they have short-changed themselves on the scoreboard by kicking 13.33 in two weeks.
Young was redeployed as a defensive midfielder in round 20 last year – he tagged Patrick Dangerfield and then Lachie Neale – and Fyfe returned to the brigade this year.

Andrew Brayshaw, Serong, Fyfe and Young is a heck of an engine room. Young has recently figured out where Brayshaw and Serong want him to run to receive the ball.
Since round 6 left-footer is the No. 1 midfielder for score involvements.
Complementing the four bulls is all-rounder Jaeger O’Meara and wingmen Matthew Johnson and GPS giant Jeremy Sharp, who has replaced Liam Henry (St Kilda).
“Having a strong midfield helps your backline,” Longmuir said.
“They don’t have to deal with as much supply and usually the pressure on the ball is a lot better, and it helps your offence.
“Last year when the narrative came out that we’re slow and boring with the ball, players tried to peel off too much, which left us vulnerable to scores against.
“We had the worst scores in the comp last year from turning the ball over in the back half.
“That’s not on team defence. If you’re turning the ball over in areas where you can’t defend then that’s on your offence.
“We’ve tidied up that this year. We’re not turning the ball over as much and we’re not conceding as many points.”
The Dockers gave up an extra two goals per game from their back half in 2023 after conceding the third-fewest in 2022 (21 points).
They are ranked fifth this year (22 points).

“That’s not what I would consider our team defence,” Longmuir said.
“I would consider our team defence is how many points you concede from your front half.
“Because it has to go through all your lines pretty much, whereas if you turn the ball over and they only have to go through your backs, well, that’s on your ball movement probably.”
Perhaps it is time to pump the brakes on talk ‘Freeze-mantle’ is boring?
“We’ve always wanted to move the ball quick,” Longmuir declared.
“But you can’t always move the ball quick. You’ve got to be able to look after the ball in areas of the ground and you’ve got to be balanced with your ball use and have different modes.
“You talk about Collingwood last year and look at transition speed – which is not a stat that I look it, but that’s when you move the ball from one end to the other – they were 18th.
“So the slowest in the comp when they move the ball on average. But they have different modes of being able to control the ball at the right and do a bit of kick-mark to shift the opposition’s defence to try and get back into fast play.
“I get hammered for talking about team defence and contest – but the only way you win the ball back is through Team D or by winning a contest.
“So if you’re not good at those two things A) you don’t win the ball back enough and B) you don’t win the ball back in areas that allow you to be good in offence.
“I think the general public would be surprised at how many coaches lean on those two things internally.”


The backline has been settled since Josh Draper came in for Cox.
But a revolving door has been attached to the forward line. Lachie Schultz left for Collingwood and Amiss, Michael Frederick and Sam Switowski have all been injured.
Jye Amiss, Josh Treacy and Jackson are the future. They have played 25 games together, but really only 10 as an attack given Jackson was required to cover Darcy in the rest.
Amiss amazed with 41 goals last year and Treacy is blooming this year. Treacy trained on caring captain Alex Pearce over pre-season and has twice kicked three goals in a quarter.
Longmuir tells his players youth is no excuse.

“I’ve always said to the staff and coaches that we want to fast-track these players,” he said.
“We can’t wait six or eight years for Jye to come on, we’ve got to get him going.”
Mechanical movements require mental strength.
“Players have the ball in their hands for between 30 seconds and four minutes a game,” Longmuir said.
“The rest of the time they’re either providing options in offence, defending or at a stoppage. So I’d rather our players focus on things they can control (contest and team defence).
“We develop players holistically. So mental side of the game, physical side of the game and craft side of the game as far as your football goes,” he said.
“Historically you’ve put a lot of time into physical, a ton of time into craft and the mental side of the game, which is actually more critical than the other two, we forget about.
“So we put a lot time into all of those three things as well as the outer ring, which is what players are doing outside of footy and their leadership and all those sorts of things.
“A young player comes into the team and hasn’t touched the ball halfway through the first quarter – half the time they’re not thinking about the game.

“Half the time they’re thinking if I don’t touch it I’ll get subbed or dropped next week or what’s the coach going to say.
“So how can you deal with those moments? Because the team needs you in those moments because the team needs you in those moments.
“If we haven’t got 18 guys on the field executing their roles the system falls apart. So that’s not craft, that’s not physical – that’s mental.
“It’s hard. We’ve got to make sure as a coaching group we’re valuing the right things as well, and I say all the time I don’t even look at how many kicks, marks, handballs you had.
“I’m looking at the game behind the goals. Are you doing what the team needs in that moment?
“And are you executing when you get the ball? It’s not about how many times you get it, it’s are you doing what the team needs when you get the ball.
“I find it interesting how people can analyse the game without watching behind the goals vision of every team.
“Because you only get a certain view of it looking at it side-on.”


“Players who leave WA and want to come home we’re always interested. I know we’ve spoken to Liam.”
“That’s the industry – I’d be surprised if he said he didn’t.”
“I feel like people don’t actually understand this is voluntary with the players’ association. We could not have it and so people are actually criticising something that they don’t actually have to do. So at the core of that is a great program if you just use that narrative – that the players have signed up to do this. Are there some things that could make it more effective? Absolutely.”

“I don’t change rules, but I think it’s a no-brainer. People in our position should hold some of the cards rather than the club or the code holding all of them. I’m not sure why senior coaches of today’s age should be responsible for the mistakes of clubs in the past.”
“I think 6-6-6 has helped the game and I think the stand rule has helped the game. It might not have helped scoring, but it’s helped free the game up. You can’t clog the game up at centre bounce and that helps for multiple transitions as well post that centre bounce.”
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Definitely true. Umpire were saying over and over give it back now, give it back now and Collingwood players just ignored the umpire for a lot of the game. Sidebottom completely ignored the same umpire just before that call and the umpire was spewing, you could see it.
Collingwood also didn't give the ball back to Fyfe after a free kick even though the umpire said Fyfe, give it to Fyfe about 10 times. The Collingwood player threw it to Brayshaw ?? instead and the umpire did nothing.
Definitely true. Umpire were saying over and over give it back now, give it back now and Collingwood players just ignored the umpire for a lot of the game. Sidebottom completely ignored the same umpire just before that call and the umpire was spewing, you could see it.
Collingwood also didn't give the ball back to Fyfe after a free kick even though the umpire said Fyfe, give it to Fyfe about 10 times. The Collingwood player threw it to Brayshaw ?? instead and the umpire did nothing.
They also got away with numerous "stand" infringements. 1 got paid but several didn't.

Reminds me of the Hawks in their heyday. Pushed the rules and never got called on it.
They milk the stand rule continuously. Sometimes to the point of impacting the player with the ball and still nothing.
They hardly ever seem to call stand anymore which has now forced players on the mark to start shuffling backwards and exploiting it but then every now and then the umps yet out "Stand" and a player moves and its 50. Either call stand every time or don't have the rule.
They hardly ever seem to call stand anymore which has now forced players on the mark to start shuffling backwards and exploiting it but then every now and then the umps yet out "Stand" and a player moves and its 50. Either call stand every time or don't have the rule.

Exactly - they should keep the rule and go back to enforcing it 100% of the time.
What I want called again is absolutely no touching of a player after they mark the ball it's all over the place again. It would do so much to speed things up, at the moment ref's pull a free kick and 50 out their arse but if someone isn't in the marking contest they shouldn't be allowed to breath on the player until play on is called
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