Flick pass expert
- Nov 16, 2004
- AFL Club
- Port Adelaide
- Other Teams
- The Mighty Blacks
The biggest change in AFL over the last 20-25 years has been the possession game. That's from soccer. Gerard Neesham started it in 1995 with his Water Polo tactics - as he said, I spend 6 months of year playing a game where holding onto possession is what the game is all about, and then 6 months in the other one working hard to get the ball and then just kick it away as soon as you get it, and to me it was dumb. But it was the soccer tactics that all coaches went and studied not water polo.The AFL has borrowed from soccer as well as many other sports. To try to assert the AFL tactical evolution over the last 20 years is a direct transfer from soccer is profoundly superficial and is the assertion of a very limited mind. Soccer has barely anything to offer in regards to the contested / stoppage game for instance. Rugby union has offered more than soccer at that level and the transitioning between the stoppage situation to defence and attack has probably more analogy (but very limited) with ice hockey and basketball
Sure we have borrowed from other games the two rugby codes for physical stuff and tackling, pinched the high volume interchange from Ice Hockey and zonal positioning from basketball, but the biggest borrowed tactics come from soccer.
Listen to someone who grew up watching and playing footy in 60's/70's/80's even 90's say they don't understand modern footy. I tell them to go and watch a good game of soccer and watch how they keep possession at all cost and how players move around the park to make that happen and you will understand what they are trying to do in AFL. Everyone of them I have told them to do that, has come back to me and said they understand what I was saying and now what the AFL guys are trying to do. They don't necessarily like it, but they now understand the why's better.
On the Port board we have 2 Brazilians who have come to post on the board and are Port fans and love the game. One diegodgc hasn't posted much the last 2 years because he went and did an MBA in Liverpool and then went and worked in Portugal, had worked for 2014 World Cup and 2016 Rio Olympics organising committees in the sports co-ordination area, was watching Port games when the Olympics were on. The other one Gremiopower, came on board in 2017 as diego was winding down, has become obsessed by the game. Still follows Gremio in the Brazilian league but gets up at 3 am to watch Port games, contributes to the board, starts threads and even has his own blog about the game.
After 6 weeks of watching games they were both talking about the game like they had watched it for 30 years. Why?? Because they could see the soccer like tactics and direct soccer tactics used in the game, and they watched the game through that prism. Sure they needed some things explained but they regularly talk about how the tactics used are similar and have a better grasp of the game than a decent chunk of regular posters.
The complexity had nothing to do with the timing of evolution. Like everything, its the $$$. 2000 was the first year footballers were 100% professional. That's when tactics started evolving heavily. Mark Williams was appointed coach in 1999 and he had 1 assistant coach Phil Walsh. Within 5 years with the big $$$ coming into the game, the players being full time professionals, clubs had cranked up their assistants to 4 to 6 as well as fulltime and part time development coaches. They worked several hours every day honing tactics, not just training 2 times a week and a couple meetings.Ironically the main reason Australian football's "tactical evolution" happened after other professional invasion sports is because of the comlexity involved in organising 18 players across a much bigger ground. Basketball was way ahead of soccer but no fool would be fool enough to try and claim that soccer's zoning was lifted mindlessly from basketball.
If there were big $$$ in Australian Football in 1970 that clubs, players and coaches could go full time like soccer had been for almost a decade, like baseball had been for 100 years, the tactics we see today would have been implemented by the early 90's. Yes the bigger Aussie Rules field and 18 moving parts as opposed to 5, 11, 13, 15, means its more complex, but like everything in life, its really all about the dough.
And when did basketball start their zonal tactics and when did soccer??
Why do all these new interim coaches appointed this year talk about the F word when saying how they are going to coach. They all talk about giving the players Freedom, cutting back on tactics, cutting back on meetings and just letting them play with freedom and trying to have some fun again. They get rid of as much of the clutter as they can.The bottom line now though is, post revolution, you can't expect a team of footballers who have payed in systems that are developed and drilled over months to revert back to meat and veg positional man on man play from the 80s. Only someonw with no grasp of the modern game could possibly think that
This is exactly the type of approach state coaches would have if SoO ever comes back. Players wont be interested in spending 2 weeks learning some complex geometry game plan you think is so necessary.
You really are a Liniment Sniffer. SoO coming back will start off being exhibition games. That's all it will be the first couple of times. Then it might get serious if the players want it to. It wont be driven by coaches insisting they learn some complex game plan.It is low likelihood that SoO will ever be brought back but there is zero likelihood that it would come back as a light hearted exhibition game. That's almost as ridiculous as thinkinh the modern game is just some cartoonish transfer of soccer strategies!
If you think players will spend 2 weeks of their holiday time in October coming back to train to learn new tactics they wont use again for maybe 4 years, then play games over another couple of weekends, when they could be in Vegas, boozing, bonking, gambling, snorting, smoking etc, then you are sniffing something other than liniment.