Welcome Another Irishman: Stefan Okunbor

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Clubber79

Rookie
Apr 19, 2015
36
182
AFL Club
Carlton
I reckon O'Connor has gone backwards strangely enough. As with a few players who have shown promise in the VFL they just don't seem to be allowed to play their natural game at AFL level. Cockatoo was a prime example when he burst onto the scene taking the game on. He got caught once and his run and carry stopped. O'Connor just doesn't seem to play with freedom and confidence at AFL level and I think that's a coaching direction.

Watch these highlights against Box Hill to get an understanding of what I'm trying to say. https://www.geelongcats.com.au/video/2017-05-11/mark-oconnor-highlights

The biggest point of interest is at the 2:10 mark where he takes the game on with confidence. We don't see that now.
I was primarily reading this thread to see how Okunbor was getting on, but it's interesting to read some of the comments about Mark O'Connor.
I think the key word here really is 'confidence'.
The Irish lads that go over there have acquired certain instincts playing gaelic football since they were little kids.
You're encouraged to take the game on and go forward and as we don't have an aussie rules style tackle, you can take the ball into traffic.
Imagine you are at an elite level in one code you've played since you were a kid, and then you take up another code as an adult.
You're essentially thrown into the slow-learners class.
That must be frustrating in itself.
However, you also have to 'unlearn', or temper, a lot of the natural instincts you've acquired over the years playing a different game, as they could get you into trouble in your 'new' code.
I'd imagine it's a difficult balancing act during the development phase to try and keep the desirable traits such as flair, positivity etc. while also moderating them to some extent so you focus on getting the basics right first and foremost.
Maybe now that MOC has settled in, playing a very defined defensive role, he will have the confidence to express himself a bit more, should the opportunity arise.
However, the main thing in the short-term is that he keeps playing and contributing on a consistent basis.
The rest will come with time.
The same applies to Okunbor, who I would have thought was the more 'afl ready' of the two, certainly in terms of physical attributes.
Having both MOC & Tuohy at the club can only be a huge positive in terms of his potential development.
 

CatToTheFuture

All Australian
Aug 18, 2018
929
1,200
AFL Club
Geelong
I was primarily reading this thread to see how Okunbor was getting on, but it's interesting to read some of the comments about Mark O'Connor.
I think the key word here really is 'confidence'.
The Irish lads that go over there have acquired certain instincts playing gaelic football since they were little kids.
You're encouraged to take the game on and go forward and as we don't have an aussie rules style tackle, you can take the ball into traffic.
Imagine you are at an elite level in one code you've played since you were a kid, and then you take up another code as an adult.
You're essentially thrown into the slow-learners class.
That must be frustrating in itself.
However, you also have to 'unlearn', or temper, a lot of the natural instincts you've acquired over the years playing a different game, as they could get you into trouble in your 'new' code.
I'd imagine it's a difficult balancing act during the development phase to try and keep the desirable traits such as flair, positivity etc. while also moderating them to some extent so you focus on getting the basics right first and foremost.
Maybe now that MOC has settled in, playing a very defined defensive role, he will have the confidence to express himself a bit more, should the opportunity arise.
However, the main thing in the short-term is that he keeps playing and contributing on a consistent basis.
The rest will come with time.
The same applies to Okunbor, who I would have thought was the more 'afl ready' of the two, certainly in terms of physical attributes.
Having both MOC & Tuohy at the club can only be a huge positive in terms of his potential development.
You'll notice anything remotely negative about MOC was written in preseason. This year he looks a different player
 

Cataholic

Brownlow Medallist
Dec 11, 2009
15,895
17,760
a happy wanderer
AFL Club
Geelong
You'll notice anything remotely negative about MOC was written in preseason. This year he looks a different player
Genuine question - how does that happen? How does a player make significant improvements over the off / pre season (he hit the ground running as of Rd 1) yet no-one detected such that improvement?
 

CatToTheFuture

All Australian
Aug 18, 2018
929
1,200
AFL Club
Geelong
Genuine question - how does that happen? How does a player make significant improvements over the off / pre season (he hit the ground running as of Rd 1) yet no-one detected such that improvement?
Heaps of people did, just not in a forum about Stefan Okunbor.
 

Live in hope

All Australian
May 8, 2006
669
975
Melborne
AFL Club
Geelong
Any news on Stefan?
Is he injured, or are they just working on skills rather than playing him in VFL? Can he play in local footy?
 

catswhiskers

Premiership Player
Mar 13, 2006
3,715
5,246
Far North East
AFL Club
Geelong
Any news on Stefan?
Is he injured, or are they just working on skills rather than playing him in VFL? Can he play in local footy?
He played in VFL practice matche(s?). He looked good enough to hold a spot in the VFL regular games.

I just assume he is injured or otherwise indisposed.
 

iameviljez

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 20, 2004
11,679
11,788
Dili, Timor-Leste
AFL Club
Geelong
Other Teams
Pompey
he hit the ground running as of Rd 1
I don't know if that's quite true, to be honest - he was serviceable enough in the first few weeks, and certainly did a good defensive job, but it was against the Giants that he started to be eye-catching for mine.

He started backing himself. For some players, that comes naturally - for others, it comes bit-by-bit. I think he's a better player now than he was a month ago.
 

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dazbroncos

Max Rooke Appreciation Society
Oct 9, 2010
33,377
49,446
Los Angeles and Melbourne
AFL Club
Geelong
Other Teams
Denver Broncos, Red Bull Racing
Is anyone able to report how Stefan went in his first game?
Think I saw a GFC tweet or a post that said he had attempted to lay some really hard physical tackles and got a few touches - 8 rings a beel but I could also be 1000% wrong.

GO Catters
 
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