Modern footy vs 86 GF

Luv_our_club

Norm Smith Medallist
Feb 14, 2017
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10,419
AFL Club
Hawthorn
I watched the 86 Grand Final this morning and wanted to share three observations. Two that didn't suprise me and one that did. Two disclaimers are that this is a sample of one match and secondly it has been a long time since I've watched any old footage.

The three things that stood out were:
  • Skills by foot and hand were inferior to the modern game. So many mungrel punts from both set shots and on the run. Many kicks failed to find their target. I have often read on this forum people lamenting the inability of modern players to kick well off both feet however the execution in the modern game seems of a much higher standard.
  • System - or lack thereof. Maybe it was just this match but the vast majority of the gameplay seemed to be eyes down kicks that were bombed forward to no apparent target. Ultimately the fitter and harder team won.
  • Which brings me to the last point which was suprising to me. We often wax lyrical about the hard men of old however I wonder if this is just because they were able to get away with more and often went the biff. I think our modern generation are harder at the ball within the confines of today's rules. The players in the 86 GF seemed tentative in comparison but maybe thats because they were slower and less fit?
I believe in 86 the players were all fulltime paid professionals however I understand that they didn't have the range of high performance specialty coaching that we have today.

Anyway as I said earlier this is only one match and maybe not a good one to go by?
The high quality delivery of the ball from the midfield to the forwards always stands out when i watch footy from the 1980s era.

A player running past centre square hits up a leading forward.... it was a skill midfielders really needed to have... and did multiple times a game.

Now it is rare to see a forward mark a ball from a player in the centre square.
 
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catscollector

All Australian
Jun 30, 2018
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Geelong
Maybe VFL reserves or even VFL level, but if we’re just putting him in a time machine and bringing him to the present day there’s almost no chance he’d have the fitness to play AFL level. Would take a few years to catch up.
Just as today's players would have an advantage with fitness base and size, so too would Maurice and players of his era. Slightly smaller in stature they would use today's rules to their advantage and draw free kicks consistently.
Maurice was also a two sided footballer (like many footballers in the day). Slightest bit of pressure and it's kicked away without having to straighten up and go the preferred foot like the modern player.

The other advantage players in the past would have over today's players, they would truly thrive on the surfaces. Many grounds were not maintained to the standards of today. Winter footy was wet and terribly muddy. There was no one watching the grass 3 or 4 days per week. Players managed just fine.
We saw how uncomfortable it was for GWS when they had to play in torrential rain this year. Give the 86 Hawks perfect conditions and I agree, they would struggle to get within 5 goals of the Suns but give the 86 Hawks wet and greasy conditions, it's a close game imo.
 

Luv_our_club

Norm Smith Medallist
Feb 14, 2017
5,816
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You sure it's rare or are today's players so much bigger, stronger and athletic that they can get to the guy kicking it from the centre square and effect the kick going forward?
i don't have the right answer to that.

But i am pretty confident that in the 1980s and 90's, if you couldn't kick long and hit a forward you weren't playing as a midfielder.
 

KeilorUnder9s

Benclank01 Disciple
Nov 25, 2010
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Jamestown
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Richmond
I haven't played football in 15 years where I was a below average junior footballer playing in the forward pocket without ever kicking many goals but with modern zones I could smash the Hawthorn 86 team. They were hacks and I'm a supreme modern athlete
Yes but you would also single handedly beat the Suns by 30 goals. Do you have further proven the point.
 

JoondalupJ

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 9, 2006
12,088
4,237
Perth
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I watched the 86 Grand Final this morning and wanted to share three observations. Two that didn't suprise me and one that did. Two disclaimers are that this is a sample of one match and secondly it has been a long time since I've watched any old footage.

The three things that stood out were:
  • Skills by foot and hand were inferior to the modern game. So many mungrel punts from both set shots and on the run. Many kicks failed to find their target. I have often read on this forum people lamenting the inability of modern players to kick well off both feet however the execution in the modern game seems of a much higher standard.
  • System - or lack thereof. Maybe it was just this match but the vast majority of the gameplay seemed to be eyes down kicks that were bombed forward to no apparent target. Ultimately the fitter and harder team won.
  • Which brings me to the last point which was suprising to me. We often wax lyrical about the hard men of old however I wonder if this is just because they were able to get away with more and often went the biff. I think our modern generation are harder at the ball within the confines of today's rules. The players in the 86 GF seemed tentative in comparison but maybe thats because they were slower and less fit?
I believe in 86 the players were all fulltime paid professionals however I understand that they didn't have the range of high performance specialty coaching that we have today.

Anyway as I said earlier this is only one match and maybe not a good one to go by?
Its not about whose tougher faster can pin point passes so neveryone plays keepings off, I too watch games from the past and I too see long mongrel punts but I haven't noticed that many missed target that you suggest at all, in fact some times players looking awkward get of a split second kick and bingo a team mate marks it when you think no one will, now days he'll probably be free kicked against, so don't watch games where our blokes gace Carlton a little lesson, have a look at the ninetees too, and see ral precision hard tough challenging football, not the umpire ridden excuse that some clubs display now, yep the fitter faster , but they sure as hell ain't any better, collision is the killer now days and injuries are the everywhere weekly, have another look bloke!
 

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