Norm Smith Medallist
- Feb 14, 2017
- AFL Club
The high quality delivery of the ball from the midfield to the forwards always stands out when i watch footy from the 1980s era.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:
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.
- 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?
Anyway as I said earlier this is only one match and maybe not a good one to go by?
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.