Review Season 2019 - The Year We Came of Age

Land of the Giants

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What a season this has been.

The first thing I wanted to say was how immensely proud I am to be part of our club, and of the calibre of people associated with it.

There are many fine examples of this, but I think the way we all stayed strong during yesterday's Grand Final presentation, and showed respect for an opponent who had reduced many of us to tears said a lot. It did not go unnoticed.

There have been so many highs and lows in 2019, it is hard to know where to start, so perhaps we can look at what worked, what didn't, and what needs more work.

What Worked

- We played in our maiden Grand Final
- We won our first interstate final
- We won our first final at the MCG

These would be the main achievements, as we exist to win premierships, and there won't be any if we can't win finals away from home. They were all achieved despite losing our inspirational captain Callan Ward for most of the year, and the equally inspirational Stephen Coniglio late in the season.

We re-signed a number of key players we really wanted to keep

At the top of this list was Coniglio, an outstanding person who has decided to become a Giant for life.

Others who re-signed include Josh Kelly, Nick Haynes, Harry Himmelberg, Jacob Hopper, Brent Daniels, Matt De Boer, and Tim Taranto. Tim in particular was a revelation this year, and one of the few Giants who can hold his head high following the Grand Final.

Record Membership

We've persuaded more than 30,000 people to give us some money.

While there have been legitimate questions about the credibility of those numbers, the size of the contingent at the Grand Final will probably silence the doubters for a while.

The Pre-Match Functions

I've been to some pretty good pre-match functions in recent years, but the one at the Coopers Inn before the Grand Final deserves special mention. Wall-to-wall orange, great vibe, and when the club song came on, BOOM! Can't wait for the next one!

What Didn't Work

Inconsistency


When we're good, we're very, very good. Our response in Round 4 when Ward went down was inspirational. We followed it up at the end of the season with two very similar and outstanding finals victories away from home.

But when we're bad, we're worse than horrid. What happened in the Grand Final, while devastating, should not have surprised anyone. It has happened too many times before, and not just this season.

Against Hawthorn in Round 12 at the MCG and again in Round 21, and then against the Bulldogs Round 22, we either didn't turn up to play, or just stopped playing. The goal-scoring dries up. Why? It has happened too often to be a coincidence. What triggers these failures? This question needs an urgent answer.

Our Canberra bubble has well and truly burst

Losing unexpectedly to Fremantle in Round 5 was bad enough, but the non-effort against the Hawks in Round 21 was an insult to the Canberra loyalists who braved freezing conditions to watch it.

We need a long-term ruckman

Mummy has been great, and the decision to re-sign him this year was a gamble that basically worked, but we need to replace him with someone who will go the distance for a number of years. Sam Jacobs is a welcome addition to the list, but he's only short-term, signed to plug a gap while we find out if Flynn and Briggs develop.

A word of caution

It's not unusual for clubs that suffer big Grand Final defeats to go into a downward spiral. I don't think that we will suffer that fate, because we're a very well managed club, and the players are intelligent enough to prevent it from happening.

Onwards and Upwards

I really feel we've come of age as a football club this year, we have a lot to look forward to. Our maiden flag cannot be far away.

It's been a privilege writing the previews, and they don't get any easier, so thanks to you all for the continuing support.

Go Giants!
 

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Pres

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Great write up LOTG. On behalf of us posters I have really enjoyed your preview thread each week. Well balanced, well written and generally bang on the money. I hope you will continue the write ups next year :thumbsu:

My thoughts:

Season positives

Too many to count but for me the top 3:

- Coniglio re-signing. This was a huge defining moment in the history of this club and I think helped re-galvanise the side for the finals run.

- Taranto and Hopper putting in week after week of incredibly consistent performances to single handedly hold the midfield together in the face of a crippling injury toll. Both defied their ages. Will be superb in 2020 when a lot of depth gets added to that part of the ground to allow both to spend time resting forward as they can both hit the scoreboard.

- The PF win over the Pies. Inspirational in every way.


Season negatives

I thought this was a year very light on for negatives. Thought the whole club improved and everyone conducted themselves superbly. The only thing is the incessant injury toll to key players - typically at terrible times: Ward, Cogs, Kelly, Davis, De Boer, Flynn, Whitfield, Langdon, Corr. Was just carnage beginning to end.


If they can get over this loss quickly and solve the ruck issue the club is in a very good spot for 2020. The list profile looks amazing.
 

dropbear101

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GWS will learn from this and i think thats because the players got pumped week in week out in those early years when the players did not have as much mental maturity and yet they learned how to deal with it. This is different to now when you have a core group who are mature and because of their experiences in the past will be able to move past it.

Season in review yes you resigned players and yes you learn lessons throughout the year but experiencing the grand final week and game was the true lesson.
 

Giant Strides

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Nov 23, 2015
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Home & away - 13 wins, 9 losses
Finals - 3 wins (2 away), 1 loss

Season total - 16 wins, 10 losses, finishing Runner up for the season.

Milestones:
Jeremy Cameron - Coleman medal, All Australian, 150 games, 400 goals
Heath Shaw - 300 games
Phil Davis - 150 games
Adam Kennedy, Zac Williams - 100 games
Jacob Hopper, Harry Himmelberg, Tim Taranto, Lachlan Keeffe - 50 games

Apart from the manner of the loss in the GF, and in those 3 H&A games (Hawthorn x 2, Bulldogs), a solid H&A season followed by an excellent finals campaign - especially when the injury toll is considered , and that the midfield was led by two players in just their third & fourth years. Matt de Boer finding his niche as a tagger, Lachie Whitfield continuing his great form from 2018 (just hindered by injury).

We found a working forward line, with Cameron, HH and Finlayson forming a formidable tall combination. Brent Daniels found a permanent spot, and if Zac Langdon is back to full fitness next year (plus Toby back in the forward line) it can again be a high-scoring offence.

In the defence, Davis and Haynes had outstanding years, and Taylor continued to excel in just in second year.

Overall, much more to be extremely happy about than unhappy from the season.
 
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Gigantic

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I really do think it's been a coming of age season. We really got to see the culture at the club develop.

And I know "culture" usually is such a superficial and arbitrary term to use, but I really do feel that it's evident in this case. It's evident in the buy-in across the club and the support that we've received. The management have come out and said it, and the players have come out and reaffirmed it through words and actions.

It's been a huge learning experience for a lot of them I'm sure and the young guns like Hopper and Taranto look like they're coming along very nicely to join the core group of players like Cogs, Kelly, Ward, Whitfield, Greene, Cameron etc. I agree with above, Taranto in particular has been one that really comes to mind. He still has a lot to work on but his attitude and willingness to do the tough work really shows.

Some forgettable moments this season but lots of get excited about. Forward and upwards from here.
 
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BringBackTorps

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I alluded to the HUGE, historical difficulty from winning a GF outside the top 3 yesterday, in the GWS Thread- "Grand Final Post Match Review (by Determinant)".

Today, in the BF History Section, Cricketnut has given the detailed analysis, again proving the herculean task GWS had to overcome, to win the GF from 6th.

These are the statistics from 1897 (123 seasons).

GF Winner, which finished 1st in the H & A season- 63 times
GF Winner, which finished 2nd in the H & A season- 36 times
GF winner, which finished 3rd in the H & A season- 14 times
GF winner, which finished 4th in the H & A season- 7 times
GF winner, which finished 5th in the H & A season- 1 time
GF winner, which finished 6th in the H & A season- 1 time
GF winner, which finished 7th in the H & A season- 1 time
GF winner, which finished 8th in the H & A season- nil

Thus, based on history, GWS had a 1 in 123 chance of winning the GF, after round 22.

Since the GF, we now know:-

. P. Davis had to complete an onerous fitness test 90 minutes before the GF.
Damian Barrett claimed that Davis might have been just over 50% fit, could only jump off one foot, & couldn't turn a full circle (But Davis said after the GF his "body felt good", & he wouldn't use it as an excuse for being so ineffective in the GF).

. M. De Boer also had an injury going into the GF. In a normal game, he would have had a week off.

. Whitfield was reluctant to bump on one side, due to the tenderness of his operation.

. Kelly had hamstring soreness before the game.

I am not using these facts as excuses for the "pathetic" GF performance- just highlighting the many negatives confronting GWS; & many players were sore after 3 preceding, tough Finals' games.
You are correct that, on a few occasions, GWS went "missing"- the Canberra "snow game" was unacceptable by professional sportsmen.

Finally, I wish to say that the Club, IMO, has earned respect from many opposition fans. It has been reported that vast nos. of neutrals wore orange in Melb. at pubs & private home BBQ's etc to watch the GF.
Also, at games, & on the BF Boards, GWS fans normally conduct themselves in a respectful manner.

A GIANT amount has been achieved by this club in only 8 years.
 
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Land of the Giants

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I alluded to the HUGE, historical difficulty from winning a GF outside the top 3 yesterday, in the GWS Thread- "Grand Final Post Match Review (by Determinant)".

Today, in the BF History Section, Cricketnut has given the detailed analysis, again proving the herculean task GWS had to overcome, to win the GF from 6th.

These are the statistics from 19897 (123 seasons).

GF Winner, which finished 1st in the H & A season- 63 times
GF Winner, which finished 2nd in the H & A season- 36 times
GF winner, which finished 3rd in the H & A season- 14 times
GF winner, which finished 4th in the H & A season- 7 times
GF winner, which finished 5th in the H & A season- 1 time
GF winner, which finished 6th in the H & A season- 1 time
GF winner, which finished 7th in the H & A season- 1 time
GF winner, which finished 8th in the H & A season- nil

Thus, based on history, GWS had a 1 in 123 chance of winning the GF, after round 22.

Since the GF, we now know:-

. P. Davis had to complete an onerous fitness test 90 minutes before the GF.
Damian Barrett claimed that Davis might have been just over 50% fit, could only jump off one foot, & couldn't turn a full circle (But Davis said after the GF his "body felt good", & he wouldn't use it as an excuse for being so ineffective in the GF).

. M. De Boer also had an injury going into the GF. In a normal game, he would have had a week off.

. Whitfield was reluctant to bump on one side, due to the tenderness of his operation.

. Kelly had hamstring soreness before the game.

I am not using these facts as excuses for the pathetic GF performance- just highlighting the many negatives confronting GWS; & many players were sore after 3 preceding, tough Finals' games.
You are correct that, on a few occasions, GWS went "missing"- the Canberra "snow game" was unacceptable by professional sportsmen.

Finally, I wish to say that the Club, IMO, has earned respect from many opposition fans. It has been reported that vast nos. neutrals wore orange in Melb. at pubs & private home BBQ's etc to watch the GF.
Also, at games, & on the BF Boards, GWS fans normally conduct themselves in a respectful manner.

A GIANT amount has been achieved by this club in only 8 years.
Amazing statistics. Goes to show the importance of finishing top 4, and especially top 2.
 

Land of the Giants

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GWS will learn from this and i think thats because the players got pumped week in week out in those early years when the players did not have as much mental maturity and yet they learned how to deal with it. This is different to now when you have a core group who are mature and because of their experiences in the past will be able to move past it.

Season in review yes you resigned players and yes you learn lessons throughout the year but experiencing the grand final week and game was the true lesson.
You've made a very important point here.

Dealing with heavy defeats and moving forward is part of our corporate "memory". It's why I'm confident we won't slide backwards next year.

But we need to understand what triggers the appalling losses.
 

Pres

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You've made a very important point here.

Dealing with heavy defeats and moving forward is part of our corporate "memory". It's why I'm confident we won't slide backwards next year.

But we need to understand what triggers the appalling losses.
Tony Shepherd in his (outstanding) GF night speech touched on this exact point.
 

dropbear101

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You've made a very important point here.

Dealing with heavy defeats and moving forward is part of our corporate "memory". It's why I'm confident we won't slide backwards next year.

But we need to understand what triggers the appalling losses.
your offense and defense are the same thing built around the contest
and offense and defense are connected.

Basic tactic is that if you win the contest you can attack, if you lose the contest pressure is applied and a messy entry occurs, the backline then cleans up.
Offense is helped if your forwards win the one on ones or your backline wins the one on ones, where you attack from.

richmond apply pressure on the ball carrier with their nippy forwards and midfielders and their offense begins with their backline this is why houli and rance/grimes go nuts where as cotchin only has 14 possessions in a GF. Their offense supports this model as a forward handball results in a mass of players behind the ball who form the defense and if you turn it over they are available to apply pressure and even if you get the ball away their back-line gets the ball.
Thats why richmond seem impossible to stop.
To beat richmond your forward line must expose their backline.
You guys failed to apply pressure and win it back and intercept marking is less effective against richmond because they run and handball it forward.

I haven't watched much GWS so i coudn't say what causes your losses. But at a guess, you guys employ a kicking game, kicking needs someone to mark it, probably a key forward once delivered inside fifty. Your also very dependent on the contest and hacking it forward from a contest where tall forwards bring it to ground.
ego stop your tall forwards and your forward thrusts become ineffective or worse its now in the opposition hands. (basically richmonds MO) good news that orange sunami game does trouble them but whitfield and kelly were hobbled and richmond are usually terrible in the contest so its hard to usually stop your repeat forward thrusts from the contest and stoping your tall forwards is a fair feat.

basically whitfield kelly and tall forwards having mares resulted in that dismal offensive display and lack of pressure on ball carrier resulted in poor defense.
 

gee whiz giant

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your offense and defense are the same thing built around the contest
and offense and defense are connected.

Basic tactic is that if you win the contest you can attack, if you lose the contest pressure is applied and a messy entry occurs, the backline then cleans up.
Agree.
But in some ways, Richmond have changed that basic tactic. Giants, and all other teams, are at present powerless to counteract it.

Their basic tactic is, don't necessarily win the ball, but attack the ball carrier, and shake it loose.

It's along the lines of holding the ball interpretation over the years.
In the past, the player was honoured/ rewarded for getting there first/ playing the ball. 'In the back' happened often.
Presently, the player is now rewarded for holding off the contest and attacking the ball carrier, sometimes a split-second later. Home crowd noise is often enough to convince umpires that that's holding the ball.

The Giants one enough hard-ball, but were pressured immediately after gaining possession, and eventually went to pieces. Killed off by attack drones.
 

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Pres

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Not sure if anyone saw the interview with Leon on AFL Tonight last evening.

Nothing too much new but he did comment that it looks like the team will only have 1 player on the list being booked in for post season surgery.

Very good news for 2020 if true. The last thing you want when you have a later start to pre-season is it to be compounded by a raft of surgeries.

Would have thought the player may be one of: Davis (shoulder), Corr (myriad of issues), Kelly (myriad of issues), Langdon (ankle), De Boer (knee), Mumford (knee).
 

Simmofreo

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I can't believe that all the media are saying we are going to have a giant fall next year according to history after a large loss in a GF.

What about all the trams that do make it back there.

On SM-N960F using BigFooty.com mobile app
 

cowgirl_99

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i'd also add the season the Giants learnt from previous experience..ie: winning finals in hostile environments...fell at the last hurdle re: Richmond...i liked how the Giants were able to respond throughout the year during tough times..ie: injuries..form slumps etc etc..that's the sign of a good team... i hope the learning momentum continues and desire burns in the boys & all at the club to get better during the pre-season
 

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