Opinion Stephen Silvagni

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Coona Blues

Director of Coaching
Nov 3, 2011
Bundaberg, Qld
AFL Club
Agree with most of the post but i think you're underestimating how much SOS undervalues small forwards. (judging by his track record) he doesn't see them as secondary, he sees them as not necessary at all which is a mentality from an era long since past.

His 'couple of throws' at this area were pickett (not a small forward at all), lebois, fasolo and owies. we're lucky cuningham has turned into a pretty good small forward when healthy but he was originally meant to be a midfielder. Bolton and Teague were forced to play small guys there because they're small like fisher, curnow, dow, polson, gibbons etc but none of them are small forwards.

If the process of signing of betts caused a rift within management then that's a conversation to be had, but ultimately betts was necessary because there was a position to be filled that SOS failed to fill.

SOS has done a great job of generating 90% of the list but he seems incapable/unwilling to devote any serious resources to address the small forward position and if SOS can't do it then someone else needs to.

For what it's worth the small forward position is the one weakness of GWS as well who despite their unprecedented plethora of talent can't quite seem to get that elusive flag.
It seems a fair assessment that SOS does not rate "small forwards" as a priority, and blind Freddie can see a similarity with his GWS list compilation. In fairness, the move to multiple pressure forwards per team has only really gained traction during our rebuild years.

Two questions for you and others. Both us and GWS have/had compiled lists brimfull of top end, but immature midfield talent, do you not think that the coaching brains trust of both groups would prioritise the opportunity to provide experience and an avenue to transition in to their respective teams over the need to fill up with specialist "small forwards".

The second question is simple? What is a small forward? A dedicated crumbing goalkicker? A small, mobile player tasked with getting to the fall of the ball and applying pressure to opponents in order to gain or maintain possession and keep the ball in the attacking portion of the ground? Perhaps a small, mobile player tasked with linking and distributing to the deep forwards?

Oils ain't oils Sol. Small forwards can be either or all of the above. Do they need to be "smalls", it could be argued that Jack Silvagni is consistently our best pressure forward, do we necessarily need multiple "smalls"? I would argue that we, under Teague have displayed sufficient defensive pressure to compare favourably with most, if not all sides. High, half forward, the linking distributor has been an issue, however, we may just have the players already to elevate those standards. There is no doubt we are missing that high productive offensive weapon, or should I say were missing. Eddie will fill the role for a year or two. We certainly need to recruit a goalkicker in the very near future.

Personally, I have plenty of faith in the scope of Cuningham, Gibbons. Fisher, even JSOS and Kennedy along with resting mids such as Stocker, Murphy, Ed, Dow and the highly likely acquisition of Jack Martin to manage the majority of our needs. Matt Owies may also elevate with a decent go at things. We do need a younger version of Eddie or even a dynamic midsizer to apply a little more regular scoreboard pressure. Clearly Bolton had similar beliefs, being happy to make a long term investment in Cam Polson as a viable option.

SOS, like any other recruiter will continue to identify options in this area while Teague develops and best utilises the assets we have. Papley would have been the dream, a young developed player who could fulfil all of the variants mentioned above. It turns out that he was never a realistic option, barring a Daniher trade being realistic. Our "failed" attempts with the likes of Lebois etc were throws at the stumps for small currency as the guts of the list was developed. If we had been fortunate we would have found another Eddie or Jeffy cheap as chips. SOS and co topped up with the likes of Fasolo, Garlett and FWIW Bugg to provide a feasible option until the position could be filled. Our list is now at the point that it is feasible to spend a late first or a second rounder on a less speculative small forward option.


Norm Smith Medallist
Oct 1, 2014
AFL Club
Well it doesn't sound like SOS will have MLG looking out for him for too much longer.

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Premiership Player
Dec 16, 2013
AFL Club
So confirmation too much damage done to mend.
Sad times. My trust in my club's admin is now broken after thought we had learned from so many mistakes earlier in decade.
Totally agree. Really disappointing that the club is turning in on itself before we are fully rebuilt. Losing SOS will not help us Get #17


Hall of Famer
Oct 15, 2008
AFL Club
Despite the fact that he’s “lost the plot” ? And now SOS is the one to leave ? Very odd.
It's not odd at all. Much too difficult to move Liddle on. How do you do it?
SOS probably had little choice but to fall on his sword as should/will be the case for MLG.

If SOS does move on now, it makes it easier for a new president to come in without the 'look' of having killed off a favourite son.

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Norm Smith Medallist
Nov 14, 2002
AFL Club
Other Teams
So confirmation too much damage done to mend.
Sad times. My trust in my club's admin is now broken after thought we had learned from so many mistakes earlier in decade.

Well I'm sticking by the club. Apart from alleged hiccup I don't think the admin has done a hell of a lot wrong over the last few years.

Probably the best course of action for the club is for SOS to finish.. Despite perhaps not sticking to his charter, Liddle seems to be doing a good job.

SOS does seems like he is naturally coming to the end of his time in the role regardless of the Liddle situation so no point SOS staying and losing Liddle and potentially upsetting the whole club strategy if SOS was just going to finish next year anyway.

SOS leaves pretty much on his own terms it seems and we give Liddle some clear air to see what he can do. He will be judged on his performance the same as anyone else.

If we get in Kinnear Beatson then not a complete disaster.


Brownlow Medallist
Aug 27, 2014
AFL Club
Other Teams
there are no other teams worthy
Well I'm sticking by the club. Apart from alleged hiccup I don't think the admin has done a hell of a lot wrong over the last few years.

If we get in Kinnear Beatson then not a complete disaster.
I always stick by my club. Followed through even bigger shock like Jezza leaving when I was a kid. But my trust in admin is certainly broken with this recent turn of events because there is no reason to trust the lessons learned.
We are not getting Kinnear Beatson.
This is bad to have such a major change in list management when the strategy of the manager has not been played out in full.
I pray that Agresta fully has learned what the full strategy is and follows it through well into next decade. But that is all I have now. Hope, not trust.

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