The Denis Pagan Era and its legacy

SimpkinByTheDockOfTheBay

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It is interesting how much impact Denis Pagan has had on the last decade of football - yet how little this has been commented on.

Of the premiers of the last decade, by my count, only three coaches haven't had direct personal experience playing or coaching with Pagan:

2019/17 - Richmond/Damien Hardwick.

Hardwick played under 19s under Pagan at North, then Pagan took him to Essendon in the year he coached the twos:

"Then obviously I went and learned under Denis Pagan and spent a couple of years there, got delisted at North Melbourne, went to Springvale, had my jaw broken in my first game there in three places.

"Then I was very fortunate that Denis took me across to Essendon with him, at the highly-regarded pick of 87, I was that year in the draft."

2018 - West Coast/Adam Simpson.

Simspon played in two premierships under Pagan, was a core member if the great Pagan teams. Simpson called Pagan for advice on the morning of the 2018 Grand Final

Denis Pagan has opened up on the details of West Coast Eagles premiership coach Adam Simpson’s phone call on the morning of Saturday’s Grand Final.

Pagan coached Simpson when he was playing at North Melbourne, and the dual flag coach at the Kangaroos explained what was said during their chat.

“Adam Simpson rang me on Saturday morning,” Pagan told SEN Breakfast.

“It was more a parental, fatherly talk. We talked about 98 and how in 1998 we came in at half time and the staff were all excited, clapping and cheering, and I had to give them all a rocket to be quiet, shut up.

“We just spoke about that, how firm has he been with the boys and how he has changed from last year and those sort of things.

“It only went for four or five minutes and I wished him all the best.

2016 - Western Bulldogs/Luke Beveridge

No playing or coaching link I know of.

2015/14/13 - Hawthorn/Alistair Clarkson.

Clarkson played under Pagan at North senior in 93/94/95 before being traded to Melbourne.

There's a hell of a lot in Clarko's approach to footy that can be seen in Pagan's attitude too - especially the "unsociable footy" stuff.

2012 - Sydney/John Longmire

Played in a premiership at North under Pagan, played under-19s under Pagan, Denis loved him and Longmire obviously learned from him.
“He showed so much guts and determination when his body was giving up on him,” Pagan said.

“He probably thought he’d never get the chance to play in a premiership. I was so happy for him.

“Everything he has achieved at the Swans is a feather in his cap…he’s done a wonderful job.”

2011 - Geelong, Chris Scotts

No link to Pagan I know of.

2009 - Geelong, Mark "Bomber" Thompson

Bomber was assistant under Pagan, including the 1999 flag, which no doubt helped him get appointed at Geelong the next year.

Thanks also to Denis Pagan for giving me my first coaching opportunity outside the Bombers which was an incredibly worthwhile experience.

Denis Pagan employed him as an assistant at North Melbourne, having spotted something special when working under Kevin Sheedy at Essendon while Thompson was captain. ''When he spoke, people listened,'' Pagan says. ''Part of the reason was that he didn't talk all the time. He walks quietly but he carries a big stick, does Bomber. A lot of AFL coaches just run around waving their stick all the time.''

2010 - Collingwood/Mick Malthouse

No playing or coaching connection I can think of.

Now obviously Pagan had a bigger influence on some than others, and these are all very very effective men in their own right.

But it is undeniable that a key indicator of coaching success in the last decade has been working with Denis Pagan during your career.

Has the shitshow at Carlton really undermined his reputation that much? He's seen as very old school now, almost like a relic, yet the 2018 premiership coach, known for being right up at the cutting edge of coaching and "cultural" trends, rang him for advice the morning of the Grand Final.

Where does Denis Pagan's legacy sit?
 
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TheKITC

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What Denis Pagan ERA?

The bloke coached 2 premierships, which is a great achievement, but it's hardly an era. If anything, he probably underachieved with the side he had.

Whilst North were a basket case off the field, he had one of if not the games greatest players as his CHF, a ruck/fwd who was good enough to win a Brownlow count and and probably 4-5 Hall of Fame caliber players to go with that...
 

Yojimbo

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Denis Pagan should never have gone to Carlton, he may have liked the money, but the stain of association
with the Carlton Football Club ruined his coaching record and took away his earlier impact at North
Melbourne where he coached with an iron fist and fear. Seven Preliminary Finals from 1994 to 2000 the
longest consecutive run since 1990, unequalled greatness.
 

SimpkinByTheDockOfTheBay

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What Denis Pagan ERA?

The bloke coached 2 premierships, which is a great achievement, but it's hardly an era. If anything, he probably underachieved with the side he had.

Whilst North were a basket case off the field, he had one of if not the games greatest players as his CHF, a ruck/fwd who was good enough to win a Brownlow count and and probably 4-5 Hall of fame caliber players to go with that.
He coached seven consecutive prelims in a decade. Those players you mention like Carey and Mckernan, he developed in the under 19s.

Aagin, Carlton people proving my point that the shitshow there at the end of his career has affected how he's viewed overall.
 

SimpkinByTheDockOfTheBay

Don't Get Cut
Aug 21, 2018
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Denis Pagan should never have gone to Carlton, he may have liked the money, but the stain of association
with the Carlton Football Club ruined his coaching record and took away his earlier impact at North
Melbourne where he coached with an iron fist and fear. Seven Preliminary Finals from 1994 to 2000 the
longest consecutive run since 1990, unequalled greatness.
Seems to be the guts of it from a neutral.
 

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footyfan78

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Has the shitshow at Carlton really undermined his reputation that much?
For me it has. He spoke so much shit one day it was torture to put up with him knowing there was zero hope of any real development whilst he was there.
He was excellent with the under 19's players he developed and then had as senior players at North. It is like that group of players , coach and specific game plan was perfect for each other.
Still he blew the 98 grand final and should have won at least 3 premierships with that group of players. But 2 premierships is still success so he still had success as a coach in one era but beyond that he did not do anything special so he reputation was ruined in terms of being flexible coach that can coach well with any group.
 

TheKITC

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He coached seven consecutive prelims in a decade. Those players you mention like Carey and Mckernan, he developed in the under 19s.

Aagin, Carlton people proving my point that the shitshow there at the end of his career has affected how he's viewed overall.
Absolutely nothing to do with me following Carlton. Care to refer to my post or are you just using this thread to force your opinion ad nauseum?

Coaching to prelims doesn't entitle you to an era. Are we currently in the Chris Scott era? The facts are, he coached 2 flags and was considered an innovator and great coach.

I didn't say he didn't develop those players, so not sure why that was brought up. Do you disagree that he underachieved as a coach with the side he had?
 

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