Oppo Camp The Non-North Footy Discussion & Matchday Chat Thread (NNFD&MCT) VII

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the Ziebull

Brownlow Medallist
Nov 14, 2010
28,916
27,958
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Our most lovable rascal, the Ziebull, is causing absolute mayhem over on the Drafts and Trading board by continuing to make threads for every expansion player that is out of contract this year. As an agent of chaos myself, I am glad to see that tZ is spreading his wings and making posters of other boards seethe. GWS fanboys are in complete meltdown over a simple Tim Taranto thread. Keep up the good work, tZ!
Those all 3 gws fans are precious
Likewise the Gold Coast fan

gws have done well though they have signed up most their good players

Suns on the other hand have a lot out of contract
 

krakouers

#Nepotism
Sep 13, 2011
11,272
22,095
People's Independent Republic of Perth
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Claremont


“Former AFL player Harley Balic has died at the age of 25.
Balic, who played four senior games at Fremantle before joining Melbourne in 2018, died on Sunday morning in the Moorabbin area.”
 

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krakouers

#Nepotism
Sep 13, 2011
11,272
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People's Independent Republic of Perth
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North Melbourne
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Claremont

"West Coast forward Jack Darling has become the first WA player to refuse to get vaccinated, with the premiership player not allowed at the club until he changes his mind.

Darling was a notable absentee at training today, with the club releasing a statement shortly after the players hit the track.

All WA players were required to have had their first COVID-19 vaccination by today.

“Star West Coast Eagles forward Jack Darling has not adhered to the AFL’s COVID-19 training and playing mandates and therefore – under the AFL rules – he will be unable to attend the club’s facility at Mineral Resources Park and by extension any club training sessions,” a statement from West Coast said.

“While Jack will take some time to assess his future he will train independently of the remainder of the squad.

“The club will continue to support Jack as he contemplates his options and is optimistic that he will return to build on his outstanding career to date.

“While the club does respect the right to personal choice it also supports the protocols put in place by the AFL and Governments – both Federal and State – as they navigate their way through this persistent and challenging pandemic.

“Neither the club nor Jack will make any further comment on the matter.”

It is being reported that midfielder Tim Kelly only received his first vaccination on Wednesday."
 

Makeshift Park

Club Legend
Aug 6, 2021
1,191
2,566
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Trying to imagine how the AFL is going to deal with the hermit kingdom of the west in 2022.

They could demand an exemption for visiting teams, but omicron will make short work of that arrangement I reckon.

What other options have they got? Two teams in perpetual hub life, or a league of sixteen teams?
 

krakouers

#Nepotism
Sep 13, 2011
11,272
22,095
People's Independent Republic of Perth
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Claremont
Trying to imagine how the AFL is going to deal with the hermit kingdom of the west in 2022.

They could demand an exemption for visiting teams, but omicron will make short work of that arrangement I reckon.

What other options have they got? Two teams in perpetual hub life, or a league of sixteen teams?
Two teams in a hub East to start the season... watch for a back end of dual WCE & Freo games to end the year
 

krakouers

#Nepotism
Sep 13, 2011
11,272
22,095
People's Independent Republic of Perth
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Claremont

"FORMER AFL player Jonathon Patton is looking to come out of retirement and has begun shopping himself around to potential clubs.

The once highly-touted key forward for Hawthorn and Greater Western Sydney has been in talks with the Broadbeach Cats to play in its QAFL side for 2022.

It’s understood Patton’s asking price was around $25,000.

The price tag, the fact he has had three knee-reconstructions and the six points that Patton would be slugged with in the QAFL points system led to the Cats deciding not to bring the 28-year-old in.

QAFL clubs have a salary cap of $82,000 and each team they field through the season has to carry a total of 50 points, with each player assigned a points figure depending on their football experience.

“We have been talking to Jon but at the end of the day you have got to be able to fit them in,” Broadbeach coach Craig O’Brien said.

“They want money and with our salary cap it just doesn’t work. He is worth six points so it would mean we miss out on a couple of kids coming in.

“I’m good mates with (GWS CEO) Dave Matthews and he mentioned Jon was coming up here. We caught up with him and had a chat.

“He has had three knee reconstructions and even if we didn’t pay him, he is still worth six points and hasn’t played in a couple of years.”

It’s understood Patton has had interest from rival QAFL clubs."
 

kangatime

Premium Platinum
Mar 29, 2009
13,016
22,370
kangaplace
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Trying to imagine how the AFL is going to deal with the hermit kingdom of the west in 2022.

They could demand an exemption for visiting teams, but omicron will make short work of that arrangement I reckon.

What other options have they got? Two teams in perpetual hub life, or a league of sixteen teams?
fu**'m off. League of 16 teams. If they don't want to be part of the rest of Australia they can organise their own comp over there.
 

krakouers

#Nepotism
Sep 13, 2011
11,272
22,095
People's Independent Republic of Perth
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Claremont
fu**'m off. League of 16 teams. If they don't want to be part of the rest of Australia they can organise their own comp over there.
WAFL rn:
0A8369C3-FB6C-416B-92C8-1562895108D2.gif
 

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krakouers

#Nepotism
Sep 13, 2011
11,272
22,095
People's Independent Republic of Perth
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Claremont


An AFL powerhouse at the crossroads: Is it time to worry about West Coast?​


Braden Quartermaine
The West Australian
Sun, 30 January 2022

West Coast are bruised before the ball has even been bounced on the 2022 AFL season.
Since the Eagles limped into ninth place last season, missing the finals for the first time in seven years, the headwinds blowing towards Lathlain have barely relented throughout a turbulent summer.
Becoming September onlookers prompted the biggest shake-up of coach Adam Simpson’s eight-year reign, with both the football department and coaching set-up overhauled as the club resolved to adopt a new-look game plan.

Their standalone reserves team collapsed before being ultimately revived in a protracted distraction, before popular defender Brad Sheppard was farewelled on the back of concussion issues without fronting his own retirement announcement.

If the Eagles thought Santa would deliver some New Year’s respite they were wrong, with West Coast at the centre of two national controversies this month.

The first came after they were the only AFLW club to not adopt a themed guernsey for last weekend’s Pride round. It was followed by star forward Jack Darling refusing to meet the players’ deadline for a first COVID-19 vaccination, meaning the AFL’s highest-profile anti-vaxxer is banished from club premises.

COVID has now ripped through the Eagles’ winless women’s team in a further blow, while the men’s team have no idea where they will begin the season after the scrapping of WA’s planned border reopening.

West Coast are fixtured to host Gold Coast at Optus Stadium seven weeks from today in their season opener, which also shapes as Willie Rioli’s comeback game following a two-year doping ban.

If there was anything that hadn’t yet gone wrong, captain Luke Shuey obliged this week when he suffered yet another soft tissue setback at training to amplify fears over his longevity.

West Coast’s innate conservatism has served it well throughout its remarkable growth from a club tacked on to the VFL in 1987 without even a training base into the financial superpower of the national competition.

But as the Eagles prepare to mark the 30th anniversary of their historic 1992 premiership - the first time the cup left Victoria - it’s a bent that is increasingly finding conflict with modern expectations as the club searches for an identity beyond on-field achievement.

In some ways, West Coast have long remained a bridge to a bygone football era. When North Melbourne great Simpson arrived to take over from local legend John Worsfold, he was stunned at the large number of loyal, long-term staff the club had.

There’s a family feel quite literally, with the sons of multiple staff members having been employed including the son of long-serving chief executive Trevor Nisbett.

That feeling of belonging to the West Coast family is one of the reasons why the COVID economic crunch has hit the club so hard, with the corresponding cost-cutting measures tearing at this notion of unity. Entering his 24th season at the helm, Nisbett expressed regret over the way the axe was swung in the club’s recently released 2021 Year Book.

“The soft cap (spending restrictions) in the football department imposed by the AFL was severe and if I had my time over again, I would certainly have taken a different course of action,” Nisbett wrote. “We needed to cut resources under the AFL’s decree and that had a big impact on our morale and efficiency.”

On some metrics, the Eagles measure up as both the competition’s biggest and most successful club. They have featured in 25 finals series in 35 years since their admission in 1987, more than any opponent across the same period.

But as rival club brands increasingly branch out to align themselves with causes and social movements, defining what West Coast stand for besides being big and successful has become harder.

With themed fixturing touchpoints becoming all the rage, the Eagles’ annual calendar looks bare. To their annoyance, Fremantle have cornered local Anzac commemorations, with the Dockers granted their Len Hall Game every year while the Eagles are sent on the road.

West Coast are attempting to grow their home Sir Doug Nicholls Round fixture as their marquee event match. But in a two-team town those aspirations are undermined by the fact their cross-town rivals are more strongly associated with Aboriginal football, on the back of Fremantle’s record Indigenous player numbers and stronger Next Generation Academy zone.

Amid heated debate leading into the gay marriage vote in 2017, West Coast (along with some others, including the Dockers) refused to join the clubs who publicly supported the AFL’s pro-gay marriage stance. The league sparked controversy with a high-profile statement - replacing the AFL logo with a ‘YES’ logo at its Docklands headquarters for a day.

At the time, the Eagles sat on the fence and maintained they did not have a position. The gay marriage survey later returned a 61.6 per cent yes vote nationally, with support in WA slightly higher at 63.7 per cent.

While West Coast were not on their own at the time of their unwillingness to wade into the gay marriage debate, they were in last weekend’s AFLW Pride Round when they were the only club in the women’s competition without a Pride jumper.

It prompted a week of messy and unwanted controversy, with the issue magnified in the women’s football space by the fact a significant number of players identify as LGBTQIA. Some clumsy wording from women’s coach Michael Prior, who remarked, “I think we’ve done the Pride stuff to death” as he sought to avoid addressing the issue, only added fuel to the fire and triggered a formal apology.

It even dragged in one of the club’s most storied names when LGBTQIA advocate Gerry Matera, brother of former players Wally, Peter and Phil, posted a statement saying he “never felt comfortable being myself” around the club and blasting the absence of a Pride guersey as “utterly devastating”.

So it came as no surprise this week when West Coast had appeared to duck for cover as the latest hot button issue reared, when late on Australia Day the club was one of just two in the competition - along with Geelong - to buck the trend and make no statement regarding the issue of Indigenous pain associated with the January 26 celebration date.

Hours after the last of the other 16 clubs had posted messages of varying conviction to social media and after ruckman Nic Naitanui had led the way, the Eagles followed with their own under the official club banner at 4.59pm.

It gently supported a new date “where all Australians can celebrate together in unity” and in the four-sentence post the club took arguably its biggest progressive step on a controversial social issue in its 35-year history.

West Coast chairman Russell Gibbs said there had not been a change of heart during the day, with the issue discussed several weeks in advance before other distractions had delayed its release.

Gibbs denied the club had struggled with the growing expectation to take a position on progressive social issues, but said its huge and varied support base made commenting “a delicate matter” and that actions sometimes spoke louder than words.

“The club has over 100,000 members and many, many more supporters as well as a greater number of sponsors,” Gibbs said. “So as one can appreciate, within that group there’s going to be many different opinions. Commenting on specific issues, in some regards, on behalf of all of those people that are a part of the club is a delicate matter.

“But having said that, what the club is clear about is that we do embrace diversity, inclusion and unity and I’m confident that through our community programs as well as support for our Waalitj Foundation, that our actions demonstrate this. So making a specific statement can be important, but I think it’s more than purely a statement (that’s required).”

Gibbs acknowledged West Coast’s Australia Day statement was a significant step for the club – “We just felt that this was something we could do” – and predicted the club would increasingly take social and political positions.

“I don’t think it’s just football clubs. I think business and community in general are being asked more often to take a stated position,” he said. “We’ll follow the trend. But as I’ve said, I’d like to think our actions are as important.”

On being the only AFLW club without a Pride jumper, Gibbs simply offered a concession the Eagles got it wrong.

Asked if they would have one if they could have their time again, he said: “Answer is yes. Not having a jumper ready for the AFLW Pride round is something that we got wrong.

“The club had been working on concepts and getting input, but it needed to be better prepared and certainly next year we will have a jumper and look forward to unveiling it at that time.”

It all provides an interesting backdrop as West Coast contemplate taking another giant step this year, with the prospect of a first female chair looming.

With Gibbs’ board tenure due to expire at the end of the season, former Fortescue chief executive and new Eagles director Elizabeth Gaines, 58, is understood to have key backers to take over.

Gibbs offered an enthusiastic “without doubt” when asked if the club was ready for a female chair, but was wary of publicly supporting any particular candidate.

“I think the club will select whoever is the most appropriate person for the role and given we have currently two (Gaines and Nicole Moody) exceptional female directors, there’s no reason why it wouldn’t be a female chair,” he said.

“If that were to be the case, I think it would be a significant moment. But I think, most importantly, is that we get the most appropriate person to chair the board.

“It will be a decision by the other directors. But Elizabeth, as with, any other of the directors, have my support. I think they’re all exceptional people and are quite capable to chair the board.”

Employment services supremo Michael Anghie is also believed to have support to join the board as chair as part of a push for a refresh.

Gibbs said while succession planning was ongoing for the role of chief executive Nisbett, 64, he expected the veteran administrator to remain for a few years yet. Nisbett has been in the job since 1999 and at the club since 1990 when he began as football manager.

“Trevor is an exceptional CEO and his experience during the past few years has been invaluable,” Gibbs said.

The Eagles’ financial strength is underpinned by huge membership revenue and the club has acknowledged donations from generous members have helped them emerge from the first two years of COVID in a robust position.

I’m 10 out of 10 concerned about the Eagles for a number of reasons.
Kane Cornes
But beyond a seat at the game – and even that has become no guarantee during the pandemic – loyal members still appear to be restricted to scant access to and information about the team they love.

Members are yet to hear popular premiership forward Rioli answer any questions about his 2019 doping offences and Gibbs didn’t see any reason why they should.

“I feel we’ve moved on from there,” he said. “I don’t think he will speak about it, not at this point in time.”

There’s a natural inclination to assume the maelstrom of off-field drama will set up pot holes on the field, but the history of West Coast shows that the club’s greatest triumphs and controversies have rarely been far apart.

The prophets of doom were also coming for the club before their stunning 2018 flag win, won defiantly after the now familiar claims a cliff is looming for their ageing list.

The problem ahead of 2022 is that the Eagles’ best players are largely the same ones as back then, just four years older. And in the four national drafts since that premiership, West Coast have used just one first-round draft pick (on Victorian speedster Campbell Chesser with pick 14 last November).

The shock premature retirement of Sheppard, the uncertainty surrounding last year’s leading goal kicker Darling and fears over the longevity of injury-prone captain Shuey have added to concerns, as the Eagles prepare to confront the unknown of another COVID-ravaged season.

The squad contains five first-choice players in their 30s in Josh Kennedy, Shannon Hurn, Jack Redden, Naitanui and Shuey and that number will swell to nine by June.

While never one for measured opinions, The West Australian columnist Kane Cornes neatly encapsulated the fears surrounding West Coast in his SEN radio spot this week.

“I’m 10 out of 10 concerned about the Eagles for a number of reasons,” Cornes said. “(The) Darling (situation), the age of the group, their best players just don’t play. Luke Shuey has played 20 games in the last two years, now he’s done another hammy in the first practice game (match simulation) of the season.

“Hurn’s old, Kennedy’s old, Naitanui’s old. They’re in real trouble. There’s a lot of pain coming towards the Eagles.”

Gibbs says he’s heard it all before during his five seasons in the role.

He categorises West Coast as one of a few AFL clubs who do not believe in planned long-term rebuilds and said the club’s demanding supporter base would not tolerate four years in the wilderness anyway.

“It would not be acceptable to our membership. And I think our history would suggest that has never been the case,” Gibbs said.

“Definitely at West Coast the focus is always on sustained success on-field and managing the list to achieve that stays front of mind. So the thought of, you said a cliff, we certainly don’t look at it that way.

“It’s a constant focus to evolve the playing group for ongoing success. We just continually try to refresh the group. In my opinion, I think there’s a few clubs that adopt a similar approach. And it would be fair to say Geelong is an example of one of those.

“Whereas other clubs choose, for their own reasons, to do a full rebuild.”

 

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