Point One: AFL
At the ten minute mark of the first quarter of the game on Sunday, I knew we wouldn’t win. The feeling emanating from that game was one of lackluster. When Crippa went out of the game, it was simply a matter of playing in a way that would stem the flow of goals from the Gold Coast and trying to ensure that we were “not blown” out of the water in that respect.
What was evident was the importance of Pitto in the center and how his absence made the midfield just a little bit shakier, and that was proven on Sunday. With Silvagni in the center and not down forward, we missed a significant body in our forward line. But given all that, I was not terribly upset about the outcome. I did not want to “burn my membership” that some have posted on social media. Given the past three games, we were expected to win that match, but I actually did not expect it. I will tell you why.
We have a new coach with new expectations and a new game plan. We have new players and have re-structured the entire football department. In the first three games, we did not play a full four quarters, and it was expected that if we did not do this in this game, we would eventually lose a game. No team in the past has won all their games from Round One and won a Premiership in that same year. Especially in the modern game.
The pressure physically and mentally takes a toll on a player and a team and cannot be sustained unbroken, unless something illegal is going on. But irrespective of that, remember this. In the past, and given what others have commentated on before this last round, we could have been sitting on one and three and not the other way round.
I want to see the team have these “shake-ups” in a game to gain the hunger for not letting it happen again. I want to see the team grow and develop so that if we do lose players such as Crippa and Pitto, we have the experience and depth to counter that. Only then can we even contemplate being a top-four team.
But the real test will come this week against Port Adelaide, who wants to prove to the AFL world that they aren’t that terrible. They have more to gain and lose than we do, and I want to see the team ensure that what we saw last game does not factor in this game.
Point Two: AFLW
We are all exceedingly disappointed that Maddy Prespakis and Georgia Gee are leaving Carlton for Essendon. Given that they have been a part of Carlton since they were both respectively drafted. But the nature of the game, especially in the AFLW is that players in order to be in the peak of their game, have to look at the financial aspects of playing at this level. They are not financially as secure as the men are and so need to look at that with regards to their future contracts.
It is sad, disappointing, but what the club needs is to ensure that future players want to don the navy blue and play for that honor. Inevitably future stars could also leave but unless the AFL administration ensure that all players in the AFLW are compensated enough to enable them to continue their journey at their club and in their growth in the game, this will happen again.
Point Three: Resignation of Gil
With the resignation at the end of this year of the AFL’s CEO, the AFL Board has the prime and required opportunity to ensure that this competition both men and women’s doesn’t fall by the wayside of irrelevancy.
The AFL does not really take notice of the supporters who pay hard earned money to be a part of their team and the code itself. Yet they are still given not much of a voice. They are basically told to pay up, accept the ticketing issues, the rising cost of food and transport and sit in the stadiums to cheer your team. What the AFL administration is missing here is the point that for many, it is cheaper and better to watch the game at home where it won’t cost you over $50 just for a few bucket of chips and a drink and that is not including any alcohol or the cost of getting to the game.
The AFL Board right now has the chance to select the person who will lead the code into a new era of post-Covid and ensure that supporters and members are considered to be the equal priority alongside the players and umpires. That the code has three components that will make it a success. The players, the umpires and the supporters. Pushing the needs of one below the others will only lead to disenchantment and eventual uncaring attitude to going to the game rather than watch on TV.
There is a real opportunity here that if not dealt with accordingly will see the code become something that for a lot of supporters, not worth the financial aspect and would rather watch it on the TV.