There is something about this time of year – an air of excitement envelopes the average AFL supporter as we leave cricket season behind, wave goodbye to the tennis and the winner who is apparently no longer the greatest threat to the health of Australians, and head inside a month until the first bounce.
Intraclub matches done, with clubs now going into match sims this weekend, before practice matches start and the real stuff gets underway.
Yes, it is a time for hope, for dreams, and for many, a chance to right the wrongs of the previous season.
Or the previous several seasons.
When Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti walked away from football last year, many thought that would be the last we’d see of him at the highest level. One of the most exciting small forwards in the game, “Walla” seemed to have run his race in the AFL.
His blistering start to the 2021 season, which saw him as the standout small forward in the game across the first half of the season, made way for a player that was struggling to cope with the day-to-day and week-to-week demands of the game – both physically and mentally.
Uh oh… the rest of this article is standalone content for our Essendon members…. because I like them. Actually, I don’t mind all of you, this one just happens to be for them, though. We’re gonna cover as many practice games this coming weekend as technology and lack of sleep will allow for our members. Want to join us?