Hawthorn v West Coast – The Massacre on the Tamar

Pre-Game – On the Couch with Harley Reid and his Family


In the soon-to-be-defunct UTAS stadium (at least for AFL purposes) in Launceston on the banks of the Tamar River, with 25km southerly winds blowing straight off Antarctica, and an apparent temperature around eught degrees, the two worst teams in the competition fought out a game to decide which one is favoured to win the wooden spoon and pick one in the draft next year.

The crowd was always going to be small with just a few hardened supporters silly enough to brave the weather, a television audience just of pure diehards, and Harley Reid and his family.

I feel for Harley Reid and ilk watching this game today as reality will hit them at some point that his reward for being the best junior player in the country will be getting recruited by one of these fallen clubs. Sadly, for Harley, he is not a northern academy player, and he is not eligible for a father/son selection like Will Ashcroft or Nick Daicos and he will start his career at a club in some form of disarray.

The positive for Master Reid is both the Hawks and the Eagles have had successful histories based on ruthless cultures of ‘winning at all costs’, so while his immediate future may look as bleak, the long-term forecast may be a lot brighter.

Call me naïve, but I don’t buy the rhetoric that either of these mighty clubs would destroy the culture of their respective clubs by tanking – it is just not in their DNA. The 2008/09 draft where Melbourne tanked just to draft Jack Watts should be a lesson to all as it took Melbourne near on ten years to recover and Jack Watts’ career was in tatters before it even started – we never saw the best of him.


THE GAME – Massacre at UTAS on Tamar

Good news Harley Reid, West Coast have the best training facilities in the country. The bad news, they are an absolute rabble. I’m sure you switched off the telly about midway through the first quarter as the game was already disintegrating into witches’ hats as the young Hawks danced merrily around their inept opponent.

Good luck out west, Harley.


The Hawks – The Kids Are Alright

Like many, I doubted the wisdom of Sam Mitchell to sell the farm and bet on the kids, but today I saw a glimpse into the future of a team that will progressively become more competitive over time and possibly contending at the upper echelons in two or three years.

The Hawks’ kids, and I mean players who have played under 50 games, got a chance to show off their talents today and play with as much flair as their coaches’ boots. The normally conservative Sam Mitchell must have known something special was going to happen today to wear those boots.

While the kids played with freedom, the senior players such as Sicily, Impey, Worpel, Frost, Hardwick, Amon and Breust nursed them along nicely and encouraged them all day. The at-times erratic James Sicily is the right leader for this group as he is tough and backs his players.

Now, I turn to the kid with the majestic flowing mullet playing his first game, Josh Weddle, who played one of the finer games you’ll see from a fourth-gamer, with 28 disposals and two goals. He is an absolute ripper and then some. The other kid who I did not know before today, James Blanck, was super impressive holding the highly-rated Oscar Allen to just one goal and very few possessions. Add the likes of Bramble, Meek, McKenzie, Day, Mitchell, Butler, Brockman, Moore, MacDonald all showing good form today then the challenge for the Hawthorn brains trust is to stick fat with these kids and get as much game time into them as possible.

In a ‘back to the future’ moment today, there was a stage during the second quarter when the numbers 2 (Mitch Lewis) and 23 (Jacob Koschitzke) were running amok on the Hawks forward line and it must have taken Hawks supporters back to a time when a couple of handy number twos and 23s called Roughy and Buddy were strutting their stuff. Lewis finished with a best on ground six goals (it could/should have been more).

It is worth mentioning the tough duo of Conor Nash and Jai Newcombe who are already next level players and will be the backbone of this club for many years to come.

Party hard young Hawkers and enjoy moments like today, as the road ahead is still hard but at least it looks a little clearer now.


What the Hell, Eagles?

Time to be VERY Harsh

Mr Adam Simpson, your team just got beaten by the second worst team in the competition by 116 points and your team did not kick a goal after halftime in one of the most inept performances I have endured in my entire life. Getting beaten and beaten up occasionally is part of any sport, but not being skilled enough to even make it look like you are trying is unforgivable.

Jamaine Jones, until injured, Dom Sheed, Tim Kelly, Alex Witherden and Jake Waterman (the man with the best sharpie haircut I’ve seen in years) aside there was little effort before halftime and no effort after halftime from the rest of your playing group, with the only other exception I can find being Oscar Allen who tried hard even though he was beaten by his man on the day.

Gaff, Duggan, Hunt and Petruccelle should be leading this club by example but today they were mere passengers in a bus going over the edge of the cliff taking a group of kids down with them.

For a season and a half now, a list of injured players has been given as your reason for underperforming and to a degree that is understandable, but where are the kids showing something for the future other than Allen, Witherden, Jones and Rotham? Even if your list was at full strength, you still have an ageing list, and again your members must be asking where is the hope for the future?

There was a period during the Covid years when it looked like your club was just going through the motions and since that time you have had injury upon injury upon injury to the point I question whether there is something wrong with your fitness or training regime escalating your woes?

Mr Simpson, your brutal injury woes mean there are players in your team now playing who have not earned the right to be called AFL footballers. It is a very harsh call, but it should be a privilege to play at the highest level and not a result of bad luck or bad player management that an individual gets the right to say for the rest of their life they are a former AFL player. There are some players on the lists of other clubs who may never get to play a game of AFL with a lot more ability and skill than some of the players regularly playing in your team. At the very least, remind these kids there is a level of expectation for any kid lucky enough to play a game of AFL there is only one non-negotiable, and that is they try and give it their best regardless of ability.

Your club was totally inept and embarrassed today and that is something I don’t think has ever been said about your West Coast Eagles – EVER.

Mr Simpson, please remind yourself you are a very good coach with a Premiership Cup under your belt and start leading the fight back.



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