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Luke lifts Eagles up where they belong

Written By malwan milad on Sabtu, 21 Februari 2015 | 23.02

New Woodville West Torrens Football Club leadership mentor Luke Powell and coach Michael Godden. Photo: Calum Robertson. Source: News Limited

FOR many of his 232 games for Woodville-West Torrens and particularly in his final two years as captain, Luke Powell was the heartbeat of the footy club.

"And in lots of ways he still is," Eagles coach Michael Godden said. "We don't really feel like we've lost him."

He still turns up to Woodville Oval every week to run the club's leadership program and interviewed about 20 candidates for his replacement as skipper before it was put to a player vote.

Powell retired last year battered and bruised after giving every last drop of effort, but he could have bowed out like that years ago.

But worried about a mass exodus of experience, which happened in part, Powell stayed on to make sure the next generation had strong leadership just like he had with Gavin Colville and Mark McKenzie around him.

"He wanted to make sure he was here to start that process," Godden said. "Luke always played for others, never for himself, and last year he took a lot of load for us emotionally and physically."

He has also arranged a mentor program which brings some of the club's biggest names back to Woodville to guide the leadership group.

Powell wasn't the only club stalwart to retire last year. Key forward Adam Grocke also called it quits and together they left with 398 games and four premierships between them.

Godden describes the pair as "tremendous warriors" but said there came a point where you had to look beyond them.

"You can't hang on to the ones who have done it in the past because there is a certain point where they can't do it any more," he said.

"And the exciting side to that is what we've got in the room now - they can forge their own path and be the next Adam Grocke and Luke Powell and Mark McKenzie."

That is the challenge Godden is facing heading into the final year of his contract in which he's put a top-three regular season finish as a pass mark on his head.

Four years since he led the Eagles to the 2011 premiership, they've far from bottomed out but haven't progressed past the second week of the finals. In 2012 they suffered a premiership hangover, started the season 2-6 and limped into September only to be bundled out in the elimination final.

In 2013 they finished second on the ladder but coughed up big leads in two finals and went out in straight sets.

In 2014 they made a 4-1 start and looked a million dollars early but faltered and lost the elimination final.

"I certainly felt last year we would have finished in the top three and we didn't, so that's underachieving," Godden said.

But as much as he sees it as underachieving, he also sees progress.

"We've kept this group together and the majority of these blokes are going into their third year," Godden said.

"We're starting to build something we think can take us for seven years, and that started in 2013." The reason Godden says it started in 2013 and not 2010 when he took over or 2011 when they won the flag is because he inherited a "very mature football side".

"By 2011 half of our side had been through the SANFL rigours for a number of years," he said. "We're talking about the match-hardened guys like Rimington, Treeby, Parry, Cicolella, McKenzie, Grieger, Tiller, all players we would argue were in the last period of their football lives.

"In 2012 we tried to hang on one more year with a similar group and it just didn't work, and by 2013 we'd lost the majority of them and that was the start of the re-build for us."

The focus shifted to bolstering its junior teams and reserves side which has just won back-to-back premierships and players are now filtering into the league team.

"I thought our best last year was good enough to challenge but our deficiency was our mental strength and ability to play all day," he said.

"We still had guys that just hadn't played enough footy in crunch moments to pursue the highest level."

Luke Jarrad is the only player on the list over the age of 30 compared to the premiership year of 2011 when there were five. "You can imagine held together, when those 28 year olds are 32 and the 24s are 28, and there's 12 of them, where this club could be," Godden said.

Going into the 2015 season, Godden had three things on his recruiting wishlist.

He needed a key defender to stop the side leaking big scores, a big-bodied ruckman to help Marc Borholm and more inside midfielders to win contested footy.

The Eagles have recruited 200cm ruckman Fraser Thurlow from Essendon, got Nick Hayes, Luke Thompson and Jared Petrenko back to the club along with Angus Rowntree from a knee injury and signed Aseri Raikiwasa from Port Adelaide.

"We underachieved in 2014 and we have been away from the top for too long but we certainly feel we are now in a position to challenge again," Godden said.

23.02 | 0 komentar | Read More

Chaplin injury a blow for Tigers

Written By malwan milad on Sabtu, 22 Juni 2013 | 23.02

Richmond defender Troy Chaplin in the hands of the trainers after hurting his knee. Picture: Getty Source: Getty Images

RICHMOND strengthened its grip on a top-eight position with a 10-goal win over the Western Bulldogs last night, but it may have come at a cost with injuries to key defenders Troy Chaplin and David Astbury.

While the Tigers were hopeful last night that the injuries to both players were not serious, it did put a dampener on an otherwise impressive night for the club.

Chaplin was carried from the ground late in the game after twisting his knee, but coach Damien Hardwick said the defender believed his knee – which has previously caused him trouble – was still structurally sound.

Astbury suffered hamstring tightness during the third term and was subbed out of the game.

Both players will be assessed to detail the extent of their injuries, but Hardwick remained hopeful neither would prove to be serious.

After a wasteful first term, Richmond cranked into gear when it mattered most to record their third successive win of the season ahead of another winnable game against St Kilda next Sunday.

It was the Tigers' eighth win of the season and Hardwick insisted there was significant improvement left in the team for the rest of the season.

"We're probably only going at about seven out of ten (at the moment)," Hardwick said last night.

"We've had one really bad game – the Essendon game was as bad as we had played in two years.

"Otherwise we have been very competitive."

Hardwick admitted that he had not been happy with his team's first half, but was pleased with the overall result.

"I thought the second half was a lot better than the first," he said. "By the end of the game, it was a good result.

"If you had said that we would come out of the game with a 10-goal win, you would have taken that."

23.02 | 0 komentar | Read More

Tigers spread downs Dogs

Tiger Jack Riewoldt works into space against the Western Bulldogs. Picture: Getty Source: Getty Images

WHEN Jack Riewoldt kicked his third goal midway through the last quarter, the Richmond of the past was surely heading for defeat.

Fast-forward to last night and Riewoldt's hat-trick merely put the finishing touches on another Tiger scoring spree at Etihad Stadium.

Just another reminder that these Tigers are no longer dependant on a bagful from Jumping Jack as they produced an admirable spread of 12 goalkickers in the 60 points whipping of the Western Bulldogs.

An even contribution sounds such a hackneyed phrase.

But it accurately portrayed Richmond's ethic, teamwork and vastly superior structures that overwhelmed the Dogs in the one-sided second half.

Chaplin injury a blow for Tigers

Riewoldt these days is merely one forward target.

Yes, a potent one that occupies the opposition's best tall defender.

But he was the consummate team player in his sterling battle with Dog stalwart Dale Morris.

He had plenty of help and the midfielders several options streaming forward, like the often maligned Tyrone Vickery.

Vickery had endured Bronx cheers from Tiger supporters after grabbing a couple of marks early in the third quarter after a sedate first half.

But those same derisive detractors would have been yelling in raptures when the big Tiger hauled down another one, this time bravely running against the flight into a pack of players.

SuperCoach scores, stats

When Vickery slotted the goal from 30m midway through the term, it was a significant breakthrough for his hard-working teammates.

It was the first goal after a critical 11 minutes in a third quarter arm-wrestle and, not surprisingly, it signalled a Richmond onslaught.

When Vickery slotted another from almost the goalline after an unselfish handball from Bachar Houli and Reece Conca and sub Matt White added more, the Tigers had taken complete control with the five goal burst while limiting the Bulldogs to just two behinds.

You felt for Bulldog defender Jordan Roughead with Vickery's breakout quarter.

His blanketing job in the first half had largely contributed to the Dogs staying in the contest.

Roughead's woes generally reflected the Doggies' problems - there was nothing wrong with the workrate, but the finishing touches just weren't up to scratch.

It started out as if the contest would be a frenetic shootout with the footy zinging from end to end like a pinball.

But, in the manner of a top eight unit, the Tigers simply worked hard, bided their time and eventually cracked open the contest with that dominant third quarter.

The final term was highlight reel stuff.

Like ball magnet Daniel Jackson's entry for goal of the week with a curling snapshot as he was just about to hurtle over the boundary line beside the behind post after a handpass from Vickery.

Maric edges Minson in ruck duel
The crucial battles of the midfield minds and bodies was right on from the first bounce.

But they were cancelled out by Richmond's versatile and lethal forward set-up against the Bulldogs' that was based around eighth gamer Jake Stringer and wounded Liam Jones who was getting treatment from as early as halfway through the first quarter.

The Doggies were never going to let Brett Deledio roam free to set up plays as the uncompromising and disciplined Liam Picken trotted to his side for another shutdown role.

But Deledio still found it 25 times.

Trent Cotchin and Matthew Boyd had a good old fashioned duel where both regularly won the hard ball, the same with Jackson and Ryan Griffen in a quick-hands competition.

The Tiger's 22 points lead at half-time didn't truly reflect their edge in the first half.

Twice they hit the post during the wasteful 4.8 opening term.

And the inaccuracy, even from the normally dead-eye Riewoldt continued in the second quarter.

When Richmond banged on the first four goals of the second term, it seemed this was Tiger time again, like earlier in the season, as the lead ballooned to a dangerous 35 points.

Goals from Shaun Grigg, after an exhilarating three bounces run, Conca and Dustin Martin left them poised to take a stranglehold on the contest.

But the Bulldogs at least found a viable target with Stringer pulling them back with two late goals, the second after the half-time siren following a 50m penalty against Tiger Alex Rance from a late push after a mark.

While it provided the Dogs with hope by narrowing the deficit to a reachable margin, the reality was that the Tigers had control on all but the scoreboard going into the second half on the way to a second thumping that mirrored the 67 points triumph at the same venue 10 weeks ago.

23.02 | 0 komentar | Read More

Win or lose, Eagles want Woosha

West Coast chairman Alan Cransberg wants coach John Worsfold (above) to stay next season, regardless of results. Source: Getty Images

WEST Coast chairman Alan Cransberg says he still wants John Worsfold to remain at the helm next year, even if the Eagles miss the finals.

A stoic Cransberg said he was "proud of the boys" following West Coast's gutsy 20-point loss to premiership favourite Hawthorn at Etihad Stadium on Friday night.

The defeat leaves the Eagles in 10th place, with a 6-6 record, ahead of a testing home blockbuster against Essendon on Thursday night.

West Coast will likely need to win at least six of its last 10 matches to make the final eight.

Cransberg said increasing external expectation that Worsfold would finish up at season's end was unfounded and that whether the Eagles made the finals was "irrelevant" in terms of the coach's future.

Asked whether he still wanted Worsfold to coach on next year, Cransberg said: "Absolutely. He's a good coach. The guys are working their arses off for him.

"We said we'd discuss it at the end of the year and we will. It's not a concern to Woosh. It's not a concern to me."

Worsfold has maintained since early in the year he is unsure whether he wants to continue and is content for contract negotiations to be put off until the end of the season.

Eagles captain Darren Glass, also weighing up whether to play on next year, said whether Worsfold continued as coach would have no bearing on his own retirement decision.

"No, that wouldn't be in my thinking," Glass said.

"So long as I feel like I can play good footy next year, that's the main thing. If I feel like I can play good footy and the club still wants me, then we'll go around again."

The three-time club champion said the club had not pressured him for an early answer.

While Eric Mackenzie was this week locked away on a long-term deal, question marks remain over the team's defensive set-up for next year, with out-of-contract Mitch Brown likely to again be targeted by St Kilda during the trade period.

"It will probably play out over the second half of the year at some stage, there's no real urgency," he said.

Glass, 32, said his body had been rejuvenated after missing the win against St Kilda in Round 11 and having last weekend's bye.

Cransberg conceded West Coast's top-four hopes were gone.

"We didn't win, but it's coming and the guys can take a lot of heart from that," he said. "I was really proud of the way they fought it out.

"I don't think we're going to finish in the top four anymore, but we want to play in finals  that's what we're here for."

23.02 | 0 komentar | Read More

McCartney praises Griff's effort

Bulldog Ryan Griffen breaks Nathan Foley's tackle on his way to 38 disposals. Picture: Michael Klein Source: Herald Sun

WESTERN Bulldogs coach Brendan McCartney again lauded the contribution of prolific midfielder Ryan Griffen.

McCartney said Griffen's 38 possessions performance was a valuable learning tool for the younger Dogs in the 60 points loss to Richmond.

"Yeah, he's terrific. I think I've said a few times, he has always been that brilliant player, but he's just carrying enormous responsibility for his younger teammates,'' McCartney said.

"He probably enjoyed a lot of help when he was a younger player starting the game and he's repaying the service.''

The Dogs introduced another first gamer with Lachie Hunter kicking a goal, having a hand in another and gathering 19 possessions in a fine AFL debut.

"We think we've brought some very good young people into our club in the last four or five years. They're not all progressing at the same speed, but the four youngsters out there tonight showed signs they're happy to have the ball in their hands, they know how to play. And the first gamer (Lachie Hunter) was terrific,'' the Bulldogs coach said.

McCartney acknowledged Richmond was a far superior team, although he was happy with the response after challenging several players after the goalless third quarter.

"Disappointing second half and very positive first half. We got beaten by a team that's quite clearly better than us,'' he said.

"They're a good team, they broke our tackles, tackled us, kicked the ball better, got the ball into space and set up some nice goals. They were better than us.

"But we're young, we're learning, we're making some mistakes, but we're getting there inch by inch. Some times we take a little step back, but we're going to fight on and keep looking for people who are tough and competitive, prepared to work at their game and back themselves with the ball in their hands.

"We struggled to get the ball out of our backline which was some good work by them. There were people playing in certain positions who moved away from what they needed to do. And others had to move into different positions.

"That trait of just wanting to go slow and sideways and backwards and inevitably leave it near an opposition's goal for a long time, they score and the dam wall broke a bit.

"But we did hang in there in the last 30 minutes again and not get blown away. We were clearly being outplayed, but we did hang in and some individuals who were challenged at three-quarter time did respond.

"There were just different people sprinkled through the team that we wanted more intensity from. And we challenged the team as a whole too. It was a pretty average quarter (third) of footy compared to where we had got to in the first half."

23.02 | 0 komentar | Read More

Pavlich tissue is the issue

EASY DOES IT: Fremantle will take a conservative approach with Matthew Pavlich's return. Picture: Wayne Ludbey Source: Herald Sun

FREMANTLE is likely to adopt a highly conservative approach to Matthew Pavlich's comeback.

Pavlich could be held back in a calculated plan to reproduce his sublime best as the Dockers chase their first flag.

Fremantle coach Ross Lyon will decide late this week whether Pavlich resumes in Saturday night's blockbuster against premiership contender Geelong at Simonds Stadium.

The Dockers are considering building match conditioning and adopting a minimal risk strategy in the 31-year-old's recovery from achilles surgery in April.

The Freo medicos also want to avoid soft-tissue damage in his legs.

Pavlich resumed full training early last week, but is believed to have only started back into any form of running a fortnight ago.

The veteran was restricted to bike riding and water-based training for longer than anticipated after he had an in-season operation after Fremantle's Round 3 narrow loss to Essendon in Perth.

The Dockers are also calculating when to swing ruckman Aaron Sandilands back into action in a bid to optimise his effect around stoppages without risking further injury.

Having missed significant chunks of the past two seasons with severe toe and foot problems, Sandilands is expected to be carefully nursed through his return.

Pavlich revealed last week he had found it tough sitting on the sidelines for 10 weeks.

"With 11 games to go, you're going to get one run at bringing them back," Lyon said. "So you wouldn't want to make a call that would expose them to soft tissue (injury).

"You wouldn't want a hiccup, even though you deal with it. We're trying to avoid any hiccup from here. We'll be on the conservative side I would think."

But Lyon all but ruled out the pair returning with East Fremantle at WAFL level.

Pavlich and Sandilands look destined for heavy schedules of high-intensity, match-assimilation training ahead of their AFL returns.

"We know anything could happen," Lyon said. "In some respects you take out the risk of injury, a cork or collision because you can get them working really hard and get them up to those levels while lessening the injury list. But there's no substitute for a combative day at the office."

23.02 | 0 komentar | Read More

Eagles chase hometown guns

Gold Coast Suns' WA trio Harley Bennell, David Swallow and Jaeger O'Meara will all become targets for West Coast. Picture: David Clark Source: Gold Coast Bulletin

WEST Coast is circling a host of Western Australians spread through the AFL, headed by Gold Coast young guns David Swallow, Harley Bennell and Brandon Matera, who will be out of contract at the end of next season.

The Suns' first-year gun Jaeger O'Meara, just 19 and a favourite for the NAB Rising Star award, is also tipped to become a target when he is out of contract at the end of next season.

Other West Aussies out of contract at the end of this season include Richmond defender Alex Rance and Essendon's Tayte Pears and Kyle Hardingham.

The Eagles are bracing for a list revamp just as critical as their anxious wait on the future of coach and club legend John Worsfold.

The list overhaul will shift into overdrive as speculation mounts Hawthorn superstar Lance Franklin will move to Greater Western Sydney on a record $12 million for six seasons.

Franklin, 26, was a long-shot to end up at West Coast and club powerbrokers also had a serious tilt at Geelong premiership defender Harry Taylor.

Taylor, 27, has committed to the Cats, ending any hope of returning to his home state.

Announcements on the future of captain Darren Glass, 2006 premiership teammates Andrew Embley and Adam Selwood, plus injury-ravaged utility Mark Nicoski, are all looming in coming months.

It is understood Eagles scouts have already set their sights on injecting some much-needed speed into the midfield as Daniel Kerr approaches retirement.

Kerr, 30, is still contracted for next season but is already a victim of constant heavy attention around the contests and desperately needs assistance to complement core congestion playmakers Scott Selwood, Matt Priddis and Luke Shuey.

West Coast will also assess a new contract offer to champion big man Dean Cox, who is expected to take a one-year extension to play on next season, as the Eagles head into a new era either under Worsfold, or a new head coach.

At least one more season would virtually guarantee the six-time All-Australian and 2006 premiership big man crosses legendary Eagles champion defender Glen Jakovich's club games record of 276.

Cox, 31, has played 263 games and still has form on the ball and around goals, in tandem with Nic Naitanui, who will be a priority contract re-signing early into next year before he is out of contract at the end of 2014.

Mitch Brown, out of contract at the end of this season, is another with an uncertain future at West Coast.

Brown, 22, wanted a trade to St Kilda last October, when he was seeking more regular AFL games, and is again expected to attempt a move.

23.02 | 0 komentar | Read More

Eugene Warrior - the full interview

Salisbury North coach Eugene Warrior. Source: News Limited

THE full interview between Jesper Fjeldstad and Eugene Warrior on racism and more.

JF: How does the whole thing make you feel?

EW: I guess disappointed. I thought the Indigenous Round of the AFL was indicative of that. With Adam (Goodes) ... you would have thought we'd all moved on from that. All the articles that (say) ``Racism Stops with Me'' and that there's no room for it in sport anymore. You wish people are old enough to think about what comes out of their mouth but I guess some people don't think before they speak and they have to deal with the consequences. I think everybody, including myself, have said things that they probably regret during their lifetime. I think I was just so disappointed after what Adam did and then the Eddie McGuire skit. Majak Daw had his little piece as well. You think, ``Oh well, it only happens in the AFL,'' but no it doesn't: it happens down at the grassroots level as well. I was just more disappointed and unfortunately I couldn't do anything at the time, because I was coaching and I didn't want that to distract my players. If they had seen me upset it might have rattled them a bit. The coach has to be pretty cool, calm and collected. At the moment, they've written a letter of apology. But it needed to come out. It doesn't just happen at the high grade. But everyone has done the right thing now.

JF: What was said, Eugene?

EW: I was called a black c--t from a supporter and the last I heard, I was told that told that the gentleman was a firefighter.

JF: I don't know if I'd call him a gentleman.

EW: I'm being nice.

JF: You're being very diplomatic.

EW: I don't want to stoop down to other people's level.

JF: Has it improved? When was the first time you were you can remember, as a young footballer, that you were racially vilified, or abused, or taunted  whatever you want to call it?

EW: The first time was in primary school down at Millicent. Back in 1993 was the first time racial vilification came
into prominence, I guess, through the AFL saying we're not going to tolerate this. I had a lot of non-Indigenous mates and they sort of stuck up for me. It happened two or three times down there and mates started to jump in. Then, I reckon, the next time was when I played under-17s footy against Norwood, when I was playing for Port Adelaide. I copped it from the two eastern suburbs teams, actually, Norwood and Sturt. Back then I didn't say anything or retaliate. I may have played better footy. You sit there and you think, ``If I was playing bad footy, would they say anything? But I was playing good footy.'' They were trying to put me off my game and it didn't work. Other than that it was a couple of times in 1993 playing junior footy. There was one I actually didn't report  we dealt with it internally  when I was at Norwood and we were playing South Adelaide. That one was put to bed straight away. Then back in 2001, you'd know a gentleman by the name of (name withheld for legal reasons). That went to mediation and was sorted out within two or three days. I guess I've got pretty thick skin because I was exposed to it from a young age. Even when my old man played, it used to fly out of car windows when he was playing country footy.

JF: But it's not right, mate.

EW: I know that. I think it was a way to put him off. At the end of the day, they're stating the obvious. It's not like I don't realise that I'm black. But what gives you the right to say it anyway?

JF: A bit like somebody losing the verbal and going the knuckle? A cheap version of trying to win the game? The difference being that it hurts people?

EW: Yeah. I guess on Saturday I was more disappointed than hurt. Because while he stated the obvious, I thought we had moved on from this.

JF: How do we fix this? Make people realise that it affects people?

EW: It's a hard one. If they're not culturally diverse, outside of work, if they don't have black friends or Italian friends it might make it hard to understand. You might not understand that calling somebody a ``wog'' might hurt somebody. For me, since 2001, I thought things had become better. But then the Goodes thing comes up and the McGuire thing  I hope there's not another one. Do you expose the person who said it? That's just going to ridicule them, like that 13-year-old girl. But it's about education and how they're brought up at home. But this bloke (who insulted me), he's a 40-year-old. If he's got kids or nieces and nephews  what is he teaching them?

JF: Bigger concern: you don't want young Aboriginal lads not wanting to play football because their worried about being taunted or picked on. What do you think?

EW: That's right. I grew up going to a school, a primary school with no indigenous kids. Might have been one (other) in high school but then at Port Adelaide, we had the luxury that we might have one or two. But Che (Cockatoo-Collins) had already moved on, (Gavin) Wanganeen had already moved on. I was just in the next wave, waiting for guys like Peter Burgoyne, Andrew McLeod and then I had a short stint with Peter, Shaun (Burgoyne, Graham (Johncock), Aaron and Alwyn Davey, Ricky O'Loughlin. So those sort of guys came through. But it was always just every now and then you played with those boys. It would have been nice to have more Aboriginal players around. These days there are different and better pathways. But at the Crows, guys like Andrew Jarman, Chris McDermott, Stephen Rowe ... I was accepted. I wasn't judged by my skin colour and I was treated like everybody else. It was what I wanted. I never wanted everything different.

JF: What do you learn from all of this? You're coaching the Flying Boomerangs (Australian under-15 Indigenous team) and what do you tell them?

EW: Yeah, coaching the Boomerangs is a big gig. Ricky O'Loughlin's done it, Andrew McLeod's done it, Chris Johnson, Raph Clarke. I got the gig this year. So I'm coaching some of the best Indigenous men in the country and if I can have an impact it would be fantastic. If it came up, I'd tell them to ignore it. Be the stronger person and think, ``You've just lowered your colours.'' Some people say it to be heroes, around their mates, and some say it to try to get a laugh. Or they try to embarrass a person. But I think the only person that's embarrassed is the person who yelled out the comment. But don't go the biff. Just be the stronger person. I'm sure some of the Aboriginal boys I coach have copped it. You're always going to have that.

JF: Does it still cut you up a bit when it happens?

EW: It does. You sit there and think why. The focus then comes on me, because people want to see what sort of reaction I'm going to have. But I've got 21 blokes I've got to look after on the footy field and I've got to make sure my message to them is clear. It does hurt but for me, I've been exposed to it for a long time and I've got pretty thick skin. I copped it again on Saturday night, at an engagement party. I thought to myself: ``Twice in the space of six hours''. Guy tried to be a hero and said a few things in front of a few people. I thought to myself: ``Are you kidding me?'' I waited and spoke to him outside. Said: ``Look, you haven't got the right to say that sort of stuff.'' As I say with all things  it doesn't matter whether I'm speaking to my players or family  everybody's got a breaking point and sooner or later, there will be a breaking point and somebody will snap one day. For me, twice in six hours ... but both have been resolved now.

JF: You have a daughter now, Jadaisha, whom you refer to as 10 going on 21. How would you be if she was put in that situation?

EW: It's funny because she's at primary school and she's starting to get darker in her complexion. Every now and then I pick her up or drop her off at school and people will look at me and go, ``Oh, Jadaisha's got a black dad''. I heard one girl say it: ``who's that?''. But that's just kids saying what they say and I don't see the need to tell them to watch their manners. It's for their parents. But if she did cop it, I'd be disgusted. But at least I can speak to her about my things that I've had to endure. I've spoken to her a couple of times about it, what to do if she gets called names at school. But I would be disappointed if it happens.

JF: Cut you up, surely?

EW: I don't know how I'd react. There are different forms of angriness. If they said something bad, I'd be right down to the school.

JF: What do you say to this sentiment: Eugene Warrior is a yapper who has a go at the umpires from the sidelines  - why can't he cop it himself

EW: I'm not being racial. I know that I'm a coach and being held to higher standards than supporters, but what's the difference to me, within reason, asking the umpires to pull their head in or ask what their looking at. I know I wear my heart on my sleave when I coach.

23.02 | 0 komentar | Read More

Power is the AFL's big improver

Port Adelaide first-year captain Travis Boak listens to coach Ken Hinkley. Picture: Sarah Reed. Source: Sunday Mail (SA)

PORT Adelaide has had a rejuvenation under Ken Hinkley, with a new coaching staff, a new board and a new chairman in television identity and financial analyst David Koch.

But to take a line from Hinkley early this year, they are coming from a long way back.

You find three wins for the remainder of the season only by including a Showdown win against the Crows, and those matches are always toss-of-the-coin shows.

There could be other upsets during the season, because the Power has been exciting to watch this season, but it would take a brave gambler to back them to do much better than break even for the rest of the year.

What is more important than the win-loss column from here is that the club stays competitive, because that has been the way the club has begun to regain some respect in the competition after sliding so drastically after the 2007 Grand Final loss.

Clubs exist to make finals; Port's mantra is that it exists to win premierships, but the bar does not have to be set that high for this season to be a success.

There have already been encouraging signs.

Travis Boak has moved to the brink of being an elite player in the competition after assuming the captaincy; it is as though it made him grow both as a player and a leader. The same goes for Brad Ebert.

Ken Hinkley has brought not only a fresh look to training, but also - in tandem with coaching director Alan Richardson - a foundation on which to build.

Port, like Hinkley's previous home, Geelong, is building from defence. Both Hinkley and fellow SA coach Brenton Sanderson understand that defence comes first, then you add the flair. But it's not always a speedy process.

It has been a treat to watch Kane Cornes not only break the club's record for games played, but also re-establish himself as a senior player under the new coach.

But concerns remain, and it is over the club's depth. Most of the losses has come from shocking starts to matches, but that is more about attitude than talent.

The mission from here for Port Adelaide is to continue to build depth, tease the talent out of those who have been flirting with good form for too long and have a wider weaponry in attack: Jay Schulz is as sharp as he's been but he's been left to carry too much of a load.

But one of the obvious differences between Port last year and this season is how fit the team looks.

Darren Burgess, an internationally respected fitness coach, has made a significant impact. He has been with both the Socceroos and Liverpool in the English Premier League but decided for family reasons that Adelaide was his preferred place to live even if he had to take a pay cut.

Alipate "Bobby" Carlile is moving better and looking stronger since he arrived - Carlile was dropped because of fitness issues last year - and the team is no longer expected to drop off in the final quarter.

Other clubs expected Port to fall away before Burgess arrived, even though it is impossible to measure how much of that was because of fitness and how much of it was because of the team's confidence levels.

The long and short of it is this: the Power finally has a structure in place that allows the club to build from the humdrum years after the 2007 Grand Final loss.

The bulk of it came from changes at top level management instigated by the SANFL, which is still the licence holder, and signed off by the AFL.

But it will come down to recruiting and development from here; the Power does not have the depth to play finals because it is not yet in a position to cover injuries to key players.


Few players come into the competition and have as much impact as Ollie Wines, who was taken at No.7 in last year's draft and is already an important player for Port. He's not yet as good as Boak, but he rates highly in contested possessions at the club and looks like somebody who will bring enormous grit and value to the club.


Matthew Broadbent was equal second in the best and fairest last year but has been in football's version of the witness protection program this year: often dealing with subs vests and not getting as much of the football. But there have been signs of improvement and there is much hope for a good second half of the year.


KEN Hinkley has been the spark that Port Adelaide needed for a revival. In tandem with coaching director Alan Richardson, he has been firm but calm, has a very clear vision of how he wants football to be played and given the club on-field direction when it was most needed.




14 June 29 Collingwood (AAMI Stadium)

15 July 7 Essendon (Etihad Stadium)

16 July 13 Hawthorn (AAMI Stadium)

17 July 20 St Kilda (Etihad Stadium)

18 July 28 Brisbane (AAMI Stadium)

19 August 4 Adelaide (AAMI Stadium)

20 August 10 Geelong (Simonds Stadium)

21 August 17 Gold Coast (AAMI Stadium)

22 August 24 Fremantle (Patersons Stadium)

23 TBC Carlton (AAMI Stadium)

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Adelaide Crows lack hunger in 2013

Crows midfield star Patrick Dangerfield has lifted his game to another level. Picture: Sarah Reed. Source: The Advertiser

IT is best to first deal with the facts.

Adelaide has won five games - against teams that will not play in finals this season (Brisbane, the Western Bulldogs, Greater Western Sydney, St Kilda and North Melbourne).

The Crows have lost seven matches - all to teams that rank above Adelaide in the premiership race, including Port Adelaide.

Adelaide has a 2-5 win-loss record at AAMI Stadium. This is a major change from last season when the Crows lost just two games at home.

Adelaide is averaging 92 points from an attack that has to be rebuild its look after losing key forwards Taylor Walker and Kurt Tippett. It has broken the 100-point barrier just three times.

This does not compare favourably with the record 106-point average the Crows achieved last season.

Now the subjective stuff, such as the Adelaide midfield appearing one dimensional rather than the league's best - as Geelong premiership captain Cameron Ling said in the pre-season when he predicted the Crows would be carried to their first flag since the 1997-98 double with midfield dominance.

Only three Crows players appear to have advanced their game - Patrick Dangerfield, Rory Sloane and Richard Douglas and even this trio has not reached top form in every game.

And the most subjective statement that can be made of the Crows at the half-way mark of the season is to suggest the team's hunger waned in the afterglow of Season 2012 rather than being stoked by the heart-break loss to Hawthorn in the preliminary finals in September.

How much coach Brenton Sanderson's pre-season speech - that predicted the Crows were destined for greatness with a repeat of 1997 - turned ambition into misplaced arrogance at West Lakes will never be known.

Lead ruckman Sam Jacobs puts the "full responsibility" for Adelaide's fall on the players' shoulders.

"We're not executing the game plan," he says. "We've gone away from the things (that made us play well last year). Contested footy is one. We were No.1 in the comp for contested footy and stoppages last year, but this year we're mid-pack.

"We're very confident in the team we've got. We've got a team that can be a premiership contender when we're getting everything right.

"We've showed that when we play our best we can compete against the best teams.

"We saw that against Hawthorn and Fremantle, but the last couple of weeks (against Sydney and Richmond) have been really disappointing."

The key fact is this: Adelaide must win at least eight of 10 games to be sure of a finals berth. Or is that fiction?



COACH Brenton Sanderson now wishes he had three Patrick Dangerfields - one for half-back, one for the midfield and one in the goalsquare. It has been a demanding year for the 23-year-old Dangerfield as he - and fellow midfielder Rory Sloane - have continually carried the Crows on their shoulders.



ADELAIDE'S experienced-mature forwards - Ian Callinan, Graham Johncock and Jason Porplyzia - have had testing first halves to the season as substitutes or through the revolving door at selection. Porplyzia has been shown more faith and handed more game time with 11 of a possible 12 games. But he has kicked just six goals.



THE immediate response Sanderson had last year from the jaded Crows players was measured by more wins, never losing two games in a row and the highest-scoring team in Adelaide's history. The follow-up act has been far more difficult with the loss of key forwards Taylor Walker (knee) and Kurt Tippett (Sydney) and the inconsistent form of too many key players.

The honeymoon also has ended for Sanderson as his selection policy and tactics come under greater scrutiny.




13 bye

14 June 29 Gold Coast (Metricon)

15 July 6 West Coast (AAMI)

16 July 12 Collingwood (MCG)

17 July 21 Geelong (AAMi)

18 July 27 Fremantle (Patersons)

19 August 4 Port Adelaide (AAMI)

20 August 11 North Melbourne (AAMI)

21 August 18 Western Bulldogs (Etihad)

22 August 24 Melbourne (AAMI)

23 tbc West Coast (Patersons)

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