Five-time All-Australian Garry Lyon is frustrated by the state of set shot kicking for goal in the AFL right now.
Singling out Essendon forward Joe Daniher and Carlton co-captain Patrick Cripps, who have both had their issues this year in front of goal, Lyon called for teams to put more work into the craft and wants greater scrutiny for players who struggle.
“When are we going to make assessments of players on that (goal kicking) as well? Tell me Joe (Daniher) is a star. He is not a star because Joe can’t kick for goal,” Lyon told AFL Nation.
“Patrick Cripps, he can’t kick for goal, I’m sorry, you’ve got to mark him down. Patrick is limiting himself by what he does when he goes forward.
“Then the next question is, who’s coaching these blokes? You’re an assistant coach, your job is to coach football, you’re getting paid $300,000, you’re failing as a coach if you can’t fix someone. How are you fixing this goal kicking problem?”
Lyon emphasised that his issue is players who consistently miss by a wide margin.
“I don’t care if you’re missing by a metre to the left or a metre to the right, everyone misses those, these blokes are missing the set,” the former Melbourne captain said.
“Not just the goals, they’re missing the set. On $700,000, this year is different, but full time, access to every resource you want, given every single physical preparation tool and mechanism you can want, and we just go ‘oh well’ (when they miss).
“I’ll give you the cricket analogy. The bloke fielding at first slip drops 10 out of 11. Do you reckon we would go ‘oh well’? You’d banish him and he’s out.
“Do your job. If you’re a cricketer – catch the damn thing. If you’re a golfer – putt the thing in hole. If you’re footballer – kick it through the two big things.”
He does however have an eye for potentially coaching the Dragons down the track.
The 36-year-old has been linked to the Knights and the Cowboys.
“The Cowboys are the favourites because Young has great respect for Todd Payten,” Dean Ritchie said on The Big Sports Breakfast.
“There is a line of thinking that Young is an NRL coach in waiting and he has a great football brain, but maybe he just needs to get out of the Dragons system to enhance his coaching future and round out his skills before a probable return to Kogarah one day.”
Dragons assistant Shane Flanagan is on the outer since the announcement of Anthony Griffin as the new St George Illawarra coach on a two-year deal.
There was a suggestion that Flanagan would take over the Dragons when his head coaching ban ends in 2022, but Griffin’s appointment scuppered that notion.
Flanagan coached the Sharks to 102 wins from 186 games from 2010 to 2018 for a win percentage of 55 and also won a drought-breaking premiership in 2016.
The 54-year-old has repeatedly been linked to a return to the Sharks, but a lot of that will depend on how John Morris performs throughout this year’s finals series and next season.
Flanagan has been mentioned as a possible assistant at the Broncos, particularly if they go with rookie Kevin Walters in the head coaching role.
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Former Titans head coach and current Sea Eagles assistant John Cartwright is set to move on from his Manly post at the end of the season.
Cartwright was the inaugural coach of the Titans and took the Gold Coast to 86 wins from 186 games from 2007 to 2014.
The 55-year-old has been happy in an assistant role to Trent Barrett and then Hasler at Manly, but he did miss out on the Cowboys head coaching role to Todd Payten.
There was a suggestion that he would join Barrett at the Bulldogs, but that won’t be happening.
Ironically Cartwright would be the ideal choice to take Barrett’s place at Penrith, given the famous history of the Cartwright family at the Panthers.
Ivan Cleary is on the lookout for an assistant and there aren’t too many more experienced candidates than Cartwright doing the rounds.
The 2020 interim Bulldogs coach took over when the club parted ways with Dean Pay mid-season.
Georgallis coached the Panthers to four wins and seven losses in 2011 and has led the Bulldogs to one win from nine games in 2020 for an overall win percentage of 25 as a head coach with limited opportunities in difficult circumstances.
The 52-year-old was disappointed not to be retained under incoming head coach Trent Barrett, who signed a three-year deal to take over at Canterbury in 2021.
“It’s hard to handle for the fact that you work really hard to get in a certain position as a coach, you work your way back after this happening to me in 2011, so it’s taken me a while to get back to this position, but it’s happened,” Georgallis said of his Bulldogs departure.
“I’m probably more equipped to handle it this time. What do you say? It’s a hard pill to swallow.
“I’m hopeful that the experiences I’ve had and the junior competitions that I’ve won put me in good stead for someone else to look at me going to their club.”
Georgallis could be an option to swap with Barrett and make a return to Penrith, if John Cartwright doesn’t beat him to it.
He suggested on Wednesday he had put the feelers out and said he is open to any coaching role at any club — including lower grades. But Georgallis isn’t expecting any clubs to bite until they get other things sorted first.
“I would be interested in any sort of coaching job in the NRL,” he said on Wednesday.
“At the moment a few of those clubs that are having a few changes are going through the processes of what they are looking for next year.
“It probably won’t be until around the finals in October when I get some information back.
“I have a passion for (coaching), but unfortunately with the circumstances this year with COVID-19 no one really knows what is happening next year in relation to reserve grade and things like that.”
Knights assistant David Furner is keen to move back to Sydney after serving under Adam O’Brien at Newcastle in 2020.
Furner coached the Raiders to 47 wins from 109 games from 2009 to 2013 for a win percentage of 43.
The 49-year-old also coached the Leeds Rhinos to just five wins from 15 games before being shown the door in 2019.
Furner is expected to be unveiled as Trent Barrett’s assistant at the Bulldogs, according to The Daily Telegraph’s Dean Ritchie.
Essendon have reportedly moved club great Mark Harvey out of his role as stoppages coach, in what could be the first of several moves by soon-to-be sole senior coach Ben Rutten.
The Age is reporting Harvey, a three-time premiership player and former senior coach of Fremantle, has been replaced by fellow assistant coach James Kelly effective immediately, with Harvey being moved to a different role outside of the coaching department.
With Kelly moving from his previous position as defensive line coach, Rutten is set to take ownership of the backline for the final round of Essendon’s season.
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Harvey has been an assistant coach at the Bombers since 2015.
Essendon are out of the finals race after their 50-point loss to Port Adelaide last week and will face Melbourne on Saturday, who must win in order to have a chance of making the top eight.
Robbo’s RANT on Bombers
Saturday will also mark John Worsfold’s final game as Essendon coach after a coaching handover to Ben Rutten that started swimmingly but has since been the source of frustration for many supporters.
AFL 360 co-hosts Gerard Whateley and Mark Robinson bemoaned the handover on Monday night, which they believe will leave Worsfold with less praise than he deserves for taking the reigns at the club during the most tumultuous period in its history.
The Western Bulldogs have been forced to cut four key members of the football department, including club favourite Dale Morris, due to the shrinking AFL soft cap.
Due to the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, all clubs have been forced to reduce their staff spend by around $3.5 million, causing hundreds of jobs to be lost across the league.
On Monday the Bulldogs confirmed Morris, who became a development coach after retiring last year, had been let go as one of a number of “agonising” cuts.
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Also leaving are assistant coaches Joel Corey and Jordan Russell, who along with Morris were stood down in March when the season was placed on hold.
Football operations manager Ben Graham will also exit.
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“Over the past few weeks, we’ve had to make some heartbreaking decisions as we adjust our business to prepare for the future and the club’s reset strategic priorities,” Bulldogs CEO Ameet Bains said.
“The pandemic has forced us to reduce our spending significantly across our administration and football departments, to allow us to progress in the best manner possible and to meet AFL requirements.
Joey’s ‘ruthless’ Blues idea
“Inevitably, this means we’ll need to move forward with a leaner workforce, and prioritise our operations. Some wonderfully talented, dedicated and passionate Bulldogs people will depart the club over the coming weeks.
“With an awfully heavy heart, we thank them for their service and wish them well for their futures, knowing they will always be welcome back to our club.”
Other big names let go from AFL clubs in recent weeks include Luke Ball at Essendon and Lenny Hayes at GWS.
The salary cap has added to the problem in that a club such as the Broncos can’t buy its way out of the embarrassment. Some coaches, such as Wests Tigers’ Michael Maguire, are forced to wear a “bad cap” in that they inherit overpaid players.
When his team lost three successive matches, there were reports Maguire was eyeing off the vacant position at the Cowboys. Fortunately, a few “footy heads” in the Ashfield boardroom saw this as a ploy by an agent manoeuvring to install his client at Wests Tigers. A trigger-happy board may have reacted otherwise.
Agents didn’t exist 40 years ago. Now, a player is closer to his manager than his coach. It means, therefore, that the player often doesn’t hear the unvarnished truth. No wonder modern coaches approach some players they are dropping with the fear of someone handling a 15th Century Ming vase.
Once, when coaches asked players to take their customary places in the dressing room, wingers stood in front of the mirror. Now, half a team lines up behind them.
There is no way the fire and brimstone coaches – more tormentor than mentor – could exist today. However, coaches these past 20 years have brought some of the problems on themselves by too much player empowerment. One of the first actions of Dragons’ interim coach Dean Young should be to sack the player leadership group. With James Graham and Gareth Widdop gone, there isn’t a leader in the place. Ditto the Broncos.
An effectively policed salary cap, with coaches of approximate equal ability, means that every club should be closing the gap on everyone else. Yet rule changes designed to speed up the game, introduced after the COVID-19 shutdown, have exacerbated defensive weaknesses in 2020.
There are gaps between the top four teams, middle six and bottom six, with occasional swapping of places. The corporate types on the boards of the bottom clubs ask “why isn’t our coach a Trent Robinson or Craig Bellamy?” In the days of three grades a club, the top coach kept a close eye on those in reserve grade. Now, there is a fuzzy line between the top-30 player group and the development squad.
McGregor may have lost touch with this latter group, given his reliance on senior non-performing players but, in 2020, with abandoned State Cup competitions, the players in the lower group receive no “development”.
The online world has also added to the pressure on coaches. Whereas talkback radio was once a lightning rod for ridicule from angry fans, they now have a voice through a myriad of social media platforms. It means those who Americans call “Monday morning quarterbacks” now question NRL coaches on Thursday.
The ubiquitous eye of TV and mobile phone cameras brings us close-ups of the coach in all his agony during games. Yet, despite fans saying “who would want to be a coach?”, some, such as new Warriors coach Nathan Brown, keep coming back.
There’s something addictive about the job. It’s matching wits against a rival. It’s watching the marginal player improve. For the bleary-eyed lifers such as Wayne Bennett, it’s also the comfort of the routine, the nourishing of the ego, the pay cheque. Ask the Skinny Coach in 10 years time about the job and he’ll echo Robert Duvall in Apocalypse Now, wistfully describing the smell of napalm in the morning.
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Roy Masters is a Sports Columnist for The Sydney Morning Herald.
Collingwood has been hit with an effective $25,000 fine from the AFL after senior coach Nathan Buckley and assistant coach Brenton Sanderson broke coronavirus protocols by playing a tennis match with people outside their club contacts.
In a joint statement, Buckley and Sanderson said it was only after the game that it became “crystal clear” they had broken the rules
The pair said they wanted to pay the fine themselves to take full responsibility for their actions
The club vowed to “be better” in light of the sacrifices being made to keep the competition running
In a statement, the AFL said the Magpies reported the breach of the Return to Play protocols to the league today after Buckley and Sanderson played the tennis game on Friday with “two people from outside of the approved club people”.
“Both Buckley and Sanderson immediately reported the inadvertent breach to Collingwood officials when they realised they didn’t have the appropriate approval to partake in the activity,” the statement said.
AFL general counsel Andrew Dillon said the league appreciated Collingwood’s self-reporting of the breach and had sanctioned them $50,000, half of which would be suspended.
“We note that tennis is an approved exercise activity however approved participants are limited to approved club staff, players, household members and immediate family,” he said.
“Notwithstanding the inadvertent nature of this breach, it doesn’t excuse the responsibility to abide by the protocols.”
Buckley and Sanderson ask to pay fine
In a separate statement, Collingwood said Buckley and Sanderson had accepted responsibility for their actions and had asked to personally pay the effective $25,000 fine themselves.
“At the time, we believed we had followed and adhered to the protocols as required but after returning to the hotel and readdressing the circumstances it became crystal clear that we had breached the current AFL protocols,” the pair were quoted as saying.
“The competition is asking its constituents to make great sacrifices for the show to go on and we have all accepted these for the long-term future of the industry and the privilege of participating within it.”
The club’s chief executive Mark Anderson said the breach was a “very disappointing reminder” of the vigilance required to keep the competition running.
“Our game has been granted the right to continue to play by governments around the country,” he said.
“In exchange for that right, we simply must do all that we can to protect the health of our players, staff and the communities in which we are living and playing.
“As a club, we apologise, vow to be better and fully accept the penalty.”
In recent months, the regular of umpiring has come to be an escalating source of frustration for supporters who are rightly perplexed by the from time to time-inconsistent software of the procedures. But is it truly the umpire’s fault or much more a symptom of micro-management?
Coaching terrific David Parkin suggests there’s no additional challenging game to officiate than Australian Regulations Soccer. Becoming an umpire is a thankless occupation carried out in a prolonged-set up ecosystem of ridicule and derision.
The ‘umps’ make break up-next conclusions frequently beneath actual physical tiredness and with their see obscured by the present day game’s mass congestion.
Gamers are also learn manipulators, who just take advantage when umpires are blindsided and use refined approaches to coerce them into having to pay unwarranted free kicks.
In regular seasons, heaving crowds also build a flamable environment that whistle-blowers should obtain mind-boggling.
But maybe the biggest problem for umpires is that football, the quick-paced 360-diploma recreation, has extra grey than a London summer season and also will come with varying levels of interpretation.
What could appear a blatant holding the ball in the eyes of a Collingwood supporter could also spark a Carlton fan’s screams for a force in the again, even though the umpire may ascertain it is really merely a ball up — one incident, 3 distinctive viewpoints, three people certain of their interpretation.
What the AFL failed to admit was the function it experienced performed in creating umpire confusion by demanding variations to how they interpret keeping the ball.
The ‘Clarkson memo’ only established a further shade of grey, major to higher uncertainty and improved tension on umpires.
AFL players have long held the look at that the league also normally makes an attempt to impact the way the match is officiated.
Geelong premiership captain Cameron Ling generally speaks of the ‘rule of the week’ whilst Fellow ABC Grandstand professional and 300-game participant Brendon Goddard has also expressed his annoyance with regular shifts in interpretation.
Goddard thinks umpire mistakes are just a feature of football and has bemoaned the weekly umpire opinions that direct to reactive actions.
“I have in no way understood the emphasis space [of the rules] week to week,’ he claimed.
“The umpires are only human, so it is really entrance of their brain heading into following week.
Greene the vital for erratic Giants
If you were being seeing Friday night time football this week you were lucky plenty of to witness one of the AFL’s most harming players, Toby Greene, at his match-profitable ideal.
With 3 wins and 4 losses heading into the clash from final year’s grand closing opponent Richmond, Greater Western Sydney’s season was on a knife’s edge.
In his return from personal injury, Greene kicked 5 aims such as the only significant in a tense last phrase to encourage the Giants to a essential 12-stage gain. Greene is a hard-nosed previous-college footballer with exceptional aerial skill, a good footy mind, wonderful poise and harmony.
He is also a dependable shot at aim, which is an significantly uncommon top quality. Experienced Greene not played on Friday evening the Giants would by no means have gained and a time that started out with great optimism would have just about lay in ruin.
I am battling to consider of a player additional critical to the results or failure of his staff than Larger Western Sydney’s star selection four.
Speaking of the four, that is exactly where West Coastline finds by itself soon after an 11-goal thrashing of competitors heavyweight Collingwood.
In holding with the pattern of their season, the Magpies started strongly and led by 14 details at quarter-time. From there, it was all West Coast with Tim Kelly making his ideal performance for his new club and veteran forward Josh Kennedy winding again the clock with a seven-intention haul.
You will find no place like residence and with the worries of Queensland hub-daily life seemingly a distant memory, the Eagles are rising as the premiership threat most anticipated them to be.
Saints on the rise with Ratten
This spherical also even more emphasised the emergence of St Kilda as a side to be reckoned with.
In 2016 the unheralded Western Bulldogs based their exhilarating finals assault around the motto: ‘Why not us?’. The Saints have every single appropriate to borrow from the ‘Bullies’ as they too chase a prized next premiership.
The sight of coach Brett Ratten sitting down contented on the bench close to the end of Saturday night’s win above top rated-of-the-table Port Adelaide was a genuinely attractive moment.
A premiership successful midfielder with Carlton, Ratten has endured huge periods of hardship publish his adorned participating in profession. He is been unceremoniously sacked as mentor of the club he represented with good difference and lived through every parent’s worst nightmare, the tragic reduction of a youngster in a car crash.
Ratten’s infectious personality, caring mother nature and sharp soccer intellect has made an huge affect at St Kilda and the aspect has developed much more than a hint of the dedicated and immediate technique that outlined their coach as a player.
A great deal like that trademark Ratten grin, the Saints of 2020 are a single of footy’s excellent sights.
Sacking a coach before the end of their contract has been a part of football for a very long time, but Craig Hutchison believes it’s about to become much harder for teams to do.
With COVID-19 severely impacting the financial situation at all 18 clubs, their ability to pay out coaches with years left on their deal becomes much harder.
Hutchison feels clubs will struggle now to make the decision to part ways with a coach given the monetary side of things.
“There’s an extra layer to the coach sacking that hasn’t been there before,” he told The Sounding Board Podcast.
“The angst overpowers the economics in a coach sacking.
“Normally in a coach sacking, ‘we can’t afford to do this, but we can’t afford to put up with the cost of the angst in our supporters because they pay us so much money and we’re going to have to take a deep breath and write this check’.
“This is the first time the ledger of economics versus the necessity of reality have swung in the favour of the coach.
“The cheque is going to be harder to write than ever before.
“I don’t think there is a coach by the way of 18 who deserve to lose their job, but if there were, I don’t think the economics of the times would allow for it.”
Simon Goodwin was the example used on Sounding Board as a coach under pressure who is likely safe given he is contracted until the end of 2022.
This comes as Melbourne aims to raise $1 million from their supporter base to avoid needing aid from the AFL financially this year.
“It was different. You come off eight weeks off, three week pre-season, training in groups of eight … it’s going to take some time. The guys aren’t where they were at when they came back from the pre-season for round one. And the dew was an enormous factor tonight. The ground was incredibly wet.”
Buckley said the absence of a crowd where there would normally be 80,000 and the fact that the game finished in a low-scoring draw compounded the weird effect.
“Draws are a hollow feeling at the best of times, but draws in front of no crowd is an interesting feeling,” he said.
“It was that bizarre. ‘Dimma’ and I ended up walking side by side through the empty car park basically talking about how crap that feeling is and how we probably are not going to review it and go straight to round three.”
Both expected improvement, but slowly. “Three weeks pre-season, a pretty hard game to play,” said Hardwick. “We’ve got to be a little bit patient.”
Buckley echoed him. “Maybe our expectations should be suitably adjusted,” he said. “The footy will get better as the year progresses.
“You feel like you are a little bit dumber after watching a game like that don’t you?”
Collingwood kicked the first four goals of the match, but only one after the seven-minute mark of the second quarter. But Richmond could manage only four for themselves from that point. Both frittered winning opportunities in the last quarter.
“We were good early and saw everything we wanted to see and I suppose if you start like that the expectation is you are going to continue,” said Buckley. “[After that] there’s a lot that we saw that we don’t see as us. It wasn’t us executing our brand or playing great footy.”
Hardwick rejoiced in a lively return for small forward Jack Higgins and was pleased with Ivan Soldo’s contribution and that the one-ruckman-only ploy worked. “The shortened quarters … they were going about 22 minutes tonight … which is really short. Soldo can do the majority and we can pinch-hit,” he said.
But Hardwick cautioned against the mooted idea of reducing bench rotations further to tire out players and create a more open game. “Ever since we’ve reduced rotations, scoring’s gone down,” he said. “You can reduce them again, but you’ve got to be careful. You’ve got to give the game time to work it out.”
Greg Baum is chief sports columnist and associate editor with The Age.
Michael Gleeson is an award-winning senior sports writer specialising in AFL and athletics.