Now that the dust has settled on Cale Hooker’s decision to commit his future to Essendon I would like to offer a few comments.
I am absolutely staggered at the reaction of many football media experts (read morons) to this decision. To actually believe that Essendon would be better off in trading Cale Hooker for a first round draft pick is mind numbing.
Have we completely forgotten what makes football and football clubs tick?
Are these experts actually saying that the only thing that is important is the number of wins and losses in a particular period somewhere in the future? And we should be happy watching our favourite players winning flags with other clubs?
I would have thought that the minute that Cale Hooker’s decision was made known there was an immediate positive impact felt by:
- His team mates
- The coaching staff
- Other Essendon employees
- Essendon coterie groups
- All members and supporters
Why? Because it is people that make football clubs tick. Passionate, loyal people.
The Collingwood football Club has only won two premierships since 1958 that’s 58 years! Yet they are the biggest club in the land by several criteria – why – proud, passionate, loyal people.
Everyone wants to win – it’s natural and normal but we ALL want to be proud of our footy club first. Cale Hooker’s decision in confirming his loyalty is a wonderful stepping stone for Essendon people achieving this.
From all Essendon people – “Thank You Cale”
- THE GAME
What a pleasing performance. In a game where we were predicted to lose by plenty I thought we again fought out every issue and situation. There was a clear gulf class and polish – that was evident when we turned the ball over – their ability to punish us was far in excess of our ability even though we won the clearances and forced many turnovers.
It looks from the outside that our players have certainly bought into our game plan and have the will and the way to carry it out – just some poise and coolness under pressure sometimes lets us down.
- THE OPPORTUNITY
This whole situation with the top up players shows what a fine line exists for players maintaining their place on an AFL list. Matt Dea was cut by Richmond and was going to continue in the VFL at only 25 this must be hard to take. Enter the opportunity and from my view he has slotted into our backline seamlessly and plays to the game plan very well. From my view he looks an AFL player, hopefully this will reignite his AFL career.
- THE STAR
What a season he’s had so far! David Zaharakis was clearly BOG on Saturday and continues with his fast start to 2016 and leaves 2015 well behind him. What an inspired decision to fund himself on a trip to a US altitude camp. He looks fresh, fast and reinvigorated (I think I need to try it out). I really hope this can continue as he is exciting to watch and gives those around him a lift.
- NEED ANOTHER BIGMAN
It was great to see that Shaun McKernan had a good game in the VFL. Matthew Leuenberger and Joe Daniher need a chop out. We are sometimes so predictable that Joe was fighting three. Another big body would certainly help against some teams that seem to have a plethora of big men.
- I’M ENJOYING IT
Yes I’m one eyed and yes we only kicked 6 goals but I am honestly enjoying watching us play. At the ground and on the way home there were many who moaned about the game and how hard it was to watch. I’m convinced that many of our opposition supporters gear themselves up for a walk in the park. Yes we are defence first (no different to many other teams) but we do move the ball quickly and spread and chase really well. Yes let’s have some more!
- THE ATTITUDE
In a cauldron of fire and after a fast and aggressive start by Port Adelaide I thought that we kept at the task and worked and tackled hard. We seemed to be under a lot of pressure and rushed going forward which led to turnovers, however kept at it. This was epitomised by Patrick Ambrose who had one of his best games even though often physically mis matched.
- THE OPPORTUNITY
It was so interesting to watch our midfield rotations. To see young Darcy Parish coming up against the raging bulls like Gray, Boak and Vines and for most of the game gives him a true baptism of fire in his 3rd game! What a wonderful opportunity for him and no doubt many more as the season continues.
- THE STAR
I always love watching great players from other teams and then when you see them in your colours its thrilling. Watching James Kelly now gives me an even higher opinion. He seems to move at half the speed of others but still has time to get things done, it’s as if time stops. His reading of the play is outstanding and I hope that our younger guys learn from his example.
- THE RUCKMAN
It’s great to see Matthew Leuenberger settling in. He is a fine ruckman but I feel he needs a bit of a consistent run at it. We haven’t lacked anything in clearances and can still get better. I do feel like he needs some help at times as we are stretching him to the limit. I hope he is enjoying his time at the Bombers as I feel he has a big upside.
- THE GUERNSEY
Being of an age that has been brought up on one Guernsey (black shorts home/white away) I never got the need for an “away Strip” as with such few teams there should be few if any clashes. However I have been turned around and concede, however it was great to see that this Guernsey went back to red and black as the colours – that is our DNA
- THE WIN
Yes for those who didn’t notice we won! A wonderful result and reward for the focus and work under unique circumstances for all at the club. For all those wonderful predictions since the WADA ruling – hahahahahah. As we got in the car to drive home a commentator was talking about Melbourne losing to a team only expecting to win a “handful” of games.
I nearly drove off the road “HANDFULL” they are backing away already! Zero was the common number maybe one. One illustrious journo said it could be worse that Fitzroy in 1996 – well that was one. I know it’s early but it felt good!
- THE OPPORTUNITY
Less than 12 months ago we were at Windy Hill watching the VFL team and a young fellow Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti was on the bench. On Saturday he ran out in front of 50,000 people and performed like he truly belonged. Out of all the gloom a diamond has risen (and he may not be the last) purely though work, perseverance and an opportunity.
- THE STAR
Joe Daniher – what a wonderful game. How often does a 22 year old key forward take 15 marks in the modern game? What a target and what an effort. Yes, he had issues kicking for goal but it never seemed to get to him. He just went harder at the next contest – an inspiration. It would have been easy for him to drop his head. And what about the question to John Worsfold –“IF Essendon lost it WOULD have been JDs fault…………….”. Why do we have to put up with the media (a subject for a future Grumpy Dad).
- THE CROWD
Well done to all those that turned up on Saturday! We all know what a difficult year it will be, but the support was grand. It’s only the third 50,000 plus crowd versus Melbourne in the last 10 years!
- THANK YOU
Finally, on a very personal note, Saturday was my 60th birthday and the whole family (all Essendon supporters) had lunch at the MCG. I want to thank my family for making it a special day and all at Essendon for a wonderful conclusion.
As most of you know the show has gone on a hiatus. Our family had horrendous 2015. Between Deaths, Divorce & the Drug scandal Dad and I are happy as a pig in plop to have a new year under our belts.
But, alas, we wont be doing a podcast anymore. We will instead be running the blog napierstreeteite.com
Due to work commitments and time constraints we just wouldn’t be able to give our full commitment to the cause, that being said – we’ve been speaking for weeks about ‘getting the band back together’. And we came up with the idea that we would run our own supporters blog.
What does this mean?
Well… we’re not entirely sure… the plan would be to have a weekly review of each match (we will have to start with last weeks win!).
As well as the review we’d bring back the popular segments, Grumpy Dad, by the numbers etc. – but with a few tweaks. We will also have adhoc pieces of work that pop up as we see fit.
The year is going to be a long one, but we wanted to evolve on our little community as it we had a great time building it!
So, until our next post, GO BOMBERS!
So that’s it. the season is over with probably one of the most gut wrenching results I’ve felt or seen. It was probably a fitting end, seeing as if we could sum up our year in 1 game. That would probably be it. but as we have said, we are so proud of this group, win lose or draw. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this second year, from tweets & comments to emails and antagonising dad. We will be back for the Draft Show after the National Draft. #godons
Follow us on Twitter: @NapierStElite
What an anticlimactic way to end the season! But, 12 months on and we are where we were. there is real pride and a belief growing in this group as is in dads study! we have another dig at the AFL (non Essendon/ASADA related) and enjoy a good banter before heading into the first final in what seems like a while!
Follow us on Twitter: @NapierStElite