Wednesday, November 26
Overhaul of Tribunal and MRP results in common sense
reasoning of charges; demerit points axed
AFL has overhauled its controversial tribunal system, saying the
changes will make it more simple.
Roger Vaughan of AAP reports: The League has abandoned the use of
base demerit points, with offences to be categorised as suspensions
There will also no longer be any carryover points for any offences.
Rather than rate conduct in any offence as negligent, reckless or
intentional, the Match Review Panel will now rule whether it is
intentional or careless.
The current system had been in place since 2005 and was becoming
increasingly unpopular because of inconsistent rulings and
The MRP will now issue fines and two or three-game suspensions.
More serious cases will be referred directly to the tribunal.
The bad record provision will be made more simple so a player will
receive a maximum of an extra game on his penalty.
Players can still take discounts for early pleas, a key feature of
the old system.
A player's eligibility for the Brownlow Medal will now rely on
whether he was suspended during the season.
There will also be more fines for low-level offences, but the match
review panel can suspend repeat offenders in a season.
"The AFL has been examining the MRP process for more than 12 months,
and our focus has been to retain the excellent parts of the system
while simplifying its operation and ensuring that appropriate
penalties are in place for offences," said AFL operations manager
Jon Ralph in the Herald Sun details the changes
No more complicated
demerit points, just penalties of weeks’ suspension or fines
Just two gradings systems – careless or intentional – rather than
the three confusing gradings
The MRP uses a
simplified tick-the-box system but can send reports to the tribunal
if ban doesn’t fit the crime.
All low-level incidents
which once drew 125 points (reprimand with guilty plea) now replaced
by $1500 fine.
Any MRP charge with a
suspension over three weeks goes direct to the tribunal
Players must be
suspended to be ineligible for the Brownlow, so can be fined for
tummy taps and border-line hits and still win it.
Players still get a week
discount for a guilty plea and still get an extra week for a bad
Accidental head clashes
are now not automatically reportable, with discretion for the MRP to
let players off
In 2014 a player who bumped was responsible for any contact he made,
even in an accidental head clash.
In 2015 the MRP and tribunal has discretion to allow a player to
escape penalty and has six factors to consider.
The degree of force
If the bumped player was actively involved in play?
How far the player who bumped ran to make contact?
Could the bumped player protect himself?
Did the bumping player leave the ground?
Was there an alternative for the player who bumps?
Wooden-spoon Saints suffer huge loss on 2014
Age reports: St Kilda have reported a financial loss of $2.4
million for the year – double the loss of last year.
The Saints have declared a loss of $2,354,583 but after write downs
have recorded a loss of closer to $4million ($3,912,922) for 2014.
Last year the Saints lost $1.2million which after write downs was
Yahoo! Sport reports Fremantle
midfielder Nat Fyfe will undergo shoulder surgery later this
week, ruling him out of the early part of the Dockers pre-season
after his injury last week at training.
The 23-year-old has a history of problems with his left shoulder,
but the Dockers are hopeful the injury to his right shoulder won't
cause future problems.
Caroline Wilson in The Age
reports Mark Thompson's $30,000 fine has been settled with
the AFL with Essendon meeting the bulk –
There's always another story ...
Tuesday, November 25
Bye-bye to Homebush?
Swans sign 30-year deal with SCG
Sydney Swans will play all their AFL home games at the Sydney
Cricket Ground from 2017 onwards in a 30-year agreement announced on
ABC Sport webpage noted the Swans have cited the
"mythical" significance of the ground and increasing development of
the Moore Park precinct as reasons for the deal.
The agreement means the Swans will no longer play at the Olympic
Stadium at Homebush Bay, which launched a $350 million redevelopment
bid last week.
"It's a matter we've been considering as a board for a number of
years," Swans chairman Andrew Pridham said.
"It's been very clear to us that over the last number of years that
the vast majority of Swans members and fans have shown strong
encouragement to play all our games at the SCG."
The Swans have hosted big-drawing home and away matches and finals
at the Olympic Stadium since 2002. Their record Homebush crowd of
72,393 when Collingwood played Sydney on August 23, 2003 will remain
as the largest crowd for an Australian Football game outside of the
Pridham also said he expected the new deal would also encompass
finals matches, pending approval from the AFL.
Sydney coach John Longmire welcomed the deal to play
exclusively at a venue which was very popular with the playing
Cancer strikes Mark Williams
senior development coach and former Port Adelaide AFL 2004
premiership-winning mentor Mark Williams has been diagnosed
In a statement on Monday, the Tigers said following recent tests,
56-year-old "Choco" Williams would begin treatment shortly, while
continuing to carry out his coaching role at the club.
The Tigers said Williams would not make any further comment during
this time and the club asked that his privacy and that of his family
He was assistant coach of the GWS Giants in Sydney before moving to
Richmond in 2013 to work with head coach Damien Hardwick.
Williams played 201 VFL-AFL games (1981-90) and is a former
Collingwood captain and Brisbane Bears player.
St Kilda skipper Nick Riewoldt has
signed a one-year contract extension which will see the
32-year-old's 281-game AFL career with the Saints continue until at
least the end of 2016 ...
Hawthorn has appointed Melbourne great
David Neitz as a specialist key-position coach, a week after
Danny Frawley quit a similar position at the Hawks to rejoin his
old club St Kilda – the 39-year-old Neitz played 306 games
(1993-2008) and kicked 631 goals for the Demons ...
Sunday, November 23
International Rules, Australia v Ireland
strong effort to down Ireland 56-46
Australia overcame a case of the third-quarter wobbles to post a
10-point victory over Ireland in Saturday night's International
Rules clash at Subiaco Oval in Perth.
In front of a near sell-out crowd of 38,262, the AFL's cream of the
crop were on track for an easy victory after opening up a 41-8
advantage early in the third quarter.
But a goal to Ireland's Darren Hughes – the first of the
match – brought Ireland roaring back into the contest, with the
visitors slamming through five consecutive overs to reduce the
margin to just 13 points late in the term.
Justin Chadwick of AAP for Yahoo! Sport
reported: Ireland kept pushing in the final quarter, and an own goal
to Sydney defender Nick Smith gave the visitors a late
But a brave save from Australian goalkeeper Dustin Fletcher
in the final minute sealed the 0.17.5—56 to 2.9.7—46 win.
With only past or present All-Australians considered for selection
this time around, the home side's rampant opening half was enough to
get them over the line.
Australia's win gave them victory in the one-Test series, with the
ledger now tied at 9-9.
Geelong ace Steve Johnson was crucial early and finished with
four overs from 24 possessions, while Nick Riewoldt (three
overs), Chad Wingard (three overs), Sam Mitchell,
Leigh Montagna and Jarrad McVeigh also starred.
But it was Hawthorn skipper Luke Hodge who shone above
everyone, with the veteran midfielder winning the Jim Stynes medal
as the best Australian player.
Ruckman Nic Naitanui struggled to get into the game as a
forward, but the 201cm jumping machine won every ruck tap he
Irish veteran Sean Cavanagh, playing his 13th International
Rules match, was prominent with a team-high 20 touches, while AFL
star Pearce Hanley also featured strongly.
Forward Conor McManus finished with four goals to take out
his team's award.
Ireland were meant to boast the superior kicking skills, but it was
Australia who boasted the deadly edge in front of goal for most of
Ireland controlled proceedings for much of the second half, but the
early damage inflicted by Australia proved too much to overcome.
Australian coach Alastair Clarkson was proud of his team's
effort, but said it was hard to compare the experience to the three
premierships he had won at Hawthorn.
"It's enormously satisfying," Clarkson said.
"I'm going to have many great memories from my involvement in this
series. The success tonight means we can play more of these series
in years to come."
Ireland coach Paul Earley said his side's poor skills hurt
"We were uncharacteristically wide with our kicking. We didn't hit
our targets up front," Earley said.
"Australia were incredibly accurate in front of goal. They kicked
some fantastic overs in that first term."
– FIRST TEST INTERNATIONAL RULES
Saturday (n), November 22, 2014
at Subiaco Oval, Perth
Australia: Overs (3pts): Steve Johnson 4, Nick Riewoldt 3,
Chad Wingard 3, Jarrad McVeigh 2, Brent Harvey 1, Robbie Gray 1,
Joel Selwood 1, Kieran Jack 1, Luke Breust 1.
Ireland: Goals (6pts): Darren Hughes, team score. Overs
(3pts): Conor McManus 4, Colm Begley 2, Mattie Donnelly 1, Kevin
McKernan 1, Michel Murphy 1.
Best: Australia: Luke Hodge, Sam Mitchell, Steve Johnson,
Nick Riewoldt, Jobe Watson, Dustin Fletcher.
Ireland: Conor McManus, Colm Begley, David Moran, Michael
Murphy, Mattie Donnelly.
Jim Stynes Medal: Luke Hodge.
GAA Medal: Conor McManus.
Ireland: Colm Begley (Laois), Colm Boyle (Mayo), Seán
Cavanagh (Tyrone), Cathal Cregg (Roscommon), Mattie Donnelly
(Tyrone), Finian Hanley (Galway), Pearse Hanley (Brisbane Lions),
Darren Hughes (Monaghan), Lee Keegan (Mayo), James McCarthy
(Dublin), Ciaran McDonald (Tipperary), Neil McGee (Donegal), Chrissy
McKaigue (Derry), Kevin McKernan (Down), Kevin McLoughlin (Mayo),
Conor McManus (Monaghan), David Moran (Kerry), Niall Morgan
(Tyrone), Ross Munnelly (Laois), Michael Murphy (Donegal, captain),
Colm O’Neill (Cork), Pádraig O’Neill (Kildare), Paddy O’Rourke
(Meath), Aidan O’Shea (Mayo), Aidan Walsh (Cork, vice-captain).
Australia: Grant Birchall (Hawthorn), Travis Boak (Port
Adelaide), Luke Breust (Hawthorn), Patrick Dangerfield (Adelaide),
Dustin Fletcher (Essendon), Nat Fyfe (Fremantle), Brendan Goddard
(Essendon), Robbie Gray (Port Adelaide), Brent Harvey (North Melb),
Luke Hodge (Hawthorn), Kieran Jack (Sydney), Steve Johnson
(Geelong), Jarrad McVeigh (Sydney), Sam Mitchell (Hawthorn), Leigh
Montagna (St Kilda), Nic Naitanui (West Coast), Nick Riewoldt (St
Kilda), Tom Rockliff (Brisbane), Joe Selwood (Geelong, captain),
Brodie Smith (Adelaide), Nick Smith (Sydney), Harry Taylor
(Geelong), Jobe Watson (Essendon), Chad Wingard (Port Adelaide).
Umpires: Duffy (Ireland), Meredith (Australia).
Saturday, November 22
Fyfe will miss tonight's International Rules Test against
Ireland at Subiaco Oval after scans showed a strain to his right
shoulder suffered in the dying moments of a practice match on
Tuesday. The 23-year-old has escaped serious damage but needs to be
nursed across the pre-season ...
Robert Murphy will enter his
16th AFL season as captain of the Western Bulldogs ... in spite of
the turbulence of the season, Essendon will post a profit of
$721,517 (see sidebar) ...
Richmond will head into the new season
with a healthy profit of $1,329,530 from 2014 ...
Paul Carter from Stanhope Gardens NSW has offered an update
to our story from last Thursday (20th) on the Richmond players from
the 1967 premiership team. In addition to the passing of Fred
Swift in 1983, two other Tigers have passed on, Mike
Patterson died on April 16, 2002, and Geoff Strang died
on December 20, 2003.
Thank you Paul for correcting our piece.
Thursday, November 20
Essendon champion Ted Leehane passes away
Essendon FC is mourning the passing
on Monday of
three-time premiership player Ted Leehane at the age of 91.
Leehane played 83 games for the club between 1942-1950 and was a
member in the 1942, 1949 and 1950 premiership teams.
A fast moving, high marking centre half-forward and full forward he
combined well with goal kicking champion John Coleman in the 1949
and 1950 premiership sides.
Runner up in the 1948 Best and Fairest award, he also won the most
unselfish player award in 1950 and was the club’s leading goal
kicker in 1947 with 50 goals.
The Leehanes were a strong football family. Ted Leehane's brother,
Tom, played seven games for Essendon (1950-1951), and their father,
Steve, played 82 games for Carlton (1914-1919).
Ted was the last surviving member of the club’s 1942 premiership
team. He was named at number 49 in the Champions of Essendon list
released in 2002 –
Peter Coatman, a long-time Footystats
reader and well-known for his support of the Essendon FC contributes
that Carlton's Ken Hands became the longest-ago premiership player,
with the death of Alex Way earlier this month making Ken the last
survivor of Carlton's victorious team in the 1945 'Bloodbath' Grand
Essendon's longest-living premiership survivors are now Jack Jones
and Harold Lambert from the 1946 team.
As far as Peter is aware, the 1967 Richmond premiership team has
lost three players – Fred Swift
in 1983, Mike Patterson died on April 16, 2002, and Geoff
Strang died on December 20, 2003. The
1973 Tiger flag-winners is the longest-ago premiership team and are
all with us.
The 1994 West Coast side is the most recent premiership team of
which at least one member has died, Chris Mainwaring.
Wednesday, November 19
Anti-Doping Tribunal set for December 15
Essendon supplements saga finally has a hearing date, though it's
unclear whether media will be allowed inside.
Ben McKay and John Salvado of AAP reported for Yahoo! Sport: The AFL
Anti-Doping Tribunal has tentatively set aside December 15 to hear
the case against 34 players accused of taking banned substances.
A three-hour meeting of the tribunal on Tuesday couldn't resolve the
question of privacy for the past and present Essendon players –
$350m plan to roof Olympic Stadium at Homebush
$350 million redevelopment plan for a fully-roofed Olympic Stadium
at Homebush would enable spectators to sit within five metres of the
action, with new grandstands turning Sydney’s biggest venue for
rugby, rugby league and soccer into a true rectangular ground.
Under the ambitious plan detailed by News Corporation
dailies on Monday, the upgrade would surround the 15-year-old
stadium with a dynamic entertainment zone filled with bars, cafes
AFL comments on the upgrade are expected.
Seven Network to cover VFL matches
football will return to Channel Seven in Melbourne with the network
confirmed as its new free-to-air broadcaster.
Thompson on the AFL webpage details that under the two-year
contract Seven will broadcast the 'match of the round' live every
week as well as most VFL finals and the Grand Final.
It's understood the games will be shown on the network's main
channel, most likely as a lead in to either Saturday or Sunday
afternoon AFL broadcasts.
Some VFL matches will move forward to accommodate the telecasts.
"We're thrilled to be broadcasting more live football to Victorians
and adding to our blue-chip AFL and sports portfolio, while
complementing our local grassroots football initiatives," Channel
Seven Melbourne managing director Lewis Martin said.
The deal signals an end to long running VFL broadcasts on the ABC
who are unable to continue their coverage following savage financial
cuts by the Federal Government.
"The televising of Peter Jackson VFL games on Channel Seven
will provide an enormous boost to the profile of the VFL
competition, the participating clubs and the many young and exciting
players that play each week in the VFL," AFL general manager
community football operations Grant Williams said.
"AFL Victoria would like to sincerely thank Lewis Martin and his
team at Seven along with Simon Lethlean and the broadcasting group
at the AFL who have helped manage the development of this
partnership which will see the free-to-air broadcast of a weekly VFL
game on Channel Seven."
Stephen Milne fined $15,000
St Kilda player Stephen Milne has been fined $15,000 but
avoided a conviction for indecently assaulting a woman 10 years ago.
The ABC Grandstand Sport webpage reported the ex-St
Kilda forward admitted to indecently assaulting a 19-year-old woman
at a teammate's house following a drunken night out in 2004.
Victorian County Court Judge Michael Bourke on Tuesday described the
incident as a non-violent but physical sexual act.
He said both the victim and Milne had suffered due to the
decade-long delay in bringing the matter to court, and described
Milne as a different and far more mature man than at the time of his
The court heard the last decade had been extremely stressful for
34-year-old Milne and his family.
MCC stems energy consumption with Siemens
grand old lady of sporting events, the MCG, the 160-year-old stadium
has been quietly undergoing an $8 million technology upgrade
designed to transform it into a hub of energy efficiency.
Gilder in The Herald Sun noted: When completed in
June, the works will allow the MCG to generate enough environmental
savings annually to power 835 homes or run its light towers for
nearly six years.
The Melbourne Cricket Club hierarchy has enlisted global engineering
giant Siemens to provide its technological and gadgetry expertise on
the project, aimed at reducing the venue’s carbon footprint by a
The works are focused on reducing the energy bill within the
ground’s 30-odd function rooms and many back offices.
They include: replacing 12,000 existing 50-watt halogen lights with
12-watt LED alternatives; installing a smart building management
system, so that the heating and cooling of certain rooms can be
aligned with the stadium’s booking schedule; and new water chilling
MCC chief Stephen Gough said the venue was aiming to offset
the cost of the upgrade within seven years through the expected drop
in energy consumption.
Worth attention ...
Key news web sites to follow ...
The Age, Real Footy