Is it humanly possible to hold your breath for 40 minutes?

August 17, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
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by Darren Spence

……I think I did on Sunday! After being 40 points up half way through the 2nd and then the Saints got back to within a goal it wasn’t until Hannan popped up and kicked 2 in a minute that I was finally able to breathe a sigh of relief as the Mighty Dees enhanced their finals prospects with a 22 point win on the weekend.

Following Melbourne has never been easy….  We just don’t have many days where you can sit back and watch us demolish another side. Right now, however, you won’t hear me complain as we find ourselves in unfamiliar territory of being on the verge of playing finals for the first time in over a decade.

To get to this position a win against fellow finals aspirant in St. Kilda was paramount and the initial onslaught in the first quarter and half showed the football world that we belong playing in September.

Jones was fantastic with 35 possessions. It’s no surprise we had a dip in form over the 6 weeks he was out injured – he is so vital to our side. Lewis also showed how valuable he is to our team with 25 important touches and I don’t need to tell you how many Oliver had! It was fantastic to see Brayshaw back and playing well. After a solid hit early, which could have proven disastrous, the club would have been ecstatic with his game ending up with the ball 26 times.

I was very impressed with some of the players that don’t seem to get the credit they deserve at times for their respective games on Sunday. Harmes with 3 early goals set the boys alight, Hannan with 2 in a minute, book-ended nicely to seal the game and Pedersen had probably his best game in his AFL career with 26 touches, 8 marks and 2 goals.

You can’t win a game with 8-10 players and we need each and every one of the side playing their roles and these guys did this and more and were all match winners on the day. To be honest there appear to be some tired boys at the moment, they are a young team that plays a taxing game of footy, but to dig deep when it was needed most was ultra impressive and I was a happy man Sunday.

Another early Sunday game beckons this weekend against the Lions. They are in good form at the moment and with a full compliment of players they will be a tough side to beat – tougher than I think many are giving them credit for.  These are games that we have lost in the past….it won’t happen this weekend!

Go Dees

Up there James Harmes!

How good was it to see James dominate the first quarter kicking three goals and taking a spectacular mark and then combine with 21 disposals and 6 marks for a great four quarter performance. Congratulations James on a superb game!

The mark has been nominated for Mark of the Year and you can see it here https://markoftheyear.afl/vote/round/21

https://markoftheyear.afl/vote/round/21

 

 

 

 

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15 minutes of madness

August 17, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: NSW Demons 

by Darren Spence


15 minutes of madness. That’s all it was. 15 minutes. Just like a team losing 5 wickets in 3 overs in a test match can ruin the game for a test nation, so it was for the Demons on Saturday with the Giants piling on 8 goals in the second half of the first quarter in what proved to be a match winning spurt of play.

It’s been discussed at length how important it has been for us to get away to a good start…and we did… 3 goals into the breeze in the first 10 minutes gave us all high hopes for optimism but that soon faded with 2 freakish goals in 2 minutes setting the tone for the rest of the quarter.

The second goal, a huge off break bounce by Scully, resulted in a little bit of vomit appearing in my mouth. Yes I am still bitter and there is absolutely zero chance I will ever barrack for GWS against another team as long as he his playing in their side. The fact that we outscored the Giants after quarter time was of little consolation and another critical 4 points went begging in what was another disappointing day.

Gawn was our best player. He is now gaining momentum form wise and 52 hitouts and a goal was a good return for the big fella. Lewis has made the general off half back role his own and he finished with a game high 35 possessions.

Oliver again had 32, Vince and Hibberd were busy all day and I thought Maynard did well on debut but in the end we really had too many players that were down on the day and with the final siren came a bitter taste in my mouth – no not from the Scully induced vomit – rather the feeling that a full 4 quarter performance would have won the game for us.

This Sunday sees us take on the Saints. I don’t have to tell you how critical this game is. Lose we can probably kiss our finals hopes goodbye. At the end of the day, if I am honest, we probably do not deserve to be in the finals if we can’t win our last 3 games.

However if you told me at the start of the season that with 3 games to go our finals chances rested solely on our own shoulders, boy I would take that in a heartbeat, heck I would have taken that every year for the last decade! The boys know this and they won’t let this opportunity slide this weekend.

Go Dees

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Take a deep breath …. and then exhale slowly ….

August 17, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
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by Darren Spence


Take a deep breath in through your nose and then exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat this 10 times or until you have calmed down enough to ensure you don’t say, write or do anything that you might regret.

Following the Demons can be hazardous for your health. Memberships should really come with a health warning as not only did I have to be at the pub at 10.30 am as the only option to watch the game, it was another close one and I found myself doing the above mentioned breathing exercises for about 5 minutes after the game, a game we should have never have lost, another game against North and another game that even the most ardent North fans would have tipped themselves to lose.

I don’t know why we can’t beat North. They are probably one of the most irrelevant teams in the AFL, I probably could only name on one hand the amount of their supporters I know and for some reason we just cannot beat them. Coupled with the fact that every game is vital right now for our finals chances, losing on Saturday was tough……Right up until the last 10 seconds I had no doubt in my mind that we would win, I had full confidence all day so when the siren blew, like us all, I was guttered.

I am not going to report much on the game, for fear of giving additional publicity to Norf, but they did use the conditions better than us, especially in the last quarter, and that’s why they beat us. Full stop.

Again I will use the cut and paste option and comment that Oliver gained over 30 possessions, 33 in fact, equal with Lewis who spent most of the game as a loose man in defense. I think whoever carves out names on the Bluey trophy can start the job early. I think Oliver has it in the bag, a fantastic effort for someone only in his second year of senior footy. Besides Oliver and Lewis, Gawn had a good game finishing with 52 hit outs, Tyson was busy, especially early on in the piece, and Garlett was dangerous all day with 3 goals in, what was, hang on, I need to do my controlled breathing exercises again…..a disappointing day….let’s just leave it at that.

Another game beckons and another trip interstate on Saturday this time against another top 4 aspirant in the Giants. Hogan will be missing unfortunately and at the time of writing I have just read that Cameron is out….this somewhat evens the ledger. If last weeks’ loss doesn’t have the boys fired up I don’t know what will….we have a good record against GWS and I am predicting the boys will bounce back in what I expect to be a fiery game. Jones is expected to return also to add leadership and I expect us to win.

Go Dees

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Scarily good!

July 28, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
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by Darren Spence


This season is turning out to be quite unique.

In my long history of supporting the Dees I don’t think I have seen the Melbourne players in our squad collectively all improve as they have this year. You would be hard pressed to name a player that hasn’t.

It is one of the reasons that the football world is so bullish about our squad and much credit needs to go to the coaching, drafting and support staff collectively. With the whole squad developing it creates depth on the list.

The days of players playing 1 good game in the 2nds and getting promoted the next week are long gone, today players have to earn a game by exhibiting the right behaviors and performances on a consistent basis before being rewarded and this ensures that should opportunities in the seniors present itself that a number of possibilities are available, all ready to go to play their role. This is a hallmark of teams that are successful. It is also a hallmark of envy amongst fellow teams.

The first half on the weekend was scary. Scarily good! Up against one of the competition front runners the Mighty Dees blew the Power away with enormous pressure around the ball. A concerted effort to overcome the slow starts that have plagued us all year was a real focus and an almost goalless first half to Port was the result.

It was Viney who set the tone. Coming back only 19 days after surgery, and he himself admitting that he will be playing sore, he led from the front in the first quarter with 12 possessions (4 of them contested). Gawn had his best game since returning from injury dominating this years’ potential AA ruckman and helping the Dees smash Port in clearances, contested possession and inside 50s till the main break.

An expected fight back after half time by the Power did come but the damage was done earlier and the Mighty Dees ran out winners by 23 points in a crucial win for our finals aspirations.

I have already mentioned the efforts of Viney and Gawn and it was my man crush Hibberd who was our best player on the day. He finished with a game high 36 disposals and has become such a vital play-maker for us off half back. Cut and paste Oliver got another 30 touches, Hunt was very good and Hogan, like Gawn, played his best game since his return with 3 goals. Tyson was busy, Jetta did no harm to his AA aspirations and Melksham looks to have found a new role up forward with 3 goals also in what was one of our best performances this year.

This Saturday sees us travel down to Hobart to play the Roos. We haven’t beaten them in over 10 years although we have made a habit of breaking hoodoos this year. This is a game that we just can’t drop. Good teams win these games and with only 5 left till the finals the boys won’t let this one slip away.

Go Dees

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Have we seen the last of our Achilles Heel?

July 28, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: NSW Demons 

by Darren Spence


Social Media in today’s world is ubiquitous. Hardly a day goes by without people checking their Facebook account, uploading a photo to Instagram or Tweeting off a comment.

It allows us to keep up to date with all the happenings in the world and gives license to people to invoke their first amendment right and tell everyone how they feel. And didn’t Dees fans let everybody know how they felt after last Saturday’s game!

I know that someone of the vehement venting that was put out there is not immune to other clubs (look at what Issac Smith copped!) and a little part of me admires their passion, but gee some supporters have short memories and heaven forbid social media wasn’t around in the early 80s when we lost basically every game.

However some of the personal attacks I read about our players, coaching staff and the committee left a bitter taste in my mouth on what was already a disappointing night last Saturday.

All year our achilles heel has been our slow starts and so it was in Darwin as the Crows blew the game away to what turned out to be a match winning lead of 35 points at the first break. You can’t give starts like that away to Nurmakah 3rds let alone an AFL side on top of the ladder and I am sure Goodwin and co will be working hard to identify and alleviate this deficiency in our game.

It’s frustrating to watch as the boys fought back hard into the game and after Hunt’s long bomb on the 3 quarter time siren we were back in it but alas it wasn’t to be and Adelaide ran out well deserved winners inflicting our first interstate loss for the year and leaving us with a perilous grip on a spot in the 8.

Up forward we struggled all night, no disrespect to Jake Melksham intended, but if he is our main goal scorer with 3 and our only multiple goal scorer we just aren’t going to win many games. Conversely, the much vaunted attack of the Crows got the upper hand on our defense and it was actually pretty difficult to find a Melbourne player that was a winner on the night.

Vince certainly had the better of Sloane although sadly another undisciplined act will see him on the sidelines for a couple of weeks. Both Hibberd and Hunt provided good drive out of defence, Lewis was our highest ball winner with 33 touches and JKH and ANB both impressed on what can only be described as a forgettable night for the Mighty Dees.

This weekend we have a chance to atone the defeat up against the other South Australian side in the Power. We are back at the ‘G, it looks like we will have a few key players back and it is a great opportunity to play against another top side.

There are only 6 games left and every one of them is critical and I am sure the boys will be fired up for a win and all the keyboard warriors out there will have reverted back to singing the praises of the team we love come Saturday afternoon.

Go Dees

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