NSW Demons at the MFC Best & Fairest

November 7, 2019 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: NSW Demons, Sponsoring James 

by Geoff Wenborn

The venue was great and the setting perfect for the MFC Best and Fairest awards. We were so lucky as NSW Demons to be there (thanks Sally) and had we finished in top 4 I might have really enjoyed it to the ‘Max’.

Yes, at the beginning of the year the anticipation for this night of nights for the players must have seemed to be one out of the box. However, as we all know the results didn’t match the expectation and it wasn’t like we just missed out – finishing 17th (not 9th) but 17th was such a rude shock that the atmosphere was understandably muted.

Fittingly I think the award was shared by our best player and most articulate leader Max Gawn and our most consistent and yet to realise his full potential player in Clayton Oliver. In my view ‘Clarry’ will end up being a very damaging player in the Red and Blue not just the best contested ball getter. The report from the demons website is below. There were various highlights through the evening particularly James Harmes with his favourite fan as well as various speeches from the players.

Images: Harmsey and his mate, Fellow NSW Demons at the table, Random WAGS

There was no doubt it was a subdued event and I would summarise the overriding feeling of the Dees by saying we’re sorry (although they didn’t say it like that). We are really sorry about the season we had and for letting everyone down but we’re not sorry because we did try really hard and the experience and how we let down our fans is working as the biggest spur ever.

On a night which is really about celebrating the efforts of our players over the year it was kind of a sub text. The speeches were relatively brief and full of thank yous for the efforts that were made and players like Jones explained they really wanted the season to go longer so they could show us what they can do. We can win, we will win, we must win.

Of course the only proof for all of us fans will be the performance and in the results so next year looms really large for all of us. There is a cautious degree of optimism for a few reasons, we can’t possibly go as bad as that again, we will be fit and ready to go, our draw will be more preferential, we have learned our lesson on a few fronts, we can now plug some of the holes that were obvious, we are so hungry and we are young and we are not that bad.

The playing group has remained tight and the age is about right. There were quite a few departing coaches and there was acknowledgment and respect for those people as well. Of course, on the night we didn’t know Frosty would be leaving nor Billy Stretch and others.

It is a tough sport, quite brutal and we demand a lot and as a Dees supporter we also deserve some success now and this group of players owes it to us and they think they owe it to us which is good. But together we have to prove it.

Neither the chairman nor the coach said too much outside this script and probably the best speech, most heartfelt and most articulate was big Max. If they can capture his intent and passion it would be hard pressed not to be fired up about the potential. You could tell what a second B&F really meant to him.

It was interesting to be part of a B&F in what I think were quite unusual circumstances of unfulfilled expectations but encouraging to find the players feel the same way.

My colleague Chris and I didn’t pursue talking to many players but enjoyed the sponsors (Johnny Walker) beverage and hearing the players speak. Results and report follow. Thanks to Sally and the NSW Demons to be able to participate.

Final Leaderboard
464 – Max Gawn, Clayton Oliver
323 – Jack Viney
319 – James Harmes
293 – Christian Petracca
230 – Bayley Fritsch
213 – Christian Salem
210 – Angus Brayshaw
204 – Sam Frost
199 – Jayden Hunt
192 – Nathan Jones
167 – Jake Melksham
154 – Steven May
151 – Tom McDonald
142 – Marty Hore
126 – Jordan Lewis
107 – Michael Hibberd
104 – Jay Lockhart
97 – Josh Wagner
87 – Harry Petty
82 – Tim Smith
65 – Sam Weideman
Keith ‘Bluey’ Truscott Memorial Trophy – Max Gawn and Clayton Oliver
For the first time in the club’s history, Melbourne has seen a tie for the Keith ‘Bluey’ Truscott Memorial Trophy, with Max Gawn and Clayton Oliver sharing the top honour for season 2019.
The Demon duo both ended up on 464 votes – 141 votes clear of third place – to win the Best and Fairest award.
Gawn’s stunning season saw him earn All Australian honours for a third time in four years, as the ruckman starred against the competitions best.
The Dees big man led the competition in hit-outs per game and averaged a league-high 12 hit-outs to advantage.
Oliver was one to benefit from his ruckman’s dominance, averaging 30 disposals per game.
The 22-year-old had the most contested possessions in the league this season, showing an incredible ability to win the hard ball for someone of his age.
Both Gawn and Oliver become two-time ‘Bluey’ winners after sharing the award over the past three seasons.

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AFLW 2019 Draft – Pick No.54 – Jacqueline Parry to Melbourne Football Club

October 31, 2019 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: AFLW, NSW Demons 

By Jacqui Parry

I was a bit surprised to read about this on the MFC website – but there you go…. Jacqui Parry  Pick 54!

Oh darlings, I so didn’t expect this, and frankly, I do hope they know that I couldn’t kick the skin off a Baked Custard. In fact my footy skills and overall fitness are so chronically bad that I really do think Josh M needs to check the pulse of all members of the Recruitment Team.

Can’t wait for the season to start, and the match payments to start rolling in. I do hope Gawny Sponsors me, ‘cos I’ve been sponsoring him for years!!

Heh Max can’t wait to see you at training – get your cheque book out son that AFLW GOLD Sponsorship is gonna cost you big time !!

See you at training.Big Maxy …. do you think I should rock up in my “Little Old Legend” outfit – that little old midget in a beard with MFC training gear is gonna look fantastic.

Maybe they will give me the No. 11 in recognition of my years of Player Sponsorship support – bound to ……

Jacqui Parry, Merlin and Sugar
Proud Player Sponsors of Max Gawn No. 11
Go Dees!!! Go Gawny!!!

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Last Gasp As The Final Curtain Fell

September 15, 2019 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: NSW Demons 

Round 23 – North Melbourne Vs Melbourne

Liam Chambers

Well that just about summed up the Dees season. I was convinced we’d secured a draw until Alex Neal-Bullen’s last seconds kick hit the base of the post. A draw would have been justifiable result for the way both sides played. Melbourne was much more committed this week though North Melbourne were lacking their killer instinct.

It was a good first quarter for the Dees. Bayley Fritsch continued his goal scoring ways with a doubled header in the first ten minutes. Neal-Bullen got his only six pointer (shame about his later effort) and Jake Melksham scored the Dees’ fourth.

Unfortunately the Roos Marley Williams took the opportunity to score his only goal of the season right on the siren. It seems fate has had Melbourne squarely in it’s sights all season.

When Williams went off due to injury early in the second half, it seemed that fate was just showing off.

Jayden Hunt scored the Dees’ only goal of the second quarter and the half time score was all even at thirty four points.

The third quarter was a goal fest for both sides. The Dees were lining up to add to their names to the hit list. Cory Wagner, Nathan Jones, Gawny (back to back), Bayley Fritsch and finally Jake Melksham all notching up the goals.

At fifteen points in front, Melbourne was looking dangerous. The Roos had plenty of missed opportunities but managed to kick two late goals to reduce the margin to a single point going into the final quarter.

Unfortunately the ensuing events didn’t favour the Dees. Coleman contender Ben Brown put North Melbourne in front with his second goal of the match.

The Dees kicked seven minor scores for the quarter with Gawn the only goal scorer (well done Max on a rare hat trick). Unbelievably, Melbourne were still leading with just over two minutes to go.

Anyway, we all know how it turned out. I’m glad the Dees showed some spirit this week after their poor showing against the Swans.

There will be a lot of soul searching over the summer. It will be interesting how the new blood in the coaching ranks will affect Melbourne’s game next year. I certainly don’t want to tempt that ole devil called fate so I won’t make any further comments.

Go the Mighty Dees in 2020!!!

NORTH MELBOURNE 3.4 5.4 10.9 13.10 (88)
MELBOURNE 4.2 5.4 11.4 12.11 (83)

GOALS
North Melbourne: Ziebell 2, Polec 2, Garner 2, Brown 2, Higgins 2, Larkey, Williams, Wood
Melbourne: Fritsch 3, Gawn 3, Melksham 2, Hunt, Neal-Bullen, C.Wagner, Jones

BEST
North Melbourne: Higgins, Polec, Dumont, Atley, Durdin
Melbourne: Gawn, Oliver, Harmes, Fritsch, Frost

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Felt Like A Swan Song

August 24, 2019 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: NSW Demons 

Round 22 – Melbourne Vs Sydney

Liam Chambers

It didn’t look good when the Swans opened the scoring after 34 seconds. Another two goals meant Melbourne were behind by 17 points after just six minutes. Luckily Melbourne’s Man of the Match Jake Melksham steadied the floundering Dees with his first goal, then a second a few minutes later.

In form Bayley Fritsch capped off the Dees scoring efforts with a brilliant effort ten minutes from time. Melbourne finished the quarter six points in arrears after it initially looked like being a wipeout.

Unfortunately that was about as good as it got for the Dees on the night. Not quite a capitulation but maybe a bit of a “cue in the rack” display, as a former Coach once quipped. Melbourne conceded four goals while only managing two points for the quarter.

I wish I could say that the second half got better. It only got better for the Swans who’ve had an indifferent season themselves but their young side showed signs of promise and will be in contention next year.

Any hopes of a repeat of last week’s final quarter, when the Dees reduced the losing margin to a respectable seventeen points, were quickly quashed. A promising few minutes, where Jake Melksham and Alex Neal-Bullen brought us to within twenty eight points, was the high mark. The Swans went on another goal kicking spree and the end result was a disappointing 53 point loss.

Rumors abounded that the game was to be Jordan Lewis’s last game at the MCG. If that’s true then it was a sad way to end his playing career there. He will have many happy memories of his many highlights on that hallowed ground. I have a feeling this Round 22 match won’t be one of them.

I’ve tried to take some positives for this game but I’m struggling to find them. It was a pedestrian effort at best.

The last game is against our great rivals North Melbourne at Bellerive Oval in Hobart.

Go The Mighty Dees!!!

MELBOURNE 3.1 3.3 3.7 5.12 (42)
SYDNEY 4.1 7.3 10.3 15.5 (95)
GOALS
Melbourne: Melksham 3, Fritsch, Neal-Bullen
Sydney: Reid 3, Dawson 2, McCartin 2, Menzel 2, Papley 2, Rowbottom 2, Bell, Blakey
BEST
Melbourne: Melksham, Oliver, Viney, Gawn, Hibberd, Brayshaw
Sydney: Florent, Reid, Blakey, Kennedy, Parker, Rampe

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Pies Survive Against Late Surging Dees

August 16, 2019 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: NSW Demons 

Round 21 – Melbourne Vs Collingwood

Liam Chambers

Well Melbourne finally won a last quarter. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to defeat Collingwood; a side who prior to last week’s thrashing of bottom side Gold Coast had lost four of their previous five games.

Why the Dees are sitting seventeenth on the ladder after such a positive end to last year’s season is confounding. Especially when they had been building steadily over recent years, slowing improving their position on the table.
Now the term aberration is being bandied about with annoying regularity. However, I’m confident that this season has been an aberration and that we will bounce back with a vengeance in 2020. Remember Richmond finished fifth in 2015, then sunk to thirteenth in 2016 before winning the Grand Final in 2017.

The weight of expectation can be daunting when your fans finally have a taste of success after so many years of disappointment. Melbourne had broken through and reached their first finals in twelve years. Then they performed above and beyond. Of course everyone believed we would qualify again and possibly go one better. Maybe even win our first final in fifty five years.

There were injuries but Melbourne has a lot of depth so that should not have been a major concern. However we all know how it turned out. Players like Max Gawn and Stephen May have given their all in games. I have a feeling though that despite some individually brilliant performances, the Dees have tuned out somewhat and are now focusing on next year. I hope I’m wrong because it’s important we play our best and win our final two games.

There were positives in our game against the Pies. Christian Petracca has been inspirational at times and of course Oscar McDonald scored his first goal. In our last two games both of our opponents are very capable of defeating us but conversely we are certainly capable of winning. It would be better to end our season on a high but at least let’s go down fighting.

Go the Mighty Dees!!!

MELBOURNE 1.4 2.6 3.8 7.11 (53)
COLLINGWOOD 0.5 5.6 9.8 10.10 (70)
GOALS
Melbourne: Petty, Brayshaw, Fritsch, Petracca, Hunt, O.McDonald, Gawn
Collingwood: Mihocek 4, Pendlebury 2, Varcoe 2, Thomas, Crisp
BEST
Melbourne: Brayshaw, Petracca, Harmes, Frost, Oliver, Fritsch
Collingwood: Treloar, Grundy, Mihocek, Pendlebury, Sidebottom, Howe

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