De Goey is invested in supporting his coach and enough of his teammates, so he will be giving his all for them in what may be his final games in the black and white regardless of whether he thinks the reaction to his Bali trip was fair or not .
He was excellent against Port Adelaide and, in many ways, his circumstance is much easier for everyone to handle than that facing Grundy who still has five years remaining on his contract but has to deal with the reality that people at his club are not convinced whether offloading him to another club at season’s end would be a positive.
If De Goey performs at his best in the next two months then leaves, opinions will be split inside and outside the Magpies whether they should have tried harder to keep him, particularly if Lion McStay’s form is underwhelming as he contemplates a move to Collingwood.
McStay is not as vital to the Lions’ fortunes as others, but they would prefer to keep him and certainly need him to perform for the rest of the season which has been their only focus when talking to the free agent since halfway through the season.
Franklin is likely to stay at Sydney and as he said he has dealt with such speculation for more than a decade, so he won’t be affected at all. In fact, leaving him unsigned might just add an extra edge to the champion’s performance.
Just as interesting as the finals contenders are those out of contention, with the Giants having to be cool and calculating in their dealings with players such as Tim Taranto and Jacob Hopper who may go at season’s end.
Mark McVeigh’s pointed public comment that players may have checked out laid bare the frustration clubs actually have when they can’t convince talented players to stay.
McVeigh named eight players he considered to be having a dip and Taranto and Hopper were conspicuous by their absence from the coach’s list of ticks. Tanner Bruhn, who has been out of form, did not play as he weighs up a return to Victoria after just two seasons.
The Giants are in a different market with players regularly departing, but they need to ensure any farewell cards carry a consideration rather than an emotional message that keeps the group that remains on the same page.
Entitled to expect a player plays with intensity until the end of their contract they can’t expect any more or less than that.
As the market becomes more aggressive each year and media scrutiny reflects public interest, clubs unable to handle looming departures to other clubs with class will suffer the consequences.
Back Jack after Blue
Jack Silvagni embodies the spirit of Carlton best among the Blues’ current crop. It was, in hindsight, a mistake to leave him out of the team against Adelaide even if it looked sound on paper.
On Saturday night, the Blues played like a team less certain of where each part fitted, with Marc Pittonet running on and off the bench to ruck and Tom De Koning pushing forward and in the ruck.
When Taylor Walker pushed Pittonet aside at a boundary throw-in and kicked a goal early, the signs were bad.
And they did not get better as Carlton, despite the efforts of Patrick Cripps and his sidekick Sam Walsh, lost the game at the contest.
Injuries to Corey Durdin (shoulder) and Nic Newman (knee) did not help, but they were unbalanced and once again too much was left to too few as they missed tackles and missed targets. The Crows’ confidence was high by the time Silvagni entered the game as the medical sub.
So now, as a mathematical possibility to miss finals after a pattern of win-loss results that began with their narrow loss to Collingwood in round 11, Michael Voss faces the biggest challenge of his first season as senior coach.
With just one win needed to guarantee a finals spot, they have Brisbane at the Gabba, Melbourne and the Magpies in the final round.
That spirit of Carlton remains essential if they are to reach finals because if they don’t now after the start they made their season will be deemed as below par.
tigers eat lions
The Lions will be heartbroken to not break their run of losses at the MCG which now extends to 11 after they gave up a 42-point lead – the biggest margin to be overcome this season – to lose to Richmond.
Again it was a tight finish that the Lions could not handle as they were pushed out of the top four and look unlikely to challenge the best teams in a big final at the MCG, while Richmond learned from the horrible losses in the past three weeks with to win. They are clearly more suited to ridden off the pace early, Kiwi rather than Vo Rogue.
Shai Bolton inspired the victory as he moves into the elite category with only the odd lackadaisical effort when kicking for goal needing to be tightened up. It was good to see Noah Cumberland make a crucial smother to seal the game after his disappointment last week. He is an emerging player, having kicked five goals in just his fifth match.
The Tigers are alive and the club everyone above them would hate to play in September. St Kilda coach Brett Ratten can claim they don’t get enough credit, but they haven’t earned that right yet while the Western Bulldogs aren’t firing.
There should be no glossing over the Lions’ performance, with their midfield needing to become less reliant on Lachie Neale and Hugh McCluggage, while their defensive system broke down under serious pressure. This is a loss to review hard and honestly because they won’t be considered legitimate contenders until the issues are resolved.
Tony Ongarello’s place in football history assured
Nearly a fortnight has passed since Tony Ongarello passed away aged 89. His name may be unfamiliar to some supporters but his place in football history is assured with Ongarello the last player to use a place kick in the VFL/AFL competition. He did so midway through his 131-game career with Fitzroy against Geelong in 1955 when his inaccuracy of him was frustrating him, having watched while still a child South Melbourne captain Jack Graham take the kick.
Ongarello kicked two goals against the Cats and then tried it a few more times that year before shelving it, leaving his name etched in football history forever.
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