AFL – Michmutters

Darren Ryan still flyin’ at 48, tells opponent he is ‘not’ his first stepladder

Before Flyin’ Ryan, there was Flyin’ Ryan’s dad and remarkably West Coast star Liam Ryan’s father Darren is still soaring in the Great Northern region.

And even at the age of 48 Ryan Sr, a former Claremont player and twice winner of the Great Northern Football League’s best-and-fairest award, is still adding to a career highlight reel of hangers.

Last week, while playing for Three Springs in the North Midlands Football League, the man known to most as “Snotty” took a classic screamer in a gripping final term.

Not only did it help Three Springs celebrate their first win of the season, he did so on the day of their centenary celebrations and over league-leading Mingenew.



Ginnivan treatment “despicable” as Magpie slams booing “grubs”

Collingwood vice-captain Taylor Adams has slammed Sydney fans for booing injured teammate Jack Ginnivan.

Adams labeled sections of the SCG crowd “grubs” for booing Ginnivan when he appeared on the screen whilst sitting on the bench.

The young Magpies forward injured his hamstring during Sunday’s 27-point loss to the Swans, which ended the Magpies’ 11-game winning streak.

Ginnivan was substituted out of the game at half-time after experiencing hamstring tightness in the second quarter.

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“Imagine booing an injured player. Grubs,” Adams tweeted.

SEN host Gerard Whateley slammed the “despicable” treatment Ginnivan has had to endure.

“We’ve allowed a young player in Jack Ginnivan to be demonized – and I think that’s just awful,” Whateley said on SEN’s Whateley.

“We all have played a role in that, all of us.”

Whateley said further: “Collectively all of us have demonized this young man and it’s awful – it’s actually despicable what we’re doing to him.

“He’s told us the affect that it’s having, and it seems to have no impact in our footy community.”

Collingwood coach Craig McRae provided an injury update on Ginnivan after the game.

“He played the last 10 minutes of the second quarter with a tight hamstring, and even kicked a goal with it,” McRae told reporters.

“We’ll work through that during the week and see what it is, but it’s pretty unlikely that he’ll play next week.”

Fifth-placed Collingwood lock horns with eighth-placed Carlton in a crucial Round 23 clash at the MCG on Sunday.



Bulldogs “set to pounce” on Adelaide small forward

Adelaide’s James Rowe is again on the radar of the Western Bulldogs.

That is according to SEN SA’s Andrew Hayes who believes the Bulldogs are “set to pounce” on the small forward.

The Dogs were interested in Rowe prior to the 2020 National Draft but essentially could not select the Woodville-West Torrens premiership player after the Crows made a bid on Jamarra Ugle-Hagan at pick 1.

That left Luke Beveridge’s club without the points required to take Rowe in the second round when the Crows snapped him up at pick 38.

However, the Dogs are again keen on the 22-year-old who is out of contract this year and yet to re-sign with the Crows.

“James Rowe is probably not going to get a contract at the Crows, that’s the word,” Hayes said on SEN SA Breakfast.

“The word right now is he’s probably not going to get renewed. This is a bloke who has played 16 games this year and averaging 13 disposals which is marked as above average for a small forward.

“I kicked two goals on the weekend (against North Melbourne) and it was a late addition for Wayne Milera.

“The Bulldogs are red hot into him. They were into him a couple of years ago, they were going to draft him, hence why the Crows had to nominate Jamarra Ugle-Hagan to get rid of a lot of their (the Bulldogs’) points.

“They couldn’t accumulate enough points from draft picks to get to James Rowe so he could be on their list.

“Now it looks like the Bulldogs are set to pounce on James Rowe.”

Kane Cornes is confident Rowe will again be on an AFL list in 2023, but expects to see him in Crows colors despite the Dogs’ reported interest.

However, he wouldn’t be overly surprised if Rowe ended up elsewhere.

“He might get a better offer to go,” he said.

“I still think the Crows will offer him a contract, but whether it will be a bargain basement type setup or whether another club sees a different and a larger role for him to play.

“He might have a decision to make. It might be good for him to go to another club.

“He’ll be playing AFL football next year, I think it will still be at Adelaide but I wouldn’t be surprised if another club makes him feel a bit more loved than Adelaide has made him feel.”

Rowe has played 35 games for Adelaide over the last two seasons and has returned 27 goals, including 12 in 16 outings in 2022.



“Serious questions” being asked as “anger” swirls around Essendon

There are “serious questions” being asked of Essendon in the wake of their heavy defeat to Port Adelaide on Sunday.

The Bombers were smashed by 84 points at Marvel Stadium which was their third loss in their last four games.

Coach Ben Rutten admitted post-match that it was “an embarrassing effort and output” from the players and “not something that we want to stand for and not something our members and supporters should have to watch at any stage”.

However, this is not the first time this has happened in 2022 and as a result, Garry Lyon believes there is plenty of unrest at the club with a lot of concern surrounding how they have performed across their seven-win campaign.

“There’s a number of aspects of this which is concerning if you’re an Essendon fan,” he said on SEN Breakfast.

“That is 20,000 people (at Marvel) first of all, and the apathy of the group by the end of it. Port Adelaide were great and clinical in the way they dismantled this side.

“I don’t know what may or may not happen on the back of that performance, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there are serious question being asked around Essendon on the back of the year, on the back of the number of times the coaches have had to come out after and say, ‘It’s embarrassing, we won’t stand for it or we won’t tolerate it’.

“Well, it is being tolerated because it keeps happening and a big club like that with 20,000 people and probably 10,000 left by the end of it, from what I could gather, were booing at various stages.

“That is not a club that is in good shape.”

Nathan Buckley also felt it was a largely apathetic showing from the Dons against an opponent that has also struggled in patches this year.

“The club that knocked them over lost their first five and had a bad start similarly to Essendon,” he said.

“They lost their last four games before this game, so Port have been competitive but they haven’t been world beaters.

“Essendon have been in a very similar situation. They’re not about to play finals but they’ve been trying to show some spirit. They had a block of about six weeks of form, but that was a very disappointing performance.

“You described it as apathy and that’s probably where the club looks like it’s at at the moment, on and off the field.”

Lyon believes Essendon would be the story of the day if there wasn’t the distraction of a fascinating Round 23 and impending finals series.

He feels there is a “fog descending” on the club.

“If we weren’t about to embrace a great final round of footy and then turn our minds to finals, if this happened five weeks ago then this would be the biggest story today,” he added.

“The Essendon Football Club would be the biggest story. The coach and his future of him and what they’re going to tolerate and what the board will stand for.

“This is a big, power club and what is happening there will be deemed to be unacceptable.

“What happened yesterday post that game would be a fascinating study because I would imagine there are people at Essendon that just aren’t and won’t accept what’s going on.

“That performance has got a whiff about uncertainty and fog descending on a footy club and it’s a standby and watch what unfolds.

“You get a bit of a sense when things start to rumble along and it might be a watch this space.”

Buckley added: “You can be well-beaten and be beaten by five goals.

“We’re talking about a margin three times that. It doesn’t happen as often and if it does happen, it generally points to a white flag going up and to a lack of capacity to actually stay the course and compete for the full quarters.”

Lyon replied: “And it gets sheeted back to the coach, which is right or wrong.

“When he comes out and says we can’t accept or tolerate it and we won’t, it sounds really hollow when you say that with one game to go – it kind of has been accepted and tolerated and that is why you see this non-existent defensive want, pressure, desire, want to work for one another.

“That’s how it all unfolds and an 84-point margin materializes.”

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SEN’s Sam Edmund is forecasting change for the Dons amid plenty of agitation and anger behind the scenes around The Hangar.

“There’s a lot of anger around the Bombers at the moment, so if the patience is wearing thin on where they stood, for many connected to the club that patience is evaporating,” Edmund said.

“Plenty of rumblings last night. We know there will be change brought on by the football department review, their second in three years.

“How far those changes extend is the question some connected to the club were asking and pondering last night.

“They are a powerful club so when things are going well, they’re going very well, and when things are going like they are at the moment, there’s always going to be rumblings. They’re a big coterie club as well with outspoken partners, supporters and members.

“At the moment there’s a lot of anger around the club. They’re a watch for today and this week.”

Essendon completes its lackluster 2022 season against Richmond at the MCG on Saturday night.



Essendon president under pressure to hold his position amid fierce unrest

Essendon president Paul Brasher is under pressure to hold his position amid fierce unrest at the club.

It can be revealed that Brasher is under mounting fire from members of his own board.

The source of the agitation centers on Brasher’s announcement in May of a football department review, which came a month after the president said no such review was needed.

Director Sean Wellman was put in charge of leading the review, with assistance from fellow board members Simon Madden and Kevin Sheedy.

But there was – and remains – a section of the Essendon board that wanted an external review to shine a light on the club’s operations.

A seven-win season in the club’s 150th year, which reached a new low in an 84-point thrashing at the hands of Port Adelaide, has heightened the angst that an external review was needed.

Vice-president Peter Allen and David Barham are seen to be among the contenders who would replace Brasher.

If an external review was then executed, key personnel at Tullamarine would face uncertain futures.

But the timing of any future review would be far from ideal, given the senior and assistant coaching landscape would most likely be sorted by the time it would be completed.



Nathan Buckley’s five takeaways from Round 22

The Buck Stops Here.

Nathan Buckley has gone through his five biggest takeaways from the weekend of footy.

Buckley has touched on Ben Cunnington, Jake Melksham, Tom Lynch, Dane Rampe, and Jake Lever.

Cunnington’s inspiring return to football

“At the end of Round 22, we’re a week away from the finals, and winning and losing seems to be the most important thing.

“It means a little less to me.

“The number one story I think out of the weekend was Ben Cunnington and his return after two bouts of cancer for North Melbourne.

“For a club that’s won two games for the year, lost their coach, has nothing to play for, but a universally respected player and person in Ben Cunnington, to see the human side that exists underneath this game, it’s a professional game that we all love, that story alone I think was brilliant for the club.

“It’s brilliant to see that Ben’s up and about and has a chance to play the game that he loves.

“I thought it was well handled by the North Melbourne footy club and Ben himself, so all credit.”

Melksham establishes himself in Melbourne’s side

“Halfway through the year his skirmish with Steven May and the words that were exchanged were seen as nearly something that wasn’t going to be overcome.

“But his performance on the weekend was first class.

“Whether the words were, ‘we wouldn’t have won the flag if you’d have played’, whether it’s anything like that, that sticks to a player.

“His contested mark with a minute-and-a-half to play gave Melbourne a chance.

“15 disposals, seven marks, four goals playing as a defensive forward, looks after the leading intercept marker of the opposition, and he’s established himself.

“Wherever Melbourne goes, he’s going to be there, because he’s played an important role recently.”

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Lynch cherry ripe approaching finals

“Eight goals at the ‘G yesterday (Sunday) at three-quarter time.

“He’s kicked 55 for the year. This guy could well be the joker in the pack for Richmond going into the finals.

“Taking clunks and pack marks is pivotal in finals football and in big games.

“You take three or four clunks in the forward 50 in a big game, in a tight game, final on the MCG, that’s going to make a difference.

“I think he’s cherry ripe to have a big September.”

Rampe’s defensive effort to deny Mihocek

“Dane Rampe’s goal in the first quarter was amazing, but his defensive effort to stop Brody Mihocek kicking a goal in the middle of the last quarter was a significant moment.

“When you get great games and great contests like that… it’s key moments that make the difference.

“Dane Rampe, as one of the captains of the club, stood up.”

Lever’s role in match-winning Demons play

“Right at the end of the Saturday night game, Jayden Hunt took that ground ball and was able to kick it in long.

“But to get the ball in the first place, it was squared up by Jake Lever, it was a great heads up play to put the ball in a dangerous position.

“Did they (Carlton) get enough numbers back behind the ball? Because when that ball went in it was actually even numbers, you can’t have that when you’re defending less than a one-goal lead with seconds remaining.

“But Jake Lever was able to get his hand on the ball … that kick was just a blind, 90-degree, perpendicular kick into the middle of the field, (Jesse) Motlop was the only Carlton player against three Melbourne players, Hunt swooped on it and was able to get it down for Kysaiah (Pickett) to finish off.

“A great heads up play by an experienced player. It would’ve been coached, but you’ve still got to keep your head in the moment to trust and to execute when it matters.”



Braden Quartermaine: Injured forwards Matt Taberner, Rory Lobb and Nat Fyfe a finals headache for Fremantle

Last month, Justin Longmuir was asked an interesting question about his spearhead Matt Taberner and provided an interesting answer.

On whether Taberner could become a liability at some point given his ongoing injury issues, Longmuir responded: “Maybe at some point, but we’re definitely not there yet.”

Six weeks on, the management of not just one, but three injury-affected forwards is looming as the defining issue of Fremantle’s finals campaign.



A dozen West Coast Eagles and Fremantle Dockers players slugged with $20,000 worth of fines for derby melee

A dozen Fremantle and West Coast players have been fined more than $20,000 combined following a brutal western derby clash on Saturday.

Eagles forward Liam Ryan copped the biggest punishment, a $3000 fine for striking Dockers speedster Brandon Walker in the first quarter of the Optus Stadium clash.

The incident was deemed intentional, low impact and body contact by the AFL’s Match Review Officer Michael Christian.

Ryan was also fined $1500 for his role in the first term melee that momentarily stopped play.



Bombers-Hawks AFLW match moved to Docklands following ‘unprecedented’ ticket demand

The AFLW first-round match between Essendon and Hawthorn has been moved to the 53,359-capacity Docklands stadium due to a massive demand for tickets.

The historic match between the two AFLW newcomers — to be played on August 27 — was to be held at the 12,000-capacity North Port Oval in Melbourne, but the initial allocation of tickets sold out within 24 hours.

AFL general manager of women’s football Nicole Livingstone said the venue relocation was an indication of the increasing interest in AFLW.

“We’re in an incredible place coming into our seventh season and I couldn’t be prouder of every single person who got us here,” she said.


AFL executive member Travis Auld said the demand for tickets was “unprecedented.”

“Quite simply the fans of both clubs, and supporters of women’s footy in general showed why we needed to move to a bigger venue by selling out the game so quickly,” he said.

“Two proud clubs, a historic occasion for them and another historic moment for the AFLW competition.”

Port Adelaide and Sydney join Essendon and Hawthorn as the new AFLW teams, meaning the competition will feature all 18 AFL clubs.

The AFLW season begins on August 25, with Carlton hosting Collingwood at Princes Park.

Adelaide and Melbourne meet in a grand final rematch the following evening at Norwood Oval.



“Arrogant” Saints slammed as Lloyd points out flaws in King’s goal-kicking technique

Port Adelaide great Kane Cornes has slammed St Kilda for barring young forward Max King from receiving goal-kicking tips off AFL legend Matthew Lloyd.

King, who Lloyd coached at high school level with Haileybury, initially reached out to the former Don for help in 2021 with the Saints denying his request as they’d rather let their own coaching staff train the key forward.

With King struggling for goal again in Friday’s loss to Brisbane as he kicked 0.5 from relatively standard set shots, St Kilda’s call was questioned again by Cornes after the 22-year-old’s waywardness cost his side the game.

“It was absolutely precious, and it was arrogant of St Kilda to not accept the help that Max was asking for,” Cornes said on Nine’s Sunday Footy Show.

“Now we’re 12 months down the track and Max King has kicked 0.5 in a game that St Kilda needed to win to keep their final hopes alive.”

Post-match, Brett Ratten doubled down on the club’s decision to bar Lloyd from coaching King, stating that the forward “won’t be seeing anybody outside the club” despite the fact that he’s kicked 41 behinds to go with his 47 goals this season .

“Flatly denying that they will accept any help from outside the club,” Cornes said.

“Once again, I will say it’s arrogant, it is precious, and they are looking after their own ego.

“Max King is crying out for help, he’s asked for help and his football club is denying him of that.

“It’s costing his team … I guess I’m going to say again for the arrogance of thinking they can fix a problem that they clearly can’t.”

In his press conference, Ratten also added that King doesn’t have “many flaws” in his goal-kicking routine, something that Lloyd himself disagreed with.

“It’s a very naive comment because he has got flaws,” Lloyd said.

“I want to take a look at what he’s doing wrong.

“When he’s coming in you need momentum in your run-up… when you’re walking in slow like Max King is, to generate power, you need to lean back with your body.

“But if you’ve got speed on the ball and you’re going quicker, you’re over it and you can get your ball drop down.”

Further analyzing King when he makes contact with the football, Lloyd believes having a more upright back position when kicking could help the young star.

“I’m not sure why he’s spinning the ball as he’s coming in,” he said.

“But look at how slow he’s coming in, the momentum falls back.

“He kicks the ball but look at the position he’s in, he’s leaning back like he’s on a chair.

“That’s why he’s struggling and he’s pulling the ball as he tries to generate power.

“You should be kicking the ball and going forward and taking another step after you kick the footy.

“It is a technical flaw, he’s kicked 47.41 this year.”

King and the Saints will be hoping to bounce back when they host Sydney at Marvel Stadium next Sunday.