Five things we are looking forward to Saturday

Eddie tells us what to look forward to Saturday.

Cultivating Weid 

This isn’t where we thought the Dees would be.  Fighting over early favouritism for the wooden spoon with the equally wayward North Melbourne.  A few weeks back Sam Weideman was one of the up and coming forwards and talk was contract discussions north of $600k/year.

Melbourne and Sam have had a quick lesson in what happens when you trade out the guy who gets the best backman and your other tall gets sent  to the backline to find some footy. Suddenly Weideman gets the best tall back and life is more difficult.  

We’re looking forward to seeing how he responds as he lines up in the magoos with Casey this weekend against Footscray. This could be the making of him.  On the other hand it could highlight further how bad the early signs are for what was effectively the May/Hogan swap.

Lock it in … Josh

GWS have made a hobby of training up gun midfielders and then trading them for high draft picks so the re-signing of Josh Kelly is great news. Two years will hardly see Kelly end up a one club player for GWS and appears something of a speculative renewal while he gets a feel for where GWS are heading.  

St Kilda have given a lifeline to former Magpie Jonathan Marsh who went into a couple of years of semi retirement at home in WA.  A stint with East Fremantle is enough to drive anyone away in the Sharks’ current state but that’s a whole other story.  Marsh is named in a forward pocket but this seems as unlikely as Jeremy Finlayson lining up in a back pocket. The pair may find themselves matched but at the other end of the ground. 

The battle of the original expansion teams

Fitzroy vs South Melbourne was a great inner city Melbourne match up back in the day but both teams have sought greener pastures and more predictable cash flow (at the VFL/AFL’s behest).  

It feels a little soulless compared to 25 thousand on the chilly terraces of a muddy Lake Oval but it had to be done.  Both have premiership cups on the mantle since moving – an unlikely occurrence for both given their precarious state immediately prior to relocation, so we shouldn’t be too malancholy. Flags are why we play. 

The two sides are the proverbial ships in the night as Sydney is apparently on the slide and Brisbane has more upside than a border force beagle on a banana plantation. Look forward to watching Brisbane. It’s fun. 

In the dog house

Here’s another reason we want to head down to Casey Fields this weekend.  In round 2 Josh Schache kicked four against the Hawks in a remarkable last quarter turnaround.  He was hardly seen in the next two games against Gold Coast and Collingwood and was promptly dropped and is still running around in the twos. 

Whilst he may not be making the impact needed every week, the Doggies look a lot more balanced with Schache in a key forward post. Billy Gowers is playing as a tall forward which isn’t quite his bag and Bontempelli should only ever be resting forward. Like Fyfe at the Dockers he’s too good around the ground and the Bulldogs cannot afford the luxury of him as a full time forward. 

Players like Schache are long term projects and he’s not developing into they player they need when he’s in the VFL.  Perhaps there is more to it than we know.

Where are the Eagles?

Are they setting themselves to peak at the pointy end a la 2018 or are we in the early phases of a premiership hangover? There have been a couple of unsettling losses for the reigning premiers but it’s too early to tell.

Nothing will lull the Eagles fans back into a false sense of security like a big home win against an improving but not quite there Suns outfit. The Eagles love a home game and this could get ugly if everything lines up – noisy fans, sympathetic umpires, Kennedy and Darling flying, Petrucelli scorching up the turf.  

Despite missing young but established backman. Tom Barass, the Eagles backs will be too strong.  The Suns should get first use on the back of massively underestimated big man Jarrod Witts but that’s where it will end. This will be a goal feast for the Eagles but it won’t answer any questions. 

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