Free Agency Wrap Day 4 – Chaplin move finalised, Demons snag Byrnes

Dual-premiership small forward Shannon Byrnes joined the Demons today.

Day 4 of free agency was a bit more lively than the past couple of days, with clubs re-signing and searching as the beginning of the trade period looms. Two players officially found new homes today, while others expressed and changed their interest. A key signing for the Dockers leads the ‘hands off’ section today.

The two movers today weren’t big surprises, but were welcome news for their new clubs all the same. Port Adelaide chose not to match Richmond’s offer for restricted defender Troy Chaplin, citing injury worries as their reason. Football manager Peter Rohde fronted the media yet again today.

Troy needed serious knee surgery towards the end of 2012 and while we hope he has many years off football left, we’re not prepared to commit to the extent Richmond is. We would have liked Troy to remain at Alberton, but on terms suitable to the Port Adelaide Football Club as well as the player.

In fact, we had what we considered a fair contract in front of Troy and his management for a long period this year, but unfortunately they were unwilling to sign.

Chaplin becomes Port Adelaide’s second loss to free agency after Danyle Pearce, with Steven Salopek still on the market after leaving the club to look for other opportunities.

Geelong dual-premiership player Shannon Byrnes was the other mover today, signing with the Melbourne Football Club for 2 years. Although it was expected by many, it represents a fairly quick change of heart for Byrnes, who less than a month ago opened the paper and was caught off-guard when his name popped up in a move to Melbourne. But the opportunity to play more senior games and fitting in with the young group was a big lure for Byrnes. He also sung the praises of the free agency system from a players point of view:

It is just the best possible thing that could have come for me at this stage. To be able to have a choice and a bit of control over my own future instead of just throwing yourself in a lottery…you can actually go somewhere you want to go.

Over at Windy Hill, things aren’t as rosy for a group of Essendon players, according to recently outgoing player Henry Slattery. He said he’d been thinking of leaving for nearly a year, and that other players in the Bombers group ‘in limbo’ may also seek to leave. “There’s a lot of players that don’t know if they’re still wanted” said Slattery today.

The South Australian product also acknowledged he was speaking to Port Adelaide today, saying that he’d “love” to play for the Power next year and would “definitely take it (any opportunity)”.

Meanwhile, in news of players who are off the free-market, Fremantle All-Australian defender Luke McPharlin signed a new two year deal with the club at 30 years of age. Although he was unlikely to leave the club, the Dockers will be happy that they have such an important player sealed and delivered after an outstanding season.

There was little talk of the ongoing Kurt Tippett and Josh Caddy sagas today, but Brisbane Lions head recruiter Rob Kerr said that he wished for Tippett to make his decision within 48 hours. Kerr went on to speak about the possibilities for the Lions in free agency, with Melbourne’s Brent Moloney and Hawthorn’s Clinton Young looming as key targets if they don’t snag Tippett.

This came after news from Moloney’s management that he was ‘unlikely’ to sign with Essendon despite rumours, due to the recent Brendan Goddard signing.

As the Monday trade period opening draws ever closer, clubs are working out how to play their cards. BigFooty News will have all the updates tomorrow night.

Moves:

Troy Chaplin (Port Adelaide, restricted) moved via FA to the Richmond Tigers

Shannon Byrnes (Geelong, unrestricted) moved via FA to the Melbourne Demons

Keep up with all the latest moves and rumours on the BigFooty Drafts and Trading Board.

Mark Williams on GWS, Port, Kevin Sheedy and his future

BigFootyNews caught up with Mark Williams to discuss his first season as assistant coach of start-up club GWS.

Son of South Australian legend Fos, Williams has become an AFL heavyweight in his own right. Beginning his career at West Adelaide, he moved to Port Adelaide in the SANFL in 1979 before starting his VFL career with Collingwood, playing 135 games for them and kicking 178 goals.

He’s no stranger to new sides either, having played 66 games for the Brisbane Bears from 1987-1990.

As a coach, Williams won a flag and finished with a positive winning record at Port Adelaide. He’s not slowing either as he begins a new chapter of his life at Greater Western Sydney.

In this exclusive interview, Williams speaks of his feelings about the expansion side’s win over his old team Port, the atmosphere around the club, the role he had in recruiting ex-Port players there and the future that lies ahead for AFL’s most challenging experiment yet.

Dylan Toune: Obviously was a tough game against St Kilda, at half time what did you say to the boys?

Mark Williams: Well first quarter we won the stoppages, second quarter we got smashed in them. I think by half time they’d kicked eight goals to two from stoppages so we made some adjustments there, and by the end of the game, they’d only kicked two more to one. We’d won the clearances by the end of the game, that was great for us.

We changed a few players around, just gave everyone a few targets to work at. In general it was a pretty good game in the second half for our players, given that we were so far down we could have gotten smashed by, you know even more, could have lost by 200 points at one stage there. With not much to play for, it was pretty good.

DT: At the end of your current contract do you see yourself staying with the Giants? Are you enjoying it there?

MW: Yeah, it’s fantastic. With such a great group of young players and I’m really enjoying working with the young coaches too, giving them a chance to develop. You can see in a very short period of time they’re going to be a lot better and become a force in the AFL.

DT: You played for the Bears didn’t you?

MW: Yeah, first side player for the Brisbane Bears.

DT: Has it made you more aware?

MW: Well, I was at Port Adelaide as well, so I’ve been at three start-up clubs, which is a bit unique.

DT: You have a teaching background don’t you?

MW: I’m a phys-ed teacher, I taught for 10 years while I played at Collingwood and also before I started playing as well. That’s what I did, so I really enjoy the skill development and skill acquisition and decision-making training, helping them make decisions under pressure.

DT: Are there any players that have you shaking your head a bit, in terms of acting a bit silly or something?

MW: Well look, if you’ve got 50 players you’re always going to probably have 10% or so that are giving you a bit of trouble, but these guys are terrific and self-motivated. The fact that they’re high achievers and want to be well recognised in the AFL as soon as they can so they come to work, it doesn’t matter if they win or lose – get smashed or not, they’re very resillient. They always want to shake anything bad that happened last week off and improve very quickly, so it’s a great environment to be in.

DT: I just wanted to ask about the coaching dynamics at the club. There’s been a lot of talk that Kevin Sheedy doesn’t actually do much, so I wanted to ask how much of a presence Sheedy actually has down there.

MW: He has a massive presence. In the scheme of things I’m certainly given the opportunity to do most of the coaching, but Sheeds oversees it and he’s on the track to make sure we do what he wants. The individual development and the drills and that, myself and the line coaches certianly spend more time on that than Sheeds, he lets us do what we do best and he certainly does what he does best.

Come match day he runs the show. It works really well for everyone.

DT: The players must love having someone of his experience around.

MW: Yeah, he also plays a major role in the promotion of the club, he’s always off doing things. The club will see they get more bang for the buck for him being there at our meetings and training sessions.

DT: I’m a Lions supporter, I wanted to ask how has Luke Power been around the club, along with the other older guys? Are they good leaders and contributors?

MW: Luke’s good, I didn’t really know him before he came but to get to 300 games is brilliant for him. I wouldn’t say he’s any more influential than James McDonald, Dean Brogan, Chad Cornes or even Setanta O’Hailpin, all of those guys have played a massive role off the field.

Whether they provide feedback to the players, on the field they’re just terrific as far as being able to calm the players and make better decisions while they’re out there. Instead of having to send a runner out there we’ve got coaches on the field who are continually giving feedback to the players and continually trying to change what they’re doing with their thinking in a second, rather than waiting five minutes to get a runner out there.

Mark Williams says having playing coaches Chad Cornes (pictured), Luke Power, Dean Brogan and James McDonald on the field is immensely useful.

DT: It must be great for the group dynamic. Just on that point, assuming a few of the blokes don’t go round again will you be looking at picking up more senior bodies and senior players?

MW: That’s what I’ve heard, but honestly I don’t have too much to do with that.

DT: I wanted to ask about Skoda, do you find there’s any sort of home ground advantage there yet? How are the facilities?

MW: (laughs) We’ve won one game there, so no home ground advantage yet, but it’s a fantastic facility. The AFL have done a wonderful job, and the people at Olympic Park there. We’ve just recently purchased the golf driving range, so our training facility is going to be right there.

We’re building a new oval and a new indoor facility with gym, weights, recovery. For those that know where the driving range is, it’s right next to the Olympic swimming pool. So that’ll be great, it’s probably one year away from being totally ready. The truth is that we’ll be based only ten minutes away from where most of the players live, but still be able to surface out to Blacktown where many of our new fans and players will come from in the future.

DT: Speaking of the players, we all know the likes of Toby Greene, Jeremy Cameron and Adam Treloar are fantastic, but are there any you can see that will come out and surprise us next year like these guys have? 

MW: Everyone’s seem little glimpses of certain people. Stephen Coniglio’s done some good stuff but its only been spasmodic and I’m sure he’ll have much better gears [in future]. Jon Patton did virtually nothing all pre-season, I mean he could barely walk around the grounds, but to play what he has [been able to] has been fantastic for him.

You’re all aware my daughter goes out with Dylan Shiel, he’s been really good but unfortunately he’s been injured twice this pre-season – he had appendicitis and then had foot surgery which has put him out for the last eight weeks or so. He’ll show some real signs when he comes back.

I think Jon Giles has been the standout in regards to a bloke that was delisted after four years at Port, to show the form he has is a great story for us as well.

Toby Greene

DT: Were you a part of getting him to GWS? Assumedly you would have worked with him at Port.

MW: Yeah, very much so. When they talked about who might be the best ruckman I might be aware of I mentioned he played very well at Sturt and so on. He’s played two years up here now, we had a year in the NEAFL and he was certainly our best player last year, so it didn’t surprise us much that he could [perform at AFL level].

We played against the Suns, Lions and Swans reserves so he was against good ruckmen, the likes of [Mike] Pyke, [Mark] Seaby and those sort of blokes played and he played pretty well against those blokes.

DT: He’s been fantastic this year. A lot of people are looking at them trading Brogan to you and with Lobbe and Redden struggling a bit, they can be amazed that he slipped through their fingers.

MW: It’s just great to think that people getting a second chance can shine. We all love people who are underdogs and get second chances. It doesn’t always necessarily work the first time – it might be the circumstance or the opportunity, but this has worked well and he has a bright future in front of him.

DT: Speaking of second chances and people moving up, you got Steve Clifton from the VFL and I’m a big fan of his, will you be looking at the state leagues again?

MW: As I said, I don’t have too much to do with that, but if you look at a lot of the rookies, some of the best players in the AFL, whether it’s [Dean] Cox, [Aaron] Sandilands, [Stephen] Milne, there’s a whole stack of them that have come through as rookies or players who get second chances.

It was fantastic that Tom Logan played his 100th game for the Power and he was a second-chance man from Brisbane.

Tom Logan played his 100th game for the Power on the weekend – one of the ‘second-chance men’ Williams spoke of.

DT: On the Power, was the win against them a little bittersweet?

MW: Oh, very much so. It was brilliant for our fans and supporters, trainers, all the people who have done a lot of work to get it going, but I have so many good friends and memories with Port that when the siren had gone it was, yeah, to understand the ramifications of that loss to Port, such a proud club, it was pretty hard to watch the other boys and how they had to handle it.

It was the same when I spoke to Chad [Cornes] and Broges [Dean Brogan], the thought of beating Port was exciting before the game but afterwards it didn’t taste that good.

DT: Yeah, I can imagine with Matthew Primus’s reaction, a lot of the Port boys and yourself would have been a bit…

MW: He’s a great friend of all of us – Alan Hinch, our opposition analyst and video man, Jon Giles, the other boys and I, there’s four or five of us that have spent a lot of time at Port and we always keep an eye on what’s going on there.

DT: Just wanted to ask how you guys are interacting with the community, and how you’re finding the coverage out there?

MW: I think the people in the media department have done just a brilliant job, I can’t imagine the amount of publicity we’ve gotten. I was pretty skeptical, thinking we wouldn’t get too much, but we’ve certainly gotten an amazing amount of publicity. I think Israel Folau is the reason for a lot of that, and obviously Sheeds is brilliant as well.

Whatever Israel gets paid he’s certainly been worth it with the publicity so far. He’s gonna take a bit of time with his footy, he’s had a bit of an injury-interrupted season but he’s moving in the right direction.

Folau playing in the AFL for GWS. (Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/affers)

If the club can keep getting publicity, win a few more games next year and more people jump on board, it’ll certainly take off, just like it did with Brisbane.

Hawks end Port’s Buddha Reincarnation

HAWTHORN     1.3     9.9     13.12     24.15 (159)
PORT ADELAIDE     3.4     5.7     10.9     13.9 (87)

Hawthorn, despite shaky first and third terms, have smashed the Power by 72 points at Aurora Stadium in order to solidify its position in the top four.

The lopsided scoreboard would not concern the new Power coach Garry Hocking, as they only trailed by 17 points early in the final quarter after Paul Stewart kicked the first of the term from the boundary.

The scare sparked the Hawks into action however, as they kicked 11 of the next 13 goals to obliterate the Power and still receive a healthy percentage boost.

The victory was soured by an apparent shoulder injury to Cyril Rioli who was eventually substituted at half time. It meant the Hawks were without three of their top four goalkickers this season, with Lance Franklin and Jarryd Roughead also missing, but Hawthorn once again found plenty of attacking options.

Paul Puopolo kicked five, David Hale kicked four and the Hawks found 13 individual goal kickers as they kicked away in the last term.

The Power midfield was eventually worn down by the stronger and more experienced Hawks, with Sam Mitchell, Jordan Lewis and Brad Sewell all producing quality games.

Knowing that they were able to match one of the competitions better sides for the best part of three quarters should provide confidence to a playing group that was devastated last week in losing to the Giants. Things don’t get any easier however, with the Power set to face the Eagles next week.

Votes

Birchall

Puopolo

Mitchell
GOALS
Hawthorn:
 Puopolo 5, Hale 4, Breust 3, Ellis 2, Smith 2, Guerra, Lewis, Hodge, Suckling, Gilham, Young, Rioli, Gunston
Port Adelaide: Schulz 4, Brett Ebert 2, Lobbe, Stewart, Broadbent 2, Brad Ebert, Boak, Westhoff

BEST
Hawthorn:
 Mitchell, Puopolo, Lewis, Sewell, Hale
Port Adelaide: Pearce, Boak, Ebert, Schulz, Cornes

INJURIES
Hawthorn:
 Rioli (shoulder), Gibson (ankle)
Port Adelaide: Nil

SUBSTITUTES
Hawthorn:
 Cyril Rioli replaced by Matthew Suckling at half-time
Port Adelaide: Andrew Moore replaced by John McCarthy in the third quarter

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Armstrong, Mitchell, Bannister

Official crowd: 14,431 at Aurora Stadium

Buddys return to outshine Buddha’s retreat

WHERE and WHEN: Aurora Stadium, Sunday, 12 August – 1:10pm

Port Adelaide’s tumultuous week is set to get a lot worse facing a Hawthorn side smarting from an after-the-siren loss in the game of the season.

There were absolutely no positives to be taken out of Port Adelaide’s loss to GWS last week. The performance was so inept coach Matthew Primus couldn’t even see out the game, and subsequently won’t be seeing out the season. The president fell on his sword with him. The appointment of Gary Hocking as interim coach may well turn the club’s fortunes around temporarily, yet they face a monster of a task that even the real Buddha himself would baulk at facing Hawthorn fresh from a close loss to nemesis Geelong.

Port have been another of Hawthorn’s bogey sides, beating them 15 of their 25 clashes, yet the Hawks have won their last three meetings including a 165-point drubbing at the ‘G late last year. Statistically, Port aren’t too far behind the Hawks in contested possessions and points conceded, though they have been lacking the forward firepower and consistency for most of the season. They’ll lift and be putting their head over the ball for their new coach after an effort last week that was labelled “bruise free football”.

Up until their ninth straight loss to Geelong since beating them for the 2008 flag, Hawthorn had stormed into premiership favouritism with a string of crushing defeats including a thorough dismantling of the then top of the table Pies as well as kicking some cricket scores against lowly teams.

The Hawks look set to start Lance Franklin who will return from a month on the sidelines, and Max Bailey, who was a late withdrawal against Geelong is certain to play. Liam Shiels accepted a one match suspension which opens the door for the return of Chance Bateman or Xavier Ellis – who have been starring for Box hill – into the middle.

Teams always fire after the sacking of a coach mid-season, yet the Hawks welcoming back Buddy and Bailey, and no doubt seething from their loss to Geelong will most likely make Buddha’s initiation to coaching a less than spiritual one.

Prediction: Hawks by 46

Giants shine for Sheedy

GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY         5.4    8.6    10.9    16.11 (107)
PORT ADELAIDE                                 1.2    4.5     8.9      10.13 (73)

It should have come as no surprise, considering the career of Kevin Sheedy had been full of memorable victories, but in his 1000th game the Giants have upset the Power by 34 points, throwing Matthew Primus’ coaching career into a state of crisis.

The Giants have been on the end of a number of three-figure thrashings of late, yet started the contest looking like they’d notch the century by half-time. Port Adelaide looked as if they’d already banked the four points and lazily went about a horrendously soft quarter marked by turnovers and wasteful disposal.

GWS mopped up easily with Chad Cornes taking marks at will as free man in defence against his former club. With the ground speed on their fleet of young midfielders capitalising on Port’s turnovers, the Giants kicked five goals four in a dominant quarter, Port Adelaide only getting on the scoreboard with a behind with four minutes left to play, and notching their first goal after the quarter time siren. Bugg had kicked three and the Giants lead by 26 at quarter time.

A scuffle as the players made their way to the quarter-time huddles suggested at least that the Power were at least finally vaguely interested in the contest. Though another goal from a centre clearance to the emerging midfielder Adam Treolar within 20 seconds showed the Giants were well up for it today. Taylor Adams kicked one a minute later, and when number one draft Jon Patton pick got clear, marked and goaled the lead was ominous. Tellingly the Giants had kicked 35 points from Port turnovers.

After pressuring a turnover from the Port forwards, quick disposal through the corridor found Devon Smith found himself clear in the square and ran to the edge of fifty and bombed it through for a thirty point lead for the Giants. Power responded with Ebert’s second goal as Patton was forced from the field for the Giants with a shoulder injury.

The Giants surprisingly were finishing the better and with more run. Port looked out on their feet and GWS continued to boldly use the corridor. The Giants quickly extended the margin out to thirty, and yet Port Adelaide appeared still stagnate to stop the newcomers in the competition. Quick direct play again saw cheeky forward Cameron free, and he took great glee in strutting to the edge of the square and belting it into the crowd to take them to 101 and a 36-point lead.

Ebert got one back from a free-kick soon after, but a five goal margin with less than four minutes remaining would be too big an obstacle to overcome.

Sheedy has done a brilliant job instilling a sense of toughness and character in his young charges, but the irony of the result cannot be ignored. The Power champions of Mark Williams, Dean Brogan and Chad Cornes have all played large parts in creating the side which has sent Port Adelaide into possibly the darkest point in its long history.

GOALS

Greater Western Sydney: Bugg 3, Cameron 3, Giles 2, Smith 2, Treloar 2, Adams, Cornes, Hoskin-Elliott, Patton
Port Adelaide: Brett Ebert 3, Schulz 2, Brad Ebert, Hartlett, Moore, P.Stewart, Westhoff

BEST
Greater Western Sydney:
 Giles, Ward, Coniglio, Smith, Treloar, Cameron, Greene
Port Adelaide: Cornes, Hartlett, Pearce, Boak, Brett Ebert

INJURIES
Greater Western Sydney:
 Patton (shoulder)
Port Adelaide: Carlile (hamstring), Logan (thigh), Hartlett (calf)

SUBSTITUTES
Greater Western Sydney: 
Will Hoskin-Elliott replaced Taylor Adams in the fourth quarter
Adelaide: Aaron Young replaced Hamish Hartlett in the fourth quarter

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Fleer, Pannell, Harris

Official crowd: 6,811 at Skoda Stadium

Power and Giants likely to fizzle


WHERE AND WHEN: Skoda Stadium, Saturday August 4, 2.10pm

Recent weeks has seen Greater Western Sydney play some of the powerhouses of the competition with some ugly results. Sydney, Hawthorn, Adelaide and Collingwood have smashed the young side and with the side appearing to have finally run out of legs, the results are likely to get worse.

Port Adelaide would normally present the ideal opportunity for GWS to push – or maybe even defeat – a settled opponent, but it doesn’t seem likely the way they’ve contested the previous month.

They’ve still had performances from young players which have provided great hope for the future, but when you’re smashing into AFL hardened bodies week in and week out, something will eventually give.

Port Adelaide has improved in 2012, yet still suffers from inconsistencies which has put coach Matthew Primus under extreme pressure. They’ve beaten sides that are still in the running for a top eight spot, but it’s the losses like last week’s which really raises questions.

Fremantle completely destroyed the Power, almost making the Port Adelaide forward half redundant as they locked the ball inside attacking 50 for large portions of the game.

Final Say

Unfortunately for the Giants, this game provides the perfect opportunity – against the perfect opponent – for the Power to record a confidence boosting win.

Power by 129

 

Howe leaps straight to the Tribunal – Match Review Panel Round 17 2012

Melbourne high-flyer Jeremy Howe will face the AFL Tribunal on Tuesday night after the Match Review Panel bypassed his case.

Howe alledgedly wiped blood from his knee on Port Adelaide defender Tom Jonas’ shorts during the third quarter of Saturday Night’s match in Darwin, which the Demons lost by 28 points.

He was charged with a misconduct offence by the MRP but the tribunal panel will decide the punishment.

The only similar case in recent times was back in 2002, when then-Collingwood captain Nathan Buckley wiped blood from his forehead on Geelong hard man Cameron Ling’s guernsey.

In other cases, Geelong fullback Matthew Scarlett has been charged with a level-two triking offence against Essendon youngster Corey Dell’Olio during the fourth quarter of Friday Night’s match at Etihad Stadium. Due to a previous poor record, Scarlett has received a one-match penalty, and this cannot be reduced with an early-plea.

Seven North Melbourne and 11 Richmond players can accept fines for their involvement in a melee during the first quarter of Sunday’s match at the MCG.

Richmond’s Shane Tuck, Alex Rance, Dustin Martin and Luke McGuane and North Melbourne’s Michael Firrito and Jamie MacMillan can accept $2100 fines for a second offence for enganging in a melee.

Matt Dea, Jayden Post, Chris Newman, Reece Conca, Steven Morris, Brendan Ellis, Kelvin Moore, Drew Petrie, Robbie Tarrant, Lindsay Thomas, Sam Wright and Daniel Wells can accept $1200 fines for a first offence engaging in a melee.

Richmond’s Brett Deledio has also been offered a $1950 first offence fine for using absuive, threatening or obscene language during the second quarter of the match on Sunday.

Other incidents assessed were contact between Eagles’ Beau Waters and Adelaide’s Kurt Tippett, contact between Carlton’s Paul Bower and Bulldog Christian Howard and contact between Swan Ben McGlynn and St Kilda’s Brendan Goddard, however these were dismissed.

 

Bombers Cut Power Short

PORT ADELAIDE        4.3    8.6    11.9     11.11  (77)
ESSENDON                   4.2    8.4    13.8    19.13  (127)



Essendon has shaken off a plucky Port Adelaide outfit in the last quarter to run out 50 point winners and in the process keeping their top four dreams alive.

The scoreboard ultimately flattered the Bombers, who were challenged at every turn by the Power who just couldn’t keep up in what was a dominant final term for Essendon.

There was bad news for the ‘Dons however, with Michael Hibberd suffering a quad injury in the third term – another soft tissue for a club that has suffered more than its fair share of those injuries over the past few years. Hibberd will be under a huge injury cloud for the clubs massive matchup against the Cats next week.

One player who has been hit with a stack of injuries in his career would have been the major positive for Essendon, with unlucky forward Scott Gumbleton finishing the contest unscathed and kicking three vital goals. It was Gumbleton’s first match since 2010, and you’d be hard pressed to find a Bomber fan without a smile on their face about the result.

Surprisingly, it was Essendon’s first victory over the Power in twelve years, so the victory becomes an important mental milestone as coach James Hird continues to develop his side hopefully back to the powerhouse they once were.

For the Power, it was another ‘honourable loss’, despite what the final scoreboard read. They scrapped, hassled and did everything to bring the Bombers down to their level, but ultimately Essendon had too much class for Port Adelaide to contain.

Coach Matthew Primus will look at matches like these as a lost opportunity, but with one side determined to break into the top four, it was always going to be a tough ask for the Power to remain close for the full four quarters.

Votes

Watson

Brett Ebert

Howlett

GOALS
Port Adelaide: 
Westhoff, Ebert 3, D Stewart  2, McCarthy, P Stewart, Thomas
Essendon: Gumbleton, Jetta 3, Dell’Olio, Bellchambers, Hille 2, Davey, Dyson, Melksham, Reimers, Howlett, Myers, Watson



BEST
Port Adelaide: 
Brad Ebert, Brett Ebert, Moore, Broadbent, Boak, Westhoff 

Essendon: Bellchambers, Howlett, Jetta, Gumbleton, Heppell, Watson

INJURIES
Port Adelaide: 

Nil
Essendon: Michael Hibberd (quad)

SUBS:
Port Adelaide:
 Matthew Lobbe replaced by Chad Wingard in the third quarter.

Essendon: Michael Hibberd (quad) replaced by Nathan Lovett-Murray in the third quarter.


Reports: Nil

Umpires: Farmer, Ritchie, Fila



Official crowd: 17, 344 at AAMI Stadium

Essendon To Bounce Back

WHERE AND WHEN: AAMI Stadium, Saturday July 14, 1.40pm

Essendon will look to bounce back after their disappointing loss this week when they face a Port Adelaide team that will fancy an upset at AAMI Stadium.

The Bombers were extremely  underwhelming last week in a 71 point loss to St Kilda. Essendon had to win the game to stay in the race for the top four and the loss meant they dropped down to sixth. They will be expecting to win this week and anything less will be a disaster.

Port Adelaide are in a form slump at the moment having not won since round 10 and are not living up to their potential. Last week they were smashed in the Showdown by 58 points, a game where regardless of ladder position they put in a good showing. They will least want to be competitive this week.

Players To Watch

Tom Bellchambers

Bellchambers has had a horrific start to his AFL career, a player with such promise, he has been cut down with injury. At the very least he will look to get through the game unscathed. Other than that he will just want to get his hands on the footy and begin to adjust to the pace at AFL. Hopefully it will be the beginning of a long stretch of games.

Travis Boak

Boak has been the centre of attention at Port Adelaide over the last few moths he is one of many players in the competition that are the focus of contract talks. As seen in many of these examples, this can sometimes effect their performance. While Boak has not been terrible he still has room for improvement, a great performance in this game may draw the spotlight away from him.

Prediction

Both teams will be hurting after last weeks performances. The Power will be intent on prviding a contest and maybe even an upset.

However Essendon have shown over the year that they are a genuine top four chance and as such they should easily account for Port Adelaide.

Essendon by 40pts

Teams

PORT ADELAIDE
B: Paul Stewart, Alipate Carlile, Jackson Trengove
HB: Darren Pfeiffer, Troy Chaplin, Tom Logan
C: Kane Cornes, Travis Boak, Matthew Broadbent
HF: Danyle Pearce, Justin Westhoff, Andrew Moore
F: Brett Ebert, Daniel Stewart, John McCarthy
Foll: Matthew Lobbe, Bradley Ebert, Matt Thomas
I/C: Jarrad Redden, Aaron Young, Thomas Jonas, Chad Wingard
Emg: Jasper Pittard, Ben Jacobs, Nathan Blee

In: Matt Thomas, Jarrad Redden, Daniel Stewart
Out: Jacob Surjan, John Butcher, Ben Jacobs

ESSENDON
B: Dustin Fletcher, Cale Hooker, Mark Baguley
HB: Kyle Hardingham, Jake Carlisle, Michael Hibberd
C: Ricky Dyson, Jobe Watson, Courtenay Dempsey
HF: Dyson Heppell, Scott Gumbleton, Alwyn Davey
F: Leroy Jetta, David Hille, Cory Dell’Olio
Foll: Tom Bellchambers, Brent Stanton, Ben Howlett
I/C: Nathan Lovett-Murray, Kyle Reimers, David Myers, Jake Melksham
Emg: Sam Lonergan, Tayte Pears, Alex Browne

In: Scott Gumbleton, Tom Bellchambers, Cory Dell’Olio, Mark Baguley
Out: Heath Hocking, Sam Lonergan, Patrick Ryder, Michael Hurley
New: Mark Baguley (Frankston/Langwarrin Junior)