Good morning all, it's a brilliant, sunny morning here in Melbourne, and being a Tuesday, it's time for another instalment of your favourite Sydney Swans podcast, the SwansCast.
I wrote last week after the preliminary final games, that it was a strange feeling watching football without the Swans playing. That feeling was exasperated when Adelaide throwing in the virtual towel early in the second quarter against Richmond.
What should have been a great grand final, maybe not an all time classic, but great nonetheless, turned into a capitulation. Richmond dominated for most of the game, and despite trailing by two goals at quarter time, looked the better team.
Adelaide on the other hand, were so far off the pace of the game it was incredible. A full team effort disappearing act from the start of the second quarter ensured victory for Richmond, who in the end strolled across the finish line. The Crows gave a little whimper early in the last quarter, but by then the damage was well and truly done, with the Tigers kicking 10 of 11 goals at one point.
A lot has been made of, and said of the umpiring, both good and bad. While there's legitimate gripes to have, especially with Betts' being held late in the 2nd, the overall officiating had no bearing on the result. Adelaide just couldn't get their hands on the ball. It wasn't like last year when the Swans were plainly robbed, the umpires frequently killing momentum, doing their utmost to keep the Dogs in the game.
Cotchin, who could have, and possibly should have been suspended, wasn't near their best player on the ground. The nod predictably went to Martin, with firm arguments for Houli, Rance, Graham and Nankervis. I suppose you have to consider the player who's in every contest, or the most influential player. Rance was the best player in the first half by a mile, frequently killing contests, despite collecting only a handful of possessions.
When Martin got rolling in the second half he was unstoppable. Three times he ran inside 50, three times he dished off, three times the Tigers goalled. While Bachar Houli was having a picnic running out of defence, do you give it to the guy who does a lot of little things and perhaps has less influence, or the guy that does a lot of big, important things, but from less touches. For me, Martin deserved it and was by far the most influential player on the ground.
Martin's season is certainly one of the all time greats. Judd, Ablett and Goodes, for all their quality, haven't been able to do what Martin has done this season. The accolades are virtually falling over themselves to clamour into his arms.
All Australian, Brownlow medalist, Norm Smith Medalist, Jack Dyer Medalist, AFLPA Player of the Year, AFLCA Player of the Year and AFLCA Gary Ayres Finals MVP. Incredulously he managed to win all that, and kick 37 goals. Love him or loathe him, the guy is a star and he'll go down in history as one of the best.
There's been a bit happening on the Swans front as well, with the coach deck chair shuffling hitting full pace last week. While Jeremy Laidler announced his retirement before the previous podcast, Steve Johnson and Tadhg Kennelly were announced as the latest coaching appointments. Johnson is joining the senior team as the forwards coach, having completed his courses while still playing, and Kennelly will take on the Academy alongside Laidler.
There'll be more changes with Josh Francou all but confirmed (update- confirmed this morning) as Adelaide's new assistant coach to Don Pyke, while Stuart Dew, perennial coaching panel finalist, is likely to get his first senior coaching gig for the Gold Coast Suns. Best of luck to both and wish them well in their future endeavours, they've served the club superbly and they'll no doubt be loved for ever more.
And finally, the trade rumours are swirling around the future of maligned Swan Kurt Tippett, touted as possible trade bait for Jack Watts. Watts has already toured the Port Adelaide facilities, despite the Sydney connection being rumoured before the end of the season. Mitch Cleary, the latest "reporter" to cast his hat in the ring, is certainly riding on the coat tails of long known whispers and murmurs.
It's hard work listening to, let alone reading the tweets from the NAB AFL Trade Radio, especially with Matthew Lloyd and Damien Barrett on board. But at least this one finally came through. Sydney Swans Head of Football Tom Harley was unequivocal three weeks ago when asked about the future of Aliir, describing him as "integral to the future".
He wasn't quite so dismissive of trade interest on Tippett however, leaving the door ajar. You get the feeling that if the right trade was there, the Swans would do it. Tippett signed an extension less than 12 months ago, extending his stay with the Swans until 2020. The financial terms are far more enticing to other teams too, much less than his considerable 800k-900k contract. Time will tell, but if the Watts link is real and the Swans go after him, Tippett will have to make way. You can't have both in the same team.
In this episode, I'm joined by Myles Stedman, writer for NEAFL and Rugby.com.au, and we discuss the last week of football, the grand final, Dusty Martin and what's ahead in the "silly season".
We'll be back on Friday evening for a LIVE Podcast leading into the Bob Skilton medal count. We're going to bring more details throughout the week, guests and panelists, time and content. We'll be broadcasting live again on Wednesday the following week during the day, with Rohan Connolly already confirmed as a guest. More on that later in the week!
Happy Tuesday, enjoy the week and the episode! As always, hit us up on social media using the tag @theswansblog, or the hash tag #SwansCast.
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