Seasonal discrepancy? The ghosts return to Perthship Perth

This Sunday, Melbourne will set foot at Optus Stadium for the first time since September 25 last year, when they not only destroyed the AFL’s longest-running flagship drought but also buried their premiership monsters to raise their first flag in 57 years.

This is a return to the scene of the most glorious day in their recent history, when they defeated the Western Bulldogs by 74 points to complete the competition’s rag-to-rich fairy tale.

With 19 points back in the middle of the third quarter, Disra rioted, beating the Bulldogs 16.4 (100) to 1.1 (7) to finish the club’s 13th Premiership and the first since 1964, almost six. Decades of moderation in the process.

It was the culmination of several years of hard work when the club found itself in a huge financial hole when a number of key staff came up with the ultimate goal of returning them to their current position as a powerhouse and destination club.

It was in 2013 when Glenn Bartlett, Peter Jackson and Paul Russ arrived in Melbourne on the verge of destruction. Thanks to their extraordinary hard work behind the scenes, slowly but surely the club was reorganized and put on the right track.

After three seasons in charge, Russ arranged for a transfer to Simon Goodwin, who last year took Disk back to the Promised Land after years of steady progress and thereby established himself as one of the club’s greats.

It was the second time in a row that his successor, John Longmayer, had carried a flag to the club in his second season in 2012 when he was in charge of the Sydney Swans.

Since that glorious day last September, Dis has only been going from strength to strength, winning their first eight matches, the only undefeated team after many rounds and so sitting on the stairs with a one-game buffer. Brisbane Lions.

(Dylan Burns / AFL photo via Getty Images)

The greed to win a flag on home soil after COVID-19 denied them the opportunity at MCG last year that they wanted to go back this year, where another flag would be the most celebrated in the club’s history in terms of the ongoing global epidemic. .

I say this because when Dis won the flag last year, they did it behind the WA’s strict border, which prevents Victorians from crossing if not absolutely necessary – and even then Hotel Quarantine was needed two weeks ago.

The Victorians had to improve, watching a grand finale on television in harsh lockdown conditions for the second year.

So winning a flag at the MCG will soak up the physical success of Demons fans, as Western Bulldogs fans did in 2016 after a 62-year-old hoodoo on their side was in strong fashion and the following year destroyed Richmond. .

Last Sunday afternoon, Dis St. Kilda was left goalless in the opening quarter on his way to a 38-point victory, which was marred by a knee injury sustained by captain Max Gown – although the captain no doubt will face the West Coast Eagles on Sunday.

They have yet to be seriously tested in their Premiership defense, and when they start attacking the Hot Favorites against the Fighting Eagles this Sunday, they certainly won’t want to take them lightly, especially at Optus Stadium.

Demons Max Gown is celebrating a goal

(Dylan Burns / AFL photo via Getty Images)

Adam Simpson’s men have been hit the hardest and by the COVID-19 protocol, which has prevented them from fielding for full-strength at any time this season.

So much so, that Simpson fell victim to protocol last week, with former Ascendant coach Matthew Knights presiding over their 75-point loss to the Brisbane Lions in Gabba last Saturday night.

For the first time since his unfortunate position as Bombers coach, the Knights took charge of an AFL team on the day of the game, where he fought to fill the shoes left behind by legendary coach Kevin Sheddy between 2008-10.

He has since rescued himself by leading the Geelong Cats VFL side to a flag in 2012 – in which three-time Premiership cat David Ozinsky played – and was an assistant coach to Chris Scott at Cardinia Park before moving west.

All pre-match discussions were exactly how devastated the Eagles, who had to rely on WAFL’s top-up players, would lose to one side of the Lions who set the attacking criteria, the strongest scoring side of the competition. Two of the last three seasons and so far this year.

The scoreline did well to keep the Lions at bay, despite advising otherwise, not allowing them to create the huge score expected from them, even though they conceded a century at the time of death.

(Photo: Paul Kane / Getty Images)

Aside from their on-field battles, they also have many experienced club players on the wrong side of the 30’s, at least full forward Josh Kennedy who turned 35 in August and former captain Shannon Horn, who is currently the club’s longest-serving player, making his debut back in 2006.

Both, along with many others, will retire at the end of the season as the Eagles go through a painful renaissance period, similar to the one in 2006, when Chris Jude and Ben Cousin left the club the following year. Crash side last place in 2010.

Their struggle began when their cross-town rival Fremantle began to climb the stairs, with the Dockers winning seven of their first eight matches. They could have been so easily unbeaten if they hadn’t been bad in the second half against St Kilder at home in Round 2.

The term ‘flagmental’ has been coined by many of its long-suffering supporters, who saw their side come very close to ultimate glory when they lost by 15 points to Hawthorne in the 2013 Grand Final.

News broke this week that the word has been tattooed on the thighs of two fans who are so silently confident that their side will go all the way this year.

But as far as the Eagles, who will be calling back Adam Simpson this week, are concerned, there is another painful week hidden in the office for the reign of Premier Melbourne, with another heavy defeat predicted on the horizon for Neil. Gold

Then another trip begins at the other end of the Barasi Line, where Sydney’s struggling GWS giants await and the possibility that Leon Cameron’s star-studded side (if we can still say) will make a much-needed rack. Win by calling their home.

For Melbourne, they will be keen to continue building their percentage as they continue to strengthen themselves as a team for this year’s Premiership, with no end to their current winning streak, which currently stands at 15 games.

And if they can go all the way again, we can follow in the footsteps of the Brisbane Lions (2001-03), Geelong Cats (2007, 09 and 11), and Hawthorne (2008) and speak for them as the next dynasty. 13-15) and Richmond (2017, 19 and 20).

But that’s still ahead of them. They will first have to take care of the struggling Eagles at Optus Stadium on Sunday and an expected win will see them maintain their buffer at the top of the ladder.

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