Well, as always you get to the middle of the week, or seemingly the start of the AFL week these days, and there is plenty to discuss.

Shiel and Long cop bump bans
Well, as expected, Ben Long copped a sizeable suspension for his bump on Freo ruckman Sean Darcy, copping 3 weeks. Having been sent straight to the tribunal, the decision was accepted by Long and St Kilda, and he plead guilty. They did try and argue Darcy contributed to the contact by dropping quickly to his knees, but both parties were happy to cop the 3 weeks. Smart really, as it was never going got be dropped, and only increased if the AFL were shitty.

Dylan Shiel took his 2-week charge to the tribunal, in a view to get the high impact downgraded to medium or even low, being the Curtis Taylor was able to pass a concussion test, play on and had no structural damage. The AFL simply argued that the act deserved the severity of the penalty and that Shiel was lucky Taylor wasn’t hurt more. The Dons, then tried to use the Cotchin on Shiel contact in the 2017 prelim as evidence to get him off, then in a final attempt to get him off, the brought in former coach Mark Williams as a character witness, who proceeded to tell the tribunal that Shiel was one of the fairest players he’s coached and that the act was out of character for him. Of course, the fact that Shiel is dating Mark Williams’s daughter wouldn’t have had anything to do with it I’m sure.

Either way, the Tribunal dismissed this and upheld the 2-week ban. Personally, reckon he’s stiff, but like a lot of clubs, their choice of defense for these things is usually poorly done.

Ha haaa……now you know how we feel Sydney!!!
With the recent spike in COVID cases in NSW, the AFL have chosen to flee the state, with all 10 Victorian teams soon to make the sunshine state their home, for at least the next 10 weeks. To assist in accommodating this, the AFL have also set up a WAGs hub in QLD to allow the wives and girlfriends to eventually be able to join their partners. It’s a huge boost for QLD, and hopefully it can give the Suns a real chance to cement themselves in QLD, with the AFL essentially making it its centre, plus with their improved form, whilst the AFL itself really gets a chance to plant a flag in the Northern state with multiple games a week for nearly 3 months. Fingers crossed the Suns and Lions can continue with their success, and with the Broncos and Titans performing poorly, we can win the hearts and minds of juniors in QLD

Clarko cops friendly fire
Jordan Lewis was asked on Monday morning, where he thought the Hawks were situated. His reply was to suggest that we are probably in a position where we need to make a decision on the list whilst also on the coach if he’s not got the energy to complete a 3-5yr rebuild. Now, it’s always going to create waves, especially if you just read the headline. His point was simply that Hawthorn are in a position where they need to make a choice, and also whether Clarko will want to do it again.

Having listened to him explain it, and thinking about it more, he’s probably right. Whilst I’m not convinced the Hawks list is as bad as what the media are suggesting, there is no doubt the Hawks need to look at their list, but it never ceases to amaze me that age isn’t a problem when they are playing well, just when they are losing. However, if they do choose to go down the rebuild path, then they need to make a call on whether the coach wants to continue. Surely though, if you are doing that, you would go down the path succession plan (because it’s worked so well to date), and slowly move from Clarko to Mitchell. The last thing though that the media should do is set out a challenge to Clarkson. He’s proven time and time again, you challenge him, he’ll accept it….and usually beat it!

A-League pushes back restart……..was anyone aware?
Having planned to have the game return with the Melbourne Derby of Victory and Western United, to now playing on Friday with Sydney and Wellington Phoenix. The three Melbourne sides arrived on Saturday and are now quarantining in Sydney. The thing is, the lack of media around the A-League’s return should be really concerning for the league, in a time where they need to continue to get airplay. Coming out of COVID, there isn’t going to be the same level of money for advertising or media, so they have to ensure that they don’t get completely lost from the media landscape.

Another concern for the A-League, they have hung their shingle in NSW, so they will be hoping the COVID spikes in NSW don’t continue, or they may see their season come to a screeching halt before it really gets going again. You’ve hope they have a second option…….but it’s the A-League so I doubt it.