Notes from the after match press conference with Blummers.
Q: A lot of poor performers on your team this week. Is it a cause for concern?
A: Only a handful of the 18 actually played to their expected levels. That’s definitely something to be concerned about. Luke Ryan and Nic Newman were terrible and let down the backline, Goldstein and Edwards let the midfield down, Brandon Matera let the forwardline down. We’re just lucky to have more wins than losses this season. There is improvement in us, but it really needs to be shown on a weekly basis in our performances rather than comparatively looking at them against previous performances.
Q: How do you assess that result?
A: Pretty poor really. To be honest. Some of the 18 came in happy with their game and I just had to have some stern words with them. If they think that effort is enough to challenge for top four, then they’ll have a first hand look at what’s needed in the next month. A win is a win, but we are a bit off the pace right now and we have to begin showing what we are capable of.
Q: Do you think you’re being a bit harsh given the injuries and preseason setbacks?
A: Not at all. The harsh realities are our scoring is the worst of all the top 8 sides and we’ve only won because we’ve had a soft draw. Our against numbers are evidence of that. We have to demand better performances. This weekend has been a step in the right direction, but we’re not there yet, so we shouldn’t be looking for pats on the back.
Q: Another disappointing game from Varcoe, yet he still makes the bench after the vailed threat of delisting him?
A: It was a very real threat. If it weren’t for the Elliott injury, he’d have been gone on Wednesday. We weren’t sure whether we’d field 18 this week so we had to delist Rioli who we wanted to preserve with. We’re also struggling to identify good free agents that will play the week we sign them up. Lewis Young and Brennan Cox are a few that come to mind that just become wasteful pickups. We need to manage the pickups so that we don’t run out during finals should we get there. But back on to Varcoe, he has pretty much stamped his papers. He’s just nowhere near standard.
Q: Any surprises at team selection?
A: The Jamie Elliott injury obviously caught us by surprise. We only just realised that Andrew McPherson is out for an extended period of time. Our head of HR is on maternity leave and the department has mainly been focussed on Bennell’s drunken nature so we couldn’t support McPherson. Other than that, things went well for team selection. Can’t really complain with two players unlikely to play, one likely and 20 near certainties.
Q: Is Goldstein going to come under team selection scrutiny?
A: It’s doubtful. Unfortunately Sean Darcy is out injured and Marshall is too raw to rely on over the next fortnight for a starting ruck spot so it’s pretty much Goldstein’s spot to lose over the next fortnight. We haven’t had such low scores from a ruck since Mark Seaby, so this position has turned from a strength to a weakness in a few years. We’re still hopefully Goldstein can turn it around and at least score in the 75 to 90 range more often.
Q: Jed Anderson’s score was one out of the box. Did you see it coming?
A: Quite frankly, no. He was stuck on the bench and Nick Graham’s late inclusion cost him his spot in the 18. We’ve had a rough trot with late inclusions and exclusions. We seem to get the rough end of the stick more often than not. But back onto Jed, he’s looking very good albeit inconsistent. He’s got a future at the club.
Q: Can you offer any insight into next week’s team selection?
A: Nick Graham shouldn’t be in the 18 next week. Jed Anderson has shown he can offer much more. Shane Edwards will probably make way for Riley Knight. Newman may make way for Biggs. Marshall is questionable, so we may need to find a replacement for him as well. We’ll be active in free agency to try and find some better bench options than Varcoe.
Q: Are you looking forward to next week’s game against the Mildura Crunchers?
A: They are coached very well by The_Mad_Bomber and they’ve been in better form this season than us. They are coming off the highest score of the round and have shown they are a top 4 candidate so if we think we’re a top 4 calibre team, we’re going to want to be more competitive than we have been so far this year. Our next month of footy will determine our chances of a top 4 spot given we also have Fudge, Fogdog and wimmera coming up. We may not be fit enough for the challenge but we’re going to have to find a way to be competitive otherwise a top 8 spot may be in jeopardy let alone a spot in the top 4.
Any more questions?
Excellent. Thank you all fellas. See you next week.