Well I had a big night and enjoyed the replay even better today. Something about doing the same thing two nights in a row that finally lets you get a bit excited.
Very noticeable that we have changed some things and I wonder which parts were the keys and which were incidental.
- Removal of out of form or injured players such as JD and Hurley has helped us create pressure across the ground. Should have been done earlier and should be written in permanent marker. A ‘fresh’ and energetic player is always better in the modern AFL style. Those blokes should also not be rushed in… they are both CLEARLY best 22… but there is no harm in re-introducing them slowly and/or via VFL.
- Neeld was clearly an issue on several levels. His departure seemed to have sent the right messages to all that the club won’t stand for it.
- Woosha seems to have been more ‘lively’ in the box and far more animated at breaks etc etc. Looks to actually be passionately invested in the outcome rather than a passenger. Very Very happy to see it!
- Our game style has done a complete 180. Not just the pressure on the ball but the intent to KEEP IT MOVING at every available opportunity… usually via kicks… doesn’t matter if they are smothered, scrappy, off the deck etc etc… just get it on your boot and keep it moving. Very noticeable and is playing to our strength of speed on the outside rather than trying to get bogged down in a contested arm wrestle!
- Heppell seems to ‘get it’ with relation to leading the team and being harder at the ball. Also been ‘getting around’ team mates more and far more vocal on the ground. Far more often he is the ‘first in’ for celebrations etc - MUCH better. I wonder if the ‘Goddard Incident’ happened now whether he would keep jogging backwards - I’d like to think no!
- Confidence is a beautiful thing and can transform a team. I think it has shown that the issue is not cattle - not that many of us thought it was. The issues were all around coaching, game style and attitude on the field and all three seem to have changed.
There is absolutely nothing I can fault about our performance… even the intercepted handpass in the middle… I don’t mind it… sometimes it won’t pay off but you have to keep that aggressive mindset.
Oh and Laverde and Langford can both play… and if Myers is ever in this team again I may boil over.
Well done EFC… so happy right now!!