Rob Harding is the architect of our recent success. Discuss

Since Neeld was sacked on May 14, Harding has moved into an expanded role driving team strategy. In Neeld’s final game in the box we lost to Carlton, who to date have only won a single game. The following week we beat Geelong by six goals. Our record since the coach shuffle is five from six.

How many kudos does Harding deserve for our turnaround? Perhaps we are reaping the benefit of his voice being finally being heard. Perhaps it’s just a coincidence. I for one feel more confident with the way we set up against opposition of late.


Mark Neeld: Architect of Failure


I thought it was Raz.



Our game plan seems a lot more understood by the players. It looks easier to understand which means the players aren’t second guessing themselves. There is a greater willingness to kick rather than handball constantly which put more pressure on the receiver as the opposition closed in on the ball.

Defensively we seem to be actually focusing on stopping the opposition’s best players. This was done really we’ll against Brisbane where Beams and Zorko had no influence and we saw it on the weekend after quarter time when Higgins and Cunnington went right out of the game.

So all in all a great turnaround.


Our stoppage work has gone through the roof, and key opposition players are successfully being negated. We’re even clearing the ball from kickouts consistently.

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How would anyone have any idea from the outside?


Because we watch the team alot and probably other games as well. We dont know every exact detail but we can still observe and discuss what we believe we are seeing.

I’ve noticed the extra attention paid to the oppositions best mid (or most dangerous mid) and we are using the extra man at the contest to create run rather than trying to win the hard ball.

But a big change has been TBell. His ruckwork and ability to cover the ground has been sensational. Has at worst broken even in the last 3 matches against arguably the 3 best ruckmen in the game in Martin, Nic Nat and Goldstein (he beat Nic Nat)


Kick outs weren’t great on Sunday! But Bellchambers has gone to a different level since the Giants game. Is easily in the best form of his career. Makes a huge difference around the stoppages.


Similarly with Belly on Nick Nat though that could just be individual brilliance

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Orazio’s games this year.

Played in 6 of our 7 wins
Played in 3 of our 7 losses
When he didn’t play we lost 4 out of 5

Orazio is important.


Was injured in the Richmond game as well.


We can’t.

But we can surmise, theorise, guess and pull our puds in all sorts of other directions!



Without it why does Blitz exist.

And he has Grundy then Witts, who is actually playing alright apparently

Actually a thought I’ve had recently too. Maybe not to the extent that Harding’s the cause of all of it; more that he & woosh have a much better rapport & understanding, and his (reported) skillset seems to be a better fit than Neeld’s.

Moreover, we know Woosh had the “right hand man” structure at Eagles, Adelaide, ie his main communications in the box on gamedays goes through 1 guy.

We also know Woosh brought exactly one guy wih him from Adelaide: R Harding

Conspiracy theory: this is the setup Woosh actually wanted all along.


Harding worked on the strategy with Neeld

I think the keys were:

  • New team based defensive game plan needs everyone being switched on and knowing where to be when we do / don’t have ball. Confusion. Also trying to play possesion footy didn’t suit us and stifled ball movement.
  • Players didn’t like the messenger / didn’t believe in what Neeld was saying or like how he was saying it & thus not complete buy in
  • Woosha was not really driving the bus, Neeld was. Players respond much better to Woosh.
  • The assistant coaches weren’t allowed to coach game plan strategy as it had to go through Neeld allegedly. And that also included on game day for changes etc.
  • We were still getting used to personnel changes / best lineup etc
  • The Carlton game was rock bottom and then the whole playing group bought in, and they sort of had already vs Blues but we didn’t kick straight.
  • Once we pumped Geelong with their superstar midfield belief grew and it’s been maintained despite the Tigers debacle which we did well in stats wise but couldn’t execute cleanly.
  • On a roll now. Farking Jugganaut!
  • Premiership.