An AFL fairy tale

Some of this came true 17 August 2019

Just read an enlightening piece in the 27 July edition of Spectator Australia: Antisocial Media by Douglas Murray (p16).

Murray tells of two cases, one involving Sir Roger Scruton dismissed from his unpaid government job in April because a journalist had written a fictitious magazine article quoting him. It was probably supposed to be funny at the time. Sir Roger has since been reinstated.

The second involved the prosecution of Carl Beech, who had claimed about five years back that a secret paedophile cabal operated in Westminster. Those accused were forever besmirched yet not a shred of proof was ever provided.

These days, you can invent what you like on social media and it gets traction. Last week, Adelaide Crows forward Josh Jenkins and his coach Don Pyke had to separately deny the two had come to blows. Just put it out there and see who runs with it?

So here’s my belated attempt to join the party before we hit the AFL finals.

COACHES COME CLEAN. WHAT THEY REALLY THINK

Six weeks out from the AFL grand final here’s what the AFL coaches (in ladder position order) have honestly said about form, finals and the future.

Chris Scott (Geelong): “We’re actually screwed. Been top of the ladder all year and no one gives us a chance. I’ve tried to dial it down but even the players don’t buy that we are going to peak in September.”

Chris Fagan (Brisbane): “2019 is over. We’ve achieved more than we expected and that’s it. If we go any further that’ll be a bonus. God, even Mitch Robinson has played like a footballer.”

Adam Scott (West Coast): “As long as I can keep Chris Masten out of the 22 we’re a chance to go back to back. The media are bagging Kennedy. He’ll kick five in a final.”

SELECTION SECRET: CHRIS MASTEN

Damien Hardwick (Richmond): “The Bulldogs won without Bob Murphy and we can win without Alex Rance. We should be aiming for three in succession but I made a mistake last year. It won’t happen again.”

Nathan Buckley (Collingwood): “We’re running fifth with only 24 players to pick from. All I need now is Sidebottom, Grundy or Treloar to get injured and I’m going to get really angry.”

Leon Cameron (Greater Western Sydney): “Does anyone in the AFL know how hard it is being out here in Western Sydney? All my kids are driving flash cars and we have to put on extra security at training sessions because we keep losing wheels. Perhaps we’ll win a flag before Fremantle but it’s line ball?”

John Worsfold (Essendon): “I just want someone to talk to me while I’m on the bench. It’s so lonely on game days. Then the boys put up poor efforts like last weekend and the cheer squad won’t even crack it for a chat.”

Ken Hinkley (Port Power): “We’ve won two in a line, we’re in the eight and I’m flavour of the week. Unfortunately that’s about as good as it gets.”

Don Pyke (Adelaide): “We have to get rid of Eddie, Tex, Josh, Sauce, and a few others. Thinking of calling Clarko to ask him how to do it diplomatically. Every other coach copies what he does, why shouldn’t I?”

Luke Beveridge (Western Bulldogs): “We did the impossible in 2016 and we can do it again. If we’re in the GF I might even pick Bob Murphy.”  

Alastair Clarkson (Hawthorn): “I’m not going to Carlton!”

Ross Lyon (Fremantle): “I could ramble on with clever pronouncements about style and form but it will only get misreported. I’m not leaving the Dockers because the house we bought for $1.3m is now worth $900,000 and I’m not taking that kind of bath for anyone…. Oh, unless they sack me?”

Brett Ratten (St Kilda): “We haven’t got one player who’ll make All Australian for at least the second year in a row and we keep winning some games. I reckon we punch above our weight and I expect to coach these boys next year. A bit of recruiting would help.”

Rhyce Shaw (North Melbourne): “I need another tall forward and we’ll make the eight in 2020. One goal last weekend? This is a harder gig than people know.”

John Longmire (Sydney): “We’ve missed the eight for the second time since we were South Melbourne. Give me a break? I’ve got to put a line through some really good servants of this club at the end of the year and I’m not looking forward to it.”

David Teague (Carlton): “Of course I want the job. We have the most promising list in the AFL and I’ve got them flying. Word of caution though: You all thought Brendan Bolton was a genius when he coached Hawthorn the few weeks Clarko was ill.”

Simon Goodwin (Melbourne): “Please don’t interview me. No one has asked me a hard question all year and three other coaches got sacked. If I’m still here in May, we have to be unbeaten.”

Stuart Dew (Gold Coast): “As soon as round 23 is over, I’m in training to lose 20 kilograms before the New Year. It’s been pointed out by my senior players that why should the squad get fit when some fat bastard is coaching them.

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