Monday, October 4, 2010

Tanking And Premiership

Interesting article that might make some people at the AFL blood boil ...

DALE Thomas was Collingwood’s best in one Grand Final. Scott Pendelbury won the “Normie” in the next.

What to do those two blokes have in common?

They were both selected at the pointy end of the draft in 2005. Top five, in fact.

Thomas went at No.2 and Pendlebury at No.5.

How the hell did the Magpies snare both?

In case you’ve forgotten, the Pies embarked on some crafty list management.

You could call it tanking, actually.

In that season, only five years ago, the Pies lost 10 of their last 11 (and their final eight) to finish on five wins.

By sneaking in under the five-and-a-half win threshold, they gained a priority pick, which went on Thomas. Once the actual draft started, they gleefully took Pendelbury at No.5.

These two are the future of the club for at least the next eight to 10 years.

Has there ever been a better advert for playing kids (tanking) and loading up for a future assault on a flag?

Promising youngsters such as Heath Shaw, Harry O'Brien and Sean Rusling were rewarded with games at the time.

But many other debutants, including Ben Davies, Chris Egan, David Fanning, Brent Hall and Adam Iacobucci sank quickly from sight after playing their role in that bizarre season.

The Pies did what they had to to. Plain and simple.

Just like Melbourne did what it had to do last year, to pick up Tom Scully and Jack Trengove. You just can’t underestimate the importance of picking up two gun midfielders so early on.

We are not taking anything away from the overall recruiting of Derek Hine. The guy looks a genius now.

But to put it simply, it took the Pies five years to cash in to cash in on a big tank.

Using that as a measure, expect Dean Bailey to be a premiership coach in 2014.

Full source

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