AFL ROUND 1 2007: WESTERN BULLDOGS V GEELONG; JOEL
SELWOOD TO DEBUT; MATCH PREVIEW AND FINAL TEAM LIST
PLUS TV / RADIO BROADCAST DETAILS
By Ben Jensen IT'S ON! No more meaningless pre-season games nor media dominated by talk of which West Coast players are using coke and whom are on the horse chaff - it's time for what they like to call AFL Premiership football.
In Geelong's final 22, Joel Selwood has been named to make his AFL debut while Nathan Djerrkura will have to console himself with a VFL practice match and wait another week. The other two trimmed from Geelong's squad of 25 were Henry Playfair and Kane Tenace.
The Cats are widely tipped to get the better of the Bulldogs in their opening round clash at Telstra Dome on Sunday. Both matches between these two teams were considered amoungst the best of the season. In round four the Bulldogs won a thriller by just one point, while Geelong mirrored the results in round sixteen, also winning by a solitary point.
Geelong included top draft picks Nathan Djerrkura and Joel Selwood, both aged 18. They have been named on an expanded interchange bench along with Nathan Ablett, Brent Prismall, Josh Hunt, Henry Playfair and Kane Tenace.
The only selection surprise on paper was Charlie Gardiner in the forward line. Gardiner, in the last year of his contract, could be considered to be lucky but has performed well in pre-season matches (as much as that means). Gardiner has edged out Henry Playfair, who is an emergency.
THE NEW BOYS
Selwood, Geelong's first pick in the 2006 draft, is likely to make his debut this Sunday against the Western Bulldogs at Telstra Dome. Selwood is the third brother from Bendigo to be drafted; twins Adam and Troy play at West Coast and Brisbane.
Djerrkura is one of the hottest prospects,
both on and off the field. Son of the late Gatjil Djerrkura OAM, Djerrkura
is an exciting midfielder / small forward originally from Gove (on the
edge of Arnhem Land, NT) but spent the past two years at Melbourne's
elite Scotch College. Nathan is almost certain to be a leader himself,
be it in football or off the field - keep an eye on this one.
Djerrkura is one of the hottest prospects, both on and off the field. Son of the late Gatjil Djerrkura OAM, Djerrkura is an exciting midfielder / small forward originally from Gove (on the edge of Arnhem Land, NT) but spent the past two years at Melbourne's elite Scotch College. Nathan is almost certain to be a leader himself, be it in football or off the field - keep an eye on this one.
WHY WE'LL WIN (THE FANATIC'S VIEW)
Geelong has kept the core of the past five years together, not making any 'knee-jerk' reactions to the shocker that was season 2006. We did recruit a few kids plus boost the off-field stocks with the likes of Neil Balme and the return of backline general Brenton Sanderson as a specialist coach.
As a result, following a tough pre-season campaign on and off the field, the team should be pretty much ready to go, desperate to erase the memories of 2006 and be a finals contender.
Mirroring the Cats, the Bulldogs had a great 2006 but limped into the finals with many top players injured. They also recruited motormouth Jason Akermanis. Returning from injury are Luke Darcy and Robert Murphy. Missing will be key defender Chris Grant.
The Bulldogs actually won't have any key defenders of note in the side - certainly none much above six foot three, and may be tempted to drop ruckman Will Minson across the half back line; that will suit the Cats just fine, and make for an ugly spectacle for Bulldogs punters.
Geelong tall forwards Cameron Mooney, Gardiner, probably Nathan Ablett and Brad Ottens should dominate the pack mark contests while crumbers Gary Ablett, Paul Chapman and Djerrkura mop up. New rule interpretations also mean the big forwards should receive a few more free kicks.
WHY WE WON'T WIN (THE SKEPTIC'S VIEW)
On face value, not a lot has changed. Despite two wins in the NAB Cup, the loss to the Lions reminded long suffering fans of the chip kick merry go round of the last year that the team inevitably degenerates to when the going gets tough. It's also probably only a matter of time before Cameron Mooney explodes and commits some sort of stupid offence we've sadly become accustomed to.
But not just the fear our team's not up to it - the Bullies are actually pretty good!
Geelong has the goods for mine, and will thump the Bulldogs by thirty-seven points. Keep an eye on Djerrkura and Paul Chapman.
AFL ROUND ONE 2007
WESTERN BULLDOGS V GEELONG
SUNDAY 1 APRIL 2007 14:10 AEST
Melbourne Channel 7 15:00 (1hr
Melbourne MMM, K-Rock, 3AW
KATH 7 KIM SERIES 1, 2, 3!
B: Harley Scarlett Enright
B: McMahon Hargrave Morris
ROUND 16 2006, TELSTRA DOME, CATS
OVERCOME BULLDOGS BY ONE POINT IN ANOTHER THRILLER AT TELSTRA DOME
GEELONG's mighty Cats are officially back in contention for a finals berth with their third win in a row, following their thrilling one point win over the Western Bulldogs at Telstra Dome this afternoon. Reversing the result of their last clash in round three at the Dome, which the Bulldogs won by one behind, the Cats certainly didn't the part early but had to contend with over a dozen contentious umpiring decisions.
GEELONG: 2.3 7.4 11.8 13.12 (90)
2006 / 2007 A LEAGUE CHAMPIONS AND PREMIERS - MELBOURNE VICTORY - just $34.95
* non-AUD values are estimated at current market rates, however the exact non-aud price will depend on the conversion rate applied by your financial institution at the time of purchase.
NO TEAMS AVAILABLE
ROUND 20 - SATURDAY 26 AUGUST 2006
GEELONG 5.3 9.5 11.6 14.6
NO TEAMS AVAILABLE