Territory Stories

The Centralian Advocate Tue 28 Sep 2021



The Centralian Advocate Tue 28 Sep 2021


Centralian Advocate; NewspaperNT




Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).




Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Alice Springs; Tennant Creek (N.T.) -- Newspapers; Alice Springs (N.T.) -- Newspapers; Australia, Central -- Newspapers

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News Corp Australia

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28 SPORT TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 28 2021 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan was blown away by Saturdays spectacular twilight grand final in Perth and cant rule out a similar timeslot when the game returns to the MCG next year. Barring another Covid-19 disaster, the grand final will be back in Melbourne, where the AFL has a contract to play the game until 2058. During two years on the road, first in Brisbane in 2020 then Perth this year, the grand final has been played as a night game at the Gabba then a twilight game in Perth with a 5.15pm local start. A return to the MCG could mean a return to the traditional day grand final, but having witnessed the effects of a twilight game, McLachlan said nothing could be taken for granted. It was pretty spectacular, he said on 3AW. I dont know if it picked it up on television, but the light late in the day it was a beautiful day here, and the light just faded into black. It was a pretty good slot, I thought. I like where it was for this stadium I think it worked perfectly. But the MCGs different. Well process it and have a look. The grand finals timing is an annual hot topic and fans are divided on the best timeslot. McLachlan said the MCGs likely 2022 hosting time would be reviewed by the AFL Commission, but a decision was not imminent. I dont think anything should be taken for granted. Well have a look at it, he told 3AW. I know how many people want it during the day at the MCG. I think you play it on its merits given the venue, the state, the circumstance. McLachlan also had sympathy for grand final MC Basil Zempilas, who has been severely criticised for not allowing winning Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin to make a speech. Zempilas forgot to invite Goodwin to the microphone before the Demons were presented with the premiership cup. It was a mistake. Mistakes happen, McLachlan said. It was disappointing for Simon, but it was a mistake. Simon will have his moment and I dont think itll stop Dees supporters loving every minute of it, too much. McLachlan ponders re-entering twilight zone for decider Gillon McLachlan. Josh Dunkley ponders what might have been after Saturdays loss to Melbourne in the grand final in Perth. Picture: Getty Images ESSENDON is not planning to make another play for contracted Western Bulldog Josh Dunkley in this years trade period, coach Ben Rutten says. Dunkley requested a trade to the Bombers last year after frustration at a lack of midfield minutes despite being contracted until 2022 but the Dogs stood firm on wanting two firstround picks in return. There were understood to also be other reasons behind the 24-year-old wanting a fresh start that have since been sorted out. Rutten hasnt ruled out Essendon being active in the trade period, but said Dunkley was not on the table. Darcy Parish enjoyed a breakout season in the middle and joined club champion Zach Merrett in the AllAustralian team, while Jake Stringer was a centre clearance specialist. However, a hamstring strain restricted on-ball recruit Jye Caldwell to three games in his first season as a Bomber, while knee injuries sidelined Andy McGrath and Dylan Shiel. Rutten is hoping for internal improvement rather than hunting for reinforcements. NEW PLAY FOR DUNKLEY NOT ON TABLE: DONS MARC MCGOWAN FORMER Melbourne president Glen Bartlett says witnessing the Demons AFL premiership win with Robbie Flowers daughter Danielle was the perfect postscript to the clubs eight-year climb from rock bottom. Bartlett moved aside as Melbourne president earlier this year for Kate Roffey, having done his share of the heavy lifting alongside chief executive Peter Jackson as the club cleared debt and resuscitated its reputation. While his withering assessment of the clubs on-field fortunes was contentious last season, Bartlett has stood by his determination to drive high standards during his tenure. The Demons board member said on Monday that witnessing the glorious triumph was made all the sweeter by watching the game alongside the family of fallen club legend Flower. A Demons and AFL Hall of Fame member, Flower died in 2014 aged 59. Across the country it means so much to so many people, he said. I got to spend the game with Danielle Flower and Robbies son-in-law and there was just so much raw emotion. I took them with us down on to the ground after the game and they spoke a lot about how Robbie would have been proud of this team. It was quite emotional. It was a dream for Danielle and her husband. They kept saying it was just a dream come true. All over the country people were so emotional and so grateful. To think what we were eight years ago to what we have become. I keep saying its amazing the amount of good you can do when you dont care who gets the credit. While Bartletts demand that the players improve ruffled feathers within the club, he says it came with a strong level of support for coach Simon Goodwin. There was a lot of support and a lot of feedback after that, he said. It might have seemed hard at the time but its what leaders do and I will never apologise for being hard and clear. Success sweet for Demons ex-boss JON RALPH Bulldogs well placed to bounce right back THERE are three certainties in life: death, taxes and a dynasty being declared for the AFL premiership winner. While Melbourne ticks a lot of boxes in this regard, the reality is only two teams from the past decade have lived up to the tag. Hawthorn and Richmond gobbled up three flags each in that time and if you go back further only Geelong and Brisbane have also claimed the dynasty tag this century. So what does history say about the runner-up? Thats not necessarily good reading for the Western Bulldogs given only one team in the past 10 years has bounced back from a grand final loss to get back to the last Saturday in September. Hawthorn were upstaged by Sydney in 2012 but then bounced back to start their three-flag run in 2013 by defeating Fremantle. The good news for Dogs fans is that Luke Beveridge experienced all of this when he was assistant to Alistair Clarkson for three years from 2012 to 2014. There are a lot of similarities with the Hawks for the 2021 Bulldogs. The Hawks won a flag before they were really ready in 2008, then lost their way for various reasons before reemerging in 2012 to play in the grand final. Beveridges pups did the same thing in 2016, they got on a roll and produced a magical month of football which saw them claim a historic drought-breaking premiership. The wheels fell off in the subsequent two seasons 10th and 13th before the Dogs started to rise again with backto-back finals appearances. Its the precedent Beveridge can sell to his team. Theyd been forced to take the hardest road possible to the decider, five states and numerous Covid bubbles, and it finally caught up to them in the last 45 minutes of the season. From an age and games played perspective the Bulldogs are in a sweet spot. Captain Marcus Bontempelli, the Brownlow Medal runner-up, turns 26 in November while many of the other Dogs prime movers are between the ages of 25 and 28. There arent too many over 30s. And then there is the exciting bunch of young kids who had a taste this season. Immediately after Saturday nights loss, Bontempelli said: The endeavour has to be there now, to bounce back, (to) lick our wounds. SCOTT GULLAN Luke Beveridge.