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NorthPort
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What's happened to the Bullants?
Wondering if some of the Bullants supporters could tell me why the club is struggling so much this season? Is the playing list weaker? Has the large turnover of VFL listed players caused it Are there too many AFL listed players playing who aren't passionate about the club? Hate seeing a great club like Preston struggling... How has crowd support been this year?
bullants
I could probably write a book on the problems of the Northern Bullants. As a supporter of a club it's sometimes hard to admit that the club is in crisis. Everyweek I go to the game hoping that this week will be different, however I go home feeling more frustrated and totally deflated to the point of considering totally walking away from supporting the club. It's common knowledge that the allignment with Carlton has had its problems but I think it has got to the stage where the allignment is killing the club. The support for the club this year has dropped right away, particuarly at away games. At Sandringham 5 weeks ago you could almost hear a pin drop when the Bullants scored a goal. In dealing with reality I don't blame people walking away from the club. The 2004 version of the Northern Bullants/Carlton allignment is many times more oppressive than the 2003 version and that was bad enough. Starting with the coaching panel, the appointment of Barry Mitchell as senior coach seems totally motivated by the needs and wants of Carlton. I would have to presume that Carlton is paying his wage, if the Bullants are paying any of it then he should be sacked immediately. There are only 2 ways to describe Mitchell, he is either a "Carlton Grub" or totally incompenent as a coach. The goings on at last weeks game against Springvale had to be seen to be believed. The treatment of Brett Gutterson boarded on bastardisation. Gutterson started the game on the bench and was brought on twice during the 1st half for a period of 1-2 minutes so as Mitchell could give a personal phone message to Andrew Walker and Luke Livingston. Gutterson started the 2nd half on the ground only to benched twice during the 3rd quarter despite the ball spending most of the time out of the Bullant forward half. The Bullants 3rd quarter was so poor that it was nearly embarassing, Springvale had more scoring shots [0.4 v 2.1] despie kicking into a 6 goal breeze. Then at 3 quarter Mitchell blasts Gutterson and says that he'll be starting on the ground even though he has let him down everytime he's been on the field during the game. Of course the Bullants were kicking into a strong breeze so therefore the forwards were at best going to have 3-4 chances of having an impact on the game. Needless to say Gutterson was benched early into the last quarter, all this while down the other end of the ground Jordan Bannister was turning the ball over everytime he got near it. Bannister's previous 7 quarters for the Bullants were poor as well so he had well and truly tested my patience by the last quarter on Sunday. Gutterson was also dragged during a recent reserves game against Port Melbourne by Mitchell who was standing on the boundary line. His crime, to go back and have a shot at goal from 50 metres out. I couldn't believe how much control Mitchell wanted over the coaching in that particular game. Ironically he got Sam Pleming playing around the ground during the last quarter "to improve his fitness", Pleming was playing in the seconds that week because the seniors had the bye. Pleming doesn't just get a game every week but he gets almost full game time while VFL players are forced to watch the game from the bench. For the past 5 weeks the bench players have had so little game time that they have no chance of making an impact. Then there the selection of VFL players almost exclusively beening played on the backline. Captian Brett Zorzi despite being one of the best on ballers in the competition has played back pocket and full back for the past 5 games. Against Williamstown he lined up on Billy Morrison! Zorzi's only flaw in his game is a lack of pace. So by playing on quick forwards he is being constantly exposed. There are other things but for now I've got to go.
NorthPort
NorthPort's picture
Thanks for that Bullants.. You certainly paint a pretty disturbing picture on the health of club. Stick with them, as some of the things you have mentioned sound like short-term problems (coaching etc). I have real concerns about AFL influenced coaching appointments in the VFL.

 


NorthPort
NorthPort's picture
Is this another 1 year arrangement?

 


bullants
I think it's a 2 year agreement. The first agreement was also 2 years, before Carlton pulled out before the last game of 2003. The unproffesionalism of Carlton to make an announcement with only 1 game to go was staggering. Dennis Pagan was keen for Carlton to have its own VFL side. At North Melbourne when Pagan was coaching, the Murray Kangaroos were a virtual stand alone North Melbourne side.
NorthPort
NorthPort's picture
Maybe things would have been better if Carlton was given a VFL reserves license after all...

 


rico
They would have ons , except their bean counters told Pagan the cost would have to come out of his salary.....you can imagine the response from such a true 'professional' ! I'm only half joking too !!! I really feel for you bullants. I believe your club is being trampled on in no uncertain terms but hang in there mate , there are still people within your club who have both the desire and the ability to get through this. They need people like you now more than ever.
bullants
Just had a glance through the selected side for Sunday's match. If Trent Sporn and Blake Campbell who have been selected on the extended interchange bench play, that means 18 Carlton players will be in the side. They'll play unless still injured. Callan Beasy, Justin Davies and Jarrod Waite all played for Carlton last weekend, indeed Beasy hasn't missed a game this year so it seems that selection is a bit of a free for all as far as eligability rules go for this round. Will captain Brett Zorzi start on the bench?
NorthPort
NorthPort's picture
Stick with them mate, it must be bloody tough to remain passionate about the club... Surely Preston / Northern Bullants members will not put up with that sort of thing... Time for an extraordinary meeting?

 


bullants
I hope that yesterday's will be a huge step forward for the club. The passion shown by the 22 players was outstanding with the result speaking for itself. I did read what Barry Mitchell had to say in the football record and believe he must think that players and people who go the football are dills. He talks about recruiting players, well what player unless he has some afilliation with the club will want to play for a team that is so dominated by the AFL alligned club. Even Northern Knights players who miss out on being drafted will think twice about playing for the Bullants if the current trend continues. Players just won't continue to play reserves forever as the club found out last year when at least 15 players went elsewhere. If you're a player why whould you train almost as hard as full time AFL players and on top of this try and hold down a full time job or study just to play VFL reserves. And most players out of the under 18's still have the desire to get drafted so they need to be playing VFL seniors. It must also be remembered that Nick Sautner trained with the club to about month before the start of the season. The question must be asked did Sautner leave because he felt that Mitchell wasn't going to give him a fair go? Sautner has his critics and his limitations as a player but his record is still good enough to ensure he play reguarly at VFL level. This is not the first time I've been dissappointed with media comments made by Mitchell. I think he's using this "lack of depth" and non-recruitment of players as an excuse to hide what has been a tough introduction to senior coaching for himself. Granted the club has a very young VFL list but their is still some talented players who have had very limited opportunities. Josh Vansittart has played only 2 games this year and Luke Stevenson spent several weeks in the reserves at the start of the year. Overall Brett Zorzi, Frank Raso, Luke Stevenson, Josh Vansittart, Michael Hooper, Luke Maslin, Rowan Williams, Saad Saad, David James, Tim McIntosh, Brett Gutterson are all good enough to play seniors on an extended basis. Through in players always on the fringe of selection like Paul Scanlon, Paul Bunn and Simon Perryman who is yet to play a senior game and their is a reasonable list of players.