Hopefully they win both games on the weekend and even better if Ben McEvoy does not get a kick. The reserves can start the weekend for Williamstown by winning back to back flags. The senior clash might be pretty fiery. I just hope that the seagulls can play their 4th quarter form from the game against Werribee rather than their third quarter. The seagulls can take heart that in both games they have matched Box Hill despite falling just short.
Press release up on the Williamstown website, adopting the time honoured "poor little us versus the rest of the world" theme, which would have to amuse any long term follower of the VFA/VFL:
Problem is that no matter what happens from here, we'll never hear the end of this.
If Willy wins: "WE STUCK IT UP THE AFL BULLIES!'
If Willy loses: "WE WUZ CHEATED!"
Could be more fiery from voices from the supporters than the players on the field on Sunday ? Then again I would expect a pretty physical clash on field just the same. Andy Collins is a pretty astute coach and will have them fired up and hopefully concentrating on the game.
It feels like this is a pivotal moment in the VFL/AFL competition history. AFL sides are obviously no longer content to have the competition run separately and virtually autonomously, and their needs are now incompatible with the competition as it stands. I understand Hawthorns desire to want their players to stay fit for their finals, but part of me feels this is more about ensuring the largest possible advantage for themselves and less about player welfare.
It's time that the VFL split into 2 divisions, or returned to separate VFA and AFL seconds, the agenda of the AFL clubs is clear now and it cannot be allowed to continue, otherwise some grand old clubs will simply cease to exist.
Footscray Football Club - Back in the VFL in 2014
The amazing thing is this rule created issues in the first year of the new VFA/AFL reserves comp and it still hasn't been changed.
McEvoy has 20 possessions, takes 9 marks and is Box Hill's best player. Was he worth more than 7 points at the end of the day? Yes.
AFL Victoria have compromised the integrity of the competition badly over this matter.
Some might say the karma bus hit Williamstown after their salary cap issues last year, but at the end of the day all clubs put so much time and effort into a season so to see a side miss out on a Grand Final appearance because the governing body have bent the rules is very disappointing. Particularly disappointing for their players who would've worked very hard from November until now.
I genuinely don't understand the commotion. The title of this post is 'Rules are Rules!' The rules say that the VFL is entitled to exercise its discretion in relation to finals qualification requirements. In exchange for Box Hill giving an undertaking that Jonathan Ceglar (who is eligible) would not be selected, the VFL exercised its discretion to allow McEvoy to play.
McEvoy isn't in Hawthorn's best 22. He is a bona fide reserves player. This wasn't a case of Hawthorn stacking their reserves side to win a flag - it's about ensuring they have match fit players to choose from if they suffer injuries in the finals. To put it bluntly, it's not 1964 anymore and the VFA/L isn't an alternative competition to the AFL. I'm not trying to diminish the VFA and its rich history; but nowadays, it's an AFL reserves competition with a couple of competitive standalone teams comprised of players desperately looking to get on an AFL list.
In my opinion, an AFL side that is still in the finals should be able to play whoever they like. I thought the Hawks were more than reasonable in agreeing not to seek permission for Schoenmakers.
If Hawthorn had lost to Geelong last week, each of McEvoy, Schoenmakers and Suckling would've played today. If Hawthorn were out of the AFL finals, Ceglar would've got the nod.
Williamstown were proposing an outcome different to either of those scenarios which would've denied Box Hill a number one ruckman. For mine, they were seeking to secure an unfair advantage. Some might say, not for the first time this year.
Additionally, Williamstown's "press release" after the Appeals Board decision on Wednesday night was one of the most unprofessional and embarrassing things I've ever read. Whoever authorised the publication of that drivel shouldn't have a job next year.
Fantastic post Poison. You have spoken great sense on the subject and while I tried to mention all these areas last Sunday a number of people on this site have refused to listen. I'm sure the rule will be changed and if the same exists next year then then all 3 players in Suckling, Shoenmakers and McEvoy will be able to play if the same situation arises again for any club.
Cracking weekend of finals though by all teams involved!
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