State football has always been in the shadow of the AFL. However, if you go and watch a TAC Cup or VFL game, you will see just how good the talent pool is at both levels.
I had the privilege last year of watching a combined 7 VFL & TAC Cup home and away games, plus both grand finals. I was amazed at just how well the teams both moved the ball and how mature the players were in the TAC Cup.
After omitting four players for the third test against India, including vice-captain Shane Watson, Australia’s shortcomings were laid bare in Mohali. Despite scoring 408 in the first innings and losing significant time to rain delays, India still claimed a six-wicket victory to take an unassailable 3 – 0 lead in the four test series.
James Pattinson, Usman Khawaja, Mitchell Johnson and Watson all felt the knife prior to the match, dropped from selection consideration after failing to submit a presentation to Mickey Arthur regarding what qualities they brought to the team. Australia felt the impact hard.
On paper, the squad was mediocre. Steve Smith and Xavier Doherty aren’t good enough to spin on the international stage. Their impact was minimal, and both were certainly outshone by India’s superior spin attack.
It may only be the NAB Cup Grand Final, but much of the hype this week has not been about the game itself; but rather where the game will be played.
Brisbane Lions and Carlton face off on Friday at Etihad Stadium, but even an unbeaten campaign from the Lions (who should be the rightful hosts) stills them travel in the pre-season, despite furious protestations from Michael Voss over the location.
The Australian Crime Commission (ACC) released a report in February that had taken 12 months to compile regarding the state of Australian sport. Instead of outlining possible solutions to help reduce the drugs, match-fixing and other illicit goings on, the fans and sporting public (on the majority) only got details of situations previous.