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20.09.2018 11:36
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Exciting Hawk on the table?Hawthorns high-flying forward James Sicily is shaping as a key figure in the Hawks attempts to lure Gold Coasts Jaeger OMeara and/or Sydneys Tom Mitchell to the club next year.While Sicily, 21, has impressed since making his debut last year -- kicking the sealer against the Western Bulldogs in Round 3 and a match-winning five goals against North -- Hawthorn are in an unenviable position of having to offer up talented players in order to get the two gun midfielders through the door.Gold Coast, in particular, are less interested in early picks than they are in established talent.The Hawks have taken Luke Breust off the trade table, the New South Welshman having been mentioned as a logical swap for Mitchell, because they feel he offers them too much value as a small forward.So the spotlight now falls on Sicily, the 21-year-old forward who has kicked 34 goals in 25 games and, more importantly, has provided the Hawks with a strong, inside-50 marking target in the absence of Jarryd Roughead.It is likely he will be traded to either the Suns or Swans, plus draft picks, in order to get OMeara or Mitchell to the Family Club.Suns to shine brightly in trade periodThe Suns loom as significant players in the two-week trade period, which begins officially on Monday at 10am.With OMeara and Dion Prestia signalling their desire to move to Hawthorn and Richmond respectively, respectively, the Suns are desperate to inject much-needed experience into their youthful line-up.ESPN understands the Suns are interested in picking up Fremantle midfielder Michael Barlow, who is looking to leave WA, as well as Dockers stalwarts Tendai?Mzungu and Matt de Boer, both recently delisted by the club.The Suns are also keen to lure dashing Bulldog, Lin Jong, and discussions have already taken place on that score.In other trade developments, Adelaide have accelerated discussions with out-of-favour Brisbane captain Tom Rockliff, with the Crows given the green light by the Lions to speak to the 26-year-old.ESPN last month reported Rockliff was being targeted by the Crows to bolster their midfield, long regarded as the sides Achilles heel since Patrick Dangerfields departure.The beginning of BobSpecial guests at the Footy Almanac grand final lunch in Fitzroy last Friday were Bob Murphys parents, Monica and John, who were invited on stage to talk to Almanac editor, John Harms.Their story is an amazing one: the pair met when John was a Catholic priest and Monica a nun. But there was something about Monica that captivated John. They soon left the order to be together, got married, then travelled to Alice Springs where John became manager of an Aboriginal residential college, and Monica taught at the Catholic primary school. They lived there for six years, and thats where their first two children, Ben and Bridget, were born. Little Robbie, as he was known then, came later when the family moved to Warragul.The decision to abandon their religious vocation came at a cost, Monica saying it was a lot more confronting and difficult than people realised because she and John felt they had disappointed many people in setting out their new life and had to leave behind the comfort of their network of friends.They quickly had to become self-reliant. As John said in an Age profile four years ago: We shared the same religious culture, values and experiences which were a basis for our friendship. Shes the best thing thats ever happened to me.Little wonder their third child turned out to be such a unique character.Play on, BoomerWestern Bulldogs legend Doug Hawkins has urged games record-holder Brent Harvey to play on in 2017.The career of Hawkins, who played a then-record 329 games for the Bulldogs, shares startling similarities to that of the North Melbourne champion.Not long after breaking club legend Ted Whittens games record, Hawkins was told he was done and dusted by coach Alan Joyce and president Peter Gordon.But adamant he had another year left in him, Hawkins continued his career at Fitzroy, playing 21 games.Hawkins said he told the 432-game veteran last week he should play on at another club, after the Kangaroos controversially delisted Harvey in a brutal late-season purge of its playing list.I said to Boomer, Mate, let me give you a tip, son, and take this on board. Youre a North Melbourne legend, if you play one year at the Bulldogs, GWS, it doesnt matter, youre always going to be remembered as a North Melbourne legend, Hawkins told ESPN.When I moved to Fitzroy, I didnt have mixed emotions because I loved playing footy. And it got to a stage that just because someone says you cant, it doesnt mean you cant.?If you think youre good enough, and you love playing footy, do it.Ill be remembered as a Bulldog, not as a Lion.In Footscrays Round 24 match in 1994, Hawkins injured his groin in the 71-point loss to eventual premiers West Coast.It meant the 34-year-old was unable to take part in the teams finals campaign.Ahead of an end-of-season meeting with Joyce and Gordon, Hawkins felt he had another year left in him.I didnt want to go out that way, I didnt want to leave the footy club on that term, he told ESPN.Alan said, I think your times up. We reckon youre finished. I said, Mate youll come and go and Ill be remembered forever, so it doesnt worry me what you think.?I was filthy, I was bitter. I didnt see it coming, which really upset me.Hawkins then accepted an offer to play the 1995 season - his last - at the Lions.My year at Fitzroy, I have no regrets. I had a good year - 21 games, six Brownlow Medal votes, finished eighth in the best and fairest. I played pretty well for my age at 35.?Fitzroy gave me a chance to do what I love - play footy.So my message to Boomer is: if you wanna keep playing, play.His forms warrants another year, 100 percent. If he was 21, theyd (the fans) would burn Arden Street down.?Hes more than, more than, more than holding his own.Freekick Buldogs? So, the umpires are human, too. Like everyone else, it seems they got swept up in the Bulldogs Cinderella story on grand final day - from flea-bitten, downtrodden Dogs to Best in Show.The men in fluoro green awarded the Swans just four free kicks in the first three quarters - against the Bulldogs 15. This was a record low for one team in a final since the turn of the millennium, and quite possibly for a long time before that.Stats guru Josh Kay informs us that the fewest free kicks awarded in finals to three-quarter time (since 2000) are:4 - Swans 2016 GF 5 - Essendon 2002 EF 6 - Adelaide 2016 EF 6 - Collingwood 2002 QFThe final free-kick tally was 8-20 against Sydney. There werent many howlers (as it were) but the Dogs Toby McLean scored a couple of soft ones for head-high contact; Sydney skipper Kieren Jack might have got a 50-metre penalty early on after taking a courageous mark and being hit late by Easton Wood, and Dan Hannebery was nursing a very sore knee after being barrelled by Wood in the second half.While Scott Jeffery, Matt Stevic and Simon Meredith were out there undoubtedly doing their best, it seems even the most flinty-hearted whistleblower could not help but be caught up in footys great fairytale.Dolphins aim to make a splashA cash-strapped club booted out of the VFL is assembling a group of powerbrokers to help it return to the states top flight competition.?The Frankston Dolphins, which has launched the AFL careers of former Western Bulldogs captain Matthew Boyd, Melbourne-bound Michael Hibberd and Richmonds Sam Lloyd, is contesting AFL Victorias decision to revoke its state league license.AFL Victoria last week confirmed the 129-year-old club, which has played in the VFL since 1966, will not compete in the state league from next season due to its dire financial situation.Frankston state Labor MP Paul Edbrooke, a member of the steering committee, is ambitiously trying to recruit one its AFL graduates to join the working party.Were going to fight until we get our license back. Its pretty clear cut what we need to do to achieve this, but legal action isnt out of the question, Edbrooke told ESPN.Without a professional football club, the community can experience serious social problems. This club helps keep our kids off the streets and on the straight and narrow.?Its an iconic part of Frankston and its needs to be restored for the good of the community.Frankston has been a strong feeder for people to play AFL. Without a catchment in Melbournes south, the areas football development will suffer immensely.The Dolphins owe about $1.5 million to their creditors.The loss of the clubs pokies and years of underperforming seasons has seen the club battle to stay afloat.AFL Victoria chief executive Steven Reaper says he hopes the region can have a sustainable VFL presence in 2018.Frankston has had a rich history of providing a pathway and opportunities for footballers in the region, but without the necessary off field structures in place, AFL Victoria was not confident financial projections provided could be met, Reaper said.?We have a strong willingness to ensure that there is a VFL presence in the region into the future, but it must be viable and sustainable both on and off the field long term.Edbrooke has launched an online petition appealing to AFL Victoria to reverse its decision. It has so far attracted over 3000 signatures.THE WEEKS RANDOM FACTS AND FIGURES:9 - The number of Western Bulldogs players whod played fewer than 50 games going into the Grand Final. Thats the most in a VFL/AFL premiership side since Carltons 10 in 1987.190 - The number of times Geelong pair Jimmy Bartel and Corey Enright (who retired on Wednesday) played in winning games together, second on the all-time list behind two Richmond greats:193 - Kevin Bartlett and Francis Bourke (Rich) 190 - Bartel and Enright (Geel) 177 - Craig Bradley and Steve Silvagni (Carl) 176 - Leigh Matthews and Kelvin Moore (Haw)And thanks to Channel 7 statistician Josh Kay for this one:August 22, 1995: State Funeral for EJ Whitten; Birth of Tom Boyd. (Which has prompted many excitable predictions about Boyd being set to become the biggest Bulldogs star since the great EJ.) Joe Barksdale Jersey . Pettersen, winner of last years Evian Championships, had nine birdies and three bogeys, holding off a series of challengers led by Marion Ricordeau of France. The second-ranked Norwegian made her season debut after missing the LPGA Tours opening event last month in the Bahamas because of a shoulder injury. Casey Hayward Jersey .J. -- Marty Brodeur beat the Pittsburgh Penguins yet again. .Y. -- Injured Buffalo Sabres forward Marcus Foligno did not practice with the team Monday and head coach Ron Rolston said its unlikely hell play in Wednesdays season opener in Detroit. Kyzir White Jersey . Aaron Harrison scored a 22 points for Kentucky (6-1), which has won four in a row following a Nov. 12 loss to current No. 1 Michigan State. Julius Randle overcame a scoreless first half and added his sixth double-double in as many games with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Drew Kaser Jersey . Andrew Luck lost his favourite target and the Indianapolis locker room lost one of its most revered leaders when Reggie Wayne was diagnosed Monday with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee that will cost him the rest of the season.Chelsea striker Diego Costa has topped the Sky Sports Power Rankings after scoring one and assisting another during the Blues back-to-back away victories against Southampton and Norwich. The 27-year-old set up Cesc Fabregas (No 5, up 15 places) for Chelseas equaliser against the Saints on Saturday and scored against the Canaries to secure a 2-1 win on Wednesday.Team-mate Branislav Ivanovic fired 22 places up the rankings to No 4 after scoring the Blues winner against Southampton, assisted by Willian (No 6, up six places). Matchdays 27 and 28 were combined for the latest Power Rankings, which saw Chelsea replace Tottenham and Southampton as the dominant force in the charts.Only Christian Eriksen (No 3, down one place) represented Spurs in the top 10 after Mauricio Pochettinos men lost 1-0 to West Ham on Wednesday through an early Michail Antonio (20th, up 94 places) goal, assisted by Dimitri Payet (No 7, up 12 places). West Hams Dimitri Payet (right) rose 12 places to No 7 in the Power Rankings Robert Huth maintained his good form at No 2, boosted by his performances from previous weeks but helping his side maintain a clean sheet during the Foxes 1-0 victory over Norwich on Saturday.ddddddddddddLiverpool forward Roberto Firmino (No 9, down one place) and Everton defender Ramiro Funes Mori (No 10, up 31 places) also made the Power Rankings top 10 - despite the Merseyside clubs Sunday fixture being postponed due to the Reds Capital One Cup clash with Manchester City.The Power Rankings methodology reflects a players performance over the previous five weeks, with each preceding week worth fewer points. This means the Power Rankings reflect the in-form players of the moment.Below, we also present your clubs top points scorer and the cumulative seasons rankings.The Sky Sports Power Rankings will be updated each week during the season, so be sure to keep an eye on the big movers... 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