by @cf2 is back
After an epic 10 year finals run, racking up 4 grand finals and 2 premierships along the way, 2015 was of course a calamitous fall from grace. None the least of which being the dismissal of a club legend in Toovs.
As a result 2016 was to be the instant righting of the ship. Bozo’s broom was as swift as it was sharp, with the 14 plus removed players proven correctly to be superfluous to Brookie needs given names like Sao, Lui, Hasson, Sene-Lefao, Chee-Kam and Littlejohn have barely been sighted in first grade since.
On top of that the most feared loss in Foran turned out to be the very large bullet dodged after that spectacular car crash out on Parramatta Road. Forgive the interlude, but just how he managed to weasel out of a 4 year Eels deal only to turn up in Auckland months later, like everything is suddenly just fine thanks, is simply staggeringly beyond belief. Wasn’t King Arthur supposed to be the only coach in the land? Still, this time next year we’ll likely be discussing his arrival in Brisbane, or Townsville… or perhaps Toulon.
But back to 2016...
Describing the season as “injury riddled” would of course amount to a monumental understatement, complete with it’s record number of players required to fill 17 jerseys, and capped off by the now crushingly sad losses of Stewart and Matai. Add to that a coach on shaky learner plates, and… well we all know the rest. Considering where we finished it was in fact a pretty game effort, albeit a 2nd straight year in the wrong half of the table.
Which bring us to Season 2017.
For the second successive year Bozo’s broom has swung into stunning action, swiftly dispatching yet another extraordinarily large list of names. Adding those who found the exit for contract or retirement reasons, and suddenly there’s an unprecedented tally including Symonds, Mateo, Burgess, Green, Leary, Starling, Wiliame, Vave, Parcell, Buhrer, Lyon, Stewart and Matai (not to mention a further list of reserve graders like Knight, Hodges, Satini, Pratt, Goodall etc). Surely the biggest turnover in our club’s history, or at any club for that matter.
Parcell (who could have been the next Ballin) and Buhrer still hurt for mine, but as the saying goes in Bozo we trust.
In terms of the new crop it seems a mixed bunch on face value given 4 of them were languishing in reserves last year.
At the very least, Lane looked to be an outstanding prospect at Belmore before a mysteriously anonymous year in Auckland, so we can only hope his seemingly abundant untapped talent is as large as his hulking frame.
Sironen too seemed to have the world at his all too infamous name’s feet, only by his own admission to largely forget to turn up. That said, the fact that Jason Taylor must surely win the award as the most naively clueless coach in the games recent history no doubt didn’t help matters either. Seriously has there ever a bloke more stunned in the headlights?
Hastings appears to only have problems off the field, so one can only hope he’s had a solid Bozo introduction to sort that out. He certainly has bucket loads of talent and would surely make a brilliant no. 9, not to mention first choice goal kicker.
And then there’s Uate. Crikey it’s got me stumped. Just how do you go from an Origin V8 danger machine to a spluttering Hyundai Getz dumped permanently to reserve grade, at by far and away the worst team in the comp? We can only pray the Narrabeen sand hills have him ready to fire.
Notwithstanding the above question marks, the addition of proven star playmaker Green, in addition to future stars in Perrett, Kelly and Cullen are all very big ticks, as is the further addition of depth in Kennedy, Jono Wright and Joey Lussick. Adding those names to the star backbone of DCE, Walker, Taupau and the superhero Trbojevic’s, and the skies are suddenly looking very blue at Brookie, aka ‘Lottoland’.
So where to from here?
For mine the biggest issue is not the immediate results, but the TEAM SELECTION.
I really want to see Barrett back our youth and I’lll be seriously annoyed if we play it safe and park our future stars.
The time to play them is NOW. As they say, if you’re good enough you’re old enough. Is finishing a commendable 11th really our goal, our should we follow the lead of Penrith and Canberra and rebuild a premiership team with stars of the future? Imagine having left Tom and Jake in the NSW Cup last year. It’s a no brainer.
CF2’s ROUND 1 TEAM:
1. Tom Trbojevic: will kill it this year with his ankle sorted plus extra speed and size
2. Jorge Taufau: but we need the fully energised version not the goes missing one
3. Dylan Walker: why on earth was he ever put in the no 6? Speed speed speed
4. Brian Kelly: the moment to shine is NOW - plus to quote Bozo ‘there’s no substitute for speed’, and combined with Walker we’d suddenly have strike weapons on both sides
5. Peter Schuster: covers fullback and fast, the moment to shine is NOW
6. Blake Green: perfect partner for DCE as the trials showed
7. Daly Cherry-Evans: captain (and quite rightly so)
8. Brenton Lawrence: back to fitness to lead from the front again
9. Api Koroisau: most champion teams have a dangerous no 9 with the ball, run Forrest run
10: Lloyd Perrett: big young body, the moment to shine is NOW
11. Curtis Sironen: redemption time, the moment to shine is NOW
12. Marty Taupau: pleeeeeease don’t pick him at prop where he’ll just be dragged up the middle by 4 defenders, his biggest threat is causing carnage on the edges fending off lone defenders and offloading to the halves or speedsters Kelly, Walker, Tom T
13. Jake Trbojevic: phar lap will only get better
14. Jackson Hastings: crazy talent, the moment to shine is NOW
15. Addin Fonua-Blake: size baby size
16. Nate Myles: on major watch given anything less than rip, tear and bust and it’s Blacktown
17. Frank Winterstein: Gotta love the 200km to training story (but surely there’s a spare apartment at Mona Vale?)
18. Shaun Lane: emergency warm up
19. Uate: outside backs should ideally tick 2 of these 3 critical boxes: 1. SPEED; 2. MUSCLE; 3. HEIGHT. Feels like only no.2 applies here.
20. Matt Wright: ditto above
21. Jono Wright: ditto abobe
22. Cullen: not far off selection and perfect cover for injuries
23. Lewis Brown: being a handy utility is handy, but we need 17 game breakers out there
24. Peter Godinet: great kid, too small, depth cover only
25: Joey Lussick: emerging talent, but also depth cover atm
Darcy Lussick: along with Taupua pick of the forwards last year. Straight to starting side when fit.
Youth, size and speed, that’s what I want to see in 2017. Bring it on. See you at “Blottoland” on Sunday.