The most important kick in the game

By David Nagel “Give me a healthy list and let’s make the most of our opportunities when we get them.” While most of the pre-season work is done on recruiting, game plans, fitness and structures – there are a couple of bare essentials that coaches can’t control when the heat of battle begins. Injuries, or... View Article

By David Nagel

“Give me a healthy list and let’s make the most of our opportunities when we get them.”

While most of the pre-season work is done on recruiting, game plans, fitness and structures – there are a couple of bare essentials that coaches can’t control when the heat of battle begins.

Injuries, or unavailability of players, and the ability of the forwards and midfielders to put the ball through the big sticks are two crucial factors when the win and loss columns are settled at the end of the season.

Some coaches, like Simon Goosey at Mornington and Leigh Stewart at Pearcedale, will be nodding their heads right now.

Pearcedale has used 33 players this year, more that any other club in the MPNFL, and has the worst record in front of goal converting just 32 of its 82 scoring shots.

That’s a goal-kicking accuracy of just 39 percent – poor by any standards.

The Panthers have already used eight players more than both Chelsea and Devon Meadows (25), and seven more than Dromana and Somerville (26).

Devon Meadows and Somerville might have some explaining to do – but for Chelsea and Dromana that continuity has led to consistency of performance and a factor in their undefeated records and a meeting in the round-five Match of the Day.

Crib Point (31), Karingal (31) and Red Hill (30) are the other teams in division two to have used 30 players or more – the Hillmen rectifying their situation somewhat with a 55-percent strike rate in front of goals.

In division one, Mornington and Pines have used 32 players each with Goosey and his great mate Paddy Swayn not having a lucky run.

Sorrento on the other hand is clearly the most settled side in the competition with just 26 players taking to the field after five rounds.

Swayn can comfort himself with the fact that his Pythons are striking at 55-percent in front of goal, equal with Mt Eliza as the best in the competition.

Ironically, being coached by one of the great goal-kickers of all time, – who does say that he kicked at roughly 80-percent throughout his career – Goosey’s Bulldogs have just a 45-percent success rate.

Rosebud is the worst in division one with 42 percent.

So do these figures mean anything at all or is there really a direct correlation between bad kicking at goal and the win and loss column?

Pure statistics would suggest that eight of the 49 games – or 16 percent of all matches – have been significantly influenced by inefficiency in front of goal this year.

We wonder out loud if handball receives, clearances and marks inside 50 have had a similar influence this year?

Some coaches will say that the kick-out from full back, or the final pass into the forward 50 is the most important kick in football – and they probably train it and keep KPI’s on those factors all year.

But what about the poor old kick at goal!

It is certainly not taken too seriously at training, and very rarely seen on a whiteboard or mentioned at a quarter or three-quarter-time huddle.

It sort of gets brushed aside as an acceptable part of footy.

 

How does your team stack up in 2018?

DIVISION 1 PLAYERS USED GOALS BEHINDS TOTAL SHOTS  % ACCURACY
Bonbeach 31 39 47 86 0.45
Edi-Asp 31 55 63 118 0.47
Frankston 28 56 61 117 0.48
Frankston YCW 29 60 67 127 0.47
Mornington 32 46 56 102 0.45
Mt Eliza 31 66 55 121 0.55
Pines 32 62 50 112 0.55
Rosebud 29 41 56 97 0.42
Seaford 27 47 50 97 0.48
Sorrento 26 61 59 120 0.51
DIVISION 2 PLAYERS USED GOALS BEHINDS TOTAL SHOTS % ACCURACY
Chelsea 25 48 43 91 0.53
Crib Point 31 22 29 51 0.43
Devon Meadows 25 48 42 90 0.53
Dromana 26 60 52 112 0.54
Hastings 27 50 44 94 0.53
Karingal 31 46 48 94 0.49
Langwarrin 28 39 36 75 0.52
Pearcedale 33 32 50 82 0.39
Red Hill 30 50 41 91 0.55
Rye 27 38 55 93 0.41
Somerville 26 50 57 107 0.47
Tyabb 27 28 33 61 0.46