The commencement of the 2013 AFL Season has signalled the hibernation of cricket for another 6 months, leaving those of us supporting teams wearing Red and Blue with not much to look forward to.
As a means of filling the gap of emptiness, your author has looked at a Quokkas fantasy AFL team using the prominent members of the 2012-13 team:
FF: Cupsy, Emu, Ed
HF: Curto, Rowdy, Paz
C: Pup, Phantom, J Rod
HB: Robbo, Rev, Radar
FB: Mo, Dutchy, Alex
R: Morts, Gladys, Big Dog
Interchange: Bad Boy, Jimmy Northe, Cruizer
Rowdy is the first member of the team, picked at Centre Half Forward. Rowdy will be relied upon for kicking big scores week in, week out. Or, at least kicking more than Emu – who should be relied upon for big scores, until the finals. Emu and Rowdy should guarantee some big scores and will remind many of the Wayne Carey-John Longmire combination of the late 1990s.
Cupsy is picked in one of the forward pockets as a dead-eye goal kicker in the Brad Green / Paul Hudson mode, though won’t be expected to lead further than 30 metres from goal, mostly as he will have left his smokes under the behind post.
Ed is picked in the other pocket as a crumbing forward as he is the least likely bloke to go anywhere near a pack or opponent.
As mentioned Rowdy is picked at Centre Half Forward as a leading-marking target. He is flanked by Curto on one side and Paris on the other. Curto will marshal the forward line through constant banter and will be relied upon to go after any ball that comes his way like a cheap single. He isn’t expected to deliver a single handball until he develops the yips towards the end of the season, after which he will refrain from kicking even the cat.
Paris brings a bit of class and smooth delivery to the forward line, as well as the occasional freak-shot (much like his 6 in Launceston). As economical as his bowling, Paz isn’t expected to bring up too many clangers.
The runners of the side; Phantom, Pup and J Rod will make up for any lack of skill with constant dash. This is mostly because they are the only members of the team who may be able to run more than 10 metres at a time. Pup can use his left-sided advantage on one wing, while J Rod can be largely hidden on the other. The Phantom is expected to disappear from the oppositions radar, only to bob up and bomb Rugby-style torpedo’s into the forward 50.
An interesting mixture of aggression and team-work, the half backs have enough talent to defend and attack. Robbo will be the most orhodox of the team, occassionally moving into the centre as one of the only fit members of the team. Radar, as a drummer, is the ultimate team-man and the heart-beat of the side. No-one will ever kick the ball to him, as he won’t/can’t catch it, but he will run off packs well for receives and finish with clean disposal. The Rev brings a bit of old-fashioned violence to the side; jumper punching, scragging and belting the opposition behind play, all while encouraging his team to “rise above”.
An imposing line for any opposition, they have a strong mix of calm (Mo), old-school aggression and big hits (Dutchy) and flash (Alex). Mo is expected to spend his time between marking his man, calmly pin-pointing the ball out of danger and breaking up fights between Dutchy and the entire other team. Dutchy will spend much of the match telling his direct opponent how shit he is, telling the goal umpire how blind he is and abusing the kid selling records for exorbitant prices. He is also the best at punching from behind.
Alex, when available, will be able to fill any role asked of him, but will be needed to synchronise with Radar in the back line to provide some talent.
Rucks / Followers:
The tallest man in the team, Morts, is the natural first choice as Ruck but will swap with Curto when he wants a rest – which is likely to be often. A ruckman from the Aaron Sandilands school of being ridiculously tall, Morts will also bring some skilled disposal to the middle and absolutely no body-contact. Expect the fans to whisper “Josh Fraser” under his breath.
Gladys brings a school of class with him & will be relied upon to direct Morts where to hit it, only to be where he actually does hit it, then pump it forward to the tall timbers. The Big Dog will play the role of tagger, or anything that is asked of him. He may even continue to bring his bloody coleslaw to games, only to despair at how under-appreciated it / he is.
Bad Boy, Jimmy Northe and Cruizer provide a bench capable of filling in roles all over the ground. Bad Boy can help out in the ruck, take marks up forward or shut down tall forwards – depending on how big his previous night was. Jimmy Northe provides a little bit of nuggety zip and flair in the Andrew Jarman mould. Cruizer has absolutely no idea about the game, but is still better than most of the starting 18.