Default Fans

Bits and pieces from Round 1

Something old

Essendon defender Dustin Fletcher fronted up for the first game of his record-breaking 23rd season on Saturday. The result didn’t go the way he would have liked against the Swans. But it’s an incredible effort.

He wasn’t the only veteran who got going in Round 1. Matthew Pavlich showed presidency agrees with him with his four-goal effort against Port Adelaide.

Something new

There’s something pretty special about watching a kid play his first AFL game.

There’s the jumper presentation before the game, watching him run through the banner for the first time, that opening involvement. The opening round was dotted with impressive performances from boys on debut. It all started with NAB Rising Star nominee Kamdyn McIntosh on Thursday night for the Tigers against the Blues.

Jesse Hogan, Aaron vandenBerg and Angus Brayshaw marked their first game with Melbourne with a win. Isaac Heeney looked right at home for the Swans, the Cats gave debuts to Nakia Cockatoo and Cory Gregson, while Jordan de Goey (Collingwood), Clem Smith (Carlton), Tom Lamb and Jackson Nelson (West Coast), Jarrod Garlett, Touk Miller and Adam Saad (Gold Coast), Jack Lonie and Jack Sinclair (St Kilda) and Jaden McGrath (Brisbane) all notched game number one.

Something borrowed

Old faces in new colours lit up the weekend, too.

Melbourne’s recruiters would have been pleased with Jeff Garlett (Carlton), Heritier Lumumba (Collingwood), Sam Frost (GWS Giants) and Ben Newton (Port Adelaide). A couple of old Dees in James Frawley and Mitch Clark lined up on each other at the opening bounce of the Hawthorn-Geelong clash. Frawley’s new boys got the points first up. Elsewhere, Adam Cooney, Shaun Higgins, Nick Malceski, Taylor Hunt, Allen Christensen, Mitch Robinson and Dayne Beams were among a few others to look home after off-season moves.

Something red, white and blue

How about those Doggies?

Over the summer the coach was sacked, the captain walked, the best and fairest winner did his knee … and in Round 1 they beat West Coast in a thrilling end-to-end battle. Lin Jong was an unsung hero, Marcus Bontempelli was brilliant, and Bob Murphy got to sing the song as skipper.

And another thing…

Bloody injuries. Dale Thomas hurt his shoulder minutes into the season, Mitch Brown’s horror run continued, and by the end of the round Steele Sidebottom, Tom Rockliff and Jaeger O’Meara were facing extended stints on the sidelines. It’s a tough game.