This Article is About
loyalty
nature of the beast
greener pastures
emotion
contracts
Loyalty What Has It Got To Do With It?
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It is this time of the year in the Aussie Footy world that is known as the "Trade Period". This is where clubs "delist" players that they feel are no longer needed at the club or when players themselves do not renew their contracts and want to go to another club.

It is also when players are "poached" by other clubs offering substantially more money and also more security in their new club with regard to playing. It is viewed by those who are onlookers especially supporters as a very emotional period. Loved players leave or their contracts are not renewed. Coaches and their staff move to greener pastures, another club.

Loyalty for a club is touted as a dying emotion during this time. But it is there that I disagree. Sure it is sad to see players that you have cheered and sometimes yelled at during their time at the club, leave, but in everything, that is the nature of the beast.

A player who is not performing in one club, may shine in another or a club may, because of salary cap issues, need to drop a few players that are considered mediocre in order to pick up some fresh young talent that in the future can be groomed to be the next star in the game. While emotive in every sense, as a supporter of the game, we must realise that these changes are inevitable.

While we hope that our favoured sons in our team end their careers at our club, we mustn't believe that this will happen all the time. We must understand that as in any team situation, sometimes a player, no matter how good they are, do not fit in the mix of the team.

Great example of this is the ex Carlton and Brisbane Lions player, Brendon Fevola. Sure he managed to ruin his career by thinking that his form alone and not his public behaviour would be all that matters in the game. Every player in every sport knows that in the long run that is simply not the case. He is an exceptional player. An amazing talent, but in both teams, he just did not fit in with the mix of the team. Exceptionalism does not constitute teammanship and so he now finds himself with no AFL club.

Then there is Tom Scully, who from Melbourne was offered an amazing deal to move to the new team, Greater Western Sydney. He is a good player, not exceptional, but good and I personally think that it will be good for Greater Western Sydney and for his career, but could he have achieved the same result if he had stayed with Melbourne? Only time will tell.

Again personally while it will be good for him and his new club, I don't think he will achieve what he and his new club thinks he can achieve.

Then on the flip side, we have retiring Premiership Captain from Geelong, Cameron Ling, who is undoubtedly a good player who found his place in a team that was perfect for him. He is not by far an exceptional player but a good, solid, in your face player who achieved greatness by being in a team that had a great mix of teammanship and player ability. His ability to read the play of the game and to be supported by his fellow team members, has made him able to achieve greatness.

And when a player moves to another club, that in essence is what needs to be achieved. A good player who will achieve greatness by being in a team that has that mix of teammanship and player ability across the board.

So when a player moves to another club, this must play on the minds of the coaches and existing players. Will the new player fit in? Will he become part of a champion team? Will he bring to the game what the team needs? A mediocre player will achieve greatness in a team that has the perfect mix for him. Great team spirit, player ability and the knowledge that a good player has the chance to achieve greatness. A great player in a mediocre team who does not fit in will never achieve anything more than good.

So now that all that is left in this "Trade Period" is the draft picks. Young, new and upcoming players to find a club and sometimes older player who did not get to find a club during the trade period, it is now their time to hope that they get into a club that will not only make them better players, but better team players. If a club does not achieve this with a new player, then no matter how good or great that player is, loyalty is thrown out of the window.

It should be in that respect that a player must become loyal to what they need to become a better player and team player and if it means moving to another club, then sad as it is to see them go, they must go. Because even though your club may lose a favoured son, it may get a son that will propel the club and themselves into greatness and champions. And that is what it is all about.

GO BLUES!


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