Updated: May 7, 2018
As Terry Pratchett once wrote, build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. Meet the first 10 players on the 2018 Melbourne Flames.
2018 Melbourne Flames (initial roster)
And four more to come in the draft...
What they got
It’s very tempting to start this write-up with “TALK ABOUT SAVING THE BEST ‘TIL LAST!” but in the interest of balanced journalism I will instead start with “TALK ABOUT SAVING ONE OF THE BEST ‘TIL LAST!”. Much better.
I first realised that Mikhaila Dignam was (one of) the best when I watched her play in the 2016 Ellipsis vs Pompey Magnus bronze medal match of Mixed Nationals. This game was so good at the time that it hadn’t even finished yet and I said I was excited to watch it back. Dignam is playing an incredibly challenging position in a junk zone and fearlessly marks any player in her space, applies consistent pressure and gets blocks. Nek minute, endzone. In an outstanding game, surrounded by outstanding players, she still stood out.
But all the girls, Dignam included, are self-evidently great players. Flames and Demons often go together, which explains part-time AFLW star Cat Phillips’s inclusion on the roster, along with Ellipsis teammates Egan-Griffiths, Prentice and Weatherall. If the name Weatherall isn’t familiar, it’s not because she’s a rookie - she’s a superstar from New Zealand. An easy way to remember her name is that her surname is also a description of the daily climate in her home country (Weather: All).
In addition to being very good at frisbee and incredibly competitive, all these women are also SO NICE! Like, just, so very very nice. Call me Alyssa Milano because every time I meet these girls, I’m charmed.
Which brings me to the boys. The personalities here are immense, all in their own way. Love them or hate them, all these guys inspire strong reactions, on and off the field, whether it be their play-style, attitude, antics or opinions. Play-wise, Barr and Ashcroft proved to be such a formidable combo that they led Heads of State's Carnage to a bronze medal at Nationals over their World Clubs-attending counterparts (including Isherwood and Wise). Rogacki’s Hot Chilly on the other hand went winless for the first two days of pool play to finish outside the top eight. But the Gack is still the Gack…
What they say
“We focused on elite players who we thought could adapt quickly and easily to the 6v6 format. Players who have the all-round skill set to impact the offense both ways and play shut out defense against the best players in Australia. We are genuinely excited to be involved and to support what the league is trying to achieve.” - Anna Rogacki and Cheok Funn Lee, Melbourne Flames coaches.
What they need
Either the most malleable players from around the country or maybe just more Heads of State and Ellipsis players.
Seriously, all the boys minus one are from HoS (and that one is the Gack so he’ll be fine) and all the girls are current Ellipsis teammates. The draftees on this team will have to sing from the same songbook if they expect to see much disc. If the mountain will not come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain (draftee's - you're Muhammad).
So I’d go for speed, for quick disc-movers, and for people who play well with others. Because this team definitely doesn’t need any more personalities.
One last thing...
Now that all the teams core rosters have been announced, we can start thinking about the AUL trading card game. I'm thinking...
Suns thaw Freeze
Breakers extinguish Flames
Freeze chill Breakers
Power corrupts absolutely
Suns are defeated by the inevitable heat death of the universe
Dragons are cool
That might need some work…
Support the Melbourne Flames by becoming a member and stay tuned for more AUL announcements in the coming weeks!