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The Age

Lloyd can finish with grand total: Quinlan

Author: Steve Butler
Date: 15/06/2007
Words: 665
Source: AGE
          Publication: The Age
Section: Sport
Page: 4
The former great says another season ton and a career tally of 1000 goals is not beyond the Bomber, Steve Butler reports

GOAL-KICKING legend Bernie Quinlan has backed Essendon spearhead Matthew Lloyd to repeat an elusive century of goals if defensive flooding is flushed from the game.

Lloyd needs to boot three goals against Port Adelaide at AAMI Stadium on Sunday to become the 10th player to kick 800 career goals.

Quinlan, who sits in ninth place with 817 goals for Footscray and Fitzroy between 1969 and 1986, said he was saddened that the modern game had all but banished the true full-forwards.

Former Sydney and St Kilda star Tony Lockett was the last player to kick 100 goals in a regular season with his 107 home-and-away majors for the Swans in 1998.

Lloyd finished with 109 in Essendon's premiership year of 2000 and 105 the following season, but both century tallies were completed during the finals.

St Kilda's Fraser Gehrig also reached the 100-goal mark in the finals of 2004. Quinlan, known as "Superboot", believed the 29-year-old Lloyd was capable of repeating the milestone and would welcome him to the 800-club.

"It's inevitable that someone was going to get me and why not let it be him - he's been an ornament to the game, he's stood the test of time and what more can you say," Quinlan said.

"He's been a full-forward for a fair number of years now, he produces all the time and he doesn't seem to have had any bad patches in his career, which is a pretty good effort.

"He's right up there among (the best of) them. He's a great shot for goal, a very good high mark, strong body-wise and doesn't mind a bit of physical contact - any team would be happy to have him there as their full-forward.

"It's pretty hard these days for the full-forwards with the flooding . . . I don't think a lot of the coaches today ever played full-forward.

"There's been some pretty ugly games and it's horrible to see the game being shut down by some of the coaches.

"But evolution will work itself out and while we're not seeing the big bags any more, if Matthew's hamstrings hold up I don't see any reason why he can't kick 100 in a season again and get to 1000 goals."

Quinlan suggested more relaxation and a better hold on the ball as a cure for the goalkicking yips that have gripped several of the game's stars this season.

He had special advice for West Coast's Quinten Lynch, who has kicked 21.28 this season, and for Lynch's cross-town rival Chris Tarrant.

"First of all you have to be gripping the ball in the right manner," he said. "You look at players such as Tarrant and I'm worried about his grip on the ball when he's kicking for goal. He seems to have a very strange and high grip on the ball, which makes it very hard to get it onto your boot straight.

"A lot of the other players, like Lynch and Travis Cloke from Collingwood, kick very relaxed when they're 80 metres out, but when they're closer they're stiff-armed and tense.

"If you've got tension in your hands and arms, it transfers right throughout your body. Some of them look a bit robotic and almost look as though they're creeping in over a minefield.

"If you looked at Peter Daicos over the years and the way he used to kick for goals, he was so totally relaxed. It's just a matter of practising properly and not holding the ball too tightly."

Quinlan, who is a weights coach with VFL team Port Melbourne, also joined the chorus for the AFL to review the controversial hands-in-the-back rule at the end of the season.

MOST CAREER GOALS

1360 - TONY LOCKETT

(281 matches, StK/Syd, 1983-2002) 4.84 a match (right)

1299 - GORDON COVENTRY

(306 matches, Collingwood, 1920-37) 4.25

1254 - JASON DUNSTALL

(269 matches, Hawthorn, 1985-98) 4.66

1057 - DOUG WADE

(267 matches, Geel/NM, 1961-75) 3.96

1030 - GARY ABLETT

(248 matches, Haw/Geel, 1982-96) 4.15

970 - JACK TITUS

(294 matches, Rich, 1926-43) 3.3

915 - LEIGH MATTHEWS

(332 matches, Haw, 1969-85) 2.76

874 - PETER McKENNA

(191 matches, Coll/Carl, 1965-77) 4.58

817 - BERNIE QUINLAN

(366, Foots/Fitz, 1969-86) 2.23

797 - MATTHEW LLOYD

(221 matches, Ess, 1995-) 3.6

 
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