Sports

Bayley Fritsch ignoring teammates, selfish, doesn’t kick it to Charlie Spargo, video, Melbourne Demons win over Port Adelaide Power

Melbourne’s team-first mentality has again come under the microscope after an incident involving star forward Bayley Fritsch in its 14-point win over Port Adelaide.

Fritsch early in the first quarter of the Darwin clash streamed towards goal, but instead of chipping it to Charlie Spargo, who was open in the goalsquare, took a shot from much further out and missed across the face of the big sticks.

It’s not the first time this season Fritsch has come under scrutiny from pundits for overlooking teammates including in recent clashes against Brisbane and Geelong.

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And speaking on Fox Footy’s First Crack, King held concerns that it could come back to bite the Dees in September.

“Let’s have a look at what I think is a major reason why Melbourne is in the position they’re in, and playing a little bit patchy, not as bulletproof as the Geelong’s and potentially some of the other teams in third or fourth position,” he said.

Melbourne press conference | 02:21

“This here we’ve talked about for weeks — the Bayley Fritsch barbecue — he is just toasting all of his teammates, it’s not on. I can guarantee they would’ve sat him down and said, ‘hey listen, we’re all in this together.’

“They’ve been in poor form, they needed to get off to a flyer today. And they had an opportunity when it’s zero goals each to go over the top to the goalsquare for a stroll in goal, and he wants the goal on his sheet, not the team’s.

“It’s a serious problem that they need to address, otherwise it’ll come home to roost in a preliminary final or a grand final and they’ll say, ‘why didn’t we go hard enough at the time and stamp this out?’

“He’s still a goalkicker, he’s still playing good footy — (kicked) 2.2 today — but that there is team first, and he’s not playing that way at the moment.”

St Kilda great Nick Dal Santo also thought it was an issue for the reigning premiers, pointing to the body language of some of Fritsch’s teammates.

“His teammates know that more than anybody, you that their reaction when they have been burnt, they’re looking at him saying ‘please, we give it to you, you give it to us, it’s a team goal’,” he said on Fox Footy during the halftime coverage of the game.

Despite this, Melbourne still got the job done to bounce back from last week’s loss to Geelong and sit second on the ladder with a 13-4 record.

Although the Dees were made to earn it against Port and still played below their best including surviving a late fightback from the Power.

“Melbourne got smashed around the ball — -13 in clearances, so Clayton Oliver was sorely missed. Port Adelaide were dominant around the ball, they restricted Melbourne to only 49 entries, which is a low number for the Dees,” Dual All-Australian Leigh Montagna said.

“But they just had enough class and a bit more space and separation in their front half that they were able to do the damage on Port Adelaide.”



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