Three takeaways from round twenty-two

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Dale Thomas walks off the ground with daughter Matilda following his last game at the MCG. (Photo by: Michael Willson/AFL Photos)

Dale Thomas deserved another contract at Carlton 

2019 is building a stellar class of retirees, but Dale Thomas is probably unlucky to be featuring amongst them given he still has something to offer at AFL level.

Thomas, 32, has been one of Carlton’s most consistent contributors this season after a solid season last year, and has helped lead an inexperienced Blues side through some incredibly tough times, but it now sees him cast aside as they begin to turn the corner.

With Blues favourite Kade Simpson, 35, set to continue his amazing 17-year career and re-sign at the end of the season, Thomas has seen himself squeezed out of Ikon Park, as the Blues look to balance their list with youth and experience.

There’s no question Thomas still has the ability to compete at the elite level, and he’s had a late career resurgence of sorts, which was highlighted by his 32 disposal performance across half-back in Carlton’s loss to Richmond two weeks ago.

The decision to not offer Thomas a contract for 2020 saw the former Collingwood premiership player announce his retirement last week, which will see him play his 258thand final game on Saturday against Geelong.

Fremantle’s loss to Essendon was just the killer blow for Ross Lyon

Rumours have swirled all season that Fremantle and their coach Ross Lyon might part ways at some stage throughout the year, and those rumours came to fruition on Tuesday when the club announced the sacking of their incumbent coach.

The decision came following the Dockers 32-point loss at home to Essendon, who were coming off of the catastrophic performance they had against the Western Bulldogs a week prior.

Lyon, who took the Dockers to their first grand final in club history in 2013, where they lost to Hawthorn, has endured a challenging year at the helm which has seen them miss finals for the fourth consecutive season since 2015.

Saturday’s loss to Essendon saw them slump to 13th on the AFL ladder with nine wins and twelve losses for the season, despite showing positive signs earlier in the year.

The sacking of Lyon means that he becomes the fourth senior coach to lose his job this season, joining the ranks of Brad Scott (North Melbourne), Brendon Bolton (Carlton) and Alan Richardson (St Kilda).

Lyon also coached St Kilda to the 2009 and 2010 grand finals, where they lost to Geelong and Collingwood.

Both Adelaide sides are currently two of the major disappointments in 2019

This season is looming as a failure for both the Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide, and it’s difficult to determine who will be more disappointed if they miss finals this year – which is looking increasingly likely.

Both sides entered round twenty-two with a finals spot to play for, and both were deplorable, with Adelaide getting dismantled at home by 66-points to Collingwood, and the Power even more atrocious, losing by 86-points to North Melbourne.

2019 however, has indicated that the Crows are a long way off the pace in regards to competing for a premiership, and with one of the oldest lists in the competition it will be interesting to see whether or not they cast an eye to the future, or continue to back their current list in.

The Power are their own conundrum, at times they’ve looked as good as any side in the competition, and at other times they’ve looked nothing short of horrendous; as showcased on Saturday night against North Melbourne.

They are being seen as underachievers, and coach Ken Hinkley has even come out and said that his job security relies on the Power making finals in the near future.

If one of these sides does scrape their way into September the script could quickly change, but given their current run of form they don’t deserve to be there anyway.

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