i>Steve Butler, thewest.com.au's man in Melbourne, provides the AFL scuttlebutt being kicked around the national competition.

Catch Butler's Bouncedown on Today Tonight, 6.30pm tonight.

Steve Butler on Today Tonight.

EAR ‘ERE
It doesn’t take Einstein to realise that North Melbourne coach Brad Scott talks regularly with his twin brother, Geelong’s Chris Scott.

But maybe their conversations also filter down to their players.

When last in Perth, Chris made headlines for his accusations of nasty crowd behaviour from West Coast fans, who he labelled the worst in the land.

Then yesterday, WTBH overheard Kangaroos forward Drew Petrie telling a Melbourne television reporter that he had been warned to wear ear-plugs during this Sunday’s match against the Eagles at Patersons Stadium.

Reckon that might just crank up the decibels for what might come big Drewie’s way.

AND THE WINNER IS...
Unfortunately for some hopefuls in Wednesday’s annual NAB Rising Star Awards, the winning result was revealed before the official announcement was made by host Anthony Hudson at Melbourne’s Crown Palladium.

Some 10 minutes before Adelaide defender Daniel Talia had been named as the Crows’ first winner, several nominees in the room had seen the news spread like wildfire through the Twitter-verse.

Even Adelaide coach Brenton Sanderson had tweeted his congratulations before the announcement.

Then, as AFL heavies went on the search for the embargo-break culprit, they quickly found that it had been accidentally uploaded before time on their own website, afl.com.au. The fact that the function had gone over time was understood to have been the reason for the premature adulation for Talia.

Still, it hardly spoilt the day for a deserving winner who towered over Hudson during the presentation to the point where the host said: "I was hoping a rover might win it".

Talia - who has earned nicknames such as Presti (after retired Collingwood full-back Simon Prestigiacomo), The Blanket and The Iron Fist - continued the recent winning spree for his namesakes. Danyle Pearce won in 2006, Daniel Rich in 2009 and Daniel Hannebery in 2010.

OLD HABITS
It came as a bit of a surprise that former Richmond defenders and 1980 premiership teammates Kevin Sheedy and Mick Malthouse both believed Greater Western Sydney forward Jeremy Cameron deserved the Rising Star gong ahead of Daniel Talia.

But when pushed further on the selection by WTBH, Sheedy seemed to revert to something of a natural order when the image of former Carlton nemesis Robert Walls came into his mind.

"Mick knows how hard it is to pick a centre-half-forward ... we used to try and kill them," Sheedy said.

"I tried to kill Wallsy about eight times. We’re still head-butting each other and it will go on for life."

SHEVIN KEEDY
While it is obvious from the above that the football passion in Sheedy is far from dead, the coaching legend still doesn’t get everything right.

Sometimes, even naming his own players proves a problem, as his WA young gun Stephen Coniglio revealed this week.

"Three weeks ago, my roomate Dom Tyson came back from stress fractures in his shin," Coniglio explained.

"When Sheeds was announcing the team, he welcomed Tom Dyson back. To everyone’s laughter, someone told him about two minutes later what Dom’s name really was.

"But he is awesome. That level of being a footy coach and being serious and then transitioning into just talking and being a good bloke in general, that’s what has really stood out."

And did he feel any wrath from the great man this year?

"Did I get a spray? No, and hopefully I can keep that tally at zero."

Good luck with that, Cogs.

PRESS PAUSE
It has been seven long years since Adelaide coach Brenton Sanderson and his assistant Darren Milburn, former Geelong teammates, have squared off in a final against Sydney like they will on Saturday at AAMI Stadium.

Back then in 2005, Sanderson had effected a goal-front tackle on Ryan O’Keefe to force a stoppage in the dying moments of the match with the Cats three points in front. He then watched helplessly as Nick Davis ran straight past him in the congestion to score the memorable match-winner after the re-start.

A forlorn Milburn was on the goal line watching the ball sail over his head. He told WTBH this week that the video replay of the magic moment had not been anywhere near on high rotation for him and Sanderson.

"No, we haven’t seen too much of that," Milburn said.

"You tend to push that stuff to the back-burner a bit. But obviously finals like that make you a better person and you learn from your mistakes, I guess.

"Sometimes you’ve got to go through a bit of heartache to get to where you want to."

Milburn, in his first year of post-retirement coaching, said working under Sanderson had been a satisfying way to start his new career.

"It has helped," he said.

"Obviously him coming over and me knowing him so well has helped me settle in pretty well. Getting the family over and them settling in has helped as well.

"We’ve got a good bunch of blokes on the coaching staff who are keen for this side to develop and push on to hopefully that last day in September.‘‘You do miss it (playing), especially this time of year. But you can’t play for ever and I don’t miss the ice baths and all that stuff."


ROOS TIMES TWO
There are few more famous faces in footy-mad Melbourne in September than former Fitzroy heart-throb and 2005 Sydney premiership coach, Paul Roos.

But even the great man himself even gets a little star-struck.

When WTBH caught him wandering around the streets of South Melbourne this week, Roos was quick to pull out his mobile phone to show a picture of who he had recently snapped himself with. He said he had shown it to his kids in a blaze of excitement.

On closer inspection, the picture was of himself with a larger-than-life image of his own head that sits proudly in the foyer of Melbourne’s Foxtel offices.

Good humour, Roosy, but we must point out that the pictorial close-up does you few favours.

NOT SO LETHAL
It is not often in modern football that you hear coaches or players giving away match-ups. But it was good of North Melbourne defender Scott Thompson to reveal last night who he would not be playing on this weekend.

AFL legend Leigh Matthews was speaking on Melbourne radio station 3AW when he asked Thompson: "Are you expecting Pavlich as your match-up?" suggesting the Kangaroos would be squaring off with Fremantle skipper Matthew Pavlich.

"Well, we're playing West Coast," came Thompson's sharp, but bewildered reply.

Program host Gerard Healy quipped soon after that North were a big chance of winning if they could keep Pavlich to three or four goals.

Thompson could, in fact be part of quite a unique pairing of match-ups pointed out in yesterday's Herald Sun.

He may well be playing on Eagles forward Josh Kennedy and tomorrow, Sydney midfielder Josh Kennedy is likely to find himself alongside Adelaide's Scott Thompson.

Freaky.

The West Australian

Popular videos

Compare & Save

Our Picks

Compare & Save

More from The West