One of Jack Dyer’s many achievements, throughout a wonderful league football career, was his popularisation of what is basically the only kick used in the AFL competition today – the drop punt. In Jack’s original autobiography, “Captain Blood Jack Dyer”, published in 1965, the Richmond icon provided an insight into how his fascination for the drop punt began, and why the kick is such an asset. Here is Jack Dyer’s view on the drop punt from half a century ago . . .
“I am given credit for developing the drop punt. I was the first to use it as a set kick, but I picked it up from the Collier brothers (Collingwood players).
“They used a version of the kick for lobbing the ball over an opponent’s head whenever somebody got between them. They used it to eliminate the handpass.
“It was a clumsy kick, but I realised its potential because of their accuracy, and I set to work modifying the kick and developing it for distance.
“I spent many a lonely hour in an assortment of paddocks working on the kick. I had to do something, until now I wasn’t noted for my accuracy in kicking for goals.
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“What an asset the drop punt became! Instead of passing the ball to a teammate, rather than have a shot myself, I developed confidence and unerring accuracy . . .
“There is no excuse for missing a goal from 40 yards with the correct use of the drop punt.
“The kick requires a tremendous amount of patience and practice, but learn it properly and I’ll give you my personal guarantee, if you can take the marks, you will get the goals. You will become so accurate, you won’t talk to yourself for months if you miss a goal.
“Why is it so accurate? There is hardly any way at all to spoil the kick. There is a gap of 21 feet between the goalposts and it is impossible to spray the kick so far off target.
“As a matter of fact, if you practise enough, shooting at a post from 40 yards, you will find yourself hitting it time and time again.”