Player Watch #10: Aaron Francis

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Vander18

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Apr 22, 2011
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Thought he was poor in the last quarter. Have King too much freedom to run and jump at the footy and committed a howler by foot.

These are his Achilles heel right now - positioning and ( less so) decision making. Still gives good value with his third up spoiling work but has to become more accountable and not gift his man these sorts of opportunities.
 

Bunk Moreland

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Jon Ralph in the Hun

Aaron Francis will continue to postpone contract talks with the Bombers until he is reassured there is a long-term for him as a key-position player.

Francis has entrenched himself in Essendon’s backline with Michael Hurley injured, playing the past five games as a tight-checking defender.

He has stifled some of his high-flying ways to keep rival forwards in check, conceding just four goals to the likes of Ben King, Nick Larkey, Tom McCartin and Jeremy Finlayson.

But despite three VFL games this year he has mainly played seniors, his 13 AFL games a career-high.

Essendon remains confident he sees his future at the club after last year’s aborted trade deal.

He has worked hard to keep his mental health issues in check and seems genuinely happy at the club and in Victoria.

His delay in signing a contract despite Essendon’s wish to lock him away centres more around Essendon’s clutch of key backs.

It means Francis might have to ply his trade as a swingman in the future without a defined role but enough talent to ensure he plays each week.

The Dons will sign Mason Redman, Dylan Clarke and Mitch Brown on new deals this year.

The Herald Sun revealed last week a trio of Victorian clubs in Carlton, the Bulldogs and North Melbourne were chasing small forward Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti.

Essendon great Tim Watson told Channel 7 he believed the star small forward was a $600,000-per-season forward after he set up Cale Hooker’s matchwinner against Gold Coast.

“(Pay him) whatever he wants. He is a matchwinner. That kick was as good as any kick executed by any player in the competition this year. He put that beautifully between three defenders after taking two bounces. Cale Hooker hadn’t even turned to mark before Tippa kicked it. There is always a price, you have to pay more when other clubs are trying to entice him to their club but I think he’s probably a $600,000 player.”
We got some decisions to make
 

rumply

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$600k sounds about right to me for Tippa, also sounds around the mark for Francis for 3-4 years, no?
 

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Francis has proven that he can physically develop himself for the modern game, overcome emotional and mental adversity and string together consistent game time - but his best footy is still yet to come.

This is a business transaction - it's just a matter of agreeing to what role we expect him to play, negotiating his salary and ensuring he's happy at the club; business as usual activity for Players, Agents and List Managers.

Provided his loyalties lie with the Essendon footy club, there's no reason to suggest he won't be at the club beyond 2019.
 

Nuggs Bunny

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If Shiel is our highest paid player and he's comfortably under a million a year, I'm fairly certain we'll have sufficient cap space to sign all our young guns. Hopefully Hurley and Hooker were on front ended deals.
 

Bunk Moreland

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Are we talking about Francis or Walla?

Certainly sounds as if Francis wants to stay and that money is not really an issue, he just wants clarity on where he stands. All the more reason to play Hooker in the forward line.
Hooker’s similar to McKernan... big, slower, close to goal types.

Not sure how good they look together in the forward line.

Then there’s that Daniher fella
 

Great8

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Frang will get decent offers from SA, might have to pay overs to keep. Redman & Parish? Dunno, beyond my paygrade;)
Considering Parish has extended his contract for 2 years recently I’m guessing he was happy with his offer
 

Godzke

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Are we talking about Francis or Walla?

Certainly sounds as if Francis wants to stay and that money is not really an issue, he just wants clarity on where he stands. All the more reason to play Hooker in the forward line.
I call bulls**t

Francis (or his agent) is only saying that to deflect the two bigger issues of homesickness and money.

80% chance he leaves at the end of the season.

On SM-G960F using BigFooty.com mobile app
 

Great8

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I call bulls**t

Francis (or his agent) is only saying that to deflect the two bigger issues of homesickness and money.

80% chance he leaves at the end of the season.

On SM-G960F using BigFooty.com mobile app
Unless things have changed very recently he isn’t going anywhere. He was very happy with life and Essendon and wanted to stay
 

Ambrosia

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Francis isn’t an idiot. He knows that he doesn’t fit as well alongside Hooker, Hurley, Ambrose as Gleeson and Redman or possibly even Ridley so isn’t an automatic best 22 selection at this stage.

It’s a pity players aren’t robots as trading Hurley for a mid first rounder would be an excellent move list management wise for this club. Culturally I’m not sure it’d be in our best interests at all.
 

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