Player Watch #10: Aaron Francis

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Jul 26, 2006
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No trading of anyone required, we have eight good defenders capable of playing senior football regularly, it is now up to Francis to win his spot. Surely he wants nothing more than to compete for a position, if he wants it handed to him then i'm afraid he probably doesn't have the attitude required to make it anyway.

As to what type of player i think Aaron should be looking towards becoming, someone like Nick Vlaustin from the Tigers would be a good starting point.
 

Fridge16

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I think there is a spot in defence for Francis permanently we just need to shuffle a little over the next 12 to 24 months until Hooker goes.

At the moment its fine with Hurley out but maybe when Hurley comes back Hooker goes forward and one of Brown, Clarke or McKernan are the ones to make way.
 

TheGreatBarryB

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Ambrose is the expendable one, yes he is an elite stopper and great 1v1 but we just have to make Hurley accountable and plays the same role instead of chasing uncontested kicks.
Hurley has been given accountable roles this season, since midway through last season. Sometimes it doesn’t look like it because he’s such a good reader of the ball. No way Suns kick 15 goals with Hurley there.
 

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fairbump_playon

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Michael Hurley:

In a St Kilda jumper with Jake Carlisle.
In a Carlton side that roars into the 8 next year.
In a Collingwood jumper full stop.

Which of these feels ok? Can’t see any happening ..tho there are many who would pull the trigger to get another first round pick in.

With pick 17 we could get the next Kyle Langford.

(Who I still believe in)
 

BrunoV

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Ambrose is the expendable one, yes he is an elite stopper and great 1v1 but we just have to make Hurley accountable and plays the same role instead of chasing uncontested kicks.

We insisted on creating that rod for our backs but it's too late now and Francis has not been anywhere near good enough.

I've flip flopped a bit on Francis. Never really understood the hype. Thought that he finally started to put it together last year but even then, if I'm being critical, it was moments and occasionally quarters of great footy.

I still think he's a late bloomer and could ultimately be a better player than Hurley in every facet of defensive play but he's still a long way off.

By this point, I'm still not sure what it is we will get as the consistent 4 quarter player.

I'd much rather Ridley or BZT in the team at the moment.

I think we'd be more than justified in taking a first round pick with embarrassment being probably a 60-40 proposition in our favour.
 
Last edited:

calyam

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May 9, 2011
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Ambrose is the expendable one, yes he is an elite stopper and great 1v1 but we just have to make Hurley accountable and plays the same role instead of chasing uncontested kicks.
It is an interesting debate.

Ambrose is obviously very good one-on-one but offers almost nothing offensively. Francis uses the ball very well and is effective in an intercept role but is not as strong one-on-one.

So there are trade-offs involved with a lot of these selections. If Hurley is more accountable then he will provide less drive off the half-back. And this is important because so much of our game plan is counter-attacking off the half-back line. So it really depends on what you value the most and what you are willing to sacrifice.

Francis has had two great runs at Essendon. The past five rounds this season and the final five rounds last season. During both periods, he was hugely effective in an intercept capacity, allowed to be a little loose and kill contests. That is his role. That is who he is. I want us to invest in Francis playing that role because I think he can be a great player if utilised that way. So I'd also view Ambrose as being expendable.
 

TheGreatBarryB

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Francis was very good against Crows and played a big role in last quarter of Saints clash. One on one still to be sorted out but still learning.

Much prefer Francis to Ridley or BZT.

Having said that, if he decides to go back home so be it. Going to happen with a couple when you bring in SSSS. They’ll need to re-negotiate in a couple of years plus the up and coming youngsters.
 

Bunk Moreland

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Think Hurley is actually at his best when he has a lockdown job to do. He still does a bit offensively but he seems task-orientated.

If we’re pkaying one lockdown defender then I think it’s him ahead of Ambrose. Francis and Hooker can defend but I think they’re more intercept / rebounding types, which Ambrose doesn’t do.
 

Milanista28

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Francis just needs to back himself to take the oldies spot, He ragdolled Hooker in his 2nd pre season, it's time to show them who's boss more consistently.
 

Milanista28

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Think Hurley is actually at his best when he has a lockdown job to do. He still does a bit offensively but he seems task-orientated.

If we’re pkaying one lockdown defender then I think it’s him ahead of Ambrose. Francis and Hooker can defend but I think they’re more intercept / rebounding types, which Ambrose doesn’t do.
Hurley or Hooker can't do what Ambrose does, He's got them covered for fitness and discipline, He's a nightmare for opposition forwards.

The jobs Ambrose and D.Clarke are doing have transformed us.
 

rumply

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Just send Hooker forward permanently to create the spot for Frang as according to some stats on 360 last night, we are an exponentially better scoring & defensive side when he plays there. Even if the move did cause us to leak an extra goal here or there, who cares, at least we have someone playing inside 50 that can present on a lead & kick a goal when required.
 

Red Black and Blue

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Wouldn’t be favouring Hurley or Hooker over him beyond this year. Both losing one on one contests above their career averages this year and doubt that will improve as the years roll on. We do not possess the pressure based midfield that can cover Hookers lack of mobility or Hurley’s loose checking anymore.
 

TheGrizz

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With Joe out, Hooker forward straightens us up and those long dump kicks we tend to do under pressure likely fall to Hooker, and not AMT or Laverde.

The issue is Hooker, McKernan, Brown, Stringer and Laverde is too tall.

Hooker, Ambrose and Francis works currently, but with Hurley back next year that is what causes the issues.

What needs to be remembered is that years seldom go by where we dont have injuries to each position at least once. Its a part of footy and he is likely to play enough games anyway just through that.

But at 22, its about time he earnt his spot by his form, and that is all he should be promised.
 

fairbump_playon

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We insisted on creating that rod for our backs but it's too late now and Francis has not been anywhere near good enough.

I've flip flopped a bit on Francis. Never really understood the hype. Thought that he finally started to put it together last year but even then, if I'm being critical, it was moments and occasionally quarters of great footy.

I still think he's a late bloomer and could ultimately be a better player than Hurley in every facet of defensive play but he's still a long way off.

By this point, I'm still not sure what it is we will get as the consistent 4 quarter player.

I'd much rather Ridley or BZT in the team at the moment.

I think we'd be more than justified in taking a first round pick with embarrassment being probably a 60-40 proposition in our favour.
Is this the same Ridley that had 3 disposals on the weekend?
 

deeplivid

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Sep 7, 2008
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Hooker especially and even Hurls are getting on so Franga can look forward to 10 solid years as a first choice defender at the Bombers. In the meantime the old fellas and Ambrose will be injured often enough for him to get a game whenever he’s fit and playing well. I can see Redman and McKenna spending a lot more time up the ground too.
 

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