Player Watch #10: Aaron Francis

JayDon

Club Legend
Oct 17, 2013
1,392
665
Home
AFL Club
Essendon
Redman Ambrose Francis
Saad Hurley McKenna
w/Gleeson

Fairly happy with that backline

*** Daniher Tippa
Fantasia Hooker Stringer

*** any number of players can take the 6th forward spot. But i like Hooker, Daniher and Stringer up forward.
That looks good but I think our troubles are in the ruck. I'm thinking if our mids get more opportunities the forward line might function better with quick and clean delivery? And the backs can do there thing on fewer occasions.
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

BrunoV

Brownlow Medallist
May 5, 2009
15,614
19,190
AFL Club
Essendon
I actually thought he was pretty good, I’m not sure he shirked anything, I just think he was second guessing himself because he was having to come off his man to cover.

He also looked gassed as all hell in the last quarter, as gassed as I’ve ever seen him

I'm in this camp. I thought his first half was good. He looked like a player who could play Hooker's role in defence.

Wasn't at the game and wasn't really able to watch the game that closely on telly. I don't remember any particularly bad efforts (which is not to say they didn't happen).
 

citizen-erased

Brownlow Medallist
Jun 11, 2007
16,238
11,827
Victoria
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Tottenham, Bayern, Milan
That looks good but I think our troubles are in the ruck. I'm thinking if our mids get more opportunities the forward line might function better with quick and clean delivery? And the backs can do there thing on fewer occasions.
Sans-TBC, our ruck stocks are shot.
Draper yet to play AFL. Who knows if that happens next year.

An area we need to invest in.
 

Bunk Moreland

Hall of Famer
Sep 22, 2011
30,956
59,759
Your girlfriend's dreams
AFL Club
Essendon
Sans-TBC, our ruck stocks are shot.
Draper yet to play AFL. Who knows if that happens next year.

An area we need to invest in.
TBC is fairly shot himself, unfortunately. He’s unspeakably slow. Aside from the tap work, it’s basically like having 17 players on the park.

We basically just have to buy a new number 1 ruck next year, and hope Draper comes through.
 

Schnitzengruben

Debutant
Aug 4, 2019
81
85
AFL Club
Essendon
I was really impressed with Francis today, and have been for a while. I think he's a great player with a great footy IQ. But my favourite part about him? He's an absolute bloody bruiser. Him and Dev Smith are two who I feel epitomise September Footy. Always putting his body on the line even if it means copping a massage. He needs to work on a few things, sure - mainly his tank. But he's one for the future.
 

Red Black and Blue

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 1, 2006
18,578
10,253
Melbourne
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Everton, Storm, Victory
If he struggled today, and he really didn't, then he can blame a midfield that provided no defensive pressure all day.
Agreed, thought Merrett was close to his rounds 1-3 pressure with a lot of half arsed one armed tackle efforts that got easily shrugged, that said he didn't have much support in that regard.
 

fairbump_playon

All Australian
Jun 27, 2014
860
1,042
AFL Club
Essendon
I liked because my comment wasnt heated and I dont like the look of aggro conversations on pages (at least when it wasnt coming from me which is also not to say I thought it was coming from you).

In making my comment I wasnt intending to start a drop Francis for Ridley conversation. You can only do that in context in which performance justifies the decision (which it clearly wouldnt the week after Ridley doing 50% of nothing and Francis playing okay footy).

It was a continuation of the "selection rod for our backs" theme from my post on the page before.

If we think, for example, Brown will be sufficiently ignored by opponents to slink around in finals we're being incredibly optimistic. Like I said post Adelaide, dont waste a tall on Brown if you dont have it. Assign McKay and see if Brown can win the ball. It wont happen.

Laverde is a midsized player being used to keep KPDs busy as the deepest forward when he's consistently showed the ability to play at half forward. He doesnt even get time up the ground. Now he's been replaced with Snelling who is hardly a small forward and who's done virtually nothing of note. Why can't Laverde be freed for a game or two?

Is anyone going to contend that Langford doesnt do what Brown does? It's pretty clear he does. He wins a lot of footy leading to the ball and running toward goal while playing forward.

We've wasted the opportunity to develop Ridley when he's is a superior 1v1 defender (compared to Francis). His high ball body work only marginally inferior but he's much better on leading players than Francis. That he's played a stinker in late-July says nothing about the wisdom of dropping him early in the year.

Selection policy continues to confound me. There is so much inconsistency in terms of the expectations on players. Rigidity has set the development of the team back at least 12 months.

Just look at what Geelong does with its kids while maintaining one of the best win-loss records over a 7 year period going around. They look at the best players and develop a team based on that. They dont stuff around developing their best talents in the VFL.
I agree with most of the above Bruno. The Geelong point is a good one and i agree, a good way to go.

I would say though that if we were actually taking that Geelong approach we would still be getting games into Francis as he is surely one of our best talents (despite the gaps in his game).
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

Bombers36

Club Legend
Jul 15, 2008
2,622
899
Essendon
AFL Club
Essendon
He's great down back but I think we need to start him up forward against the Dogs. He is aggressive at the ball and can take a grab, -and with Daniher, Stewart & Bellchambers all out we need someone with a bit of size and strength up forward I reckon
 

citizen-erased

Brownlow Medallist
Jun 11, 2007
16,238
11,827
Victoria
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Tottenham, Bayern, Milan
TBC is fairly shot himself, unfortunately. He’s unspeakably slow. Aside from the tap work, it’s basically like having 17 players on the park.

We basically just have to buy a new number 1 ruck next year, and hope Draper comes through.
That would be my tactic
We are clearly at least another year and a blessed run with injury away from competing.

Getting Francis settled as our Rance/Sicily rebound defender and working out if it’s ambrose/Hurley, ambrose/hooker or hooker/Hurley around him should be the plan. Combo of redman, Gleeson, saad, McKenna and Francis distributing out of defence is top class for an afl backline

I feel the ruck is where we are falling down. And probably exposed Francis and co yday.

Even saad struggled to contain Gray. And he’s been towelling up gun small forwards all year

Simply got too easily beat out of the middle from the ruck contests
 

Vander18

Club Legend
Apr 22, 2011
2,441
2,906
AFL Club
Essendon
Nah, there were several moments where he just stopped dead in his tracks when he should've gone. Like a deer in the headlights.
Really? Can’t say I picked this up.

Have always regarded hardness at the ball, in the air and on the deck, as one of his strengths.
 

owen87

Premiership Player
Apr 23, 2016
3,047
3,680
AFL Club
Essendon
Thought Francis was good early, contested well and had a moment where he hit a pack absolutely flat out on the ground, split it in half and took the ball straight through.

Think the head knock messed him up more than we all give credit for. Even if not actually concussed.

He’s currently at his best as a 3rd tall alongside a Hurley / Hooker combo where he can zone off a little, with time we’d be hoping he can become the 2nd tall that can cover a man defensively but know when and where to zone off aggressively.

Think people are being a little harsh on him given he’s only played 25 odd games and has only really had the one preseason. Give it time, let him stay in the side as a consistent defender and get another preseason under his belt.

2020 hopefully we start to see the player he’ll become consistently.
 

Bunk Moreland

Hall of Famer
Sep 22, 2011
30,956
59,759
Your girlfriend's dreams
AFL Club
Essendon
Thought Francis was good early, contested well and had a moment where he hit a pack absolutely flat out on the ground, split it in half and took the ball straight through.

Think the head knock messed him up more than we all give credit for. Even if not actually concussed.

He’s currently at his best as a 3rd tall alongside a Hurley / Hooker combo where he can zone off a little, with time we’d be hoping he can become the 2nd tall that can cover a man defensively but know when and where to zone off aggressively.

Think people are being a little harsh on him given he’s only played 25 odd games and has only really had the one preseason. Give it time, let him stay in the side as a consistent defender and get another preseason under his belt.

2020 hopefully we start to see the player he’ll become consistently.
Precisely.

People treat him like an 80 gamer who hasn’t produced much.

He’s played the equivalent of just over one season of senior footy. And a fair few of them he was stupidly played in the forward line.

We really need to just keep playing him. He’s shown so many glimpses for such an inexperienced player.
 

Lore

Dec 14, 2015
14,639
17,129
AFL Club
Essendon
On track to be available against Fremantle.

Young guns Darcy Parish (concussion) and Aaron Francis (whiplash) are on track to be available for selection against the Dockers after overcoming the issues that held them back from last week’s disappointing loss to the Western Bulldogs.

“Both of those players are a lot better for the weekend off – Francis with his whiplash and Parish with his concussion.

“We’re expecting them to fully train this week and be available.”
 

Darealrath

Brownlow Medallist
Jul 6, 2002
11,556
2,676
Melbourne
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Arsenal, Pacers
He's no longer looking like an aerobic liability out there.

Next step is to be defensively switched on enough to be able to lock down on an opponent for an entire game (no that this should be his role, but would be great if he has it in the locker).
 

the PILL

Club Legend
Jul 29, 2007
2,537
2,235
VICTORIA
AFL Club
Essendon
Get that signature done Essendon and give him the stability he's actually requested.

I have nothing to base this on except his talent glimpses and a vibe hes very special but I think if he was signed up long term like he wants he may very well blossom even more.

Required future player for us with H&Hs ageing and tbh I'm not so sure Adelaides fish bowl microscope mentality would be the best place for him to develope if he was on big money there. They're brutal in that town and both teams seem to be at sea admin wise and going backwards...
 

Yoda_

Brownlow Medallist
May 6, 2007
25,269
11,711
South East Suburbs
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Tottenham Hotspurs, Melbourne Vixen
Love that he is keeping it simple (for now). Both with and without ball in hand.

When he is comfortable with himself and the pace of the game we’lol get to see another level.

Enjoying this little resurgence he has got at the moment


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Top Bottom