Player Watch #10: Aaron Francis

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citizen-erased

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the issue we're gonna have are the key posts.
I'm a little worried we have a lot of eggs in less than ideal baskets (Hurley/Hooker close to retirement and bodies struggling, Ambrose questionable, Zerk & Brand unproven).

If Saad stays and Redman steps in for McKenna as a running defender, i feel we need to invest in FB and CHB rather than looking for Franga to play that role.
 

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Bunk Moreland

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the issue we're gonna have are the key posts.
I'm a little worried we have a lot of eggs in less than ideal baskets (Hurley/Hooker close to retirement and bodies struggling, Ambrose questionable, Zerk & Brand unproven).

If Saad stays and Redman steps in for McKenna as a running defender, i feel we need to invest in FB and CHB rather than looking for Franga to play that role.
I'm fairly confident with Hurley and Zerk at the moment. Also, I really wouldn't rule out Ridley adding a serious defensive side to his game as he develops. He's got the size too.
 

Bjchan13

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the issue we're gonna have are the key posts.
I'm a little worried we have a lot of eggs in less than ideal baskets (Hurley/Hooker close to retirement and bodies struggling, Ambrose questionable, Zerk & Brand unproven).

If Saad stays and Redman steps in for McKenna as a running defender, i feel we need to invest in FB and CHB rather than looking for Franga to play that role.
Id be backing in Redman to bounce back. He was looking like a jet for a while there.

B Saad Ambrose Francis
HB Redman Zerk-Thatcher Ridley
Hurley as the 7th Defender
Hooker forward.
Stewart to swing back if injuries.

Brand/ Bryan and McBride developing.
 

GUMBLETRON

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Anyone spending any time in the back 50 needs to be able to defend or they get targeted and become a liability.

If it takes a year or two playing tight defensively to learn that, so be it.
 

kelvin_sheedy

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Lots of questions around this bloke still. Does he have the body and fitness to play AFL. Too short for a KPP and not athletic enough to be a running defender.

Is he an old fashioned footballer born in the wrong era. Might have been a great player in the 80s and 90's.

We don't have much choice other than to play him as much as possible and hopefully it all clicks. Turning 24 next year with 35 games so can't afford any more interruptions. If we are in a ruthless state of mind he has 12 months to stay on the list.
 

TheFrenchCut

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Given the loss of Saad + Mckenna in one season, I've been wondering of late whether we would be better off moving this guy to more of a half-back role and letting him attack more openly. We would still need some pace out of the backhalf somewhere but Redman, Francis & Ridley should be a good group of users.

I expect we won't because there seems to be a hope that he's a successor to Hurley. That may or may not be the right thing. But I do tend to think, if given free rein, he'd be far more effective than say Gleeson in this type of role.
 

owen87

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Given the loss of Saad + Mckenna in one season, I've been wondering of late whether we would be better off moving this guy to more of a half-back role and letting him attack more openly. We would still need some pace out of the backhalf somewhere but Redman, Francis & Ridley should be a good group of users.

I expect we won't because there seems to be a hope that he's a successor to Hurley. That may or may not be the right thing. But I do tend to think, if given free rein, he'd be far more effective than say Gleeson in this type of role.
I think we've got a bit of a conundrum where unless he can hold down a spot at CHB, with Ridley likely best playing that loose role, and Francis not really suited to your faster and more agile mediums, he doesn't quite fit.
 

TheGrizz

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Given the loss of Saad + Mckenna in one season, I've been wondering of late whether we would be better off moving this guy to more of a half-back role and letting him attack more openly. We would still need some pace out of the backhalf somewhere but Redman, Francis & Ridley should be a good group of users.

I expect we won't because there seems to be a hope that he's a successor to Hurley. That may or may not be the right thing. But I do tend to think, if given free rein, he'd be far more effective than say Gleeson in this type of role.
Francis, Ridley, Redman and maybe BZT just need to play 22 games together next year in the backline injury permitting.

Francis in particular just needs games into him. He has played 30odd games in 5 years and we just need to see what we have. If he blows up mid game, who cares, let him build the fitness up.

We need to see what the core of our backline looks like moving forward. Its not like it will cost ys wins next year anyway.
 

MarkJohnson#1

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It’s time to just play this bloke. Let him play to his strength in the third tall role down back intercepting marks. Get Talia in for free to play as the lockdown back and Hurley can mop up with Franga.

Hooker/Stewart up forward with a Cameron/Brown/2MP.
 

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Fridge16

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Curious to know what the plan is here now.
Reid, Brand still at least two years from being able to cement a spot as a key defender. By then Hooker is definitely gone, Hurley and Ambrose gone also probably. 2023 would be when they (Reid, Brand) start to impact. Hopefully Francis is a solid player by then. Keys would be from BZT, Brand, Reid and third talls / intercept would be Ridley and Francis. It looks overkill now but if you take Hooker, Hurley and Ambrose out its more sensible.
 

Bjchan13

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Theres definitely a spot for Frang for the long term.

After Hooker, Hurley and probably Ambrose are done in 2 years...

2 genuine talls out of Brand/Reid/BZT/McBride/Cox/Bryan

2 third talls Ridley/Frang

2 smalls Redman/Hind/Guelfi

7th Defender depending on matchups

We'll need to find/develop some more smalls and mediums in the next couple of years. Would be happy to see us grab a mature ager from the SANFL this year for our last list spot. We need Redman to bounce back and hold down a back flank.
 

Bjchan13

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I wouldn't mind him getting extra fit over summer and playing some games as midfielder in the VFL. Just a thought.
He should be getting extra fit just to play his position as a medium defender. He's never shown any ability to play as a midfielder, it would be a waste of years of development trying to turn him into one. Time that he should be using to perfect his current role.
 

Bipolarbear

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I reckon he's going to be used as a HBF, he was at his best in juniors when he had a bit of a licence to fly at the ball and roam, Saad and McKenna may have impeded his ability to use his strengths. He's quick enough to go with smaller players IMO.

He and Redman with a licence to run could be a lot of fun.
 

Duckworth

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I reckon he's going to be used as a HBF, he was at his best in juniors when he had a bit of a licence to fly at the ball and roam, Saad and McKenna may have impeded his ability to use his strengths. He's quick enough to go with smaller players IMO.

He and Redman with a licence to run could be a lot of fun.
I saw Justin Madden go for a running bounce through the middle one day too....
 

Duckworth

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Let me put it this way. In all of Aaron's games when have you seen him successfully play on a quick small player or go for a running bounce getting separation on his opponent? Something that would support your original post that he could make that transition as a player. Francis is not the answer to replacing Saad or McKenna.
 

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