Player Watch #18: Michael Hurley (VC) - Limping on crutches with an IV at the preseason game - 25/2

Lore

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18 - [PLAYERCARD]Michael Hurley[/PLAYERCARD].jpg


Contract Status: Unrestricted Free Agent 2022
Last Game Played: Currently in the side
Injury Status: Limping on crutches with an IV at the preseason game - 25/2
Discharged, recuperating at home... again. No time frame on return - 17/2
Apparently back in hospital - 15/2
Discharged from hospital, recuperating at home. No timeframe - 9/2
In hospital with an infected leg - 4/2
 
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Lore

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I expect he starts the year in defence, but depending on how the kids come on and how injuries/form plays out we may want to move him forward at stages through the year. There is theoretically a lot more competition for spots among tall defenders than forwards, but at the same time neither end is really settled anymore.

Zach Reid - defender, draftee
Cian McBride - defender, Irishman
Cody Brand - defender, draftee
Brandon Zerk-Thatcher - defender
Jordan Ridley - defender
Aaron Francis - defender, can play forward
Patrick Ambrose - defender, can play forward
Michael Hurley - defender, can play forward
Cale Hooker - defender/forward
Nik Cox - forward/defender, draftee
James Stewart - originally a forward, now training in defence
Nick Bryan - Ruck, could perhaps play as a defender or a forward down the track
Peter Wright - Tall forward
Josh Eyre - Tall forward, draftee
Harrison Jones - Tall forward


As far as split of leadership, you could conceivably have Heppell guiding the defence, Hurley guiding the forwards, and McGrath and Merrett through the midfield.
 

Maxabillions

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I'm seeing it differently, I think that they are building flexibility with our older forwards and the backs. If we have Hurley, Hooker and Stewart ready to roll in either position, it gives us maximum flexibility to insert Jones, Reid, Brand, Bryan, Cox into the team a little earlier without throwing them to the wolves. The more experienced players can rotate with them during a game if the opposition get a hold of younger guys.
This is backed up by what Rutten said in the podcast. He talks about training a lot of players in different positions, including Hurley, Stewart and Laverde, so that we have more options and are more flexible to cover injuries etc. Seems like a pretty good idea considering Townsend was our key forward at one point last year after basically all our tall forwards went down.
 

fairbump_playon

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Not a great show of faith if they're trying to hide him in the forward pocket. He's obviously not what he was but i thought there was still a role in defence for him just for his experience, voice and direction, especially considering he still has 2 years on his contract. Struggling for best 22 if we're being honest as Ambrose (when fit) is a better option as lockdown and Ridley and Francis are better options as 3rd/4th talls. Hooker even though he only has a year left id have slightly ahead of Hurls as a fwd/def swingman off the bench.
To be honest the faith has already been shown. Voice and direction only get you so far when your opponent keeps getting the ball.

Good on Rutten for recognising Hurley is on the edge of the cliff as a KPD. He's lost some zip and it's causing him to struggle on agile mid sized forwards, plus he's now not athletic enough to make up for the size gap to the big boys. I can't see a role as a defender, game in, game out.

I can however see a role as a forward for a year or two - he leads at the ball and contests hard.

Hooker sort of plays the same as a forward and a defender in that he swans about at both ends, dominating packs and bringing the ball to ground. Hurley is quite a different proposition, almost feels like a different player at either end. As a defender he can look a bit lethargic because he sags off to intercept, and gets involved in a lot of slow ball switches. As a forward he always looks more engaged and active I reckon.
 

VelvetSledge

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I'm seeing it differently, I think that they are building flexibility with our older forwards and the backs. If we have Hurley, Hooker and Stewart ready to roll in either position, it gives us maximum flexibility to insert Jones, Reid, Brand, Bryan, Cox into the team a little earlier without throwing them to the wolves. The more experienced players can rotate with them during a game if the opposition get a hold of younger guys.
Very much this. A good swing man can make the difference, as Hooker has proven time and time again.
 

Bjchan13

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Jul 23, 2018
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I'm seeing it differently, I think that they are building flexibility with our older forwards and the backs. If we have Hurley, Hooker and Stewart ready to roll in either position, it gives us maximum flexibility to insert Jones, Reid, Brand, Bryan, Cox into the team a little earlier without throwing them to the wolves. The more experienced players can rotate with them during a game if the opposition get a hold of younger guys.
To be honest the faith has already been shown. Voice and direction only get you so far when your opponent keeps getting the ball.

Good on Rutten for recognising Hurley is on the edge of the cliff as a KPD. He's lost some zip and it's causing him to struggle on agile mid sized forwards, plus he's now not athletic enough to make up for the size gap to the big boys. I can't see a role as a defender, game in, game out.

I can however see a role as a forward for a year or two - he leads at the ball and contests hard.

Hooker sort of plays the same as a forward and a defender in that he swans about at both ends, dominating packs and bringing the ball to ground. Hurley is quite a different proposition, almost feels like a different player at either end. As a defender he can look a bit lethargic because he sags off to intercept, and gets involved in a lot of slow ball switches. As a forward he always looks more engaged and active I reckon.
Flexabilty is good and we know both Hooker and Hurley have done well at both ends. Id have thought Hooker as a stand and wrestle goalsquare target forward and only dropping back as a break glass if oppo big forward gets off the chain. I dont think Hurley and Hooker can play at the same end of the ground anymore either. If its Hurls forward and Hooker back so be it but im struggling to picture Hurls impacting forward anymore. Id prefer Jones and Laverde in any sort of leadup role or Hooker as a stay at home drop it on his head role. Ambrose being fully fit could make things intersting also because rightly or wrongly Francis or Ridley usually made way for him when fit and Hurls would drop back to the 3rd or 4th tall. Ridley obviously is safe now but no way should Francis be missing any games at this stage just so we can have Ambrose and Hurley in the 22 together.
 

eorl

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Pretty sure it was him, he’s quite a unique looking guy. Epworth in Richmond though which made me question it, figured they would go somewhere nearby.
Epworth Richmond is where Doc Reid's offices used to be. Makes sense that they'd day with the same sports medicine place.
 

Lore

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Discharged from hospital, recuperating at home. No timeframe.

Essendon star Michael Hurley has been discharged from hospital with the 30-year-old being monitored after sustaining an infection in his right leg last week.

General manager, football Josh Mahoney said the defender would be recuperating away from the club for another week but was expected to make a full recovery.

“The doctors had to assess his response to the antibiotics but pleasingly Michael has been discharged from hospital in recent days and is likely to be recovering from the infection for another week away from the club,” Mahoney said.

“It is too early to put a timeframe on when he will return to the club for training duties, and we will take a conservative approach on his return and wait and see how he recovers from the infection.”
 

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