Review 2019 Review - what went well?

doug85

Capo di tutt'i capi
Aug 15, 2009
5,864
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Donaldsons Dairy
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So we just had a pretty s**t end to the season. There’s been plenty of commentary on sacking the coach, the players we should trade and what’s going wrong with our club. These are all valid conversations. However, we did make the finals. So obviously a few things went well this season. I’ll get the ball rolling:
- the form of Mason Redman. A real breakout season
- some gutsy come from behind wins that showed some resilience
- Saad has become a top class small/rebounding defender.
 

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MattyB3150

Senior List
May 19, 2014
187
132
AFL Club
Essendon
Individualy our defenders are coming along nicely. Saad very unlucky to not make the AA squad, mckenna had some great games, redman is getting better rapidly, ambrose has been a good lock down defender taking on the number one fwds (and limiting fyfes output), gleeson continuing on his good form from before his year long injury, francis has been up and down but his elimination final game was promising. Unfortunately Ridley and BZT didnt get the opportunities they would have liked. Hooker and Hurley obviously had injury interupted years. Overall we have plenty to work with in the future.
 

Bombers36

Club Legend
Jul 15, 2008
2,643
933
Essendon
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Stringer, McKenna, Saad, Redman, Walla, Francis & Parish all performed above expectations


Sadly - many others did not. We desperately need a big bodied inside mid although D.Clarke is coming along nicely.
Another ruck and forward that can kick straight would help as well...!!!
 

Mr Mojo Risin

Norm Smith Medallist
Jul 15, 2008
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I thought we improved a fair bit with team defence. Going from a non existent structure to getting it right somewhere between 40-50% of the time was a good sign.

Signing Caracalla was a tick for the football department.

The VFL team and their structure and game plan has developed well which has meant the kids come in to the AFL and adapt well for the most part.

Improvement in Redman, McKenna, Francis’ tank, Parish, McDonald-Tipungwuti, Stringer, Clarke, Ham and Zerk-Thatcher.

The return of Gleeson and the recruitment of Snelling.

Continued good form of Saad and Ambrose.
 

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fairbump_playon

All Australian
Jun 27, 2014
931
1,157
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People have named the players that can put a tick against 2019. I’m gonna think about ticks for the team.

Last 3 qtrs on Anzac Day went right. That’s the intensity we need. Also loved the victory over Adelaide. Although they suck.

We can point to quality cattle / injuries but what I really want to see is that insane hunger for the contest. A la Giants on the weekend. We aren’t a big team so we need to be absolutely desperate - at the contest and in our two way running. I’m pretty sure good teams look forward to playing us at present. Keen to build on the quarters this year where we played the “right” way.
 

hurlygurdy

Premiership Player
Apr 15, 2013
3,186
1,859
AFL Club
Essendon
I'm ever the optimist and i'm going with the idea that we laid the ground work for a huge next season. Plenty of peripheral players stepped up and showed quality, Mckernan showed consistency for the first time in his career backing up on last year. Loved Redman, Francis and Saad.
What would a season look like from this list if we had a good run with injuries?
 

PressureCooker

All Australian
May 6, 2006
626
600
Melbourne
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We can point to quality cattle / injuries but what I really want to see is that insane hunger for the contest. A la Giants on the weekend. We aren’t a big team so we need to be absolutely desperate - at the contest and in our two way running. I’m pretty sure good teams look forward to playing us at present. Keen to build on the quarters this year where we played the “right” way.
The current list will never be able to play that style unfortunately. The rumoured "no dickheads policy" has meant we simply lack the campaigners that feed off that sort of contest.

Too many nice guys playing sociable football on our list. Need to find another style of play that makes them tick.
 

fairbump_playon

All Australian
Jun 27, 2014
931
1,157
AFL Club
Essendon
The current list will never be able to play that style unfortunately. The rumoured "no dickheads policy" has meant we simply lack the campaigners that feed off that sort of contest.

Too many nice guys playing sociable football on our list. Need to find another style of play that makes them tick.
Agree we need a couple of insane hardnuts - Mitch Robinson type brutes. But we don't need 20 of them.

Because unless you are in that 5% of players who are relentlessly reckless, the difference between amazing and okay-ish lies in discretionary effort.
And AFL games are so competitive that being one percent off in effort doesn't just take 1% from your score.... it's worth goals and goals.

The quarters I was pointing to - particularly Anzac Day - show that we could bring the intensity when it suited us.

This is the culture part of teams and of coaching. Yes Rutten will be teaching defensive system and we need that.
We also need enough quality in the list. But they won't win games on their own.
The key question is can ferocity become a permanent, non-negotiable state of being?

Hate to say it but I still believe that the saga hangover means that certain players on some subconscious level feel ripped off by the club and are owed something. Which I get. It's like if your spouse cheats on you. Sometimes you almost, nearly, totally forget about it completely. But never quite. Not if they start asking what feels like too much of you.

Look at GWS Round 1. Classic case of a team that had convinced themselves they were giving everything in preseason.
But they weren't really. Just a good enough approximation of everything.
Once it's compared to a team who had really done the work you see it for what it is.

Unfortunately that attitude is still a thread in the culture of our team. I can't see a flag until everyone the saga touched is gone.
Would really like to be wrong.

EDIT
I'm so sorry I'm being that guy in this thread! Farrrrk.
It's still a joy to watch the struggle every week, to see players do some amazing things, and just generally take their chances build their careers.
I loved the run of come from behind wins. Competitive instincts really kicking in despite letting most of those games drift early.
Some fantastic yelling at the TV and the cat moments!
Go the Bombers.
 
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hurlygurdy

Premiership Player
Apr 15, 2013
3,186
1,859
AFL Club
Essendon
Touched by the saga? So you are talking about Heppell not giving everything? Or is it Hooker not giving everything? Or Hurely? Or Zaka? At this point in time there is so few of them that you might as well name names.
TBC is probably the only one that i could possibly think that of. Some would accuse Zaka of that but i don't agree. He is just fundamentally a bit inconsistent.
 

PressureCooker

All Australian
May 6, 2006
626
600
Melbourne
AFL Club
Essendon
Agree we need a couple of insane hardnuts - Mitch Robinson type brutes. But we don't need 20 of them.

Because unless you are in that 5% of players who are relentlessly reckless, the difference between amazing and okay-ish lies in discretionary effort.
And AFL games are so competitive that being one percent off in effort doesn't just take 1% from your score.... it's worth goals and goals.
Sorry all to continue off topic, agree you don't need 20 of them, but a handful would be nice.

Not that it's a sign of skill or quality, but when was the last time you can remember a player of ours instigate a bit of niggle? I'm not talking about push and shove in the heat of the moment or in retaliation, but come out at the start of the game, or after half time and start to niggle. We have it done to us weekly, but never start it.

Not sure where I'm going with this, but it's interesting nonetheless.
 

hurlygurdy

Premiership Player
Apr 15, 2013
3,186
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AFL Club
Essendon
Sorry all to continue off topic, agree you don't need 20 of them, but a handful would be nice.

Not that it's a sign of skill or quality, but when was the last time you can remember a player of ours instigate a bit of niggle? I'm not talking about push and shove in the heat of the moment or in retaliation, but come out at the start of the game, or after half time and start to niggle. We have it done to us weekly, but never start it.

Not sure where I'm going with this, but it's interesting nonetheless.
I wonder whether Bags got games this year based on that? I don't personally buy into the idea though. You need your players to be hard as nails, but you don't need dickheads. There's a difference.
 

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