Player Watch #33: Brayden "Donny" Ham

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rumply

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Apr 11, 2002
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Like his game but there were a couple of those basic skill errors we seen in the past - missing easy lay up handballs & kicks, so when he can get that out of his game I'll be a bit more confident we have something long term.
 

Big Slam

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Ham ain’t it.

Cutler aside, how far back do you have to go to find a player who wore the red and black who is as soft as him?

It’s lovely to look fabbbbulous running in the open with no one within 20 meters of you, but this kid takes literal half steps to a contest or a contested ball.

He just doesn’t have it in him to “go get it” and it’s never been more evident than when you see new recruits like Hind and Cadwell leave it all out on the ground.

I’m not a huge fan of Guelfi and he might not look as spiffy as Ham does running when there’s no pressure on him, but I’d take Guelfi 100/100 over Ham because at least Guelfi commits and gives an honest effort.

/rant
 

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Old Campaigner

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Nov 22, 2012
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Maybe he just needs a bit more time to get used to the new role or something

That said, if he doesn't enjoy the physical nature of inside midfield work he's going to struggle
 

Duckworth

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It was how he has played. Did some good stuff but was in and out of the game and not physically strong enough against bigger bodies.
Kid can play. He is simply not yet physically strong enough to be in the game for 4 quarters.
He would have looked a lot better if he could have nailed more F50 entries rather than blind bombing early in the game.
His partner in crime was Parish, who looked but didn't get close to hitting the target.
 

Big Slam

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Jones is going up against bigger bodies.
Cox is going up against bigger bodies.
Caldwell is going up against bigger bodies.
Bryan is going up against bigger bodies.

Those listed above don’t take a series of half steps or choke down when approaching a contest.

Going against bigger bodies is a weak argument.
 

Red Black and Blue

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See a few calling for his head. I thought he was pretty decent, especially first half. Stronger in the body, laid and broke a few tackles I didn't expect him too.

17 touches is a decent amount for him at this stage, if that's his base line I'll be happy to roll him out most weeks.
 

BrunoV

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See a few calling for his head. I thought he was pretty decent, especially first half. Stronger in the body, laid and broke a few tackles I didn't expect him too.

17 touches is a decent amount for him at this stage, if that's his base line I'll be happy to roll him out most weeks.
The main reason for his inclusion at this point in time, that I can see, is that he has the running ability to push up and down the wings from half forward.
 

Yoda_

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The main reason for his inclusion at this point in time, that I can see, is that he has the running ability to push up and down the wings from half forward.
The Zaka role.?! Not many possessions but exactly what the coaches ask of him


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Don35

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A country footy wingman that we’d sit around after a game and critique harshly. Miles a Off respectable aflw standard
 

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Red Black and Blue

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The main reason for his inclusion at this point in time, that I can see, is that he has the running ability to push up and down the wings from half forward.
From the little interview pieces I've seen from him, he thinks he can play inside mid. Nothing wrong with adding balance to your game but hopefully hasn't hurt his tank.
 

Vander18

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Apr 22, 2011
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From the little interview pieces I've seen from him, he thinks he can play inside mid. Nothing wrong with adding balance to your game but hopefully hasn't hurt his tank.
Surely this guys job is to become a quality outside mid....nothing wrong with being Andrew Gaff.

Why he was talking about playing a position he is patently unsuited to is a mystery. Just get good at the position we need you to play and you need to play to stay on the list!
 

CBombers17

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You are a long way down when you start telling yourself players like Ham just need XYZ to make it at this level. He doesn't do anything particularly well plus he's tiny and timid.

Doesn't belong in the AFL along with several others at the club in that category who are also currently getting a go - Cahill (short, timid, slow and poorly skilled) and Smith (sadly done post injury) to name names. In terms of replicating anything like the Richmond game-plan they are all behind Snelling IMO and that can't be a safe place surely. With a bit of luck Johnson will get a run at it because at least he will crack in. The rest should be off the list by next season.
 
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Yoda_

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Surely this guys job is to become a quality outside mid....nothing wrong with being Andrew Gaff.

Why he was talking about playing a position he is patently unsuited to is a mystery. Just get good at the position we need you to play and you need to play to stay on the list!
I used to believe the myth that Dodoro wanted a half back and turn them into a midfielder.

The last week has made me realise how delusional the club is by not doing exactly what you’re suggesting.

Don’t “add another string” to your bow. Get better at a position you have strengths in to which Inskde kid is not one for you Brayden.


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BrunoV

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From the little interview pieces I've seen from him, he thinks he can play inside mid. Nothing wrong with adding balance to your game but hopefully hasn't hurt his tank.

Sean Murphy (? - the fitness guy) says that Ham put weight on and maintained his status as a "running machine".

There are times an attribute gets a player a game before he's ready. Often it is run and, to labour the point (in response to the few posts above), that's what Ham brings to the current side. He's quite a dynamic runner whereas Snelling and Smith are not (in 2021) and Tippa doesn't have the tank for it.

I think he's made some improvement in the physical side of his game. He's also usually a good kick. He can play wing, half forward and even half back (as a junior). I see a lot to work with.

In an ideal world he's probably not playing yet as his still building his body and the physical side of his game. But i also don't think he's that far away and that it might just take another few weeks adapting to the heat of AFL contests.

4th year by age but 3rd year on the list. If he's going to make it, it's going to come together in the next 12 months. I'd say, particularly given the size he has put on while still being able to move, that it's a better than 50/50 chance of happening.
 

JayJ20

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He is far from a bust. If we want to match Richmond, we need more players like him that can run all day. He'll be a good player when he adds more weight.

I don't see a problem with developing him as an inside mid. Not to play him as one, but to teach him the craft of an inside mid so that he can use it in other parts of his game. He still gets out-bodied, but he has already improved this part of the game with the size he put on. Clearly his off-season training worked. He'll be fine.
 

carloss

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I used to believe the myth that Dodoro wanted a half back and turn them into a midfielder.

The last week has made me realise how delusional the club is by not doing exactly what you’re suggesting.

Don’t “add another string” to your bow. Get better at a position you have strengths in to which Inskde kid is not one for you Brayden.


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Sometimes I feel Essendon just grab the best player they can get and then work out where to play them later.
Build a team or get the next best player :think:
 

eDPS

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I’m liking the improved endeavour but for a player that gets plenty of time to dispose he doesn’t use it well enough too often wanting to kick long no matter what. I’d like to see him start to get more from his touches and try and hit some shorter options once in awhile.
 

Yoda_

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I’m liking the improved endeavour but for a player that gets plenty of time to dispose he doesn’t use it well enough too often wanting to kick long no matter what. I’d like to see him start to get more from his touches and try and hit some shorter options once in awhile.
His kicking despite looking nice is over rated imo


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Here_we_come

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Nov 12, 2007
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Unfortunately, I think Ham is just too physically weak to really make it at afl level. Disappears when things get tough. I can’t see him ever being an important player in finals which is what we need. I think we should move him on whenever his contract ends and make way for someone with more potential. Sounds harsh, but that’s just the way i see it.
 

Jivin Jackel

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I think he has the ability / smarts to make it AFL level. He has improved his size considerably over the preseason. He generally runs to the right spots on the ground and seems to make the right decision when he has the football. I can't see why people are so quick to write off a clear project player, who is developing in all areas that he needs to.

I actually thought he played reasonably well last week and I would imagine he would keep improving.
 

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