Player Watch #41: Ben McNiece - In against Fremantle - 16/5

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Zach Package

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Yeah better up the ground than isolated on a pocket. Seems to play more up the ground around half back/wing in the VFL, so continuity will help him.
That's essentially a carbon copy of what he does in the VFL on a week to week basis, he's not a massive ball winner but likes to kick more often than not and backs himself to make and take attacking options.
 

Yoda_

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That's essentially a carbon copy of what he does in the VFL on a week to week basis, he's not a massive ball winner but likes to kick more often than not and backs himself to make and take attacking options.
It's difficult for Ben though. He is actually a fantastic ball user. He is unfortunately up against some of the better kicks in not just our team but the AFL for a distributing tole across half back. Goddard & Hurley in particular. IF not them we try and get it into the hands of our line breakers such as Saad more often than not.

If he could find that balance between defending and attacking he could absolutely forge out a career with us at AFL level. Feel he is unsure when to go attacking and when to sit back in a more defensive role.
 

Lore

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Only the words of a journo really, but strong praise published on the club website nonetheless.

A breakthrough performance from Essendon defender Ben McNiece on Saturday was a prime example that hard work really does pay off.

The 26-year-old was outstanding in just his eighth senior game, gathering a career-high 21 disposals in the 29-point victory over Fremantle and making every one count with an elite efficiency of 95.2 per cent.

A key feature of McNiece’s impressive performance was his attacking intent, something he admitted has been a focal point as he strives to match dashing teammates Adam Saad and Conor McKenna.

“I think I’m pretty sound as a defensive player and I’ve been working really hard on trying to get that offensive part of my game working,” McNiece said after the win.

“You see Saady, you see Conor tearing their opposition apart – it’s nice to join in when you can.”
http://www.essendonfc.com.au/news/2018-07-21/mcnieces-attacking-focus
 

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TheFrenchCut

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What a difference a week makes. Lets see if he can run with it til the end of the season. I'm not sold but I'd love for him to win me over.
That's fair, but as has been pointed out above, today's performance was far closer to McNiece's VFL game than previous weeks. It's different at the top level, but some of the mistakes he was making since coming back into the firsts were just bizarre (i.e. inexplicably spilling the ball out of nowhere in the corridor, or falling over yonks before the ball comes to a contest) and belonged in another world compared to the player he normally is.

I'm unsure what his long term career looks like, but I'm pleased he could show some of his skills off at AFL level after an unlucky run over the last 12 months.
 

BrunoV

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Was happy to see him let off the chain yesterday. He's genuinely quick and is a very nice kick of the footy (low, flat and accurate).

He was lucky to keep his spot in the side but he's a handy player who can play as a small defender and in a more attacking role as he played yesterday.
 

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Inexperienced then, you know what I meant.
It's funny, you look at the average age of our side yesterday and think 'that looks like a mature side stacked with experience' but it's really not, we've got a lot of players that have played way less footy than conventional wisdom would suggest for their age.

McNiece and Baguley entered the system at 25-26. McKernan, Brown and Dea have basically been career backups on and off lists and Myers and Colyer have just been perpetually injured.
 

Jesseb

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Hooker, Hurley, Saad, Mckenna, Gleeson, Francis and McNiece (assuming ones normally injured) as a backline next year. Pretty explosive. I'd have Mcneice back and Guelfi on a wing. Yes please
 
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He's got a similar style game to Shannon Hurn. Accountable defender who can set up attacks with his zone breaking kick, if he builds on this game he might earn himself another year. He'll be hoping McKenna is out for a few more weeks though.

If we managed to get both Francis and Redman into the side, along with Benny, Saad and McKenna then there won't be a zone or a wall that can contain us.
 
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