Delisted #46: Mitchell Hibberd - Not offered a contract for 2021

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Nuggs Bunny

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Yeah, wont be a good look when parish or merrett can’t get midfield minutes because some bloke from the vfl can win his own ball better.
Don't think Parish and Merrett will lose sleep over Hibberd playing at the bounces more but hopefully guys like Smith, Stringer, Tippa and Fantasia never see the centre circle again.
 

CBombers17

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First time we've seen him inside against the Crows.

I thought his presence was significant. His hands were generally clean (except for one incident in the last quarter) and he was very aggressive both tackling with the ball and looking to wear contact while distributing.

He's a beast of a man and it seems he has the physical strength (and inside craft) to convert his VFL inside game to the big leagues. I have no idea why we then reduced his minutes inside in the second half when, funnily enough, Adelaide started to even out the inside battle a bit.

The quality of the opposition has to be taken in to account but I think he showed enough to at least be given a go in the first midfield rotation and given something close to full game time on-ball. It's almost like we're afraid that there is a player we rate who he will render completely redundant...
Absolutely. The only genuine opportunity he's had and he stood up fine.

As soon as Adelaide gave it to us physically around the contest in the second half they got back into the game. There isn't a club in the comp that doesn't know that about us. It just comes down to who can actually apply this pressure across sustained periods (and convert).

Apart from your theory the only other factor i considered before this game was that they were letting him adjust to AFL footy again - and i was reaching. He needs to play through the middle next week.
 

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blitzer

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Don't think Parish and Merrett will lose sleep over Hibberd playing at the bounces more but hopefully guys like Smith, Stringer, Tippa and Fantasia never see the centre circle again.
Hmmm personally I think all of Smith, Stringer and Tippa can do some good cameos from time to time. Fantasia - seems pointless in there. Stringer in particular actually positively contributes to winning clearances - I remember his first year with us we were like +20% at winning the stoppage if he was in there (obviously from a fairly small sample) - this was actually one of the highest + %'s in the entire AFL. Also often when he starts in the middle against the likes of Dusty, Dangerfield, De Goey etc he gets fired up and then plays better up forward too.
Tippa should only be in there for small bursts here and there, mostly when he isn't getting a kick up forward. Smith isn't that bad and when he's at his defensive best is actually pretty handy there.

The hype on Parish's midfield work is going ahead of his performances so far. He's kicked it up a notch this year but he's still got a ways to go. A bit like Langford, I need a fair bit of convincing from him before I truly believe.
 

BrunoV

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Absolutely. The only genuine opportunity he's had and he stood up fine.

As soon as Adelaide gave it to us physically around the contest in the second half they got back into the game. There isn't a club in the comp that doesn't know that about us. It just comes down to who can actually apply this pressure across sustained periods (and convert).

Apart from your theory the only other factor i considered before this game was that they were letting him adjust to AFL footy again - and i was reaching. He needs to play through the middle next week.

It's not a theory, as in I don't think that's the reason we're not playing him in the middle.

What you've said makes sense. Hibberd missed a pretty big chunk of pre-season and only had scratch matches to prepare. That could explain the conservative use to date. He did seem to run out of gas a bit, there were a few occasions he didn't keep up with the transition in the way he has shown an ability to do so far. I suppose we could also now be managing players for the upcoming stretch of 4 or 5 games in 20 days or whatever it is.

The trajectory is looking pretty good so far. He's improved in every game. Adelaide at least made up for being sh*t house with bringing some genuine heat which I thought he handled well (as I said above). In 4 or 5 games, which he will get the opportunity to play, he could develop a chemistry with the likes of McGrath (I though he worked well with Parish whose game I also quite liked) and to a less extent Merrett to free them up. There is a style of game, displayed by the like of Crouch, which is what I think of as an old fashioned centre, which is slowing the inside game down to distribute that I saw more of in the VFL than the crash and bash that was on display yesterday.
 

srobbo

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Should be getting the nod for the suns game. A slower more contested midfield which will likely be played in heavy conditions is a good fit for him.

May as well park him for the year otherwise.
 

staaation

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peak essendon is saying for years that we want an inside bull, then finally getting one and playing him everywhere but the inside. can't tell if they hate us or if they are just that stupid, this ******* club
 

BrunoV

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Nope. He was poor. But we're not serious about him because it would require us to revisit our overrating of the midfield.

Tough gig to finally get a run then get dropped for 8 weeks then come back in to play on a wing.

It's almost as if we think 16 v 16 scratch matches are a good reflection of the way games are being played.

Hard to say whether he is up to it as a projection. What is absolutely clear is that we won't give him the opportunity so we will never know. The way football clubs are run that equals "he's not up to it".

For some reason the duds that get belted every week are up to it. There is some logic in there somewhere. I can be guilty of being too literal in that arsebergers way...
 
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ant555

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He got a decent look at it around the ground. Too many fumbles in the first half. Tried hard but he is not overly quick and the spread he was getting at VFL level has not been there at AFL level. I know some will complain he did not get enough time in the middle but he was in and around the contest around the ground but did not really produce a lot.
 

ant555

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Wasn't too good, although was hardly alone there. Picked up a few clearances around the ground, but never saw the middle. Tackled hard which is a strength of his. Plenty worse than Hibbo tonight. I like him because he is different to the skinny's that we have running around.
Not sure what he could have done in the middle anyway. He was in enough of the play without being in the center bounce.
 

Zach Package

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I still think it’s weird that he’s the extra coming into the contest to provide an outnumber off the wing or the flank and the smaller guys are at the source.

Conventional wisdom would say that the opposite should work better, surely?
 

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