Player Watch #46: Mitchell Hibberd - Welcome to Essendon!

Yoda_

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I do wonder whether pandering to the egos of the B graders we pretend are A graders traps us. Becomes this self-fulfilling thing because we're a big club that likes to talk ourselves up.

Senior players at clubs rule the roost and they rarely change.
I tried to raise this point during the trade period. We want to upgrade our midfield but who are we going to move out of there to improve on it?

Merrett? Not a chance
Shiel? No way
Parish? Plays 50:50 forward any ways
Heppell? Possibly

It's concerning and an answer why we never address it. We don't want to improve on it
 

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Old Campaigner

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I tried to raise this point during the trade period. We want to upgrade our midfield but who are we going to move out of there to improve on it?

Merrett? Not a chance
Shiel? No way
Parish? Plays 50:50 forward any ways
Heppell? Possibly

It's concerning and an answer why we never address it. We don't want to improve on it
Hopefully the change of coaches helps a bit with that...

Sounds like they're quite happy to bring in players they think have the right attitude regardless of how talented they're perceived to be.
 

fairbump_playon

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Jun 27, 2014
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For all this talk of how big is an inside mid, perhaps it should be stated the inside mid should be replaced with clearance king?

Ideally we get a bigger dynamic inside midfielder, Hibberd fills a role for us at the moment.
Thank the lord, someone has busted the paradigm. It took Yoda, true to his name, to identify the key phrase clearance king.

Maybe now we can move on from the circular / need big bodied mids / yeah but Langford is big / and Selwood small / yeah but Kennedy bullies us / maybe we need a Selwood / yeah but he isn't big / well we do have Langford / etc.

Having said that, I'm still excited that Hibberd is so ....big
 
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GUMBLETRON

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Being big isn't the formula being aggressive is, the rare types who are both big and aggressive (other attributes as well) are called superstars and there aren't many of them.
It's both. Dev Smith has all the mongrel in the world but he still bounces off the likes of Kennedy and Cripps.
 

Milanista28

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It's both. Dev Smith has all the mongrel in the world but he still bounces off the likes of Kennedy and Cripps.
He can take the big guys down.

Game on the line and the ball is in between Cripps and Selwood, I'm backing Selwood to get the job done.

"It's not the size of the dog in the fight it's the size of fight in the dog"
 

ant555

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Thank the lord, someone has busted the paradigm. It took Yoda, true to his name, to identify the key phrase clearance king.

Maybe now we can move on from the circular / need big bodied mids / yeah but Langford is big / and Selwood small / yeah but Kennedy bullies us / maybe we need a Selwood / yeah but he isn't big / well we do have Langford / etc.

Having said that, I'm still excited that Hibberd is so ....big
We actually have two clearance kings but they get no protection and that is the problem. Merrett and Shiel can win the footy all day long at stoppages and in the middle but they get smashed week in and week out. One thing I like about Hibberd was his ability to use his body at a clearance to block for team mates when needed. Sometimes you do not need a big clearance king nut someone to protect the ones you have.
 

fairbump_playon

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We actually have two clearance kings but they get no protection and that is the problem. Merrett and Shiel can win the footy all day long at stoppages and in the middle but they get smashed week in and week out. One thing I like about Hibberd was his ability to use his body at a clearance to block for team mates when needed. Sometimes you do not need a big clearance king nut someone to protect the ones you have.
Good call
 

Fin ice Smuggler

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Nov 13, 2010
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We actually have two clearance kings but they get no protection and that is the problem. Merrett and Shiel can win the footy all day long at stoppages and in the middle but they get smashed week in and week out. One thing I like about Hibberd was his ability to use his body at a clearance to block for team mates when needed. Sometimes you do not need a big clearance king nut someone to protect the ones you have.
A bit like Heath hocking was for Jobe.
 

TheGrizz

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We actually have two clearance kings but they get no protection and that is the problem. Merrett and Shiel can win the footy all day long at stoppages and in the middle but they get smashed week in and week out. One thing I like about Hibberd was his ability to use his body at a clearance to block for team mates when needed. Sometimes you do not need a big clearance king nut someone to protect the ones you have.
This is the reason Myers played so often to the chagrin of many. His work to carve out space in a stoppage created space for our ball hunters to go in and win the clearance.

Prior to 2019 he was quite effective at it, however this year He lost the last bit of athleticism he had and became a total liability on the spread (as we saw ANZAC day) which meant we couldn't carry him in the side.

I have argued that we don't necessarily need a midfielder with an arbitrary height and weight to add to our midfield. We needed physicality, and a willingness to show aggression in the contest. We had to many auskick style ball hunters and not enough guys willing to do the dirty things like block, create space by zoneing the outside of the contest or stick to a dangerous opposition player at the stoppage.

It's why D.Clarke was so effective when he came in as he did the latter with aplomb for a while before he tailed off. Hopefully Hibberd can plah that role and get involved on the outside. He is more athletic than Myers has been for 5-6 years and has a fair leg on him.

Midfielders that are both (big and aggressive) are the superstars of the comp (Fyfe, Danger, dusty, Kennedy etc) and they are few and far between and generally go long before we have had a draft pick for a while (I.e top 10).
 

owen87

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He can take the big guys down.

Game on the line and the ball is in between Cripps and Selwood, I'm backing Selwood to get the job done.

"It's not the size of the dog in the fight it's the size of fight in the dog"
I love Selwood but i'm backing Cripps. He's an absolute animal and the exact kind of player we need for the midfield. A big aggressive ball winner.

Jobe in our current team would be a beast too; someone that can feed your Shiel & Merrett types and do the grunt work. Even a Heath Hocking type actually.

We'd all love a star inside player but if Hibberd can play that defensive role to open up room around a stoppage, protect Shiel / Merrett / McGrath and win some of his own clearances then that's all we need him to be.
 

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un_eggs

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Didn’t rate him at all as a flanker type. But from what I’ve seen of him as a mid he resembles Josh Kennedy whom I rate very highly due to his ability to rise in the finals cauldron. Would love Hibberd to be to North what Kennedy was to Hawthorn.
 

TheGreatBarryB

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Didn’t rate him at all as a flanker type. But from what I’ve seen of him as a mid he resembles Josh Kennedy whom I rate very highly due to his ability to rise in the finals cauldron. Would love Hibberd to be to North what Kennedy was to Hawthorn.
Phew for a guy ignored in the mid and now national draft, that’s a big call/ask
 

Vander18

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Phew for a guy ignored in the mid and now national draft, that’s a big call/ask
It is...but who would have envisioned JPK becoming what he did when Hawks moved him on??

In reality, we dont need him to be an AA level player anyway. Just a best 22 guy who plays a specific role. Have no idea whether he can but at least he looks physically equipped.
 

DapperJong

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Have watched the Hibberd draft surprise video 3 - 4 times, it's enjoyng to hear how happy and honoured he is to be given a second shot at life as an AFL player.

The best part? Heppell showing the love to Hibberd
Maybe the 4th time you watched it you stopped half way through? 3.5 times.
 

staaation

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Apr 26, 2015
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I tried to raise this point during the trade period. We want to upgrade our midfield but who are we going to move out of there to improve on it?

Merrett? Not a chance
Shiel? No way
Parish? Plays 50:50 forward any ways
Heppell? Possibly

It's concerning and an answer why we never address it. We don't want to improve on it
Merrett and Parish can rotate through the forward line and Heppell is good at cleaning up a kick behind the play, it wouldn't be hard to fit someone in.
 

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