Player Watch # 7: Zach Merrett (vc) - Close to agreeing on a new contract: Robbo

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Old Campaigner

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When you think about the likes of the Bears, Port etc coming out and publicly expressing an interest, I think it’s just posturing by them more anything to maintain their brand. Their both currently in the window for success, but as soon as they drop the interest in their brand will disappear again until their next batch come through. It’s bit like “look how good we are at the moment, everyone wants in and we can chase the big names”. Those clubs will want to stay front of mind for as long as possible.
Some of it might be coming from his manager too
 

Lore

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I’d read that he said he didn’t want to discuss or wanted to avoid media. Surely not a good sign
He's been doing media...

I think one of the provisos of doing it is that he won't talk about his contract though. Which is probably a good thing all around, we hardly need people psychoanalysing his body language when he repeats some stupid cliche about not really thinking about it, just want to have a great season, focusing on the team, etc.
 

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Hak94

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I hope we don't sign him to a ridiculous Coniglio and Grundy-like contract.
No player is worth that unless you're Dusty. 5 years front-ended at 800K should be enough. 850K at most.

We have salary cap space, but I'd prefer to build a team that wants to stay together.
Zach looks to be a pretty quality operator. His body has held up too, so there doesn't look to be any issues there. He's arguably one of the most consistent players Essendon has ever seen, you pretty much know what you're going to get week in week out from him. His form has been consistent for the past few years too. I think in hindsight those contracts to those players you've listed were a little ridiculous but I honestly wouldn't be too put off if we offered him something along those lines because all signs point to him being just as valuable and consistent in 3-5 years (maybe bar a slight drop in numbers). One thing that stands out with him in comparison to other midfielders of his type is his ability to read the play/is smart with the ball and that sort of thing doesn't really just go away with age. If anything, it improves. So, I wouldn't be surprised if they're thinking a big contract as such.
 

ant555

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A few reports floating around in the media that he is really enjoying his footy and has a good relationship with the coach.
I noticed him and Hep where working well organizing the defense on Sunday.
Not that this means anything other than I suspect if he goes it will only be to a top side for a crack at a premiership.
 

RedmanWasHere

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150th AFL game next week against GWS :)

That's come around quickly.

Still remember his debut game vs North Melbourne R1 2014 (alongside Chappy, Ambrose and Gleeson) and has been a model of consistency.

Quite possibly Essendon's best draft pick or trade inclusion since Michael Hurley.
 

11kgm

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That's come around quickly.

Still remember his debut game vs North Melbourne R1 2014 (alongside Chappy, Ambrose and Gleeson) and has been a model of consistency.

Quite possibly Essendon's best draft pick or trade inclusion since Michael Hurley.
I remember him and Jackson wrestling before a game then someone tackled Zach hard and Jackson got stuck in
 

doug85

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I suspect that being the next captain will be part of the contract negotiations.
I’ll caveat this by saying I could be way off base with my perception. But Zach seems like a bit of a type A personality. A Brendan Goddard type (sans finger pointing histrionics). Nothing wrong with that in isolation. But I really hope he can appreciate the diversity of thought/personality/approach that a group of AFL players will bring to the table. If not, he (and all of us) will regret the decision to make him captain.
 

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andleanback

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According to the GWS board Cogs recently renegotiated it to remove the 'sole' captain part, so he might be co-captain with Greene or something? 🤷‍♀️
Greene has stated he wants coniglio to have it back when he returns. I don’t think it’s a coincident that the sides form has turned around since conigs went down, feel like every giants player walks taller following Toby on the field.
 

Bjchan13

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Zach as captain if he stays feels like a no brainer. Pigeon isnt ready just yet although should be the perfect candidate in a few years time. Different to the Coniglio GWS situation. They probably had a fair few guys capable of doing the job and had just made a grand final. We are a young rebuilding side with a few veterans that can offer support. Zach looks like a standout candidate where he doesnt need to demand it (is this what Coniglio actually did?) If he wants it, more just accept it with the blessing of the coaches and leaders like Heppell, Hurley, Hooker and co. He seems to relish the responsibility on field, he's proven that over a few years. Being an introverted personality it was the off field he needed to work on, which everyone from coaches to LG are saying he's done. Coniglio was coming back from an LTI to a grand final team that was expecting to challenge again and his personal form and the teams suffered which coincided with him being a fresh captain. Coach Cameron who is rumoured to have not rated him as captain material is another added layer to the mess. And the doco, whether edited or not, was pretty damning viewing of Cogs and Cameron.
 

ant555

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I’ll caveat this by saying I could be way off base with my perception. But Zach seems like a bit of a type A personality. A Brendan Goddard type (sans finger pointing histrionics). Nothing wrong with that in isolation. But I really hope he can appreciate the diversity of thought/personality/approach that a group of AFL players will bring to the table. If not, he (and all of us) will regret the decision to make him captain.
I think you have had a large miss on this one. I have questions about him being captain given his troubles with his defensive play in the past but from all reports he has used last year to grow his game and leadership. I would also say all of the best AFL players have a bit of type A personality about them.
 

andleanback

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So all footballers are generic ?
Mmm no, just don’t think the carrot of captaincy should be included in contract negotiations. A player being convinced to stay because the club tell him he can become captain isn’t a great starting point for culture. We shouldn’t fall into the trap of offering ridiculous money just so he stays either. He’s not petracca or bont, and even then the dees have over done it a bit with petraccas contract. 750-800 a year for merrett over 4-5 should be what we are offering.
 

ant555

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Mmm no, just don’t think the carrot of captaincy should be included in contract negotiations. A player be convinced to stay because the club tell him he can become captain isn’t a great starting point for culture.
Who said it was a carrot ?
You can say to the vice captain that if he signs on again then they see him as the next captain and they like how he responded to being left out of the leadership group and the work he is doing with the current captain on field. He is actually the vice captain.
I watched him on Sunday. He worked in really well with Heppell trying to organize the young blokes and he also did the hard yards playing a couple of different roles while dealing with his tag.
By the way in now way am I suggesting it is in a contract that he will be captain.
 

Lore

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Mmm no, just don’t think the carrot of captaincy should be included in contract negotiations. A player be convinced to stay because the club tell him he can become captain isn’t a great starting point for culture.
I agree. I think he should be captain. I think he should have the assurance of his teammates and coaches that he will be our next captain. But I also think that it's important that the players feel like they have a say and that their votes matter, that the person who has the gig is the best person for the job and has the confidence and respect of the playing group. The club should refuse to include a clause like that on principle, not because of anything personal about Zach.
 

andleanback

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Who said it was a carrot ?
You can say to the vice captain that if he signs on again then they see him as the next captain and they like how he responded to being left out of the leadership group and the work he is doing with the current captain on field. He is actually the vice captain.
I watched him on Sunday. He worked in really well with Heppell trying to organize the young blokes and he also did the hard yards playing a couple of different roles while dealing with his tag.
By the way in now way am I suggesting it is in a contract that he will be captain.
Yeah obviously, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m saying if the club are getting desperate and think he might be leaving, so they offer the captaincy straight out if he signs on. He may become the next captain next season anyway on his own merrett 😉 , but that’s up to the coaches and playing group to decide, not the list manager, gm and ceo. Personally I think it’ll be mcgrath after heppell does it for 1 more year in 2022.
 

doug85

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I think you have had a large miss on this one. I have questions about him being captain given his troubles with his defensive play in the past but from all reports he has used last year to grow his game and leadership. I would also say all of the best AFL players have a bit of type A personality about them.
Very happy to be wrong!
 

ant555

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Yeah obviously, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m saying if the club are getting desperate and think he might be leaving, so they offer the captaincy straight out if he signs on. He may become the next captain next season anyway on his own merrett 😉 , but that’s up to the coaches and playing group to decide, not the list manager, gm and ceo. Personally I think it’ll be mcgrath after heppell does it for 1 more year in 2022.
If Zac stays he is the next captain and if you had asked me this at the same stage last year I would have said no.
 

Hak94

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Putting a stipulation that they're going to give you the captaincy in a contract is totally foolish. Only give a player the captaincy if they want it, period. Zach is a leader, but is he the type of leader that wants to do all the things required as a captain? Who knows. He's never been the kind of player to front the media (without wanting/having a good reason too) and part of being the captain is showing your face/speaking publicly as your basically the face for the playing group. His leadership qualities obviously standout but perhaps he's just not the kind of leader to brand what he is about as a leader publicly, and that's totally fine. He seems quite introverted in some aspects, which isn't a bad thing either. Making him the next captain sounds logical but honestly, only give him the captaincy if it's what he wants and not because it's sounds like it should be done. He's an incredible player and his leadership qualities sound incredible to be around but at the end of the day we don't his performance to take a hit because his duties as a captain are deterring from that.
 

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