Adrian Dodoro: Football’s Biggest Fraud IMO

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Ambrosia

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 11, 2010
14,059
8,854
AFL Club
Essendon
I may be on my own but I've never considered a 2nd round pick a late pick. I'd say mid-range, but it's semantics.
Fair enough. Pick 38 is traditionally a 3rd round pick as well but we aren’t too far apart with me thinking pick ~30 is the cut off and thinking ~pick 40 is the cut off for where teams should be hitting selections.

My view aligns pretty well with what Essendon seem to think though. Taking Mosquito who always had big bust potential and trading our 2020 second rounder to move from pick from pick 35 to pick 30 in the 2019 draft indicates Essendon doesn’t place high value on picks after 30.

Who knows if they’re right though other clubs may think differently and it would vary from year to year as well
 

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Juddernaut08

Norm Smith Medallist
Nov 8, 2007
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Love watching the Dodo at work every trade period making every trade overly difficult and holding up other trades - providing he's not dealing with the Crows!

Showed Carlton were stupid last year, pick 8 for the non defending Saad, he'd still be laughing about that
Yep, he did very well with Saad. Certainly a better negotiator than Young Reid!
 

Fire

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 12, 2003
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It was a good list, not a great list and wasn’t as strong as the current Lions, Power or Geelong lists I referenced.

You can’t pin the taking of P.E.D’s on Adrian, but it can’t also fully excuse the mediocre outcomes throughout his time in the role.
I was also thinking that you can't really call a decent list on the juice a success story either.

Who knows how ordinary they'd have been if they weren't cheating.

So no, definitely not blamed on Dodoro; but you can't really give him credit either. At best its a wash for the period.
 
Last edited:

owen87

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 23, 2016
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Dank only defrauded the club for a few years. The dodo has been at it for much longer than that.
Have you been banned from using the dislike button?

Dodoro has a pretty much bang on average track record as a recruiter you do realise? People have gone through pick by pick against what you'd expect a selection to play, and his selections come out about average against expected.

So no, not the biggest fraud by a long-shot.
 

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Juddernaut08

Norm Smith Medallist
Nov 8, 2007
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Have you been banned from using the dislike button?

Dodoro has a pretty much bang on average track record as a recruiter you do realise? People have gone through pick by pick against what you'd expect a selection to play, and his selections come out about average against expected.

So no, not the biggest fraud by a long-shot.
Yes re: dislike button.

In terms of his performance, there are 3 criteria we could judge him on:

Drafting
Trading
List strategy

Drafting is at least average - agreed

Trading is probably above average - he gets good deals as much as he is a pain in ass

List strategy is where you could criticise him - in terms of age profile you used assets on bringing in the likes of Shiel, Stringer and Smith (indicating a push for contention)...only for them to not result in much.

Positionally the traditional wisdom is to set your spine up first as KPPs are harder to find and take longer to develop. Seems like Dodo has picked up a great midfield before looking to fix the KPPs.

End of the day the finals win streak is a bit overblown but the 17 seasons without even one win plus the Lloyd point that you dont make finals in consecutive years does show he's never assembled a list that had contention potential.
 

owen87

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 23, 2016
15,926
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Yes re: dislike button.

In terms of his performance, there are 3 criteria we could judge him on:

Drafting
Trading
List strategy

Drafting is at least average - agreed

Trading is probably above average - he gets good deals as much as he is a pain in ass

List strategy is where you could criticise him - in terms of age profile you used assets on bringing in the likes of Shiel, Stringer and Smith (indicating a push for contention)...only for them to not result in much.

Positionally the traditional wisdom is to set your spine up first as KPPs are harder to find and take longer to develop. Seems like Dodo has picked up a great midfield before looking to fix the KPPs.

End of the day the finals win streak is a bit overblown but the 17 seasons without even one win plus the Lloyd point that you dont make finals in consecutive years does show he's never assembled a list that had contention potential.
Ok, I'll bother replying properly;

There's a lot of confounding factors that goes in to this.

Does Dodoro unilaterally make decisions about who the club drafts, trades for, or the overarching list strategy in terms of picking up mature aged guys via trade? Doubtful.

It was pretty clear after 2017 the club (that is, not solely Dodoro) decided to build a push around the current list, particularly off the back of Daniher's trajectory. They brought in Smith, Saad and Stringer. Then Daniher went down with injury and 2018 was a 'lost' season in many ways, they doubled down by bringing in Shiel, hoping to see a fit Daniher in 2019 leading the forward line, which again didn't eventuate.

Do you think that Dodoro made the decision to build the push for a list to compete 'now' without any consultation from the rest of the club hierarchy?
Do you think that Dodoro made the decision to bring in Shiel on his own?
Do you think that Dodoro made the decision to trade or not trade Daniher on his own?

Hint: The answer to all three is no.

The biggest and easiest criticism is that he's failed to draft (or trade) and put together a balanced midfield group in his time at the club, as the list manager he's responsible for identifying the talent (in conjunction with the scouts - he's not the only person who scouts, most of that is Robert Forster-Knight from memory) to bring in. So when the coaches say "bring me midfielders" he has to go and find players that have the relevant potential. He doesn't unilaterally decide the list needs midfielders, or KPPs, or small defenders, he doesn't unilaterally decide to trade in or out a player, and the bigger the trade, the less unilateral decision making there'd be.

There's always been rumours that he wanted to do the Daniher to Sydney trade, and that he didn't want to do the Shiel trade at the price it ended up being, and that in both occasions one of the Board, or Richardson overruled him.

Trading Daniher out would have represented a massive shift in direction for the clubs strategy after 2017 & 2018's draft and trade period, you're talking an entire multi-year list management strategy built around a core group of guys from Daniher, Merrett & Fantasia to Heppell, Hurley & Hooker. That's not a decision Dodoro sits down and makes by himself.

Post-2020 when there was a clean-up of the football department, guess what happened? Richardson was turfed, Xavier Campbell was told to have less to do with the Football Department, and the Recruiting Department and the Coaching Department were meant to work as a unit to decide who to bring in via draft or trade amongst themselves.

The list manager at any club doesn't work independently of the coaching department, and when you have regular change in coaches you end up with inconsistency in the type of players they're asking for. Sheedy to Knights, to Hird, to Thompson, to Hird, to Worsfold, to Rutten, with a lot of different gameplans, player demands, and varying degrees of weight on player selections (Sheedy allegedly was very involved).

Knights simply wasn't a good head coach, Hird personally I think was OK if not anything special, but torched the club for the best part of 5 years, Worsfold shouldn't have been more than a caretaker for a couple of years post-Hird, and now we have Rutten who appears a genuine long-term head coach thus far.

Dodoro is one man, responsible for one department. He doesn't coach the players, he doesn't develop them, he doesn't condition them. All three are areas where we've been varying degrees of poor-to-average at over the past 15 years.

So yeah, I think the accusation that Dodoro himself is responsible for Essendon's performances throughout his time is incorrect, and lazy criticism.

I've said it many times, the easiest and most accurate criticism is his drafting of midfielders. Merrett, Parish, McGrath, Smith (when he played midfield), Shiel are all about the same size and don't offer enough variety and balance for a midfield group despite individually having good performances as midfielders.

We had a number of elite KPPs on the list between 2012 and 2017 (Daniher, Hurley & Hooker all AA selections at varying times), Ryder was a Dodoro draftee who was an AA standard KPP as well, but it was a lost 5 year window due to nothing at all to do with Dodoro.

Why people are so obsessed with trying to place every failing of the EFC at the feet of Dodoro I don't know, he's about average at his job, but somehow is the most recognised list manager in the AFL because the media simply can't ignore that people who support other sides are absolutely whipped up in to a frenzy whenever his name gets mentioned in to an article.
 

Halftimehero

Brownlow Medallist
Jun 26, 2012
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Yes re: dislike button.

In terms of his performance, there are 3 criteria we could judge him on:

Drafting
Trading
List strategy

Drafting is at least average - agreed

Trading is probably above average - he gets good deals as much as he is a pain in ass

List strategy is where you could criticise him - in terms of age profile you used assets on bringing in the likes of Shiel, Stringer and Smith (indicating a push for contention)...only for them to not result in much.

Positionally the traditional wisdom is to set your spine up first as KPPs are harder to find and take longer to develop. Seems like Dodo has picked up a great midfield before looking to fix the KPPs.

End of the day the finals win streak is a bit overblown but the 17 seasons without even one win plus the Lloyd point that you dont make finals in consecutive years does show he's never assembled a list that had contention potential.
I think the not making the finals in consecutive years is a bit overstated, 2012 was arguably a better season than 2011 despite not making the finals, then 2013 we would have finished 7th as we did again in 2014.

2015 and 2016 were sh*t shows.

2017 - 2019 was pretty solid without taking the next step, 2018 was no worse than 2017 and 2019 despite those being finals years, we probably hung on to players who we shouldn’t have as the club felt they owed them after what went on.

Dodoro has never really had a clear run at it form a list management perspective and none of that is his doing.

His trading and ability to get the best deal for Essendon is elite.

His drafting is solid, he has been handicapped there as well, this next period will define whether he can really excel in that area or not.
 

owen87

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 23, 2016
15,926
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Essendon
I think the not making the finals in consecutive years is a bit overstated, 2012 was arguably a better season than 2011 despite not making the finals, then 2013 we would have finished 7th as we did again in 2014.

2015 and 2016 were sh*t shows.

2017 - 2019 was pretty solid without taking the next step, 2018 was no worse than 2017 and 2019 despite those being finals years, we probably hung on to players who we shouldn’t have as the club felt they owed them after what went on.

Dodoro has never really had a clear run at it form a list management perspective and none of that is his doing.

His trading and ability to get the best deal for Essendon is elite.

His drafting is solid, he has been handicapped there as well, this next period will define whether he can really excel in that area or not.
2017 - 12 wins, 106% (finals)
2018 - 12 wins, 105% (not finals)
2019 - 12 wins, 95% (finals)
 

Juddernaut08

Norm Smith Medallist
Nov 8, 2007
9,201
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Melbourne
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Ok, I'll bother replying properly;

There's a lot of confounding factors that goes in to this.

Does Dodoro unilaterally make decisions about who the club drafts, trades for, or the overarching list strategy in terms of picking up mature aged guys via trade? Doubtful.

It was pretty clear after 2017 the club (that is, not solely Dodoro) decided to build a push around the current list, particularly off the back of Daniher's trajectory. They brought in Smith, Saad and Stringer. Then Daniher went down with injury and 2018 was a 'lost' season in many ways, they doubled down by bringing in Shiel, hoping to see a fit Daniher in 2019 leading the forward line, which again didn't eventuate.

Do you think that Dodoro made the decision to build the push for a list to compete 'now' without any consultation from the rest of the club hierarchy?
Do you think that Dodoro made the decision to bring in Shiel on his own?
Do you think that Dodoro made the decision to trade or not trade Daniher on his own?

Hint: The answer to all three is no.

The biggest and easiest criticism is that he's failed to draft (or trade) and put together a balanced midfield group in his time at the club, as the list manager he's responsible for identifying the talent (in conjunction with the scouts - he's not the only person who scouts, most of that is Robert Forster-Knight from memory) to bring in. So when the coaches say "bring me midfielders" he has to go and find players that have the relevant potential. He doesn't unilaterally decide the list needs midfielders, or KPPs, or small defenders, he doesn't unilaterally decide to trade in or out a player, and the bigger the trade, the less unilateral decision making there'd be.

There's always been rumours that he wanted to do the Daniher to Sydney trade, and that he didn't want to do the Shiel trade at the price it ended up being, and that in both occasions one of the Board, or Richardson overruled him.

Trading Daniher out would have represented a massive shift in direction for the clubs strategy after 2017 & 2018's draft and trade period, you're talking an entire multi-year list management strategy built around a core group of guys from Daniher, Merrett & Fantasia to Heppell, Hurley & Hooker. That's not a decision Dodoro sits down and makes by himself.

Post-2020 when there was a clean-up of the football department, guess what happened? Richardson was turfed, Xavier Campbell was told to have less to do with the Football Department, and the Recruiting Department and the Coaching Department were meant to work as a unit to decide who to bring in via draft or trade amongst themselves.

The list manager at any club doesn't work independently of the coaching department, and when you have regular change in coaches you end up with inconsistency in the type of players they're asking for. Sheedy to Knights, to Hird, to Thompson, to Hird, to Worsfold, to Rutten, with a lot of different gameplans, player demands, and varying degrees of weight on player selections (Sheedy allegedly was very involved).

Knights simply wasn't a good head coach, Hird personally I think was OK if not anything special, but torched the club for the best part of 5 years, Worsfold shouldn't have been more than a caretaker for a couple of years post-Hird, and now we have Rutten who appears a genuine long-term head coach thus far.

Dodoro is one man, responsible for one department. He doesn't coach the players, he doesn't develop them, he doesn't condition them. All three are areas where we've been varying degrees of poor-to-average at over the past 15 years.

So yeah, I think the accusation that Dodoro himself is responsible for Essendon's performances throughout his time is incorrect, and lazy criticism.

I've said it many times, the easiest and most accurate criticism is his drafting of midfielders. Merrett, Parish, McGrath, Smith (when he played midfield), Shiel are all about the same size and don't offer enough variety and balance for a midfield group despite individually having good performances as midfielders.

We had a number of elite KPPs on the list between 2012 and 2017 (Daniher, Hurley & Hooker all AA selections at varying times), Ryder was a Dodoro draftee who was an AA standard KPP as well, but it was a lost 5 year window due to nothing at all to do with Dodoro.

Why people are so obsessed with trying to place every failing of the EFC at the feet of Dodoro I don't know, he's about average at his job, but somehow is the most recognised list manager in the AFL because the media simply can't ignore that people who support other sides are absolutely whipped up in to a frenzy whenever his name gets mentioned in to an article.
Yeah it's probably a mix of two things (for me at least).

Firstly, he's just unlikeable to an outsider so it's fun and easy to put the blame on him.

Secondly, his longevity means he has outlasted the various coaching groups and other staff. Just like John Barker (worst assistant coach of all time) spending 10+ years at the Blues, eventually if you're there for a long period you will be attributed with some of the blame/praise because you're the constant. You're right that it's an inexact science with many other compounding factors but at the end of the day, he hasn't been able to build a contending list in 2 decades.
 

Juddernaut08

Norm Smith Medallist
Nov 8, 2007
9,201
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Melbourne
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I think the not making the finals in consecutive years is a bit overstated, 2012 was arguably a better season than 2011 despite not making the finals, then 2013 we would have finished 7th as we did again in 2014.

2015 and 2016 were sh*t shows.

2017 - 2019 was pretty solid without taking the next step, 2018 was no worse than 2017 and 2019 despite those being finals years, we probably hung on to players who we shouldn’t have as the club felt they owed them after what went on.

Dodoro has never really had a clear run at it form a list management perspective and none of that is his doing.

His trading and ability to get the best deal for Essendon is elite.

His drafting is solid, he has been handicapped there as well, this next period will define whether he can really excel in that area or not.
I don't think he's an elite trader. Above average negotiator, sure. But I think his stubbornness does probably result in non-trades. It's arguably better to have 10 close trades that each incrementally improve your side than having 2-3 where you clearly 'won'. If you've ever played a trading board game that's the general thought anyway.
 

Halftimehero

Brownlow Medallist
Jun 26, 2012
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I don't think he's an elite trader. Above average negotiator, sure. But I think his stubbornness does probably result in non-trades. It's arguably better to have 10 close trades that each incrementally improve your side than having 2-3 where you clearly 'won'. If you've ever played a trading board game that's the general thought anyway.
Just because a trade doesn’t get done doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing.
 

citizen-erased

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Jun 11, 2007
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non-trade i can only really think of Dunkley, and to an extent Daniher.

On Dunkley, we tried for too much at the wrong time. Caldwell was never gonna be cheap, we had Saad, Daniher and Fantasia to sort out, and Dunkley was going to be your everyday top dollar trade.
We needed to use the picks to kickstart the list turnover, Doggies had little use for this years too. Turns out Treloar + Pies 1st this year could have been a massive boon to the Dogs, but moving on from that.
It was too much at one time & we either should have been prepared to pay it, or just focus on Caldwell, Hind & Wright...and maybe still getting the Pies 1st. Could have landed with 2 & 11 this year.

On Daniher, i think he would have taken a Swans offer it was seriously put on the table. But it felt Richo & Xav had a hand in that one too. I wonder how much autonomy he was being allowed there. We could have gone for more on him and Daniher & the club could have started the refresh earlier.

All in all though, quite happy with Perkins, Cox and Reid plus the additions of Hind, Wright & Durham.
So let's see what a decent coaching panel, some clear board direction & another year of picks/trading will bring us.
If at the very least we're being realistic and honest with ourselves, we won't be looking to cut corners & will accept we may still need to go backwards to go forwards.
 

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