Hot Topic Adrian Dodoro

BrunoV

Brownlow Medallist
May 5, 2009
15,614
19,190
AFL Club
Essendon
I wished I'd have kept tabs on who we brought in when we delisted players.
Hindsight is such a wonderful thing but i still don't know why we selected two flanker types within 3 picks of each other (Langford/Laverde) instead of utilising a pick on a more pressing need. We have continually picked flankers.


Dodoro has often identified ok talent, but the development has failed at the football club. My gripe with Dodo has been topping us up but we have not progressed as a football club.

Here's one I prepared earlier:


I agree with almost everything Bunk Moreland has been saying. One of the points he has been making is that the job of the recruiter is to get the talent in the door. He can only be judged on the talent. Dodoro can't be responsible for ongoing mental frailty, botched development and/or bizarre team selection.

That's part of the problem I have with the discussion. Dodoro has been around a long time and never been associated with a list that has done anything, and maybe that is reason enough to part ways, but it always seems to me that he's being blamed for part of the outcome that is not his responsibility.

The reason you can look at Parish, for example, as a "miss" is because with all of the opportunity he has received he's largely the same player he was in year 1 and displays nothing that would be expected of a midfielder recruited that high in a draft (surely the minimum expectation looks something like Taranto or Oliver). It was a clear error and one of the few worth mentioining that Dodoro has made at the draft table in a long time. As much as people like to dismiss my opinion on Parish, no one actually argues that he is the player they want when they pick a mid in the top 5 (or that he is or will be better than Stanton or Zaharakis who were and/or remain whipping boys). That's not the same thing as saying that he won't have a career but that's not the discussion it's about the talent Dodoro brought to the club.

On the other hand, I've never understood why people insist on citing perennially injured players as recruiting failures. It's Laverde at the moment and it used to be Gumbleton. It's nonsensical that a recruiter could be blamed for that. There was plenty of excitement about Laverde at the end of 2015. It's also no achievement for Laverde to be an "unknown", by the way. It's essentially the best thing that can be said about his career to date. A lot of it seems to me to be petty slagging because posters can't accept Parish for what he is. Laverde could never play another senior game and it's not going to mean a thing for the quality of Parish's performances.

Francis is probably a more dicey selection than is initially obvious. He clearly had the raw ability to be selected as early as he was in the first round. However, I would also say that Dodoro's non-selection of Charlie Curnow, for example, is symbolic of an attitude he has had which does not place enough of an emphasis on the running capability of players (and physical prowess generally). You'd assume that Francis' immaturity would have been identified and I think you do have to query whether he was a smart selection where he also lacked endurance/running capability.

I don't think there is any doubt that we have not invested heavily enough in players that Worsfold recognizes as midfielders, but it raises an interesting question. Who should we have taken and what with? There is no point going back before the supplements saga, the rebuild to that point was solid enough and then got broken apart by the loss of 5 senior players who either were or have since proven to be quality players. Draft sanctions offset any raid we could have made on the draft during this period - and we were largely limited to taking the normal quota of picks over 4 years between 2013 and 2016 (despite the loss of players). There was also the problem that list management got frozen in time for a few years as we held on to chaff as we refused to play kids for 3 years.

So if we're looking at just the midfield, and starting with 2014 (as 2013 speaks for itself and being 2 selections that you could not revisit in good faith regardless of who followed).

Who were the better prospects as midfielders than Langford and Laverde? Is there a player that anyone looks at even now and thinks that he'd be making a huge difference in the middle? Jack Steele, Touk Miller, Neale-Bullen or Toby McLean? I call bulls**t on anyone who is recruiting any of those players. Steele was an academy selection anyway. In my opinion Conor Blakely is the only player with an equivalent level of raw talent. So far, it's one kid from outback WA (which tends to be a bit of a black hole for AFL recruiting other than for the WA sides who clearly hide players - and unlike SA for example where we have had a lot of success) who was not in any discussion as a top 20 pick.

For the two first round picks in 2015, it's really only Josh Dunkley who was not tied to an academy that was available to us and who can be part of the conversation if it's not pure revisionism (I'm not going to jump shark by suggesting that we select Mathieson or Fiorini at 5 instead of Parish or say that either is a better player). I suppose you could argue that Curnow could have been developed on-ball but I don't think he has played a game there to date. Gresham is starting to look like a mid but he was a small forward and has been a small forward to this point. In Redman we probably took the best available midfield sized talent so we've won anyway. Tom Phillips was taken at 58. Now, I'm definitely willing to concede that Dodoro has routinely failed to recruit players with the running power of Phillips but we don't get to do a revisionist draft in which a player taken at 58 all of the sudden becomes part of the discussion at 5. I do struggle to understand how, given the characteristic lack of running power of an Essendon midfield, he was not selected in the 20s but chances are we don't have Redman (as you can't just replace Morgan because he didn't work out). It's much the same story with Menegola.

Edit: I've left Sier out of this discussion. He has played 12 games all last year (and we regarded as having a real problem initially adapting to being an AFL player). He is probably someone we should have been looking at but, again, be careful what you wish for because he was taken at 32 which means that Redman has to be factored into this discussion.

It gets interesting in 2016. There is virtually no support for the idea that McGrath was the wrong type of player to select (though I think he is if we don't get a quality midfielder or two out of Ridley, Begley and/or Mutch). Willem Drew and Jack Graham are the only mids from 22 (Ridley) onwards you'd bother arguing about. Anyone want to substitute Ridley or Begley for either of those two on draft day in 2016? That's two of the most talented players we have and two big aggressive kids who should be developing in the middle for us. I really like Parfitt and Fisher as players but they're hardly the solution to the issues we have with our midfield.

So for 2017, who is giving up Stringer and Smith for some kids? In 2018 who is giving up Shiel?

If I had my way we'd have Saad and Shiel. It would be a hard argument to make that we would be in a better position right now if that is what occurred. I have always been prepared to accept the rationale of selecting McGrath where need was balanced out by the rest of the draft.

In 2014 to 2016, even with its questionable selections, Dodoro provided the list with a lot of raw ability in bigger/powerful players that could be used in the midfield (Laverde, Langford, Redman, Ridley and Begley). So far we've picked the least competitive player, the least suited to the role, and found a number of creative ways not to pick the others either at all or in the middle.

So I can say that I don't agree with the lack of focus Dodoro has placed on physical capability. The spine in particular is not mobile enough. The mids are not gifted runners. We haven't recruited enough highly talented inside midfielders. I might be able to squeeze Blakely and Tom Phillips onto the list but at the expense of Laverde/Langford and possibly Redman. I can't get from there to sacking Dodoro.

There is a versions of this that sees Dodoro take the fall as being responsible but no one ever really gets there as far as the analysis is concerned.

This leads me to the wonderfully rigid selection criteria which confines players to single roles despite that fact that the talent of the list is heavily skewed to the flanks and dual position players (which was clearly part of Dodoro's recruiting strategy).

Edit: everyone always criticises us for trying to turn flankers into to midfielders. We have tried it with 1 player so far. How about we try it with some of the others?

Of course, we've also got to ensure that when injury hits we start reinventing defenders as forwards, not playing forwards as forwards and using wingmen in defence instead of players who play their football in defence.

Even looking at some of last year's contracts says a lot:

- Baguley was basically the last player signed on what is 1 last 1 year deal, of course he play the first 7 games and all JLT.
- Laverde gets a 2 year deal and 2 quarters of JLT football, including a ride up to GWS as the traveling emergency (his non-selection had nothing to do with injury).
- Brown gets a 1 year deal so of course he's straight in.
- Stewart gets a 2 year deal and naturally he does not feature in our planning (as is evidenced by the fact that he was an emergency in JLT).

It has long been apparent that there is a significant disconnect between list management and coaching. List management has produced as much talent as we could reasonably expect and the coaches seem to do their best strategizing coming up with ways not to use the talent (focusing on bargain basement depth instead).

I am failing to see the connection between the recruiting and the performance of the team except for in the middle of the ground but I see no convincing way in which the middle of the ground could be improved by recruiting what was available without sacrificing an equal or greater amount.


 
Last edited:

(Log in to remove this ad.)

Yoda_

Brownlow Medallist
May 6, 2007
25,269
11,711
South East Suburbs
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Tottenham Hotspurs, Melbourne Vixen
Not often I defend Dodoro but last night had little to do with him. I agree he needs to go but in terms of depth, not many clubs would have that many best 22 players out of the side and win against a team challenging for the 8. However, if you blame the recruiter/talent scout/list manager for the effort put in by players, he’s guilty af.
Why I bumped this thread because of the ego that Adrian possess'. He has failed to look at ruck (bar Draper) for the best part of a decade. Don't get me started on midfielders, the bloke couldn't pick one if gifted an All Australian squad to choose from.

He is the one who has assembled the list, he is the one who has failed to notice the constant short comings of the group and not identify and rectify these. Dodoro is apart of the problem as much as people want to look past it.



Im not even mad about the players like Baguley, Myers, McNeice getting a game last night, our season is still alive (somehow), I understand why they were picked over kids like Ridley, Mynott and Jok. What I can't understand is the lack of change from the top down and our once proud football club doing SFA about it.
 

Yoda_

Brownlow Medallist
May 6, 2007
25,269
11,711
South East Suburbs
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Tottenham Hotspurs, Melbourne Vixen
At the end of the last off-season we had Bellchambers, Clarke, Draper, Lavender and Smack.
I don't count Lavender as he was that far off playing AFL whilst we all know McKernan is a stop gap for 5 minutes here, 5 minutes there and not a #1 ruck for 10 weeks straight.

We can stop the excuses now
 

The Donners

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 26, 2007
12,778
656
Victoria
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Aston Villa
Here's one I prepared earlier:

So a VFL club has the professionalism to move on an underperforming recruiter/list manager?

Very amateurish Essendon.

Bring back Sheedy... oh wait...
 

Darealrath

Brownlow Medallist
Jul 6, 2002
11,556
2,676
Melbourne
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Arsenal, Pacers
His inability to draft quality genuine midfielders when we were crying out for them for so long is damning.

Has done better on the trade front.
Said this in May and neither the really good wins or really bad losses have swayed my opinion.

He's obviously not responsible for development of players or the form of the team from week to week, but he is for structural deficiencies of the list that have been obvious to just about all outsiders and a lot of our fans for a very long time.

I can never understand how johnny-new-bloke at clubs like WC, Geelong, Adelaide and GWS (though that's a bit different) look so much more physically powerful and ready than our new blokes do. Been targeting short/slight/skinny builds for so long and guess what, they can't run out a full season or handle it when teams bring finals like physical intensity. Even one of our really powerful KP players like Ambrose hardly looks any bigger on the field than some midfielders in the top teams.
 

Bunk Moreland

Hall of Famer
Sep 22, 2011
30,956
59,759
Your girlfriend's dreams
AFL Club
Essendon
So we lay it all at the 5th Senior coach and how ever many assistants we've had?

Adrian gets another free pass?
If he’s not doing a good job.

Sheedy’s time was well past up.

Knights was a disaster.

Hird and Bomber, let’s not even go there.

I don’t think you can say Dodoro has been “getting a free pass” while these guys got the bullet for him.

The fact is we’ve long made very poor choices when it comes to coaching.

We kept Sheedy too long

Knights was a s**thouse coach

Hird / Bomber say no more

Woosh was actually a very good appointment, our first one. He did a great job in 2016 and 2017.

The fact we haven’t improved a jot in two years since can hardly be laid at the recruiting staff. What exactly have they got wrong over the last couple of years?
 

Lore

Dec 14, 2015
14,639
17,129
AFL Club
Essendon
I don't count Lavender as he was that far off playing AFL whilst we all know McKernan is a stop gap for 5 minutes here, 5 minutes there and not a #1 ruck for 10 weeks straight.

We can stop the excuses now
I can see here that I’m wasting my time, so I won’t waste it any further.

I do hope you have something fun planned for today though. Have a good one
 

Red Black and Blue

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 1, 2006
18,578
10,253
Melbourne
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Everton, Storm, Victory
It’s pretty spot specific but Dodoros failings have come down to three players. Parker, Oliver and Worpel. All and sundry identified these players as needs for us predraft. Missed with Parker and didn’t trade up to guarantee Oliver or Worpel.
 

Bunk Moreland

Hall of Famer
Sep 22, 2011
30,956
59,759
Your girlfriend's dreams
AFL Club
Essendon
Here's one I prepared earlier:


I agree with almost everything Bunk Moreland has been saying. One of the points he has been making is that the job of the recruiter is to get the talent in the door. He can only be judged on the talent. Dodoro can't be responsible for ongoing mental frailty, botched development and/or bizarre team selection.

That's part of the problem I have with the discussion. Dodoro has been around a long time and never been associated with a list that has done anything, and maybe that is reason enough to part ways, but it always seems to me that he's being blamed for part of the outcome that is not his responsibility.

The reason you can look at Parish, for example, as a "miss" is because with all of the opportunity he has received he's largely the same player he was in year 1 and displays nothing that would be expected of a midfielder recruited that high in a draft (surely the minimum expectation looks something like Taranto or Oliver). It was a clear error and one of the few worth mentioining that Dodoro has made at the draft table in a long time. As much as people like to dismiss my opinion on Parish, no one actually argues that he is the player they want when they pick a mid in the top 5 (or that he is or will be better than Stanton or Zaharakis who were and/or remain whipping boys). That's not the same thing as saying that he won't have a career but that's not the discussion it's about the talent Dodoro brought to the club.

On the other hand, I've never understood why people insist on citing perennially injured players as recruiting failures. It's Laverde at the moment and it used to be Gumbleton. It's nonsensical that a recruiter could be blamed for that. There was plenty of excitement about Laverde at the end of 2015. It's also no achievement for Laverde to be an "unknown", by the way. It's essentially the best thing that can be said about his career to date. A lot of it seems to me to be petty slagging because posters can't accept Parish for what he is. Laverde could never play another senior game and it's not going to mean a thing for the quality of Parish's performances.

Francis is probably a more dicey selection than is initially obvious. He clearly had the raw ability to be selected as early as he was in the first round. However, I would also say that Dodoro's non-selection of Charlie Curnow, for example, is symbolic of an attitude he has had which does not place enough of an emphasis on the running capability of players (and physical prowess generally). You'd assume that Francis' immaturity would have been identified and I think you do have to query whether he was a smart selection where he also lacked endurance/running capability.

I don't think there is any doubt that we have not invested heavily enough in players that Worsfold recognizes as midfielders, but it raises an interesting question. Who should we have taken and what with? There is no point going back before the supplements saga, the rebuild to that point was solid enough and then got broken apart by the loss of 5 senior players who either were or have since proven to be quality players. Draft sanctions offset any raid we could have made on the draft during this period - and we were largely limited to taking the normal quota of picks over 4 years between 2013 and 2016 (despite the loss of players). There was also the problem that list management got frozen in time for a few years as we held on to chaff as we refused to play kids for 3 years.

So if we're looking at just the midfield, and starting with 2014 (as 2013 speaks for itself and being 2 selections that you could not revisit in good faith regardless of who followed).

Who were the better prospects as midfielders than Langford and Laverde? Is there a player that anyone looks at even now and thinks that he'd be making a huge difference in the middle? Jack Steele, Touk Miller, Neale-Bullen or Toby McLean? I call bulls**t on anyone who is recruiting any of those players. Steele was an academy selection anyway. In my opinion Conor Blakely is the only player with an equivalent level of raw talent. So far, it's one kid from outback WA (which tends to be a bit of a black hole for AFL recruiting other than for the WA sides who clearly hide players - and unlike SA for example where we have had a lot of success) who was not in any discussion as a top 20 pick.

For the two first round picks in 2015, it's really only Josh Dunkley who was not tied to an academy that was available to us and who can be part of the conversation if it's not pure revisionism (I'm not going to jump shark by suggesting that we select Mathieson or Fiorini at 5 instead of Parish or say that either is a better player). I suppose you could argue that Curnow could have been developed on-ball but I don't think he has played a game there to date. Gresham is starting to look like a mid but he was a small forward and has been a small forward to this point. In Redman we probably took the best available midfield sized talent so we've won anyway. Tom Phillips was taken at 58. Now, I'm definitely willing to concede that Dodoro has routinely failed to recruit players with the running power of Phillips but we don't get to do a revisionist draft in which a player taken at 58 all of the sudden becomes part of the discussion at 5. I do struggle to understand how, given the characteristic lack of running power of an Essendon midfield, he was not selected in the 20s but chances are we don't have Redman (as you can't just replace Morgan because he didn't work out). It's much the same story with Menegola.

Edit: I've left Sier out of this discussion. He has played 12 games all last year (and we regarded as having a real problem initially adapting to being an AFL player). He is probably someone we should have been looking at but, again, be careful what you wish for because he was taken at 32 which means that Redman has to be factored into this discussion.

It gets interesting in 2016. There is virtually no support for the idea that McGrath was the wrong type of player to select (though I think he is if we don't get a quality midfielder or two out of Ridley, Begley and/or Mutch). Willem Drew and Jack Graham are the only mids from 22 (Ridley) onwards you'd bother arguing about. Anyone want to substitute Ridley or Begley for either of those two on draft day in 2016? That's two of the most talented players we have and two big aggressive kids who should be developing in the middle for us. I really like Parfitt and Fisher as players but they're hardly the solution to the issues we have with our midfield.

So for 2017, who is giving up Stringer and Smith for some kids? In 2018 who is giving up Shiel?

If I had my way we'd have Saad and Shiel. It would be a hard argument to make that we would be in a better position right now if that is what occurred. I have always been prepared to accept the rationale of selecting McGrath where need was balanced out by the rest of the draft.

In 2014 to 2016, even with its questionable selections, Dodoro provided the list with a lot of raw ability in bigger/powerful players that could be used in the midfield (Laverde, Langford, Redman, Ridley and Begley). So far we've picked the least competitive player, the least suited to the role, and found a number of creative ways not to pick the others either at all or in the middle.

So I can say that I don't agree with the lack of focus Dodoro has placed on physical capability. The spine in particular is not mobile enough. The mids are not gifted runners. We haven't recruited enough highly talented inside midfielders. I might be able to squeeze Blakely and Tom Phillips onto the list but at the expense of Laverde/Langford and possibly Redman. I can't get from there to sacking Dodoro.

There is a versions of this that sees Dodoro take the fall as being responsible but no one ever really gets there as far as the analysis is concerned.

This leads me to the wonderfully rigid selection criteria which confines players to single roles despite that fact that the talent of the list is heavily skewed to the flanks and dual position players (which was clearly part of Dodoro's recruiting strategy).

Edit: everyone always criticises us for trying to turn flankers into to midfielders. We have tried it with 1 player so far. How about we try it with some of the others?

Of course, we've also got to ensure that when injury hits we start reinventing defenders as forwards, not playing forwards as forwards and using wingmen in defence instead of players who play their football in defence.

Even looking at some of last year's contracts says a lot:

- Baguley was basically the last player signed on what is 1 last 1 year deal, of course he play the first 7 games and all JLT.
- Laverde gets a 2 year deal and 2 quarters of JLT football, including a ride up to GWS as the traveling emergency (his non-selection had nothing to do with injury).
- Brown gets a 1 year deal so of course he's straight in.
- Stewart gets a 2 year deal and naturally he does not feature in our planning (as is evidenced by the fact that he was an emergency in JLT).

It has long been apparent that there is a significant disconnect between list management and coaching. List management has produced as much talent as we could reasonably expect and the coaches seem to do their best strategizing coming up with ways not to use the talent (focusing on bargain basement depth instead).

I am failing to see the connection between the recruiting and the performance of the team except for in the middle of the ground but I see no convincing way in which the middle of the ground could be improved by recruiting what was available without sacrificing an equal or greater amount.


Truth.

I probably come across as some huge defender of our recruiting but I’m not really, I just don’t think you can look at it in the totality of the club and conclude it’s the problem.

The answer is always “oh well the head guy has been there 15 years”

I’d rather hear about the actual errors he’s made than his length of tenure.

People also like to forget that his first 5 years under Sheedy he had little say over anything, and the other 10 years includes four years of the biggest atomic bomb to ever be dropped on a club in the sports’s history.
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

adsla69k

Club Legend
Aug 26, 2007
2,093
1,387
Melbourne
AFL Club
Essendon
It’s pretty spot specific but Dodoros failings have come down to three players. Parker, Oliver and Worpel. All and sundry identified these players as needs for us predraft. Missed with Parker and didn’t trade up to guarantee Oliver or Worpel.
Worpel was a 1st round pick for me all year. Now we drafted Ridley who looks a nice player but we skipped the chance to draft Battle a number of times. He would have been handy last night.
 

Fin ice Smuggler

Club Legend
Nov 13, 2010
2,751
944
AFL Club
Essendon
Truth.

I probably come across as some huge defender of our recruiting but I’m not really, I just don’t think you can look at it in the totality of the club and conclude it’s the problem.

The answer is always “oh well the head guy has been there 15 years”

I’d rather hear about the actual errors he’s made than his length of tenure.

People also like to forget that his first 5 years under Sheedy he had little say over anything, and the other 10 years includes four years of the biggest atomic bomb to ever be dropped on a club in the sports’s history.
Great response...

I'm more concerned with the development of our players after being drafted.

I'm also concerned with the development of our academy players? We are way behind the 8 ball in getting in free hits where once we were pioneers with father sons and recruiting out of the Northern Territory.

Who's been our best academy player?

We've also been on the wrong side of competition rules missing out on gumbleton Selwood combo after winning less than 5 games 1 year, then having to use pick 10 for joe Daniher under father son when previously clubs like cats were getting generation players like Ablett and Hawkins in 3rd round. That pick 10 could have been used on grundy?

Needless to say we haven't for some time targeted a draft to load up with high end draft picks to secure pure mids? We had an opportunity with parish and Francis? Missed on Oliver by 1 pick.

Had we drafted mcluggage, setterfield or Taranto instead of McGrath? Would we be better off? I doubt our development would have made them better players, Taranto would/could have been Langford #2.
 

boncer34

Inaugural Steward
Jul 11, 2005
41,942
42,463
Baghdad
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Melbourne Storm
If he’s not doing a good job.

Sheedy’s time was well past up.

Knights was a disaster.

Hird and Bomber, let’s not even go there.

I don’t think you can say Dodoro has been “getting a free pass” while these guys got the bullet for him.

The fact is we’ve long made very poor choices when it comes to coaching.

We kept Sheedy too long

Knights was a s**thouse coach

Hird / Bomber say no more

Woosh was actually a very good appointment, our first one. He did a great job in 2016 and 2017.

The fact we haven’t improved a jot in two years since can hardly be laid at the recruiting staff. What exactly have they got wrong over the last couple of years?
Except I didn't say he got a free pass while they took the bullet for him.

I'm saying he is part of the problem.
 

BrunoV

Brownlow Medallist
May 5, 2009
15,614
19,190
AFL Club
Essendon
Truth.

I probably come across as some huge defender of our recruiting but I’m not really, I just don’t think you can look at it in the totality of the club and conclude it’s the problem.

The answer is always “oh well the head guy has been there 15 years”

I’d rather hear about the actual errors he’s made than his length of tenure.

People also like to forget that his first 5 years under Sheedy he had little say over anything, and the other 10 years includes four years of the biggest atomic bomb to ever be dropped on a club in the sports’s history.

I have to say I am looking at Dunkley and wondering WTF?

Wasn't even part of the discussion. Guy's the new JPK and it was always on the cards. Just a query about his kicking, ironically enough (given the quality of Parish's kicking).

Herein lies a genuine point of criticism. We always seem to avoid taking the beast.
 
Last edited:

calyam

Norm Smith Medallist
May 9, 2011
5,456
6,063
Melbourne
AFL Club
Essendon
List management is more than just the recruitment of good players. It is the construction of a list that fits well together, complements each other and meets the needs of the coaching staff.

Dodoro has recruited good players but he has never created a great list. It is a list that has failed consistently under a variety of coaches.

An example of poor list management is Dodoro's obsession with under sized midfielders. There is no denying the talent of Merrett or Shiel or Smith or Parish or McGrath in isolation. But would a good list manager build an entire midfield around these smaller types?

In correcting for that flaw he regularly drafts flankers, mostly undersized forwards with no ideal position, who we try to transform into big bodied midfielders. It has never yet worked.

Good list managers can regularly revitalise playing lists. The West Coast's and Collingwood's and Hawthorn's, even the Adelaide's, have managed multiple successful rebuilds in the time we have failed to manage one.

The fault for that doesn't solely lie on Dodoro's shoulders but he is a factor. And a big one at that.
 

boncer34

Inaugural Steward
Jul 11, 2005
41,942
42,463
Baghdad
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Melbourne Storm
What has he got so wrong?
You want me to ride quarterback on his list decisions? I can do that and you can point out hindsight is easier and we can spend 3 pages going back and forth but we're above that.

Is our poor performance due to onfield issues and coaching? Absolutely. But it also comes down to his obsession with picking flankers and trying to shoehorn them into becoming mids.

Langford, bless him, is a key example. He's a HFF but he's being shoved into the middle, you say that's coaching, I say it's coaching and we don't have an alternative because our list management hasn't provided one.
 

Bunk Moreland

Hall of Famer
Sep 22, 2011
30,956
59,759
Your girlfriend's dreams
AFL Club
Essendon
You want me to ride quarterback on his list decisions? I can do that and you can point out hindsight is easier and we can spend 3 pages going back and forth but we're above that.

Is our poor performance due to onfield issues and coaching? Absolutely. But it also comes down to his obsession with picking flankers and trying to shoehorn them into becoming mids.

Langford, bless him, is a key example. He's a HFF but he's being shoved into the middle, you say that's coaching, I say it's coaching and we don't have an alternative because our list management hasn't provided one.
The midfield is always what’s pointed to but seriously...

McGrath was an elite junior mid and won the Rising Star in his first year

Parish had a cracker of first season and is now a fringe player

We plucked Merrett in the 20s who’s an All Australian

Laverde was hailed as having genuine big-bodied mid potential pre-draft - https://m.afl.com.au/news/2014-11-10/17-days-to-the-draft-meet-jayden-laverde - he’s basically been exclusively injured since he got to the club and even when he’s got out there, hasn’t been able to build a tank to play midfield. Now he seems to just sit in the goalsquare. Or plays reserves behind the likes of Myers and Baguley.

Begley was a contested mid / forward as a junior and stated pre-draft that’s what he wanted (“to play like Ollie Wines”)... he plays now as some weird undersized key forward (though of course has been injured)

Dylan Clarke late in the draft who’s now playing seniors

Landed Smith for a bargain who promptly won the B&F in his first season and is now injured.

Landed Shiel

It’s not hindsight to say he has targeted mids and done fairly well. Yeah he missed a few... so has every club.

He didn’t move Langford into the midfield and hasn’t taken young mids and moved them forward either.
 

The Donners

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 26, 2007
12,778
656
Victoria
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Aston Villa
The midfield is always what’s pointed to but seriously...

McGrath was an elite junior mid and won the Rising Star in his first year

Parish had a cracker of first season and is now a fringe player

We plucked Merrett in the 20s who’s an All Australian

Laverde was hailed as having genuine big-bodied mid potential pre-draft - https://m.afl.com.au/news/2014-11-10/17-days-to-the-draft-meet-jayden-laverde - he’s basically been exclusively injured since he got to the club and even when he’s got out there, hasn’t been able to build a tank to play midfield. Now he seems to just sit in the goalsquare. Or plays reserves behind the likes of Myers and Baguley.

Begley was a contested mid / forward as a junior and stated pre-draft that’s what he wanted (“to play like Ollie Wines”)... he plays now as some weird undersized key forward (though of course has been injured)

Dylan Clarke late in the draft who’s now playing seniors

Landed Smith for a bargain who promptly won the B&F in his first season and is now injured.

Landed Shiel

It’s not hindsight to say he has targeted mids and done fairly well. Yeah he missed a few... so has every club.

He didn’t move Langford into the midfield and hasn’t taken young mids and moved them forward either.
I wouldn’t call Parish a fringe player. I think he’s proven he’s well and truly best 22.
 

boncer34

Inaugural Steward
Jul 11, 2005
41,942
42,463
Baghdad
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Melbourne Storm
The midfield is always what’s pointed to but seriously...

McGrath was an elite junior mid and won the Rising Star in his first year

Parish had a cracker of first season and is now a fringe player

We plucked Merrett in the 20s who’s an All Australian

Laverde was hailed as having genuine big-bodied mid potential pre-draft - https://m.afl.com.au/news/2014-11-10/17-days-to-the-draft-meet-jayden-laverde - he’s basically been exclusively injured since he got to the club and even when he’s got out there, hasn’t been able to build a tank to play midfield. Now he seems to just sit in the goalsquare. Or plays reserves behind the likes of Myers and Baguley.

Begley was a contested mid / forward as a junior and stated pre-draft that’s what he wanted (“to play like Ollie Wines”)... he plays now as some weird undersized key forward (though of course has been injured)

Dylan Clarke late in the draft who’s now playing seniors

Landed Smith for a bargain who promptly won the B&F in his first season and is now injured.

Landed Shiel

It’s not hindsight to say he has targeted mids and done fairly well. Yeah he missed a few... so has every club.

He didn’t move Langford into the midfield and hasn’t taken young mids and moved them forward either.
I could've landed McGrath and Smith/Shiel were proven AFL quality so I'm not patting him on the back for them.

Merrett was a good pick. Laverde had potential but it clearly says he played HB, Wing, HF in the article. What was wrong with picking a bloke that played inside mid instead of one that had potential?

Begley played primarily forward, again what was wrong with picking a player the played primarily a mid?

Clarke's a tagger with average disposal. Give me a crack at the draft, I'll find you a tagger no worries.


Hmm.... guess we're not better than that. 😂
 

calyam

Norm Smith Medallist
May 9, 2011
5,456
6,063
Melbourne
AFL Club
Essendon
The midfield is always what’s pointed to but seriously...

McGrath was an elite junior mid and won the Rising Star in his first year

Parish had a cracker of first season and is now a fringe player

We plucked Merrett in the 20s who’s an All Australian

Laverde was hailed as having genuine big-bodied mid potential pre-draft - https://m.afl.com.au/news/2014-11-10/17-days-to-the-draft-meet-jayden-laverde - he’s basically been exclusively injured since he got to the club and even when he’s got out there, hasn’t been able to build a tank to play midfield. Now he seems to just sit in the goalsquare. Or plays reserves behind the likes of Myers and Baguley.

Begley was a contested mid / forward as a junior and stated pre-draft that’s what he wanted (“to play like Ollie Wines”)... he plays now as some weird undersized key forward (though of course has been injured)

Dylan Clarke late in the draft who’s now playing seniors

Landed Smith for a bargain who promptly won the B&F in his first season and is now injured.

Landed Shiel

It’s not hindsight to say he has targeted mids and done fairly well. Yeah he missed and few... so has every club.

He didn’t move Langford into the midfield and hasn’t taken young mids and moved them forward either.
Focusing purely on talent, with little regard to fit, ignores much of what a good list manager does.

Is our salary cap best used on a half dozen under sized midfield types that all have similar strengths and deficiencies?

A good list manager develops a list capable of working together cohesively. It is not to simply stockpile raw talent.
 

Vander18

Club Legend
Apr 22, 2011
2,441
2,906
AFL Club
Essendon
I have to say I am looking at Dunkley and wondering WTF?

Wasn't even part of the discussion. Guy's the new JPK and it was always on the cards. Just a query about his kicking, ironically enough (given the quality of Parish's kicking).

Herein lies a genuine point of criticism. We always seem to avoid taking the beast.
Tend to think this is the only glaring gap in his drafting/recruiting over the last few years.

Seems like he doesn’t either understand or really value the inside/contested mid role. It’s a ******* terrifying place to play and not everyone has the psychological make up (Kav, NOB), physical traits (Kav again) or skills (Myers) to succeed there

Turning flankers into big mids is always unlikely - if they had the aggression, body, running ability and clean hands to do it, they’d have been most likely doing it as juniors. You might pull a rabbit out of the hat occasionally but it’s not a sustainable strategy.
 

Top Bottom