Coach Ben Rutten: Senior Coach

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11kgm

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Sep 24, 2014
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Essendon will enjoy its first season under Ben Rutten after his co-coach John Worsfold finished up at the end of 2020.

Will a single voice be better for the Bombers heading into this year?

With a long list of key outs, it provides opportunity for a new generation of players to make their mark in the red and black.

INS:
Cody Brand (draft), Jye Caldwell (GWS), Nik Cox (draft), Josh Eyre (draft), Nick Hind (St Kilda), Archie Perkins (draft), Zach Reid (draft), Peter Wright (Gold Coast).

OUTS:
Traded:
Joe Daniher (Brisbane), Orazio Fantasia (Port Adelaide), Shaun McKernan (St Kilda), Adam Saad (Carlton).
Delisted: Josh Begley, Henry Crauford, Noah Gown, Mitch Hibberd, Kobe Mutch, Jacob Townsend.
Retired: Tom Bellchambers, Conor McKenna.

COACH STATUS

After a much-publicised succession plan and 12 months under the tutelage of John Worsfold (and six seasons prior to that as an assistant coach at both Richmond and the Bombers), Ben Rutten will finally step into Essendon’s head coaching role, on a three-year deal.

He will be given time to settle in.

GAME PLAN

New head coach. New game plan. And Rutten has declared his game plan will centre around the Bombers turning themselves into “blue-collar” workers.

Rutten told the Essendon faithful via the club’s website: “I think for me, (the important thing for) this footy club is about being a really strong blue-collar footy side.

“I want us to be disciplined on and off the field. I want us to have a really strong work ethic and I want us to be a dependable footy club, that’s the basis for any high-performing environment or organisation.

“I’d love nothing more than for our supporters and our members to be able to turn up to the footy each week and know what they’re going to get from the Essendon Football Club.”

It seems he might also be keen to alter their defensive structure, which they held deep in 2020.

“I want to defend in a way that’s going to complement the way we want to move the ball and score as well,” Rutten said.

“Ultimately, I want to have a really strong and well-balanced game of footy between defence and attack and I know our players have got a really strong appetite for the contest.”

TRADE TABLE REPORT

Wasn’t the worst trade period of the AFL teams this year, but certainly wasn’t the best.

The Bombers were hoping to add Western Bulldogs’ midfielder Josh Dunkley to their list, but weren’t willing to give up any future first round draft picks, so they missed out on the ball-getter.

However, they did manage to land the tall Peter Wright, developing mid Jye Caldwell and then Nick Hind will bring speed with him.

Their three outs – Daniher, Saad and Fantasia – are big outs however in terms of X-factor and experience.

THEIR 2020 DRAFT HAUL

Going into December’s draft, the Bombers held draft picks: 6, 7, 8, 44, 77, 85, 87, which was a very nice hand.

After being pushed back in the order on the night because of two earlier matched bids by Western Bulldogs and Sydney, Essendon picked up defender Nik Cox (no. 8), midfielder Archie Perkins (No. 9) and defender Zach Reid (No. 10), while also matching Richmond’s bid for their NGA key forward Josh Eyre (No. 39) and then matching the Bulldogs’ bid for their NGA defender Cody Brand (No. 53).

PLAYERS THEY CAN REINVENT

DYSON HEPPELL

With Saad and Conor McKenna gone, the Bombers will be looking to someone like Heppell to help steer traffic and chances are fans could see him shift to a wing or a back flank to help take some of the enormous load off the shoulders of Devon Smith.

AARON FRANCIS

Here’s a key defender who needs to become a prime intercepting backman.

In 2020, he played eight games, averaging a touch over nine disposals a game, and two rebound 50s per game.

But his talent is untapped.

Perhaps “the Truck” will be able to harness it.

ZACH MERRETT

Possibly the player Essendon needs to reinvent the most is their midfielder Zach Merrett.

The 25-year-old is coming into free agency at the end of the 2021 season, and for him to recommit to the black and red will likely require a year that proves to him why he should stay.

Perhaps having a clear game plan, untethered from two competing coaches, will help that.

READY TO TAKE THE NEXT STEP

Young defender Brandon Zerk-Thatcher needs to be given a real chance to prove himself at AFL level.
In 2020, the 22-year-old played 10 games, averaging eight disposals, and two contested possessions, he’s one who needs to be blooded in 2021.

BEST 22 FOR NEXT SEASON

B: Matt Guelfi, Michael Hurley, Aaron Francis
HB: Mason Redman, Brandon Zerk-Thatcher, Jordan Ridley
C: Dyson Heppell, Andrew McGrath, Jye Caldwell
HF: Darcy Parish, Jake Stringer, Kyle Langford
F: Devon Smith, Peter Wright, Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti
Foll: Sam Draper, Dylan Shiel, Zach Merrett
Inter: David Zaharakis, Patrick Ambrose, Jayden Laverde, Nick Hind

CHAMPION DATA SAYS

The pluses of their game in 2020 were that they averaged 24.4 points per game from defensive-half chains, ranked fourth in the league.

They also ranked second for metres gained by handball, behind Richmond.

But their minuses were many: ranked 16th for post-clearance pressure factor of 166; ranked 17th for points from forward-half intercept possessions, 16th for points from forward-half chains and 15th for scores per inside 50 across 2020.

Their contest work is also an issue, ranked 15th for contested possession differential and 18th for post-clearance contested possession diff.

Good: Ball movement dropped compared to 2019 but was still higher than the AFL average. They ranked fifth for points generated from a defensive half chain and seventh for generating an inside 50 from a defensive midfield chain.

Bad: Bombers ranked 14th for time in forward half differential and 17th for both turnovers created in their forward half and points generated from a forward half chain.

Going off those numbers, finals footy in 2021 will be long way off for Essendon in 2021.

Last five finishes:

2020 13th, 2019 8th, 2018 11th, 2017 7th, 2016 18th

More Coverage

Ben Rutten will finally step into Essendon’s head coaching role, on a three-year deal.

TAB odds:

Premiership odds: $67
 

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Lore

Moderator ❀
Dec 14, 2015
21,753
27,628
AFL Club
Essendon
OUTS:
Traded:
Joe Daniher (Brisbane), Orazio Fantasia (Port Adelaide), Shaun McKernan (St Kilda), Adam Saad (Carlton).
Delisted: Josh Begley, Henry Crauford, Noah Gown, Mitch Hibberd, Kobe Mutch , Jacob Townsend .
Retired: Tom Bellchambers , Conor McKenna.
Should say:

Free Agency: Joe Daniher (Brisbane)
Traded: Orazio Fantasia (Port Adelaide), Adam Saad (Carlton).
Delisted: Shaun McKernan (DFA to St Kilda), Jacob Townsend (rookied by Gold Coast), Martin Gleeson (rookied by Essendon), Dylan Clarke (rookied by Essendon), Josh Begley, Henry Crauford, Noah Gown, Mitch Hibberd, Kobe Mutch.
Retired: Tom Bellchambers, Conor McKenna, Ross McQuillan.
 

11kgm

Premium Platinum
Sep 24, 2014
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AFL Club
Essendon
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Man Utd
Should say:

Free Agency: Joe Daniher (Brisbane)
Traded: Orazio Fantasia (Port Adelaide), Adam Saad (Carlton).
Delisted: Shaun McKernan (DFA to St Kilda), Jacob Townsend (rookied by Gold Coast), Martin Gleeson (rookied by Essendon), Dylan Clarke (rookied by Essendon), Josh Begley, Henry Crauford, Noah Gown, Mitch Hibberd, Kobe Mutch.
Retired: Tom Bellchambers, Conor McKenna, Ross McQuillan.
It's the Hun not the best article sadly
 

Falcon27

Club Legend
Sep 8, 2015
1,042
1,175
AFL Club
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Essendon will enjoy its first season under Ben Rutten after his co-coach John Worsfold finished up at the end of 2020.

Will a single voice be better for the Bombers heading into this year?

With a long list of key outs, it provides opportunity for a new generation of players to make their mark in the red and black.

INS:
Cody Brand (draft), Jye Caldwell (GWS), Nik Cox (draft), Josh Eyre (draft), Nick Hind (St Kilda), Archie Perkins (draft), Zach Reid (draft), Peter Wright (Gold Coast).

OUTS:
Traded:
Joe Daniher (Brisbane), Orazio Fantasia (Port Adelaide), Shaun McKernan (St Kilda), Adam Saad (Carlton).
Delisted: Josh Begley, Henry Crauford, Noah Gown, Mitch Hibberd, Kobe Mutch, Jacob Townsend.
Retired: Tom Bellchambers, Conor McKenna.

COACH STATUS

After a much-publicised succession plan and 12 months under the tutelage of John Worsfold (and six seasons prior to that as an assistant coach at both Richmond and the Bombers), Ben Rutten will finally step into Essendon’s head coaching role, on a three-year deal.

He will be given time to settle in.

GAME PLAN

New head coach. New game plan. And Rutten has declared his game plan will centre around the Bombers turning themselves into “blue-collar” workers.

Rutten told the Essendon faithful via the club’s website: “I think for me, (the important thing for) this footy club is about being a really strong blue-collar footy side.

“I want us to be disciplined on and off the field. I want us to have a really strong work ethic and I want us to be a dependable footy club, that’s the basis for any high-performing environment or organisation.

“I’d love nothing more than for our supporters and our members to be able to turn up to the footy each week and know what they’re going to get from the Essendon Football Club.”

It seems he might also be keen to alter their defensive structure, which they held deep in 2020.

“I want to defend in a way that’s going to complement the way we want to move the ball and score as well,” Rutten said.

“Ultimately, I want to have a really strong and well-balanced game of footy between defence and attack and I know our players have got a really strong appetite for the contest.”

TRADE TABLE REPORT

Wasn’t the worst trade period of the AFL teams this year, but certainly wasn’t the best.

The Bombers were hoping to add Western Bulldogs’ midfielder Josh Dunkley to their list, but weren’t willing to give up any future first round draft picks, so they missed out on the ball-getter.

However, they did manage to land the tall Peter Wright, developing mid Jye Caldwell and then Nick Hind will bring speed with him.

Their three outs – Daniher, Saad and Fantasia – are big outs however in terms of X-factor and experience.

THEIR 2020 DRAFT HAUL

Going into December’s draft, the Bombers held draft picks: 6, 7, 8, 44, 77, 85, 87, which was a very nice hand.

After being pushed back in the order on the night because of two earlier matched bids by Western Bulldogs and Sydney, Essendon picked up defender Nik Cox (no. 8), midfielder Archie Perkins (No. 9) and defender Zach Reid (No. 10), while also matching Richmond’s bid for their NGA key forward Josh Eyre (No. 39) and then matching the Bulldogs’ bid for their NGA defender Cody Brand (No. 53).

PLAYERS THEY CAN REINVENT

DYSON HEPPELL

With Saad and Conor McKenna gone, the Bombers will be looking to someone like Heppell to help steer traffic and chances are fans could see him shift to a wing or a back flank to help take some of the enormous load off the shoulders of Devon Smith.

AARON FRANCIS

Here’s a key defender who needs to become a prime intercepting backman.

In 2020, he played eight games, averaging a touch over nine disposals a game, and two rebound 50s per game.

But his talent is untapped.

Perhaps “the Truck” will be able to harness it.

ZACH MERRETT

Possibly the player Essendon needs to reinvent the most is their midfielder Zach Merrett.

The 25-year-old is coming into free agency at the end of the 2021 season, and for him to recommit to the black and red will likely require a year that proves to him why he should stay.

Perhaps having a clear game plan, untethered from two competing coaches, will help that.

READY TO TAKE THE NEXT STEP

Young defender Brandon Zerk-Thatcher needs to be given a real chance to prove himself at AFL level.
In 2020, the 22-year-old played 10 games, averaging eight disposals, and two contested possessions, he’s one who needs to be blooded in 2021.

BEST 22 FOR NEXT SEASON

B: Matt Guelfi, Michael Hurley, Aaron Francis
HB: Mason Redman, Brandon Zerk-Thatcher, Jordan Ridley
C: Dyson Heppell, Andrew McGrath, Jye Caldwell
HF: Darcy Parish, Jake Stringer, Kyle Langford
F: Devon Smith, Peter Wright, Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti
Foll: Sam Draper, Dylan Shiel, Zach Merrett
Inter: David Zaharakis, Patrick Ambrose, Jayden Laverde, Nick Hind

CHAMPION DATA SAYS

The pluses of their game in 2020 were that they averaged 24.4 points per game from defensive-half chains, ranked fourth in the league.

They also ranked second for metres gained by handball, behind Richmond.

But their minuses were many: ranked 16th for post-clearance pressure factor of 166; ranked 17th for points from forward-half intercept possessions, 16th for points from forward-half chains and 15th for scores per inside 50 across 2020.

Their contest work is also an issue, ranked 15th for contested possession differential and 18th for post-clearance contested possession diff.

Good: Ball movement dropped compared to 2019 but was still higher than the AFL average. They ranked fifth for points generated from a defensive half chain and seventh for generating an inside 50 from a defensive midfield chain.

Bad: Bombers ranked 14th for time in forward half differential and 17th for both turnovers created in their forward half and points generated from a forward half chain.

Going off those numbers, finals footy in 2021 will be long way off for Essendon in 2021.

Last five finishes:

2020 13th, 2019 8th, 2018 11th, 2017 7th, 2016 18th

More Coverage

Ben Rutten will finally step into Essendon’s head coaching role, on a three-year deal.

TAB odds:

Premiership odds: $67
No Hooker in best 22!!
 

ant555

The Oracle
May 4, 2004
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I am over the "big" outs. I understand that Joe and Raz can be great players for their new clubs but that was not happening for us and had not happened much in 3 seasons. I also doubt very much things would have turned around if they stayed. They needed the change to try an get their careers back on track.
 

owen87

Norm Smith Medallist
Apr 23, 2016
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AFL Club
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I am over the "big" outs. I understand that Joe and Raz can be great players for their new clubs but that was not happening for us and had not happened much in 3 seasons. I also doubt very much things would have turned around if they stayed. They needed the change to try an get their careers back on track.
Daniher kicked around 23 goals across the last 3 seasons... combined.

So whilst on talent Wright may not be a Daniher, on output he's well and truly capable of improving on what we've had.

Also probably a good move for Daniher to go somewhere that doesn't need him.
 

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