AFL Player #??: Garrett McDonagh - 8 years waiting to be drafted is over

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TheGrizz

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Sep 29, 2016
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If that is the case, it makes sooooo much more sense.

We may not have liked anyone left enough to give a 2 year deal to, so draft a guy on a 1 year deal who might contribute straight away but if he isn't up to it, he wont hold you back from opening up a list spot to match the Davey twins with picks.
 

Foxx

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Drafted to relieve Shiel of the whipping boy tag.
But at the very least he'd be handy to take the kick in duties, allowing Ridley and Redman to push a little further up. Jake Kelly will aid that too.
 

TheGreatBarryB

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A few of the more connected/astute posters here have mentioned that kicking efficiency was an issue the club is trying to address. The club was apparently pretty keen on Wanganeen-Milera for that reason.

Maybe there's a bit of a push on to have a group of players who can be trusted to nail long, attacking kicks.
Good article on how change of rules has placed more emphasis on kicking …

 

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Howard Moon

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Watching him it feels like that bloke we haven't had that always cuts us up.

We never have the quarterback like rich who loops round hits the target, loops again yet we let him get it 30 times. We have the running line break guy as a rule.

This could be good to have both, when they shut down hind we can go to option 2, far less predictable
 

Keystone agony

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Finally see the kick familiarity, its Josh Hunt

Bit of Daniel Rich aswell

We needed a rebounding half back as depth cover. I will wait to see him before commenting on his ability to win CP, beat his man and be tough. The video clips show he is.

What does Rich have that he hasnt got?

Cutler and Mcdonough as the depth (Durham aswell can easily be a HBF aswell imo). I think hes basically Hind or Redman cover.
 

Godzke

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3 years older than Dylan Clarke
a year younger than Marty Gleeson
Good luck to him but I doubt he'll ever play AFL for us
 

Godzke

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Clarke was categorically no good and Gleeson wasn’t the same player he was going to be 5 years earlier.
Again, 3 years younger than Mcdonagh and has at least played at AFL level
there is very little development upside to a 26yo who hasn't played at the top level before
 

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Zach Package

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Watching him it feels like that bloke we haven't had that always cuts us up.

We never have the quarterback like rich who loops round hits the target, loops again yet we let him get it 30 times. We have the running line break guy as a rule.

This could be good to have both, when they shut down hind we can go to option 2, far less predictable
Knows it too by the looks of his highlights, nothing is flat footed, it’s all receiving on the fly running past to take the extra ground.

Given we press so high another player like Redman who wants to overlap and can really punch the footy in hard and fast is unequivocally a need. Cannot tell you the amount of goals we gave up because of not just poor but shallow inside 50 entries which is a recipe for a 12 point turnaround.
 

RedmanWasHere

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Again, 3 years younger than Mcdonagh and has at least played at AFL level
there is very little development upside to a 26yo who hasn't played at the top level before

Where's this 26 year old nonsense coming from?

He'll turn 26 years old next year.

He's 25 now.

He was born in 1996.
 

Keystone agony

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I also dont think redmans spot is safe

It probably was without this recruitment, which is why hes required
 

MiguelM

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Again, 3 years younger than Mcdonagh and has at least played at AFL level
there is very little development upside to a 26yo who hasn't played at the top level before
26 is in his prime. Coaches obviously see something they like.

Marlon Pickett was 27 on debut.
 

I Remember Bluey

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AFL Draft 2021: Essendon pulls off significant surprise by picking up 25-year-old Garrett McDonagh
New Bombers mature-age recruit Garrett McDonagh sacrificed plenty to get his chance at the highest level, including one of the more unusual choices to ensure his body was right.

Jay Clark


New Bomber Garrett McDonagh sold up his things and had given up on his AFL dream at the end of 2018.
The dashing half-back with the rocket left foot had played in a flag at West Preston-Lakeside that year and wanted to pursue a punting career in the United States with Nathan Chapman’s ProKick.

AFL recruiters, McDonagh thought, weren’t interested after overlooking him at the national draft a few years earlier.


But when things fell through with the punting overseas, and his local footy club started the next season in 2019 losing its first six games, the call to McDonagh was made.

It was a phone call that would ignite an extraordinary footy comeback that led to the 25-year-old plumber getting taken by the Bombers at pick No. 50 in one of the most joyous storylines to come out of Thursday night’s national draft.

McDonagh steered West Preston to back-to-back flags upon his return in 2019, and then caught the Bombers’ eye rebounding the ball with deadly accuracy in Richmond’s VFL team this year.

He spent his days getting up at 4.30am to go to the gym, and get treatment on his body to get on top of some injury issues, before starting work at his full-time plumbing job every day. Then he’d train at night.

Even though he had effectively given up on his AFL ambitions after breaking his wrist in 2018, McDonagh’s persistence and resilience has most certainly paid off.


“I had broken my scaphoid and there was a period where I was really weighing up what I wanted to do with my life,” McDonagh said.

“An opportunity came up in punting (American football) and I always had it in the back of my mind that at some stage I wanted to give the punting a crack.

“But I kept training with West Preston and then really focused on getting my body right and doing the yoga and pilates and spending money on that, rather than buying new clothes.

“So I really knuckled down, and yeah, as a plumber they were definitely long days to get to the gym or get treatment before work.

“But it has all paid off and I’m just so grateful for Essendon for giving me this opportunity and Richmond for helping me get there.”

McDonagh didn’t have a manager when he wrote to club list managers a few weeks ago, saying how much he was prepared to make the most of any opportunity. Just like he is on the field, McDonagh got proactive.

And Essendon was one of the clubs to respond, having watched him closely throughout the season, noting the link man’s damaging rebound game.


The Bombers think they’ve found another gem, after striking gold with Nick Hind in last year’s trade period.

It is a club on the up.

“We thought he (McDonagh) was the best player outside the AFL,” list boss Adrian Dodoro said.

“He is an elite kick, he has high endurance, and we feel he was ready to play league footy.

“He is a ripper kid, and he is going to play.”

The Bombers want to see the ready-to-go linebreaker push for early selection next season, using his weaving run and precise foots kills to capitalise on the ‘stand’ rule in 2022.

For West Preston, McDonagh’s overlapping run and long goals are legendary.

On the big stage, he was best on ground in the 2019 preliminary final (kicking the match winning goal) and then got the votes in the grand final the following week.

Vice president Gino Nardella said the popular playmaker deserved the chance to play at the top level.

“We had given up on him (playing at West Preston in 2019) because he had sold his car and everything and was off to do the punting thing in America,” Nardella said.

“But it didn’t work out and he pulled the pin on it and ended up coming back to us and helped us win that flag coming back from 0-6.

“He changed the whole dynamic of the side.

“He has a booming left foot kick, it is next level. It’s graceful, it looks easy and it is as good as anything out there.


“Anytime he has the ball, you just knew you were going to get out of trouble.”

At Tullamarine, the man who started out at Northern Knights and enjoyed stints at Northern Blues and Coburg, will form a damaging partnership across half back with new teammates Hind, former Crow Jake Kelly and Jordan Ridley.

But on Friday night, he stepped behind the bar at West Preston to honour a volunteering commitment to pour drinks at a teammate’s 18th birthday.

Come Monday, it’s time to begin pre-season training for an opportunity he’s worked at for more than seven years.

Understandably, he’s over the moon.

“I’m still trying to get back to all the messages,” McDonagh said.


“I thought maybe I might get a chance in the rookie draft or even just as a train-on player.

“To go in the national draft, and have this chance, it is just an absolute honour.”
 

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