List Mgmt. Senior Coach: John Worsfold

Mercurial89

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 20, 2011
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Essendon
Article on the AFL website about momentum, momentum swings and which clubs do well and badly on that.

The "team defence" related stats given for Essendon are;
6 five goal runs conceded this year, which is equal 6th most (worst) in the league. Teams that are worse than us in this area: Melbourne, North, Carlton, Gold Coast, St Kilda. We're tied with the Bulldogs and Richmond. Elite company...
21 three goal runs conceded this year, equal 5th most (worst) in the league. North, Carlton, Melbourne, Brisbane ahead of us. Tied with GC, Bulldogs, Sydney, Hawthorn.

The "team offence" stats they provided are (hampered obviously by our decimated forward line, but nonetheless);
2 five goal runs executed by us this year. 6th least, with Sydney, Melbourne, St Kilda, Gold Coast below us with 1 and Port with 0.
18 three-goal runs executed by us this year. That's 8th (dead centre of the pack). We're tied with North, Freo and Hawthorn.


Clearly an area of deficiency, to get and maintain forward momentum, capitalise on it and prevent the opponent from turning the tide against you. I think that comes back to consistency, ability to think on your feet and our on-field leadership. We can't expect the coach to single-handedly force the team to switch strategies mid-quarter, they need to be coached so that they can do it themselves, and fast. It's the kind of thing that James Kelly was exceptionally good at it most recently, but he retired in 2017. Perhaps he can be better utilised as a coach to teach these concepts.

It also highlights how important free kicks can be, when they help to turn the momentum of a game. It's not the number of them that matters, but where, when and with what frequency. Three in succession mid-quarter can quickly turn the momentum, while three at the end of a quarter is unlikely to have a significant impact. That'd be an interesting stat actually. A timeline with free kicks and scoring labeled on it. We all know it happens, but if you can prove it, it becomes damning.
I can think of a few opposition goal bursts that have flown on from highly contentious umpiring decisions.
 

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TheGrizz

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Sep 29, 2016
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The more I think about it the more I feel we need to clear out the footy department.
We can start with the fitness staff.

Way too many recurring injuries (see Joe, Fanta) and we have looked sluggish for the first month of every year Justin Crow has been in charge.

I dont know how much of the latter is split between coaching and fitness staff but our current pre-season program evidentally isnt working.
 

quotemokc

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Jul 19, 2008
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I can think of a few opposition goal bursts that have flown on from highly contentious umpiring decisions.
If we could actually keep the ball in our forward line we might get a few more goals from free kicks...
 

JayJ20

Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 28, 2016
9,459
13,143
AFL Club
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Article on the AFL website about momentum, momentum swings and which clubs do well and badly on that.

The "team defence" related stats given for Essendon are;
6 five goal runs conceded this year, which is equal 6th most (worst) in the league. Teams that are worse than us in this area: Melbourne, North, Carlton, Gold Coast, St Kilda. We're tied with the Bulldogs and Richmond. Elite company...
21 three goal runs conceded this year, equal 5th most (worst) in the league. North, Carlton, Melbourne, Brisbane ahead of us. Tied with GC, Bulldogs, Sydney, Hawthorn.

The "team offence" stats they provided are (hampered obviously by our decimated forward line, but nonetheless);
2 five goal runs executed by us this year. 6th least, with Sydney, Melbourne, St Kilda, Gold Coast below us with 1 and Port with 0.
18 three-goal runs executed by us this year. That's 8th (dead centre of the pack). We're tied with North, Freo and Hawthorn.


Clearly an area of deficiency, to get and maintain forward momentum, capitalise on it and prevent the opponent from turning the tide against you. I think that comes back to consistency, ability to think on your feet and our on-field leadership. We can't expect the coach to single-handedly force the team to switch strategies mid-quarter, they need to be coached so that they can do it themselves, and fast. It's the kind of thing that James Kelly was exceptionally good at it most recently, but he retired in 2017. Perhaps he can be better utilised as a coach to teach these concepts.

It also highlights how important free kicks can be, when they help to turn the momentum of a game. It's not the number of them that matters, but where, when and with what frequency. Three in succession mid-quarter can quickly turn the momentum, while three at the end of a quarter is unlikely to have a significant impact. That'd be an interesting stat actually. A timeline with free kicks and scoring labeled on it. We all know it happens, but if you can prove it, it becomes damning.
I was thinking of this actually. While our defence has improved, our defensive lapses are costly.

We’re top 6 (best) for scores conceded, but bottom 6 (worst) defence for momentum swing against us. Our scores for matches the offensive stat. Bottom 6 for both.
 

Shanghaistu

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May 8, 2018
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We can start with the fitness staff.

Way too many recurring injuries (see Joe, Fanta) and we have looked sluggish for the first month of every year Justin Crow has been in charge.

I dont know how much of the latter is split between coaching and fitness staff but our current pre-season program evidentally isnt working.
We have a pre-season program? :think:
 

the PILL

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Jul 29, 2007
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It's ridiculously obvious we have a mental strength problem.

The same pattern keeps forming. We propaganda our selves to death, get smacked, panic and then lift too late...

I've been banging on about this for ages now that we need a performance pyscoligist for a while.

Emma Murray or someone similar in the same line of work etc.
 

Dave

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The Donners

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I agree we can't risk another start like this one, but I'm not sure how we mitigate that risk without creating others. Surely there is a risk inherent with any new coach that we would then start yet another rebuild? Or develop yet another game plan? What are the risks associated with those things?

If our only issue is with the leadership and motivation of the players, perhaps we need to be looking at getting the coach we have to change, or whichever of Luke Ball and the other coaching assistants/wellbeing staff is in charge of that stuff. I don't want to end up with a Collective Minds type mob at Essendon, since I don't think they did Adelaide much good when they tried it, but there must be something we can do short of the baby and bathwater approach.


I remember someone around here saying a while ago that they thought we should be putting more into the psychological aspect of the game, mentally strong etc. Was it you Mercurial89?

Improving our mental and physical conditioning would go a long way towards resolving the issues we have, I think.
I would assume a prospective coach would have a game plan proposal as part of their interview based on where they believe our list is at and making the most of our strengths and mitigating (I.e. trading for an inside beast) our weaknesses.

I don’t have a great deal of faith in our more recent coaching selection panels.
 

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Old Campaigner

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Nov 22, 2012
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Interesting.

I'm never sure if we're under achieving with our list or if the media are constantly over rating our list because we're a big club and nuffy fans lap that s**t up.
 

Lore

Dec 14, 2015
14,191
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Player perspective from Zaka, just the quotes.

There's more to the article about finals chances and career mortality, running out of time etc. This is the bit specifically about Worsfold:
"His strength is that his demeanour doesn't change - he flatlines every week and it's just about the process whether we win or lose and it's great the players see that consistency,"

"It's probably only the last year and a half that he's been able to establish his group,"

"From the start of 2018, that's when the group that he moulded and put together has really started to come together."

It seems that the interpretation of "a year and a half" is that we were coming out the other side of a list rebuild at that point, and have had the core group together since then (the year we got Saad, Stringer and Smith).

Looking at the list in 2017... these guys played more than 70% of their available games (not injured etc):

David Zaharakis
Joe Daniher
Dyson Heppell
Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti
Brendon Goddard - retired
Zach Merrett
Travis Colyer - traded
Mark Baguley - no longer best 22
Michael Hurley
Andrew McGrath
Cale Hooker
Darcy Parish
Orazio Fantasia
Jobe Watson - retired
James Kelly - retired
Josh Green - delisted
Patrick Ambrose
Jayden Laverde
Conor McKenna
David Myers - no longer best 22
Martin Gleeson
Michael Hartley - no longer best 22
James Stewart - no longer best 22
Mitch Brown - possibly not best 22, though with injuries it's hard to tell what our preferences are in the forward line
Tom Bellchambers

So 10 changes to the best 22 (yes there are 25 above) in the last 18 months.
 

Lore

Dec 14, 2015
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What player isn't going to back their coach in to the media?

This whole only managing Essendon for 18 months business seriously is idiotic though.
Of course he is. But at least he’s given us some sort of reasoning about how they’ve got to that number. Seemed pretty arbitrary the first time I heard it.
 

Red Black and Blue

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I'm never sure if we're under achieving with our list or if the media are constantly over rating our list because we're a big club and nuffy fans lap that **** up.
Spot on. We aren’t that talented. A grade defence, but bottom handful for midfields and without Daniher and Fantasia fit our forward line isn’t that crash either.
 

Rezzzz

Draftee
Jul 20, 2012
15
9
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Essendon
Player perspective from Zaka, just the quotes.

There's more to the article about finals chances and career mortality, running out of time etc. This is the bit specifically about Worsfold:


It seems that the interpretation of "a year and a half" is that we were coming out the other side of a list rebuild at that point, and have had the core group together since then (the year we got Saad, Stringer and Smith).

Looking at the list in 2017... these guys played more than 70% of their available games (not injured etc):

David Zaharakis
Joe Daniher
Dyson Heppell
Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti
Brendon Goddard - retired
Zach Merrett
Travis Colyer - traded
Mark Baguley - no longer best 22
Michael Hurley
Andrew McGrath
Cale Hooker
Darcy Parish
Orazio Fantasia
Jobe Watson - retired
James Kelly - retired
Josh Green - delisted
Patrick Ambrose
Jayden Laverde
Conor McKenna
David Myers - no longer best 22
Martin Gleeson
Michael Hartley - no longer best 22
James Stewart - no longer best 22
Mitch Brown - possibly not best 22, though with injuries it's hard to tell what our preferences are in the forward line
Tom Bellchambers

So 10 changes to the best 22 (yes there are 25 above) in the last 18 months.
You delist josh green at your own peril
 

Mercurial89

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 20, 2011
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Of course he is. But at least he’s given us some sort of reasoning about how they’ve got to that number. Seemed pretty arbitrary the first time I heard it.
I think its actually solid reasoning. General speak is a rebuild of 4 years, think clarko is on record of saying that. We had two of the years Worsfold was here as what you could probably call "not the norm".
Club was obviously also an absolute complete basketcase and coming off a decade of entrenched mediocre practices. We aren't just rebuilding a list we have been attempting to rebuild a club.
Again I get back to people and this industry being impatient.

I think if it were up to me over the next few rounds I'd -

- start review of footy department and fitness group now with a general review of the entire club but focus on the former two mainly.
-discuss booking surgeries, get club in place for day 1 of pre season, exposing players to senior team new roles etc. Start investigating and building up Raz to last a full season. Use the next 9 rounds really productively.

-dont get involved too much in off season, stay out of the news cycle. No big trades, hit the draft keep our noses clean and knuckle down focusing on 2020
-keep Worsfold for the last year of his contract with no guarantees but also no in the background deals or sounding out of replacements. Keep a strong front. Remove majority of current coaching group and aggressively pursue line and development coaches around the league. I'd keep Kelly in for mids and Rutten, all else are gone. I'd also revamp fitness department, do your overseas fact finding etc.
-start implementing a team to work with the players on the mental side of this sport. This group appear to have a massive issue between the ears not the talent side of things. Worsfold may not be getting the best out of them because he is too level, which is good that it has smoothed out our erratic performance in bringing our lows up but it's taken the highs away aswell. Many point to it as a good thing, while that may be the case I think it has robbed us of our flair. The talk is fit your game plan to your list, don't force it on a group. Whilst I think we have largely done that I don't think our approach to arousal is the best for this group, it may not push the right motivational buttons for some players, doesn't mean it's the wrong approach but it may mean that additional assistance is required. I think the evidence is there that the mental application or arousal of players is a weak spot at this club.

-seek outside advice on leadership, togetherness, coaching and football department structures. Fitness regimes, injury prevention and management I'm talking search the globe for this stuff. (I know this already happens to a degree)

Treat the situation as similar to the Buckley and Richmond examples. Buckley had a very public goal of finals or he is gone and didn't make it, the review backed him but provided the support and he also changed and they haven't looked back. I envy how strong Collingwood are on this stuff, probably comes from having an incredibly strong off field group. Went against media and public scrutiny. I doubt this club can do or would do this type of thing.
Richmond also had a large pressure from external influencers and "supporters" to change and ignored them. Again something this club should do but personally feel it lacks the guts to. Thesw influencers are one of the reasons I feel we will always struggle in the modern era however I understand it's what makes our club brand strong, I personally hate it.

Of course there are similarities im not suggesting they are identical.situations but there are lessons to be learnt nonetheless.

If we fail next year we can look back and say we tried everything to succeed with the group and coach, let's start the coaching search etc with no bad blood of parties being axed mid contract, no payouts and no politics.
We tried, we failed, let's clean house.

Do it properly.
 

BrunoV

Brownlow Medallist
May 5, 2009
15,406
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Essendon
Player perspective from Zaka, just the quotes.

There's more to the article about finals chances and career mortality, running out of time etc. This is the bit specifically about Worsfold:


It seems that the interpretation of "a year and a half" is that we were coming out the other side of a list rebuild at that point, and have had the core group together since then (the year we got Saad, Stringer and Smith).

Looking at the list in 2017... these guys played more than 70% of their available games (not injured etc):

David Zaharakis
Joe Daniher
Dyson Heppell
Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti
Brendon Goddard - retired
Zach Merrett
Travis Colyer - traded
Mark Baguley - no longer best 22
Michael Hurley
Andrew McGrath
Cale Hooker
Darcy Parish
Orazio Fantasia
Jobe Watson - retired
James Kelly - retired
Josh Green - delisted
Patrick Ambrose
Jayden Laverde
Conor McKenna
David Myers - no longer best 22
Martin Gleeson
Michael Hartley - no longer best 22
James Stewart - no longer best 22
Mitch Brown - possibly not best 22, though with injuries it's hard to tell what our preferences are in the forward line
Tom Bellchambers

So 10 changes to the best 22 (yes there are 25 above) in the last 18 months.

Wonder how this compares with Geelong and WCE.

Zaharakis is also chief propagandist.

You want someone to say something positive in the media, Zaharakis is your man. He believes it all.

He's still drawing a distinction between rounds 1 and 2. The distinction insofar aa it is even worth mentioning is delusional.
This is our only 200 game player and he's been through 3 era of delusion.
 
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rumply

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Wonder how this compares with Geelong and WCE.

Zaharakis is also chief propagandist.

You want someone to say something positive in the media, Zaharakis is your man. He believes it all.

He's still drawing a distinction between rounds 1 and 2. The distinction insofar aa it is even worth mentioning is delusiona
This is our only 200 game player and he's been through 3 era of delusion.
 

Lore

Dec 14, 2015
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It would be more worrying if the club had lost the players and not done anything about it.

The issue is, what lines has the club asked him to say? Not what does Zaka believe about the club.

He’s had 3.5 years. But when he took over he didn’t inherit a premiership contending list. He inherited a basket case that might’ve been a contender 3 years earlier (we’ll never know), and within 3 months the best players in that basket case were suspended. When those players came back they were a different beast mentally to what we had now. They were hardened against media nonsense, they’d have to be to still be able to play after everything that happened. Meanwhile about 3/4 of the list has been turned over in the last few years.

So I think as far as that’s concerned 2016/2017 weren’t wasted, but the on-field results back then are not a reflection of the playing group we have now.

Probably an element of truth to it as with most things. Whether it’s enough remains to be seen. Certainly Bigfooty doesn’t think so, but bigfooty isn’t making the call.
 

rumply

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I've had a nagging suspicion for a while that the club won't truly be able to move forward until all involved in the saga have moved on. We'd all love for the suspended players still here to win a flag but maybe that's just not a realistic expectation.
 

SydneyBomber

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Apr 28, 2001
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I've had a nagging suspicion for a while that the club won't truly be able to move forward until all involved in the saga have moved on. We'd all love for the suspended players still here to win a flag but maybe that's just not a realistic expectation.
Yep this unfortunately
 
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