List Mgmt. Talk about the makeup of our list (and overall list management)

Old Campaigner

Premium Gold
Nov 22, 2012
8,810
9,129
AFL Club
Essendon
Originally went to post this in Clarke’s thread, but it probably belongs here.

The ruck situation really is a lesson in poor list management, let’s be honest.

I remember the rule was always you don’t go into a season without four ruckmen, because their form can be hot and cold (hard to recover when they’re in a slump) and they have a habit of getting hurt (hardly surprising given the crash and bash nature of the role).

We went in with three... the first two got hurt and Clarke is a long way off the level required.

Such was the poor decision in recruiting Clarke, it’s really like we’ve gone into the season with two ruckmen. Both of whom are now predictably injured.

There’s no way you can count McKernan as a ruckman given our shortage of key forwards, which we should have known with Daniher coming off a major injury - that’s now flared again.

We have to play Clarke right now, not sure we have another option.

With Bellchambers possibly retiring, Clarke not up to it and Draper maybe going, we could conceivably be in the market for four rucks this off season. At least three.

We need:

#1 Ruck: I’m not sure it’s Bellchambers any more, in which case we’ll need a genuine AFL ruckman who can step in Round 1.

The Next In Line: could potentially be #1 in 2020. Hopefully it’s Draper, if he leaves we need another.

The Emergency Option: at the moment it’s Clarke... though we probably should replace him with someone better

The Project: young ruck we can bring through. Don’t have one at the moment.
I think the list management with regard to rucks was fine. No one during the trade/draft period last year would have expected our stocks of talls to have been decimated the way they have been. Do we start going into a season with 4 rucks to provide backup in case Bellchambers gets injured again? Seems like a lot of list spots to cover one spot in the senior side. Then you have issues with an AFL standard back up ruck wanting games and asking to be traded.

If we had someone vaguely competent as backup instead of Clarke we probably wouldn't be having this conversation, however he was the best available at the time so we're stuck with him until Bellchambers is healthy again.

Best we can hope for over the next handful of games is for Clarke to build in confidence and show a bit of improvement.
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

Zach Package

Kyle Langfourd
Sep 21, 2012
24,026
32,741
Parish, Francis
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Piggy Smith, SFG, Heat, Raiders
Originally went to post this in Clarke’s thread, but it probably belongs here.

The ruck situation really is a lesson in poor list management, let’s be honest.
Is it though? We entered the year with 3 genuine ruckmen and 4 blokes made for the backup/chop out role, and as of right now Clarke is the only one to have not missed significant time due to injury. Sometimes there are just too many injuries no matter how many you have.

When we were looking for a backup ruckman at the end of last year the things I was after were AFL experience, a capable enough reserves forward to not impinge on Draper’s development and take time from him and is someone that’s probably just content to be in the league and happy to be a frequent travelling emergency and bit part player and Clarke is all of that. He made a lot of sense on paper.

Could argue poor talent identification because Clarke doesn’t look great but I don’t buy that it’s poor list management, very few clubs roll with more than 3 specialist ruckmen on a list.
 

TheGrizz

Club Legend
Sep 29, 2016
2,478
3,052
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Bayern Munich
Is it though? We entered the year with 3 genuine ruckmen and 4 blokes made for the backup/chop out role, and as of right now Clarke is the only one to have not missed significant time due to injury. Sometimes there are just too many injuries no matter how many you have.

When we were looking for a backup ruckman at the end of last year the things I was after were AFL experience, a capable enough reserves forward to not impinge on Draper’s development and take time from him and is someone that’s probably just content to be in the league and happy to be a frequent travelling emergency and bit part player and Clarke is all of that. He made a lot of sense on paper.

Could argue poor talent identification because Clarke doesn’t look great but I don’t buy that it’s poor list management, very few clubs roll with more than 3 specialist ruckmen on a list.
This.

Right idea recruitment wise. Wrong guy.
Tom Campbell would have been my pick but I am unsure if Norf snaffled him before or after we got Clarke
 

Yoda_

Brownlow Medallist
May 6, 2007
25,076
11,575
South East Suburbs
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Tottenham Hotspurs, Melbourne Vixen
Is it though? We entered the year with 3 genuine ruckmen and 4 blokes made for the backup/chop out role, and as of right now Clarke is the only one to have not missed significant time due to injury. Sometimes there are just too many injuries no matter how many you have.

When we were looking for a backup ruckman at the end of last year the things I was after were AFL experience, a capable enough reserves forward to not impinge on Draper’s development and take time from him and is someone that’s probably just content to be in the league and happy to be a frequent travelling emergency and bit part player and Clarke is all of that. He made a lot of sense on paper.

Could argue poor talent identification because Clarke doesn’t look great but I don’t buy that it’s poor list management, very few clubs roll with more than 3 specialist ruckmen on a list.
Could also argue we have alot of one dimensional talls on our list. Our ruck are rucks only, our tall defenders are only tall defenders. Our tall forwards are only tall forwards.

Of the guys listed at 196cm+ only one is (AFL standard) multi capable on top of his normal position and that is Shaun McKernan. Daniher is unknown for his ruck craft. TBC couldn't hold down FF for 6 weeks, Draper is unknown at AFL level, Clarke is crap. Compare that to the ladder leading cats and they have 4 guys capable of playing ruck on top of there usual positions (Buzza/Fwd, Ratugolea/fwd, Blicavs/Def, Abbot/Fwd).
 

Yoda_

Brownlow Medallist
May 6, 2007
25,076
11,575
South East Suburbs
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Tottenham Hotspurs, Melbourne Vixen
Have been thinking about this for the past 24 hours but this idea we are big bodied inside midfielder short is minimising by the week. The club obviously sees a midfield group of Shiel, Heppel, Merrett, Parish, Langford. his idea of needing a big body in this group isn't as big an idea as many would think imho.

The big glaring omission especially on yesterdays evidence was a hard working mid/small forward who works up and down the ground. We miss Daniher drastically whilst the guys supposedly filling this role (Laverde, Fantasia, Stringer) can all go missing (like yesterday).

imho, our needs we should e addressing this year are 4 key areas.

1. Ready made #2/#3 ruck who can play back up to TBC should be get hurt whilst Draper recovers from injury.
2. Ruck/Fwd who can take over from Smack in the long run. I really like the look of Bowman in our VFL squad.
3. Hard working HFF/Wingman who runs all day to link up the midfield with the forward line.
4. Small fwd, another role we can look to fill through astute drafting or even trading with a number of guys playing state league at the moment.
 

blitzer

Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 27, 2006
6,125
6,528
House
AFL Club
Essendon
Could also argue we have alot of one dimensional talls on our list. Our ruck are rucks only, our tall defenders are only tall defenders. Our tall forwards are only tall forwards.

Of the guys listed at 196cm+ only one is (AFL standard) multi capable on top of his normal position and that is Shaun McKernan. Daniher is unknown for his ruck craft. TBC couldn't hold down FF for 6 weeks, Draper is unknown at AFL level, Clarke is crap. Compare that to the ladder leading cats and they have 4 guys capable of playing ruck on top of there usual positions (Buzza/Fwd, Ratugolea/fwd, Blicavs/Def, Abbot/Fwd).
I would argue Daniher was worthwhile in the ruck. Not for the actual hitouts (which he was kind of rubbish at) but the round the ground winning possessions type stuff he was very dynamic. Certainly you wouldn't ever play him as first ruck but as a second ruck I thought he was pretty handy and it often got him into the game. I think the best example was the West Coast game where he ended up kicking 5 goals and several of those were whilst he was rucking. It allowed him to skirt the McGovern matchup at times which was pretty valuable.
 

Bombermania

Norm Smith Medallist
Dec 18, 2007
8,416
4,221
Counting premiership cups
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Non that play Essendon
Have been thinking about this for the past 24 hours but this idea we are big bodied inside midfielder short is minimising by the week. The club obviously sees a midfield group of Shiel, Heppel, Merrett, Parish, Langford. his idea of needing a big body in this group isn't as big an idea as many would think imho.

The big glaring omission especially on yesterdays evidence was a hard working mid/small forward who works up and down the ground. We miss Daniher drastically whilst the guys supposedly filling this role (Laverde, Fantasia, Stringer) can all go missing (like yesterday).

imho, our needs we should e addressing this year are 4 key areas.

1. Ready made #2/#3 ruck who can play back up to TBC should be get hurt whilst Draper recovers from injury.
2. Ruck/Fwd who can take over from Smack in the long run. I really like the look of Bowman in our VFL squad.
3. Hard working HFF/Wingman who runs all day to link up the midfield with the forward line.
4. Small fwd, another role we can look to fill through astute drafting or even trading with a number of guys playing state league at the moment.
I generally agree except the part on Stringer, I thought he was good and looked dangerous. I was more concerned by LaVerde and a little bit with Fanta but Fanta is more of a flashy player so not that concerned.
 

Bunk Moreland

Hall of Famer
Sep 22, 2011
30,567
58,935
Your girlfriend's dreams
AFL Club
Essendon
Have been thinking about this for the past 24 hours but this idea we are big bodied inside midfielder short is minimising by the week. The club obviously sees a midfield group of Shiel, Heppel, Merrett, Parish, Langford. his idea of needing a big body in this group isn't as big an idea as many would think imho.

The big glaring omission especially on yesterdays evidence was a hard working mid/small forward who works up and down the ground. We miss Daniher drastically whilst the guys supposedly filling this role (Laverde, Fantasia, Stringer) can all go missing (like yesterday).

imho, our needs we should e addressing this year are 4 key areas.

1. Ready made #2/#3 ruck who can play back up to TBC should be get hurt whilst Draper recovers from injury.
2. Ruck/Fwd who can take over from Smack in the long run. I really like the look of Bowman in our VFL squad.
3. Hard working HFF/Wingman who runs all day to link up the midfield with the forward line.
4. Small fwd, another role we can look to fill through astute drafting or even trading with a number of guys playing state league at the moment.
Stewart was performing #3 well for a while, can hopefully get fit again.
 

Yoda_

Brownlow Medallist
May 6, 2007
25,076
11,575
South East Suburbs
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Tottenham Hotspurs, Melbourne Vixen
Just on the ruck sitution

I've alway thought you need 4 rucks on your list, evidenced by some very good lists in recent years.

#1 (Tom Bellchambers) - A guy clearly number 1 in the clubs ruck department.
#2 (Zac Clarke) - A guy capable of filling in when the #1 guy is injured, resting, suspended.
#3 (Sam Draper) - This is the guy pushing to take the mantle of #2, and soon enough the #1 ruck number at the club.
#4 (****) - This is a guy w've struggled with for some time now. Perhaps Luke Lavender was this guy but that didn't eventuate.
 

Yoda_

Brownlow Medallist
May 6, 2007
25,076
11,575
South East Suburbs
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Tottenham Hotspurs, Melbourne Vixen
While I'm in here (it's been a slow day)

Feel we have a list built for the game 5 years ago with a bunch of high marking key forwards on the list. A large group of flankers trying to turn into mids and a defence built on zoning off.


With the new 6 - 6 - 6 rules, the game has moved to a more moving, fast paced game. We've got the speed to do some damage, we just don't have the marking forwards capable of doing this on a consistent basis.
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

Cold Sober

Premiership Player
Suspended
Sep 28, 2016
3,228
3,312
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Man U .White Sox;Storm,Victory
Clarke was recruited on the back of an outstanding WAFL season.
You can only drink the beer they put in the can.
 

BrunoV

Brownlow Medallist
May 5, 2009
15,438
18,966
AFL Club
Essendon
Clarke was recruited on the back of an outstanding WAFL season.
You can only drink the beer they put in the can.

You need to work out who was critically evaluating his performances and sack that person or maybe just not listen again.

What's the bet no one was actually watching him play and they went on the back of recommendations?

I'd say it's a good bet.
 

Duckworth

Peptide Awareness
Oct 8, 2006
7,174
5,602
Melbourne
AFL Club
Essendon
The other question is whether you bother with the #4 project ruck. After losing Jenkins, if the same happens with Draper... you have to wonder whether it's worth developing them just for another club to come and take them when they're ready.
Surely it's easier for us to become the poacher. (queue David Attenborough voice-over)
 

mike14

Premium Platinum
Jun 29, 2006
6,618
5,073
Brisbane
AFL Club
Essendon
Have been thinking about this for the past 24 hours but this idea we are big bodied inside midfielder short is minimising by the week. The club obviously sees a midfield group of Shiel, Heppel, Merrett, Parish, Langford. his idea of needing a big body in this group isn't as big an idea as many would think imho.

The big glaring omission especially on yesterdays evidence was a hard working mid/small forward who works up and down the ground. We miss Daniher drastically whilst the guys supposedly filling this role (Laverde, Fantasia, Stringer) can all go missing (like yesterday).
I think Smith can fill this role to a large degree, or displace one of the guys you've listed above and allow them to play that role.
IMO Smith would take Langford's midfield spot (haven't seen the Sydney game, did he play mid?) and langford plays the high half-fwd role where he can best utilise his one-on-one skills
 

Bombermania

Norm Smith Medallist
Dec 18, 2007
8,416
4,221
Counting premiership cups
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Non that play Essendon
I think Smith can fill this role to a large degree, or displace one of the guys you've listed above and allow them to play that role.
IMO Smith would take Langford's midfield spot (haven't seen the Sydney game, did he play mid?) and langford plays the high half-fwd role where he can best utilise his one-on-one skills
I didn't see Langford in that many centre bounces. I thought he was more across half forward.
 

Mikevk123

Senior List
Jun 25, 2019
195
95
AFL Club
Essendon
Possible scenario

Trade
Out:
Orazio Fantasia and Sam Draper

Delistings
Ben McNeice Category B Rookie
Matt Dea Rookie
Luke Lavender Categorty B Rookie Retired
Zac Clarke Rookie
Michael Hartley
Jake Long
David Myers Retire
Mark Baguley Retire


Gives us 4 Rookie spots and 6 senior spots If it does eventuate. Depending on the scenario I’d hold Hartley. Good depth.

We currently hold Pick 27,33,45,63,65 and 81.
 

Doss

Super Moderator
Aug 1, 2011
71,424
97,828
AFL Club
Essendon
You need to work out who was critically evaluating his performances and sack that person or maybe just not listen again.

What's the bet no one was actually watching him play and they went on the back of recommendations?

I'd say it's a good bet.
I'd say it's not a good bet.

Sometimes these sort of picks just don't work out.
 

BrunoV

Brownlow Medallist
May 5, 2009
15,438
18,966
AFL Club
Essendon
I'd say it's not a good bet.

Sometimes these sort of picks just don't work out.

They don't work out because the decision is made for the wrong reasons.

Two of the most consistently effective ruckmen of the last 10 years, Mumford and Nic Nat, have "s**t" numbers.

The most important factors is physical application around the ball. Brad Ottens, Darren Jolly, Clarke Keating are more examples of low possession high impact players (particularly at the right time of year).

What are the odds that Clarke, who never displayed the physicality in the 100 games he did play, was playing dream football in the WAFL that would convert (given history, etc)? They are very low.

I doubt anyone we pay money to watched him play more than once.
 

fishardansin

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 6, 2008
15,498
10,375
coburg
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Australian cricket team
Hartley not getting any better hurts us for talls. If he could come in an do a good job we could confidently send Hooker.

Clarke is so bad, I'd rather play Tippa in the ruck.

I also agree with km running forward. I think we already have the solutions on our list. Hams is elite runner. Langford should play on half forward line as poor man's Gunston. Stewart needs to stay out of the gym and just run over summer. I'd also have Daniher getting on his bike a lot, but still forward of the ball.
 
Last edited:

fishardansin

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 6, 2008
15,498
10,375
coburg
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Australian cricket team
He has, it's just that Ambrose and Francis are better. When he was drafted he was struggling to get involved offensively at VFL level, no such problems anymore.
Why can't he cover Hooker so he can play forward?

Surely McKernan in the ruck and Hooker forward is better than having a complete and utter spud like Clarke in the side.
 
Top Bottom