Strategy Talk about the makeup of our list (and overall list management)

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calyam

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May 9, 2011
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Regarding our height breakdown in midfield:
190-193cm: Langford
189-186cm: Heppell, D.Clarke, Mutch
181-185cm: Shiel, Parish, Zaharakis
180cm and below: McGrath, D.Smith, Zerrett, Snelling

I think if we can pick up one 'big body' that's ready to play (Mitchell Hibberd for example) to play a role and another mid sized option in the draft (Philp, Randall, Stephens etc) that's probably the balance we need.

* I haven't included part timers like Stringer and Walla who rotate through centre bounces.
Instead of height we should really be talking about style / roll. Heppell and Langford are both tall but no team has ever strategized to deal with their physicality around the contest. Neither are 'big bodied' mids in the sense that the term is used.

Our most physical midfielder is Smith at 176cm followed by Shiel at 182cm. They are our 'inside bulls'. What becomes really obvious when we think about style or ideal role is how unbalanced our midfield actually is.

Heppell: 189cm (inside finesse)
Shiel: 182cm (inside bull)
Merrett: 180cm (finesse)
Parish: 180cm (bull / finesse)
Zaharakis: 180cm (finesse)
McGrath: 178cm (finesse)
Smith: 176cm (bull)

That's the main rotation. Each player is very good in isolation but many have a similar style or similar strengths / weaknesses. Our midfield is undersized compared to basically every other team in the league. We have a few guys on the periphery that may help but Stringer will never be more than the occasional midfielder and Clarke / Mutch are very much a work in progress and no certainties to get games next year.

I agree that we need some bigger bodies in there and bigger bodies that actually use their physicality to their advantage or the advantage of their teammates. Hibberd is someone I'd be looking at as someone who could come in and make a contribution straight away.
 

TheGrizz

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I cant believe we go through it every time.

Just forget the concept totally if Heppell and Langford are "big bodies" in any functionally relevant sense.

Mutch is a lanky wingman who I've put in a midfield role because there is no other midfielder.
I wasn't referring to their play style or their physicality. I was more eluding that there is a perception on this board and otherwise that we are a midfield of midgets, however that isn't really true. While we could use one more bigger body, our size isn't too far off a good balance.

Where our focus should be is not just guys who are tall but guys who are physical enough to compensate for our current midfield. Richmond aren't overly big but they play tough and that is more important.

If we were to add say one of Hibberd/Stephens in the draft, another mid sized option like Corey Lyons or another youngster like Philp then we add that grunt and it's a bit more balanced in play style and size.

I think fascination with getting a brutish inside 'bull's I'll conceived if we are getting one for the sake of it. They are rare but we can add physicality through other means and the size of our midfield isn't too far off.
 

BrunoV

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May 5, 2009
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Instead of height we should really be talking about style / roll. Heppell and Langford are both tall but no team has ever strategized to deal with their physicality around the contest. Neither are 'big bodied' mids in the sense that the term is used.

Our most physical midfielder is Smith at 176cm followed by Shiel at 182cm. They are our 'inside bulls'. What becomes really obvious when we think about style or ideal role is how unbalanced our midfield actually is.

Heppell: 189cm (inside finesse)
Shiel: 182cm (inside bull)
Merrett: 180cm (finesse)
Parish: 180cm (bull / finesse)
Zaharakis: 180cm (finesse)
McGrath: 178cm (finesse)
Smith: 176cm (bull)

That's the main rotation. Each player is very good in isolation but many have a similar style or similar strengths / weaknesses. Our midfield is undersized compared to basically every other team in the league. We have a few guys on the periphery that may help but Stringer will never be more than the occasional midfielder and Clarke / Mutch are very much a work in progress and no certainties to get games next year.

I agree that we need some bigger bodies in there and bigger bodies that actually use their physicality to their advantage or the advantage of their teammates. Hibberd is someone I'd be looking at as someone who could come in and make a contribution straight away.


Surely a bull, if the term is going to be used, is the sort of player who can wear physical heat and still use the thing. Not fire off the ball as quickly as possible before contact comes.

What you've identified is two second rate extractors/first touch inside mids and Shiel whose inside work is more about a quick break rather than distribution from the inside.

That's why, I assume, people want the bull. It's a recognition of how much ground we need to make up.

No, you dont need a bull but is there a Libba-equivalent in our team? Is there even a Crouch?

Who at Essendon in the middle would you bother sitting on to upset our distribution?
 

eth-dog

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Okay, another one of these now that we have everyone (except Townsend who we all know will also be here).

Defence:

Key Defenders: Michael Hurley, Cale Hooker (fwd), Patrick Ambrose, Brandon Zerk-Thatcher; Rookie: Cian McBride
Medium Defenders: Martin Gleeson, Aaron Francis, Jordan Ridley (mid)
Small Defenders: Mason Redman, Adam Saad, Conor McKenna; Rookie: Ross McQuillan

Midfield:

Inside Midfielders: Darcy Parish (fwd), Devon Smith (fwd), Zachary Merrett, Dylan Shiel, Kobe Mutch (def), Dyson Heppell (def), Dylan Clarke, Rookies: Will Snelling (fwd), Mitchell Hibberd
Outside Midfielders: Andrew McGrath (def), Kyle Langford (fwd), David Zaharakis (def), Brayden Ham (fwd), Matt Guelfi (def/fwd), Tom Cutler (def)
Rucks: Tom Bellchambers, Andrew Phillips, Sam Draper, Nick Bryan

Forward:

Key Forwards: Joe Daniher, James Stewart, Noah Gown, Harrison Jones, Shaun McKernan (ruck)
Medium Forwards: Jayden Laverde, Josh Begley, Jake Stringer
Small Forwards: Orazio Fantasia, Irving Mosquito, Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti, Ned Cahill, Lachlan Johnson (mid); Rookie: Jacob Townsend

Heaps of small forwards. Hopefully another mid or defender in the SSP to replace Johnson.
 
Last edited:

ant555

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I know I go on a lot about drafting genuine midfielders so I still think it is a week point at this stage but there is room for hope in the middle. Merrett and Shiel are excellent clearance winning midfielders but they get limited protection, even more so this year without Smith. We paid overs for Shiel there is not doubt about that but he was the gun midfielder available we had to get.
What has to happen now is we start weeding out Langford and the cast of flankers being in the middle all the time. People say we have not added a lot as far as inside goes which is true but there is another way to go about it and that is game style.
We started it a bit with Stringer taking the centre bounces last year and he was reasonably effective with his blocking and his own clearance work. His down side as he does not have even close to the tank to do much more than that.
Next year we will need Cutler and Hibberd to step up that role around the ground. Be the big blokes at a stoppage who allow our best two midfielders to get to work. It is a risk but there is no other way. There was no getting another gun midfielder this year. What we need is the players buying into the team plan and the B grade or C grade blokes playing their role and just playing hard footy.
Despite the list having some holes in it the biggest problem we have had has been the culture of playing me footy and very little team footy. It has been about super coach stats and not playing a role for the team. It improved a bit on the defensive side this year but their is a lot of work to do yet.
 

Mercurial89

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Apr 20, 2011
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I know I go on a lot about drafting genuine midfielders so I still think it is a week point at this stage but there is room for hope in the middle. Merrett and Shiel are excellent clearance winning midfielders but they get limited protection, even more so this year without Smith. We paid overs for Shiel there is not doubt about that but he was the gun midfielder available we had to get.
What has to happen now is we start weeding out Langford and the cast of flankers being in the middle all the time. People say we have not added a lot as far as inside goes which is true but there is another way to go about it and that is game style.
We started it a bit with Stringer taking the centre bounces last year and he was reasonably effective with his blocking and his own clearance work. His down side as he does not have even close to the tank to do much more than that.
Next year we will need Cutler and Hibberd to step up that role around the ground. Be the big blokes at a stoppage who allow our best two midfielders to get to work. It is a risk but there is no other way. There was no getting another gun midfielder this year. What we need is the players buying into the team plan and the B grade or C grade blokes playing their role and just playing hard footy.
Despite the list having some holes in it the biggest problem we have had has been the culture of playing me footy and very little team footy. It has been about super coach stats and not playing a role for the team. It improved a bit on the defensive side this year but their is a lot of work to do yet.
Hopefully another year with Rutten and now Blake can go about changing the culture
 

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Vindicater

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Jul 16, 2013
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So with one offseason basically done and dusted (I am counting Townsend as our last addition) who do we think could be on the last season for Essendon this year?

Personally I could see

Bellchambers - Retire
Laverde - Trade
Daniher - Free Agent
Stewart - Delist

Would be keen to move Zaka and Hooker on as well if they are willing to be traded with a year each to run on their contract. Zaka I would shop. Hooker I would ask if he was interested in moving anywhere (maybe home out west for his final season so he can be close to his winery) and then facilitate it for him.
 

ghostdog

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Oct 18, 2008
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Okay, another one of these now that we have everyone (except Townsend who we all know will also be here).

Defence:

Key Defenders: Michael Hurley, Cale Hooker (fwd), Patrick Ambrose, Brandon Zerk-Thatcher; Rookie: Cian McBride
Medium Defenders: Martin Gleeson, Aaron Francis, Jordan Ridley (mid)
Small Defenders: Mason Redman, Adam Saad, Conor McKenna; Rookie: Ross McQuillan

Midfield:

Inside Midfielders: Darcy Parish (fwd), Devon Smith (fwd), Zachary Merrett, Dylan Shiel, Kobe Mutch (def), Dyson Heppell (def), Dylan Clarke, Rookies: Will Snelling (fwd), Mitchell Hibberd
Outside Midfielders: Andrew McGrath (def), Kyle Langford (fwd), David Zaharakis (def), Brayden Ham (fwd), Matt Guelfi (def/fwd),
Rucks: Tom Bellchambers, Andrew Phillips, Sam Draper, Nick Bryan

Forward:

Key Forwards: Joe Daniher, James Stewart, Noah Gown, Harrison Jones, Shaun McKernan (ruck)
Medium Forwards: Jayden Laverde, Josh Begley, Jake Stringer
Small Forwards: Orazio Fantasia, Irving Mosquito, Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti, Ned Cahill, Lachlan Johnson (mid); Rookie: Jacob Townsend

Heaps of small forwards. Hopefully another mid or defender in the SSP to replace Johnson.
+ Cutler
 

Atavistic

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So with one offseason basically done and dusted (I am counting Townsend as our last addition) who do we think could be on the last season for Essendon this year?

Personally I could see

Bellchambers - Retire
Laverde - Trade
Daniher - Free Agent
Stewart - Delist

Would be keen to move Zaka and Hooker on as well if they are willing to be traded with a year each to run on their contract. Zaka I would shop. Hooker I would ask if he was interested in moving anywhere (maybe home out west for his final season so he can be close to his winery) and then facilitate it for him.
I can't see any reason to re-sign Kobe Mutch.
 

eth-dog

Premium Gold
Jan 11, 2007
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So with one offseason basically done and dusted (I am counting Townsend as our last addition) who do we think could be on the last season for Essendon this year?

Personally I could see

Bellchambers - Retire
Laverde - Trade
Daniher - Free Agent
Stewart - Delist

Would be keen to move Zaka and Hooker on as well if they are willing to be traded with a year each to run on their contract. Zaka I would shop. Hooker I would ask if he was interested in moving anywhere (maybe home out west for his final season so he can be close to his winery) and then facilitate it for him.
I think if Daniher leaves and the age of Smack and the cutting of Stewart would be very unlikely
 

CBombers17

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Jul 7, 2014
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Can someone confirm that Johnson and Cahill are both slow? Has some aspect of the game changed to where short and slow is a good combination for forwards?
 

Mikevk123

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Jun 25, 2019
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Out of Contract Bombers in 2020

Adam Saad
Andrew McGrath
Brayden Ham
Dyson Heppell
Irving Mosquito
Jayden Laverde
James Stewart
Jordan Ridley
Josh Begley
Joe Daniher
Kobe Mutch
Kyle Langford
Martin Gleeson
Mitch Hibberd
Noah Gown
Tom Bellchambers
Shaun Mckernan
Will Snelling
 

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