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

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ghostdog

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 18, 2008
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Ok nice. If he's happy to play halfback it would be great to have him pairing with Hind. If he can up his tackling pressure he'd also make a decent forward.
I know he sent a random message on his social, but surely he was just being flippant. Unless he's willing to commit for a meaningful period of time, I'm not sure he's the kind of person Rutten would want - in for a good time, not a meaningful time. While Covid hasn't settled globally yet either, I don't see McKenna leaving his family.
 

Ants

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Sep 27, 2005
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I very much doubt McKenna will come back until as a minimum the borders are opened, and even then its unlikely. I would personally love it to happen as I enjoyed watching him play the game, and think he's a top-end talent.
We could sign him in the Supplementary Selection Period ala Alec Waterman
Yep, the same happened with Mumford I believe.
 

Keystone agony

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Aug 15, 2011
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I very much doubt McKenna will come back until as a minimum the borders are opened, and even then its unlikely. I would personally love it to happen as I enjoyed watching him play the game, and think he's a top-end talent.

Yep, the same happened with Mumford I believe.
I don't think borders will be a huge issue in 12 months time

At worse might have to quarantine on his way in which he'd have to do right now anyway
 

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ant555

The Oracle
May 4, 2004
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I don't think borders will be a huge issue in 12 months time

At worse might have to quarantine on his way in which he'd have to do right now anyway
Borders should not be an issue but right now we have 3 states that are not willing to open borders to NSW and Vic until at least January and a lot of chief medical officers who have not got their head around the fact that we may well be living with a varying number of cases for another 5 to 10 years like the rest of the world seems to have.
I would not be ruling anything in or out but I hope you are right.
 

ant555

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While agreeing we need a strong midfielder I will say that having a fully fit McGrath / Shiel / Langford would have made some difference in the final. McGrath is good in close around the contest and while Shiel and Langford are not absolutely physical beasts they are not easily knocked of the ball when they are playing well.
 

Schnitzengruben

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Aug 4, 2019
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Watching Oliver bullock his way through packs with class and brute strength is a sight to behold. Getting clearances when he has no business in doing so.

Whenever I hear that we don't need a "big bodied mid", I think of how much better we'd be with one.
 

Vindicater

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Jul 16, 2013
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Watching Oliver bullock his way through packs with class and brute strength is a sight to behold. Getting clearances when he has no business in doing so.

Whenever I hear that we don't need a "big bodied mid", I think of how much better we'd be with one.
It is crazy to think he went one pick before our double pick of Parish and Francis.
Imagine if Melbourne had botched it and taken Francis and we had a midfield with Zerret, Oliver and Parish
 

JayJ20

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Aug 28, 2016
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So what do we realistically need to compete with Melbourne?

If we're looking at what we have, the only way we get close to them is for Stringer to somehow gain the tank to play the Petracca/Dusty role, which is probably never going to happen.
 

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eth-dog

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Jan 11, 2007
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I don’t see Melbourne’s window closing in a hurry. If we take another step forward next season realistically we should be competing for top 4/flag by 2023.
I think people need to temper their expectations for next year. We won 11 games this year, only 1 against top 8 opponents. Next year we're likely to get more games against them due to the comparative finishing positions.

Our window is 2024 at the earliest, and realistically 2025 is when we start challenging. No matter how young you are, it's hard to stay up the top for 5 years. So yeah, our window probably opens as theirs closes.
 

Ambrosia

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Mar 11, 2010
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I think people need to temper their expectations for next year. We won 11 games this year, only 1 against top 8 opponents. Next year we're likely to get more games against them due to the comparative finishing positions.

Our window is 2024 at the earliest, and realistically 2025 is when we start challenging. No matter how young you are, it's hard to stay up the top for 5 years. So yeah, our window probably opens as theirs closes.
I doubt the club sees it that way. I agree that 2022 is more of a consolidation year where we will likely finish 7-10th but if we don’t take a step into contention by 2023 or 24 I doubt we ever do with this group.

That being said if we can continue to hit at the draft and trade period with anywhere near the same strike rate as 2020 we’ll be in contention eventually.
 

Duckworth

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Oct 8, 2006
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So what do we realistically need to compete with Melbourne?

If we're looking at what we have, the only way we get close to them is for Stringer to somehow gain the tank to play the Petracca/Dusty role, which is probably never going to happen.
We need another A grade midfielder, you add a Bont, Oliver or Petracca to the side and it's not far away. I was thinking that we were a KPF short, but looking at the GF, Wright and Dr Jones would get it done with some more pre-seasons. The defence is solid. The core of the Melbourne team is a few more years advanced than ours - but we are tracking in the right direction.

I have thought that Waterman might be the key to helping Stringer in the midfield - what I mean, is could he do what Stringer does? I'd at least like to look at his stoppage work.
 

eth-dog

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I doubt the club sees it that way. I agree that 2022 is more of a consolidation year where we will likely finish 7-10th but if we don’t take a step into contention by 2023 or 24 I doubt we ever do with this group.

That being said if we can continue to hit at the draft and trade period with anywhere near the same strike rate as 2020 we’ll be in contention eventually.
We haven't won a final in 17 years. You don't go from 11-11 and falling into 8th spot, with 1 win against top 8 sides, to contenders in 2 years. The club have been making the remarks about how progress isn't always linear to the public so I'm very confident that they'd be on the same page as I am right now.
 

Ambrosia

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Mar 11, 2010
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We haven't won a final in 17 years. You don't go from 11-11 and falling into 8th spot, with 1 win against top 8 sides, to contenders in 2 years. The club have been making the remarks about how progress isn't always linear to the public so I'm very confident that they'd be on the same page as I am right now.
Maybe contender is the wrong word but Essendon should absolutely be aiming for top 4/6 in 2023. If not where is the list going? 2025 likely has Stringer, Shiel and Tippa as past their best footy with Merrett also being 30.
 

ant555

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We haven't won a final in 17 years. You don't go from 11-11 and falling into 8th spot, with 1 win against top 8 sides, to contenders in 2 years. The club have been making the remarks about how progress isn't always linear to the public so I'm very confident that they'd be on the same page as I am right now.
I agree as far as being contenders go. I can not see the jump right now and it is most likely 2 seasons away. However I will say despite us trading out to challenge in recent times where we are now had its origins starting with the 2014 draft. Despite trying to top up we had a solid drafting period between 2014 and 2016 which has actually produced players that improved massively this year and got us into the spot we ended up in. Sure the whole club got a reality check last year and the players left so we had to go in another direction (thankfully) it does not change the fact we have been around the bottom end of the 8 for a while now and had a few 12 win seasons.
I know the coach / club is not plotting top 4 as an outright goal. They are looking at another pre season of hard work and improving the team issues. Where that takes us will be interesting. I am pretty sure this year would have been better without a few of the injuries. It will come down to how much improvement we can get and if we keep most on the park. Walla getting his own personal trainer so he can hit pre season with a bang is a good insight to how they are thinking. The buy in seems to be there.
 

eth-dog

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Maybe contender is the wrong word but Essendon should absolutely be aiming for top 4/6 in 2023. If not where is the list going? 2025 likely has Stringer, Shiel and Tippa as past their best footy with Merrett also being 30.
Top 6, sure. I'd love it. But the word contender for me is challenging for a flag, which I don't see happening before 2024.
I agree as far as being contenders go. I can not see the jump right now and it is most likely 2 seasons away. However I will say despite us trading out to challenge in recent times where we are now had its origins starting with the 2014 draft. Despite trying to top up we had a solid drafting period between 2014 and 2016 which has actually produced players that improved massively this year and got us into the spot we ended up in. Sure the whole club got a reality check last year and the players left so we had to go in another direction (thankfully) it does not change the fact we have been around the bottom end of the 8 for a while now and had a few 12 win seasons.
I know the coach / club is not plotting top 4 as an outright goal. They are looking at another pre season of hard work and improving the team issues. Where that takes us will be interesting. I am pretty sure this year would have been better without a few of the injuries. It will come down to how much improvement we can get and if we keep most on the park. Walla getting his own personal trainer so he can hit pre season with a bang is a good insight to how they are thinking. The buy in seems to be there.
I agree with all of this, as usual.
 

Yoda_

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May 6, 2007
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I think people need to temper their expectations for next year. We won 11 games this year, only 1 against top 8 opponents. Next year we're likely to get more games against them due to the comparative finishing positions.

Our window is 2024 at the earliest, and realistically 2025 is when we start challenging. No matter how young you are, it's hard to stay up the top for 5 years. So yeah, our window probably opens as theirs closes.
We beat Eagles whilst they were in the 8.

Just saying


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Ambrosia

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 11, 2010
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Top 6, sure. I'd love it. But the word contender for me is challenging for a flag, which I don't see happening before 2024.

I agree with all of this, as usual.
Yeah I can agree with that. Will honestly be ecstatic if we just continue improving next year, that may not even result in finals given our draw will change.

It may not be a step into “contention” but to me 2023 will be pivotal to see if this group is capable of making a leap up the ladder.
 

JayJ20

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 28, 2016
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We need another A grade midfielder, you add a Bont, Oliver or Petracca to the side and it's not far away. I was thinking that we were a KPF short, but looking at the GF, Wright and Dr Jones would get it done with some more pre-seasons. The defence is solid.

I have thought that Waterman might be the key to helping Stringer in the midfield - what I mean, is could he do what Stringer does? I'd at least like to look at his stoppage work.
Whilst I do believe that Wright and Jones can get it done, I also believe that we need Bryan to develop as a forward so that we can play Wright as a permanent forward and Bryan as a forward/ruck. Unfortunately we haven't been able to see what he's like at VFL level yet. Baldwin is of course the other option.

We'll see if Waterman can work on his tank, but I don't think he'll be that player. He's too fumbly. It doesn't work at AFL level.
We have the makings of an elite midfield, but we're missing that one player even if the player isn't A-grade. Many people don't realise that our midfield age-wise is in its prime. If only Stringer could be a full-time mid. We wouldn't need to worry.

I know he's about to sign a contract extension and I know I'll get flamed for this, but if we could get Dunkley with our first + sweetener, then I'd do it. Sure he isn't an A-grade mid, but he does balance our midfield. It's a shame to see him waste away as a second-rotation mid at Bulldogs when he'd be second to Parish with us.
 

JayJ20

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 28, 2016
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I think people need to temper their expectations for next year. We won 11 games this year, only 1 against top 8 opponents. Next year we're likely to get more games against them due to the comparative finishing positions.

Our window is 2024 at the earliest, and realistically 2025 is when we start challenging. No matter how young you are, it's hard to stay up the top for 5 years. So yeah, our window probably opens as theirs closes.
Yeah we typically struggle to make finals the year after we make it. I expect us to finish 11th before becoming a proper finals side from 2023 onwards.

That said, we did lose 4 close games against Sydney and GWS so I do believe we slightly underperformed from a win-loss perspective. We could have beaten both if we played at Marvel. I know it's just an excuse, but we were far more competitive vs the top 8 sides than our win-loss record suggests.
 

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