Analysis The Rebuild Of Essendon And North Melbourne And Their Future Prospects

Which team has the better on-field prospects?

  • Essendon

    Votes: 21 30.9%
  • North Melbourne

    Votes: 47 69.1%

  • Total voters
    68

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A topic sure to be discussed throughout the coming years is in relation to Essendon and North and which club’s future looks to be better positioned to make another tilt for a flag.

Last year Essendon finished in 13th position with 6 wins, 1 draw and a percentage of 79.2. Along the way they beat Freo 6pts, Syd 6pts, Coll 15pts, North 14pts, Crows 13pts, Hawks 16pts.

North finished 17th with 3 wins and 71.9% beating the Saints 2pts, Giants 20pts and Crows 69pts.

Both clubs went into the 2020 offseason looking at rebuilding their lists in order to start their climb back up into finals contention.

During the trade period they each lost some of their more experienced players for varying reasons. Of note, the Bombers said goodbye to Saad, Daniher and Fantasia while North had Higgins and Brown move on.

Supporters of both clubs seemed to be happy with the players that they were able to attract with the Bombers bringing in Wright, Hind and Caldwell whereas the Roos picked up
Corr and Stephenson.

On completion of player trades/bids Essendon took players with picks 8, 9, 10, 39 and 53 while the Roos had picks 3, 13, 36, 42 and 56.

The 2020 draft was widely recognised as having more top-end talent for KPP’s while 2021 is said to be on the opposite scale with more elite midfielder talent on offer.

After the draft it was plain to see that both clubs took differing approaches to their rebuilds as the Bombers focused on shoring up their key positions stocks while the Roos went in with a strong focus on midfielders and ball-getters.

With an eye to the future and with the current state of each team’s lists, which one would you say is positioned better at the moment?
 

RAPPA

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both teams entering 2021 with two new coaches at the helm, albeit Rutten by all accounts had coaching responsibility for 2020. North are going through a full rebuild, whereas Dons are plugging holes in often times the wrong places via Dodo. You’d expect Essendon to be ahead but if north can get it right rom the outset, they could fast track their progress.
 

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the big lebowski

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both teams entering 2021 with two new coaches at the helm, albeit Rutten by all accounts had coaching responsibility for 2020. North are going through a full rebuild, whereas Dons are plugging holes in often times the wrong places via Dodo. You’d expect Essendon to be ahead but if north can get it right rom the outset, they could fast track their progress.
I agree with this. North going for a full rebuild and the bombers still pushing/thinking they can play finals.

I think the bombers will soon go down a similar path the North (as will the hawks).

For this reason north and the crows will probably be a rung below the hawks and bombers for 2021, and then overtake them in 2022 or 23.

Just a prediction.
 

the Ziebull

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norths 23 and under team - whats dons look like

FB - Young - Mckay - Hayden
HB - Perez - McGuinness - Bonar
C - Scott - Phillips - T.Powell
HF - Stephenson - Comben - Thomas
FF - Taylor - Larkey - Zurhaar
FOLL - Xerri - Davies-Uniacke - Simpkin
INT - Mahoney - Bosenavulagi - Lazzaro - Ford
 

Elmer_Judd

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I am taking North's list right now if I am building to challenge for a flag. At this stage, their youth seems to have a considerably higher ceiling than Essendon's (but naturally this is not set in stone, The Bombers from all reports had a pretty good draft haul)

It's all subjective though, you can make an argument for either team really.
 

Elmer_Judd

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norths 23 and under team - whats dons look like

FB - Young - Mckay - Hayden
HB - Perez - McGuinness - Bonar
C - Scott - Phillips - T.Powell
HF - Stephenson - Comben - Thomas
FF - Taylor - Larkey - Zurhaar
FOLL - Xerri - Davies-Uniacke - Simpkin
INT - Mahoney - Bosenavulagi - Lazzaro - Ford
Looks pretty good on paper, do worry a bit about Comben, lots of talent but seems very injury prone.
 

Great8

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This is the most positive I’ve felt about us in years even though we are almost certainties for the bottom 2. Even the the club won’t publicly admit it I think at least deep down they know what has to be done for once. I do have faith in Rutten and hope he is given time to to make it work. We are a good 3-4 years from playing finals but I’m pretty excited to see how a few of the younger brigade go. Hopefully no more of the Woosha gold passes given out to the old hacks either
 

JayJ20

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both teams entering 2021 with two new coaches at the helm, albeit Rutten by all accounts had coaching responsibility for 2020. North are going through a full rebuild, whereas Dons are plugging holes in often times the wrong places via Dodo. You’d expect Essendon to be ahead but if north can get it right rom the outset, they could fast track their progress.
I agree with this. North going for a full rebuild and the bombers still pushing/thinking they can play finals.

I think the bombers will soon go down a similar path the North (as will the hawks).

For this reason north and the crows will probably be a rung below the hawks and bombers for 2021, and then overtake them in 2022 or 23.

Just a prediction.
But how did you come to that conclusion when Essendon used 3 top 10 picks and North only had one? I thought not using two top picks for Dunkley was a pretty clear message of where we're headed.

Why is North with picks 3, 13 and whatever else they had a full rebuild, but Essendon picking up 8, 9, 10 and a pick in the 30s not a full rebuild? Plus, we also brought in Caldwell, who was only drafted in 2018. I think that's a decision for the future as well.

If anything, North picked ready made mids with their picks who will have an immediate impact whereas we went for KPPs that will take longer to develop, which means North's focus is actually more short-term than ours.
 
Last edited:

the big lebowski

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But how did you come to that conclusion when Essendon used 3 top 10 picks and North only had one? I thought not using two top picks for Dunkley was a pretty clear message of where we're headed.

Why is North with picks 3, 13 and whatever else they had a full rebuild, but Essendon picking up 8, 9, 10 and a pick in the 30s not a full rebuild? Plus, we also brought in Caldwell, who was only drafted in 2018. I think that's a decision for the future as well.

If anything, North picked ready made mids with their picks who will have an immediate impact whereas we went for KPPs that will take longer to develop.
Fair comment.

To me, the bombers wanted to keep Danniher and Saad which netted 2 of those 3 picks.

North pushed out older, best 10 players for little compensation.

Rebuilds aren’t don’t in one draft.

Do you think the bombers are aiming to play finals football in 2021?
 

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JayJ20

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Fair comment.

To me, the bombers wanted to keep Danniher and Saad which netted 2 of those 3 picks.

North pushed out older, best 10 players for little compensation.

Rebuilds aren’t don’t in one draft.

Do you think the bombers are aiming to play finals football in 2021?
I think the best way to describe it is that North wanted to rebuild whereas Essendon were forced to rebuild. The net outcome is still a rebuild for us though and we did take the long-term option.

Every team will aim for finals, but I think it's pretty clear to everyone inside and outside the club that we're not going to be playing finals.

That probably means we will lose Merrett which should give us either another top 5 pick if we finish bottom 4, or at the very least another top 10 pick. Since this is a midfield-heavy draft, we should use both picks on mids.

The Davey twins will come in 2022 so we may trade out of that draft to net another 2021 first rounder. We could have another 3 firsts this year if things go the way I expect.
 

HairyO

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I agree with this. North going for a full rebuild and the bombers still pushing/thinking they can play finals.

I think the bombers will soon go down a similar path the North (as will the hawks).

For this reason north and the crows will probably be a rung below the hawks and bombers for 2021, and then overtake them in 2022 or 23.

Just a prediction.
Yep. Roos had a lot of holes but have done a great job filling them.

I dont really know what the Dons are doing. They still seem to be struggling with inside grunt.
 

the big lebowski

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I think the best way to describe it is that North wanted to rebuild whereas Essendon were forced to rebuild. The net outcome is still a rebuild for us though and we did take the long-term option.

Every team will aim for finals, but I think it's pretty clear to everyone inside and outside the club that we're not going to be playing finals.

That probably means we will lose Merrett which should give us either another top 5 pick if we finish bottom 4, or at the very least another top 10 pick. Since this is a midfield-heavy draft, we should use both picks on mids.

The Davey twins will come in 2022 so we may trade out of that draft to net another 2021 first rounder. We could have another 3 firsts this year if things go the way I expect.
I honestly think that is your best bet.

But also think your best case scenario draft pick wise might turn out to be a single pick around 10ish.

The sooner the club begins an 2-3 year period in the bottom 5 the better.

My humble opinion only.
 

the big lebowski

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The sooner Essendon realise their older players aren't the answer the better. Heppell, Smith, Shiel, Merrett, Stringer, Zaharakis, Paris etc. just isn't good enough. North are ahead of Essendon because they've realised that their midfield needs renovating.
I wonder how we will use our first this year. If it’s a top 5 pick do we go another mid.

We have a lot of young talent there already.

And we are light on for KPP under 23.
 

Jobe Watson

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North should be ahead, considering they've finished bottom 4 in two of the last four seasons while we were playing in finals.

Still, we've managed to bring in some great youth in recent years. McGrath and Ridley are better than any of North's under-23 players. I'm glad we realised we needed to reset the list and hit the 2020 draft hard. Wouldn't mind finishing bottom 4 in 2021 and bringing in a young inside mid. After that, who knows how things will play out.
 

La Dispute

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North should be ahead, considering they've finished bottom 4 in two of the last four seasons while we were playing in finals.

Still, we've managed to bring in some great youth in recent years. McGrath and Ridley are better than any of North's under-23 players. I'm glad we realised we needed to reset the list and hit the 2020 draft hard. Wouldn't mind finishing bottom 4 in 2021 and bringing in a young inside mid. After that, who knows how things will play out.
I rate Simpkin higher than Ridley or McGrath.

Break out season last year, and has the potential to move into the top bracket of midfielders as he improves, and the squad develops around him.

I don’t see the same ceiling with McGrath or Ridley.
 

Frank Grimes

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While I think Essendon should be doing a rebuild now, I don't think they are going to go down this path.

I remember reading somewhere the club itself believe they are in a position for a tilt for the premiership.

Also Rutten would be trying to win as many games as possible even at the expense of improving the list long term. He will be under pressure to get the wins due to Essendon having a culture of turning against people who are not an "Essendon person".
 

Maxabillions

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While I think Essendon should be doing a rebuild now, I don't think they are going to go down this path.

I remember reading somewhere the club itself believe they are in a position for a tilt for the premiership.

Also Rutten would be trying to win as many games as possible even at the expense of improving the list long term. He will be under pressure to get the wins due to Essendon having a culture of turning against people who are not an "Essendon person".
Pleas point to where we said we’re in a position for a premiership tilt.
 

Bunk Moreland

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The sooner Essendon realise their older players aren't the answer the better. Heppell, Smith, Shiel, Merrett, Stringer, Zaharakis, Paris etc. just isn't good enough. North are ahead of Essendon because they've realised that their midfield needs renovating.
Heppell and Smith certainly at a crossroads this year.

Shiel has been good and is in our plans, as he should be.

Merrett is a star and only 25.

Stringer is our best forward and was having a fantastic 2020 until injury hit. Don’t want him going anywhere.

Zaka is finished.

Parish needs an extended run in the midfield to see if he’s up for it.

In short Merrett, Shiel and Stringer are important players for us. The others you’ve named may well not be part of our future. We’ll learn about them all this year (Zaka aside, who is done).
 

Yoda_

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I am taking North's list right now if I am building to challenge for a flag. At this stage, their youth seems to have a considerably higher ceiling than Essendon's (but naturally this is not set in stone, The Bombers from all reports had a pretty good draft haul)

It's all subjective though, you can make an argument for either team really.
Playing devils advocate, a lot of the Essendon youngsters are untried and untested with very little exposed form (AFL or VFL level).


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