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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HolyRioli

Norm Smith Medallist
May 17, 2009
7,742
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Why? He is the complete package as an inside/outside mid.

Beautifully balanced, great kicking skills, evasive, clever and creative around the stoppages, defensively sound, and has the added bonus of being dangerous inside 50.

There's obviously no guarantee he gets there, but that is where he could end up with his skillset and career trajectory so far.
Agree with you - his best reminds me of Pendlebury.

Whether he can reach his ceiling remains to be seen.
 

Richo83

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 2, 2005
19,676
7,301
Melbourne
AFL Club
Richmond
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).
I think Essendon need improvement across the middle in almost every department. They're not a great contested team and have lost their ability to rapidly attack with slick ball movement that they used to do. I don't know if it comes from within or through more recruits but IMO I don't think just playing the same guys will cut it. I'm sceptical that Essendon can make it work; the argument I hear from bombers fans is "they've often been injured". But even all fit, I don't think this midfield is in the top six, which means I suspect Essendon are fighting for the bottom two spots in the eight. Midfield wise, I like Richmond, Geelong, Footscray, Melbourne, West Coast, and Brisbane more. I like the suns and dockers' young midfield which has a lot of potential. I think this team has a lower ceiling than many other teams. Of those mentioned, who has the capacity to really improve significantly?
 

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Rad Roo

Premiership Player
Aug 2, 2017
3,138
1,488
AFL Club
North Melbourne
As an Essendon supporter, we have to deal with Carlton supporters and there ‘mudslinging’ at the moment. Can fully respect trying to have a reasonable discussion on the main boards and not getting one, it gets tough man.


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i suppose the counter strategy is that, when dealing with plebs, you throw out pithy one liner and make them do the hard yard to respond instead of you huff and puff against them. On the other board about st kilda debt for instance, this saints fan who’s got the little man syndrome and is hell bent on trying sink the boot into us, I just reminded him that Kim duthie was their best midfielder.
 

Rad Roo

Premiership Player
Aug 2, 2017
3,138
1,488
AFL Club
North Melbourne
I think Essendon have shown their hand.
They didn't trade out any draft picks and used all three top ten picks on kids.

Imo this is a clear admission of being in rebuild mode and they have gone very tall knowing they have to replace Daniher, Hooker and Hurley.
well they went out to get get smith, shield, saad, stringer. That didn’t work
 

Rad Roo

Premiership Player
Aug 2, 2017
3,138
1,488
AFL Club
North Melbourne
We also have Corr who is only 26 and he will be around for the next 6-7 years to partner mckay down back. So we are sorted down back

up forward Larkey and a big show of faith in Comben. But there’s a chance we run the 1 tall forward model and surround him with smaller mobile forwards like Zurhaar, Curtis Taylor and stevo

the club believes the pieces are already there
this, I concur. We are only missing an explosive small backman. Got a feeling atu might become a Leon neon davis who would excel down back when start out as a forward.
 

JayJ20

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 28, 2016
13,910
19,475
AFL Club
Essendon
I think Essendon need improvement across the middle in almost every department. They're not a great contested team and have lost their ability to rapidly attack with slick ball movement that they used to do. I don't know if it comes from within or through more recruits but IMO I don't think just playing the same guys will cut it. I'm sceptical that Essendon can make it work; the argument I hear from bombers fans is "they've often been injured". But even all fit, I don't think this midfield is in the top six, which means I suspect Essendon are fighting for the bottom two spots in the eight. Midfield wise, I like Richmond, Geelong, Footscray, Melbourne, West Coast, and Brisbane more. I like the suns and dockers' young midfield which has a lot of potential. I think this team has a lower ceiling than many other teams. Of those mentioned, who has the capacity to really improve significantly?
That's a fair argument. Our midfield is middle of the road really. It's why I believe we went with KPPs in the 2020 draft and are looking to use this year's draft which is midfield-heavy to stock up on mids. We should have at least another one or two top 10 picks to use on mids this year (because I don't believe we'll finish in the top 12, which means Merrett will leave). We should be able to complete our midfield if we're smart with our drafting.
 

RAPPA

Brownlow Medallist
Feb 20, 2008
10,081
18,632
Victoria
AFL Club
Carlton
Best thing essendon did, even better than how they handled the 2020 draft, is let Worsfold go. How in the hell can a club confidently move forward if it has a coach who was ambivalent about his departure and then still had a part to play during the transition phase to Rutten. If certain players warmed towards Worsfold over Rutten, and vice versa, then that creates immediate instability where Worsfold remains head coach on paper but there’s a blurring of the lines in their two roles. At least with Rutten officially in the seat and Worsfold out, there are no mixed messages, he has full control and the next few years will see whether the players buy into the game plan
 

Milanista28

Brownlow Medallist
Dec 2, 2014
14,514
23,638
AFL Club
Essendon
Names on paper don't interest me too much, If we can build a system/game plan that our players understand and that's noticeable to us I'll be happy, we haven't had a sustainable identity for a long time, now is that because our players aren't coachable or is it because our past coaches couldn't coach? Not sure, but I hope Truck and his team get through to them.
 

Gethelred

Brownlow Medallist
May 1, 2016
15,394
29,458
AFL Club
Carlton
I don't know if you can tell which of the two will look better sooner quite yet. We don't know several things about both clubs; how is north going to set up without Brown? Can Hurley/Hooker replicate their form of a few years ago, and will they need to? Can Shiel/Heppell/McGrath/Parish/Smith work sufficiently well should any of that list be down with injury at any point? How long can the Goldstein/Cunnington duo stay out there? Can the young KPD at north truly hold their backline together in the absence of senior players?

I rate players from both clubs, and think that Essendon is more likely to do quite well next season than North is. But the extent to which Essendon want to rebuild isn't quite known yet, while North seem to have opted for the full deal. There's quite a difference between a rebuild decided upon whilst still in a decent position, and one forced on you.
 

Off Tap

Pfft Big 4, we're #1.....
May 13, 2007
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Simpkin, LDU, Philips is a top class starting midfield for the next decade.

My real worry is replacing Goldy.
You don't need a top ruck to win a flag, only serviceable. You'll find one over the coming years.

Presuming that you finish down the bottom of the ladder again this year, you're going to be adding another (if not the best) top-class midfield prospect to that trio of guys.

Your starting midfield will be off the charts in 3 to 4 years. :thumbsu:

If you get them clicking they have the scope to be regarded in the same breathe as the Lions or WCE midfields of old.
 

Agenda 21

Team Captain
Mar 9, 2019
366
734
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Nah McGrath’s way more workmanlike than you’d expect from a number one pick. His nous and IQ aren’t on the same level as Simpkin, let alone his skill. He might make a couple of AA squad’s or even pluck a nod at some point, but Simpkin’s ceiling is top 5 in league.

I also rate Ridley, but even if he transitions into one of the best half back flankers in the league he won’t enter into discussions as a top 10 league player - rebounding defenders never do.

Maybe I rate Simpkin higher than most, but he’s got a far more complete game than either McGrath or Ridley, and all the key attributes to develop into an elite midfielder.

McGrath is more of a two way player. Like Simpkin, he also oozes leadership. He's almost Essendon's barometer.

Workmanlike is selling McGrath short, in my opinion. He's MUCH better than that. You say Simpkin has a top 5 ceiling, I say McGrath is on par.
 

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JayJ20

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 28, 2016
13,910
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McGrath does not have the step around blokes Simpkin does. Very few do but McGrath is way behind on that one. More workmanlike you might say.
McGrath is certainly capable of it considering speed and agility are his strength. He hasn't used it as much (considering this was his first year as a full-time mid), but he started to take the game on more in the latter part of the year before his injury. It took him time to adjust to being a full-time mid, but he's fully adjusted and confident now.

He'll break the shackles this year and improve his attack by taking the game on.
 

Bjchan13

Club Legend
Jul 23, 2018
2,360
2,263
AFL Club
Essendon
well they went out to get get smith, shield, saad, stringer. That didn’t work
If you mean it didnt work in the sense of we didnt win anything, i can tell you that getting these guys was more about filling a big hole in the list we had with 23 yr old best 22 players (although Shiel was 26, the other 3 were 23/24) rather than 'topping up' just for the sake of going for a flag (a geelong style top up with 30+ year olds). Yes, Essendon were confident of what was possible 2018/19/20 if everything had gone right injury wise (Daniher and Fantasia had kicked 100 between them in 2017, Hooker and Hurley were still playing solid footy) but these recruits were moreso about balancing out age demographic. They have all still got plenty of good football (apart from Smith a big worry) as of now and if you look at the draft capital spent to bring them in its not much. Pick 11, 30, 11, 14, 29 and a future 2nd netted Smith, Saad, Stringer, Shiel, Mosquito, Caldwell and Josh Eyre. Saad has left obviously as one of our best players but got us pick 8. The original pick 11 we gave up wss Aiden Bonar who im pretty sure you got for peanuts as well.
 

Rad Roo

Premiership Player
Aug 2, 2017
3,138
1,488
AFL Club
North Melbourne
If you mean it didnt work in the sense of we didnt win anything, i can tell you that getting these guys was more about filling a big hole in the list we had with 23 yr old best 22 players (although Shiel was 26, the other 3 were 23/24) rather than 'topping up' just for the sake of going for a flag (a geelong style top up with 30+ year olds). Yes, Essendon were confident of what was possible 2018/19/20 if everything had gone right injury wise (Daniher and Fantasia had kicked 100 between them in 2017, Hooker and Hurley were still playing solid footy) but these recruits were moreso about balancing out age demographic. They have all still got plenty of good football (apart from Smith a big worry) as of now and if you look at the draft capital spent to bring them in its not much. Pick 11, 30, 11, 14, 29 and a future 2nd netted Smith, Saad, Stringer, Shiel, Mosquito, Caldwell and Josh Eyre. Saad has left obviously as one of our best players but got us pick 8. The original pick 11 we gave up wss Aiden Bonar who im pretty sure you got for peanuts as well.
Ummm, you got those players at that time because your club deemed those were last remaining puzzles to a flag, at least a top 4 which turned out to be far from the truth. The players you got were all B grade discards from their respective clubs. Of course, Saad was the unpolished gem but ultimately, his best years will be at carlton. Stringer was either essendon or a vfl team as doggies couldn't get rid off him quickly enough. Shiel was not the superstar mid like Kelly, Whitfield, cognilio. He is a decent mid but nothing more. SMith is decent but not worth a pick 11.

And as to if anything went to plan, even if that did happen, essendon would never have gotten close to a flag. Richmond, Geelong were clear top 2, followed by collingwood and WC. Essendon would be luck to be the 8th best team.

There is no difference between filling holes and topping. You don't bring players to the club for no reason. Geelong's recruitment strategy is by far the worst of all clubs because they have essentially wasted a decade. People are lauding geelong, except they don't realize Geelong is only a few years behind hawthorn and hawthorn is in big big trouble. After 1991, it was 2008, then 2013, so we are looking at another 20 years.

your 3 top 10 picks from the 2020 draft on the other is a good batch and is a great way to start the rebuild if such a word exist. If you are not in premiership contention, i.e. top 4, you are in rebuild or better be thinking about rebuilding. When you draft right, you don't need the big names.
 

Yoda_

Hall of Famer
May 6, 2007
30,114
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Ummm, you got those players at that time because your club deemed those were last remaining puzzles to a flag, at least a top 4 which turned out to be far from the truth. The players you got were all B grade discards from their respective clubs. Of course, Saad was the unpolished gem but ultimately, his best years will be at carlton. Stringer was either essendon or a vfl team as doggies couldn't get rid off him quickly enough. Shiel was not the superstar mid like Kelly, Whitfield, cognilio. He is a decent mid but nothing more. SMith is decent but not worth a pick 11.

And as to if anything went to plan, even if that did happen, essendon would never have gotten close to a flag. Richmond, Geelong were clear top 2, followed by collingwood and WC. Essendon would be luck to be the 8th best team.

There is no difference between filling holes and topping. You don't bring players to the club for no reason. Geelong's recruitment strategy is by far the worst of all clubs because they have essentially wasted a decade. People are lauding geelong, except they don't realize Geelong is only a few years behind hawthorn and hawthorn is in big big trouble. After 1991, it was 2008, then 2013, so we are looking at another 20 years.

your 3 top 10 picks from the 2020 draft on the other is a good batch and is a great way to start the rebuild if such a word exist. If you are not in premiership contention, i.e. top 4, you are in rebuild or better be thinking about rebuilding. When you draft right, you don't need the big names.
Uh this old chestnut again.

So much incorrect it’s not worth correcting.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Bjchan13

Club Legend
Jul 23, 2018
2,360
2,263
AFL Club
Essendon
Ummm, you got those players at that time because your club deemed those were last remaining puzzles to a flag, at least a top 4 which turned out to be far from the truth. The players you got were all B grade discards from their respective clubs. Of course, Saad was the unpolished gem but ultimately, his best years will be at carlton. Stringer was either essendon or a vfl team as doggies couldn't get rid off him quickly enough. Shiel was not the superstar mid like Kelly, Whitfield, cognilio. He is a decent mid but nothing more. SMith is decent but not worth a pick 11.

And as to if anything went to plan, even if that did happen, essendon would never have gotten close to a flag. Richmond, Geelong were clear top 2, followed by collingwood and WC. Essendon would be luck to be the 8th best team.

There is no difference between filling holes and topping. You don't bring players to the club for no reason. Geelong's recruitment strategy is by far the worst of all clubs because they have essentially wasted a decade. People are lauding geelong, except they don't realize Geelong is only a few years behind hawthorn and hawthorn is in big big trouble. After 1991, it was 2008, then 2013, so we are looking at another 20 years.

your 3 top 10 picks from the 2020 draft on the other is a good batch and is a great way to start the rebuild if such a word exist. If you are not in premiership contention, i.e. top 4, you are in rebuild or better be thinking about rebuilding. When you draft right, you don't need the big names.
Smith didnt cost pick 11. It was Smith, Stringer and Saad for 11, 30 and a future 3rd. From those picks we've got 1 best and fairest from Smith, 2 x 3rd place and a 4th place bnf from Saad, and 2 x leading goal kicker from Stringer. And we just got pick 8 back for Saad even though id have preferred to keep him. Thats great value to me but depends how you rate picks. I never said we brought those players in for no reason. The difference i was trying to point out between topping up and recruiting 23 year olds like we did is the amount of footy you get out of them. A top up for a flag with 30 year olds to get you over the line for a year or getting 7 or 8 seasons of footy out of a younger recruit, especially when that part of the age demographic was lacking. There is a difference. We definitely overpaid for Shiel, luckily we got Caldwell back who was our pick 11 target that year for a better price.
 

Rad Roo

Premiership Player
Aug 2, 2017
3,138
1,488
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Smith didnt cost pick 11. It was Smith, Stringer and Saad for 11, 30 and a future 3rd. From those picks we've got 1 best and fairest from Smith, 2 x 3rd place and a 4th place bnf from Saad, and 2 x leading goal kicker from Stringer. And we just got pick 8 back for Saad even though id have preferred to keep him. Thats great value to me but depends how you rate picks. I never said we brought those players in for no reason. The difference i was trying to point out between topping up and recruiting 23 year olds like we did is the amount of footy you get out of them. A top up for a flag with 30 year olds to get you over the line for a year or getting 7 or 8 seasons of footy out of a younger recruit, especially when that part of the age demographic was lacking. There is a difference. We definitely overpaid for Shiel, luckily we got Caldwell back who was our pick 11 target that year for a better price.
Okay, okay, since when does topping up has an age limit? You got those players because your leadership core believe you are one step away from a flag.....

We got in players like Polec because we wanted to quickly return to top 8 through some quick fixes....

Both didn't work out for an understatement.

However, it's sometimes much easier to restart from scratch then picking through the wreckages because what do you do with players who are decent enough but not enough to take it to the next level. Do you cut those players or do you keep playing them? The player exodus in 2020 was also another dark spot. It wouldn't be a bad to completely bottom out to continue getting in a continuous batch of top talent.

The general strategy is that get the bookends set then work on the mid and finally the niche positions can be sorted with Free Agency and pre-season. If the trade department is prudent and does it's job well, position on the ladder doesn't have too much to do with the quality of palyers you bring in because for us, our worst season ever brough us the most talent players we got for decades (corr, stephenson).
 

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