Which two teams will drop out of the 8 next year and why?

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master bate

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 13, 2006
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Essendon:

Backline:
Hooker - solid big key defender, can be a great interceptor mark as well if playing CHB.
Hurley - can he get and stay fit and be used as an interceptor? Or is he needed to play full back?
Francis - should be an excellent rebounder, but then Hurley moves to full back, needs to run more!
Ambrose - I like him, but he yoyos between excellent and liability as the main stopper and if he doesn't have a direct match up then Essendon don't need him in the sdie
Saad - great rebounder, but forced to take a man
McKenna - very good rebounder
And then? Redman? McGrath having to play back? Ridley out of favour. Zerk? Gleeson, Zaha?

Overall: Top 8 quality but still some concerns on the fit. It's all big and small. Where's the medium do it all defender like a Vlastuin?

Midfield:
Bellcho - I've always liked him, does the job if healthy. I like Phillips as depth too.
Merrett, Shiel, Smith - yes, yes, yes. Especially if getting games on their terms - fast, open, attacking
McGrath - as above, can he get a chance on ball more?
Heppell - kind of like the way he played wing last year, will he be healthier
Don't mind Guelfi, he's solid, Parish got back on track last year,
Is Clarke a regular as a tagger? Who's next? Ham? Langford?

Overall: Probably fringe top 8 just without the big star or with any confidence that they'll be able to play to their strengths

Forwards:
Daniher - ok, let's go.
Stringer - elite at what he does - 12 touches, some pressure, some goals
AMT - yes.
Orazio - surely he delivers this year
McKernan - probably found a niche, but is he the right partner for Daniher?
Begley? Laverde? Anyone else?

Overall: If Daniher, Stringer, Fantasia and AMT all fire it's a strong group, but add injuries and concerns over depth and it's more fringe top 8

I think Essendon are such a popular pick to missing finals not because they are bad but because there's a sense that even if they do make it, it won't matter.

That said, I'm keen to see how a new coach changes things and if that changes my opinion on their players. Nearly every Richmond player went up a notch when they found their form in 2017. It wouldn't shock me if Essendon do something like that, although it's always more unlikely than likely.
 

citizen-erased

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Jun 11, 2007
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Essendon
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Essendon:

Backline:
Hooker - solid big key defender, can be a great interceptor mark as well if playing CHB.
Hurley - can he get and stay fit and be used as an interceptor? Or is he needed to play full back?
Francis - should be an excellent rebounder, but then Hurley moves to full back, needs to run more!
Ambrose - I like him, but he yoyos between excellent and liability as the main stopper and if he doesn't have a direct match up then Essendon don't need him in the sdie
Saad - great rebounder, but forced to take a man
McKenna - very good rebounder
And then? Redman? McGrath having to play back? Ridley out of favour. Zerk? Gleeson, Zaha?

Overall: Top 8 quality but still some concerns on the fit. It's all big and small. Where's the medium do it all defender like a Vlastuin?

Midfield:
Bellcho - I've always liked him, does the job if healthy. I like Phillips as depth too.
Merrett, Shiel, Smith - yes, yes, yes. Especially if getting games on their terms - fast, open, attacking
McGrath - as above, can he get a chance on ball more?
Heppell - kind of like the way he played wing last year, will he be healthier
Don't mind Guelfi, he's solid, Parish got back on track last year,
Is Clarke a regular as a tagger? Who's next? Ham? Langford?

Overall: Probably fringe top 8 just without the big star or with any confidence that they'll be able to play to their strengths

Forwards:
Daniher - ok, let's go.
Stringer - elite at what he does - 12 touches, some pressure, some goals
AMT - yes.
Orazio - surely he delivers this year
McKernan - probably found a niche, but is he the right partner for Daniher?
Begley? Laverde? Anyone else?

Overall: If Daniher, Stringer, Fantasia and AMT all fire it's a strong group, but add injuries and concerns over depth and it's more fringe top 8

I think Essendon are such a popular pick to missing finals not because they are bad but because there's a sense that even if they do make it, it won't matter.

That said, I'm keen to see how a new coach changes things and if that changes my opinion on their players. Nearly every Richmond player went up a notch when they found their form in 2017. It wouldn't shock me if Essendon do something like that, although it's always more unlikely than likely.
Would think Langford transitions to fwd line with Smith returning to the middle, plus the additional big bodies of Hibberd and Cutler likely to surpass Clarke...who is a great tagger but his kicking is woeful unless kicking the wrong way :p
Would be surprised to see Begley or Laverde play many games.

Good summary though.
 

Gunf

Premiership Player
Mar 11, 2019
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what did the Tiges counter get up to? out of interest
You guys broke the drought and within weeks had a flag.
Yes but the Tigers have elite talent Ess have .......and by Elite i mean Dusty/Lynch/Riewoldt/Rance compared to that Ess have at best a few A graders

Oh and 1 good year from Daniher isn't elite it is potential which he has only achieved once

Would also help if Ess had an inside midfield
 

Halftimehero

Norm Smith Medallist
Jun 26, 2012
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I just can’t see Essendon going backwards this year with the re inclusion of Daniher and Smith and an extra season under the belts of McGrath, Francis, Parish, Redman, McKenna and Guelfi.

*Barring another horror injury run
 

master bate

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 13, 2006
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Would think Langford transitions to fwd line with Smith returning to the middle, plus the additional big bodies of Hibberd and Cutler likely to surpass Clarke...who is a great tagger but his kicking is woeful unless kicking the wrong way :p
Would be surprised to see Begley or Laverde play many games.

Good summary though.
Cutler's a nice option to play wing or half back and provide the kind of big, strong, quick and all round player that Essendon need, but getting so little games at Brisbane is a worry.

Not so keen on Hibberd as a starting mid, very good in the VFL but not sure he'll win the footy at the same level at AFL level. I think big body mids are overrated in terms of clearances but maybe underrated in having extra marking and strong in the tackle around the ground stuff.
 

citizen-erased

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Jun 11, 2007
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Cutler's a nice option to play wing or half back and provide the kind of big, strong, quick and all round player that Essendon need, but getting so little games at Brisbane is a worry.

Not so keen on Hibberd as a starting mid, very good in the VFL but not sure he'll win the footy at the same level at AFL level. I think big body mids are overrated in terms of clearances but maybe underrated in having extra marking and strong in the tackle around the ground stuff.
we need something. Happy for Cutler/Hibberd to be low in our bottom 6, but need the balance in the side. either of those 2, plus Townsend likely to come in, give us that.
 

Carringbush2010

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This is very difficult to decipher given how even the competition is. Even though anything is possible I'll start with the cemented groups to stay in.

Definites:

Obviously Richmond, though not THE best list their system is almost impenetrable! System beats talent every day of the week.
WC - such a sublime list - forget the age of Kennedy, Hurn etc. on every line they have the next generation coming through. Waterman, Ryan, Cameron, Barrass, the Gov, Schuey, Yeo, Gaff AND the addition of Kelly. This group will contend for a few years yet, their achilles heel is their uber skillful transition footy, they're exposed on any transition mistake.
GWS - again such a sublime list, if they ever get their system clicking will take the mantle from the tigs.

Not sure:

Collingwood, probably the most system reliant team in the whole comp - although moving away from what was almost successful in their system they still managed a prelim. The list as good as it is, is not the likes of WC or GWS. Will have to get back to grunt swarm and spread footy - if they do that they're in the premiership conversation. Continue with the "controlling transition" rubbish then they'll fail.
Dogs, a dangerous dangerous opponent their best footy is irresistible but their worst is mid table stuff. Another system based team with absolute elite in the Bont with a very good if not under rated support cast - not sure
The lions, on paper probably as a good a list as the Pies riding a wave of positivity. Finals experience will hold them in good stead - not sure.
Geelong, their best is good enough to win the cup, just need to put it together at the right time of year. Get a run on like the dogs did near the end then look out! - not sure.

Likely to fall out:

Essendon, dynamic when they're on and cut you to ribbons! That run off HB when Saad and McKenna are on give them a plethora of forward transition options. Question marks on their list which I think is a little over the top. Again the comp is so even it is hard to guage. In saying that they'll need to be playing at ten tenths for the year to be a flag threat. That is highly unlikely to sustain. - Likely to fall out IMO.
 

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greatwhiteshark

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Oct 3, 2007
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This is very difficult to decipher given how even the competition is. Even though anything is possible I'll start with the cemented groups to stay in.

Definites:

Obviously Richmond, though not THE best list their system is almost impenetrable! System beats talent every day of the week.
WC - such a sublime list - forget the age of Kennedy, Hurn etc. on every line they have the next generation coming through. Waterman, Ryan, Cameron, Barrass, the Gov, Schuey, Yeo, Gaff AND the addition of Kelly. This group will contend for a few years yet, their achilles heel is their uber skillful transition footy, they're exposed on any transition mistake.
GWS - again such a sublime list, if they ever get their system clicking will take the mantle from the tigs.

Not sure:

Collingwood, probably the most system reliant team in the whole comp - although moving away from what was almost successful in their system they still managed a prelim. The list as good as it is, is not the likes of WC or GWS. Will have to get back to grunt swarm and spread footy - if they do that they're in the premiership conversation. Continue with the "controlling transition" rubbish then they'll fail.
Dogs, a dangerous dangerous opponent their best footy is irresistible but their worst is mid table stuff. Another system based team with absolute elite in the Bont with a very good if not under rated support cast - not sure
The lions, on paper probably as a good a list as the Pies riding a wave of positivity. Finals experience will hold them in good stead - not sure.
Geelong, their best is good enough to win the cup, just need to put it together at the right time of year. Get a run on like the dogs did near the end then look out! - not sure.

Likely to fall out:

Essendon, dynamic when they're on and cut you to ribbons! That run off HB when Saad and McKenna are on give them a plethora of forward transition options. Question marks on their list which I think is a little over the top. Again the comp is so even it is hard to guage. In saying that they'll need to be playing at ten tenths for the year to be a flag threat. That is highly unlikely to sustain. - Likely to fall out IMO.
Good post.
 

Ambrosia

Norm Smith Medallist
Mar 11, 2010
9,709
5,036
AFL Club
Essendon
Essendon:

Backline:
Hooker - solid big key defender, can be a great interceptor mark as well if playing CHB.
Hurley - can he get and stay fit and be used as an interceptor? Or is he needed to play full back?
Francis - should be an excellent rebounder, but then Hurley moves to full back, needs to run more!
Ambrose - I like him, but he yoyos between excellent and liability as the main stopper and if he doesn't have a direct match up then Essendon don't need him in the sdie
Saad - great rebounder, but forced to take a man
McKenna - very good rebounder
And then? Redman? McGrath having to play back? Ridley out of favour. Zerk? Gleeson, Zaha?

Overall: Top 8 quality but still some concerns on the fit. It's all big and small. Where's the medium do it all defender like a Vlastuin?

Midfield:
Bellcho - I've always liked him, does the job if healthy. I like Phillips as depth too.
Merrett, Shiel, Smith - yes, yes, yes. Especially if getting games on their terms - fast, open, attacking
McGrath - as above, can he get a chance on ball more?
Heppell - kind of like the way he played wing last year, will he be healthier
Don't mind Guelfi, he's solid, Parish got back on track last year,
Is Clarke a regular as a tagger? Who's next? Ham? Langford?

Overall: Probably fringe top 8 just without the big star or with any confidence that they'll be able to play to their strengths

Forwards:
Daniher - ok, let's go.
Stringer - elite at what he does - 12 touches, some pressure, some goals
AMT - yes.
Orazio - surely he delivers this year
McKernan - probably found a niche, but is he the right partner for Daniher?
Begley? Laverde? Anyone else?

Overall: If Daniher, Stringer, Fantasia and AMT all fire it's a strong group, but add injuries and concerns over depth and it's more fringe top 8

I think Essendon are such a popular pick to missing finals not because they are bad but because there's a sense that even if they do make it, it won't matter.

That said, I'm keen to see how a new coach changes things and if that changes my opinion on their players. Nearly every Richmond player went up a notch when they found their form in 2017. It wouldn't shock me if Essendon do something like that, although it's always more unlikely than likely.
On the backline the problem is Hurley, Hooker, Francis and Ambrose don't all fit together in one back 6. To be honest I think the problem is Francis who just has too many mental lapses and fitness concerns to effectively play small and can't be the primary intercept player when Hooker is back there. So for mine the clear best best 22 back 7 is FB: Hurley - Hooker - Saad HB: Mckenna - Ambrose - Gleeson IC: Redman (Both Gleeson and Redman were excellent last year and will only get better imo). I personally see that back line as an excellent mix given the jobs Hurley did on medium sized forwards last year Ambrose's ability to play on the oppositions best KPF regardless of size.

Agree RE Midfield. On Heppell it'd be awesome if he could stay fit as he has carried significant injuries for big parts each of the 3 past seasons. Not so much this year but in the early rounds of 2017 and 18 he looked every bit back to his prolific form that saw him earn AA honours in 2014. Only to slow down significantly later in the year to point where you start to question the value he brings to the side. With McGrath who knows although he looked like an absolute jet in the final against West Coast and has a knack for just creating time and space with the only problem being he is handball happy when he should be looking to break the game open with his run.

On the forward line I think Mckernan and Daniher work well as a duo at least theoretically given Daniher has always been his best at CHF and is hopeless in the ruck whereas Mckernan is better as the deepest forward and is excellent as a back up ruck. Obviously could get frustrating as both players seem to be the type that the make the simple look difficult and the challenging look easy. On the rest anyone's guess whether or not Orazio will be fit or not but when he is he's a jet no question marks whatsoever imo. You are right in saying that 6th forward spot looks super wide open I would like to go with a Snelling or a Ham though and really make it Essendon's focus to kill sides with run.
 

PCORF

Premiership Player
Jul 3, 2007
4,690
1,438
AFL Club
Adelaide
I think Brisbane and either Essendon or the Western Bulldogs will miss the 8 next year. Possibly the GWS Giants. Hawthorn back in the 8. It is hard to see Richmond, West Coast, Collingwood and Geelong missing the finals and I think one of those 4 teams will win it all next year.
 

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