#10 Aaron Francis - “Hurley, except he’s a better mark”


The stats tell me as well as my eyes that he’s just an ok player, nothing more.


Unless Francis, Ridley or someone else come form no where, Gleeson’s spot is as safe as houses.


That’s a glowing endorsement


Stats hardly tell you the full story.
Francis isn’t within a bull’s roar of Gleeson at the moment.


I agree stats don’t tell you everything but they are the only indication of production.

They can also be used for quality but only within context.

I agree that Francis is not there yet, but for mine he has scope for far more improvement.


We have to become a ‘no excuses’ club.
Everyone deals with stuff differently which is understandable, but players still need to be held accountable to a high standard.

As CJohns mentioned, players have a career that spans 5 years (average). He has hone through two interrupted pre-seasons and that has shown with his inability to run out an AFL game. He’s now looking at a third straight interrupted pre-season. He cannot afford another one as usually a player takes three pre-season seasons before building a good enough fitness base to be able to impact games.

He has time, but he needs to make the best of it.


By the time Francis is ready Goddard will be retired/cooked and Francis and Gleeson will share the position Goddard and Gleeson currently play. I can’t see Gleeson stagnating. Francis will be a champ, will go from zero to hero. If fit would have been the number 1 pick. Schache being picked number 2 to me just shows Francis was a project that needed a lot of time to get fit. Carlton and Brisbane didn’t have the time and patience. We could have taken others, arguably the standout being Curnow wouldnt be doing much better in our list. He would have followed the same path Langford has and we’d be screaming and shouting he’s got no clue how to rack up 25+… as a 20 yr old big body. It will be us the fans that will kill Francis career with us, please be patient.


This thread when he trots out in round 1 for the magoos and gets 5 touches…
FTR I have faith in big sauce


VFL plays 18 games a year which is 36 over two years - Add two finals and that’s 38 Games - Add that young players are usually rested for a game or two in each of their first two seasons - So Francis is doing OK in getting on the park - he’s had no long term injuries 4+ weeks.


I think Francis would be replacing Ambrose when he breaks into the best 22, his ability to be effective going forward with Hooker coming back in the case of a gorilla opposition forward cutting loose will help his cause relative to Ambrose.

Also, I think we have a more dynamic backline with Francis in it instead of Ambrose.

But what keeps Ambrose in the side is you know he will compete and nullify effectively and is relatively bombproof from an endurance and physical perspective.

If Francis can get his body right I think it is a no brainer to have the 3 tall defenders as Hurley, Francis and Gleeson - with Hooker to go back if necessary. But if we can get Hurley, Francis , Gleeson, Baguley, Saad, McKenna (with some back up from Goddard) all clicking together, then opposition forward lines will need to be very accountable and gorilla forwards may be more of a liability than an advantage against us, that is if we can transition forward quickly as this backline would let us. With improvement midfield also on the cards, the increase in forward entries could boost our forward line into the best in the league.

Although the reliability of Ambrose is a great back up, as is the size of Hartley if needed to keep Hooker forward - I really think we need the dynamism that Hurley, Francis , Gleeson, Baguley, Saad, McKenna (oh that we could afford the luxury of McGrath over Baguley) - I can really see us tearing teams to shreds if we improve the dynamism in the middle with a fitter Heppell, Zerrett, Smith, McGrath, Zaka and Belly in the middle (with support from Parish, Langford, Begley, Stringer, Walla, Raz and Goddard) which will also largely rotate through our forward line with Joe, Stewart and Hooker being our 3 tall forwards.

We are on the verge of being the most dynamic side in the competition and Francis is potentially the missing link to get our backs fully functional on the counter attack.

All I can say is I hope he can start putting it all together and start to become a senior player ASAP, if he clicks and stays fit there is no stopping us.


Yeah I was replying to someone who was referring to Francis as a perpetually injured type who will not stay on the ground long enough. On its own my quote sounds negative, not so. Just convoluted.


One was in our best in that finals shellacking last year. the other is still in modified training…

Even if a miracle happens and Francis gets his body right and develops, both are still in our best 22.


Francis is light-years behind Gleeson and what he currently brings to senior level football. There is no debate there. Some underrating of Gleeson too, had a fantastic second half of the season was our best player in the final and obviously trending upward as a player- quite the opposite with Francis.


I was with you until the last bit.

Every indication is that Francis is improving. Just a matter of whether he can improve enough.


Currently working on his forward craft…


Francis has missed 8 weeks of full training. If he’s improving, it will be a remarkable effort.


Yes indeed. He spent some time today with a trainer on the small oval. The drill was to run quickly from half back to a cone in the forward line and double back leading to the kick from the trainer. He’s a beautiful mark. He then either snapped for goal or took the set shot. Very high converstion rate; he’s a much better kick for goal than Chooker.

P.S. didn’t see him drop his head or get sulky. Looks to be coming along just fine


I wish they would settle him in one position for more than 6 weeks.


They would if he was fit enough

Played him forward initially as wasn’t going to hurt the team as much as his man following him as opposed to him having to chase someone else. Due to fact he was gassed at half time often.

He has the skills to play forward and whilst he being managed why not keep building his fwd craft. Being a genuine utility will help him and team moving forward.

Assuming we keep Stringer in guts, Francis just as likely to be our 3rd fwd if injury hit as he is our 3rd defender.

Also more fun at training slotting goals than punching ball away. A bit of fun ideal for him.


I agree with what you are saying but he approached Woosha and asked to be played as a defender.

To be honest he has talent to burn so he could play either end but history has told us that continually shifting players around can be detrimental.