When was this?
If Francis comes good:
Baguley Ambrose Saad
Gleeson Francis McKenna
Hartley is a good defense but he doesn’t give you the rebound that Francis will.
Longer term we will need a replacement for Bags, McNeice and Redman are being groomed as potentials.
He was on the injury list for a substantial period
He’s sampled just about every position on the ground in his first two seasons on an AFL list, but for now, the backline is home for Aaron Francis.
The number six draft pick was shifted to defence in the VFL three weeks ago.
He produced his best game in that role last week, finishing with 22 disposals and eight marks against the Northern Blues.
Francis has been used mostly in attack throughout his five senior games, but Performance Coach Mark Harvey said the 19-year old approached John Worsfold recently about shifting to the backline.
“He went and had a chat with the senior coach and probably was thinking that’s where he needed to go,” Harvey told Bomber Radio.
“That’s how he was recruited effectively in the under 18 system.
“He’s played there the last couple of weeks and he’s starting to ramp up his ground coverage.
“Fundamentally he reads the game quite well and his offence can be good if we can get his kicking more decisive.”
Essendon’s backline in the senior team has been unchanged in the last five weeks.
But Harvey said Francis could contend for selection if his performances continue and expects him to settle as a defender down the track.
“He was in good form last week and there is no reason why he can’t push for senior selection in the coming weeks,” Harvey said.
“His GPS results are starting to get to the required level, he’s tough, he’s uncompromising.
“I would expect he’ll be in the team at some stage in the next six weeks.”
Might be missing some one there bud
And Francis is not going to play the role Hartley does either
Supposedly about a third of the way into the season, when he was down on confidence and marking poorly.
Although I was quite critical of our forwards set up in the Ressies I saw last year - little structure or system apparent, and this wouldn’t have helped. Having a more defined role is a pretty common way for players struggling with confidence to regain it.
Kudos to him for recognising it.
I don’t think requesting to be played back reflects a permanent preference.
I have too
Might be able to sneak #18 into that six
I’m happy to agree with you actually on that one - my main point was in defending Gleeson who I rate highly. Certainly Francis has not gone backwards during his time on the list - so poor choice of words there and I do still hold optimism for him.
Anyone know where I can see footage of his goal on Anzac day?
Psoars the story goes…
Just look at the highlights on the club site from that game
Just saw it for the first time (was overseas). Thanks mate
Was Francis even at the club today watching the match or doing rehab work? Is he on some sort of leave from the club that hasn’t been announced?
He’s training at the farm up state.
I don’t think he was around.
Missing in action
Too worried that a supporter might catch him laughing while Essendon was losing.
woops, wrong thread