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


what exactly are you even saying that they could have picked up on? That he might have mental health issues 2 and half years after he was drafted?


that he was predisposed to this happening. Find it hard to believe that the wheels could fall off so abruptly


Yes, plenty of time for him… But my concern is that he’ll come good back home with another club.
Having said that, I’m still on the train. :slight_smile:


Yep, some of his mates and family are heading over to support him and I would t be surprised to see him back sooner than later.


I lost my mother at 25, and it took me 10+years to break free from the depression and sadness from the loss. The impact it had on me, and my other sibling/family members was heart wrenching.
Now I don’t know if it has anything at all to do with that specifically.

But some of the posts about being ‘soft’ and ‘weak’ are right up there with the most ignorant and heartless things I’ve ever read anywhere.

The kid is doing everything he can to make it. He’s lost a heap of weight, but when the body keeps failing, and the mind is already fragile, it’s near impossible to keep going.

He needs a 3-4 week ‘reset’ , added support around him, then he can come back fresh and ready for another block of training.

Truth is, we can never live in someones skin and truly know the impact of their personal issues.
And we completely underestimate just how demanding AFL footy is.

Seeing him playing good consistent VFL footy is a nice, pressure free starting point for Aaron in 2018. Let him have the space to get well.


So we don’t pick someone up now because they could get depression? You wouldn’t have a playing list if that was the case.


Not that it matters much compared to his health but talking footy again…

Realistically with his talent, you’d give him until he’s around 24/25 to “make it”. He’s only 20! He’s a rare and quite unique talent with a blend of skills that aren’t common. So like we did with Gumby, you give him all the time he needs because the potential reward is huge.

I can just imagine one day Francis becoming a top 10 player for us, and along with his very hard start to his career, we will absolutely love him.


He was going to get picked up at some point mate.

Maybe without his issues he would have gone number 1.

We had two picks in the top 6 picks, we were always primed to take the risk on him.

It was a calculated, educated and will inevitably prove to be a smart decision to recruit him.


No, you psychoanalyse every player you seriously consider picking up. If it comes back that they are predisposed to depressive states/ will struggle to overcome trauma/ hardship, then you reconsider taking them so early.

It’s not like you ‘get’ depression like you do a cold. If someones hammys were predisposed by some genetic condition to be weak and tear constantly, and the year prior to drafting they tore their hammy off the bone, youd be pretty weary of picking them up. Its like that.


Now that things have been explained, as Essendon supporters, sticking by Aaron should be a given.
The same should very much be said for other whipping boys such as Jackson Merrett and Josh Green who seem to consistently cop the wrath of supporters. Let’s not wait until these guys also have mental health issues before we wake up.


Thanks Ace and Scooter. Appreciate the insight from both of you, and it sounds like Aaron’s getting good support for what he’s going through.

Mods - perhaps this thread could be locked until there’s further news?


But if it’s locked how will we know there’s news? Unless someone makes a bizarrely specific title.


Or at least ban one particular moron from posting


Actually, it’s very common for mental illness to hit it’s severity around the age of 19-20, particularly with men. (usually about 15-16 in women) Thats not to say there aren’t some signs earlier, but if it’s severe, this is the age it kicks in, and you can’t predict severity ahead of time.

And, just quietly, you’re being a d*ck about this.


I agree with you, there was no such thing as depression back in the old days, at least Nobby Clarke had the decency to play through his & win a couple of flags with us, before retiring & deciding to top himself.


Feel for him.
Perfect time to get away IMO if he chooses to. You can understand negative feelings, injured again, wouldnt be surprised if Laverde is also a bit down after his injury.


There is nothing inevitable in football let alone a decision to draft any particular player. Aaron was drafted, we get it and we support the club in success and failure. Aaron, however, is no where near guaranteed to fulfill his potential, but this doesn’t matter at the moment. I hope his time away gives him what he needs.


I get that, but I also think it’s helpful to allow the discussion so those who think Francis is being soft can understand/appreciate the issues better. Of course if posters are being deliberately trollish then no. Respectful open discussion then yes.


So, the issue is not home sickness and in truth that ship sailed some time ago.

It is not beyond the realms to imagine the struggles are about his body, fitness and expectations he puts on himself. Every time he gets some continuity with games another niggle comes along to derail his ambition. That demon can be very demoralising and play tricks on a young mans mind, especially if he feels like he’s letting people (teammates, family, friends, supporters) down.

The boy just needs to play. Great that friends and family are there for him. Understanding the demon (whatever it is) / its purpose and learning to live with it goes a long way to removing its hold on you. Get back soon Aaron.


Or unresolved grief.

I feel uncomfortable with this game of pin the tail on the mental health issue though and think we should treat this issue with more respect and tact than it’s been getting in this thread at times.

Frankly all this could be causing distress to others reading it so keeping posts to messages of support would be appropriate I think. If we can’t manage that then I think this thread should just be locked.