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


Interesting how many of the posters in this thread are ardently defending franga. But have absolutely ripped into the team and some players in the past. Guess it’s fine until the big MH is mentioned. Also a lot of you were going into buddy when he stood back for MH claiming some crack pot conspiracy about drug ban.


I think that was just another excuse to make the claim that AFL = Illuminati.


I think a lot of it was genuine schadenfreude.


A lot of false equivalency here.


Mental illness is difficult to deal with and a lot of people refuse to accept that it is a genuine illness, he is only young. Give him the year off and bring him back next year.


To be fair ivan I put forward a reasonable idea but finished with saying whatever the demon is, but as you rightfully point out (and I’d forgotten about the personal issues mentioned some time ago) the issue could be about unresolved grief.

Personally, if done in a respectful way I think the conversation can actually be helpful to people with mental health issues … talking about the various demons people confront in their lives and ways of dealing with it. Blitz is a forum for discussion after all.


Pretty much sums it up here.

Get right off the field before even contemplating football.

Life is bigger than a game.

Francis not happy ‘for a long time’: Woosha
Callum Twomey
Feb 14, 2018 10:42AM

AFL 2018 Training - Essendon 120118
Aaron Francis at Essendon training in January
If we took out and ignore the fact he’s on an AFL list and he was a high draft pick, the real issue is he’s a young man who should be living a really happy life
John Worsfold
Don takes leave to deal with mental health
ESSENDON coach John Worsfold has no read on whether Aaron Francis will return to the club this season after the youngster recently took leave from the Bombers to deal with his mental health.

The South Australian youngster, who was about to embark on his third AFL season, will have what the club described on Tuesday as “an extended period of time” away from Tullamarine.

Francis played just five games for the Bombers in his first two seasons after joining the club as the No.6 pick at the 2015 NAB AFL Draft, but Worsfold couldn’t say if the 20-year-old would be back this year.

“I have no ability to know anything about all that,” Worsfold told AFL.com.au.

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"If we took out and ignore the fact he’s on an AFL list and he was a high draft pick, the real issue is he’s a young man who should be living a really happy life.

“Whether that involves football or not, that’s not the priority. That’s situation and where it’s all at. Our number one thing for Aaron is just to be happy.”

Francis requested a trade back to a South Australian club last year, but neither Adelaide or Port Adelaide showed strong enough interest in the intercept-marking defender so the Bombers kept him to his contract.

Worsfold said there were “indications” Francis was not enjoying his time at the club well before his trade attempt fell through.

“It’s obviously pretty sensitive, but Aaron hasn’t been really happy – as in what we would define as happy – for a long time,” he said.

"He loves the game, he loves the Essendon Football Club, but however it all works, he hasn’t been happy coming to training and he hasn’t been able to work out why. Basically, we’ve tried to get him the support of experts to assist him to work through why that is.

"A lot of the times a player will try to do this while they’re still playing and training and in the same environment, but it’s at that point now where we need to break that because it’s been ongoing.

“He’s a wonderful young man who loves the game of footy and it’s not just about footy – it’s about everything. He’s now working through whatever he has to do to be a happy young man.”

Francis had to deal with personal issues before arriving at Essendon, having lost his older brother to illness at the end of his bottom-age season in 2014.

He used his grief as motivation throughout his draft season and produced a run of sparkling performances through the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships and was named an under-18 All Australian.

His flexibility as a prospect who could play as a backman, forward and even occasionally as a midfielder appealed to Essendon, but Worsfold said the club has always been mindful of Francis’ circumstances.

“Initially we understood where Aaron was coming from and what he’d been through, so we were obviously very respectful around that,” he said.

"But it’s not something where we felt the need to adjust his overall program. He’s just tried to fit in and do what he can do. But when you look back over the two years, really, we only know Aaron from when he arrived at the club.

“We don’t know what Aaron was like before his brother passed away or when he was 10 or 11 years old, so it’s hard to say if there’s any change or anything different.”


Yeah, from that article the loss of his brother in 2014 is an obvious cause although Woosha suggested there was footy related stuff too, which “could” go to my point about his body/fitness (?) … all part of the discussion. No harm in that surely

“He’s a wonderful young man who loves the game of footy and it’s not just about footy – it’s about everything” - Worsfold


Fair enough. I wasnt actually having a go at the way you were responding to the issue. My comment was directed to the thread more generally


You have my sincere sympathy.

Hasn’t your Doctor told you about the side effects. If you have long term cortisone injections, you often need to wear a wrist bracelet to identify it, as it counter-indicates with many other things.

It does work, but it is a very tough road for some.


When you say back - I take it you mean back at Essendon and not back in Adelaide?


What Aaron does now will greatly affect and effect the rest of his life. The importance of him being with his family cannot be understated. Footy is a full time, short term, venture which for some can set them up for life. For others, it is a very brief full on occupation which is hard on the body, mind and spirit.

I hope he finds what he needs to make himself feel whole again, where ever and whatever that is.


I had no idea. In the space of about 2 months, I had 3 injections. First one failed, then received another 2.

No wonder I’ve been in a dark place since.


I am backing the Big Red Bloke 100%.

Believe it or not, sometimes there are things bigger than footy and this is one of them.


So Wallace speaks to Essendon people last year who apparently told him they had serious doubts about his capacity to break through the mental/physical barrier of being a legitimate AFL player. This is not the first time this point has been raised.

Before we bag Wallace let’s take a moment to consider what he’s saying could actually be true (not necessarily about the Essendon people), not discounting the challenges associated with the loss of his brother 4 years ago and the troubles he’s having with his body.

As Worsfold says, Aaron loves his footy and the EFC but maybe, just maybe he’s struggling to bridge the gap between VFL star to AFL player even though that’s something he really, really wants to do?


Wallace was on SEN saying exactly the same thing during trade week last year


That’s right, wombats.


Back playing.
I said a couple of times last year that he was getting pretty depressed due to his constant niggles and fitness issues. He felt like the harder he trained the worse things got and it was starting to get him down at times.


Hirdy would love to hear your deep analysis. And it’s ‘wary’ FFS!!


Love how you’ve trotted out the mental illness card. Point out where I’ve mentioned it please?
This kid featured in god knows how many news articles leading up to the draft pointing out how he supported Essendon as a kid. He must have known we were keen on him. If he had a problem with going interstate that would have been the time to assess whether that was what you actually wanted.
Now my soft as butter comment is directed at his lack of application. Yes he has been interrupted with injury, but You don’t see the same comments in Laverdes thread. He puts in.
Shall I help you off the high horse or are you off crusading something else for someone else who needs saving??