Hasn’t been a good start for Francis but worth comparing him against the other first round kpp/3rd tall types from his draft year.
2015 national draft
- Carlton Jacob Weithering, 17, Mount Eliza Football Club, defender, 194cm, 94kg - 42 games
- Brisbane Lions Josh Schache, 18, Murray Bushrangers, forward, 198cm, 100kg - 27 games
- Essendon Aaron Francis, 18, West Adelaide (SA), defender, 193cm, 92kg - 5 games
- Melbourne Sam Weideman, 18, Eastern Ranges, forward, 195cm, 94kg - 2 games
- Carlton Harry McKay, 17, Gippsland Power, forward/ruckman, 200cm, 94kg - 2 games
- Carlton Charlie Curnow - 27 games
- Brisbane Lions Eric Hipwood - 30 games
- GWS Harry Himmelberg - 16 games
- Adelaide Tom Doedee - 0 games
- Hawthorn Ryan Burton - 24 games
- North Melbourne Ben McKay - 1 game
He clearly hasn’t jumped out of the blocks like some, but against others who simply aren’t physically ready for it yet (as is the case for him) or been unable to get opportunity he has played much the same so it’s no need for panic.
The McKays & Weidemann (who also had draft year injury woes) also haven’t played much. Doedee is on zero games but had a dominant SANFL year and will likely take Levers vacated spot.
I still don’t expect Francis to be genuinely ready to contribute until 2019 onwards. There is just no way he pushes ahead of Ambrose or Gleeson yet, nor even considered like for like with Hartley.
Seemingly got his mindset right but now needs to get his body right, and based on preseason so far already having niggles and injury issues that’s a definite work in progress.
Just going to have to be patient … he is just a kid. Plenty of time still. Whilst it would be great it really is no big deal if he isn’t playing senior footy just yet.
He’d want to get it done himself quickly though as there will always be others competing for your spot. Ridley being one who was flying but grounded now.