You’re probably correct. The next couple of years are the critical ones. Begley has shown he is worth the investment being regularish already, and Mutch has just broken into the team after winning the VFL B&F. What has Ridley done so far? Injuries may have conspired against him to some extent.
This is the bit that I can’t agree with. It shouldnt take up to 7 years before a decision is made. The difference between us and the Crows and Hawks is that they have mostly been in contention during those years so opportunities for kids are more limited. Essendon, well we have been much shittier so theoretically there should be ample opportunities for senior footy. Guys like Zach, Parish, Mcgrath have all been good enough to do it … why can’t we expect the Ridleys, Redmans, Longs to do the same. Is it because we are too conservative with selection, not good enough with development, or the guys are not good enough to displace the incumbents. It’s undoubtedly a combination of the three and more, but talent gets you on an AFL list, It should be hard work and output that keeps you there.
Hopefully Ridley shows this in the next couple of years … my views here are obviously much broader than just Ridley, but I was a bit surprised that the reward (2 year contract) is there for someone who appears back of the pack at the moment.