#16 Josh “Fridge” Begley


Good point. We sorely lack hard nuts compared to JJ, Solly, Lloyd, Hardwick, Wallis, Barnard, MJ days.


Begley is the medium sized forward/mid that is built for the modern game. That field kick is one of the best in our side and he is our best set shot at goal.
Our forward line should consist of
Begley stringer Fantasia
One of:Laverde/Brown/Stewart Daniher Tippa
Mckernan on the bench


Why would you draft a player and then trade them two years later for nearly the exact same pick. It’s a waste of time



Lol. What…
There is so much wrong with that…


I agree with all that and stated as much earlier. But right now he’s very much an unknown and if you get an offer for him that you can transfer into known commodity then you take it.


You can discuss value all you like.

If, however, you do the value calculation and come up with it being a good idea to trade Begley for a pick around 20 I’d most likely think that your thoughts around “value” are completely different to mine.

Begley is a kid who from not being in draft calcs early in his draft year had reinvented himself as a powerful midfielder, with elite running capability as well as the ability to kick goals as a forward. Since he got to Essendon he’s impressed the coaching group enough that he played in his first year, and was best 22 in the coaches’ eyes for round 1 of his second year. It’s fair to say that the coaches rate him, and he is exactly the mix of hard running mid and goalkicking forward that we need.

If you’re talking about list balance, he’s the player you’d be trying to trade for (and I disagree that our midfield is fcked).

So I can’t see how trying to trade Begley for a player that might end up being Begley 2 years behind in development really makes any sense.


The side was stacked with a type because the club as a whole felt we lacked a number of certain types of players. They have filled that to the full now and have since changed to now stacking the midfield.

This side was destroyed and completely unbalanced after the years of Sheedy (latter years) and Knights and needed to be rebuilt. The saga didn’t help that rebuild one little bit.


So your basic strategy is not to develop anybody. Just draft kids, and then move them on in exchange for someone that another club has developed. Because until they are subject to some development, everyone is “very much an unknown”. I find that attitude not only bizarre, buy a recipe for failure.


Depends whether you trust your own development or not. Some clubs 100% can’t develop players. Others have a proven track record. I’m not sure where we sit on this one yet IMO.


If you’d been unsure about our ability to develop players a few years ago I’d agree.
But this is an area I think was identified, and a lot of work / resources put into.
Stand out examples would be The Langford, Conor & Gleeson.
Kelly as a development coach is another.
And I’m quite happy with the work put into Parish, McGrath, Redman, even though there’s a whack of impatient angst at times.
There’s always some development failures - J Merrett and, frustratingly, Long for example.

If Begley hadn’t gone down in Round 1 then his development plans over the year would have been much clearer.
Unfortunately I reckon we’ll have to wait a bit longer - coming back from a knee isn’t an instant thing, especially for a young bloke without a defined role.
But on exposed form, attitude, and potential he’s one of the last to be traded.
Francis & Begley on the same ground could wreak havoc in a Final.


I’m coming around… but not 100% convinced yet.

The ghost of draft busts past looms large in the corner…


If you don’t think we are doing something right with our 25 and under list at the moment :

Jordan Ridley
Sam Draper
Brandon Zerk-Thatcher
Josh Begley
Andrew McGrath
Mason Redman
Matt Guelfi
Aaron Francis
Darcy Parish
Kyle Langford
Jayden Laverde
Conor McKenna
Zach Merrett
Orazio Fantasia
Martin Gleeson
Adam Saad
Jake Stringer
Joe Daniher
James Stewart
Devon Smith
Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti

Plus Hepp whose 26:

The above are 22 players (in age order) who are all already or likely best 22 in the near future. And there is more on the way.

I would hold that age group up against any other in the AFL at the moment. Disco is killing it IMO.


Con fkg cur.

The EXACT style of player sydney have been recruiting and developing for 10 years. Smart, good user, good size, hard at it.

Patience required.


There’s blokes on that list that haven’t played a game. Blokes that have come ready made from other clubs. And blokes who’ve been absolute left field draft steals.

Dodoro has done a good job of identifying guys for sure. But identification and development are different things.

As I said, we’re definitely getting better at it and I’m coming around… But old habits die hard and it’s gonna take a little while longer before I’m totally and utterly convinced.


Yes it’s been said our under 25 group is best in league.

And our recruitment strategy is clear around adding to that so they all come through together.


Every time I watch him, I just see Luke Parker.

Except the Fridge has better disposal.


The ole Timmy Watson, jump over the guys on the ground, and pass is what has be pumped to see this kid develop.


Fair point, I have taken five players out who were more or less ready to go - Walla (he did all the extra hard work himself), Devon Smith, Saad, Stringer and Guelfi. The rest we’ve developed, I’ve included McGrath given plenty of top draft picks have been poorly developed, even though he was AFL capable from round 1. At least we eased him in as a backman and are developing him as a midfielder.

Out of the 16 left 9 are already best 22 (bold) and another 5 could quite easily be during 2019 if not round 1.

That leaves only Draper and Zerk-Thatcher, who will come into serious contention by 2020 given the learning curve for Draper is proceeding well, and Zerk needs time to develop a body to go with his courage, height and leap.

You can see from the age order that nearly all the players are tracking well if you allow for taller players being a bit slower and injury interruptions for some players like Lav and Begley.

If you haven’t got faith yet, you probably will soon.

Jordan Ridley
Sam Draper
Brandon Zerk-Thatcher
Josh Begley
Andrew McGrath
Mason Redman
Aaron Francis
Darcy Parish
Kyle Langford
Jayden Laverde
Conor McKenna
Zach Merrett
Orazio Fantasia
Martin Gleeson
Joe Daniher
James Stewart


2019 Look out