A tall forward pocket, young James Stewart
Began well but could not continue it
Till last game of the year
His four goals made us cheer
Of course we all knew he could do it
A tall forward pocket, young James Stewart
Were happy that the Stewart family is now an Essendon family
I said a while back,… that after another pre, he might well be capable of taking over at CHF, allowing Hooksey to go back again if we wanted to,(& the usual insta scoffers scoffed) … letting the likes of Lav & Lang swap at HFF as 3rd talls, so I was rapt to see it.
A bit more size & strength on him, and it’s a definite option imo.
Got nothing to say, as it’s all just about been said, apart from
I love having another James/Jimmy in the team.
Thought he would just be depth for the whole season and maybe get 2-3 games but has exceeded my expectations.
I think he’s been better than Green if we are comparing players in their first year from other clubs.
To be honest he out JoeDan’d Joedan vs Freo
Kicked two crumming goals under pressure on the run on both feet, one big grab and one clever out the back ■■■-he-actually-went-for-that-and-pulled-it-off
Told yas, right footed Joe Dan
The last month we’ve been seeing him kick 2 or 3 goals and have 5 chances, vs Freo he had about 7 chances and kicked 4. Progressing just like JoeDan last year
Also like JoeDan, loves his footy, loves a goal, and loves a big game big moment requiring big moment players
ALSO it’s great to yell out JJJJIMMMMMMMMMMMMMMYYYYYYYYYYYYY
Oh ■■■■… he’s gone media street (article in today’s Hun) on the day of the big game. Destined now to not get a kick. We are in strife…
“Don’t miss him,” the Essendon legend instructed list chiefs last off-season.
Sheedy no longer works in the club’s football department, but when James Stewart floated on the trade market he weighed in.
After all, Sheedy was at Greater Western Sydney when Stewart was drafted and it was Sheedy who handed the athletic forward a 2013 debut — in his farewell game as coach.
FINALS FOOTY: CAN DONS END SEPTEMBER DROUGHT?
FINALS PREVIEW: WHY DONS CAN SPRING UPSET
BOUNCING BACK: HOW ESSENDON GOT ITS GROOVE BACK
“I always told him I was going to pick him,” four-time premiership coach Sheedy said this week.
“I’d be disappointed if he doesn’t play 200 games. His rate of improvement is as good as any player at (Essendon) since he debuted.”
Stewart, unwanted by Collingwood as a father-son and then largely unused at the Giants, cemented in pecking order below Jeremy Cameron, Jon Patton and Rory Lobb.
James Stewart celebrates his first goal for the Bombers. Picture: Wayne Ludbey
Stewart, 23, was naturally gifted and showed plenty of glimpses. In game No. 4 Stewart slotted his first AFL goal from 55m on the boundary, and then had three running majors by halftime.
But his four seasons at GWS netted one, three, 13 and one matches.
He arrived at Essendon as a fashionista, bringing some “Sydney flavour” to a bland locker room dominated by trackies and hoodies.
“I don’t mind rolling into the club in a few different kits. It looks pretty good, to be honest,” Stewart said.
After 15 consecutive games, Stewart is now dressing up Essendon’s forward line.
Without Stewart from Rounds 1-7 the Bombers were ranked No. 12 in attack. Since he was selected, they have shot to No. 2 as offence became the club’s one-wood.
On Saturday he will start alongside Joe Daniher in Cale Hooker’s absence.
Stewart had a taste of that in Round 23, when Hooker was an “extremely” late withdrawal.
“I had to have a think about playing closer to goal and taller at times,” Stewart said.
James Stewart (right) with Kevin Sheedy after being drafted by the Giants.
“Not chasing the footy as much and trying to give the boys some representation, especially when Joey goes into the ruck.”
Isolating himself deeper, Stewart slotted a career-best four goals that day.
Rewind 12 months and Stewart, who played junior footy as a midfielder before a growth spurt, was dreaming of premiership glory.
The lanky kid from Sandringham Dragons burst into the Giants’ Round 1 side after a super summer and then wasn’t sighted again.
“But I was preparing myself every week for twos as if I was playing ones,” Stewart said.
“I was emergency a fair few times and was telling myself that, whether through injury or a guy has a couple of poor weeks, I could easily play a role and stay in that team.
“I just knew I had to bash the door down. That’s the belief I held, right up until they played that prelim.”
Essendon recruiter Adrian Dodoro rated Stewart’s NEAFL form “first-class”. He booted 48.22 from 18 games, culminating in a flag.
But the door to an AFL final failed to open. This year at an injury-ravaged GWS, things might be different.
“Last year compared to this year is a polar opposite in terms of the health of that list,” Stewart said. “While it didn’t eventuate, I was pretty proud of the way I was able to maintain that mindset.”
Stewart’s attitude would thrill Sheedy.
“When he understands how good he can be, he’ll be a fantastic player for this club,” Sheedy said.
That was the message Tommy Hafey delivered to Sheedy in the late 1960s and he says it rings true for Stewart.
Stewart spent his draft year in 2012 believing he was a “solid chance” to join the Pies, where his father Craig played 150 games, including two Grand Finals.
Then, exhausted after draft camp, he was called to a meeting at Etihad Stadium.
“The deadline (to nominate father-sons) was 2pm on the last day of draft camp, and I was told about an hour before that by the Pies that they wouldn’t,” Stewart said.
James Stewart in action for the Bombers. Picture: Getty Images
“I was pretty rocked by it. Fortunately, I had my Year 12 exams, and I took my studies really seriously and managed to use that as a distraction.”
His dad wasn’t so forgiving. Years later he accused the Magpies of a “lack of respect” — not by passing up his son, but for dropping the draft bomb two weeks before his school finale.
The Giants had long liked Stewart.
“Looking back now I guess they weren’t joking, but they did say, ‘Look mate, we’ll definitely be taking you if the Pies don’t’,” Stewart said. “I sort of laughed that off.”
It was a quiet draft night in the Stewart household, where he is back living now, and also a short wait.
GWS pounced at No. 27, the club’s sixth and final selection.
“It was just an unbelievable experience and a great foundation for me,” Stewart said.
“But to come and be a part of the next chapter here (Essendon) was something really special, and I’m loving it.”
Kid has heart.
My good oil on stew came from someone I know close to the giants. They did really rate him, just couldn’t fit him in with three other talls who are serious guns in Cameron,Patton,Lobb.
Ironically with Cameron’s problems the giants would have loved him this year. I’m not sure if the scg will offer him the space he needs to dominate in a final…let’s see.
That explains a lot.
Could we ungrowth spurt him? need someone that clean below their knees in our midfield.
He’s the inside jet we always wanted.
Absurdly big bodied midfielder?
jebus you’d love to see him get a run in the midfield (not today)
also, eat ■■■■ collingwood
Has the guy had a run in the ruck?
V poor today. Woulda loved if he slotted the 1st one through. His abd zaka’s early missed hurt. I remember one other mark on the boundary late in the game. That’s it…