#18 Michael Hurley -- now coaching

The original Hurley thread appears to have hit capacity (although not quite full), but mods please merge if I have that wrong.

It’s always fun when the first post of a thread can be used against the poster in perpetuity. If that occurs this time around, I will be happy to take the hit.

Hurley’s unforced errors (such as the turnover under no pressure in the first quarter), his lapses in concentration allowing uncontested marks to his direct opponent (followed by much head shaking and swearing), and his trampoline hands are, collectively, undoing the good work he does to the point that I think we might be better off without him. Not saying we have an obvious direct replacement today, but unless he can improve the balance of good and bad I will be counting the days until that replacement is found.

Credit where due, his aggression (when not giving away free kicks), contested work (when he gets near it), possesion count (net of clangers), and intercept possessions (when he is far enough in the clear to take a chest mark) do make an important impact on games.

He just could and should have been so much more.



Mmm not yet. Deserves next year but geez he has not got close to pre Serra saga.

Ok forgeting the kicking clangers for a moment (and his kicking has just gone to absolute poo), he conceded 3 marks to Riewoldt tonight that were uncontested because he was not with him in the contest. Two on the end of the square (1st qtr and last qtr) and the one just before half time when he was inexcusably 10m off Riewoldt on 50.
Why? Is it the preoccupation with peeling off and reading the ball for a freebie, or is it just lazy defence? Any defender concentrating on the task can make it hard for a key forward to get the space Hurley gave Riewoldt. Ambrose wouldn’t do it.

He’s infinitely better with Hooker back there. He gets caught out trying to play both roles at once when Hooker’s forward.


I hate the way he tries to get his opponent under the ball and quickly double back to scoop up the loose ball. The Hurley of old would keep his man right next to him and trust himself to beat him one on one.

Why did he give up the corridor/ just outside the goal square against Riewoldt when Francis was blocked by Caddy?
Dumb defending, dumb football. Riewoldt is right footed and Hurley is protecting a congested right pocket. It’s not that he’s getting beaten it’s that he’s giving away the more valuable space.
Maybe Hird is right, put him forward. 10 years in the system and still gets the basics wrong in defence. 2-3 good games a year is worth at most 300k and he’s on more than double that.

Disgraceful as a leader of the club.

Can this man not mark anymore?

Give it a rest.


Big Bear is going to make some opening posters look like fools in this thread


Yeah righto, been waiting a couple of seasons now

Been waiting a couple of seasons for you to make a constructive post now


I love the guy, but he’s not going to get back to the player he was imo. He’s very inconsistent these days.

He’ll play out his career with us. He’ll be awesome from time to time and be pretty solid. But we’ve seen his absolute damaging best imo. He’s capable of the Buddy type games from a few weeks ago, but they are few and far between now

If we got offered a top 10 pick for him, you’d take it imo. But I doubt that will happen



When the ball comes in high he can more than hold his own. On the lead against anyone with a bit of speed he normally really struggles

Not a big fan of every time he gets the ball, he just slams it on the boot out of the backline. Needs to be more composed and spot up a teammate

What I don’t get about hurls is that he just turned 28. Not particularly old, should be peaking at the moment, but seemed to have peaked 3 years ago?

I think he needs to be reinvented again tbh.

We were spoiled as a club.

We keep looking for the next Fletcher, Lloyd or Hird. These were once in a lifetime players.


Worst thread on Blitz.

Are you kidding me? Hurls is a sensational player. Sure has some average games but has also had some absolute rippers.

Completely toweled up Franklin just a couple of weeks ago.

Love the bloke, will go down a champion of Essendon.


This isn’t really intended as a criticism…

But for several years, I’ve regarded Hooker’s value to the team as being greater than Hurley’s.

And yet, over the same period, I assume that the pay packets have consistently been weighted in Hurley’s favour.


I think he’s been very overrated for a long time, but I also think he’s being asked to play in a way that emphasises his shortcomings.

He’s at his best when he is given a job like the one he had on Franklin: play on one opponent, stick with him in everything he does, and don’t let him get a kick. He did that and he did it brilliantly and was a major reason why we won that game.

But the role he’s usually given is as the “quarterback”, getting into space and distributing the ball out of the backline. He doesn’t do it well and it means that he’s often away from his direct opponent, who as a result has a much easier time. He’s lost confidence and he’s not playing well.

Maybe next year Skipworth should be made backline coach. As forward coach he got the forwards kicking high scores. As midfield coach he’s improved our midfield from poor to pretty good. Let’s see what he can do with Hurley and the backline.