#19 Kobe "The Eel" Mutch


He plays very wide like a traditional wing.

Will be interesting how they continue to develop him.

The Gaff/Stanton type role is what he should aim for but he’s also very good inside.


Yep. And I know he is prone to go short with his kicks, but to be honest, I don’;t mind that right now. I’d rather he grows into whatever he will grow into, then he blazes away. At least you know he’s actually targeting someone.


Exactly. At least he continually hit a target & we maintained possession.

Sam Mitchell made an art form out of little kicks through congestion. Matt Crouch does similar.

As he gets more confident at top level should see him increase his range hopefully.


As a wing going shorts not a problem.

It’s the backline that you need your best kicks. Francis will be handy if he ever gets going.


he’s ■■■■■■ fortunate the coaching staff dont think he looked a tad weary and needs a rest!


He will “need a rest” when Colyer is fit again…


I’m heavily emotionally invested in Francis.



He’s as talented as anyone on the list.




Gitihad, what?


Along with his courage, that is one of his best assets. He knows where to be, and when to be there. A good natural footballer is The Eel.




“None of our kids have done anything at AFL level yet”

I think maybe the best strategy is to keep rotating Lang, Mutch, Guelfi, and probably Clarke in 3-4 game spells.
None of them are quite good enough yet to be locks, but they each deserve (some) games. Keep them fresh, keep them hungry, play a month in seniors, back down to VFL to work on whatever things have been shown up a little.


Reckon? Teams are hemming us in, largely because we’re getting blinkered and reluctant to take a risk. Not really a criticism of a sub-5 gamer, but we will only break through the press by taking it on.


Agree with most of that except the Lang bit.

He can’t learn anything at VFL level in my opinion.


Maybe not. I personally think he is best 22, but I think he’s got some stuff to work on too.


I agree, I think he is best 22.

He will adapt to the pace of the game and the physical requirements far better at AFL level than just playing VFL.

I would seriously like to know what benchmark he needs to meet.


There is much to like about Essendon youngster Kobe Mutch
an hour ago
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KOBE Mutch can’t help but giggle as he’s quizzed about his first name.

“Believe it or not, I’m named after Kobe Bryant,” the Essendon midfielder said.

“Believe it or not, that is true. Dad had just seen it and liked the name.”

Was dad, Terry Mutch, a major NBA fan?

“He’s not — he just liked the name and went with it.”

Mutch, 20, grew up a passionate Essendon supporter with James Hird’s No.5 on his back.

Now he is trying to make his own name — and number — at the Bombers.

“Whenever he (Hird) wore a long-sleever, I would wear a long sleeve (jumper),” Mutch said.

“And if he would change to a short sleeve, I’d change to a short sleeve at my local club.

“I used to copy him and I had long, blond hair as well. As a youngster I was No.5 until they allocated a different number.”

Ardent Essendon fans will notice that Mutch is a capable kick on both feet.

Often he will use his left in general play and his right when lining up for goal.

“My natural (foot) is the left, I reckon,” Mutch said.

“But from day dot I’ve kicked on both sides. Left foot is probably a little bit more natural, but I really enjoyed kicking on my right because of James Hird.

“You could say that (Hirdy was to thank).”

For the Gol Gol boy it was a no-brainer.

“I grew up an Essendon supporter so I basically didn’t have any other thought come into my head. As soon as I got the offer I signed on,” Mutch said.

“I’ve dreamt of playing for Essendon ever since I was five.”

Mutch was frustrated that chance didn’t come in 2017. He averaged 21 disposals in the Bombers’ VFL side and placed second in the club’s best-and-fairest.

“But most Wednesdays or Thursdays I was pretty disappointed (to not be selected),” he said.

“My feedback was I’ve been put up for selection, but they’ve decided to go for a certain bloke.

“I could only play as an outside mid, so I was pretty much a one-trick pony in terms of position.

“This year I’ve developed my inside game a bit more and now I can play inside-outside.”

Mutch got his chance last week, recording 20 disposals on debut against Melbourne and playing a “wide receiver” role.

He will run out against Hawthorn at the MCG still feeling fresh following pre-season knee surgery.

“I hurt it (my knee) last season. I had a bit of a tear in the meniscus,” Mutch said.

“I was kicking on my left side and trying not to kick on my right side.

“Through January it started playing up again and so I went for a scan and the tear was still there, so we decided to go get an (arthroscope) and they found a bit extra.

“So we had that cleaned up and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. I didn’t realise how much it was affecting me and the way I played.”

Kobe Mutch after Essendon’s loss to Melbourne last week. Picture: Getty Images
Mutch’s journey began at North Broken Hill — “Tex Walker territory” — and then he shifted to play for Wentworth.

Local coach and former Western Bulldog and Bomber Mark Alvey completed a power of one-on-one training with him and Terry helped build his running tank. Then, from the age of 13, the Greater Western Sydney talent academy added a professional edge.

“The academy was great,” Mutch said.

“Being a young kid from the country you’re focused on footy training and they taught you things outside of that like how important weights and diet and all the off field things are to become the full package as a footballer.”

While Mutch trained with Bendigo Pioneers, he played a couple of academy games for the Giants and picked the brains of Mark McVeigh and Jason Saddington.

But when the Bombers bid on Mutch at pick 42 in the draft, the Giants opted to let him flourish at Tullamarine.

“Leon (Cameron) rang me the day before the draft and wished me luck and said whatever happens happens.”

Mutch moved in with teammates Aaron Francis, Sam Draper and Alex Morgan last year and played the role of mum in the house — in charge of cooking and cleaning.

This year he has shifted to Oak Park with his girlfriend and brother and while he has a famous basketball name he wants his footy to do the talking.

“When it’s there to be won I go and put my head over the footy, I kick both sides of the body and tend to work hard from contest to contest,” Mutch said.

“That’s the way I play footy.”


Same old wait ages before going for surgery.

Held over for other one trick ponies. But good on the kids developing a part of his game he had as a junior. Top stuff essendon