#20 Zac “Zed Clackers” Clarke


#1287

Glad SMACK didn’t get suspended, but at the same time also dissapointed he didn’t as now we won’t be able to watch ZLARKE single-handedly END Goldsteins career Saturday night.


#1288

Essendon backs in Zac Clarke to take on North star Todd Goldstein

Essendon coach John Worsfold has backed under-performing backup ruckman Zac Clarke to take on North Melbourne colossus Todd Goldstein in what looms as a make-or-break clash on Saturday.

The much-maligned Clarke returned to the Bombers’ senior side last week for only the fourth time this season, given regular ruckman Tom Bellchambers (calf) is on the sidelines for at least the next month.

Clarke has drawn criticism for his limited impact when playing in the AFL this season, and while he had only had five disposals against the Swans last week, he still managed to win the hit-outs with 25.

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But Worsfold is confident the 29-year-old can improve with more game time under his belt, even if the spectre of Goldstein looms large ahead on the weekend.

“We have got the option to look at Zac Clarke taking him (Goldstein) on, we will assess all of that and work out the way to go about it,” Worsfold said.

“It will certainly make planning a little easier in terms of Zac being aware of what he is going to be up against. All we can ask for Zac is to play his role for the team and make a good contest.”

The retirement of Matthew Leuenberger meant the Bombers brought in the former Docker in the rookie draft, after a strong season in the WAFL with Subiaco.

Prior to this season Clarke hadn’t played AFL football since 2016, so Worsfold is expected the veteran to build his confidence with a string of games played.

“It wasn’t surprising that his last quarter (last week) was his best quarter,” Worsfold said.

Zac Clarke will face a huge test against Todd Goldstein this round.

Zac Clarke will face a huge test against Todd Goldstein this round.

“He started to get into the groove of the game, so it was a great hitout for him. He hasn’t played a lot of footy … I am confident he will be able to improve with more game time and give us a good contest.”


#1289

He dropped that and got a free kick


#1290

Even if he doesn’t play Blitz will say Woosha is dumb and go ape anyway.


#1291

I reckon against a normal ruckman like Goldstein he will compete a lot better. He is an experienced player, with a game under his belt now after a layoff I think he will do ok this week. Hopefully he has taken some confidence from the 4th qtr last week


#1292

This guy once asked for a sip of my bourbon and coke when he was on a mad monday celebration, then proceeded to neck the whole thing in about two sips.

Never got me another one.

If I can support him, anyone can.


#1293

I have just torn up my imaginary membership.


#1294

His off field work Saturday night was impressive.

As he well should. When your a 200cm dark skinned bloke with dreads the ladies flock. Seems the quiet unassuming cool cat.

Smack was out too at different establishment with his darl.

Rucks obviously thought they’d treat themselves to a few drinks after fine job against Aliiir ha!


#1295

I agree. I don’t like all the Zac bashing that is happening.


#1296

Well hopefully he stops being bad at football…


#1297

I would back him in to turn it around this week. He was equally as terrible in his first game round 3 v Melbourne. He was quite impressive vs Brisbane the next round in general play. Goldstein won’t be roving his taps and breaking away from stoppages like Alir was.

3 votes…Z.Clarke…out of 100 votes


#1298

Don’t know how anybody could have any confidence that he could do well on Saturday. He’s a log out there on the field, Goldstein will have a field day.


#1299

Well they did get the W.
Sounds like some others got the D


#1300

From a technical perspective keen observers of the game will note ZC stands in exactly the same spot before every centre square bounce. When he was palming the ball to Aliir last week I wondered about his thought process. As a young ruckman I was coached to mix such things up fwiw. Truly hoping for an out of the box improvement this week and backing him to be better for the run.


#1301

All things being equal he isn’t in our side. TBC would have started the season Draper would have come in and given him a rest and the best would have seen the season out with the occasional rest allowing the other to play.

So Clarke was brought in on rookie coin to provide a third back up, and assistance/mentor to Draper in the Reserves.

I recall Blitz commentry on a Draper debut and the there was an opinion that at that time the opposition had strong rucks and it would be unfair for him. Then he did his knee, unfortunate.

Then TBC went down and Clarke became the only option. I don’t know of too many clubs that have a ready to go ruck champion as a third choice. If they do I would suspect it is via luck and one has developed more than they thought he would and he is on limited coin. I would expect that they would look to trade one out at the end of the season, or would be forced to by a contract demand.

At the end of the day we have a bloke who is on minimum chips, and was a just in case option, who we are now forced to use. To add to this he came back into the senior side off an injury and is working back into the game.

A lot on here are being unfair in their expectations of him, and there is no one else that can do the job better. So how about accepting the situation and supporting him?


#1302

I loved Robbo’s little spray last night.

Said if Z Clarke plays the same way he did for 3 and a half quarters on Saturday, Goldstein will absolutely dominate


#1303

So the bloke who was arguably the premier ruckman in the competition for the better part of the last decade might give a bloke picked up on the rookie list a bath. In what way would anyone think this would be a surprise? Clarke is by no means a superstar, but that isn’t what we drafted him to be. We drafted him as a break glass in case of emergency player, and that is exactly what he is. I for one think he will go alright against Goldy.


Game day thread vs Norf (2019 round 17)
#1304

I’ve met you and I’ve seen him, how the ■■■■ could he see you all the way down there?


#1305

He may well be on a plan just to keep it as simple and predictable as possible, given he’s only in game 3/4 with this midfield, and sat out for a month in between games 2 & 3.


#1306

I was actually drinking a pint from a shot glass.