2019 Lid Off! Amnesia pills available here


#101

I know he’s a big wrap for Francis and Guelfi. He was singing their praises at the end of last season. Not sure if he was talking about anybody specific though.


#102

Yes, because it’s clear that the likes of McGrath are not “professional” :crazy_face:


#103

Interesting choice of words, not sure how to interpret that one.

But, on field, we do need Langford and Parish to step up, McGrath and Francis to maintain their trajectory for us to have a strong season.


#104

Interpret Sheeds words as Coaching Cliche 101.
Is there a team you wouldn’t say “if four or five young players etc etc and don’t get big headed etc etc” about ?
Saves Sheeds from having to remember names and dodges fallibility issues in hindsight


#105

Judging by coffee shop talk from fans of other Melbourne sides, they begrudgingly admit the Essendon list is highly rated and expect us to play finals, most likely top 4. Our opponents sound like they are lid off. Is that a good thing?


#106

To quote that **** heap of a club… They Know We’re Coming


#107

I just put a hundred on us for the flag and I’ve never gambled on sport previously. Lid is off.


#108

Yes it’s great that there are clever opposing supporters.

But come on @chris_64 where are the stats on coffee shops, opposing fans, pitch and tone of their voices, how many had their fingers crossed, how begrudging were they on the Likert scale?

The Lid off thread does not give a rats tossbag what other fans think about us.


#109

It’s not gambling when you know you’re gonna win.


#110

Good to see John all lid off for 2019…


Worsfold tells his players to embrace the hype
Callum Twomey

WHEN John Worsfold took over as Essendon coach at the end of 2015, he heard several things about the side he was inheriting.

“When I first arrived we talked about adding pace to the team and now people take a deep breath and say ‘Mate, Essendon are quick’,” Worsfold told AFL.com.au this week.

“People had said we couldn’t kick a score and our forward line hadn’t functioned for a number of years. Now, people look at our forward line and there’s a bit of envy with how talented it looks. And we’ve bolstered the midfield. It really feels like all the work is there.”

One thing hasn’t changed. Worsfold was aware of the finals drought the Bombers were stuck in when he followed James Hird as the leader of the club, and three years on, Essendon still hasn’t won a final since 2004.

There have been reasons for that, including the wipeout that was his first season in charge in 2016 when the anti-doping bans saw his most experienced players suspended for the season.

But after a recruiting spree over the past two NAB AFL Trade Periods that has seen the Bombers net four quality players, most recently Greater Western Sydney gun Dylan Shiel, the hype has more substance. Worsfold has told his players to embrace it.

“It’s there because people can see the squad’s good. So the first part is let’s pat our list management team on the back because there wouldn’t be any hype if they weren’t doing a good job,” he said.

"The hype also says people like what they see and like what they saw throughout last year and they can see the talent in the playing group and the style of footy we’re trying to play.

“I’m really excited about the year. I’d love to be playing finals. We’re here to win a premiership. Everything we do is around building a team that’s a squad, a list that’s good enough to win a premiership, a game style that’s good enough to win a premiership.”

Whether you think Essendon can do that depends on which Essendon from last year you believe. Was it the one that lost six of its first eight games last year, including to wooden spooners Carlton? Or was it the one that won 10 of its last 14 games and played some scintillating football?

Worsfold’s foot is firmly in the second camp, noting a far better defensive line-up that helped deliver results late in 2018. He isn’t getting carried away, knowing their four losses in that period came against top-six sides Collingwood, Hawthorn and Richmond (twice).

But the former West Coast coach, who steered the Eagles to their 2006 flag, is putting no limits on what Essendon can achieve in 2019.

“I reckon it’s pretty open. Would Adam Simpson have said he thought the Eagles could win it last year? Maybe. It might’ve been a faint ‘It’s going to be hard but maybe we can’,” Worsfold said.

“Why can’t we do what Collingwood did? Or what West Coast did? Or what the Bulldogs and Richmond did the two years before that? But it’s tight and tough and I reckon there’d be 14 clubs saying the same as me.”

The Bombers, according to their coach, won’t play in a style that looks too different this season. But they aim to be tighter defensively, which has been a focus over summer. They feel their backline is settled now, and has built a strong level of chemistry after last season.

There are other reasons for their optimism, not least Shiel’s arrival. The 25-year-old fitted their wants perfectly: a midfielder in his prime with pace, strength and game-changing ability. Worsfold said the Bombers “grilled” Shiel before he came, and describes him as “organised”, “diligent” and “popular”.

“Dylan Shiel gives us a bit of insurance that if there’s an injury to one of the other senior guys we’ve got a broader scope of experience,” he said.

Worsfold points to Kyle Langford and Andrew McGrath as players to have taken their game forward in the pre-season, as well as Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti. He notes the size Darcy Parish has added to his frame, and the effort put in by talls James Stewart and Michael Hartley to cement a spot in the starting line-up.

He thinks Joe Daniher can still have a major impact on this season despite his heavily interrupted summer with that osteitis pubis injury, but isn’t as sure about a return date for half-back Martin Gleeson, who continues to struggle with an ankle injury from last year’s JLT Community Series game.

Key players Zach Merrett (ankle), Cale Hooker (hamstring), Dyson Heppell (hamstring) and Conor McKenna (groin) have also had injury setbacks, but the club expects them all to be available for round one against the Giants.

Worsfold, who had an extended break over Christmas, and his coaches haven’t yet set out who they think will be in that round one team, but that meeting is not far away. He sees this as his team now; not one he took over but one he has shaped and helped build. He also knows, at least in the eyes of those outside the club, finals are the benchmark.

“That’s fair enough. That’s what we’re all here for. North Melbourne, Port Adelaide, us and others [missed out last year]. Why is any one of us more deserving of that finals spot than us? Teams who were in there last year aren’t going to cough it up so it’s exciting for the competition,” he said.


#111

Thats the way John, put some pressure on the club and see how they react.

Time to deliver is now.


#112

I think the players will deliver.
I think the pressure is on whoosha and coaches. I think our coaches are sheep more so than tactically trend setters. Will that again result in a poor start? Can we bring something to the table early that troubles teams and deep dive what teams tactically are most likely to go with. Without runners a game may get away from you real quick.


#113

Team selection is critical.

Pressure all round I feel.


#114

I’m nearly bursting. Let’s start already!!


#115

start what? Another discussion about who should be in the team or who should be traded at year’s end after we’ve won the flag or how bad Heppell is at marking?


#116

We need Allblack’s Collingwood 2019 write up so everyone can amuse themselves piling on.


#117

Can we go with Hep’s marking? That conversation was stimulating.


#118

Hepps marking doesn’t hold a candle to hepp’s hair.


#119

I’m a bit concerned about our lack of tattoos compared to Collingwood and Richmond. I think we tried to address this a little bit with Stringer, but apart from that, the club doesn’t seem to have any commitment towards tattoos.


#120

Devon smith and Stringer look like two that would get tattoos and they both have them.
Not many others look the type, Gown looks like a wild child though.