I agree he was better mid than a forward, but his possession numbers where never anywhere near good inside midfielder numbers. He just couldn’t find enough ball inside or outside the contest, a pretty poor tank and his distribution has always been average. He was an ok supporting act, but he was never better than a C grade player.
I reckon the club are trying to work out if he’ll get better next year with a year of footy under his belt.
If Hocking, Watson, Stanton and Bird all go, they might want him around for depth.
Checked Birds contract status the other day, after wondering if he was being held back this year for Jobe, and would be thought of as a replacement for him, but he is out of contract this year.
Still wonder if he might be re upped to do just that. he hasn’t done a lot wrong, and it might be thought that he would improve on that with permanent senior time…
Wrong thread, so thoughts, … here??
#24 Craig Bird - Delisted
i find it hard justifying his stay even if (and assuming) all of Jobe, Stants, Hocking and Bird go. Would rather have kids as backup depth than Howlett - he aint the future. if we’re looking for depth to run through the midfield, better have someone who can actually run, and someone who can plug a hole down back or be effective up forward.
I did some searches but it came up empty. I’m pretty sure though that he signed a 3 year deal with us although I may be suffering from amnesia. I reckon he’s signed for next year.
Regardless, I think there must be better options than Howlett in the VFL that could come in for depth.
I checked today and Howlett is averaging under 120 meters gained per game - it’s hideously bad. I’m serious in saying we’d be better off playing Smack as a midfielder.
#24 Craig Bird - Delisted
Dunlops normally on top of it, so I’m assuming it’s current.
That’s all part of the process. You start legal proceedings, and then accept a settlement. You do that because it is quicker, quieter, and no chance of losing. But it is all part of being sued, even when they don’t go to court.
I suspect Howlett or Bird will be fighting for the last spot on our list in 2018 - It will be a close call.
To be the best of my recollection, Howlett’s never been on anything larger than a 2 year deal. He certainly isn’t under contract for next season as his current contract is only for 1 year - he was one of a number of saga guys who came out of contract last season.
Thanks for the response. However I was asking about Bird?
My apologies. Officially when Bird came across he signed for 2 years.
Thanks. Is that on top of the last year he still had with the Sydney contract?
Think Howlett & Bird have both been a tad unlucky this year. Howlett though, is more diverse and provides better tackling pressure etc. He’s probably going to receive a 1-year deal.
With Watson / Kelly / Stanton / Hocking / Bird almost certain to go… You need to keep some experienced heads around. We were ■■■■■■ fortunate with injuries this year. Almost be inclined to throw Bird a lifeline too if we fail to sign / trade for a proper mid in the off-season.
Based purely on form this season, l would have Bird on the list every day of the week, before the Bobcat, who looks like his time is well and truly up. The Saga claims another victim. The game went past him in his year off, and he has not recovered from that.
Howlett has been gifted games when the form at AFL level has not warranted it. How has he been unlucky?
I can’t see the point of keeping players around who are unable to perform for depth reasons. There are plenty of guys running around the VFL who could fill a role and do it better.
Essendon Football Club has made further changes to its list following the conclusion of the Trade Period.
Ben Howlett and Craig Bird were advised that they will not be offered a new contract for the 2018 season.
Howlett played 124 games during his seven year career with the Bombers. His fearless attack on the contest, determination and selfless playing style were trademarks of his game.
Senior Coach, John Worsfold, commended Howlett for helping drive the Club’s strong culture. “Ben is an unbelievably strong character in terms of his leadership and team values,” Worsfold said.
Well done Ben- did the best with his ability.
But it is also a symbolic of the strength of our list that we don’t see a spot for him.
Always had a genuine crack. Can’t ask for more than that, really.
Sorry to see him go.
Best of luck to Benny in the future, at his best he was a pleasure to watch and could always be relied upon for 100% effort.