#9 Dylan Shiel


Shiel be right.


My well-trained (huh!) border collie just sidled up to Dylan, who’d been running around Elsternwick Park - the park not the amos football ground. I thanked him for choosing the Dons and said how much I was looking forward to watching up play. He also has a border collie and said we now had two things in common! Very nice young guy who looks totally ripped.


The real dyl


X talks about Shiel.

Dylan had interest from other clubs whom he spoke highly about as well. He was very comprehensive in his analysis of those clubs, but he chose Essendon for a range of reasons. I built a strong relationship with him in the process, and he’s just a super impressive young man. He’s got a great line of sight on things, not just on footy, but more broadly across life and what he wants to achieve. He’s clearly an accomplished player, but he doesn’t come as the answer. He’s not the difference. He comes as a player with elite standards who is going to drive another increase in our culture and standards in everything we do


The Answer


The Difference



Still pinch myself that he will be running around in the red and black next season. We really have no excuses now.


Me too. Admired him from afar for so long, jokingly said he’s always welcome at Essendon, never thinking it’d come true.

As XC said though, he’s not the messiah (he’s a very naughty boy!), he’s one piece of the puzzle. Much more needs to improve other than the addition of Shiel for us to climb the ladder.


However, a big piece!!


Everyone : We need a big fish!!!

{Gets big fish}

Some people : Meh…


X can talk Shiel down as not being the missing link, I beg to differ. I’ve watched him and GWS more closely that’s other teams. Maybe it was the sheedy influence, who knows but I don’t hate GWS like I do every other team in the comp, whereas GC I just pity.

No doubt in my mind barring injuries, with a full healthy list challenging players to perform to keep their place Shiel is exactly the missing link to our midfield structure.

This guy is the inside Bull we’ve waited so long for, fast on the break and able to win a hard ball.

So, my question to X is what is the missing link? We have no excuses in 2019 to not only make the finals, but to be a major player in September. Where we ultimately finish is debateable but with Shiel in the team who else do we now need?


As good as Shiel is, and I am a massive fan, he is not the missing link. If there is such a creature, he is taller and heavier than Shiel, and never butchers a disposal. But seeing as this unicorn was unavailable, I’ll happily accept Shiel as the next best thing, and another very handy piece of the puzzle.


years of knuckle dragging may have limited his ball handling ability, but hes still got a big foot on him.


No one player can turn around our performance but he will certainly make a difference.

Still need one or two of our young mids to step up.


Shiel’s inclusion means the ‘missing link’ changes to something different, as a successful team relies on many pieces that compliment each other, and is not a jigsaw puzzle that has specific requirements. It is more a ‘system’ than a ‘machine’, so to speak. In my mind - and very few if any people will be certain of this till halfway through next season, our needs now shift slightly to fast, strong outside runners with fantastic disposal, and defensive forwards who are good marks as well as tenacious defenders.


The missing links IMO to knocking off the best sides of which we only just fell short of in latter half of year are:

  • Deeper midfield for class. Shiel coming in + progression of Langford, McGrath & Parish

  • Daniher & Fantasia fit and firing. Match winners.

  • Being better defensively. Rutten’s task.

  • Not getting in game injuries. Luck.


So aside from what we already have and natural progress, what do you feel our weaker areas are?


I don’t think we have a weakness from a positional perspective. Outside older key players like Hooker, Hurley and TBell really dropping off the perch or a few significant injuries. For me it will come down to whether we can formulate and implement a game style that will stand up and whether we have the mental fortitude to move from an enigmatic, nice side to watch to a ruthless, disciplined, winning side. But there should no more cattle debates imo.


Personally I think it is about having players that can change the direction of a game.

Sheil will help, as well as a fit Joe and Fantasia.

If Stringer can step up then we have another.

The list is fine. It’s up to the players now.


The best teams are happy confident and relaxed cause they know their game to a tee. All the intensity, aggression stuff it’s cods wallop for what are we doing again.
And I don’t use cods wallop lightly


Still don’t bat deep enough through the midfield. Shiel helps sure.

Will need a youngin in the list to step up.