Adrian Dodoro - Flankers into Mids since 2000 (Part 2)

Nail hammer head. I 100% agree.

Its not just one area either, look at the rucks. Ryder left in 2015 and we’ve had an underperforming ruck division ever since. We’ve brought in some band aid solutions in Looney, Clarke and Phillips but they didn’t have much impact. It looks like 2025 we should have a Draper/Bryan combo with enough experience to be a good ruck division again. But 10 freaking years to get there, it’s just not good enough. That’s nearly the whole midfield career of Merret with a poor Ruck division. We should be better than that, we need to be better than that. We can’t just waste players careers as we allways have one or two areas of the list that are inadequate.


All of this was a compounding issue from not planning for the retirements of our inside midfield (Jobe, Hocking, etc). We tried to play catch-up and invested heavily in mids from 2015 to 2018, to the detriment of planning for Hooker and Hurley’s retirements


And in 3 years time we will be saying taking so many talls at once in 19-21 was to the detriment of other areas. Forever chasing our tail.

It’s a great argument, right up until you look at where we’ve spent our draft resources.

Might have been true in about 2008.

Bellchambers was fine until 2018, the gap was 2019-21.
But what does an actual alternative look like, in the real-world circumstances?
The only ruck drafted in 2015 was Pittonet. Who couldn’t push out the likes of Jon Ceglar for his first 3-4 years, so hardly shifting the needle a great deal. Guys like Fort were in the VFL, but again, are they really a huge improvement over what we had.

To me. The minutiae (whilst often correct as far as it goes) is missing the’s a half decent list. Every part of the list is kinda OK but no part of it is great.

Because - going back.
The 2013-14 side was a 6th-7th list. Then the saga set us back a bit.
Then we half went in on the Hurley/hooker age group, and had a different half decent side for 2 years.
We’re now half going in the parish/redman age group, and we’ve got another half decent side.
Half half half. We’re always half. Disco’s not an idiot but he’s not going to build a flag side from pick 10s and cast offs

And we’ll keep being half until the club makes some big decisions that, so far, they’ve been oblivious to.

Which is not to say Disco’s the right guy going forward - or the wrong guy.I’m just not convinced he’s been responsible for even 1/10th of the issues that have lead up to here.


Not sure how you can say we went half in on Hooker / Hurley 2017 to 2020

We traded 3 most of our picks in 2017 to 2019, and had a coach who was refusing to play younger players over senior players.

We played catch up recruiting mids between 2015-18 because we lost our 1st/2nd round picks in both 2013 and 2014.

The saga draft penalties not only cost us potentially 4 high end talented picks, but also the flexibility to use picks to trade for these players.

The draft penalties across 2013/4 cost this club enormously and hamstrung the clubs capacity to recruit for players post Watson / Hockings and Hurley / Hooker. So in actual fact it became difficult to replace these players without the higher picks in these drafts. You may be one that can’t stand the bloke, but it has to be acknowledged. 4 picks inside the top 40 gone.

And for 4 years no player manager wanted their players to go to Essendon. And we lost Ryder, Hibberd abd a few handy players like Crameri.

Despite this, we found BZT / Ridley as quality defenders (yes could do with a true full back type). With Reid, Hayes and possibly Cox next in line.


No doubt the saga has huge effects.

On 2013, Dodoro said we were looking at talls that draft. Maybe Merrett would have slipped to our second round pick, but maybe he doesn’t. Obviously the big “what if” is who we would have taken with our first rounder that year

2014 if the saga never happens, we get our first round pick back yes, but Ryder also doesn’t ask for a trade. We probably end up with Lav or Langford anyway

I agree that we have invested more on mids recently but I disagree that Dodo has made it a habit of prioritising this area. If you look at the high investment picks, such as the first and second round of the draft, starting in the years leading up to the 2008 as an example (the year you identified), these are the talls we’ve taken since 2005 (excluding players like Ridley who is more of an attacking 3rd tall type).

Paddy Ryder
Scott Gumbleton
Tayte Pears
Michael Hurley
Jake Carlisle
Ariel Steinberg
Joe Daniher
Harrison Jones
Nik Cox
Zach Reid
Lewis Hayes

Then look at the pure midfielders taken in the 1st/2nd round, we’ve taken:

Tom Hislop
David Zaharakis
Jake Melksham
Travis Colyer
Zach Merrett
Darcy Parish
Archie Perkins
Ben Hobbs
Elijah Tsatas

We’ve also taken the following players who could play through the middle, but they spent most of their junior careers playing either on the wing (Kavanagh and J Merrett) or in defense as an attacking defender (Myers, Heppell, McGrath).

Elliott Kavanagh
David Myers
Dyson Heppell
Andrew McGrath
Jackson Merrett

And so, I think we have expended our best early midfield selections on players who we repurposed into mids (such as Myers, Heppell, McGrath), but who played mostly defense as juniors.

Also, on a side note, in the lead up to 2008 we focused heavily on talls in the drafts to replace our aging spine who were very clearly past it by that stage. And similarly recently, a bunch of talls were taken to replace an aging Hooker/Hurley - thus a reactive drafting strategy. In 2020 as an example, we took 4 talls and 1 mid in the national draft.

Even if you did argue that we had prioritized mids, I think it’s pretty clear we’re doing a terrible job at it, as it is still undersized and full of softish players.

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I mean yeah. If Hepp and Myers are not mids, then we haven’t drafted mids. 10 internet points to you, I guess.


They played mostly as attacking defenders as juniors. We repurposed them into mids. If you want to rewrite history then go for it.


But you should take best available over List need, always. ALWAYS.

List balance is over rated and is somebody else’s job. Not the List manager. I don’t know who…… but definitely not Dodoro.


he gone yet?

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if he had actually taken best available …

Here are a couple of posts I put some work into, which I thought could have a second life here, rather that a more ephemeral thread.

Now we have a decent coach, decent strategy and decent player development and hopefully soon better injury management, maybe we well be able to see how good Disco really has been post saga. My opinion is that he has really gone to another level and we will see the benefit from here on.

Players into the side since 2017 - 30 decent players I think

Have we really lost first draft picks - or have we snuck them back in the back door?

The above doesn’t take into account that Disco:

  • Picked up Zerrett at pick 26 in 2013 - when we were apparently short changed in a trade for Crameri with the Bulldogs, but in the end worked out for us, which was vital in the context of losing our first or second round draft picks that year to the saga.
  • Again in the context of draft penalties knocking us to the end of the first round and no second round pick in 2014, and getting short changed for losing Paddy Ryder (pick 17 from AFL) to Port Adelaide - we got Langford at pick 17 and Laverde at pick 20. Sadly we lost Conor McKenna for nothing after picking him up as a category B. Incidentally we ended up with Gold Coast’s pick 8 in this draft in Peter Wright.
  • In 2015 picked up Mason Redman at pick 30 which we got from the Melksham trade. We also picked up Walla with our 2nd round Rookie pick that year. Our crash and burn year that was 2015 gave us Parish at pick 4. Our draft picks for the Carlisle trade didn’t go as hoped, although Franga may have a career yet with the Swans and we actually got Weideman (who was pick 9 in this same draft) with the pick 37 that the Swans gave us)
  • In 2016 we did well to pick up Jordan Ridley at pick 22, and picked out Draper as a Rookie in 2016, with not much more than a Youtube clip and only 9 months and 16 games of footy behind him (with the Reynella Wineflies and South Adelaide under 18’s ) in his entire life. Getting McGrath at pick one was an unintended bonus from the season long suspension of the 34.

So from the point of view of creating the future of this club, we are only Dyson Heppell away from a completely post saga club, with no one left from the 2012 draft with Joe the only one still playing AFL (at least we have Archie Perkins to show for Joe’s departure).

In reality with this new coach and administration we are only just emerging from the saga and I think the only area where we hadn’t dropped the ball before now was recruitment. One thing we never really did in the past was have players move on and get compensation, the saga created an environment where this did happen, which helped us build a better team for the future, and the future is now.

My take is that this is the year we begin to see that in a way the saga has been the making of him as a recruiter, and the results are about to show at last.


Sack DUDoro!!

I’m not sure it’s just the skinny build.

Dodo picks players with uncontested games, highlight reels full of exploding out of packs (without being tackled), taking uncontested possessions and flying across packs to take marks.

Hes not picking a full forward that is a contested pack beast. Or a mid thats a tackling machine.

Hobbs says hello

Let’s discuss all his other picks, not just the 3 or 4 good ones.