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

Agree. And that 2012/2013 side is a good example of my point. If the saga didn’t happen, we would’ve continued to refine and add layers to that list via drafting and trading, rather than be hamstrung in both aspects due to draft penalties. Then we also had to farewell 2-3 of this quality players. Eg Ryder. We were unable to fill list gaps and add more talent to ‘balance’ this particular list build.

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To a response like this, and there’s many who agree with you, I ask how any list team could build a balanced successful list from 2012 onwards. Noting everything that has occurred during this decade at Essendon. Years of on field failure is the direct outcome of a broken club that failed to provide the resources, stability and excellence to support the list teams efforts to maintain momentum on the journey of building a balanced list.

Lol i was waiting for you to pop up Ants. Quicker than i expected though.

He plays it so safe at the draft table, he is more worried about not picking someone that may become good at another club and everybody saying ‘gee you missed out there dodoro’, than actually being proactive and making moves to improve our draft position or take a punt on a player that improves our area of weakness.

He continually drafts players that are either too short, or too skinny, loves physically weak players. He also loves players from good families that lack mongrel.

He drafts way too many defenders. I can see why, because it’s his strength and he is good at it, but defenders play in defence as juniors for a reason, the talent plays midfield and forward at underage level.

A forward that fails as a forward can be switched back and be successful, that’s why you draft more forwards and mids than defenders. Dodoro does it the other way around, he drafts defenders first. Defence is a much easier position to play than forward, it’s why so many failed forwards move back and become stars.

He still hasn’t addressed our big bodied midfielder need, the only good one we have had in 15 years was jobe, a father son pick. It’s unbelievable how under resourced this part of the team has been for so long.


I think this is true, and it is a good question who is responsible for this.

I think the Worsfold period was on the one hand a disaster and the other hand the impetus to actually rebuild.

When Joe, Saad, Conor and Raz all walked, I feel the stagnation of the Worsfold years, topped off by Covid was at the heart of it.

The draft picks that has brought us probably highlight the best and worst of Dodoro. I think he knows how to spot upside from thousands of kilometres, but whether the bodies of many of the players he picks are up to the task is another question.

Is that on the fitness and conditioning staff, or is it Dodoro’s propensity to recruit greyhounds and whippets in many cases.

The other element that comes into it is luck, he would have selected Cripps if he could have, and the trend towards tall lean key position players is a trend that necessarily comes with the risk of serious injuries.

Agree. As Colin Carter (X Geelong President) said, successful clubs that achieve sustainable success get around 7 or 8/10 of all decisions across the entire club correct over time. Weaker clubs that live in the middle / lower end of the ladder get around 4 or 5/10 of these decisions right over several consecutive years.

This applies to people appointments, strategic decisions, player decisions, medical and fitness related program decisions etc.

That Essendon has largely not been able to produce among the fittest sides in the AFL that don’t see their stars break down with chronic injuries over their careers is just one example of Essendon being a 4/10 type decision club in the area of its high performance and conditioning department over the journey.

This is why the outcomes and actions arising from the external review are so important in enabling Essendon to elevate itself towards success. This assumes the actions taken result in the club getting between 7-8/10 of all these decisions right of course​:smile::thinking:


Yes the hidden pain of the saga was nobody (who had any choice) really wanted anything to do with us for 4 years.
Which is understandable, but SFA to do with Disco.


No, they all walked after the succession “plan” was announced.

If they had an issue with Woosh, I can’t understand why they would’ve stayed as long as they did, then announced they were out when he was. Surely it’s the other way around, they couldn’t be arsed staying around for a regime change.

I actually think the hidden pain of the saga was that I believe it weighed on the players. I honestly believe it cut short careers, stunted careers, and reduced the performance of players over that time.

I believe that because when you listen to some of the players describe the period, its hard to believe it wouldn’t have a psychological impact. Or that coaches would push players struggling with the Saga as much as they might otherwise have. The players through that period mostly seem to have finished their careers early. Although that could be our injury management raising its head.


Dodoro isn’t perfect. He like all list managers make mistakes. You can look at the work over several years of any list manager and point to the misses.

The difference being that the supposed successful list managers at other clubs operated over time in high performance environments that enabled them to build, nurture and refine their list builds over several years as is necessary.

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I’d really like some evidence of this. Blitz meme’s don’t count.

People do seem to forget that players like Francis, Hooker, Eyre all played forward as youngsters. Cox and Reid were discussed pre-draft as the best KP forward options available at our pick, because they hadn’t only played back. And that we had a pretty bad run of injuries with tall forwards, with guys like Gumby, D Daniher having career ending injuries.

Except this is just wrong. People seem to forget that 2008-2014ish the midfield was crying out for runners and outside class. We were strong on the contested ball. Since then we’ve struggled a bit, but big factors in that is the opportunities to draft those players plus some of the later picks not developing.

Hell, you’re arguing he “still” hasn’t done it after recruiting Perkins, Hobbs and Setterfield in successive years, and picking up Tsatas.

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I don’t agree with much of this. He often picks the players he believes have the biggest upsides. Skinny and physically weak can be fixed. He picks on potential rather than current. I don’t see how that isn’t risk taking.

He tried to move up the draft order last year, but unlike some clubs, didn’t sell the farm to do it which I’ll support. Trading down this year also would have been a mistake imo, pick 4 and 22 for 3 picks in the teens would be a waste.

I do agree on the mongrel vs good family thing, we could do with some mongrel, but not players earning the wrong type of headlines.

And don’t get me wrong, I’m a critic of dodoro. He drafts too many of the same type at once. His upside player picks don’t always pan out, often blowing second round picks. Our midfield is too short. It goes on…

Forgot where i was going with this…


the perfect time to boot him

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You’ve forgotten all those years prior to 2012 where we also didn’t give a yelp.

Joe announced he wanted out in 19.

Every day I wake up in the hope that efc will—after 25 extremely long years—finally part ways with this clearly talentless hack.

Every day I wake up disappointed. Please efc, I’m not sure how much more disappointment my weary heart can take. The draft is over, make it happen!


Thsts reasonable, though Dodoro really only took charge making the decisions after Sheedy retired, so 2008 onwards. And that period signified the first rebuild in over a decade.

Has he gone yet?

Sorry, I’m a supporter of Dodoro but this is just rubbish. Sheedy’s influence on drafting (not necessarily trading) was cut way back after 2000. Even in 2000 Sheedy was told no on Pike (ironically, if we’d told him no on Davies and let him have Pike, we’d have been much better off and maybe won 2001…)

I suspect even before that Sheedy was only having a partial input into the later, less interesting picks. I’d be staggered if Sheedy was doing the picking in 2001 onwards.

You mean where we were topping up the 2000 side and struggling with the fact we couldn’t keep Rama, Rioli, Mercuri and Winderlich on the park (for various reasons), and after Jackson had screwed our salary cap?

But yes, from 2005 to 2012 we didn’t do too much, but then rebuilding usually doesn’t. Of course, both 2012 and 2013 we were in the top 4 before disasters (injuries in 2012, banned from finals in 2013). There is a decent argument he’d successfully rebuilt the side then, but the injury management and saga stuffed us.

Remember, our injury management was awful, which led to the Saga. Below is the timeline of our High Performance Manager over that period:

  • July 2008 – John Quinn after 10 years announces in July that he’s leaving year-end (link). He’s replaced by Stuart Cormack (link)
  • June 2011 – Stuart Cormack out, #2 Denise Jennings left in charge. Only there 1.5 years. (link)
  • End of 2011 – Dean Robinson in
  • August 2012 – Robinson to weights, Corcoran in (I kid you not, link)
  • Feb 2013 – Corcoran/Robinson out, Crow in

So between the start of 2011 to the end of 2013 we had four different people in charge, and three seasons where we fell off a cliff. Twice we were so concerned that we fired our HPM mid-season (2011, 2013).


Do you mean the period from 2000-2005 when we drafted in 48 kids in the ND & rookie drafts? That included 9 x 1st round picks & 8 second round picks The idea we were topping up is totally BS. Dodo simply farked up that rebuild just like every other rebuild over the last 25 years.