Adrian Dodoro - Flankers into Mids since 2000


I miswrote Judkins, it was meant to be Jackson (you know, the guy who stuffed the salary cap and forced us to trade out a raft of smalls).

And where did I say the list was as good as 2000? If that’s your benchmark, a contender for the best team of the last 17 years, then mate, I’m sorry to say you’re likely to be disappointed for a long long time. Or that they’d be the best players ever? Nice way to make out I said things I didn’t, or totally misinterpret what I said.

Just to be clear:

  • I never said the list was as good as 2000
  • I never said that the list was really good from 2004 to 2011
  • I have been pretty clear in saying when the list was poised to become good, we (a) had injuries in 2012 and (b) then had the saga stuff us.
  • I never said that Winderlich, Ramanaskus, Caracella, Blumfield or Heffernen would have been the best ever player. I did say they were missed in the midfield, as was an injury struck Mercuri.
  • I never said that the 2013/15 flags were a certainty. I never even said we’d win one, just that we’d been primed to be in contention.
  • I’ve been pretty clear around Blitz that I believe in cycles, and between 2004 we were rebuilding the list. That might be why we didn’t win any finals.
  • I’ve been pretty clear that I think we’ve managed the list pretty poorly since 2013. I’ve also been clear in asking who makes those decisions on list direction, and the responses from those more in the know is that its a group of which Dodoro is only a single member. I’ve even said if its Dodoro he should be sacked.

But that last point probably distinguishes a difference between us. You don’t like what’s happened, chosen a scapegoat, and said sack him. I didn’t like some things that happened, and I asked around to try and find out who was ultimately responsible.


A lot of the above comments are justified, so what do we do, get someone new to the role or get someone from another club? I just don’t know.


I said the list declined in talent post 2000 as a direct result of Dodoro’s list management - you made the excuse that it was injuries & Jackson (which is ironic - I will get back to that later) not the players we brought in to replace retirements, trades etc. That to me indicates you believe our list management post 2000 wasn’t a factor therefore the list was as good. I’m still not sure how else to read your position.

So the list wasn’t good between 2004-2011, we can agree on something - is it possible that the drafting from 1999 played a significant part in that? Is there some other list manager, recruiting person during that entire time other than Dodoro? Can we possibly agree then that at least 13 years of his tenure the list he in some way contributed to supplying wasn’t good? Even if you think Winders would have been a star, I don’t think you can defend the actual picks from 2000 or most of the trades so how about we agree the list declined & our recruiting declined post Judkins - can we agree on that?

When I talked about post 2000 I meant that players like Davies, Harvey, Laycock etc were not able to replace the quality we lost. I’ve never blamed Dodoro in any way for the fire sale but I have pointed out time after time that it was his job to try to replace what we lost & he never came near getting back those mids. Now I have no issue at all in agreeing that replacing all time stars is difficult but would it be fair to say we didn’t even come remotely close?

Yes Ive agreed with you that we were building towards a better side when the saga hit. I still maintained then & now that our midfield was a weakness that was going to restrict our ability to go deep into the finals. Watson was at his best & possibly the most influential player in the league 12/13. Much like Dangerfield with some help from Sellwood can now carry Geelong a fair way I think Watson carried a big load. Goddard & Heppell had good years & I’ve been a staunch defender of Stanton but I simply will never believe a midfield with Howlett, Hocking, Myers, Melksham maybe Colyer or Jerrett in it bats deep enough to have challenged sides like Hawthorn, Swans or even Freo come finals time. We’ve just seen again a real example of how far off we are when it gets serious & while I believe its very possible we could have won a final in 2013 & should have beaten North in 2014 all we really have is what might have been with no real evidence the list was capable of any finals wins. Now you may counter with the possibility that given no Saga, Dodoro would have replaced ordinary mids with better players. Again this is a possibility but there’s no evidence to support it given we know that pre-saga his drafting hadn’t fixed the issues & nothing in his trading history suggested he could complete a big name trade.

Ok so we were building the list only from 2004 is that what you’re saying? the draft picks before that don’t count? What did we do differently post 2004? When was this phase until? Even if as you say we were meant to be primed in 2013/15, don’t you think 12 years to get primed is a little too long? I know people have joked about Dodoro playing the long game but come on. Should Richmond have given Wallet & Miller another 6 years???

Now your last bullet point “we’ve managed the list poorly since 2013” intrigues me. You’ve acknowledged the list till 2011 wasn’t really good & now that we’ve managed the list poorly since 2013. That only leaves 2012 as a year when you haven’t acknowledged the list was either poor or poorly managed. So basically you are saying only 1 year out of his tenure, our list &/or list management hasn’t been poor. Was he unfarkingbelievably awesome in 2012 & that somehow makes up for the rest of his career?

Now we are left with this question about what Dodoro is actually responsible for. I’ll ask again, if you can name the person or people who have been completely undoing his work for 19 years then I’ll join forces in calling for their heads. Till then I have to place at the very least some responsibility for list management on the list manager. Maybe he’s simply the patsy for the real list manager who’s too ashamed to put his name to the decisions - who knows.

Coming back to Jackson for a second, I was 1 of the few here calling for him to be replaced 10 years ago so the idea that I have singled out Dodoro as a scapegoat in nonsense. I was also front & centre of the calls to replace Knights. I don’t recall your support in any of those positions so it seems a little hypocritical now to be saying I haven’t acknowledged every other problem the club has had. Dodoro is not solely responsible for anything, he works in a club & works with others. He is however a manager & a figure that has been at the club for a long time. He has to be accountable for a lot of the list outcomes. It was Dodoro on draft day who decided at the last second to switch from Lobb to Zerrett, if we can agree that was a great decision then why can’t we agree the poor decisions fall to him as well? Even if he’s only part of a team he’s been the one constant in that team. At some point if the team remains poor through elimination you have to look at what hasn’t changed & again there’s the fact he’s the manager.


You do know Dodoro wasn’t list manager in the early 2000’s, right?


I don’t believe we had that position title so yes I know that Dodoro grew into that role somehow on the back of his performance. If there was someone officially in that role above Dodoro then by all means throw his name in the ring, we can discuss why he was replaced & not Dodoro! This is yet another example of why I believe the club was very poorly run under Jackson.


Who wants to travel out to Tullamarine 4-5 days per week.


if you got back way through keilor park dr then link road, you should save like 50 minutes from th tulla blockade. also going opposite direction of traffic.


Ok, I’ll try and answer your questions/comments in time periods. In my mind I’d split things into roughly four parts:

  • 2000 to 2007, Jackson/Sheedy years where the rules were to get instant success, not build for the future.
  • 2008 to 2012, Knights/Hird years, the board still wanted success so tanking or spending time near the bottom was discouraged. Dodoro takes his current role and Keane joins us in 2007.
  • 2013 to 2016, saga dominates all facets of recruiting and list management
  • 2017+ post-saga (from a recruitment/list management POV)

2000 to 2007, Jackson/Sheedy years
These were the years when we were running on a shoe string budget. Jackson was in charge of list management (I think) along side his role as CFO. I know he was key to the Hird re-signing, and this article on Mercuri re-signing has him talking in a similar way to what Dodoro does now. Dodoro was recruitment manager and also had a game day role (which I cannot remember its title). Sheedy was involved everywhere early on - list management, drafting and trading.

On Jackson, I honestly can’t remember when I joined Blitz, but I was pretty emphatic about needing to boost recruitment spending and get rid of Jackson from early days. My (very) vague memory is its one of the things we agreed on back then. The lack of spending did not just impact the recruitment, we also weren’t spending on development or on fitness staff. Our coaching panel was one of the smallest in the league. This no doubt impacted how our kids developed, and our ability to keep guys on the park.

I’ve answered before the question of how do you measure if a player’s failure or success was due to the drafting or development by whether or not the kids you take are given second shots elsewhere. If they are, its a sign other clubs rated the talent (i.e. the draft selection), but think they can fix the player (i.e. don’t rate the development). We had guys like Harvey, Cartledge, Nash, Forster-Knight, D. Johnson, Bradley, Milne (not sure on him), Podsiadly, Lonergan, Hislop, Houli, Reimers (nearly! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: ), Bannister all got recruited to other clubs. That tells me that they rated our drafting, but not our development.

Beyond this, more specifically some of my thoughts on the drafting and our list:

  • Dodoro “lost” a number of picks. In 1999 sanctions for rorting the salary cap cost us our first pick, and in 2000 Sheedy insisted on Davies.
  • We frequently had poor draft picks, and when we did they weren’t great drafts. In 2002 we had #10 and #11, and I think both players picked had tonnes of talent. And if you look at the picks, they were pretty much as good as almost any player between #8 and #23. It was a poor draft for top end picks. In 2003 we had #6 and #13, and again, look at who went between there and the twenties. Stanton was as good a pick as any, and Bradley not too bad (should have been better if played properly). Even 2005 with #19, look who followed Dempsey. Ibbottson at #26 and Vince at #32 are the only guys in the next twenty picks better than him.
  • Injuries really stuffed us. And in that I lump in our overall fitness guys and their ability to keep players fit and on track, both pysically and mentally. Laycock, Winderlich, Ramanaskus, Rioli, Cupido, Mercuri, Dyson all had talent to burn, but for a variety of reasons had limited impact during this period.

We also had the board’s direction that we had to play finals every single year. Between that and Sheedy’s preferences, it meant we gave a lot of time to reboots. Some worked for a little while, some just flopped. Alvey, Haynes, Murphy, Alan, Camporeale, M. Michael, getting Heffernen back, etc. This was no doubt pushed by Sheedy plus the rules we were meant to be in finals every year. Or you had Beverley Knight from the board pushing us to get Cole for pick #23 (luckily, as mentioned, that draft was rubbish in the twenties). I know you’ve said before you didn’t think the late picks hurt us, but I contend that its hard for a recruiting manager to get good youngsters in if he has less picks.

Finally, as you said, replacing the players we lost from the 2000 team was always going to be tricky. We’d had a phenomenal team, and thanks to Jackson we had no room in the salary cap to get anyone good. For a good half a decade we were stuck with trying to get players in with predominantly later picks. I don’t really blame Dodoro for this, I think he was restricted left and right, didn’t have funding, and really only Shane Harvey was a complete stuff up of a good pick.

I would contend we did not try and rebuild until Knights. Hell, in 2005 having missed the finals we brought in Cole, Heffernan and Comporeale. In 2006 we brought in Michael. It was only in 2007 we started getting serious about regeneration, and even then the board chose the coach who promised quick success, and no trading of established players. This was not a rebuild, like St Kilda, Collingwood, Hawthorn, Geelong (accidentally) did. The decision to still push for finals locked our list management into a process of only slowly being able to rebuild via the draft (where priority picks had just been watered down) and tinkering with trades. It was a slow regeneration, stifled by the fact that priority picks kept getting watered down further, and the side over achieved several times (e.g. 2009, 2011). And of course, we had three compromised drafts in a row. Its no coincidence that the teams best placed before those drafts (Hawthorn, Geelong, Collingwood, St Kilda, Sydney) were the stronger teams during that period.

So to summarise. We know that Sheedy interfered. We know Dodoro had a part time role. We know the cap was restrained. We know we lost our 1999 first draft pick. We know other teams rated our drafting highly enough to give our players second chances. We know that the board direction was to play finals every year. We know that we had some bad injuries to key players and key draftees. We know when we look at some of the options for our early draft picks that went subsequently, Dodoro recruited near as well as was possible. We also know when recruiting a new coach in 2007, the board went with the one who promised quick success and no sale of players.

So we know Dodoro had a lot of restrictions, and can pinpoint a lot of them exactly.


Very bold statement given that we didn’t contend for finals but actually made them.

But I think you meant competitive in finals. Which is a very bold statement. I feel like we are building toward a period of sustained success.

Next year is a slight question mark depending on trade acquisitions. 2019 onwards look really bright to me.


I’m gonna take a guess… It’s because of the usual suspects. Am I right?


You say we did not build for the future from 2000-2007 but somehow overlook the fact we drafted 39 kids from the ND alone during that period. When did the club actually do anything to really try to ensure this “finals every year” mantra you think was all consuming. Was it just clubspeak to sell memberships or is there actually something tangible you think we did because if picking up a few recycled players in the PSD is Dodoro’s idea of ensuring finals every year then he’s even more incompetent than I could have imagined.

Yes Sheedy like all coaches then & now was involved in list management decisions. I get that its part of the legend that he did everything but I’ve never credited him with building the 2000 list - that was Judkins so I am never going to believe Dodoro was throwing up the names of stars while Sheedy was plucking out names from a hat. Again, if you don’t think Dodoro’s role has had any importance then why do you defend him surely by your reckoning its like replacing the boot studder.

I can’t really cop the idea that another club picking through your scraps means you drafted well unless you are at the top & have obvious talent falling through the cracks. Yes we had a lot of guys who failed with us get another shot elsewhere. IF as you contend they had the talent but it was our development then they should have flourished elsewhere - they didn’t. Milne I don’t believe was ever actually on the list so he doesn’t exactly count & Houli wasn’t discarded, he was a young player who walked out on us having shown promise (won a rising star nom) & its was actually a great example of our poor list management that we allowed him to get to Richmond for nothing. I think your list actually re-confirms the low quality of the drafting that while other clubs didn’t rate our development, they couldn’t shine Dodoro’s shyte either.

Do you have any evidence Sheedy insisted on Davies? We know Sheeds has said he wasn’t allowed a 3rd round pick for Pike but somehow he found time during the 2000 season to find a kid playing school footy? I don’t buy it. If Dodoro has been there all this time & nobody listens to him why do we need him again?

We didn’t always have poor draft picks. We had 41 draft picks including 13 top 20 picks & another 13 picks in the 20’s & 30’s. Now even if you think this wasn’t enough to build a competitive list again, Dodoro was at the very least somewhat responsible for changing that position if required. Other clubs have had far worse natural access (ladder finish) positions than we’ve had but have managed to build for finals wins. Also if 2003 was a poor draft isn’t that another part of the role to advise the club not to bank on building in a weak draft? You’re still not showing me his worth here.

Ok we’re back to this board directive to play finals every year. Again I’m not seeing evidence of this actually being some overriding force. What is it you think we did to meet this demand? Are you contending that we picked up recycled players, not because our draft picks were failing but as some form of plan to restrict kids from getting games? Again we drafted kids year after year, we drafted more kids from 2000-2007 than we did from 2008-2015 so this idea that we weren’t rebuilding till post 2007 is nonsense. We were trying to rebuild but we were picking up poor draftees too often. Its really simple, if Davies, Harvey, Cartledge, Laycock, Hunt, Reynolds, Bradley, Nash, Lee etc etc were actually any good then we would have re-built. We didn’t rebuild because the majority of our draft picks were failures.


We just got destroyed in a final by a team that had 10 players who started on the rookie list.

Compared to Sydney, either our drafting is terrible or our player development. Or a combination of both.

The problem with using ‘no finals’ etc as a measure of Dodoro’s ability is that it can’t be isolated from other issues the club might have.


As was a conclusion myself and a couple of others came to further back in this thread, it’s very hard to judge without knowing what everyone was thinking.

Was Fantasia a genius pick or did every recruiter have him around that level?

Was Kav a bad pick or did all other recruiters walk away from the draft thinking we had a bargain?


I said in June this year

2014 and 2015 draft classes have been VERY underwhelming to date

2018 is going to be a big year for them and Dodoro


Maybe we can talk about his hair




Player development being some part of the problems is a given. Nobody is really arguing that we have had the best facilities, best development coaches & a stable environment to get the best out of players for the last 20 odd years. We know the club had fallen behind in every facet on & off the field. What we also know is that we have changed development coaches several times & we’ve even moved to a completely new facility yet can we say there has been any quantifiable change in the outcomes? TVSS will obviously take a few more years to show its true value but are we not getting monstered around the stoppages after 2 years in whats supposed to be the best facility? Do we need a bigger gym or players who are naturally stronger around the ball?

As I said earlier, look at how many players who didn’t seem to develop with us got second chances elsewhere - none of them turned it around. This is pretty compelling evidence that the talent just wasn’t there. The same development system made Andrew Welsh a pretty handy back flanker but it couldn’t make Shane Harvey or Joel Reynolds good players. For every Sydney rookie who makes it even they have far more failures so whats the difference - talent has to be there. Development is important but talent has to be the most crucial ingredient. We’ve had plenty of good honest triers over the years but without that top end ability we’ve not been a challenger.


Sydney would get players like Shane Harvey and Joel Reynolds then cut them in a few years if they don’t fit into their role.

We kept Harvey for 3 years? Reynolds for 5?
Reynolds in particular was shifted back and forwards and was a huge waste of time.
We wait too long before cutting our losses. The better teams identify it earlier and move on.

They don’t get everything right, but they cycle enough to spend time more effectively on the development of the next player in line.


Cal is definitely a Blitz reader.


I’m sure Cal is… but what the hell is he doing talking up the pick 11 is fair line. He should be calling Stringer and the Dogs relationship untenable and suggesting he’ll be kicked out in a fire sale.

Has he never heard of the great dodgy groin strategy?