Kick in

What is going on with our kicking in?

Besides when Connor kicks it straight to an opponent 35 meters out, all we do is chip to the pocket and then bomb long down that wing.

Do we know that there are new rules allowing you to play on and get further up the ground before kicking?

We barely use it at all.

Instead we just chip it sideways, lose that advantage of having the man back 15 meters and the opposition know exactly that it’s going to be a long bomb to that wing.



A coach & coaching panel who had the remotest idea of tactics would have identified this (which is as obvious as the nose on your face) as an issue and rectified it.

It’s been an EFC problem for about 20 years I’ll grant you, but it has (amongst many, many, MANY other things…) been a constant through this current regime’s tenure…

@Finding_Nino had it all sorted


So painful that other teams easily get it to halfway against us as they use the new rules to their advantage

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Hurley hasn’t made an ‘attacking’ kick for years.

Hurley’s kick-ins. Either long kick to just outside 50 RHS or a short pass to the RHS pocket 99% of the time.


I was thinking this too during the game.

Are we the only team that seems to have NO strategy at all with kick ins?



I can only think that our strategy is:

Go to the pocket first so that the opposition moves their zone across to that side of the field which opens up the other side if we want to switch it. This could work but we literally did not do this once on Friday night

The ABC did an interesting report on how the new kick in rule was affecting the way teams deliver the ball back into play after a behind and what they discovered was that it hadn’t changed things at at all. Find the article if you can be bothered but basically, sides favour shorter kicks out of defence because it gives opposition defenders less opportunity to spoil. Longer kicks means the ball is in the air longer which allows defenders more time to converge on the area where the ball is headed. Zone defence has made the long kick to advantage almost extinct.

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So pleased to hear Essendon is doing everything it can to ensure the extinction of the long kick out is avoided…

Sides generally try to avoid contests but can’t all the time so that’s when you see the long kick down the line happen. It gives your side the opportunity to mobilise up field and gives your defence time to re-position should the opposition win possession. Essendon does exactly what every other side does but the really good sides get the second kick out of defence right more often. That’s the key.


Yeah but what is our 15 meter kick to the pocket going to achieve. Every time we do it, the next kick is to a contest because it’s so predictable. We hem ourselves into the pocket meaning that the only logical kick is a long bomb down the line, unless we switch which we havn’t been doing

Michael Hartley is the only Essendon player I’ve seen use the new rule aggressively and to advantage.

McKenna kick ins have become cringe worthy.

It achieves possession. The challenge is then having players up field bold enough to find a way through the defensive zone and the kicker skilled enough to deliver it. When Essendon are on, they can do this but when not, that second kick tends to go down the line. Which is the sensible option by the way.

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Watch Caleb Daniel from the bullogs, I love how inventive he is with getting the ball out, zac williams from gws isn’t bad either. McKenna in his current form and Hurley in his usual form have been a nightmare kicking it in lately. Wouldn’t mind seeing saad or ridely given a chance to kick in. Actually I sometimes wonder if Hartleys kicking outweighs his ordinary defending and it would be worth playing him based on his distribution skills. I actually think Daniel gives the bulldogs a big advantage and has been one of the reasons for their increase in form lately.

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It HAS changed all you naysayers…

2018: Hurley either chip to back pocket or bomb to flank

2019: Hurley either chip to back pocket or run out of goalsquare, bomb long to flank

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I don’t think it’s all McKenna’s fault.

I’ve seen a few similar occurrences with Franga’s field kicking. He sees a space and a team mate near it, realizes they can lead into the space, so McKenna kicks it to the space. The problem is that said team mate isn’t always on the same page, or McKenna\Franga (though probably more McKenna) telegraph it too much, and the opposition read the kick before we do, and it gets intercepted.

When it happens I often find myself thinking “That would have worked if playerX was paying attention.” It seems though we’re expecting either a long kick out to the HBF, or a short one to the pocket then long up the line. Any player not in either of those spots (eg in the corridor where McKenna’s turnovers often happen) seems to think they can take a break, then get surprised when the ball comes their way.


Earlier in the season he was constantly getting isolated in the backline, leading to very easy marks/goals for the opposition. Once the Bulldogs managed to counter that (yeah I know… tactics, eh… what a novel idea…) Daniels has definitely been a big part of them playing better footy.

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I think our strategy is to turn it over as quick as possible to let the other team kick a goal so we can get the ball in the centre again and not have to kick it in.


For creativity out of defence to work it takes a fair bit of nerve by deliverer and recipient. Confidence and trust go hand in hand. Do Essendon trust each other enough to not concede possession close to goal? If not, go long down the line. And that’s not a bad thing. Trust comes from continuity and takes time to build.

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