Laverde, Langford and Francis


Langford will be a top 5 player on our list within two years in my opinion. Has a special quality about him and exposure to seniors next year will speed up his development.

Francis can also be a very good player but will take a little time.

Of the three I think Laverde has the most question marks. Next year he will need to start showing something.


He has barely played due to injury, how can you tell?


I can’t tell.

I am hopeful but of the three I just don’t see it with him.

I’m very optimistic about our youth but he’s one I have just never seen it with. I hope I’m wrong of course.


Agree. Until, “oh no LAV/Frang has been injured most of the year so we can’t really make a call. I believe he’ll come good so he gets another chance.”


I don’t know what people see in Langford, just screams overrated potential. Happy for him to prove me wrong but he looks the least likely of the three. Is he a mid? Is a HF? Is he a VFL player?

Lav had a bad season with injury and then just not being able to find form. You could see though that he was building up but the season started too late for him. He will play that third tall role/4th forward role and allow Hooker to push back if he can get it together. Probably needs to show he can play on the wing too for rotations as he definitely has the pace and agility for it.

Francis is the interesting one, he is probably the biggest project Top 10 player we have drafted in years. Will have another 3 years to prove himself just on that basis. Should get a run at it when on of the talls are injured.

But they are all super young and we cannot expect players to be guns straight up even if McGrath, Heppel and Fanta have broken that mould.

Hell Hurley took ages to get it together and have people forgotten Jobe? Just give it time.


Franga will be the best of the three. He will eventually be one of the best players in the comp, just needs to build a solid fitness base this pre-season, and i am sure he will be int the best 22 by round 1.


Fanta didn’t break the mould, it took him a couple of years as well… the other one you wanted that was instantly good was Parish.

Hurley was a gun from game #1.

Jobe is an outlier… not many do what he managed to do.


Parish is almost there, I actually have the opinion that he has done more than Heppell in the first two years. But Hurley might have been a gun, but he had injuries, he had the taxi thing, he had stuff that prevented him from making it.

All players in this thread have shown signs(albeit not Hurley level signs) but they have shown something.

Jobe was slower than most, but generally players that 4-5 years of 50-75 games to get there. These three have played a collective 59 games (Francis 5).


Parish would have done more than heppell if they didn’t shift him to an outside role for a lot of this year.


Sorry mate but that’s a dumb call. I’d just be happy if Francis became a best 22 player where it currently sits right now. There is not one logical reason to suggest he’s got what it takes to be one of the best in the game.


Hurley was taking on and beating the best in the game in his first year. Francis is way off getting a game at the top level after 2 years.
No comparison.


He has one awesome attribute - taking a good pack mark, has been handy in the VFL.

If we get Crameri back, would want him riding Francis into some fitness. I would also actually like a player to challenge Ambrose in preseason standards now stanton is gone. Ambrose smashes Zaka, Heppell etc

Crowe has done a good job getting the boys on the park, but i think the up coming preseason is going to be a big one. We are expecting lots from our young guys and more from our mids.


I have no doubt Lang and Lav will be good players, they just need to find their niche and feel like they belong rather than filling the gaps as understudies, they need to take ownership - which I believe they were doing in the VFL.

The question mark on them from my POV is where they fit in. I want Langford to be like Jobe was at his peak, and I want Laverde to be another Fantasia, both are huge, lofty expectations.

From what little I have seen of both of them at training they are both really hard workers, eager to learn their craft (I fukn hat e that word BTW) and I’m confident they will at least be valuable players for the club.

As for Francis, I’m sure he will be a good player, but again I’m not sure what his role is meant to be. If he plays in the backline does he come in for Goddard/Gleeson/Ambrose/McKenna? If he plays forward then what do we do with the Daniher/Hooker/Stewart combo? Stewart is taking the medium forward role (even though he’s KPP tall) making it hard for Lav and Francis to get in (while Fanta is the other medium I guess). Tippa and Green are the smalls. ATM there just isn’t any room, and you have Begley knocking on the door too, potentially as a mid or fwd.

Not sure if anyone has mentioned Kobe Mutch in this thread, but he is another one that could emerge next year and cement himself before any of the others mentioned in the OP.

I think we are in a good position, we might even find ourselves in a position where we have good, talented players to trade.


its not just fitness. his strength to weight ratio is off the charts (the lower end)




Hurley’s early reputation is hampered by being played forward for so long, in a crap team. Didn’t help that Gumby was perpetually injured and that Neagle never came good, someone had to play forward but he was never going to get looked at as an AA forward.


All three of these kids will be very good Essendon players.
Langford imo is an athletic marking 3rd tall forward who is being played out of position but is still giving it a good crack as an inside mid. Will make it wherever he ends up playing.
Francis has had some injuries and has shown that he has a lot of talent and just needs to be given a few consecutive games in the 1’s. Will replace Hurley in the future.
Laverde just needs a good run with injuries.
Get around them!


we perennially overrate our youngsters. wouldnt surprise me if only one of the abovementioned players make it


Which one you leaning towards making it?


francis- dont see where either lang or lav fit into the team. langford isnt a midfielder and we dont need him forward, lav isnt a midfielder and isnt much of a forward either. dont see where they fit long term.

if frang develops right, which is still a huge if, he will be perfectly capable at either end as a 3rd tall