LID ON 2018 - lacking the grunt to open the jar


FWIW this is what Woosha had to say about our inside talent for 2018. He doesn’t think our inside stocks are as dire as it’s made out. There’s a video interview in the link:

Worsfold backs ‘inside’ talent
Simon Conway - @SimonConway12
19 October 2017 3:51 PM

Essendon Coach John Worsfold is confident the Bombers have the inside midfield talent to mix it with the competition’s best sides.

The Dons added Jake Stringer to their playing list on the final day of the trade period.

He joins Devon Smith and Adam Saad as fresh signings at the Bombers.

While Saad will feature in defence, Worsfold said Stringer and Smith would spend time as ‘inside’ options in the midfield.

“We felt like we needed to add to that area, not just as inside midfielders but in general talent,” Worsfold said.

“That’s where we feel Devon Smith really fills that need and then, as we require, we believe that Jake Stringer can add that bigger body through there.

“We’ve now got the option to have a big bodied midfielder in there as much as we want – and that is part of Jake’s development … we’ve also got David Myers who we know can play that big strong bodied role through there as well.

“I think we’ve got the depth and the options that we were looking for and we didn’t feel we had to target a specific full time inside midfielder to bring in.

“I think the balance of the players we’ve got has given us some really good midfield flexibility.”

Essendon won’t enter the 2017 National Draft until the 48th selection.

The Dons have secured three players in the top six picks of the draft in the last two years and seven players in the top 31.

That influx of talent in recent seasons allowed the Bombers to use its first pick this year (pick 11) to open the door to bring in the three established players.

“It was obviously a strategic decision in this period that we’ve got some really exciting young players coming through – not only McGrath and Parish that we’ve seen over the last couple of seasons … but some of the other young players including Jordan Ridley, Kobe Mutch and Dylan Clarke who we didn’t see last year,” Worsfold said.

"We’ve got a lot of youth on our list, so we felt as though not adding really high draft picks this year was not critical for us.

“It was more looking for players that fit the mould of the group that we’re building for the next seven or eight years and all these players fit into that age bracket.”


The media is just lol worthy.

Our issue this year was not that we didn’t have enough big mids, it is that we had too many of them in there together. Consequently we struggled to create run away from stopagges when we won it and struggled to shut it down when we lost it. Also if we got smashed in the ruck we were farked because our two big heavies couldn’t respond defensively.

How many sides were consistently running 2 really big units at stopagges? Fyfe and Mundy maybe. Kennedy and Parker spring to mind but Parker is only 182.

I hope this year we see two big bodied mids at clearances a lot lot less. For most of 2017 we’d have two of Jobe, hepp, Myers and bj at stopagges. All of these guys are exploitable on the outside.

I’d love to see some stats but id guess Zerret Jobe hepp was our number one centre square group in 2017. I’m hoping in 2018 we see more of these stort of combinations.

  • hepp parish Zerret
  • Langford mcgrath Zaha
  • Begley stringer Smith
  • bj tippa Fanta

Iirc in the West coast game we played with jobe,Zerret and Zaha starting middle much more. It is a much better balance for the way the game is played ATM. It was probably our best clearance Game for the year but we didn’t really persist with the set up.

The third quarter against GC we played a much more mobile on ball division too and it probably won us a game we looked like essingtoning.

I can’t wait to see our new midfield unleashed next year. I hope it is anyway. I’ll be pretty filthy if our Rd 1 centre square combo is hepp Myers Zerret


Langford Myers Heppell with Goddard coming off the wing.

You know it.


Lol, if you can’t be lid off right now, even before the ■■■■■■ fixture is out, then there’s clearly no pleasing some people.


Need to develop game plan that stacks up in finals. Richmond started that from the outside and as a consequence won their 3 finals easily despite not having won one for 15 years. Need a hard nosed contested style game plan with long kicking. We have the targets, we have started to address the inside midfield role, need to continue on with it.


We won’t win the premiership next year, but I’ll be stoked if we put ourself in a good position to win a final. Finishing Between 3-6 would be amazing.

The issue is we have 10 years of history of just doing enough to make finals, and the players are happy with that.

I have huge concerns about the size of our team come finals. There’s no issue with our size in the home & away season, but finals is a huge issue.


We need to finish in the top 6 and have some form going into finals and a fit and healthy list ready for the September action. The old cliche of “the finals are a new season” has been demonstrated in the past 2 years and will continue in 2018. I believe we are now a real chance of finishing in the top 6 and this is coming from a member of the Lids On crew.


2018 will require the team to gel, players to cement their spots for the next few years. I’m lid off about our chances of winning a final, but lid on if the belief is that we just recruited our way to a premiership. Anything’s possible, but I think improvement in keys areas like stoppages, accurate disposal, and defensive through the middle of the ground will be incremental.


No, they are not.
Don’t make ■■■■ up.


Lock all threads until the end of round 1!


I’m sure they think they are not, but you can only judge them based on their actions.

The last 3 times we’ve played finals, we had the chance to push for top 4 or a home final, and they have come out and gone through the motions. They have never looked like jumping out of their skin to really do anything more than ‘just make it’. They weren’t motivated to get any sort of momentum coming into each finals campaign.

There are players in our club that arnt driven to do anything more than just play in a final. History is evidence.


I dunno, that might be a good reason to keep it on.


There are always answers and solutions to questions.

  1. We have lost Jobe. We have gained Smith and Stringer, and Hepp should be better in 2018, after sitting out last year. l am not claiming we have got Jobe’s spot covered, we just don’t know that. The arrival of new players and the continued development of others allows us more flexibility and makes us less predictable to the opposition.
  2. The team will be quicker than this season, to the extent we will be the fleetest team in the league, even without Colyer making the 22 (hopefully he regains his touch more next season as well, like Hepp should). Speed will not be an issue.
  3. Hurley and Gleeson are already top intercept marks. At times Hooker will go back and also cut off attacks with his intercept marking. Brown is also handy in this role, and could well go past Hartley for a KPD role.
  4. Goal kicking accuracy is an unknown, but our scoring power will be as good as any team in the league. We were one of the most dangerous teams in the entire league for scoring, and this part of the field has just been given a sizeable improvement with the inclusion of Stringer. This will be the most difficult part of the team to break into. and also the area of the ground that holds the most fear for opposition teams. The F50 is not a problem.
  5. The game plan will continue to evolve, as it should, but the direction it takes is an unknown. The kick ins are an issue that needs to be developed and different strategies need to be implemented.


I think Tippa can play a selwood role in the middle for us.
And Longy can play tippa role.


Longy will have enough on his plate, just staying on the list. Apart from that, there is no one who can play Tippa’s role, but Tippa.


To be honest, I’m a bit lid on about 2018. We need some big improvement as a team plus 3-4 fringe players to step up and have big seasons to change my perception. Don’t get me wrong, in regards to the state of the list I’m LID OFF!! The acquisition of SSS is an unbelievable effort and gives us a shItload of talent under the age of 25. It bodes very very well for this club over this next 4 year period, especially as we still have a good 3-4 years of footy with Hurley and Hooker at their peak.

But we must remember we do have some issues going into 2018, some of that should be fixed with natural improvement. We have to remember that the team has only really had 1 season to gel and learn Wooshas game plan together. So I don’t expect it to all of sudden click in the 2nd year and we go top 4…rome wasn’t build in a day. I’m not saying it’s impossible but there’s definitely a couple things that need to almost come out of nowhere and surprise everyone. E.g. The Crouch brothers emergence as real A-grade ball winners really elevated Adelaide’s game this year.

Here are a couple of things I think COULD happen to elevate Esseneon back into the top 4:

  • Inside midfield/stoppage clearance setups - it’s been much talked about and publicised already about our lack of quality clearance winners. We had Jobe/Heppell who were pretty decent most of the year despite lacking a bit of touch. We needed them to be elite in this area because when they wouldn’t win it, they didn’t have the leg speed to win it back. We went through large periods of games where the opposition midfield got a huge roll on and that was a big issue this year. I fully expect Heppell to be back to his elite best next year while Watson is gone. Our ruck must also take some credit for our midfield getting beaten but I’ll get to that later.

The solution - not sure if it will happen but Langford stepping up out of Watson’s shadow and becoming a solid B-grader is huge for the team. The club rates him highly as a creative inside midfielder so fingers crossed he steps up on 2018. I fully expect Parish to be a big part of the ‘inside team’ next year too. He’s a star in the making but we will just have to see if he arrives next year or later. Stringer definitely could improve our clearances but again I’m not totally convinced it will happen. McGrath will eventually be a quality clearance winner with his speed to the ball and beautiful hand skills but probably lacks the size and strength at the moment. Our group of Heppell, Myers, Langford, Parish, Merrett with help from Stringer is ok but it doesn’t exactly strike fear into teams in teams of their inside work.

  • Backline/intercept marking - we’re still going through a transition period since losing Fletcher, Carlisle, Hibberd, Hooker, Dempsey all in a fairly short period. We’ve unearthed McKenna, recruited Saad and have seen some encouraging signs from Gleeson but then we lose Kelly. We still need some big improvement from all of them. The big red hope is Francis. Him cementing himself as a 3rd tall intercept defender and having a rising star type of year is massive for the team and could transform the look of the backline IMO. Ridley doing this also works. Ambrose and Hartley are ok but no more than that. They need to surprise the hell out of me for us to improve that area.

  • Ruck - Bellchambers re-emergence surprised everyone last year I think, especially as a ruckman. He had some big games where he really inspired the team with taps, marks and throwing his body around at ground level. This was huge for us! But then he’d go back into his shell and have some embarrassing games which really hurt. Him having a big year helps us become top 4.

So to summarise, I think our list is heading in the right direction. But along with improvement across the board, we need 3-4 blokes like Langford, Francis, Parish and Bellchambers to emerge/have significantly better seasons than they’ve ever had before. Not sure if it will happen overnight but it’s far from impossible. Looking forward to see what happens.


Parish was great last year. Still don’t see what the fuss is regarding Langford and Francis.


Does the premiership winning team get bigger in Rd 1 of the finals?


I can see what the fuss is about. But it’s only been glimpses. Could go either way with both IMO.

Yep I’m stoked with Parish’ progress but given our lack of inside mid stars, we need him to go up a level again…hopefully he can put on a bit of beef this offseason while still improving his running capacity.


When you take a good look at our engine room, vs the other likely contenders.

Geelong,Sydney,Adelaide Gws will all be there about. I just don’t see it. I still see us firmly in the lower echelons of the 8 or a bad draw and some bad results to being outside.

The optimist says oh upside. But I am not sure it’s gonna happen with Laverde and Langford.

And our class of midgets whilst great footballers, will get monstered when it counts.

Hope I’m off, but I reckon our tyres are being well pumped up by all and sundry.