List build - where are we going in the next 10,000 posts?

With regards to point one how did you assess Setterfield? Seemed to be doing well but (as per the never ending story of this club) got injured and took a long time to recover.

Setterfield is well worth his place in our best team. He made a substantial difference before his injury, and injuries do happen. I expect him to be another solid midfielder for us in 2024, something that was absolutely missing in the last 10 games. Add to that the games we got into Hobbs in the midfield and we could be close to having a very good midfield. If Stringer is fit, really fit, then he makes a huge difference bot in the midfield and the forward line. It’s now up to the fitness staff to make it happen.


A broke his foot when stomped on - not really his fault is it? Thought he was okay but needs help with at least one more similar sized player.

Is the Veterans list happening for next season?
If so, then Heppell would free up another list space?

Based on the definition that was in the article on the AFL site, he wouldn’t be old enough next year, he’d be a veteran in the 2025 season.

Oh I thought was based on years, not age. Thanks.

Just to lighten up the mode a bit, our list is in a pretty good position to keep gradually improving over the next two off-seasons. If you look at our current list, it’s really only Stringer who is a structurally important player over the age of 28.

How much we improve over the next two years is now dependent on how much we get out of the 2019 and 2020 drafts. Unfortunately, it’s not looking great based on what we’ve seen to date. But hopefully Reid, Cox and Jones can stay on the park and build their bodies.


But that’s also to assume that we have recruited young players with a high ceiling.

There are no guarantees that our ‘crop’ are any good. Regardless of how much investment is put into development programs.


Yes I would agree. As I said, based of what we’ve seen to date we won’t get enough out of that group.

Really need Perkins, Cox or Tsatas to have a big breakout and announce themselves as a future game changer. They’re the players with the high ceilings.

The 2022 draft will be an interesting one to revisit in a few years, as it looks to be the first strong draft that we’ve had a high pick in a while

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I don’t really agree with that list. I don’t understand the ruck at all as a priority. With Langford and Perkins I don’t see a medium forward as a priority.

I agree another key forward is a priority but unless the club thinks Caddy can step up, or Croft doesn’t nominate F/S, I don’t think there are viable options. I’m also not sure if I want to invest in another 18yr old when we do have (injured) options.

Agree on HBF. I’m not adverse to taking a midfielder either.

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If Hunter is re-signed we need another list spot. I’m doubtful we’d bring both Gresham and Lohmann in though.

I never said drafting was the single route to success? Where did I say that?

Plenty of other teams lose good players. The difference is that they have depth to cover them. One of the reasons it hurts us so much when a player leaves is because we lack the depth and feel it more.

Hird-Thompson-Hird was not ideal, but I don’t believe it was the cause of our recruiting failures. In fact, Dodo actually did some of his best drafting during the saga years.

Some of them were saying so. Do you remember when Knights and Hardwick were the two main contenders in 2007? Hardwick had a MUCH less favourable view of the list and hence was not given the opportunity back then. The rest is history; Knights took the role and was sacked a few years later.

Out of all coaches we’ve had in the last 2 decades, Hird has probably had the strongest list and that was no way near close enough to winning a flag and was never ever going to compete with the better teams of that era: Hawthorn, Sydney, WC, Freo, etc.

Thus, the lists they were all handed were very limited and in my opinion were a big part of the reason they were sacked (not counting Hird for obvious reasons)

This really is a nonsense. Please tell me, how many of those players I listed got their 1st AA in 2022 or 2021? None. This means the AAs they received that year wouldn’t be counted in your analysis.

In fact, I didn’t even count the players who were awarded their second AA on that list, and so the number is more likely > 50% of the AAs awarded to 2022 team would be excluded in your analysis for being “outliers”.

That really is a ridiculous strawman. Did I say somewhere that because I believe being a premiership player shows at least a certain threshold of talent, that it somehow means that all premiership players should be considered equal in ability?

Being a part of a good team is a necessary condition to be a premiership player, we all know that. It doesn’t mean we have to completely throw this out as a meaningless statistic. Being part of a premiership side shows at least a threshold of talent that not just any player can achieve. Brayden Ham, for example, was never good enough to be a premiership player, in any side. Hence, he was not given an opportunity after he left us. There are countless other examples of AFL players who played AFL yet were never going to be good enough or be able to at least fill a role that would help complete a premiership side.

Key forward, HBF, small forward


But pure talent trumps all.


The following Noel Judkins 2016 comments may explain our better late stage drafting tendancies.

Judkins originally left Essendon for Collingwood in 1997, when Dodoro would take the role in 1998.

Long, Hird, Wanganeen, as well as Swan at Collingwood were Judkin calls.

"Three years ago the guy who replaced me at Essendon (List Manager) Adrian Dodoro called me and said ‘would you consider coming back to work for us, we need to get better at the bottom end of the draft’.

In the past that’s where I had specialised in a way, after finding previous talent in the later rounds.

Essendon regularly sends me up a hard drive and from there I analyse matches in the TAC Cup, VFL, SANFL, NEAFL and WAFL.

Sometimes Essendon wants my opinion on a player their looking at, sometimes they want to identify rising talent from those competitions.

After watching games I’ll send reports back down to the Bombers about what I think of a player, or others I think the club needs to keep a close on in the future.

We can juxtapose his activities around drafting James Hird and Dodoro’s around not initially drafting Nic Martin.

Judkins on Hird drafting:

“With James I must have watched him play at least 20 times before he was eventually drafted.”

Nic Martin on his Non initial drafting:

*“I remember in my draft year, Adrian Dodoro reached out and asked me a couple of questions and asked me to write back to him in an email,” Martin recalled after [Essendon’s 18-point win over Adelaide at Marvel Stadium]”

“He always brings up that email to this day. That was when I was 17 and I said ‘Mate, you should’ve listened to the email!’

“Essentially it was, ‘Why should we draft you?’ I felt like I gave a pretty good spiel but obviously not good enough. I got to work and I put a lot of effort into that email and that letter back and I think he nearly took me.

“A couple of years later I ended up here and it was obviously massive to give me that chance.

“Essendon as a club as well, they‘ve been really supportive of me and my journey and I can’t repay them enough.”

That email response from Martin was extensive and well thought-out, as was the planning he and manager Jason Dover of TLA put in place to improve his fitness over the next two years.

Dover then reconnected Martin and Dodoro and the rest is history."

Hopefully Rosa follows the Judkins drafting checkbox priority model (competitive, fit, non fumble) more so than the most recent “good family, versatile” type model.

Does Judkins still assist the club?

Perhaps he would be a great person to mentor Rosa if Dodoro wants to leave completely.


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Langford had another massive break out this year.

We really need massive breakouts from the following

  • McGrath - become the lockdown + attacking number 1 defender AA.
  • Redman get over injury issues become more conisttent and lock down AA half back role.
  • Draper get over injuries stay on the park and get fit to run out games and will imprvoe out of sight,
  • Setterfield full season as defensive mid
  • Caldwell really needs to build on his game next year.
  • Wright needs to play like a number 1 forward and attack contests more get back to 50 goal season forward.

Perkins and Hobbs could improve too, but giving the kids a bit of slack.


How many players do we currently have, that you would trust would put in a quality game week to week?


Is that it? I can’t trust Stringer or Draper week to week.

When you put it that way, you see how far off the top sides we really are. The top sides have a deeper group of reliable players


Really surprised at some of the views about Archie Perkins as a prospect generally across topics/list building discussions.

All signs are there that he will become a powerful, dynamic, match winner in his prime. Just the eye test is enough to tell you this.

I think people ride the week to week stats too much on this guy. Just enjoy it as he emerges over the next year or two.


Doubt Setterfield is the answer to anything! :roll_eyes:
Hope I’m wrong but skills by hand and foot very average and can regularly get an attack of the fumbles.

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Imo he appears to be satisfied just to be an AFL player.
Too often he coasts along and certainly doesn’t greatly exert himself defensively.
On track to be an average player, not bad, not elite, based on what, 60 games.


Pretty early call though isn’t it-? he’s 21. Tracking similarly to Petracca at same age.

Let’s wait and see.