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

He has had a rest so should be good for a come back with us.

Hawthorn great Cyril Rioli teases AFL return with cryptic social media post

Ben Sutton / AFL

Updated 24.12.2023 2:47PM AEDT

Could Hawthorn great Cyril Rioli make a shock comeback to the AFL?

The 34-year-old has sent tongues wagging with a cryptic comment on Instagram.

Responding to a Hawks fan account that posted a photo celebrating the four-time premiership player, Rioli left a GIF of basketball legend Kobe Bryant with the words “job’s not finished.”

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Fans were quick to spot the comment and Rioli added another reply saying, “no contract offers as yet.”

Rioli reached extraordinary heights for the Hawks, winning four flags, a Norm Smith Medal and three All-Australian selections during a 189-game career.

But he lost the passion to play midway through the 2018 season and announced his shock retirement at just 28 years of age.

It has since been reported he had a fallout with then-president Jeff Kennett amid racism allegations and he cut ties with the club.

Rioli was also unmasked as a key protagonist in the ongoing Hawthorn racism saga in the wake of the AFL completing their investigation in June.

He joined his wife Shannyn Ahsam-Rioli, former teammates Carl Peterson and Jermaine Miller-Lewis, and his wife Montanah, and former Hawks Indigenous manager Leon Egan in penning a shocking open letter in which they detail their side of the story so far.

While a playing return at Hawthorn would seem unlikely, Rioli could potentially link up with former teammate and now coach Sam Mitchell in an off-field role.

Any sort of return to the club would be a massive turnaround given last year he told The Age he would go back to any club but the Hawks.

“I’d be up for helping clubs if they wanted me … Richmond or West Coast … but I wouldn’t go back to Hawthorn after what’s gone on. It’s the only club I wouldn’t put my hand up for right now,” he said.

But nevertheless, even though it was just a Hawthorn fan account, perhaps the comment was a step in the right direction towards reconciliation for the much-loved champion and the club.

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How much would it burn Hawks fans Cyril playing in a bombers jumper :smile:

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Nothing says WSPHU quite like a player we preferred to take in a draft sixteen years ago, after he’s been retired and out of the game for 5 years…

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Neither are likely to leave, but I’d happily put a large contract in front of Ollie Florent &/or Jarrod Berry.

Hard to see McCluggage or McGrath leaving given they’re vice captains.

You’d think Tim English will field the biggest offers, coming into his prime and the Dogs have already done the hard yards developing him.

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No to Florent as we have too many similar, would definitely like to see us have a crack at Berry though & he’s gettable imo.

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With Hepp and Hind nearing the end, I think Ollie would slip in nicely to HBF role. He’s a talent and pretty versatile, I don’t think we’d have any problem fitting him in the side.

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We just drafted two kids that “we hope” will fill that role, I would be targeting a BBM and small forward before anything.

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Anyone have access?

https://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/afl/afl-champion-data-reveals-the-deepest-lists-with-gws-carlton-and-collingwood-rated-highly/news-story/39d0af986dcaa95c401135384f13edc0?amp

From early January

AFL: Champion Data reveals the deepest lists, with GWS, Carlton and Collingwood rated highly

The Bombers had plenty of stars, but severely lacked at one end of the ground last season. Champion Data lift the lid on which club has the best depth across the AFL.

Josh Barnes

8:48pm January 04, 2024

The two clubs got on spectacular rolls and powered through to preliminary final losses.

While both clubs have superstars — Toby Greene at the Giants and Charlie Curnow at the Blues — they also have deep lists.

Champion Data has combed through each 2023 list and picked out the players rated in the top 50 in every position to help discover the best depth.

It’s no surprise that Collingwood finished with the most players inside the top 50 in their respective position, with the Pies winning the flag in September thanks to a perfect spread of contributors.

Instead of just listing how many players made the grade, each club has been ranked by depth.

To rank all 18 clubs, points were assigned per player bracket within the top 50, with three points per top-10 player, two points for players ranked 11-30 and one point for those ranked 31-50.

For example, GWS had seven top-10 players (for 21 points), six ranked 11-30 (12 points) and nine ranked 31-50 (nine points) to equal a total of 42.

When two teams were tied, the tie-breaker came down to the team with more total players ranked inside the top 50 per position.

The depth analysis is based on 2023 lists, so retirees like Isaac Smith (rated the seventh-best mid-forward in the game) or players traded like Lachie Schultz (eighth-best general forward) remain counted to their 2023 clubs.

Only players who played at least 12 games qualified, with rankings based on ranking points.

Check out where your clubs sits in the depth charts, from the high-flyers to the cellar dwellers needing more contributors.

  1. GWS GIANTS

Depth analysis points: 42

Top 10 players: 7, Top 11-30 players: 6, Top 31-50 players: 9, Total players: 22

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN

Defenders – Top 10: 3, Top 11-30: 2, Top 31-50: 2

Midfielders – Top 10: 1, Top 11-30: 4, Top 31-50: 1

Forwards – Top 10: 3, Top 11-30: 0, Top 31-50: 6

Top 10 players: Toby Greene (3rd – gen fwd), Kieren Briggs (6th – ruck), Lachie Whitfield (9th – gen def), Sam Taylor (9th – key def), Brent Daniels (10th – gen fwd), Harry Himmelberg (10th – key def), Jesse Hogan (10th – key fwd)

You only had to watch the back end of the 2023 season and two winning finals to see how the Giants played as one.

At times, Adam Kingsley’s side appeared to all move together and have winners everywhere, and that was reflected in our depth numbers.

GWS led the entire league in players rated top-10 in their position with seven and only Collingwood had more top-50 players.

The Giants finished top on our rankings by winning the tie-breaker over Carlton, due to having more players on the top-50.

Given the growth last season, where will the Giants sit in 12 months time?

2023 Midfielder Top 5

  1. CARLTON

Depth analysis points: 42

Top 10: 4, 11-30: 13, 31-50: 4, Total: 21

Defenders – Top 10: 2, 11-30: 3, 31-50: 1

Midfielders – Top 10: 1, 11-30: 7, 31-50: 2

Forwards – Top 10: 1, 11-30: 3, 21-50: 1

Top 10 players: Charlie Curnow (1st – key fwd), Blake Acres (6th – wing), Nic Newman (6th – gen def), Jacob Weitering (7th – key def)

Many judges have the Blues with the best list in the competition and these numbers back that up.

Carlton has a great spread across the ground and even has room to grow: Sam Walsh was rated 21st among midfielders and Patrick Cripps 34th last season.

If those two play full seasons at their best, the Blues will be in incredible shape.

Carlton has the stars — Charlie Curnow, Jacob Weitering — and the role players — Blake Acres, Nic Newman — each in their respective top 10.

All fantastic signs ahead of season 2024.

  1. COLLINGWOOD

Depth analysis points: 41

Top 10: 5, 11-30: 7, 31-50: 12, Total: 24

Defenders – Top 10: 1, 11-30: 1, 31-50: 5

Midfielders – Top 10: 4, 11-30: 2, 31-50: 5

Forwards – Top 10: 0, 11-30: 4, 31-50: 2

Top 10 players: Josh Daicos (2nd – wing), Steele Sidebottom (5th – wing), Darcy Moore (6th – key def), Nick Daicos (6th – mid), Taylor Adams (9th – mid-fwd)

More than perhaps anything else, Collingwood’s premiership was built on depth.

Every player filled a role in Craig McRae’s system to a tee and no other team had has many players rated in the top 50 for their position than the Pies’ 24 – which is more than can fit into a team.

Taylor Adams (ninth, mid-forward) drops off the Magpies list, but Lachie Schultz (eighth, general forward) is a pretty good replacement next season.

If the Pies are to become a dynasty team, players like Ash Johnson (40th, key forward), Isaac Quaynor (44th, general defender) and Bobby Hill (41st, general forward) will need to become genuine stars.

Jordan De Goey was ranked 38th for midfielders so could easily vault into the top 10 next year.

  1. MELBOURNE

Depth analysis points: 40

Top 10: 5, 11-30: 10, 31-50: 5, Total: 20

Defenders – Top 10: 1, 11-30: 2, 31-50: 2

Midfielders – Top 10: 4, 11-30: 4, 31-50: 1

Forwards – Top 10: 0, 11-30: 4, 31-50: 2

Top 10 players: Clayton Oliver (2nd – mid), Christian Petracca (3rd – mid), Max Gawn (3rd – ruck), Steven May (8th – key def), Lachie Hunter (10th – wing)

Melbourne’s numbers show the strengths and weaknesses clearly.

The Dees have possibly the best top-end midfielders in the game with Clayton Oliver, Christian Petracca and Max Gawn all rated in their respective top 3.

But Jacob van Rooyen (22nd, key forward) was the only genuine key forward to earn a ranking and the firepower upfront was severely lacking.

The Demons have long had a strong defence, but only Steven May (eighth, key defender), Jake Lever (17th, key defender) and Trent Rivers (29th, general defender) made the top 30.

2023 Wing Top 5

  1. BRISBANE LIONS

Depth analysis points: 39

Top 10: 5, 11-30: 8, 31-50: 8, Total: 21

Defenders – Top 10: 1, 11-30: 1, 31-50: 2

Midfielders – Top 10: 3, 11-30: 4, 31-50: 4

Forwards – Top 10: 1, 11-30: 3, 31-50: 2

Top 10 players: Joe Daniher (3rd – key fwd), Harris Andrews (4th – key def), Dayne Zorko (5th – mid-fwd), Josh Dunkley (10th – mid), Zac Bailey (10th – mid-fwd)

It may surprise a tad to have Brisbane so low on these rankings, but there is plenty of growth in the numbers.

Superstars Lachie Neale (16th, midfielder) and Charlie Cameron (15th, general forward) are better than their rankings suggest and Hugh McCluggage (36th, midfielder) was marked well down on his usual output.

The Lions may have the best list in the league and are well balanced across the field.

  1. ADELAIDE

Depth analysis points: 39

Top 10: 6, Top 11-30: 9, Top 31-50: 3, Total: 18

Defenders – Top 10: 0, 11-30: 2, 31-50: 3

Midfielders – Top 10: 3, 11-30: 3, 31-50: 0

Forwards – Top 10: 3, 11-30: 4, 31-50: 0

Top 10 players: Taylor Walker (2nd – key fwd), Rory Laird (4th – mid), Izak Rankine (5th – gen fwd), Ben Keays (7th, gen fwd), Jordan Dawson (8th, mid), Reilly O’Brien (9th – ruck)

Crows fans will tell you they should have made finals — if not for a certain poster — and our rankings show why.

Adelaide has six top-10 players, a figure only bettered by GWS.

Josh Rachele (11th, general forward) was just outside that top-10 and should jump in soon.

Adelaide showed it can be a deadly attacking side in 2023 but needs a boost in defence, with Josh Worrell (15th, key defender) the highest-rated backman despite only playing 12 games.

Veteran Rory Sloane fell to the 60th-ranked midfielder.

  1. SYDNEY

Depth analysis points: 38

Top 10: 3, Top 11-30 11, Top 31-50: 7, Total: 21

Defenders – Top 10: 1, Top 11-30: 3, Top 31-50: 2

Midfielders – Top 10: 1, 11-30: 5, 31-50: 3

Forwards – Top 10: 1, 11-30: 3, 31-50: 2

Top 10 players: Errol Gulden (1st – wing), Isaac Heeney (4th – gen fwd), Jake Lloyd (8th – gen def)

The Swans are waiting on a key forward to pop.

Logan McDonald (27th), Lance Franklin (31st) and Joel Amartey (34th) were only mid-table for key forwards this year, while Hayden McLean was classified as a ruck and ranked 19th.

Franklin has retired, but as the other young forwards continue to grow they will have plenty of support across the field, including from a dominant Errol Gulden on the wing.

Where will Brodie Grundy land in these rankings by season’s end now he is the No. 1 ruck again?

2023 Midfielder-forward Top 5

  1. RICHMOND

Depth analysis points: 38

Top 10: 4, 11-30: 11, 31-50: 4, Total: 19

Defenders – Top 10: 1, 11-30: 3, 31-50: 3

Midfielders – Top 10: 2, 11-30: 7, 31-50: 1

Forwards – Top 10: 1, 11-30: 1, 31-50: 0

Top 10 players: Dustin Martin (1st – gen fwd), Shai Bolton (2nd – mid-fwd), Jayden Short (7th, gen def), Toby Nankervis (7th, gen def)

Richmond still has top-level punch, with 10 players in the top 20 for their position.

The question marks begin after that.

Has Dion Prestia (53rd, midfielder) passed his peak?

Can Jacob Hopper (58th, midfielder) add some punch to the midfield?

Is Dylan Grimes (86th, general defender) in his final year?

If those players — and a few youngsters — lift, Richmond can play finals in 2024.

If not, star talents like Dustin Martin and Shai Bolton will be stuck mid-table.

  1. WESTERN BULLDOGS

Depth analysis points: 38

Top 10: 6, 11-30: 8, 31-50: 4, Total: 18

Defenders – Top 10: 0, 11-30: 2, 31-50: 2

Midfielders – Top 10: 6, 11-30: 3, 31-50: 1

Forwards – Top 10: 0, 11-30: 3, 31-50: 1

Top 10 players: Marcus Bontempelli (1st – mid), Jack Macrae (1st – mid-fwd), Tim English (1st – ruck), Caleb Daniel (3rd – mid-fwd), Bailey Smith (6th, mid-fwd), Tom Liberatore (7th, mid)

Bulldogs CEO Ameet Bains said this year the Dogs believed they have a top-four calibre list.

But do they really?

Sure, there is top-tier talent with No. 1 rankings for Marcus Bontempelli (midfielder), Tim English (ruck) and, surprisingly, Jack Macrae (mid-forward).

But after that things fall away pretty quickly.

Only three teams had less players rated in the top 50 and it may not be reasonable to expect Rhylee West, Taylor Duryea, Arthur Jones or Lachie McNeil to jump into the top 50 next year.

Bailey Smith was ranked sixth for mid-forwards and will drop out of the rankings next year after his knee injury.

The Dogs have talent but not quite the depth needed to win games week-in, week-out.

2023 General Defender Top 5

  1. HAWTHORN

Depth analysis points: 36

Top 10: 3, 11-30: 10, 31-50: 7, Total: 20

Defenders: Top 10: 1, 11-30: 1, 31-50: 3

Midfielders: Top 10: 1, 11-30: 6, 31-50: 3

Forwards: Top 10: 1, 11-30: 3, 31-50: 1

Top 10 players: James Sicily (1st – key def), Dylan Moore (2nd – gen fwd), Karl Amon (7th – wing)

A huge bump for the Hawks after finishing 16th on the ladder this year.

Hawthorn has a great spread of top 50 players across the field and four of their best on-ballers didn’t rate as highly as expected.

Jai Newcombe (29th, midfielder), Will Day (32nd, midfielder), James Worpel (43rd, midfielder) and Conor Nash (49th, midfielder) were not loved by ranking points, but had a strong year as a quartet.

Expect improvement from those four and if the Hawks can add more cream on top, they will really be cooking with gas in this list build.

  1. FREMANTLE

Depth analysis points: 36

Top 10: 6, 11-30: 6, 31-50: 6, Total: 18

Defenders: Top 10: 3, 11-30: 1, 31-50: 1

Midfielders: Top 10: 2, 11-30: 4, 31-50: 2

Forwards: Top 10: 1, 11-30: 1, 31-50: 3

Top 10 players: Luke Ryan (2nd – gen def), Brennan Cox (5th – key def), Sean Darcy (5th – ruck), Lachie Schultz (8th – gen fwd), Luke Jackson (8th – ruck), Hayden Young (10th – gen def)

Fremantle stalled last year and has now lost its best forward, with Lachie Schultz (eighth, general forward) traded to Collingwood in October.

Sam Switkowski (25th, general forward) was the next best attacker, but Jye Amiss (36th, key forward) should rise up these rankings.

Both Luke Jackson (eighth, ruck) and Sean Darcy (fifth, ruck) rated highly for the same position, while Caleb Serong (13th, midfielder) and Andrew Brayshaw (14th, midfielder) missed the top 10.

The Dockers need more depth and they probably need Serong and Brayshaw to nudge the top-five to be a big improver next year.

2023 Ruck Top 5

  1. GEELONG

Depth analysis points: 35

Top 10: 6, 11-30: 5, 31-50: 7, Total: 18

Defenders: Top 10: 1, 11-30: 1, 31-50: 3

Midfielders: Top 10: 2, 11-30: 3, 31-50: 2

Forwards: Top 10: 3, 11-30: 1, 31-50: 2

Top 10 players: Tom Stewart (1st – gen def), Jeremy Cameron (5th – key fwd), Gryan Miers (6th – gen fwd), Isaac Smith (7th – mid-fwd), Max Holmes (8th – wing), Tom Hawkins (9th – key fwd)

Surprisingly, Geelong had nearly identical numbers last year, with 18 players rated in the top 50 and six top 10s.

A number of players tumbled down the rankings, such as general forwards Tyson Stengle (rated fifth in 2022 and 54th in 2023) and Brad Close (fourth to 29th).

The Cats were praised for nabbing Ollie Henry (47th, general forward), Tanner Bruhn (67th, midfielder) and Jack Bowes (71st, general defender) during the 2022 trade period.

However, the trio didn’t add much in terms of rankings points.

It is those players in the younger cohort of the list that will need to drive the club forward.

  1. ESSENDON

Depth analysis points: 35

Top 10: 5, 11-30: 8, 31-50: 4, Total: 17

Defenders: Top 10: 1, 11-30: 4, 31-50: 1

Midfielders: Top 10: 3, 11-30: 4, 31-50: 0

Forwards: Top 10: 1, 11-30: 0, 31-50: 3

Top 10 players: Jordan Ridley (2nd – key def), Nic Martin (4th – wing), Zach Merrett (5th – mid), Jye Caldwell (8th, mid-fwd), Kyle Langford (8th, key fwd)

Brad Scott’s team has a pretty solid midfield in place — with Nic Martin (fourth, wing), Zach Merrett (fifth, midfield) and the surprising Jye Caldwell (eighth, mid-forward).

Ben McKay is planned to come in and help the excellent Jordan Ridley, but McKay only ranked the 31st best key defender while at North Melbourne last year.

Up forward is the other hole, with Peter Wright not playing enough games to qualify last year and Kyle Langford (eighth, key forward) the only top-30 attacker.

There are some building blocks in place here.

2023 Key Defender Top 5

  1. PORT ADELAIDE

Depth analysis points: 33

Top 10: 3, 11-30: 8, 31-50: 8, Total: 19

Defenders: Top 10: 3, 11-30: 1, 31-50: 4

Midfielders: Top 10: 0, 11-30: 4, 31-50: 2

Forwards: Top 10: 2, 11-30: 3, 31-50: 2

Top 10 players: Dan Houston (3rd – gen def), Charlie Dixon (4th – key fwd), Jeremy Finlayson (6th – key fwd)

Is Port Adelaide the team that won 13 games in a row and looked like a premiership contender or the team that got swept aside to a straight-sets finals exit?

These numbers suggest Ken Hinkley’s men are closer to the latter.

Zak Butters (11th, midfielder) and Connor Rozee (20th, midfielder) have better reputations than their rankings, while Jeremy Finlayson (sixth, key forward) is the opposite.

The Power midfield is probably another year or two away — Jason Horne-Francis was ranked 59th among midfielders and Ollie Wines 54th.

If their weapons become true top-10 players, the Power will be contenders.
But this list has some holes that need to be plugged, with their bevy of recruits not rating highly either.

  1. ST KILDA

Depth analysis points: 32

Top 10: 5, 11-30: 5, 31-50: 7, Total: 17

Defenders: Top 10: 2, 11-30: 3, 31-50: 1

Midfielders: Top 10: 2, 11-30: 1, 31-50: 3

Forwards: Top 10: 1, 11-30: 1, 31-50: 3

Top 10 players: Rowan Marshall (2nd – ruck), Mason Wood (3rd – wing), Callum Wilkie (3rd – key def), Jack Sinclair (4th – gen def), Mitch Owens (7th – key fwd)

Much like Port Adelaide, St Kilda outperformed its rankings on the field in a credit to the players and coaches.

Not many outside of the Saints faithful would have had Ross Lyon’s team as one of the top-eight in the league last season.

But they plugged away all year and earned a finals berth despite having just 10 players ranked in the top 30 — the equal lowest in the league.

Max King didn’t qualify for this list given his time sidelined with injury last season, but Mitch Owens (seventh, key forward) and Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera (25th, general defender) both had super campaigns.

St Kilda will need more from the likes of Jack Steele (45th, midfielder) and Brad Crouch (39th, midfielder), but the growth in this team will come from the youngsters.

2023 Key forward Top 5

  1. GOLD COAST

Depth analysis points: 31

Top 10: 4, 11-30: 6, 31-50: 7, Total: 17

Defenders: Top 10: 0, 11-30: 3, 31-50: 1

Midfielders: Top 10: 3, 11-30: 2, 31-50: 2

Forwards: Top 10: 1, 11-30: 1, 31-50: 4

Top 10 players: Sam Flanders (4th – mid-fwd), Jarrod Witts (4th – ruck), Ben Ainsworth (9th – gen fwd), Brandon Ellis (9th – wing)

The Suns just didn’t have enough contributors last year.

Gold Coast tied with St Kilda for the least amount of top-30 players, with 10, and only North Melbourne had fewer top-50 players.

It wasn’t just the young players to blame, as Rory Atkins (52nd, general defender), David Swallow (61st, midfielder) and Ben Long (84th, general defender) didn’t make enough impact.

Injury had some effect, but top-line players like Matt Rowell (25th, midfielder), Touk Miller (31st, midfielder) and Ben King (32nd, key forward) also didn’t add enough so will need to lift in 2024.

Damien Hardwick’s team should be eyeing a finals spot but a whole heap of improvement will have to come to get there.

  1. WEST COAST

Depth analysis points: 30

Top 10: 0, 11-30: 12, 31-50: 6, Total: 18

Defenders: Top 10: 0, 11-30: 4, 31-50: 2

Midfielders: Top 10: 0, 11-30: 5, 31-50: 3

Forwards: Top 10: 0, 11-30: 3, 31-50: 1

Top 10 players: Nil

Every club had at least three players rated top 10 for their position — except West Coast which had none.

It’s a torrid tale for the Eagles.

Even those who were fit and experienced didn’t deliver, with Andrew Gaff (22nd, wing), Tim Kelly (24th, midfielder) and Jack Darling (24th, key forward) not at the level needed.

The Eagles had the most players ranked 11-30 and hope to see some of those players make a leap, but their second-highest ranked player was the retired Shannon Hurn (13th, general defender).

Basically, the Eagles had no stars and a lot of injuries in 2023.

Not a good combination.

2023 General forward Top 5

  1. NORTH MELBOURNE

Depth analysis points: 30

Top 10: 3, 11-30: 8, 31-50: 5, Total: 16

Defenders: Top 10: 1, 11-30: 3, 31-50: 2

Midfielders: Top 10: 2, 11-30: 3, 31-50: 2

Forwards: Top 10: 0, 11-30: 2, 31-50: 1

Top 10 players: Harry Sheezel (5th – gen def), Luke Davies-Uniacke (9th – mid), Todd Goldstein (10th – ruck)

It’s probably not a surprise to see the Roos come in last.

No club had less players in the top-50, so lets look at who could make that grade in 2024.

Jy Simpkin (57th, midfielder), Will Phillips (64th, midfielder), Jaidyn Stephenson (73rd, general forward) and Paul Curtis (77th, general forward) can all lift.

Tarryn Thomas ranked 42nd for midfielders and needs to rise, while Todd Goldstein (10th, ruck) was one of the highest at the Roos and he is now gone.

The good news is Harry Sheezel (fifth, general defender) and Luke Davies-Uniacke (ninth, midfielder) should both keep getting better.

The Roos will continue to lose plenty of games in 2024 but will hope their young players can soon develop into top-10 calibre contributors.

Breaking Badness

True Crime Australia

2024 shapes as an interesting year with Stringer, Shiel and Jones all playing for another contract.
With Heppell likely retiring, and Weideman, Wanganeen and Kelly on shaky ground, there could be plenty of list changes. Add that Hind’s future is uncertain, and Hunter and Cox as well.
I’d expect Essendon to be heavily invested in pre-draft trading again.

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Essendon captain Zach Merrett says the Bombers will ensure their out-of-contract teammates feel “valued and supported”, with half the playing list entering the 2024 season without a deal for 2025 — including a host of star players.

It comes as ruckman Sam Draper prepares to return to full training for the first time since he underwent groin surgery, declaring he’s “pain free” ahead of a potential practice match bout later this month.

The Bombers have 22 players who are yet to commit beyond 2024, including key quartet Andrew McGrath, Archie Perkins, Sam Durham and Jake Stringer, as Merrett acknowledged contract status would play on the minds of some players during the season.

He said teammates accepted the “reality” players would not decide on their futures until later in the season as more variables continue to enter the realm of player movement, and was confident the club would secure signatures during the year.

“It’s real. I mean, I think it’d be I wouldn’t be human if you weren’t thinking about that if you were out of contract,” Merrett said.

“It’s a natural process this industry has – I think the more player movement that keeps coming up – mid-season trading potentially next year, I think everyone just accepts that is the reality of this abnormal life that we will live in.

Essendon forward-midfielders Archie Perkins (left) and Jake Stringer will enter the 2024 season without a contract for next year. Picture: Sarah Reed / Getty Images

Essendon forward-midfielders Archie Perkins (left) and Jake Stringer will enter the 2024 season without a contract for next year. Picture: Sarah Reed / Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

“No doubt it plays some aspect in the scheme of things … but you’ve just got to navigate through that, internally making sure they feel valued and supported to get the most out of themselves.

“I think we all know, the more games you win and play well, typically guys stick around and play more games together, so that will be the motivation for all of us.”

Anybody got access to this? It’s just about clubs with a lot of cap space.

https://www.heraldsun.com.au/subscribe/news/1/?sourceCode=HSWEB_WRE170_a_GGL&dest=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.heraldsun.com.au%2Fsport%2Fjon-ralph-how-mckays-eyewatering-salary-could-become-the-norm-as-salary-cap-increase-kicks-in%2Fnews-story%2F7307a3aef7f62340a721b6adc3644d78&memtype=anonymous&mode=premium&v21=GROUPA-Segment-1-NOSCORE

Just read the Brad Scott article in the age and it has the McKenna quote in it.

That we would be the last club he would play for.

Kinda echos in recent years Carlisle, Houli then probably Ryder as well.

Then theres also Joe and Saad leaving too.

I mean i dont know how this reconciles with other players “choosing us for less”.

Eg Shiel, McKay.

Where is Essendon at? Is the culture so rooted?

Dunno troubles me as a supporter. Not sure of list build is the right thread.

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Carlisle, Houli and Ryder - can we still call them recent years?

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For every player that has come to us on less money, there are likely multiple players that have rejected us despite offering more money.

There also likely multiple players that have only come to us because we’ve offered the most money.

Really?

I don’t remember the last time we offered more money than other teams for a player being chased by multiple teams.

A player leaving another team to come to us will almost always require more than they were being offered by their original club, but that’s true for all players moving clubs, and I’m sure there will be examples of that for players that only we wanted.

I think one of the reasons we have a ‘warchest’ currently is that we almost never overpay.
Even though there are noises about McKay being overpaid by us, he’s actually on 800K x 6, which by next year will look very cheap for someone of his calibre. And we front-ended his deal at $1.2M this year, because we needed to spend excess cap or lose it, so that was also to our own advantage as well.

I think we’ve missed out on a few that could have come to us by not offering as much as other teams would.

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Im just pointing to club culture.

If you had the read the article, I don’t know why you are asking a question regarding Culture. ALL clubs have issues with players coming and going for all sorts of reasons and we are no different. The fact that good players continue to sign with us and stay shows there is plenty of good about the club and its improving.

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