Midway point in the season - reflections

We are just one game away now from notching up half of our 22 home & away games.

The beginning of the bye rounds usually brings about the reflection on a number of hypotheticals such as a midway All Australian team, a mid way All Australian 40 man squad, the standard “why don’t we have State of Origin” discussion and what the teams would look like if we did etc.

I know it’s journalist fodder but I will be interested to see how guys like Merrett, Parish, Tippa and Hind feature in these sorts of discussions. I’m probably a bit biased but all 4 of those guys should at least be in discussions for that 40 man squad as it stands.

What positives have we all loved from the season so far?

Areas for improvement?

Things we’d love to see in the second half of the season?

There are many positives but the resurgence of Redman after a down year is something I’ve loved.

I know this thread could probably have waited a week but I like these discussions after two wins on the trot and West Coast away is a tough gig so I’m keen to begin now while we’re all pretty happy :grimacing::sweat_smile:

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Cox, Jones, Perkins all in their first year playing fantastic football.

Lav completely rejuvenating his career in defence.

Parish becoming an elite midfielder.

Redman regaining his 2019 form.

Hooker & Walla finding form in the forward line.

Hind proving to be a better player than Saad.

Collingwood slowly dying.

Consistency.

Reid getting a few more games.

Big Boy Baldwin playing in the VFL.

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Exceeded my expectations.

Forwardline looks better without Joe in it and a defence without Hurley is really coming through.

Parish becoming a bona fide elite mid was not something I expected, neither was Zach’s resurgence.

IMO won’t make finals this year and may miss out next year too, but the trajectory is definitely upwards.

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4 things really stand out to me from a team perspective

  1. We’ve grown a back bone. Thats the most pleasing thing for me. Even the games we got thumped we played to the final siren and fought back in each quarter after being pushed aside early.

  2. Selection has become merit based and players haven’t been rushed back from injury

3.There is a more discernable on field system and players are trusting each other to play the system, win their contests and be where they need to be.

  1. Kids are being trusted and invested with on field responsibility

I think you can see the impact that all of the above is having in the performance, self belief and buy in. I still don’t quite trust it but I’m starting to believe too.

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Massive ticks:

  • Lav down back
  • basically all the recruits
  • parish mid (sneaking toward AA)
  • competitiveness given injuries to some of best 22
  • blue collar pressure and tackling consistently
  • high scoring (and it seems our forward efficiency is up a fair bit too due to forwards competing)
  • Walla AA form, also Chook up there with him in the Coleman
  • Merrett looks happy

Unknowns/potential improvement:

  • competitiveness / consistency against non bottom 8 teams
  • ability for team to keep running games out later in the season
  • some inability to stop big opposition goalscoring runs
  • Stewart showing signs but potentially shaky
  • Rids not playing to his usual form (is he playing different role now Lav is down back?)
  • conceding a lot of scores
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As far as the guys who haven’t featured much but are a realistic chance to be a part of our future, I’m really interested to see how Draper, Reid and Bryan go in the second half of the season.

What is super obvious is the need to get more young, highly rated non key-position players onto our list somehow.

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I am most excited to see Baldwin in the second half of the year.

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And reid

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And to have a good look at shiel on a wing

Worth copying here.

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Biggest tick: This team will have a crack. Even vs Port and Brisbane, we were out classed but did not stop trying. This team looks like one that now is working really hard to get better.

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The individual players will be mentioned repeatedly, so I won’t do those again here.

But by far the most pleasing thing is the way we are playing. A couple of things:

  • We are the best tackling team in the competition, by a mile to second. This is like chalk and cheese from the last few years. We are actually looking like one being the best tackling teams of the last few decades based on the raw numbers. Extraordinary.
  • We have a discernible system that we are playing to. In particular, the random long bombs down the line or the high kicks inside 50 to nobody have almost disappeared.
  • We also have a clear plan to win the ball back when it’s in the opposition’s possession. Pressure pressure pressure, which eventually forces the long bomb inside 50 where Ridley, Francis and Laverde are there to mop up.

It’s clear we’ve got a damn good coach and coaching staff who know their stuff. Well done EFC for sticking to the Truck plan in the face of severe criticism.

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Midfield is top 8 worthy, tracking to top 4.

Backline still a work in progress but improving every game.

2/3 of our first round picks are boom recruits with the third TBC.

Aside from getting games into Caldwell and Draper, couldn’t be happier.

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One thing that is different as a Bombers supporter is having 5 guys in and around the forward line who are all good set shots for goal!!!

It’s been so nice to be fairly relaxed as Tippa, 2MP, Jones Langford and Waterman are coming in for goal.

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Very impressed with the season thus far, other than the debacle for Hawks couldn’t have asked for more.

Gonna be interesting to see how we play when Shiel, Draper and Stringer come back in.

If theres one concern i have is injuries, now im not sure if its luck or medical department but too many soft tissue injuries for my liking to just be considered ‘luck’.

Minor thing against all the other goods people have mentioned, but in the two games we’ve won by a lot, we kicked 6 and 7 goals to 3 and 2 in the last quarters. We could easily have lost those last quarters or kicked 2 goals to 1 or whatever and cruised. I like that we have players who want to rack up the score when they’re on top.

I know it’s not the most important thing in the world, but being able to win by a lot is much more fun to watch than a 50 point three quarter time lead turning into a three goal win.

(The hawks game is a massive caveat on that obviously)

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Definitely enjoying watching us this year, will give us an A!

We’re actually 2nd now… Dees passed us this round.

I thought we should have been more competitive in the wet against Brisbane, they were great but we were witches hats.

I think on a drier deck we would have fared better, need to improve in that regard.

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