just on leroy he certainly is having a crack and his repeat pressure efforts are right up there. He also seems to be playing far more directly, taking the first option or having a ping, don't remember a genuine stop and prop in either game. is using his agility and pace to beat guys rather than trying sell dummies which he is horrible at. probably should have finished with two or three last night. i'm not ready to jump on board yet but the signs are encouraging. Difficult to gauge where he might be at in the pecking order though because we haven't seen Kommer or melk yet.
i posted this in the game thread but wouldn't mind some thoughts. i think hooker has found another level, his work below his knees last night was fantastic, his composure and ball use under pressure has greatly improved and his kicking seems to have a bit of extra penetration with less hang time.
Hurely needs more time, has caught a bad case of the pears when under highballs and is feeling for the body rather maintain body contact and keeping and eye on the ball. That's his game he needs to get back to basics. using it well though and i love his low spearing drop punts coming out of defence
gleeson looks like a prototypical essendon recruit, does some things fantastically well (finding the pill, side step, positioning) but has glaring and fundamental weaknesses in his game (kicking,size). No doubt we'll all spend the next 3 years going "if he can just fix his kicking he'll be awesome, just what we need " etc etc. his technique appears solid enough and my perception is that he snatches at it a bit when under pressure (probably because he doesn't have the body yet to absorb too much punishment). i don't think you will see him butcher it when in the clear like colyer does but equally he seems to get a lot of his ball in contested areas rather than on the run so he needs to fix it. Hopefully once he puts on about 56 kgs, gets his Ps and can buy alcohol legally this issue will work itself out. There is something to work with here i just hope we get his development right.
by contrast zerrett is the full bottle and we should be getting game time into him this year if at all possible. surprisingly strong for his age, very neat disposal, just needs confidence at this level and a tank and he will plug right into the seniors and be the decisive, polished, harassing, goal kicking small fwd/mid we have been crying out for seemingly for ever.
steinberg can't seperate and lacks acceleration. hardy is where it is at as far as medium fwd options go, he is genuinely dangerous up there with his pace leap and courage and is a monty for rd 1 and probably until tbell is fit for mine. we are just going to have accept there will be days where he kicks 1.4 and an out on the full (like crameri did early on).
hibberd's injury and dempsey's absence is a big big concern. we have got kids who can pinch hit but none who are ready to step up and play anywhere near their level. hibberd is a bigger loss than dempsey IMO, fingers crossed it is just minor because we can't replace his combination of aerial ability, pace, determination and skills down back and will be forced to send Goddard back i think. our first 4 weeks will be torrid and if we are missing both of them or one with the other seriously underdone we will be starting well behind the 8ball.
JD, tracking beautifully.
basset has his work cut for him upfront and it was infuriating to see our patented static forward line atwork, again.