Sorry been slow to reply, it takes a long time and there are a lot of threads going ape at the moment. Also, I do have some life outside of Blitz!
Look, I think its pretty fundamentally clear that we have some pretty different views on some things. Some of that neither are in a position to truly know, so it will always be an opinion. An example is that we’ve both heard the stories on Sheedy, how much credence we give them is going to up to the individual. Neither of us have any proof on Sheedy & Davies, beyond the stories. So we both give it a weight based on our individual opinions.
But a few points I think are worth arguing, or clarifying my position on.
On Sheedy, I’d clarify I’m not saying he did all the list management and the recruiting team did nothing. I’m saying that Sheeds would occasionally over-rule the list manager. It’s why Judkins left, he got angry about it. A question for you - given it caused Judkins to leave, why do you think it suddenly stopped happening with Dodoro? If they had been willing to cut Sheedy out of the process at that time, Judkins would presumably (I’m guessing) have stayed.
I just don’t get this. If a club brings in a player, they must rate them. Nobody brings in a player expecting them to be rubbish (unless its part of a salary dump, or a Veale deal). So they must have rated the talent and thought they could get an AFL player out of them. How is that not vindication of Dodoro’s picks? A second team’s manager rated them enough to recruit them even after they’d done little (often) for Essendon.
And the reference to the top clubs matches my points. People target the fringe players of successful clubs because they rate the drafting and development.
On Milne, I did put a (?) after him. I wasn’t sure of him.
On Houli, you don’t get much for players the coach wouldn’t select who’ve played VFL. The reasons we didn’t ask for anything and sent him via the PSD is well documented.
I’ve debated before on the definition of rebuild. In my mind a rebuild is not finishing mid-table or higher and taking your 4-5 picks in the draft. That’s just a regeneration (as I called it in the original post). A rebuild is spending time down the bottom of the ladder, clearing out average players even if they’re best 22, and often trading out some assets for additional picks. Its having the intent to focus on development and the future over the here and now. That is at least my definition of a rebuild.
It is something we never did. Just drafting 4-5 players a year doesn’t make it a rebuild IMO. A regeneration is by its nature usually a slow process, and for us it was also extremely slow.
But we didn’t have elite draft picks. Of those top 20 picks, only 5 were top 10 picks. Four more were in the 17+ range. And then to exacerbate our lack of access to good picks, a #2, #10 and #11 picks (Winders, Gumby and Laycock) all had major injury issues. It was a combination of bad luck, bad timing and insufficient picks.
I can only think of two clubs with less access and better recruiting - Sydney and Adelaide. If we can poach the main guy from one of them, I’m all for showing Dodoro the door. So unless there are a raft of clubs I’ve missed, other clubs haven’t really challenged with more success than EFC off lower pick quality.
On fixing the issue of lack of picks, this is where I think the Board/EFC goals got in the way. You can’t get more/better picks without finishing low or trading good players out. In both situations the Board was against this philosophy (I talk about this more below).
I said 2002 and 2003 were weak drafts. I’m not sure how Dodoro is responsible for Jackson stuffing the salary cap in 2002, or Jacobs requesting to leave in 2003. Or that the 2005 draft when Richards insisted on leaving was so weak in the late teens/twenties as well.
I believe it played out in several ways. It meant we kept average players as they boosted the strength of our bottom 12, even if the overall best 22 wasn’t good enough to win. It meant we went for recycled players who could (potentially) have an immediate impact. So guys like Zantuck, McPhee, Cupido, Alan, Murphy, Salmon, Heffernen, Camporeale, Michael. It meant we didn’t trade out anyone unless our hand was forced (either by their request or salary cap). It meant less development time to kids as the focus was on winning finals.
Now, maybe Dodoro was a huge fan of this approach. I have no idea. What I do know is that the Board set clear goals which were known, and our approach aligned with those goals. And that those goals are ones likely to help the now over the option to do a full rebuild.
These are poor logic. They are mixing causation and correlation. If Dodoro’s hands were often tied, if our development was rubbish, if our injury management was rubbish, if the salary cap (early 00’s) or saga (recently) restricted the ability to do trades, if it wasn’t list management that meant Richards, Jacobs, Houli, Jenkins, Crameri left, if a saga impacted team performance as we were peaking, then it is quite possible Dodoro and Keane could be good list managers and we still not win a final in 13 years. All of those things impact how well players develop, stay, and stay on the park, which impact success.
To want to simplify it down to “we haven’t won in 13 years, this guy’s been here 13 years in an area that has an impact, therefore he automatically isn’t any good” is bad logic.