Season 2018 - Essendon


#1

I don’t usually do this for the Bombers due to my natural sense of pessimism but this year I feel different and also have time on my hands…

Essendon

Coach – John Worsfold

2017
Points For – 3rd
Points Against – 12th

Top 5 Best and Fairest

  1. Joe Daniher
  2. Brendon Goddard
  3. Dyson Heppell
  4. Zach Merrett
  5. David Zaharakis

2017 Rising Star Noms

Andrew McGrath (Rnd 4)

Ins – Adam Saad, Jake Stringer, Devon Smith, Luke Lavendar, Jordan Houlahan, Brandon Zerk-Thatcher, Matt Guelfi, Trent Mynott

Outs – Jobe Watson, James Kelly, Yestin Eades, Brent Stanton, Heath Hocking, Ben Howlett, Caig Bird, Alex Morgan

My Prediction

I know there was a lot of talk that last year was a new start but for me, this year is year one. This is the year when the list is being shaped and the excuses run out.

The backline stats surprised me last year. They are not the 12th best backline in the competition. They are however a backline that was too often left with too much work to do. When the midfield was being beaten, they didn’t tie the ball up and often let teams get a run on. Hurley was outstanding and continues to get the job done, Hartley was down last year and will be interesting with the KP mix between him, Brown and Ambrose to see who gets the starting positions. This year with Irish and Saad running off half back, they will be quick down there and unpredictable.

How the midfield lines up is going to be a bit of a mystery. It is essentially being rebuilt after just not being good enough against the strong teams last year. They were out muscled and couldn’t match the stronger clearance teams. Stringer spending time through the middle will help and I think Langford and Laverde will see time there as well. McGrath is not a big body but his vision and quick hands will certainly make a difference. I think the biggest difference will come from Smith who reminds me of Tom Mitchell. I think he could lead the way inside. Heppell looks to have bulked up as well and we tend to forget just how good he was. Zach Merrett brings speed and quality as well. There is a lot of potential in the middle and should definitely improve on last year.

The forward line is a genuine chance to be the best in the competition by the end of the season. Joe Daniher has only just started to show how good he is, his upside is enormous. Stewart and Hooker should improve on last year and the Bombers should show more chemistry up forward as they work together. Stringer when he is not in the middle is a wrecking ball and then they have absolute high quality small forward in Walla and Orazio.

Last year started with Leunberger as the preferred but as Bellchambers found his feet, that changed. Bellchambers gives greater flexibility and always looks dangerous when he drifts forward.

We have seen the last couple of seasons, the importance of clever trading to fill gaps in your list and the difference that makes, with team structures now just as important as team chemistry it is much easier for players to slot in and make a difference from day one. There was enough shown last year to suggest the bones of a very good team. They have added enough to that as well as the natural development of existing players to suggest things should be better this year. I am tipping top four for the Bombers this year.


#2

Top 4… lid off!!!

Thanks @Allblack

You’ll regret not giving some love to Parish in your midfield commentary though. Going to be a big player in there this year.


#3

Boy oh boy woweeeee


#4


#5

image
For those that genuinely remember what it was like to feel this victory.
Just imagine, after all the years. After all the pain of the saga.

Just imagine we won it in 2018.


#6

Prediction: 3rd-8th
We could be a top 4 team, but worst cause should make the 8. Saga finally over, time to enjoy some football.

Best 22
B: Baguley Ambrose Gleeson
HB: McKenna Hurley Saad
C: McGrath Heppell Parish
HF: Stewart Daniher Smith
F: McDonald-Tipungwuti Hooker Fantasia
R: Bellchambers Stringer Merrett
INT: Zaharakis Goddard Laverde Langford
EMG: Myers Colyer Hartley

Hardest last couple of spots - Langford/Laverde or Myers Colyer.
Myers and Colyer should still play plenty of games.

Depth: Josh Begley, Mitch Brown, Dylan Clarke, Matt Dea, Aaron Francis, Josh Green, Matthew Leuenberger, Kobe Mutch, Mason Redman, Jordan Ridley


#7

I cannot imagine any sporting event ever, in the future or the past, giving me more pleasure than the next EFC premiership.


#8

Agreed. So much emotion.

100% I would cry, then laugh, then cry some more.


#9

I’m a realist when it comes to us, and I’ve seen enough false dawns and been let down enough times since we were last a premiership chance to not get too carried away… but I really think we can win it this year. I think this team has a 1993 feel about it. That was 25 years ago and I was only 10, but the wave of euphoria when we got on a roll was something I can still feel today and it will never leave me. Thinking about this group of players we have gives me the same emotions. If this team does it, it won’t be through the grit and lockdown defence that the Dogs displayed in 2016 or the way Richmond clamped down on teams last year. We will do it playing the most exciting brand of footy seen in the AFL for over 20 years. Tell me who the ■■■■ is going to stop a forward line containing Joe Daniher, Orazio Fantasia, Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti, Jake Stringer, Cale Hooker and James Stewart? We won’t struggle to score this year, and when we are up and about we will blow teams away. The middle of the ground will be vital, at times last year we couldn’t win contested ball and generate inside 50s. It is a testament to how damn good the attack is that we finished with the 3rd best points for total last season, from an inside 50 count in the bottom third in the AFL.

We’ve been challenged as a club like no club has been challenged before. The players who went through all the pain of the past 4-5 years, save for a few, have stuck together. Essendon made a statement in the trade period by acquiring 3 top quality players who will help us now and into the future. Everything feels right in the world again. There’ll be 5-6 clubs who will feel the same as we do right now about their prospects, and fair play to them. Flags are ■■■■■■ hard to win, everything has to go right for you and you need 100% buy-in from players, coaches, front office, etc. The feeling deep down inside me is irresistible. We got this!


#10

Everyone looks so young here, except Wallis who looks about 48


#11

Should be Top 6

coaching and injuries are the only thing that will stop us imo

Our forward line if kept healthy will just monster teams. I can honestly see us putting up a 170+score this season

Our forwards are all capable of kicking big bags. And we now have guys that can drift up front and kick goals from the midfield


#12

Hell of a lot can and will be changed by how Stringer and Smith and to a lesser extend Langford and Laverde (Begley?) go. If they can revolutionise our midfield we’re as good a shot as any. But we need to find a few in the midfield. I think we’ve looked in the right place.


#13

9th. Just you all wait.


#14

Man I just remember feeling relieved that day. If we didn’t win that flag we would have been a laughing stock.

1984 and 1993 were the most memorable for me because I went in thinking we would lose


#15

Yes 1993.
I was 19 and that year was just unbelievable.
So many close/come from behind wins.

Feelin’ something similar this yr.


#16

I was about to turn 19. It was a glorious day.


#17

Image


#18

image
Feeling confident- this is my set up for 2018 Grand Final Barbie.


#19

Not sure that last line of defence is up to the rest of the team.


#20

Is the grey cup in case we have to wear that poxy away strip?