Coach – Brad Scott
Points For – 13th
Points Against – 16th
Top 5 Best and Fairest
1 – Peter Wright
2 – Zach Merrett
3 – Matt Guelfi
4 – Mason Redman
5 – Jordan Ridley
2022 Rising Star Noms
Nic Martin (Round 1)
Ben Hobbs (Round 14)
Massimo D’Ambrosio (Round 16)
Ins – Sam Weideman, Will Setterfield, Elijah Tsatas, Lewis Hayes, Alwyn Davey jnr, Jayden Davey, Rhett Montgomerie, Anthony Munkara
Outs – Michael Hurley, Devon Smith, Tom Cutler, Tom Hird, Garrett McDonough, Aaron Francis, Cody Brand, Brayden Ham, Alex Waterman, Josh Eyre
What an absolute dumpster fire of a year for Essendon. The false hope of the year before with dipping our toes into the finals before being unceremoniously dumped by the ducker and his friends. Still we had a strong young list and reason to believe that things were on the improve. We have had six rising star nominees in the past two seasons. Is last year the truth or was it an aberration.
The backline feels like it has good young talent but there is only so much you can do when your midfield only runs one way and only then when they feel like it. BZT came on at the end of last year and finally looked like repaying the faith. Ridley was a shell of his former self and a game plan that seemed to insist on small sideways kicks. Laverde worked hard and was generally effective which is more than can be said for Kelly. Redman, Hind and McGrath off half back look solid although the depth of McGraths kicking is a constant concern.
The midfield last year was terrible and either had a game plan that didn’t work or one they couldn’t be bothered executing. Shiel has the best half a season he has had in red and black after a terrible start. Zerrett was just ok but not at his standard and Parish barely had a run at it. Martin was a revelation and Hobbs when we let him play in the middle looked like a player. I think Heppell gets come captaincy free wing time this season and will be good, we forget sometimes how good he is. Add in Caldwell and Setterfield and the midfield looks well constructed and should perform a lot better than the garbage we saw last year.
The forward line was down significantly on the year before. Wright though was massive and rewarded with a BnF. I don’t see anything in his game to suggest he cant maintain that form or even get better. Stringer never got his body or mind right last year and it showed, I don’t care if he touches the centre circle, he needs to kick goals. Last year there was zero forward pressure but with possibly a Davey, Menzie and/or a Walla running around, it will already be an improvement on last year. Would be the cherry on top if Jones could play a full season.
I am not sure I would swap our ruck for any other player in the competition. Draper is a heart and soul player who has skill deficits but he also does things that no one else can. He will improve. Depth wise, Bryan can step in and Phillips always seems to step up when needed. I am a big fan of the coach. Scott was at the top of my wish list, he is a tough uncompromising leader of people, not here to make friends and demands high performance.
This year we will start to see who the real Essendon is, are we the squibs that jogged around the oval for most of last year or is there more fight. I think we can logically expect improvement, there is good young talent on the list and there is enough amongst our older players to think we should be climbing up the ladder. I don’t think we play finals although we my threaten the eight, I think we finish in the 9-11 range.