Something seriously wrong with the club


Can we hire a full time sports psychologist?

We have won 1 out of 6 verse teams 18th on the ladder


I’ve always felt that we missed the opportunity to gut the club after 2015/2016 and start again.

I just didn’t see the quality on the list and clearly our core group of players are mentally weak when we always lose to crap sides (been an issue for 6-8 years).

There are officials involved at the club who just want to take the short term fix it options which have papered over our cracks for years. It started when Sheedy was in his final years and kept recruiting mature age players in an attempt to lift the club one last time.

We missed the opportunity to cash in on Hooker and Hurley etc and do a proper 3 year rebuild which we would now be benefiting from


I’m sure blokes who get injuries playing the sport, have to do pre-season running until they physically are spent (and then keep going), have to deal with the media each day etc, etc are far less invested in it (emotionally, or otherwise) than the fans…


I live in hope that the club will one day become ruthless again.
That we will have the right mix of people at the club who would make a stand when it matters and not let the AFL continually f#ck us over time and time again.
That we put together a development team who can actually make our players better and not worse.
That we put together a coaching panel who can teach the kids the skills and implement multiple and not predictable game plans that are required to be successful if the first plan fails, who actually dare to play our younger kids and expose them to AFL rather than letting them languish in the VFL until they become injured or despondent. A coaching panel who actually put a bit of fear BUT respect into our players. A coaching panel who play our players in their most suitable position.
That we put together a list management team that makes the hard calls so that we don’t have players who have shown nothing clogging up the list for 5+ years and who are continually taking the opportunities of our younger players. A list management team who draft appropriate players for the required position and play them there instead of trying to turn players into something they aren’t.

I just want a club that stops making stupid decisions time and time again, like extending a coaches contract at the beginning of the season. I want a club who I know will not settle for second best.


I would be interested to know if the board members and the CEO are actually Essendon supporters. What sort of memberships did they hold if they were and also the expertise in running a professional (of sorts) sports club. Running a football club is a lot different to running a bank or SME and I think we have gone too far towards getting the off-field perfect and neglecting the on-field. They don’t all need to be Essendon supporters but you definitely need people who are passionate about the club and I don’t get that sense when you here X talk (or hear Linsey talk at all)

I still cant get over the fact in our 9 (?) Objectives we didnt even have anything related to winning on-field. Even Richmond who did theirs before us has win Premierships at the top.


I’m sure blokes who get injuries playing the sport, have to do pre-season running until they physically are spent (and then keep going), have to deal with the media each day etc, etc are far less invested in it (emotionally, or otherwise) than the fans…

My point was their emotional investment in this football club, not any club. Hence the use of the term sell swords. They will play with EFC for the cash. They will sweat and sustain injuries for EFC for the cash. Not because they have an emotional investment in the club. They have a professional commitment. Not an emotional one.


Very unhappy with the following :slight_smile:
Worstfault - couldn’t coach if his life depended on it. Plan A is average and no plan B or C or D.
Dud Orderer - has failed to bring to the club the type of ruthless personnel we need to win games. Too many small statured skinny blokes.
Harvey - Wonderful servant of the club as a player but in reality is a failed former senior coach who is not offering anything to the development of the playing list
Skipworth - IMO has never any credits in the bank and I don’t know why he is still at Tullamarine .
Richardson - By all accounts a failure at Richmond yet we employ him?
Board - Has failed to hold the coaching and recruitment staff to account


I agree, I doubt there is an emotional investment to the team and the fans, but not just from the players as well.


Recruitment is a bigger issue than we all think.

We have continually lost contested ball numbers in games - especially all the close games we have lost against lower sides.

We have, too often, picked a project/skilled/lightweight player with low contested ball capability. we simply don’t pick up enough "hard nuts"who can, at least 30% of the time, win their own ball. We have rectified this recently with trading in the Stringer, Smith, Shiel and recruiting Dylan Clarke, Mutch and Guelfi.

Why has Richmond done so well this year with 2-3 stars out and Martin well down on form?

Because they’ve recruited and immediately played 2 young (very) hard nuts in Stack and Jack Ross who contest everything and can win their share of contested ball.


So what can be done to rectify this? Who is driving the bus - is it Dud Orderer or the coaching/development staff? There is only one common denominator over the past decade or so.


I read it and thought it said cannibals, not cannons, maybe it should have.


Man, this thread is so depressing

We are fkd




Excellent insight BWAS.


We actually 6th last year for contested possession differential and thats despite starting the year so poorly.

I’m not sure its a massive issue.



Essendon stuck in mediocrity - what’s the cause? Jon Ralph looks at 15 reasons behind lacklustre season

JON RALPH, Herald Sun

a minute ago

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As Dyson Heppell said this morning, Essendon’s season is still well and truly alive.

But at 3-5 and having dropped a game they just couldn’t afford to lose, they are a long way behind the eight ball.

A club that might have to finish the season 13-9 to ensure they play finals would need to win 10 of the next 14 games to ensure that aim.

For a club seen as a premiership contender, it is another horror start to a season for a club wanting to win its first final since 2004.

Here are the 15 reasons why a club that hasn’t won a final for 15 years is battling to make an impact.


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Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum, right, drives past Denver Nuggets forward Mason Plumlee in the first half of Game 7 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series Sunday, May 12, 2019, in Denver. (AP Photo/John Leyba)

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1. Injuries.

If we are to mark the Dons hard we need to accept reality.

In the pre-season a Dons side desperate to avoid the injury toll of the previous summer got exactly the same dose of injuries. The likes of Cale Hooker, Dyson Heppell, Marty Gleeson, Zach Merrett, Orazio Fantasia and Joe Daniher all battled various ailments. It’s no secret many of those players have never hit their stride this year. The injuries just keep coming mid-season, with Daniher battling all year and Fantasia the latest today to come down with a soft-tissue injury.

2. The draw.

Essendon was downright putrid in its loss to GWS in Round 1. But of its three losses so far they have been defeated by first-placed Geelong, second-placed Collingwood and fourth-placed GWS. But a team wanting to play finals needed scalps and instead it has a great win over Brisbane as well as knocking over the Roos and Melbourne when they were at their lowest ebb.

What is going wrong at Essendon?

3. Essendon is just mediocre at most things.

A deeper dive into the stats shows a team wanting to excel doesn’t have a single dominant stats category. When they surge with intoxicating speed through the corridor they wow the fans. But their KPIs shows a lot of competition rankings between 10th-12th.

They are eight for points for and 11th for points against. A team wanting to allow 10 less points in defence per game instead gives up about exactly the same - 83.5 points compared to 82.2 last year.

They are 10th for disposal differential, 11th for contested ball differential, 10th for uncontested ball differential, 8th for inside 50 differential. It’s very mehhh, very uninspiring

  1. Dylan Shiel was at least racking up huge numbers before this week, even when he turned the ball over. Against Sydney he was kept to a season-worst 17 possessions as George Hewett tagged him early. Of the 76 players with 100 kicks, he has the 12th-worst rating at negative six per cent. Of those players he has the second-lowest hit rate. So he attempts difficult kicks but is hitting them at the second-lowest hit rate. No wonder the midfield-forward connection rate is so bad.

A deeper dive into the stats shows a team wanting to excel doesn’t have a single dominant stats category.

  1. Devon Smith has fallen off a cliff as he deals with a niggling knee injury he will manage all year. He averages just 68 ranking points, down from 98 last year. Last year he was clearly footy’s best tackler with more than eight per game. This year he still has 5.9 tackles but nowhere near the impact. Of Essendon players to drop away from 2018 to 2019. David Myers is next (negative 25 ranking points).

  2. Essendon don’t have a consistently elite player. Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti and Orazio Fantasia are the single elite players by Champion ratings, and one is inconsistent and the other freshly injured.

Of their above average players only Zach Merrett and Dyson Heppell fit into that category. So they don’t a key position or midfield player in the elite category - damning given the trends of the modern game.

  1. Essendon is seen as a run-and-gun side, but the back half run also comes with risk.

Essendon is the second-highest scoring side from the defensive half but has also given up the most points - 33 points per game.

Conor McKenna has given up the most back half turnovers in the league, with Dylan Shiel, Adam Saad and Michael Hurley following him in that statistic.

  1. The ruck situation is dire. Tom Bellchambers is running around with a sore ankle Bellchambers work around the ground is just OK - he ranks below average - but while his hitout-to-advantage rate is fine he doesn’t get his hands to enough hitouts to give them an advantage in the midfield enough given the Dons rank 15th in hitouts.

  2. Zac Clarke. He is playing as a result of the injuries and Bellchambers being banged up. But Clarke butchered two easy chances against Sydney and is the second-worst ranked ruckman of the 29 to play so far this year. He shows glimpses of talent can be an incredibly frustrating player to watch.

Dylan Shiel of the Bombers looks dejected after the round eight AFL match between the Sydney Swans and the Essendon Bombers

  1. Aaron Francis is only 21 so needs more time to justify his amazing potential. But he has been a victim of circumstance that means he hasn’t followed on from the brilliant last month of 2018. Dropped after Round 3 because of Cale Hooker’s return, he played VFL and then has pushed forward in the past fortnight. He has had 12 combined score involvements but no goals so far and finds it hard to get separation of his opponent. Patrick Ambrose has stood up as a miserly key back and Mason Redman looks like anything as an intercepting mid-sizer. But at his best Francis is a contested marking interceptor who sets up Essendon with brilliant field kicking. It hasn’t happened this year for a variety of reasons.

  2. At one stage Kyle Langford looked a special talent and Jayden Laverde could have turned into an inside bull. This year Langford has been injured, played VFL at times and generally been mediocre when he has played AFL after last year’s 16-game breakout year. Laverde has played only two VFL games and battled ankle issues.

  3. The coach. How do you quantify how many goals a coach is worth to an AFL team? It’s impossible. But Essendon have enough talent on their list. It’s why they have been so hyped this pre-season. Would Alastair Clarkson have a list with this talent at 3-5? Since the start of last year they are 15-15 - distinctly mediocre. On Friday night Fox Footy’s experts were scathing of Essendon’s inability to round up the spare Sydney player in those frantic final minutes. John Worsfold is a man of great integrity and a great man manager. But it’s not often that games are won in the Essendon coaches box.

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Dane Rampe is expected to be issued with a double-barrelled “please explain” from the AFL today, reports @LaurenHeraldSun. #AFLSwansDons


10:55 AM - May 13, 2019

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  1. Luck. Sometimes you need a helping hand from the umpires or an idiotic rival player. Dane Rampe’s brain fade was a clear-cut free kick that should have seen Essendon steal the game. The AFL justified its five late free kicks on Anzac Day but the Dons might have stolen that game with the rub of the green, or at least a handful of key late calls. It would have put them 5-3 instead of 3-5.

  2. Mental strength. How can a team front up and get belted by 72 points in Round 1 against GWS and then admit later they didn’t realise how hard they had to work to win games of football. It’s one of footy’s intangibles - turning up to play - but the 0-2 start to the year after losses to GWS and St Kilda will have them behind the eight ball all year.

  3. Not enough matchwinners so far. Who was prepared to drag Essendon back into the game like Patrick Cripps has tried to do so far this year. Dyson Heppell has tried but is more of an accumulator, Daniher has had a single good game this year, Hooker has his hands full with elite forwards and Shiel has ruined his best work with poor kicking. Who is prepared to do it against Fremantle and save the club’s season?


Seems about right. Striving for and achieving mediocrity.


Peter Jackson. That is all


1 and 2 are needless and shouldn’t be used as an excuse, considering how consistently dismal we’ve been for close to 16 years.


I hope he’s weaving his magic at melbourne.