[Spec] on team vs Hawthorn Rd 1 2024

Yeah I reckon that is more likely. I’d say your back 6 are locks and then it’s a call Scott will make between Laverde, Heppell, Baldwin & Hind for the 7th defender.

Where he lands will depend on what he values more and whether he thinks he can ‘get away’ with playing four nominal tall defenders in the belief that Ridley is adaptable and fast enough to allow it. If he doesn’t think that then it’s out of Hepp and Hind. You do wonder whether Hind is viewed as a genuine option at either end of the ground still despite doing a lot of training forward.

Some may include Nik Cox in that mix for the 7th defender slot too. I’m unsure on him in the backline myself but either way I want to see him play a decent block of footy in the 2’s and demonstrate that he has a more rounded game and has his mojo back first. I’d love him to mount a compelling case for selection.


I think Jones/Caddy only play if Draper isn’t ready .

If Draper plays (Fwd/ruck), with Wright, Stringer, Langford, Perkins, we can’t really add Jones/Caddy can we.


I think we can intimidate Hawks with our forward height and generally run an extra medium (Perkins) down forward with one of the named tall forwards interchanging throughout the game.

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I think Kelly gets picked as wing / 7th defender

Up until about two weeks ago I don’t reckon I’d given Kelly a moment’s thought when thinking of our best 22 but it seems I may have to going by recent events. I did head along to the intra club on Saturday and there he was on a wing in the 1sts so yeah now that I think of it he might well be getting first crack.


Good side, the only change I would make is Hind in for Jones.
Langford to CHF and we run with 3 smalls in our Forward line.

Unfortunately I think you’re right, although based on training reports it appears he’s doing alright.

Edit - what Houli said

Any chance you are referring to James Kelly?


Well that’s a shame.


I think he’s rated fairly, needs to start hitting the score board like he does at training, and to be fair he’s had games where he could’ve kicked 3+, that game vs Port late last year he could’ve/should’ve kicked 4, so getting shots isn’t a problem.

I think hes underrated. This is Parish and Neale last year.


King was saying specifically parish isn’t a first possession player, which he plainly is, just not a brute force one


The obvious improvement is kicking efficiency.
if he can go from 56% to 63% then could = Brownlow.


umpires dont have a clue. he will get more votes for blonde hair and socks up than for his kicking efficiency


Look at the meters gained and score involvements and consider that Brisbane massively out scored us over the year. Neale is great but compared to Parish he is kicking short or sideways a lot and that is going to improve his efficiency.

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Yep, Neale is a very good player and safe/conservative by foot. Parish can be expansive and damaging at his best by foot (ANZAC Day 2022).

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Parish stats compare well to most players but if you simply watch Neales best vs that of Parish, i think its clear who the better player is.

Helps Neale plays in a more damaging team so his good work gets highlighted more because his teamates finish his good work.

When we start winning more with Parish performing he’ll get his flowers.

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AFL 2024: Essendon wants to make out-of-contract stars ‘feel valued’

Essendon captain Zach Merrett says his out-of-contract teammates “wouldn’t be human” if their futures didn’t play on their minds during 2024.

Essendon captain Zach Merrett says the Bombers will ensure their out-of-contract teammates feel “valued and supported” with half the playing entering the 2024 season without a deal for 2025 including a host of star players.

The Bombers have 22 players who are yet to commit beyond 2024 including key quartet Andrew McGrath, Archie Perkins, Sam Durham and Jake Stringer, as Merrett acknowledged contract status would play on the minds of some players during the season.

He said teammates accepted the “reality” players would not decide on their futures until later in the season as more variables continue to enter the realm of player movement, and was confident the club would secure signatures during the year.

“It’s real. I mean, I think it’d be I wouldn’t be human if you weren’t thinking about that if you were out of contract,” Merrett said.

“It’s a natural process this industry has – I think the more player movement that keeps coming up – mid-season trading potentially next year, I think everyone just accepts that is the reality of this abnormal life that we will live in.

“No doubt it plays some aspect in the scheme of things … but you’ve just got to navigate through that, internally making sure they feel valued and supported to get the most out of themselves.

“I think we all know, the more games you win and play well, typically guys stick around and play more games together, so that will be the motivation for all of us.”

Merrett said Stringer, who last week expressed his intent to remain at Essendon beyond next season, was in a “great spot” this summer and could still be a “special” player if he could increase his running capacity from an indifferent 17-game campaign in 2023.

“Jake is one of those guys I think all around the league you look at who’s got untapped talent all the time, and so how do you get that more consistently,” he said.

“I think if he’s in a good mental space and physically feels fit and can run and cover the ground, I think demands of the game continue to increase you need to be able to run at a high level now … if he can cover the ground and get to more contests he’s so special in those contests.

“The type of player he is, I think every club wants that type of player, but you have to be able to do it consistently and we’ve seen that with guys like (Jordan) de Goey, (Christian) Petracca and (Dustin Martin) over the last four of five years, real matchwinners who when the game gets bigger and the pressure comes on, they seem to step up, as we’ve seen last year in the grand final with Jordan, who had an amazing September.”

Merrett said the Bombers accepted their winless finals run would be a talking point this season whether they made the top eight or not, but said he took confidence from rival coaches’ comments that the gap between them and the top teams was narrow despite their dismal finish to 2023.

“It’s going to be talked about until we win one, isn’t it? So I wouldn’t say it hangs over our head, I think we know it’s there, it’s real, it’s not going away,” he said.

“I think it’s great listening to Craig McRae, Chris Fagan, (Adam) Kingsley … these coaches talking about I guess how close they feel the competition is.

“That little gap also feels massive at times … winning two or three more of those games all of a sudden slingshots you up pretty quickly, but you lose them and you’re obviously sitting in that middle pack.”


Im not saying Parish is better but I think its a lot closer then most think.

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It’s a Cinderella story…

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If Sam Mitchell sends Finn Maginnes or Connor McDonald to Merrett.
I think that’s a win for us. setterfield, Caldwell perhaps sometimes Durham might play the defensive mid role in centre and also around the ground but play off there opponent to create offensive chains

Parish vs Newcombe will be the one on one match up in the midfield that could be interesting as both players accumulate but also get covered by teammates to be able to be be free wheeling in the teams try to implement offence off the back of good defensive systems

Caldwell or Hobbs half forward normally comes up to the contest and take the Parish or sometimes Stringer matchup
. I’m guessing Kelly covers the defensive side wing while Martin or Redman pushes up to be the receiver off the back of contest and Dursma plays the attacking side wingmen.
Hawks tend too push two of half forward ups to contest creating chaos.
I think this game will be very attacking as both teams play a different system.