Well (a) that hasn’t been shown, and (b) even if true, doesn’t automatically mean anything. We’ve definitely dropped off in our recruiting of indigenous talent. I think most here see that as a sad thing. But the reality is that
And I think you’re giving a huge pass to Benfti on the statistics. He’s the one who raised them as proof of his argument. He’s the one who tried to argue causation rather than simple correlation with our 1999 => 2003 success with indigenous players. He’s the one who refers to how bad we are, but then has struggled to produce the stats for rest of the league. When he says we’re the worst, and other posters rattle off multiple clubs who are actually worse, it hurts his argument.
Finally, the reality is that even if we’re in the bottom handful, this doesn’t statistically mean much at all. Statistics are actually pretty poor when it comes to small sample sizes, which is what EFC is. It could easily be an anomaly.
The only real kicker so far has been the claim that the board said not to recruit indigenous players as a response to the Sheedy years. Two people have claimed that they’ve heard of this second hand. If true, it is one hell of a blight on the club. What I don’t get is why it would be true - when it is proposed we passed this our indigenous players had been some of our most successful draft picks. I’m suspicious that if it existed, it was more nuanced and aimed at stopping things like the McCalister pick (was James Davies indigenous?) and the Cole trade, which were all disasters driven by Sheedy and Bev Knights. I’d be surprised if they were trying to stop the behaviour that had led to us recruiting Lovett, NLM, Rioli, Davey, Ryder, Dempsey, Jetta etc. At the end of 2007 when Sheedy left most of those looked like good to great picks.