The 2018 Benfti "in absentia" Hype thread


What exactly are people arguing about though, tbh that’s what I don’t understand, I’ve adressed every machination of what I think could be contributing to the data presented, and reasons people think it has occured

Broadly speaking though and I’ve said this a tonne in this thread, what I’ve said about the club is just a by product of a broader project.

The reasons that this could have happened are open to discussion, but the stats are pretty straight forward and I’ve said at least 5 times I believe the reasons are both complex and have changed through that period.

Has anyone stopped to think given my love for the club and my passion for indigenous opportunity what it must have been like when all the data was collected and I saw what I saw, and how unbelievably disappointing and saddening it was. That my two great passions which used to be so symbiotic seemed completely separated?

Do people think I want to see that, I want the bombers to be th best at everything.


I don’t doubt your support or your passion for your cause, and I commend it, for what it’s worth.
However - you have a rather strict set of data points that you do not seem willing to move from, because it dilutes the strength of your result. I think standing a little further back from the problem and trying to see things from a different slant would help.

Clarify the issue.
This may be ‘not enough indigenous players in the AFL’. Given that your argument stands that they are under-represented - and this is not a given, for many reasons, perhaps see it solely from an ‘equal opportunity perspective’ rather than a ‘comparative footy club perspective’, because the former addresses the issue, while the latter brings up an extremely complex set of circumstances that may not give you an accurate assessment. The sample size, as well as the time-period is far too small. Maybe a different way of looking at this is 'how has the involvement of indigenous people in sport changed over the last 25 years in Australia? What about Australian Rules Football, and then in Victoria in particular?
That’s a far cry from ‘Essendon as drafted less players than other clubs over the last few years’.

With a small enough scope, you can prove just about anything.


I think everyone agrees with @benfti regarding Essendon drafting less in the last 10 years (post Sheedy).

I think there is general agreement regarding this being low for a club that puts itself out there as a leader in the area.

I think there are varying degrees of agreement regarding whether they are actually that much worse than other clubs.

And then the attempts to draw causality into 2 distinct periods, one that was earlier and down to board direction, and one that was more recent and down to recruiters parameters having the by product of seeing less indigenous recruitment, has seen plenty of confusion and disagreement as people have reacted to that.

Given Ben’s work is clearly larger, it will be interesting to see the context around these points, and what his research goals and hypotheses are. (Once it’s all published)

Did he start out to try and find the causes of reduced indigenous recruitment over the last 15 years, or to investigate trends in indigenous recruitment. It’s complicated, but anything that tries to understand the way that society’s structure reinforces disadvantage in any way is worthwhile. Of course it will probably only just start to touch the surface of what is a much much bigger issue, whether in football or in wider society.


Agree entirely.


I need to clarify, I have already more than once I think but I will do it again. This discussion spanning across two threads probably doesn’t help.

A few key points first

  1. It’s a collaborative project, I’m one of 5 authors.
  2. The paper is not about under representation in anyway it’s puporse is the try and help illustrate employment in professional football codes across Australia, and how if kids who are in the junior pathway in the right environments they have a high probability to go on to professional sport at state league level or higher in AFL, NRL, and Rugby Union.
  3. The report aims to quantify areas of the country that are disadvantaged have a measurable impact of success rate.
  4. It is no way a deep dive into who are the most racist clubs in professional sports, the only reason we broke it down into club location data was to show movement in potential opportunity. For a small section where we point out the percentage of juniors who move interstate to gain professional opportunity.

The only time the word Essendon is used in a 40 something page report is in data sets.

It’s purpose is to illustrate that investment in junior indigenous football and rugby pathways has a successful probability of leading to professional employment and that further investment in areas of disadvantaged locations would lead to greater opportunity.

I am ■■■■■■■ staggered people want us to change the topic, findings and parameters of our data set just so 1 club out of 160 odd, (afl, vfl, sanfl, WAFL, neafl, QAFL, NRL, nswrl, qldrl, etc) can show a little better.

Sorry Deck, but that just reads like a blinded club loyalty to me.

I only posted this here, because I feel change cannot occur until people, and the club accept there is a problem, and it needs to be addressed.


OK, but I’m really not club-blinded on things like this. My point simplified is that your data is restricted to specific pathways, and my particular interest is only the end result, not the pathway that gets there, because the I feel it is too complex a subject to narrow it down to one channel and claim any kind of empirical result.
If the argument is as broad as you say, then why bring Essendon into it? If Essendon is brought into it, then the pathway restriction is limiting. That’s my issue.


I literally say why in that post.

When we set out to write a paper illustrating the success of the elite junior pathways, we thought we would take data from those pathways. It’s broken down to club level to show interstate movement.

I don’t know, maybe using cricket as an example of an elite pathway to football while helping Essendon’s result kind of reflects poorly on cricket. Their success rate in producing AFL footballers is horrendous. The only less likely scenario than an indigenous kid landing at Essendon via the draft is one coming in from the cricket pathway. In that regard Lavender is a flipping unicorn, and should be celebrated as such.

You seem to want us the change our data, to an 11 year setinstead of 10 and include kids that come from pathways outside of the area we are focusing on (which is elite junior football pathways) to include 1 player

Even if we did that deck, Essendon in isolation moves from worst to second worst, and my original point and why I even decided to share the info as a point of discussion here, is we need to stop talking our selves up as a leader in this area when we clearly have not been for quite some time.


Their are so many extrapolated findings outside of what we looked at when you look at the data in different ways.

League out performs AFL significantly on a % basis in Queensland when it comes to this opportunity, 15% of Indigenous kids find employment in league vs 9% in AFL.

Kids in elite pathways in WA have the highest probability of becoming professional.

You are most likely to end up a professional in SA than NSW and QLD combined in AFL


I think the difficulty is that your study is going to be really interesting, but on blitz it naturally becomes more about Essendon.

For your study it make no sense to change anything, but when we talk about Essendon it’s natural to want to deep dive the numbers a bit to help us understand a bit more.

So we start talking outside of the bounds of the study, which is all fair enough since this is blitz. You do it as well, when you mention the 2 periods of potential causes. That isn’t part of your study, just stuff you know, in the same way that people know other stuff that isn’t in the study.

So we keep talking and thinking about the whole thing from an Essendon perspective. Your study will be very interesting and provide really good information about opportunities and the way funding can help drive increased positive outcomes.

And in the meantime we’ll try and understand the causes of Essendon’s particular issues, and whether they’re in the past or ongoing, and whether they’re relevant to the success of the team, or just to the success of the club as perceived leaders in the area.

And in the end hopefully you can get some ideas about things to help in your area, and Essendon (via the board members who will have read a bit of this) will get some ideas that will help address the issues, and everyone can walk away from this thread knowing it helped.

Or perhaps it will all go to cr*p or become a pun thread or something.


Interesting stuff. Will the sorts of additional details be in the report, or suggested areas for further study?

On the above, is this for Aboriginal and Torres strait Islander, or for all juniors who go through the pathways? How much is that a reflection of the professional leagues in those states?


:laughing: great line.

How do you feel about the “fake it 'til you make it” strategy?


Benfti, I think you have a fundamental problem that:

a) you did not start this topic discussing your survey. You started these discussions by having a crack at EFC and making a much wider statement specifically about EFC.
b) you then keep referring to your study as evidence, even though it was performed for a different purpose.
c) you then complain when people point out the limitations and issues in your study as it relates to the original point of these discussions.
d) you also want to automatically assume low drafting equals a bias against indigenous players.

If you had started the topic on your research and made that the central plank, this would be understandable. You didn’t. You have then referenced your research as evidence. And others have rightly pointed out its limitations and issues as they pertain to the subject of EFC indigenous recruitment. The simple fact is, your research only tells one part of the story in that space. It is also (rightfully) aimed at a much broader group with more data, while when talking about a single entity (Essendon) other factors may apply. It also says nothing about reasons.

We’re not asking you to change your research. We’re pointing out that it is of limited value to our current discussions.

E.g. From an EFC point of view, surely bringing in unproven players like Edwards should count. We should also include Lavender - sure, Cat B is a free shot but we’ve shown our complete willingness to have 0 Cat B players in the past. Although these might be (correctly) irrelevant for your research, they are completely relevant for the argument your trying to make about EFC here and now.


No evidence, and there won’t be any evidence of any upside, massive or otherwise for another 2-3 years at least. l am hopeful that every player we select goes on to have a great career in our colours, however unlikely that is to be. Reality says that some of these guys won’t make it. Right now Houlihan and Geufli look the most likely, but it it isn’t a given.

Mynott and Zerk are the bigger unknowns. Does Dodoro take more notice of Bewick’s recommendations than other sources? We don’t know, but certainly they would have consulted a few times before selecting young Trent. Do any of the players posited in the first couple of posts in this thread have an advocate with like proximity to our recruiters? l doubt it. It appears we played safe with our selections, when we could have taken a bit more of a risk, given that we have already traded in 3 guns for the near future.


I agree that it will be a while before we make it, but you were saying we passed on players with bigger upsides because of a conservative approach. I was wondering why you don’t think they have high upside?

To me they all seem reasonably risky picks who aren’t vanilla, but have high upside (and high risks). Certainly no Germans here! :wink:


Hello @Ants , it seems like some on here like to torment Ben on the basis of the minutiae, rather than just admit there is a statistically overwhelming argument that we are in the very least amongst the bottom couple of sides in the last decade when it comes to drafting Aboriginal players, no matter how you look at it.

No one is saying you can’t in some way justify individual selections made by Disco, but the fact is we were once the leader in giving opportunities to young Aboriginal players, now we are anything but.

Yes we will make some important gains with the NGA, we hope, but unless more than that changes, when it comes to the whole country, most Aboriginal talent will be snapped up by other teams before we begin thinking about actually using a pick on them, that is if the past 10 years is anything to go by.

In statistical terms we need to redress the balance quite considerably before us drafting a significant number of Aboriginal players can be regarded as something other than a statiistical aberration.


German wasn’t German, until he was. If that make sense.


I think you explained yourself veeeeery poorly at the start.

And you should know that pedantic arguments sidetrack just about everything on here, hate to be on here the day we cure cancer…


Yep. We all have had a lot of disappointment for the last decade and more.

I think the decline can be identified pretty accurately as starting from when PJ was appointed, That was the worst decision made at EFC in my lifetime.


Worse than hiring Dank??


It’s pretty easy to extrapolate how the miss management of the football department in a round about way led to the hiring of dank.

If PJ had resourced the football department better and put better people around knights he may have hung around longer