Who has the best AFL list over the next five years?

The Doss Roar Rookie

By The Doss, The Doss is a Roar Rookie

 , , ,

6 Have your say

    Upon the completion of the best first round I have seen for many years, I had my usual banter with friends on all things AFL.

    Across the table went the usual remarks of how nice was it to see Collingwood lose, or how it looked like the same Melbourne outfit would present again this year.

    Normally this conversation ends with some big calls, bold predictions for the year ahead or even just outright silliness, like GWS for the flag. However, a comment of mine sparked very heated debate. It’s one I intend to stand behind.

    The statement was that Essendon have the best list coming into the next five years, including the lists of the Gold Coast Suns and GWS. Boldly foolish on its exterior, however it can be properly justified.

    Essendon’s is a very young list. What is exciting about the Bomber team is the already demonstrated value of its players, and their consistency at such a young age.

    Bellchambers, Carlisle, Colyer, Crameri, Dempsey, Hardingham, Heppell, Hibberd, Hocking, Hooker, Howlett, Hurley, Jetta, Lonergan, Melksham, Myers, Pears, Reimers, Ryder and Zaharakis are all under 25 years of age. You could throw in Monfries and Stanton who are just over 25.

    This is a huge core group of players who make the best 22, have game experience, and consistently deliver on the big stage.

    Looking at other AFL clubs, each has two or three real standout players under 25 who consistently make the best 22. The next-best team is Hawthorn.

    How does this beat the lists of Gold Coast and GWS over the next five years? The answer simply comes back to proven worth. The Essendon players are young, have game experience, and have shown they can match it with the best at AFL level.

    Although we believe the new clubs have the cream of the crop when it comes to talent, that does not always eventuate to being a good AFL player. There are so many examples of players who showed great junior and TAC Cup performances but never made it at AFL level.

    The standout is Richard Tambling. He showed amazing potential and even showed glimpses of brilliance at AFL level, but never shone or realised the potential so many saw in him. He went ahead of Buddy Franklin that year in the draft. Who would you choose?

    How about names like Mitch Thorp, Luke Molan, Luke Livingston and Danny Roach? Haven’t heard of them? They were all top 10 draft picks in their year. Roach was pick four in the ’99 draft and only played one game for Collingwood. His stat was one tackle. At pick four you would certainly hope for more.

    Mitch Thorp was another star of the TAC Cup whose impact at AFL level was virtually non-existent. After being chosen at pick six in the ’06 draft, Thorp only played two games for Hawthorn. Pick seven in the draft that year was Joel Selwood. I can only imagine a Hawthorn line-up with Selwood in it.

    Even today there are a crop of high draft picks who have not produced what so many believed they could. Jack Watts and Patrick Veszpremi are two notable names.

    I certainly understand that injuries hampered some of these players. However, with my direct involvement at TAC Cup level in the past, the difference between the demands, intensity and overall approach from TAC to AFL is huge. No recruitment officer or player manager can predict how a teenager will cope with the rigours of AFL.

    Even having early draft picks like the Gold Coast and GWS will not necessarily culminate in a strong team. Fremantle had 11 pre-draft selection choices and also the number one draft for their inaugural year in the AFL. It’s only taken them until now to develop a list with a strong chance in the finals.

    All that said, the Bombers are in the box seat in terms of their list in the future. With new training facilities out at Tullamarine, a dynamic and strong list with great key position players, and an excellent coaching line-up, my tip is for the Bombers to push for premiership glory right through to 2018.

    This video is trending right now! Submit your videos for the chance to win a share of $10,000!

    Oldest | Newest | Most Recent

    The Crowd Says (6)

    • April 7th 2012 @ 11:31am
      Dan said | April 7th 2012 @ 11:31am | ! Report

      I’m inclined to agree with you, in that the Bombers have huge potential in the coming years(whether or not they’re the best prospective list i couldn’t say, i haven’t taken a great deal of interest in any other clubs list)
      I can understand hesitation to back the Bombers for another finals run this year(8th in 2009 followed by 14th in 2010 doesn’t bode well) but when you actually go back and compare the ball skills, the athleticism and competitiveness around the contests, the 2011 side(especially in the first 8 weeks) were miles ahead of the 2009 side, and I’m confident they will continue to improve this year.

    • April 7th 2012 @ 12:43pm
      brendan said | April 7th 2012 @ 12:43pm | ! Report

      Your call is premature .Last year they finished eigth and got belted by Carlton by who didn’t finish top four .Essendon and there supporters love the aura of ” the baby bombers” but i doubt the players you mentioned are good enough to take them to the top.

      • April 7th 2012 @ 1:03pm
        Goanajack said | April 7th 2012 @ 1:03pm | ! Report

        I’d like to know how many picks GWS get this year before I make the call…

    • April 9th 2012 @ 1:53am
      West Coast Eagles have the best list and Doss can't count! said | April 9th 2012 @ 1:53am | ! Report

      Natanui, Darling, Gaff, Josh Hill, Josh Kennedy, Shannon Hurn, Le Cras, Mackenzie, Masten, McGinnity, Rosa, Schofield, Scott Selwood, Shuey, Hams (all of them played last week except for Le Cras & McGinnity) – then you have Brown, Ash Smith, Stevens, Strijk, Weedon, Sheppard, Lycett (Lycett can’t get a game due to Kennedy & Cox but he’ll replace Cox after he retires), and they lost Ebert to boot, and then you have more young guys you haven’t seen much of yet but you will soon! All of the Eagles players I’ve named are 25 years of age or younger. Now that’s some talented depth mate! Doss, recount your list and do more research before you make outlandish posts like this one, you’ve named 20 young Bombers in the Bombers best 22? That means you believe that Watson, Fletcher, Hille, Davey, McVeigh and a few others aren’t in the Bombers best 22, outlandish! Open your eyes Doss, you need to watch a few Eagles games and review my list before you makes posts like this. These Eagles are excelling in a genuine Top 4 side that is a serious chance to win this years flag, the Bombers will improve but they won’t make the Top 4 this year I guarantee you! Now imagine how good these Eagles will all be in 5 years time. I agree, the Bombers & Hawks have great young lists but it’s not as classy, polished or match hardened as the Eagles. Be very scared if you’re not an Eagles supporter. GWS is the worry, not the Bombers or Hawks!

      • April 9th 2012 @ 10:04pm
        Bob said | April 9th 2012 @ 10:04pm | ! Report

        Considering Nat, Kennedy, Gaff, Shuey, Masten and Darling are all second o third year (compare them with the Suns 2nd year ‘stars’?? You’d have to say its no contest.

        • April 9th 2012 @ 10:33pm
          John said | April 9th 2012 @ 10:33pm | ! Report

          I’m not sure about that Bob – this is the order they were picked – Nat (2), Kennedy (4), Gaff (3), Masten (3) Darling (26 – but he should have been Top 3). The Suns have an awesome list don’t get me wrong 🙂 I think the GWS has a better list than the Suns, the talent ran much deeper. GWS also took younger existing players from other clubs that have a lot of years left in them e.g. Scully, Ward, Reid, Palmer (all 22 or under) while the Suns took Ablett, Brown, Bock, Rischitelli, Brennan – Rischitelli turns 27 this year and he’s the youngest of that lot. Great players but not a lot of years left in them unfortunately.

    Have Your Say

    If not logged in, please enter your name and email before submitting your comment. Please review our comments policy before posting on the Roar.

    , , ,