Will the Bomber boys bounce back in 2017?

Matt Charleston Roar Rookie

By Matt Charleston, Matt Charleston is a Roar Rookie

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    Essendon take on the Blues in a classic AFL rivalry. (AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy)

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    It’s been a long wait, but now the time has come round and the boys in the red and black are back for the 2017 season.

    It’s been a tough ride, and many players have reconsidered their love for the game, but it hasn’t stopped them from signing on and playing this year. The preseason has just gone and finished up with a blast, and the regular season is in a week, but the big question for many people in the AFL community is this: how will the Bombers go?

    There has been some positive signs coming from the preseason this last month, seeing the senior players returning to the game but joined by a bunch of fresh and new players, who gained experience at Essendon last year.

    The speed of play, accuracy at goal and efficiency in ball movement were the highlights, and seeing new contracted players like James Stewart, set up in the forward line, has really provided a large pulse of energy and excitement throughout the Essendon community.

    But again, will this be the same in 2017? Essendon played some teams that are top eight challengers (in particular, Geelong) and were able to produce an exciting game, but only to fall short of a win in the fourth quarter.

    With this in mind, Essendon face Hawthorn in Round 1 on the 25 March at the MCG, who also have new faces, but have a side full of experience from previous seasons.

    It will be interesting to see whether the intensity of ball movement and accuracy in front of goal will continue from the preseason, and whether the midfield that has been plagued with suspensions last year, will be able to hold up against the Hawks.

    Another question is how Joe Daniher will perform this season. According to AFL.com.au a month ago, they have tipped Daniher to be the man to rise this year as a forward, but will he improve to the extent that Essendon can win games and produce a finals berth since the ASADA investigations?

    All of the AFL community and the supporters at Essendon should be keen to see a great return and hopefully an Essendon comeback.

    Prediction: 10th

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    The Crowd Says (9)

    • Roar Guru

      March 19th 2017 @ 9:56am
      Gordon P Smith said | March 19th 2017 @ 9:56am | ! Report

      Essendon v Hawthorn has the makings of a turn-the-corner game in the narrative of the AFL. Consider the repercussions of a decisive Bomber victory: for the Hawks, it will be (perceived as) the beginning of the end and they’ll be outside looking in during September. For Essendon, the tale changes from “let’s start the rebuilding” to “finals are within reach!”. Whether those are true is immaterial. But that will be the perception.

    • March 19th 2017 @ 2:00pm
      Brendon the 1st said | March 19th 2017 @ 2:00pm | ! Report

      10th? Tell him he’s dreaming.

      Half of these blokes haven’t played for a year, and Whorsfold will feel obliged to play them regardless of form due to what the club put them through, at least for the first half of the season.

      They weren’t great in 2015 with all their players, they won’t be great this year either.

      Another draft/trade period and another pre-season needed before the bombers are back in contention.

      Bottom three with Brisbane and Carlton, wouldn’t be surprised to see them with the spoon at years end.

      • Roar Rookie

        March 19th 2017 @ 4:59pm
        Jakarta Fan said | March 19th 2017 @ 4:59pm | ! Report

        Sorry Brendon, but you are way off. Looking at 2012-2015 when the ASADA pressure was mounting, these players held up well till the final half of 2015. They faced possible long suspensions, put out of finals, club sackings, coach suspensions, president resigning under huge emotional pressure. It was amazing they performed as well as they did.

        Don’t take the final score of 2015 as a reflection of these players’ (or this teams’) ability to make the finals. They may not take the competition by storm, but with perhaps 6 of the 10 returnees being regulars and the infusion of new blood, this teams’ finals’ indicators have risen drammatically. Expect them to finish somewhere between 6-10 in a season where the fight for finals’ positions could be extremely tight. In the end, close results (under 9 points) will probably determine the order in that 6-10 range.

        To put the Bombers as bottom 3 shows that you haven’t grasped the significance of the Bomber’s list, nor the many changes to the lists of teams like Geelong, Hawthorn, Collingwood and North Melbourne, which has the potential for substantial movements in ladder positions.

        Three rounds in, and either you or I will have some confirmation, and perhaps justification, of the positions we have taken.

        • Roar Guru

          March 19th 2017 @ 5:16pm
          Cat said | March 19th 2017 @ 5:16pm | ! Report

          Bottom 4 with Collingwood, Brisbane and Carlton.

        • March 19th 2017 @ 8:43pm
          Brendon the 1st said | March 19th 2017 @ 8:43pm | ! Report

          To write off my sentiment just shows a bias towards your own team.

          You’re best player, Watson, was almost super human, he won’t get anywhere near that again, in 2014 you actually had a decent ruckman, you don’t now and you have a bunch of blokes that haven’t played football for a year.

          There’s no way this team will go anywhere near the finals, bottom three in a canter.

          • March 19th 2017 @ 10:55pm
            Don Freo said | March 19th 2017 @ 10:55pm | ! Report

            Leuenberger is a very good player who will become more and more of a gun. The Dons’ ruck will be fine.

            BTW, Fyfey hasn’t played for a year and he is already back bigger and better. Gazza missed most of last year…will he be bad now? What about Roughie? No good any more? Bob Murphy may as well retire. Give it up, David Swallow!

            Missing a year just increases the hunger…and gives rest to a weary bone or two.

            Your reasoning on the “missed a year” thing is lacking in…REASON.

      • March 20th 2017 @ 1:15pm
        Matt said | March 20th 2017 @ 1:15pm | ! Report

        Hey man!

        Interesting statement from someone who probs watched a couple of Essendon games, when i watched all!!!

        The ball movement from the young midfield in the early 3 quarters of the games was regularly astonishing! Merret, Parish, Kelly and occasionally Fantasia, made them look like very big team to recon with in the 2017 season! With senior lists returning and the hunger for wins early in the season, they could be knocking on the door of the finals, if these young guns gel well with the senior players… so definitely in finals contention, or at least close – causing frustration in many of the teams they play this year ๐Ÿ˜‰

        We’ll just have to wait and see in the early stages of the season to see who is on the right track ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Good luck to you,
        Regards,
        Matt Charleston

    • March 19th 2017 @ 6:44pm
      Horrie said | March 19th 2017 @ 6:44pm | ! Report

      Maybe 12th if things go well.

      While Merrett is a young gun and the number 1 may prove a champ, the club’s recruiting remains dubious, even with the penalties the club received.

      Some returning may not be up to the pace of the game, including Heppell who is slow. Sam Mitchell and Tommy for that matter are slow but are playmakers. Brave as he is the new Skip is not an elite playmaker. Jobe has those skills and vision but may struggle with the pace. Even fit I expect a rash of soft tissues for the returning players.

      Jo Daniher may regret the choice of clubs he made. His errant kicking would have benefitted from time this year with Plugger.

      • March 20th 2017 @ 2:48am
        van der haar said | March 20th 2017 @ 2:48am | ! Report

        Some interesting analysis but parish , tippen and fantasia are coming on great guns alongside meritt and they are going to get alot more assistance from the talent coming back. Conerns are still ruck, daniher accuracy and working out whether hooker should be forward or back. I prefer him in defense as it would be stronger with him and hurley back there and let watson linger up front at times next to fantasia daniher stewart and mckernan. Hurley should do the odd quarter up front. 7th to 10th for me.

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