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Opinion

Each club's state of affairs before the AFL restart: Part 2

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Roar Guru
6th June, 2020
23
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Here’s how Collingwood, Essendon and Fremantle are shaping up ahead of the restart.

Collingwood Magpies

The five most talented players
5. Taylor Adams is a prodigious talent, but he’s fifth on the list, because he has a good team of talented players around him.
4. Steele Sidebottom has the ability to be a permanent part of the Collingwood midfield in season 2020.
3. Scott Pendlebury reads the game so well. Pendlebury conveys his talent through the nous he must have learnt playing basketball as a junior.
2. Jordan de Goey would probably be the most talented player in the majority of other teams, but not at Collingwood. De Goey first and foremost is a player that has the capability of being a match-winner.
1. Brodie Grundy is arguably the most talented player in the AFL. Grundy can display that talent with his massive work rate.

Brodie Grundy

(Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Most adaptable player
This was an extremely difficult task as Collingwood have a few adaptable players. Jordan Roughead was the one who had to be chosen as he can play in the ruck or as a key defender. He’s even kicked 35 goals.

Who needs to lift?
Darcy Moore needs to prove that he should be Collingwood’s long-term solution to who should be the centre halfback. Moore has to be more consistent in the performances he puts in.

What has to alter?
Not a lot based on Round 1 of season 2020. More of the same, although it’s tough to decipher whether the Western Bulldogs just had a bad day at the office or if Collingwood were exceptional. It would be a good move to play Mason Cox as a permanent forward if fit for Round 2 and perhaps Scott Pendlebury as the second ruckman as Pendlebury is 191 centimetres. When Pendlebury shoulders the ruck work, perhaps Brodie Grundy could utilise his athleticism on a wing and be the third man up on the boundary throw-ins and stoppages around the ground.

Essendon Bombers

The five most talented players
5. Michael Hurley is a player that has the capability of making Essendon’s back six a formidable one.
4. Darcy Parish can become a formidable part of the Essendon line-up if Parish gets the opportunity to play through the midfield more. He has the capability of being a more highly rated player than he is if he can play at his best conceivable level of performance.
3. Dylan Shiel has a lot of ability. Shiel just needs to prove that his performance in Round 1 of season 2020 was the start of a trend and not an aberration.
2. If Jake Stringer could only match his endeavour with his talent he would be classified as an elite player of the competition.
1. Zach Merrett is a talented player that has the capability of helping Essendon play finals in season 2020 if Round 1 was any indication.

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Most adaptable player
Michael Hurley can play anywhere on the ground if given the opportunity. Hurley was selected at centre halfback in the All Australian team on two occasions, in 2015 and 2017. He has also kicked over 100 goals.

Who needs to lift?
It may sound strange, but Jake Stringer needs to improve and contribute more around the ground. Stringer has been Essendon’s leading goal-kicker on two occasions, but he needs to live up to his talent as far as his work around the ground is concerned.

What has to alter?
With Joe Daniher injured for a long time still, Michael Hurley should play as a forward and a second ruck as that role would suit him and at the very least is worth a try.

Fremantle Dockers

The five most talented players
5. Darcy Tucker is capable of becoming a highly respected midfielder. If Tucker can show the endeavour that his talent warrants and be at his best, then he will be an important part of the Fremantle midfield.
4. Matthew Taberner can become an important player for Fremantle. Taberner has plenty of ability – he just needs to translate that potential to play at his optimum level.
3. Rory Lobb could be a pivotal part of the Fremantle forward line as he almost got them over the line in Round 1 against Essendon.
2. Michael Walters has so much natural ability. Walters has the potential to be as highly respected as Fyfe if he can perform to the level that he can play at.
1. Nat Fyfe is the inevitable choice for a player that has the capability of being renowned as the best in the competition. Fyfe captained the 2019 AFL All Australian team.

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Nat Fyfe

(Photo by Carson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Most adaptable player
Rory Lobb showed he is capable of playing as a forward and a second ruckman in Round 1 of season 2020. Lobb could even play on a wing as the role may suit his style of play.

Who needs to lift?
James Aish needs to play to the level that he has the capacity to play at and become a pivotal player for Fremantle, probably playing mostly on the wing. Aish needs to improve on his Round 1 display against Essendon and prove that game was an aberration.

What has to alter?
The Fremantle Dockers are similar to the Carlton Blues as they need to improve in every facet of their game. Sean Darcy needs to become a more highly respected ruckman. James Aish and Blake Acres need to fulfill their potential and justify why they were recruited very astutely by Fremantle. Frankly, Fremantle need to be there and thereabouts when the whips are cracking and be in the conversation when it comes to who will finish in the top eight in season 2020.