Post AAMI Review – BOMBERS

Written by JimmyDee on March 10 2021

As a mad Bombers fan since running around with the great Barry Davis’ number on my back as a child, it is a privilege to write this SC preview for 2021……and give you all a clue to my youthfulness!! We Bomber fans need other club supporters to acknowledge that over the past two decades or so, Essendon has made a great contribution to the concept of sharing premierships among those less fortunate than us, by way of our continually shooting ourselves in the foot !!
However, those days appear to be rapidly disappearing in the rear vision mirror, and Rutten already seems to have got acceptance to his more authoritative approach after the more consensus style of Woosha. Several big names have gone but the dons were compensated with their best draft hand ever, and many scribes believe they have chosen well. Obviously losing Saad, the often injured Fantasia, and the always injured Daniher, has been a set back in the short term, but there are genuine reasons to be optimistic in the years ahead…just not this year.
As far as SC relevance goes, I have to be honest and say there appears to be slim pickings amongst the premos (only three 100+ points in 2020), many options in mid-pricers, a few potential hidden gems in fallen priced regulars, and a very promising list of rookies if they get games.

A couple of old salts in Hurley and Hooker seem to be seeing the finishing line approaching rapidly. Ridley ($547.7) remains the only SC relevant defensive premo but can he even match last years 102pts let alone take the next step to an absolute lock ?? I doubt it as he would need to move into the 110+ range, and there appears to be safer options in that regard.
There are a number of “feeling lucky” options. Ambrose ($217.8) is priced as an expensive rookie, and when fit was almost an automatic selection. Francis ($320.3) is surely on his last chance and may be given further freedom up the ground. Recruit Cox ($175.8) looks an outstanding prospect and is quite the Buddy clone but can catch it !! He has dpp but is looking like he might play that lead up link role in the middle of the ground. I’m not starting him, even if selected r1, but will definitely be interested if/when he is on the bubble. Reid ($166.8) also looks to have outstanding potential but will take more time. BZT ($255.2) has been forced to take on a few monsters in his early days, and would need a change of role to be considered.

Despite what many may think, the Bombers midfield stacks up quiet well. The question is, is this mid-price nirvana, or fools gold.

Lock and load. Merrett ($620.9). Sixth highest mid average in 2020 and when he is not getting concussed, is very durable. Doesn’t have the ceiling of others, but is one of those players that you really don’t have to worry about missing games. Same average last year as J Kelly and Fyfe, but 250 pts more in a 17 game season.
Feeling lucky. McGrath ($510.0) is at an awkward price after taking a big step towards elite last year (congrats me for starting him). Tough as nails, great decisions and disposal, and if he can add a few goals, can lift his average again. Shiel ($548.0) continues to tease but has had enough chances to become elite…pass. Parish ($465.8) also took a step forward but has lost dpp so pass. If fit, I’m starting Heppell ($319.1) as m7/8. He will probably start off hb and rack up some easy possessions and is nicely priced if he averages 80-85, and will be a good stepping stone. While an exciting prospect, Perkins ($171.3) is awkwardly priced for a rookie, and seems to have a few players in front of him, but dpp appeals. Bubble boy for me if he looks like a good cash cow at some stage.

Some interesting options. Cox (see above) can be placed here. Langford ($436.9) came on strongly at the end of last year and has dpp…a possible f6 at his price. Caldwell ($348.6) wasn’t recruited to stand at half forward or fwd pocket, but even with his dpp is awkwardly priced. Two metre Peter ($292.3) is interesting as he will no doubt share point gathering ruck duties. Stringer ($282.6) will both inspire and despair…I can do without the roller coaster.
Feeling lucky ??? I have mentioned him before, but watch out for the Jones ($123.9) boy. Would have debuted last year but for injury. Rangy type with great hands, booming kick, and can run. If selected R1, I am starting Cahill ($161.2). Lightning fast, tough, got a taste last year, the small fwd role is his for the taking, and cheaper than some untried rookies.

Not much to say here except for those not looking to start Grawn, Draper ($378.1) is an option for R2. I think I still fancy fancy him longer term than Preuss who is quite a bit cheaper.

I will be starting Merrett, Heppell if he is fit, and Cahill, but only expect to hold Merrett for the full season.


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10 thoughts on “Post AAMI Review – BOMBERS”

  1. No thought for Nick Hind?????

    Named as a 331k forward but was spending a fair bit of time in the midfield and on half back. He was essentially replacing Saad. He has spent a fair bit of time in the Bombers VFL team as a half back

    He may have had 60 points off 20 disposals but was in 60% game time. He then came off due to a shoulder injury, but was more for safety precautions. It has been stated he should be right to go round 1.

    This was stated on the AFL site ‘Recruit Nick Hind will also play an important role at half-back with the ex-Saint cleared of shoulder damage after a heavy hit against the Cats.’


    1. When playing for the saints, 2019 averaged 57.2 over 11 games and 2020 averaged 61.6 over 10 games.

      Heppell has moved to the back flank also, so it’ll be interesting how that works.

      For me Hind is just too awkwardly priced, I prefer Tom Atkins who has also moved back for the cats and looks like another Caleb Daniel


      1. His first half was on fire with 17 disposals and after spending a fair bit of time playing half back in the Bombers VFL last season, does show some promising signs.
        Spending most of his time as a fwd when at the Saints, restricted him, but he did manage to produce some tonnes whilst there.

        Stewart out with a hamstring for a couple of months also adds questions to the Essendon backline, but I have confidence in Hind as it is new club so a lot more can happen than I feel will happen for Heppell


  2. Nice effort Wighty!
    I’m disappointed that you will only have three bombers in your starting side though!! Shame, shame … come on, you have to be like Mottsy with 7 or 8 as a true supporter surely??!!!


    1. Thanks mate. Bit concerned about those who think SCT is being bomber hijacked but what the heck !!
      My cat has 8 bombers in its side… that legal ??


  3. Cox will get games on the wing and should score ok and Heppell is definitely underpriced by a fair margin. But the one that really impressed me against Geelong was Caldwell. Against one of the best midfields in the comp he racked up 24 disposals at 75% efficiency, 11 contested possessions and 4 tackles. 87 SC points and all from only 67% game time. Terrific stuff. And he just looked the part to me. No wonder the Giants fought tooth and nail to keep him. He’s going to be a ripper and at $348,600 is a dead set lock for mine.


  4. Great write up.
    My Barry Davis 32 was after Ken Fraser retired and I got mum to reverse the numbers.
    Unfortunately most of you wouldn’t know what I am talking about.


    1. I certainly do Fraser was a man of faith and from the local baptists as were several bombers of that era. I think they both played in the 62/65 flags.



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