11 Reasons Why: Essendon Most Improved Team in the Comp


  1. Two big-bodied mids starting to win contested ball & capitalise on their natural composure: Kyle Langford and David Myers.
  2. Tom BC has gone up a gear – now in third. Top gear yet to come (star potential).
  3. Jake Stringer learning how to throw around The Package in the middle to advantage yet still able to boot 2 or 3 up forward each week. The Package round 15 highlight: twice holding off defenders, without infringing, to shepherd through two goals for his teammates. Worth 2 more on his tally.
  4. Mitch Brown up forward. Was a critic, now a convert. The switch is working (better than the Hooker experiment but will Aaron Francis be the real key?).
  5. Back line: formidable chaos. So often I’m sure we’ll crack only to find a way out (see 11 below). Hooksy finding his feet again down back.
  6. AMT: silky skills + “brick shithouse” combo is starting to click: forcing turnovers, winning the loose ball (not just for himself but for teammates). Sometimes he’s so composed under pressure it’s unnerving.
  7. Orazio fully recovered, back to being a freakish genius.
  8. Kicking accuracy has improved all over the ground (thankfully, for my sanity).
  9. Our star mids (Heppell, Merrett, Smith) all firing – not just one or the other, but all of them.
  10. Adam Saad is ripping every opponent a new ar*#^hole up the guts every week. Confidence is sky high and he knows he can pull it off. Not to mention Fantasia, McKenna, Collyer, McGrath… Brad Scott said it all: Dons “have real speed in their team”.
  11. Saved most important to last: The team is getting to understand each other. Not just knowing that the runners will hand the ball off and keep running, making themselves available for the next, but intuiting what space they will be occupying in advance (how many overhead handballs did we nail yesterday?).

Finals? Every chance. Go Bombers!

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