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Bombers Pre-Season DT Preview

Adzman has sent us his take on his beloved Essendon Football Club and their Dream Team stocks for 2012. Which players could warrant selection into our teams… and who shouldn’t?!

The juices are beginning to flow and the body is beginning to tingle…that can only mean one thing! (well one of two things) the family friendly option being…it’s nearly DT time again!

Whilst regular folk are out enjoying the sunshine or frolicking on the beach this summer a small percentage of us are sitting in darkened rooms like twisted freaks…… err geniuses, pouring over stats and figures for next year’s DT. While we plough through the jungles that are the AFL player lists, macheting away the dead wood it’s usually handy to see some form of insider knowledge about another club from one of their fanatical fans. After reading the excellent efforts on Freo and the Giants late last year I thought I’d run the tape over Essendon. It’s only my own humble opinions but I see enough of Essendon play to have formed some kind of semi educated opinion, anyhow;

Here are the groups that could warrant attention;

Premium DT’ers.

Jobe Watson

Jobe had a cracking start to last year leading the Brownlow until injury halted his season. We all know how good he can be as a DTer and as a player it’s just the durability that is in question. Previously the other worry was he would be the only player tagged in the bomber midfield but I think there are more options developing there that will lessen the load on him. Averaged 99.5 Last year after 95 the year before. If he keeps fit I think he can bump it into the 110s

Brent Stanton

A whipping boy for some moron bomber fans Stanton has also frustrated many a Dt’er in his time. He plays the ultimate DT game! He runs all day even when others are stuffed, he hooks around the back of every contest to get the cheap kicks and is always the link man. If this season transpires like every other he will start the year with some massive scores and look almost must have…. Until he cops a few tags and goes into his shell. He will have a poorish middle season then come home with a rush after being moved to half back. He averaged 105.8 last year after 99.5 the year before. I’d imagine he would stay around the 100-110 mark. He has the tools but will you be on for the ride?

Fool’s gold.

Patrick Ryder

Don’t be fooled, Paddys laconic nature doesn’t mean he doesn’t care, it just means he’s not a DT’er. OK let me clarify, he can be a DT’er, but only if David Hille and Tom Bellchambers go down forcing him to ruck all year ala a few years back. But with the ruck situation so competitive at bomberland we can’t be sure where Paddy will play hence the roller coaster scores. If Hille and T-bell get injured…get on without hesitation otherwise no thanks. Averaged a tick under 80 last year, not good enough for a player of his skill and potential.

Michael Hurley

For all the hype about this guy ….and I’m the leader of his bandwagon, I just don’t think he will ever make a decent Dt’er. His great attributes to our team are aggression, body work, bringing the ball down for crumbers and good defensive punches when required. These all add exactly zero to your DT score. Don’t get me wrong, he will have games where he scores 100+ and rips itapart but I don’t think they will be frequent enough…I’ll be happily proven wrong though. All three seasons thus far have been in the high 60’s average.

Leroy Jetta

We have been told year after year that Jetta has got himself fit, and he is ready for the midfield, every year he screams breakout but every year the same thing happens, he ends up just drifting in and out of games with the odd flash of brilliance. He doesn’t stick enough tackles and honestly doesn’t work hard enough to be in the midfield. If you are picking him on the hope he turns into a consistent midfielder I’d think again. Averaged 68 last year down on 73 the year before. That’s crossroads material.


David Zaharakis

Ok he probably already broke out a bit last year but there’s definitely more to come from this boy. In his three seasons so far his average has gone from 64 to 71 to 88, that’s a classic progression. Particularly in the second half of last year he thrived in the midfield yet continued to kick multiple goals. I can see a lot of Marc Murphy in the way he plays and one year he will break out like Murphy did last year.. Will it be this year? All its going to take is for the slight inconsistencies to go away, that comes with time…if it’s not this year it will be next.

Jake Melksham

Melky is another whose averages have been stepping up gradually. He has gone from 59 to 69 and is entering the all-important third year. He started to get a real foothold in the midfield late last year and the last 10 rounds had him consistently scoring in the 90s. I reckon he will have the mini breakout like Zaka had the year before and will end on about a 90 ave, enough bang for buck? Possibly…. I’ll keep an eye on the NAB cup for improvements.

Dyson Heppell

Last year’s wonder kid… can he keep it up? Can he step it up? He got a lot of cheap ball last year but when he did enter traffic he seemed to have all the time in the world ala Pendlebury. The kids definitely got something special but at his price and average of 84 last year you would want a full blown breakout into the 100s. Can he do that? I’d guess he will have another year in the 80s but who’s to know, that’s what makes DT so fun.

Ben Howlett

Howlett is an unheralded type; he just burrows away all game doing the hard things and the right things. He averaged 82 last year but ended the season in really consistent fashion barley dipping under 90. It looks to me that after he has had another big pre-season (his 3rd) he will be about ready to explode as a DTer, he is my smokey to start pumping out 100s

Heath Hocking

Another in the Howlett mould who just gets about doing the right things. He averaged 87 last year but ended the season really well once let off the leash scoring 6 hundreds in the last 10 games. I think this year with yet more freedom he can bump it up again. In my mind it’s out of Howlett and Hocking as to who will be our biggest DT improver.

Come from the clouds.

Jake Carslile

The lanky kid with the sticky hands may be a bit from left field but he can seriously play. He’s got some of the best hands I’ve seen for ages, he just doesn’t drop them! He is coming into his third year, averaging 44 in year one and 66 last year albeit from a handful of games. He is definitely in Hirds plans and with another pre-season of weights on the spindly frame I can see him playing some good footy this year. Marks mean DT points and I see him taking loads! A cheapie to consider.

Travis Colyer

Another little smokey who had a tough year last year copping a red vest on many occasions. He was seen as an impact player from the bench but really added some spark when given a chance. He buzzes around like a little pest getting possies. He averaged 71 in his first year but last year averaged 44 after a lot of vest affected scores. Could be a bargain if he gets given a sustained run.

Injury comeback.

Jason Winderlich

Winders is coming back from a knee reco. He was a crucial element to our forward line early last year providing pressure and kicking goals in each game he played prior to injury. He was coming off averages of 94 and 87 the previous 2 seasons but ended last year on 55. If cheap enough he could be a value pick.

Courtenay Dempsey

Injured in the same game as Winders with the same injury Dempsey was looking at a breakout year last year. He has always shown flashes of brilliance off half back and his average had been steadily rising from 45 to 60 to 72. He ended last year on 49 but the big query is whether the injury will affect his zigging and zagging which is crucial to his game. He is a favourite of mine so I hope he kicks on this year. Would be a brave pick however.

Brent Prismall

Prismall the third of the knee victims is a ball magnet when right. He can cop a bit from bomber fans for useless U-turns and chip kicks but in a DT sense he is still gold. He has 2 years averaging 95 prior to last year’s injury which left him on a 62 average. Is hugely underpriced for the quality of points he provides is just a matter of when and how he comes back.

Scott Gumbledon

Scott averaged 55 from a base price 2 years ago proving to be a useful cash cow. He is back down to a base price again and could do the same job for you if his body works from him. If he plays the entire NAB cup consider for your bench.

No thanks.

Kyle Reimers

Average dropped from 70s to 58 last year, for a guy with all the talent in the world it just seems he can’t get it all together, can’t get his head right. Avoid.

Alwyn Davey

Is a dead man walking, He fumbles, he has brain fades and is even losing pace. If on the odd chance he was under consideration…forget.

Angus Monfries

There’s always the rumour that he will go into the middle and bump his average up but I can’t see it happening, he is slow as a wet week and does too good a job at being the smaller lead up forward to remove. He has averaged in the 70’s for 5 years, and that’s where it will stay.


Elliot Kavanagh

Big watch on Kav in the preseason to see if he can be the next Heppell. 2 years ago he showed tremendous form to have pundits predicting a top 5 draft position but his 2nd year was ruined by hamstring injuries which scared off more than few! He seems to play an outside game which could mean he would play a similar role to Heppell in his first year to work himself into the AFL system. If so could be a handy pick up. He has no TAC cup stats so a bit of a mystery man really, Pre-season watch.

Jackson Merrett

Don’t know much about the kid other than that he’s quick and he’s an outside player meaning he could snag a spot on the wing. He has been known to drift in and out of games which is a little worrying. He averaged 62 in the TAC cup with a high score of 78.


I think there could be a bit of gold waiting down here…..

Mark Baguley

Has been plucked from Frankston in the VFL like Hibberd a year before him. At 24 he is ready to play and ironically could well be fighting with Hibberd for the same spot, they both play a similar rebounding defender job however he may have a slightly better disposal than Hibberd leading him to becoming the ‘go to’ man out of  defence. They are both tough as nails and real competitors. One to keep an eye on.

Cory Dell’olio

Another mature ager at 21 he was nabbed from South Fremantle. He kicked 57 goals last year as a small forward who reportedly has freakish skills. With the slow demise of butter fingers Davey all this kid needs to do is show some form of defensive ability and tackling pressure and I reckon he may be in line for an early promotion and call up. The small forward is an area where the bombers lack big time. Watch this space.

Brendan Lee

Another 24 year old with claims for a quick promotion into the AFL this year. He amassed over 500 possessions last year for East Perth winning their best and fairest and coming forth in the Sandover medal in the process. He is apparently an inside midfielder in the mould of Jobe Watson who just knocks up getting the ball although can be a little handball happy. Inside Players with strong cores who run all day can become handy DT’ers, especially at 85k! I smell a Barlow.

So that’s about all I can muster for the dons this year, I’ll have a try at picking our best 22 but with a list so even it’s kind of tough.

B: Hibberd – Pears – Fletcher
: Dempsey – Hooker – Hardingham
: Heppell – Watson – Zaharakis
: Monfries – Hurley – Jetta
: Colyer – Carslile – Crameri
: Ryder – Hocking – Stanton
: T-Bell – Howlett – Melksham – Winderlich

Myers, Hille, Reimers, Gumby, Lonergan all knocking on the door!

With all this being said…… at the moment I’ve only got Zaharakis in my side! But there’s plenty of time for my biases to kick in,







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