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Jul 24 2015
The Red Sash
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24th July 2015
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The Red Sash
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The Red Sash

Rd 16 - Essendon v North Melbourne

The Red Sash weekly ramble  (Follow @The _Red_Sash on Twitter)

Round 16 - Essendon VS North Melbourne

12 players now with less than 40 games experience....

Sheeds will love this youth coming through….

Beset by injuries to veterans - including Jobe Watson, Paul Chapman, Adam Cooney and Heath Hocking – we were again forced to field an inexperienced side.  12 of James Hird's 22 players had played 40 games or fewer but what we lacked in experience they made up for with work rate and intensity in the first half. This week’s Bomber line will contain six players with 16 games or less AFL experience!
But they did not reward their hard work inside 50 in the first quarter and were left to rue missed opportunities after a bright patch from the Roos put them up by five points at the first break.

Undeterred, we came out firing with the first three goals of a second term when it was the Kangaroos' turn to struggle to find reliable avenues to goal.

With Dyson Heppell quiet, Brent Stanton and Brendon Goddard worked hard for 30 and 27 touches respectively, while Michael Hurley did his All-Australian chances no harm with another polished display.

Earlier, we started the better side, but had 0.5 on the board after Joe Daniher gathered a looping Cale Hooker handball in the goalsquare in the first quarter and slammed his kick into the post. Jarrad Waite was thrashed by the again-excellent Michael Hurley.

This week we are up against Port who will throw everything at the young group of Bombers as they are close to the eight. Ashby is out and Alex Browne comes in. Port will obviously be very hard to beat – strong ruck, strong on ball division. Dyson Heppell’s 100th game – has been incredibly consistent performer or 5 years, Best and Fairest winner last year and has taken his game to another level again, hard worker, quality person with X Factor.

Hooksey is doing a great job in his swing role – up forward he is a great contested mark and getting plenty shots on goal and he can go back as well as we all know.

It’s another great week for the young players to learn more and get a taste of the AFL. Continuity will help fast track the development of some promising youngsters according to former Essendon champion Matthew Lloyd. 

 “Once you’ve played 10-20 games you start to really believe,” Lloyd said. 

Nick O’Brien, Shaun Edwards and Ariel Steinberg have become regulars since the bye. 

While Zach Merrett, Martin Gleeson, Patrick Ambrose and Jackson Merrett have been mainstays of the team throughout the last two seasons. “I think you’ve got to give a long stretch of games to have someone believe in themselves at AFL level,” Lloyd said. Essendon will field a side with ten players aged 22 or younger this Saturday night against Port Adelaide. 

“Towards the last seven games, you’ll see one of them get a best on ground performance,” Lloyd said.

“That’s what you’d be looking for - like Zach Merrett, he’s getting in the best three consistently because he believes. 

“Hopefully now these other guys that have come in the team, we’ll see have a real affect on games come the end of the year.”

Coach James Hird said the exposure the players are getting playing at senior level would be of great benefit to their development. “Just getting used to AFL football and getting used to the speed and backing up week in, week out. They fluctuate a little bit and we do have to expect a bit of fluctuation. But I thought our effort over the last couple of weeks has been good with the younger team.”

In other news, Hirdy says he is in constant talks with injured forward Jake Carlisle. The 23 year old is yet to commit to the club beyond this season. “We’re certainly encouraging (Jake) to sign on, we speak regularly to

Jake and we’ve had several discussions with Jake about staying at Essendon, we think his best football will be played here.”

Carlisle should return from his ankle injury in about two to three weeks.

We past the 60,000 members also this week – shows what an amazing group of supporters the club has. They have been put through the ringer over the last 3 years – can we imagine if none of this had happened – 80,000?

The Red Sash Medal is hotting up with our leader Heppell failing to get a vote this week & Stanton playing some of his best footy, Hurls must be All Australian at the moment, while Goddard continues to poll votes.

Keep the faith….See you at the footy...

Regards     The Red Sash

The Red Sash Medal – Votes Round 16
Stanton - 7
Hurley - 6
Goddard - 5
Hooker - 4
Z Merrett -3
D. Zaharakis - 2
Baguley - 1 

The Red Sash Medal – Totals after Round 16
64 Heppell
51 Hurley
39 Goddard                                            
37 Stanton
36 Hooker
33 Watson
32 Z Merrett
19 Hibberd
16 Howlett
16 Baguley
13 Daniher
12 Coyler
11 Carlisle
8 Melksham
7 Fletcher
7 McKernan
6 Cooney
4 Ambrose
4 Zaharakis
2 Gleeson
2 Dempsey
1 O’Brien 


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