Bombers 2020: Is it too early to start dreaming?


Except for small snippets and highlights on the AFL website and social media  I didn’t watch a full coverage of the Marsh 1 match the Bombers played against the Eagles in Perth. However, I constantly was checking  scores and updates throughout the match, and I must admit I was pleasantly surprised and encouraged by Essendon’s performance.


Perth has not always been a happy hunting ground for Essendon as evidenced by some serious drubbings we have received in recent times so their win there was even more encouraging for me.


In trying conditions, the Bombers led all night, and all though both teams had significant players not playing, it appeared the game was more than just a hit out for both of them.


At this time of year, Essendon supporters often cannot help themselves. They have a tendency to get a little bit ahead of themselves, peering down their rose coloured glasses neatly perched upon their noses, feeling pleased with themselves and their team. I try to hold myself back and not get too excited but it has been a long time between drinks! 


Contrary to what a lot of experts say, I believe we have a cracking midfield highlighted by the performances of McGrath, Shiel, Parish et al who all racked up many possessions against the Eagles to constantly drive the Dons forward. And Townsend looks as though he will be the player to provide that extra grunt midfield. Phillips provided more than adequate service in the ruck against quality opposition.


Although conditions were not particularly suited for big marking forwards, from what I saw of Laverde pleased me, his efforts a reflection of the pre-season he has put in. At the crossroads of his career, this really is a make or break year for him and he appears to acknowledge this with the endeavour he displayed. He looks fit, a lot stronger and more confident in his ability than previously.


Tippa was his usual self, looked dangerous and kicked a couple of goals. Snelling was impressive from what I saw in the highlights reel. As a smaller, strong bodied  crumbing forward his creative play provided many opportunities for players around him and he will be hard to dislodge from the starting 22 for Round 1 if he continues with that form.


In time, the exciting Irving Mosquito will be a cult figure for the Bombers, and that’s not too far away!


Both Ridley and Zerk-Thatcher I like as players. After a couple of seasons and development under their belts they are now ready to take that next step to become integral members of the team. Irishman McBride looks as though he has grownup playing the game and may well be the surprise packet for Essendon this season.


I’m looking forward to Essendon’s  Marsh 2 match against Geelong in my home town of Colac this weekend, seeing my team in action, and assessing their performance. We should be able to gauge further the progress the Bombers are making against another strong opponent.


Considering the key players who didn’t play against the Eagles and the performance of those who did, it makes competition for a place in the team very competitive indeed! And that can only be positive for the club come the 2020 season.


Do I dare to dream of what’s to come, or am I jumping the gun?


Time will tell.


Go Bombers!



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About Colin Ritchie

Retired teacher who enjoys following the Bombers, listening to music especially Bob Dylan, reading, and swimming.


  1. “No-one ever committed suicide with a yearling in the paddock”. You looked skilful & fast Col, which has been the knock on your Bombers for a couple of years. Does it stand up under pressure and defensive structures? Much like the over-hyped State of “Origin” game it was great to watch the run & movement of both sides. My hunch is that you are still 2 or 3 big men in ruck and key positions short of being contenders, but on a dry day you will be great to watch when you can get the ball out wide. Good luck.

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