Round 23 – Essendon v Collingwood: Dare to dream!

The Bombers will be playing Finals football in 2021 after most pundits wrote them off at the beginning of the season.


Right from the commencement of the season it was obvious the Bombers were heading in the right direction under new coach Ben Rutten. 


The influx of young draft picks such as Archie Perkins and Nik Cox, and some astute choices in Peter Wright, Nick Hind  and Alec Waterman have helped to form the basis of a new team for the Bombers. Sam Durham coming in from the mid-season draft has slotted into the team very nicely indeed.  Together with the maturing of players such as Laverde, Ridley and Francis among others, makes the team a more cohesive and viable unit.


The move of Laverde to the backline has been a revelation, the continued improvement and the drive from Mason Redman is an added bonus, and Jordan Ridley continues to be the calming influence and Rock of Gibraltar of the backline.


The move of Aaron Francis to the forward line in the past few weeks has been a great success IMHO. The added advantage of a big, strong bodied marking forward provides an extra focal point in attack. With the added freedom of the forward line allows him to be a more attacking and damaging player. I believe he will be a key player for the Bombers in the finals.


And of course the development of a big mobile and agile Sam Draper in the ruck has given the mids an advantage with clearances from his hit outs. Darcy Parish has taken the step up to the next level while Zac Merrett continues to rack up disposals and direct the traffic in the efficient and effective manner he always does. Jack Stringer in career best form adds an extra dimension to the team with his x-factor.


The only problem I see with the Bombers is who do they select in the side for next week’s final. Do they consider Langford and Jones, both who should be available after injury, what about Tippa, even Jye Caldwell, and is Nik Cox in line for a game? If so, who goes out? It will be hard to drop anyone on their current form.


The rest of Essendon’s season is in their hands individually and collectively, and who knows, dreams may come true.


Go Bombers!



ESSENDON              5.2     11.2     13.5     16.6 (102)
COLLINGWOOD     4.2       5.4       7.8       9.10 (64)



Essendon: Wright 4, Waterman 4, Stringer 2, Smith 2, Redman 2, Perkins, Snelling
Collingwood: Elliott 4, Cameron, Daicos, De Goey, Thomas, Hoskin-Elliott



Essendon: Smith, Stringer, Wright, Redman, Merrett, Cutler
Collingwood: Adams, Elliott, De Goey, Howe, Crisp, Daicos



Essendon: Nil
Collingwood: Henry (shoulder)



Essendon: Cox (unused)
Collingwood: McCreery (replaced Henry)



The Tigers (Covid) Almanac 2020 will be published in the coming weeks. It will have all the usual features – a game by game account of the Tigers season – and will also include some of the best Almanac writing from the Covid winter.  Pre-order right now HERE


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About Colin Ritchie

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

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