Earlier this year I wrote that Essendon should not have been given the first draft pick of last year’s national draft, with me receiving a great deal of criticism. But why do I think this? Well, it’s because their last place finish was a false result.
What do I mean by this you say? Last year the Bombers had the majority of their star players suspended due to the long lasting supplement saga.
As a result, the club needed to find a number of top-up players and play the majority of the younger gems. However, the inexperience caused them to finish in last place at the end of the season, with the club usually being uncompetitive.
Due to their bottom place finish, the club was given the number 1 pick in the previous draft, however; that was wrong, very wrong. Essentially they stole the number 1 pick from a more deserving club, who are still struggling today.
Meanwhile, the Bombers with their suspensions last year were able to fast-track the development of their younger players, as well as unearthing a few gems through the top-up players.
In addition, Essendon then had their starts suddenly return this season fresher than ever and as a result, they are about to play in an elimination final this weekend.
In addition, the player they recruited with the first pick in Andrew McGrath has had a spectacular first season, playing 20 games and winning the 2017 Rising Star award.
Meanwhile, Brisbane who was second last at season end in 2016, once again struggled and this time finished deal last.
Essendon was last in 2016 because they were punished, not because their list was poor and the final series this year proves it. The AFL by giving Essendon pick number 1 last year essentially rewarded them for cheating.
Yes, the difference between pick 1 and 2 shouldn’t make much of a difference, however; in this case, it has. Brisbane is uncompetitive and is the most deserving club to seek help from the AFL, not the Bombers who only finished last because of a suspension.
It may be too late now but Brisbane was robbed last year and Essendon are now laughing about it, as they head to Sydney in September.
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