AFL 2020: Essendon – Five Fearless Predictions

What does 2020 hold in store for the Bombers?

2019 in a Nutshell

Once again the Bombers had to walk a tightrope to the finals after a poor start to the season. An incredible back end of the season saw them win nine of 14 before crashing out in the finals after a disappointing performance in the Elimination Final against West Coast.

2020 Playing List

1 Andrew McGrath16 Josh Begley32 Noah Gown
2 Tom Bellchambers17 James Stewart33 Brayden Ham
3 Darcy Parish18 Michael Hurley34 Andrew Phillips
4 Kyle Langford19 Kobe Mutch35 Matt Guelfi
5 Devon Smith20 Jacob Townsend36 Lachlan Johnson
6 Joe Daniher21 Dyson Heppell (c)37 Dylan Clarke
7 Zach Merrett (vc)22 Irving Mosquito38 Sam Draper
8 Martin Gleeson23 Harrison Jones39 Ross McQuillan
 9 Dylan Shiel24 Nick Bryan40 Will Snelling
10 Aaron Francis25 Jake Stringer41 Cian McBride (B)
11 David Zaharakis26 Cale Hooker (vc)42 Adam Saad
12 Tom Cutler27 Mason Redman43 Anthony
13 Orazio Fantasia28 Ned Cahill44 Shaun McKernan
14 Jordan Ridley29 Patrick Ambrose45 Conor McKenna
15 Jayden Laverde30 Brandon
46 Mitchell Hibberd
INS: Andrew Phillips (Carlton), Tom Cutler (Brisbane), Harrison Jones (Calder Cannons), Nick Bryan (Oakleigh Chargers), Ned Cahill (Dandenong Stingrays), Lachlan Johnson (Oakleigh Chargers), Mitchell Hibberd (Williamstown), Jacob Townsend (Richmond), Ross McQuillan (Armagh GAA), Cian McBride (Meath GAA), Tom Hird (Port Melbourne SC) .
OUTS: Mark Baguley, Mitch Brown, Zac Clarke, Matt Dea, Michael Hartley, Jordan Houlahan, Tom Jok, Luke Lavender, Jake Long, Ben McNiece, David Myers, Trent Mynott.

Be sure to check out our fearless predictions for the other AFL teams in 2020.

2020 Fixture

Essendon will spend much of 2020 on the prime time stage with six games on either Thursday or Friday night. They will square off against just two top eight teams from 2019 and one bottom six side. They will take to the road six times with two trips to Adelaide and Sydney and one to Perth and Brisbane.

Be sure to check out who made our Essendon Team of the Decade 2010-19.

Five Fearless Predictions

Essendon’s wait for a finals win to continue.

The Bombers have waited since 2003 for the sweet taste of victory in September. While their good is very good, the worst is ordinary (see Round 21 v the Bulldogs last year) and we can’t see them changing this in 2020.

Will Snelling to surprise.

The 22-year-old has played just six games in four years at the top level but we are expecting him to have a breakout year in 2020. Selected by the Bombers in last years midseason draft, he showed promising signs before injury brought an end to his season. He is one to look out for this year.

Rutten to take over early.

While the Bombers succession plan decided upon last season, was to provide more certainty to current coach John Worsfold, we are predicting otherwise. If the Bombers produce another of their trademark slow starts we can see a midseason announcement that sees Ben Rutten take over at Tullamarine a little earlier than expected.

McDonald-Tipungwuti will continue to excite.

One of the most exciting players in the competition, Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti has a highlight reel the equal of any other player in the competition. We can’t wait to see him add to it in 2020 with the 26-year-old just entering his prime years.

Hardball Stance on Daniher to backfire

The Bombers have a well deserved reputation in the football world of overvaluing their own players and undervaluing those on other teams at trade time. While we aren’t completely certain this was the case last year when refusing to agree to an exchange for Joe Daniher, with the forward out contract at seasons end, we have a feeling they might have misplayed their hand. Expect to see the forward to make his way to the Swans for much less than was on offer at the end of 2019.

Which players were named the Top 10 Bombers of the 2010s.

Ladder Prediction

Like a few teams in middle tier of teams in 2019, the difference between the Bombers best and worst is considerable. While they did somehow find a way to make the finals last year, we can’t help but remember them as the team that conceded 21 goals in a row against the Western Bulldogs. Essendon to finish between 10th and 14th.

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