Preview by: Sarah Lucken – @Sarahlucken
The last time Essendon were able to participate in a non-compromised draft was in 2009, so to take four selections inside the top 30, with a total of seven draftees in 2015, was a coup. Darcy Parish, Aaron Francis and Mason Redman are all a chance to debut in 2015 as the Bombers look to improve on a 15th place finish. Matthew Leuenberger provides the club with real depth in the ruck after Tom Bellchambers struggled to make an impact this year. New coach John Worsfold believes Essendon will be finishing in the top four sooner rather than later and will no doubt have a new game plan to achieve this.
Worsfold has flagged his intentions to play Cale Hooker in defence so he will need to find a foil for Joe Daniher up forward – likely a mixture of Bellchambers, newly promoted Shaun McKernan and second chance recruit Mitch Brown. With the WADA appeal still up in the air, the players will need to find a way – yet again – to put the issue aside and concentrate on football; a tough ask if history tells us anything.
Predicted Finish: 15th – 17th