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McGrath's midfield move

Simon Conway  April 20, 2017 3:46 PM

BTV: McGrath's story so far... The journey from draft night to Rising Star nomination for Andrew McGrath.

Essendon List and Recruiting Manager Adrian Dodoro expects Andrew McGrath to eventually move into the midfield, but the exact timeframe is up to Coach John Worsfold.

After a 28-possession performance against Adelaide last week, McGrath was nominated for the AFL’s Rising Star award.

The number one draft pick has made a smooth transition into the Essendon defensive unit, but Dodoro told Bomber Radio a move further up the field beckons.

“I still see him being an elite midfielder down the track for us,” Dodoro said.

“The thing that stands out is his change of direction with the ball in his hands.

“When he gets the football he can really change the direction of the game and that helps offensively, particularly with the forwards, when your midfield around stoppages are shaping the ball to go one way and then it goes out the other way and you get space.

“I think he’ll be a very dynamic player for us.”

Draftees complete only part of the pre-season program when they first arrive at the Club.

Dodoro said McGrath’s midfield move might wait until he gets a full pre-season under his belt.

“That’s Woosha’s call, it’s not my call,” Dodoro said.

“Personally I’d like to see him run through there now but the coaches have got a plan in place for this year.

“He’s been on restricted loads in his first year.

“I think he’s exceeding expectations, the plan wasn’t for him to go out there and play every minute of every game … but he’s got the constitution and the make up where the coaches have just let him go and he’s thriving.”

McGrath is averaging 20 disposals per game (at an efficiency rate of 80 per cent), four marks and five tackles across the first four games of the season.

“Andy has really gone about his business the way we thought he would when we drafted him last year,” Dodoro said.

“He’s a very professional young man and he takes everything in his stride, he doesn’t get flustered by anything. 

“He just loves pressure and we saw him the other night under the heat of battle at Adelaide Oval he excelled and it was really good to see.”