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Sheedy's high praise for Francis

On the Amart Couch | Shiel, Sheedy & Dodoro Gerard Healy is joined by Dylan Shiel, Kevin Sheedy and Adrian Dodoro in the first edition of On the Amart Couch. Courtesy of Fox Footy.

Essendon legend Kevin Sheedy has heaped praise on young Bomber Aaron Francis, labeling him as a “possible champion”.

Francis, 21, impressed in the final five games of the season, dominating across half-back to finish the year on a high after beginning the pre-season away from the club to address his mental health battles.

Speaking on On the Amart Couch as the club launched its new partnership with Amart Furniture this week, Sheedy compared the young gun to former Essendon stars Neale Daniher and Billy Duckworth.

“I really like him. The club’s been patient, he’s had to be patient with his own self, which is great because he’s gone through some difficulties,” Sheedy said.

“From a point of view of looking at a possible champion – which he could be if he’s dedicated himself – when you see what he did in the last month, he reminded me somewhere between Duckworth and Neale Daniher.

“He uses the ball well when he gets it, he reads the play well and cuts it off in defence.

“I think he’s got an exciting future. He’s got a number that this club really respects, number 10.”

Francis is just one small part of an extremely exciting crop of Bombers with serious scope to improve, and Sheedy picked out explosive forward/midfielder Jake Stringer as one of the side’s most promising players.

“Jake Stringer, I think, is at about 60 per cent of his talent,” he said.

“I reckon if we get that boy up, this club could really have a pretty exciting next two or three years.”

The four-time premiership coach said the club is “in a very good position” following the recent addition of former Giant Dylan Shiel to the side and said Essendon fans have plenty of reason to feel excited about what lies ahead.

“If you’re thinking like Bomber fans would be, I’d be really looking forward to our way through.

“We’re going to be 150 years old as a club very shortly – and there’s not many 150-year-old clubs in the world – and I think somewhere near between now and then, we’re going to peak.”

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