Essendon VFL head coach Dan Jordan assesses the nine senior-listed Dons from Sunday’s 41-point loss to Geelong.

Mark Baguley

Stats: 11 disposals (eight contested), three marks, two tackles, one goal

From the coach: It was a pretty standard game from ‘Bags’ playing in a high forward role - his pressure was pretty good. He didn’t get a lot of opportunities in terms of us getting the ball in the forward half, particularly after half-time, but he was there competing and was able to contain the ball inside at times, particularly when he was outnumbered which I thought was really advantageous to us. 

The recently retired Baguley was a solid contributor against Geelong. (Photo: Ben Johnstone)

Jordan Ridley 

Stats: 27 disposals, eight marks, three spoils, 12 rebound 50s, one goal

From the coach: It was another really good game from ‘Rids’ as a half-back. He found himself with plenty of the footy and had to play on a mixture of talls and smalls. He looked to have his speed and his energy back, and finished off with a really nice goal. To have 12 rebound 50s and 27 possessions is a great game from a half-back. He’s back into some really good form.

David Myers

Stats: 20 disposals, four marks, four inside 50s, one goal

From the coach: It probably wasn’t the output that ‘Myersy’ would have liked, but he was up against some really high-quality Geelong midfielders and battled admirably. He did a lot of work and had the four inside 50s, so he was solid if nothing else.

Jordan Houlahan

Stats: Four disposals, one mark

From the coach: Coming off a really nice game the week before, ‘Houlas’ probably didn’t have the impact that we wanted. He played a lot more on the wing this week, and so didn’t kick his customary one or two goals where he normally impacts the scoreboard. It was a really good learning for him in terms of being able to contribute and playing sort of a different role for us, but I’m sure he’ll be keen to bounce back and have a really good game this weekend.

Brandon Zerk-Thatcher 

Stats: 14 disposals (nine contested), four marks, four tackles, six spoils

From the coach: Brandon played as our key-defensive post. Geelong had a reasonably tall forward line, so he found himself on a number of different opponents but competed pretty hard. He had six spoils and looked to be a key focal point in our back half. 

Jake Long 

Stats: 21 disposals, nine marks, five tackles, three inside 50s

From the coach: ‘Longy’ was really good for us again. He played that half-back role and found some footy, but more importantly I thought his intensity was good. He had nine marks and five tackles, and found himself inside the contest. He competed really well and gave us some good energy in the back half.

Jake Long in action against the Cats. (Photo: Ben Johnstone)

Trent Mynott

Stats: 13 disposals (nine contested), five tackles, six clearances, three rebound 50s

From the coach: Trent played inside and didn’t get a lot of the ball against that high-quality midfield. I thought his pressure was good though with five tackles, but we’re just trying to get some more ball on the outside for him to become really damaging. 

Ben McNiece

Stats: 14 disposals, eight marks, three tackles, two rebound 50s 

From the coach: Benny tried to give us some drive out of the backline. There were a couple of times where he found himself playing on some taller opponents, but I thought he positioned himself well – his eight marks is probably a testament to that. He defended where he could and when (Geelong’s) smalls were running a bit rampant on us, we had to use him in a shut-down role which I thought he played well. 

Matt Dea 

Stats: 12 disposals (six contested), four marks

From the coach: Matty played a number of roles on taller and smaller opponents, and then even played up forward in the last quarter. We needed a contest up there, so he had a bit of a look and gave us something up forward. In defence, there was plenty of ball coming through as Geelong had 20 more inside 50s. Our defenders were under siege a bit down there, but I thought he competed well and tried to give us some drive from the back half.