Essendon GM of football Josh Mahoney says the Bombers’ main focus by the end of the 2022 season will be on the free agency market.
The club exceeded all expectations when they played in an elimination final last year but have fallen below what many had hoped for this season. Mahoney, who was named to the role in 2020, said the club not knowing they were in the league was a concern when he started at Essendon.
“That was probably the first comment I made as I went through the process of joining Essendon, ‘I don’t know where we stand as a club,’” said Mahoney. AFL Nation†
“You want to get to a stage where all your members and supporters make a decision and they just nod their heads and say, ‘I can see why we made that decision’, that just shows that everyone believes in the path. .
“So last year it was all about getting a good rating on our roster, we had some player changes, some mature players left and then we had some good draft picks, so it was about getting to know our roster. “
The Bombers have been open about wanting to largely avoid last year’s trading spell, recruiting only former Crows Jake Kelly through free agency.
However, that is not the approach they will be taking this year.
“Apart from that (Kelly), we were not active, just backup in our list, and we are now in a position where we have a good handle on where we are and we are in a good position to start the trading period.” (to) look at adding some players to our list,” continued Mahoney.
“We’re not playing close to where we think we can play, but you’re going through these little bouts, and it’s not a real assessment of where we are currently on the list, but we hope in the back half of the year where we If we get five or six players back who are in our best 22, we’ll get a better handle on that.”
Currently 16th on the ladder after their dismal 2-9 start to the season, the Bombers have top three in the 2022 National Draft.
When asked if they’re going to trade high picks, Mahoney suggested that’s not part of the plan.
Essendon also hopes a quick finish to the season will mean they don’t have the third pick overall.
“No, not at this stage (we’ll trade high picks),” Mahoney said.
“I think it’s mainly about the free agency market, that’s a big one for us at the moment, we’re in talks there.
“And then we look at trading other choices. I think the choice we have right now is such a valuable choice, so we’re looking at different scenarios, but hopefully by the end of the year we won’t have a choice 3.
Essendon is currently 24 points behind Carlton at halftime of their Round 13 clash, looking for their first win since Round 8.