SA clubs urge action for out-of-favor utility company in Essendon

Could Essendon’s Aaron Francis be an interesting player for Adelaide or Port Adelaide this year?

Francis’ contract with the Bombers will expire at the end of this season and with his place on Ben Rutten’s side not guaranteed, a move might do him good.

The former No. 6 draft pick has failed to gain any continuity during his seven seasons with the Dons, with just 54 games showing fitness and form a constant problem.

He only played four games in 2022 and was left out twice from a team that has only won twice so far.

Francis’ current situation asked for SEN SAs Andrew Hayes to propose a home service for the South Australian resident.

“Aaron Francis from Essendon. This is a guy from Adelaide, he’s a junior from West Adelaide,” Hayes continued SEN SA Breakfast

“It is his seventh year in the system, he will be 25 later this year.

“No.6 (draft pick) in 2015, his best year to date was 2019, when he played 17 games. He played just four games this year for a total of 54.

“The big goal for Francis this year was for him to move forward and become more of a regular striker. It hasn’t worked, but what we’ve seen, even though he’s (almost) 25, he still has absolute potential.

“He’s had a few issues off the pitch where he’s come back to South Australia to deal with mental health etc before getting back in.

“At the end of this year his contract will expire. Am I crazy if I say I would make a huge piece for Aaron Francis?”

Kane Cornes asked, “Who? Which club?”

Hayes praised the Crows as the best destination for Francis.

“Probably the Crows,” he replied.

“But I’d still ask the question if I were Port Adelaide.

“The potential is still there and I don’t even know where he’s suited. He could be up front, he could be down. He’s a real utility swingman.

“He has so much natural talent, but at 25 am I still saying the potential is still there or has it gone?”

Cornes believes Francis would be a good fit for the Crows from an age point of view, given their roster profile and a gap they have with players between the ages of 24 and 27.

However, he does wonder what role he could play for Matthew Nicks side.

“The age is alluring and it’s especially alluring to Adelaide because they don’t have a lot of players (in that age bracket),” said Cornes.

“Adelaide has 25 young players and some of the older players are plus 28. They don’t have much in that category of 24 to 27. He fits that.

“But where does he play? If he comes to Adelaide it won’t be on the front line cause they’ve got (Darcy) Fogarty playing the same part, they’ve got (Riley) Thilthorpe, (Taylor) Walker going again, who knows what happens to (Elliott) Himmelberg.

“At the back, maybe, like that interceptor. He played that role well.

“If it was anywhere, it would be in Adelaide. We know Port Adelaide is full of those half-back flankers and they have a couple of medium strikers in (Todd) Marshall and (Mitch) Georgiades.

“For Adelaide, if you can’t get him for much, there was a bit of interest from the Crows a few years ago and there was some talk that he might come home but chose to stay in Essendon.

“I wouldn’t mind him for Adelaide if you can’t get him for much.”

Francis has kicked four goals and has averaged seven disposals and four goals this season.