Former AFL assistant and Essendon opposition analyst Craig Jennings has slammed the current state of the Bombers, declaring them a “pretty dysfunctional outfit”.
As Ben Rutten prepares to take the reins as senior coach for the first time, he’s faced with several big list management decisions after a season which saw the club miss finals and go winless in nine of its last 10 games.
As SEN Chief Sports Reporter Sam Edmund first revealed, some senior players were unhappy about retiring ruckman Tom Bellchambers not being given a farewell game against Melbourne on Saturday.
Jennings says it was a “big missed opportunity” for the club not to send off one of their retiring players in style.
“I think it’s a pretty dysfunctional footy club (at the moment),” he said on SEN’s Whateley.
“I was really disappointed with Tom Bellchambers (not being given a farewell game), he missed a season of football in 2016 due to suspension, I think they should’ve found a way to send him off.
“Goodwill is important in coaching because you need to give your players a whack every now and again so it’s much easier when you build up some goodwill first.
“I think that’s a pretty big missed opportunity again from that footy club.”
The futures of Joe Daniher, Orazio Fantasia, Adam Saad and Cale Hooker are all currently in question, with the quartet reportedly seeking reassurances before committing to the club in 2021.
Jennings spent 10 years at Essendon, largely looking after opposition analysis and strategy.