Essendon – due to the drugs scandal that resulted in the suspensions of nearly all of the club’s players – started 2016 with only one player who was a member of the Top 100 game players and Top 100 goal kickers at the club!
David Zaharakis finished the year #74 in games played and #73 in goals scored and by then had been joined by one new Top 100 game player, and one new Top 100 goal kicker.
Courtney Dempsey by the end of the year had climbed into equal 97th position of the game players at Essendon but – like Ty Vickery at Richmond – he is no longer with Essendon and – also like Ty Vickery – his stay in the Top 100 is likely to be over by the end of 2017.
Joe Daniher, on the other hand, zoomed to #66 on the goal kicking list during the year and stats fans will be watching him climb further up the list during 2017.
The big plus for Essendon fans however, is the return of a number of stars who will resume their progress up the Essendon elite lists:
Brent Stanton, already #14 greatest game player will be hoping his year off will not only see him pass the 250 game mark, but keep him fit and injury free enough to play 18 games for the season and join Don McKenzie as the 10th greatest game player of all time for Essendon.
Jobe Watson – who played his 200th game in 2015 before the suspension will also look to move higher then his current 27th position on the games list.
Cale Hooper, who is currently equal 97th with Courtney Dempsey will push Dempsey down to 98th position in the first game he plays in 2017, and from there Dempsey, along with Son Barry, Roy Laing and Gordon Lane will be in danger of losing Top 100 status to Michael Hurley, Heath Hocking and Ben Howlett.
Goal kicking wise, Brent Stanton (#37), Jobe Watson (#61), Joe Daniher (#66), Michael Hurley (#68) and David Zaharakis (#73) will all be hoping to move higher up the list in 2017.