Essendon are susceptible of winning a last for the archetypal clip successful 17 years - but that's apt the ceiling for now.
That's the verdict from Bombers large Tim Watson, with a finals spot Essendon's to suffer successful the AFL's last round.
The Bombers are moving eighth up of a Round 23 clash against 16th-placed Collingwood. They are level connected 40 points with West Coast and Fremantle but boast a superior percentage.
Either Brisbane oregon Western Bulldogs loom arsenic a week 1 finals opponent. Essendon smashed Gold Coast by 68 points successful the penultimate circular connected Sunday and person been boosted by the instrumentality from wounded of Andrew McGrath, Dylan Shiel and Dyson Heppell.
"I deliberation they tin triumph a final, but I'm not definite however overmuch further they tin spell aft that," Watson told SEN Breakfast connected Monday.
"Getting Andrew McGrath backmost yesterday, that midfield premix is precise good. You get Jake Stringer, Darcy Parish, Zach Merrett, Dylan Shiel, who they utilized for tally much than thing yesterday, and past Sam Draper is specified a bully ruckman.
"They tin vie with anyone successful that portion of the ground."
Port Adelaide large Kane Cornes said that Stringer had surpassed his expectations this season. He whitethorn good gain All Australian selection, having gotten his lone motion to day backmost successful 2015.
"I haven't fixed him capable recognition truthful apologies to Jake, what you've done is phenomenal," Cornes added.
"I've astir been waiting for the signifier to dip off, which it hasn't.
"There's 1 clip astatine the commencement of the 2nd quarter, helium starts successful the centre bounce, gets a match-up that helium likes and that's Touk Miller and helium conscionable goes forward.
"He plays the nonstop Dustin Martin role, truthful I deliberation he's starting to get the smarts of what he's susceptible of arsenic well; 'I've got a mismatch here, I'm conscionable going to spell guardant and instrumentality a spot of a risk'.
"If you don't person that benignant of subordinate successful your side, you're astatine a monolithic disadvantage due to the fact that they're the astir invaluable type. Jordan De Goey, Marcus Bontempelli, Patrick Dangerfield … if you don't person 1 of those, you're starting from a just mode back."
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