Essendon News, Matthew Lloyd on 2022 season, Anzac Day result

Essendon great Matthew Lloyd says he doesn’t want to hear any excuses from his former club over his lackluster start to 2022.

After advancing to the Finals last season, the Bombers’ hopes of repeating those efforts now seem dim after a 1-5 start to the year.

Ahead of Essendon’s Anzac Day defeat to Collingwood on Monday, the club’s head of football, Josh Mahoney, raised eyebrows with comments suggesting the “development squad” had moved on from last season.

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“Maybe in some way we surpassed last year,” Mahoney said on 3AW. “We entered the final with 11 wins, which probably hadn’t happened for 15 years, it was a funny season.

“We just know we’re on the right track to be good. We want to be good, we know it’s going to take some time.

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“We’re still a developing team. We talked about it a lot last year and we’re still talking about it this year. We’re probably younger this year, but that certainly doesn’t mean it’s an excuse for us. “

A season without finals football this year will only continue the club’s brutal trend of not winning a finals game since 2004.

Responding to Mahoney’s comments, Lloyd agreed that the excuse for Essendon’s failures this year to be a young and developing side was a “flaw” of the club’s footballing boss.

“I think it is [a cop out] because Essendon haven’t won a final in so long, you keep getting draft picks,” Lloyd said on Nine’s Footy Ranked.

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“When is the right time? I think they’ve had enough time now to be tough.

“Last year we debated this, and you (Caroline Wilson) laughed at what I said, that the worst thing that could happen would be that they play a final because they think the Next year it will just happen. [again].”

Lloyd, a five-time All-Australian and 12-time Essendon top scorer, conceded his former club “should have” missed the final last year.

“I think you recruit in a certain way, you think in a definitive way – eighth versus ninth, it’s so different,” he added.

“Eighth, you get there and say ‘damn, we’re pretty good’.

“Ninth and that’s scathing, you’re brutal at what you do. I thought that was where they should have been, rather than having that taste of finals.”

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