What The CAS Decision Means On-Field For Essendon
Tuesday morning's Court of Arbitration for Sport decision will greatly impact the 2016 AFL season. A dozen Essendon players will miss the year, with five players at new AFL homes to also watch on from the sidelines.
Banned Essendon players: Tom Bellchambers, Travis Colyer, Dyson Heppell, Michael Hibberd, Heath Hocking, Cale Hooker, Ben Howlett, Michael Hurley, David Myers, Tayte Pears, Brent Stanton and Jobe Watson. Melbourne: Jake Melksham. Port Adelaide: Angus Monfries, Patrick Ryder. St Kilda: Jake Carlisle. Western Bulldogs: Stewart Crameri.
The AFL will need to provide a means for Essendon - and perhaps the other affected clubs - to top up their lists. But there is no way the Bombers will be able to replace the experience and ability of key position players and the core of their midfield.
The league and Essendon have had contingency plans ready in case players are suspended.
Essendon will need to find a new captain and vice-captain after Jobe Watson and Dyson Heppell were banned.
Only two of the Bombers' seven-man leadership group will play in 2016; Brendon Goddard and Mark Baguley.
Mark McVeigh will need to stand down as GWS Giants assistant coach, while a number of VFL, WAFL and lower-level clubs will also lose players and coaches.