Nearly six month subsequent to the signing of Ryan Crowley as the first top-up player secured by the Essendon Bombers to fill the list decimated by the loss of 12 players banned for doping in the 2012 season, the picture for the Bombers is anything but rosy.
Other than a surprising upset of the Melbourne Demons in Round 2, nothing much has gone right for the side. They have lost 11 of the 12 played and descended to the bottom of the ladder below the Lions, who have an identical record, but a slightly better percentage.
It would almost be fair to say that the Bombers risk losing their bye week in Round 14 and any side with finals aspirations will be salivating over the prospect of encountering Essendon in the home run.
Matt Dea has played in all 12 games so far and it would not be inaccurate to say that he has been the best find, both in terms of future potential and present production.
James Kelly has also acquitted himself nicely to the extent that the 32-year-old could make his case for returning next season. After 12 rounds, he deserves best and fairest consideration and his premiership experience is a bonus.