The Essendon Bombers have been active in many areas as they prepare for the 2018 Toyota AFL Premiership competition, seemingly convinced that a top eight finish is well within their means.
They have added an experienced presence in the form of Luke Ball, who will be in charge of player performance as the manager of that department.
Ball has the experience to add his voice to a developing side, as he was a player not all that long ago. That recent experience will help him to sever as a liaison between the Dons young players and the coaching squad.
He should have a willing audience, as he was part of the Collingwood Magpies’ 2010 premiership side, combined with plenty of experience in the administrative side of things, includingmedia roles, umpiring , match review and football operations. He also had a stint as president of the AFL Players’ Association.
In summation, he has been one busy chap since hanging up his boots following the 2014 season. With 223 games at the senior level over 12 seasons, players will listen to him and he has the communication skills to make his message to them relatable.
Ball expressed gratitude for the faith the Essendon Bombers showed in him, saying, “The club has clearly shown great resilience over recent years to work their way through an extremely difficult period, into a position of opportunity and optimism. I look forward to working with and learning from a hungry and exciting young playing list, group of coaches and staff, who in unison have an intense desire to maximise their opportunity and potential.”
The love-fest was mutual, with Bombers footy boss Dan Richardson saying that Ball’s role will be an important one. “Luke is highly respected and brings over 15 years of AFL industry experience to the club,” Richardson said in a statement.“His extensive knowledge of football both as a player and in many areas throughout the AFL make his appointment a significant result for the club.”
Ball seems to have found a sweet spot. If the Dons do well, he can receive credit, but if they do not, he is not in the hot seat.