chapman essendon

The Bombers have a list that, on paper, could take them to the top six. However, with the retirement of Alwyn Davey and the loss of Angus Monfries to free agency not so long ago, Essendon lacks a small, goal kicking forward.

In comes the Norm Smith medallist and former Geelong champion, Paul Chapman. In what might just be a final pay day, Chapman will be looking to create an immediate impact, as the Bombers have limited avenues to goal. With Stuart Crameri and Scott Gumbleton gone and Tom Bellchambers injured, Joe Daniher and Jake Carlisle must step up.

Chapman has been brought in to alleviate this pressure. Whilst his body has been frail for a while, Chapman still has the power to kick 30+ goals in a season playing as a full time small forward. The Bombers have admitted they will have to manage him, but there’s signs of life left in the bald magician, seen by his four goal haul against Port Adelaide last year’s Semi Final.

If you think about it, 30 goals in roughly 15 games isn’t that much of a stretch. The Bombers have a decent midfield and not many forward targets. Daniher doesn’t always clunk them either, so if Chapman can be front and square, more often than not he’s going to kick a couple of goals per game.

An old head is exactly what the Bombers need, as the Merrett brothers could learn a lot from him. Older small forwards like Leroy Jetta and Cory Dell’Olio just don’t cut the mustard. Nick Kommer and Nick O’Brien look to have some potential, but at this stage their output won’t even get close to what Chapman is capable of producing.

With all the doom and gloom of the ASADA investigation, Bombers fans need a winning team on the field. If Chapman can provide the supporters a smile in an otherwise horrible year, then he should be worth the money invested.