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McKernan eyeing selection

Basil Zoccali  June 24, 2016 6:00 PM

BTV: VFL RD11 | McKernan kicks the sealer - June 20, 2016 Shaun McKernan kicks the sealer against Werribee.

Shaun McKernan will be pushing for selection when the Bombers take on West Coast after the bye.

The big man has battled injury for the majority of the season only making his way into the senior team on two occasions.

However, the ex-Crow was one of the best last weekend for Essendon VFL and integral in the second half resurgence which saw them snare a memorable come from behind victory.

McKernan was dominant in the ruck, but also moved well around the ground collecting 13-disposals, laying six tackles and kicking three goals. 

The performance did not go unnoticed by Coach John Worsfold, who praised the big man’s game.

“Shaun’s form was outstanding, mainly in the ruck but his marking was really strong as well,” Worsfold said on Bomber Radio

“It’s been a tough year for Shaun, he’s had a lot of serious injuries that have set him back.

“His first full game back on the weekend was outstanding, so he’ll definitely put his name up for selection.”

Essendon’s willingness to play two ruckman in recent weeks only helps McKernan’s case.

The move to play an extra tall seems to have been positive for the team.

Mark Jamar’s ability to move forward, take marks and find the goals over the last two weeks has further justified the move for Worsfold.

The ex-Demon and part-time Essendon ruck coach kicked two goals last week and took six marks, moving well up and down the ground.

However, with the ‘Big Russian’ proving to be valuable at a senior level, the coaches will have a tough decision ahead of the upcoming game against the West Coast Eagles.

“We’re really pleased with what (playing two ruckmen has) shown. 

 “It’s another opportunity that we’ve had this year to say, when we think the time is right, let’s have a look at playing the additional ruckman that spends a bit more time forward.

“We know that’s a role that Shaun can play really well. 

“I’ve got no doubt that, if he maintains his form and fitness, he’ll get another look in.”