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Dons given all clear

Natalie MacGregor  May 18, 2017 2:22 PM

BTV: John Worsfold Media Conference - May 18 Senior Coach John Worsfold spoke to the media.

Essendon Coach John Worsfold has confirmed Dyson Heppell and David Zaharakis will play against West Coast on Sunday.

The Crichton Medal winners have had minor disruptions to their preparation with Zaharakis missing training earlier in the week because of illness and Heppell injuring his hand.

“He’s going to be fine, he dominated that last 15 minutes of footy (training) so he’s going really well,” Worsfold said.

“The team doctor rang me and just let me know what had happened. Depending on who the player is a lot of different things race through your mind.

“With Dyson Heppell it was - how could he possibly have done that? A lot of players you’d think what has he done, but not too many concerns with Dyson.

“He might have a bandage on but that will probably be all.”

The Eagles have won their last three matches and Worsfold knows his side will need to be at the top of its game to match it with them.

“It’s going to be an awesome contest at Etihad and we’re really confident we can do the job,” Worsfold said.

“They’ve obviously had to shuffle their ruck stocks around a fair bit with the injuries they had earlier in the year.

“They are getting more settled in that area and starting to get some of them back as well, so I think they have done really well considering how they have managed some of those issues they’ve had.”

The Eagles boast one of the best defences in the game, while the Bombers have proven one of the most efficient teams in attack this season.

Joe Daniher has been a key figure in the Dons forward potency and Worsfold is pleased with his progress.

“It was really only that one glitch against Melbourne where it didn’t quite go to plan,” Worsfold said.

“Other than that, he has come along really well. He has a plan in place and a program that he works through and he’s tracking really well with all of that.

“You can go back 40 years ago and players missed shots at goal and I’m sure the same conversations were happening.

“It’s a tough skill depending on the angle and distance and the fatigue of a player, but I think the players do it pretty well.”

James Stewart kicked three goals on debut against Geelong, adding to Essendon’s strong forward line.

“James came into the team and played a role that Aaron Francis had played a couple of times,” he said.

“Certainly the forwards work together to play different roles. I thought James Stewart really worked well.

“He did a fair bit of the preseason alongside Hooksy and Joey so that wasn’t totally new to him.”

Eleni Glouftsis will make history on Sunday as the first female to field umpire.

“It’s wonderful for any of the umpires to make their debut but we’ll treat them as we would treat all of the umps out there,” he said.

“They do a great job and are a huge part of the game. It’s awesome that we’re seeing that talent coming through.”