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Dons reward VFL form

Simon Conway  May 18, 2017 6:27 PM

BTV: RD 9 | Squad Selection Senior Coach John Worsfold talks us through the squad to take on the Eagles at Etihad Stadium.

Essendon has rewarded impressive VFL form with Craig Bird, Jackson Merrett and Tom Bellchambers called into the squad to take on West Coast on Sunday.

No one has been left out as yet and the final team will be announced on Friday. 

Bird picked up 38 possessions and laid eight tackles in the VFL side’s win over Geelong last Saturday.

“He’s been in excellent form all year and he can’t do much more in terms of saying ‘I’m available to play’,” Essendon Coach John Worsfold said.

“We’re rapt with the way Craig is going about it so he comes in in good form which is a credit to him.”

Tom Bellchambers earned a call-up after kicking three goals against the Cats.

“T-Bell’s marking and contested marking has been a real strength,” Worsfold said.

“His ruck work has been great, he’s moving around the ground really well – he’s not only marking it up forward, he’s marking it around the ground as well.”

Jackson Merrett has been included in the squad for the first time this year after amassing 23 disposals last week. 

“Jacko has been doing a lot of work across the half back line as well as his traditional work on the wing,” Worsfold said.

“He’s been focusing on his run and carry and his ball use coming off the half back line and his form has been really solid in the VFL.”

The Bombers have won four games this season and sit just outside the eight.

“It has been a really exciting year … there have been some big milestones,” Worsfold said.

“Winning in round one against the Hawks was a wonderful way to start and the ANZAC Day victory which has been pretty hard to come by in recent years, and then obviously beating Geelong who we haven’t been able to beat for a number of years.

“We’re ticking some things off that were starting to be a bit of a concern for us.

“Ultimately our aim is to be more consistent, have some more wins and celebrate with 65,000 members.” 

Essendon vs West Coast

Sunday May 21

1:10pm

Etihad Stadium

You can secure your ticket here

In: Craig Bird, Tom Bellchambers, Jackson Merrett

Out: Nil

B: Matt Dea, Michael Hurley, Mark Baguley

HB: James Kelly, Michael Hartley, David Zaharakis

C: Darcy Parish, Zach Merrett, Brendon Goddard

HF: James Stewart, Cale Hooker, Travis Colyer

F: Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti, Joe Daniher, Conor McKenna

R: Matthew Leuenberger, Dyson Heppell, Orazio Fantasia

I: Andrew McGrath, Tom Bellchambers, Jobe Watson, Josh Green, Jackson Merrett, David Myers, Craig Bird