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Rd 19: VFL match preview

Natalie MacGregor  August 25, 2017 11:31 AM

Nash Holmes will return to the Dons line-up on Sunday.

Nash Holmes will return to the Dons line-up on Sunday.

Nash Holmes will return on Sunday, in Essendon VFL’s round 19 clash with Geelong.

The combative midfielder/forward has been sidelined with an ankle injury since May and it was unknown whether he would return to football this season.

After two solid performances with Keilor, Holmes has been given a call-up for the last game of the Dons home-and-away season.

“It’s really important that he could get a game in before finals, he has had two games back now with Keilor, after his injury,” Coach Paul Corrigan said.

“His rehab went really well – he worked really hard.

“It’s great to see him back before finals.

“It was originally touch and go whether he would get back this year but he was really impressive last week.

“We will give him a run on Sunday and hopefully he performs well.”

The Bombers are coming off the back of wins over two top eight sides and will be hoping to continue that form into this weekend.

“I think it’s really important to take momentum into the finals,” Corrigan said.

“Not much can really change in terms of where we sit on the ladder.

“For the boy’s sake, it is really important that we keep that winning form going and take that confidence into the first final.”

The last time the Dons met the Cats was in round five, when Essendon won by 61 points. However Corrigan says it’s a whole new ball game facing Geelong at Simonds Stadium.

“I think you can look at how we played and what we did against them last time but they have been in pretty good form over the last couple of weeks,” he said.

“They obviously knocked off Richmond, who are playing really good footy at the moment.

“They are always a different side down at Simonds Stadium though, they play their ground really well.

“I think a lot will change because their ground is a lot different to Windy Hill, where we played them last time.

“We will have to defend a little bit more and make sure that our pressure around the contest is really good for the four quarters.”

An even balance of AFL and VFL listed players has been named in the Bombers line-up.

“At the moment we have about 10 VFL-listed players,” Corrigan said.

“We have had a number of players showing solid consistency throughout the year, and it’s great they can now get an opportunity.

“There are a lot of players there that can hopefully perform well.”

You can keep up to date with the game by following @essendonvfl on Twitter