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Elim Final: Pushing for a call-up

Essendon’s VFL fell just short against reigning premiers Footscray in the Elimination Final on Sunday.

But there were a host of senior listed Dons who put their hand up for a spot in this week’s AFL final against Sydney.

There are also a number of VFL listed players in line for a spot in the VFL Team of the Year, which will be named on Monday night.

Here are the contenders…


Shaun McKernan

McKernan continued his dominance on the scoreboard, kicking three majors on Sunday.

This was his first game in three weeks, after travelling with the Bombers senior side as an emergency for the Gold Coast and Fremantle games.

If Cale Hooker doesn’t get up and the Bombers want to continue with their set-up of using three tall forwards, McKernan shapes as an obvious contender.

Ben Howlett

Howlett was named as Essendon’s best on ground on Sunday. This is the sixth time he has been named in the best, from his seven games in the VFL.

It was a typically tough performance from Howlett in the midfield with the 28 year old laying 11 tackles. He finished with 22 disposals and also kicked a goal.

Sam Draper

Draper dominated in the ruck on the weekend in one of his best performances of the season.

In his last two weeks as the Dons big man has averaged 54 hit outs.

At only 18 years of age, the 203cm Draper has improved with each game he has played and is proving to be a tough match up for any opposition.

Matt Dea

Dea was strong in defence, taking eight marks and providing several crucial spoils.

The defender has played six games in the AFL side this season, averaging 15 disposals, five marks and two tackles.

Mason Redman

The South Australian continued to show promise in defence.

At only 19, the defender is continuing to develop his game week by week, and has the potential to be a major threat for the Dons side in the future.

Kobe Mutch

The classy midfielder rounded out his first season of senior football with another polished display.

He collected 21 disposals and looked like a seasoned player despite his tender years.

Keep an eye out for Mutch in 2018.


From the VFL…

Nick O’Brien

The Bombers Captain was the major ball winner on the weekend. He collected 25 disposals, five marks and laid two tackles.

This season he has averaged 31 disposals, six marks and three tackles. He is a major contender to be named in the VFL team of the year.

Alex Boyse

Boyse was impressive in the forward line, kicking two goals, taking five marks and laying two tackles.

He finished the season with 31 goals (seventh overall in the VFL).

Boyse is also a front-runner to be named in this year’s VFL team of the year.