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Bombers battle it out

BTV: Sounds of the Track | Heppell Essendon captain Dyson Heppell was mic'd up during the team's first training session of 2019.

Essendon has completed its second 'two-lap challenge' of pre-season, with Patrick Ambrose taking out first place.

The Bombers undertook two circuits of The Hangar on Friday, and Ambrose, who has managed just 17 games in two injury-interrupted years, led the pack ahead of rookie Tom Jok and young midfielder Dylan Clarke.


An exhausted Dylan Clarke after crossing the finish line in second position. (Photo: Essendon Football Club)

The club split up the runners into two groups, with Darcy Parish, who is entering his fourth season at the Bombers, winning the second batch of players running the trial ahead of veteran teammate Mark Baguley.

The Bombers also ran the two-lap challenge in November - won by Kobe Mutch ahead of Dylan Clarke (second) and Michael Hartley (third) - when the club's fitness staff pulled Ambrose and Jok out of the run due to their already renowned aerobic excellence.

The run kick-started a long session for the Bombers, who had several key players training away from the main group.


Kyle Langford and Jordan Ridley put in the hard yards. (Photo: Essendon Football Club)

Reigning Crichton Medallist Devon Smith was among them as he is eased through the pre-season, Josh Begley continued his recovery from a knee reconstruction and Martin Gleeson also did some running as he works back from the foot injury that saw him miss all of last season.

David Zaharakis was expected to train fully but ran laps on the Bombers' second training oval and didn't participate in the two-lap challenge, while Conor McKenna also trained separate to the main group.

Orazio Fantasia's class and precision kicking stood out during the session.