Essendon VFL has selected a strong squad ahead of Saturday’s qualifying final against Richmond at the Swinburne Centre.

AFL mid-season draftee Will Snelling returns to the line-up at ruck rover, with Josh Begley at full-forward and Michael Hartley at full-back. 

After announcing his retirement earlier in the week, Mark Baguley will start in the forward pocket.

Essendon’s defensive 50 will be missing in-form youngster Jordan Ridley, but will have Ben McNiece, Matt Dea, Brandon Zerk-Thatcher, Josh Tynan and Bruno Laguda rounding out the back six.

Leadership group member Liam McKenna also returns to the squad, named on the half-forward flank in his first match back since round nine, alongside vice-captain Danny Younan and Daniel Guccione. 

Skipper Aaron Heppell will begin on the bench with vice-captain Heath Hocking, while Matthew Day retains his spot as the 23rd player. 

A win against the Tigers means the VFL Dons will progress to a preliminary final in two weeks' time, while a loss will see them face either Box Hill or Werribee in a semi-final.

The team will be finalised before the first bounce at 2:10pm on Saturday.

Live updates will be available via Essendon VFL’s Twitter, with the match to also be televised on Channel 7. 



41. Ben McNiece

36. Michael Hartley

49. Matt Dea


50. Josh Tynan

30. Brandon Zerk-Thatcher

76. Bruno Laguda


24. Jordan Houlahan

39. Trent Mynott

34. Jake Long


55. Danny Younan

73. Daniel Guccione

70. Liam McKenna


12. Mark Baguley

16. Josh Begley

75. Kurt Aylett


74. Riley Bowman

40. Will Snelling

23. David Myers


56. Dylan Landt

68. Nick Dixon

57. Dale Marshall


62. Nino Lazzaro

65. Edyn Sibbald

59. Aaron Heppell (C)


77. Heath Hocking

72. Tynan Smith

23rd player

54. Matthew Day