The return of Matt Guelfi from injury has added another string to Essendon’s bow in the last month.  

Guelfi tallied 20 pressure acts and six score involvements in Sunday’s win over Carlton, reflective of his ability to impact in both facets of his role as a defensive forward. 

Despite hitting the scoreboard in each of his four appearances so far in 2023, Guelfi told Essendon FC he’s more than happy to draw focus to the pressure side of his game. 

“I wish I could come in like Pete (Wright) and kick five straight away, but that’s not my role, it’s just to put pressure on and do what I can do to help the team,” Guelfi said. 

“I’m just happy to be back. I’m still working on my fitness, it’s not a finished product just yet.” 


The Dons are gaining some key attacking personnel back at a welcome time, but Guelfi believes the team’s style of play invites anyone to impact going forward on a given day. 

That style was on display in Sunday’s third quarter, when Jye Menzie finished off a sublime team play out of the centre to round out a six-goal run for the Bombers. 

“It felt fun out there, I know the boys were exhausted but if you look behind the ground (after the Menzie goal) you can see everyone cheering and the backmen getting up,” Guelfi said. 

“(We want to) get everyone involved and it doesn’t matter who kicks the goal.”  

Guelfi was quick to point to Zach Merrett and Nic Martin in attributing to their third-term burst, with the duo’s efficiency by foot once again prominent on the counter-attack. 


“It’s easy when ‘Zerrett’ and ‘Marto’ have the ball in their hands because they don’t miss,” Guelfi said. 

“We get it in their hands as much as possible. If we have to kick it long, we expect to compete in the air, and then the rest of us go to work at ground level.” 

Guelfi and the Dons will receive a timely rest going into the bye this weekend, before looking to build on their form away to Fremantle on Saturday, June 24.