Essendon has named a strong squad to take on Geelong in Monday’s Powercor Country Festival Marsh Series Game in Colac.
Dashing defenders Adam Saad and Conor McKenna, versatile Bomber Jake Stringer, exciting recruit Tom Cutler and sweeping defender Mason Redman have all been added to the team for the club’s second pre-season hit-out.
Saad will enter the side full of confidence following a sensational effort for Victoria in last week’s State of Origin for Bushfire Relief where he racked up 18 disposals, eight intercept possessions, seven contested possessions, seven score involvements, four inside 50s and a game-high 505 metres gained in the Big V.
Having returned from a personal trip home to Ireland in good shape, McKenna will be looking to secure his spot in the best 22 against the Cats.
Stringer bypassed last week’s pre-season defeat of West Coast, but he lined up in Essendon’s VFL practice match against Northern Blues on Friday and was lively before a corky saw him put on ice in the third term.
The powerful Don pulled up well from the hit-out to be named in this week’s line-up, while Townsend has also been listed to play after recovering from a minor knee injury sustained in the dying stages of the victory over the Eagles.
Cutler didn’t take to the field last week off the back of an impressive performance in Essendon’s scratch match against Melbourne on February 21, but the exciting new Bomber is in line to make his first official appearance in the red and black on Monday.
The Bombers and Cats will clash from 4:40pm at Central Reserve on Monday, with a VFL curtain raiser and a mini Powercor Country Festival preceding the game.
FB – Aaron Francis, Michael Hurley, Brandon Zerk-Thatcher
HB – Adam Saad, Jordan Ridley, Matt Guelfi
C – Tom Cutler, Andrew McGrath, David Zaharakis
HF – Orazio Fantasia, Will Snelling, Devon Smith
FF – Jayden Laverde, Shaun McKernan, Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti
FOL – Andrew Phillips, Dylan Shiel, Zach Merrett
Interchange (from) – Martin Gleeson, Mason Redman, Darcy Parish, Kyle Langford, Brayden Ham, Jacob Townsend, Jake Stringer, Conor McKenna, Nick Bryan, Dylan Clarke, Kobe Mutch, Josh Begley