Essendon will blood its second AFL debutant of the season, with young ruckman Sam Draper a confirmed starter for the round nine clash with Brisbane at Metricon Stadium.
The 21-year-old received the news during a team meeting this week, and will be presented with his guernsey by fellow ruckman Tom Bellchambers on Friday night.
Born in South Australia but spending six years of his childhood in Brede, England, Draper switched from soccer to Australian Football at the start of 2016.
Just nine months later, his rapid rise saw him earn a contract at the Bombers with the first pick of the rookie draft.
Draper was on the cusp of senior selection before rupturing his ACL in the VFL in May last year, but was rewarded for his development with a four-year contract extension in August.
He's impressed in his comeback from a knee reconstruction, gradually building his minutes in three consecutive scratch matches in Queensland.
Senior coach John Worsfold said Draper had earned his opportunity.
"Sam was on the verge of senior selection when he hurt his knee last year, so it's been a long way back to this point but he's worked extremely well," Worsfold said.
"We're very excited to see what he's going to bring to the team."
Draper joins Ned Cahill as the Bombers' AFL debutants so far this season, while off-season recruits Andrew Phillips, Tom Cutler, Jacob Towsend and Mitch Hibberd have already made their club debuts.
The Bombers will release their full line-up at 6:20pm AEST tonight for their match against the Lions.