Returning players Matt Guelfi and David Zaharakis were among 11 senior-listed Bombers who featured in a VFL practice match against Footscray at the NEC Hangar on Saturday.
While Essendon was outclassed in the 7.3 (45) to 16.14 (108) defeat, several players put their hands up for senior selection for the Bombers' upcoming match against St Kilda.
Check out VFL senior coach Leigh Tudor's player review below.
The Bombers will play their fourth VFL practice match on Saturday, facing Sandringham from 11am at the NEC Hangar. The game will be open to the public.
"Stringer got all the game time he needed, playing midfield and forward. He was strong at ground level and in the contest, breaking tackles and driving through his legs. He looked stronger and fitter, so after two games back, it was another good result for him."
"Matt Guelfi had a fantastic game. He played an AFL-style game in the VFL; strong in the contest and in the air, intercepted well and set us up with his run and carry off half-back. It was a really good game back from injury, and he looked strong and fit. He played a full game with his usual rotations each quarter."
"It was another strong game from Archie. He was really strong in the contest again, tackled well, ran hard, won his clearances as a midfielder and set us up when he was forward."
"It was great to see him back. He played midfield pretty much the whole game and had his rests each quarter. The longer the game went, the better he got."
"'Thatchy' started the game really well with three intercept marks. He pretty much played a full game and looked good. He made a couple of skill errors but competed really hard. His positioning was a lot better than the week before, and he had a solid game.
"It was a great effort for 'Reidy' to get up from a massive corkie last week. We weren't sure how much time he'd get because he was pretty sore and didn't train in the week, but he got himself up, got in the mindset to play under duress, and actually played a full game. He competed hard, intercepted a few marks, spoiled well and used the ball well off half-back."
"Josh kicked 3.2. On any other day it should have been five straight; he missed a couple he was disappointed with. He competed really well in the air. At times he was on good players, competing two against one and holding his own to either mark the ball or bring it to ground. He played a half last week and played three quarters this week, so he's just building his fitness, but he's showing good improvement and is impacting games."
"Nick rucked really well. He got his fair share of hitouts, marked the ball around the ground and got back to help our defenders with some marks deep in defence."
"'Hirdy' was better this week with his one-on-one stuff. He had some really good tackles and ground-ball gets, was a lot more accountable as a defender and won enough of his own ball. He needs to keep working on his kicking to advantage, and that's something he'll get better at with time."
"It was Lachie's third game back. His forward pressure set up a couple of goals. Defensively he's been very good, but we just want him to get a bit more of the ball and get himself in positions where he can really impact the scoreboard."
"His effort was super. He's just getting better every week. He competes really hard and there were a couple of occasions where he had three or four efforts in a row, which his teammates noticed. He's been building his tank to be able to do that, so we're starting to see the rewards in games."