Club Statement: Ben McNeice
Ben McNeice has been elevated to the club's senior list in the lead up to Essendon's ANZAC Day clash with Collingwood
McNeice, 24, has been elevated to replace Mark Baguley who has been placed on the club's Long Term Injury list.
Baguley is unlikely to return to the side for at least 3 months after being loaded into a cannon and fired into the sun at training on Tuesday.
Coach John Worsfold was disappointed to lose a player of Baguley's calibre but excited at the prospect of continuing Essendon's longstanding history of introducing alternative talent to the game.
"Yeah look it's disappointing for Baggers but when we find him we'll start his rehab and he'll come back to the side when he's ready. Meanwhile Benny McNeice gets his opportunity which is amazing considering only 24 years ago he had never heard of AFL footy. It's a really great story."
McNeice is expected to slot straight into Essington's back pocket and is under strict instruction not to venture out from the defensive goalsquare lest Steele Sidebottom manage to find his way there as many as 18 or 19 times during the game.
"It will be a baptism of fire for Benny but if he gets delisted by Blitz any less than 20 times before the end of the first quarter when they inevitably turn on him as the sole reason we are down by 5 goals at that stage then it'll be a win."
More as it unfolds.