Here's the Team - ANZAC Day Collingwood v Essendon - Jerrett doubles our Merrett

Team selection - ANZAC Day

Essendon has made one change for its traditional ANZAC Day clash against Collingwood, with Jackson Merrett set to play in the senior side for the first time since 2016.

Merrett last played for the Bombers’ top side in round 23 that season and suffered a devastating broken leg last year, denting his chances of a senior return.

The speedy forward’s start to 2018 has been impressive, with strong performances throughout the pre-season and in the opening rounds of the VFL season.

Essendon coach John Worsfold said he had been impressed by Merrett’s improvements this year and said his selection was a just reward for his persistence.

“Jacko hasn’t had a lot of opportunity, certainly through last year, but he’s in good form, he’s worked really hard,” Worsfold said on Monday.

“He broke his leg pretty badly at the end of last year and his effort to get back from that so quickly has been outstanding, it was a pretty severe injury.

“He’s set some new personal bests through the pre-season with his training with both his strength and his running program, so I really feel he’s in the best shape he’s ever been.”

Merrett replaces small forward Orazio Fantasia who has succumbed to groin tightness and is set for a brief stint on the sidelines.

It’s an unfortunate blow for Fantasia who only returned to the line-up in round three after overcoming a knee injury.

Fantasia felt the tightness after Essendon’s strong victory over Port Adelaide and Worsfold said there is still no clear timeframe on his return.

“Unfortunately Raz pulled up a little bit sore from the previous game.

“We were hopeful that it would be just soreness that he’d overcome pretty quickly, but probably partly due to his limited preparation it’s really meant that he’s too sore to be able to come up for this game.

“We were going to give him every possible chance to get up for this game, but we can see that he’s not going to.”

Worsfold said there is still hope Fantasia can return for the side’s clash against Melbourne on Sunday – just four days after the ANZAC Day match.

“Hopefully he’ll be right for Sunday, but we won’t really know that for a few more days yet.

“He would be a chance for Sunday but we’re not sure, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed.”

Merrett is set to be a like-for-like replacement for Fantasia, with Worsfold describing him as a “good runner” who can push up the ground to spend some time on the wing.

The 25-year-old will join his younger brother Zach on the field in the seniors for the first time in 606 days on Wednesday, and Worsfold said the pair would be thrilled to play together again.

“I’m sure they love playing alongside each other, but we’re just rapt,” he said.

“Jacko certainly deserves his spot, he’s worked really hard and we’re really pleased that he’s in form to warrant coming into the side.

Worsfold is confident the team can deal with the frantic upcoming schedule of three games in 11 days.

“We obviously just have to deal with the changes in routine, that’s always going to be a given.

“We just work really diligently together as a collective unit here with the coaching staff and high performance staff to make sure we have the best possible program leading into the game.

“It’s exciting, it’s obviously a great day, and we’re privileged to be a big part of it.

“Our job is to prepare really well and put on a great show for everyone.”


B – Hartley, Hurley, Saad

HB – Baguley, Hooker, Heppell

C – McGrath, Z. Merrett, Goddard

HF – Green, Daniher, McDonald-Tipungwuti

F – Begley, Stewart, J. Merrett

R – Bellchambers, Stringer, Smith

I/C – Zaharakis, Parish, Myers, Guelfi

Emergencies – Langford, McKernan, McNiece, Redman


Fantasia sore? See you in 3 months


FK. I don’t know exactly what I wanted but it wasn’t that (Blitz.TM.)

no Raz sucks

I hope Jackson has a top game and makes it impossible to drop him for the Melbourne match. My guess is this is exactly why he was kept on the list- to fill in if one of the smalls got injured. Come on Jackson, your time to shine.


When was the last time Jerret played with Zerret?

just heard the ins… thats amazing… I mean really?? Jackson Merrett? OK.

Well, good luck Jackson, I hope you kill em.


Give em hell Jerrett.


My guess is approximately 606 days


606 days ago
Edit: beaten dammit Deckham


606 days.
Reading is good
Beaten twice dammit


Gonna miss the Razzle Dazzle man, but Jerrett gets an opportunity, and there is no bigger stage in a H&A sense than Wednesday. Good luck Jacko, make the most of it!


Memo to Jackson; go for it.


I personally would’ve gone a pure midfielder, collingwood’s midfield is running teams off their feet at the moment.

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That can’t even say when he’ll return. Doesn’t sound good.

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Just realised it’s only a 4 day break between games

We should look into some cutting edge supplements that aid recovery.


Great idea

Worked for Pies in 2010 GF rematch


Jerrett better run his ■■■ off.

Have felt since early 2016 that Woosha put a thick red line through Jerrett’s name; perhaps not! One last chance at keeping a career alive Jacko, go well kid

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Which one?


Happy for Jacko. Good to see his repeated good performances rewarded. Even more remarkable that he’s coming off that broken leg.