Miscellaneous VFL comments and articles


VFL Practice Match fixtures:
Geelong Essendon 11-Mar-18 4:00 PM Central Reserve, Colac
Werribee Essendon 24-Mar-18 1:00 PM Avalon Airport Oval, Werribee
Footscray Essendon 31-Mar-18 12:00 PM VU Whitten Oval, Footscray

VFLW Practice Match (there may be more to come)
Williamstown Essendon 15-Apr-18 11:00 AM Williamstown Football Ground

Courtesy of vfl.com.au



Wonder how many are from last year.



So 17 locked in, but I’ve only seen 12 mentioned so far, (Heppell, Hocking, Ferry, Boyse, Hind, Hooper, Marklew, Strachan, Sheahan, Sibbald, Harrison, and Huntly).

Does anybody know who the other 5 are?


I think you’re missing a few guys starting with H. Surely we can find some more! Should have kept Howlett. Get Hunter back


Hardingham and Hams would be handy too.


Registered changes, so far:

In: Joe Harrison (Monash Blues), Heath Hocking (Essendon AFL), Kalan Huntly (Castlemaine), Jamieson Sheahan (Bendigo Pioneers), Edyn Sibbald (St Bernard’s)

Out: Nash Holmes (North Melbourne VFL)


Registered outs? Interesting, I thought NOB was out also?

“…Dec 1, 2017 - Nick O’Brien has joined Strathmore in the Essendon District Football League for season 2018. O’Brien has left Essendon, where he was the club’s Victorian Football League captain last season…”



Moonee Valley Leader today mentions that Strathmore’s Logan Morey may play for us this year.

More on him at http://www.bordermail.com.au/story/5106513/yarrawonga-backman-logan-morey-joins-melbourne-club-strathmore/ and Round 12 Essendon v Nth Ballarat @ Eureka Stadium, 1pm Sunday 9 July 2017

Also that NO’B is only 24yo. Feels wrong.


Logan was with the program last year as well. Played at least a game or two, I wanna say one at North Ballarat maybe?

Edit : scratch that sorry I see you’re all over it DJR, at least my North Ballarat thought was right!


@theDJR, job at EFC for a VFL analyst


Bomber’s unfinished business
Callum O’Connor March 7, 2018 5:45 PM

Ben Fennell missed 2017 with an ACL injury, but can’t wait to finally don the sash this year.

The time is now for Ben Fennell.

After an ACL injury cruelled what would have been the 25-year-old’s first season in the red and black, the highly-rated Bombers midfielder says he has “unfinished business” to attend to in 2018.

“I’m really confident in my body at the moment; I’ve got it to the position to play at a higher level that I’ve never had before,” Fennell said.

“I’m fitter and stronger than I’ve ever been and I haven’t had any setbacks at this stage, I’ve hit all the benchmarks I need to hit.

“I’m slowly starting to introduce contact more and more each session, I’m feeling really confident every time I’ve introduced contact - I feel like I’m flying at the moment.”

After signing to Essendon’s VFL list following three years in Collingwood’s development squad, Fennell’s 2017 season was stolen from him when he injured his right knee at training with Northern Football League side Montmorency.

The mental blow hit Fennell just as hard as the physical blow. As diagnosis faded into surgery and then into the path to rehabilitation, he recalls having to endure what renaissance-era poets described as ‘dark nights of the soul’.

“Early days, I did,” Fennell admits.

“The thing that drove me was the support I got from the club.

“Even just after the injury when I had to take time away from the club after surgery I was getting calls from (2017 VFL coach and 2018 AFL forwards performance coach) Paul Corrigan about how Sam Hooper was in the same boat and how we would come back together and drive ourselves through rehab.

“You obviously have those moments where you doubt yourself, but once I got back to the club I couldn’t believe how motivated I was and that’s full credit to the blokes around me.

“Full credit to (former head of rehabilitation and current head of physio) Brady Green and Essendon Football Club’s physios, they’ve really helped me to get my body into the best nick it’s ever been in.

“Brady was absolutely huge in my recovery, he really kept me on track.

“I’m really excited for the year ahead with this group and I’m more motivated than I’ve ever been.”

Fennell was a two-time best and fairest winner at his former NFL club Hurstbridge and was described as one of the competition’s star on-ballers before becoming a Bomber.

With such a strong pre-season burning his desire to return, all that remains is for Fennell to recapture the freedom of playing at his very best.

“It’s fun. I know it sounds clichéd,” he laughs when describing his love of playing footy at the peak of his powers.

“But sometimes in the past I’ve cursed myself for taking all the enjoyment out of footy and focusing on the external things, putting pressure on myself and the expectations.

“When I play my best footy is when I’m out there having fun, when I’m clear-minded and playing footy like I’m a little kid again.”

More By Callum O’Connor


VFL squad finalised

Essendon has confirmed the 24 players who will don the red and black for the 2018 VFL season.

From an initial list of 45 hopefuls the Bombers have finalised a list with 13 members of the 2017 team retaining their positions including vice-captain Aaron Heppell, deputy vice-captains Nick Hind and Danny Younan and leadership group members Sam Hooper and James Ferry.

Former AFL Bomber and 2018 VFL captain Heath Hocking headlines the 11 new signatures penned to the squad.

Essendon will announce the five players making up the development squad round one. These players will train, but will only be elevated to the VFL list or available for selection in the event of a long-term injury, illness or unavailability.

Guernsey numbers, heights and weights will be confirmed in the coming days, and posted on the EFC website when Telstra decides it can be figgin well bothered to do it.


Heath Hocking (Captain – Olinda FC, Inside Midfielder)

Aaron Heppell (Vice-Captain, Leongatha FC, Inside Mid/Defender)

Nick Hind (DVC, Keilor FC, Midfielder)

Danny Younan (DVC, Bundoora FC, Small Forward)

James Ferry (Gisborne FC, Key Defender)

Alex Boyse (Doutta Stars FC, Forward)

Nick Dixon (Collegians FC, Inside Mid)

Ben Fennell (Montmorency FC, Midfielder)

Sam Hooper (Keilor FC, Key Back/Forward)

Kieran Strachan (South Bendigo FC, Ruck)

Matt Darby (Avondale Heights, Key Back)

Alex Marklew (Wangaratta FC, Utility)

Trent Crosbie (Gisborne FC, Midfielder/Wing)

Luke Collins (Montmorency FC, Forward/Wing)

Jake McQueen (East Point FC, Small Forward/Wing)

James Peters (Aberfeldie FC, Small Forward)

Wilson Berry (Aberfeldie FC, Half Back/Wing)

Joel Ottavi (East Point FC, Key Forward)

Edyn Sibbald (St Bernard’s FC, Key Forward)

Jamieson Sheahan (Strathfieldsaye FC, Half Back/Wing)

Joe Harrison (Monash FC, Midfielder)

Kalan Huntly (Castlemaine FC, Midfielder)

Nino Lazzaro (Fitzroy FC, Forward/Wing)

Joel Grace (Bundoora FC, Ruck)

Development Train-On Group

Tom Simpson (Hurstbridge FC, Midfielder)

Jacob Brown (East Point FC, Midfield/Forward)

Bruno Laguda (Doutta Stars FC, Half Back/Wing)

Ben Huggard (St Bernard’s FC, Half Back/Wing)

Tyson Old (Northcote Park FC, Half Back/Wing)


Nash Holmes? Where’d he go?


north melbourne


Most recent of many articles on players:

The 19-year-old utility had earned his place and been presented with his playing guernsey by captain Heath Hocking before Essendon ran out to take on Footscray under the Saturday night lights at VU Whitten Oval in round nine.

However, the match ended with unfinished business for debutant and team alike. The Bombers fell by 11 points to end a month-long hot streak. And far from being overwhelmed by the prospects of coping with the VFL standard, Lazzaro says he is now hungry to prove himself.

“I thought I played my role to a decent level,” said Lazzaro, who finished with eight touches and six tackles playing between wing and defence.

“Obviously there’s stuff I could have done a lot better, but hopefully if I get more opportunities I can really improve.”

Although the inevitable butterflies were most definitely present before the ball was bounced, Lazzaro says there was nothing like getting the ball in hand for the first time to help him feel like he was in the flow of the match.

“I got a bit of confidence from that. I felt more like I was part of the game after that.”

Lazzaro met with family and friends in the rooms post-match with celebration and reflection fighting inside him. He concedes that it was “pretty disappointing to have gone down in a game that I think we could have won”, but the big picture is now on improving his game.

“I’m maybe a bit more confident that I can play at this level,” Lazzaro said. “I wasn’t sure if I was able to have an impact and now I feel like I can do that.”

Having trained as a forward during pre-season before playing on the wing in practice matches, Lazzaro added another string to his bow playing as a defender in the fourth quarter against Footscray.

With the VFL breakthrough made, the new Bomber is looking to make the most of his chances in 2018.

“I’d just like to be part of a winning team and hopefully be able to play an important role in that.”

By Callum O’Connor


Got to catch up on a few VFL games I hadn’t seen over the past long w/end,… and couldn’t help but notice young McQueen.

Only seen him play a couple of games, but kept on thinking Wilbur Hams was back with us. Uncanny resemblance in stature, hair, and attack on the pill.

Looked like he had a bit to me, & wondered what your (and other watchers) thoughts on him are @theDJR??


I like him :grin: