IN – McGrath
OUT – Clarke
B – Dea, Hooker, McGrath
HB – Saad, Ambrose, Ridley
C – Zaharakis, Z. Merrett, Fantasia
HF – Smith, Stewart, McDonald-Tipungwuti
F – Stringer, McKernan, Guelfi
R – Bellchambers, Goddard, Heppell
I/C – Langford, Laverde, McKenna, Baguley
Emergencies – Clarke, Merrett, Long, McNiece
Team selection: Rd 10
Conor Walsh May 24, 2018 6:20 PM
Essendon has made just one change to its side for the Bombers’ clash against Greater Western Sydney on Saturday.
It is a more conservative approach from the club on the selection table after making five changes last week, which helped spark a vital 34-point victory over Geelong.
Young gun Andrew McGrath returns to the line-up after overcoming a minor calf strain and coach John Worsfold said he expects last year’s NAB AFL Rising Star to make an immediate impact against the Giants.
“We’re really rapt with the way Andy’s been developing both last year in the back line, but (also) this year through the midfield,” Worsfold said.
“So he again gives us flexibility to play up through the midfield, but also go (to) half-back and release other players for us.
“He reads the game well, is very composed and runs really well.”
Midfielder Dylan Clarke makes way for McGrath, while his fellow debutant from last week’s win Jordan Ridley will hold onto his spot in the team.
Worsfold said he was “really pleased” with Ridley’s debut against the Cats where he was a crucial part of the victory, gathering 25 disposals, seven marks and five rebound-50s.
“We knew he’s a composed player, uses the ball really well and we saw that in the game,” he said.
“He makes good decisions and he seems to fit in really well with the guys in that back half the way they worked together, it was the best defensively that unit has worked all year.”
The Bombers will field ex-Giants Devon Smith and James Stewart against their former teammates at Spotless Stadium on Saturday and Worsfold said they had provided welcome insights into their upcoming opposition.
“They talked to the coaches and the playing group just around what they know and we can take some snippets out of that,” Worsfold said.
“But really (we want to) reinforce the footy that we want to play and how it will stack up against a team like GWS.
While the Giants head into the match off three-straight losses and with just one win from their last five games, Worsfold said he has lots of respect for their star-studded side.
“They’re a very good team, they do have some players that have been out through injury, but they’ve got a lot of talent on that list.
“(They are) a hard-running team, they move the ball quickly, they’ve got a lot of speed, so it’s going to be a massive challenge for us, but we’re really looking forward to it.”
The Bombers will be available at a signing session after the match on Sunday morning from 10:30am until 10:45am in the Olympic Park precinct. The precise location will be released on Saturday night.
Greater Western Sydney v Essendon at Spotless Stadium, 7.25pm AEST
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY
In: J.Kelly, J.Patton, M.Buntine
Out: I.■■■■■■■, J.Finlayson, L.Keeffe