The Team v Port - Lav a' Leuenieberger

IN – Laverde, Leuenberger

OUT – Dea, Bellchambers

Team selection - Rd 23

Conor Walsh August 23, 2018 6:20 PM

Essendon has made two changes to its side ahead of its final game of the season against Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval on Friday night.

Jayden Laverde will replace Matt Dea to take the field for his first senior game since round 11, and coach John Worsfold says his selection is a just reward for his hard work to break back into the line-up.

“Jayden has been working really hard and he’s another player that we’ve been using his time in the VFL to give him some midfield time as part of his development and play him in some different roles,” Worsfold said.

“He’s embraced all of that and been working really hard, so we’re rapt to get him in the side and let him have a real go at it.”

Ruckman Matthew Leuenberger is a like-for-like replacement for injured big man Tom Bellchambers and will play his second AFL game of the season.

Leuenberger enters the side off an impressive three-goal VFL performance last week, and Worsfold praised the tall not just for his strong season, but also his commitment to help young counterpart Sam Draper.

“He’s not only played really well in the ruck in the VFL, he’s also mentored Sam Draper a lot and given up a bit of his ruck time to help the development of Sam, so it’s been really selfless by Leuey,” he said.

“He’s really excited about the opportunity to play.”

Worsfold admitted it was disappointing not to have Bellchambers at his disposal to close off the season, but said he is confident Leuenberger can fill the gap against the Power.

“He has had a great year, but he’s been pushing through pretty sore for a number of weeks and we’ve got a very fresh and in-form Leuenberger available, so that’s great.

“But it’s a pity that T-Bell won’t be out there to finish the year off with the players.”

Friday’s match will be veteran Brendon Goddard’s final match for Essendon – and possibly his career – but Worsfold said it will not play a role in his side’s preparation and eagerness to finish off the season strongly.

“We obviously all have so much respect for Brendon. But Brendon also understands that we’re not going out to play well or try harder (just for him).

“He would expect that we go out and play at our absolute best every week, so that’s the challenge that we’ve been pushing each other over the majority of this year and we’ve been getting some good results with that focus, so that will remain the focus.

“But we certainly would enjoy being able to chair BJ off the ground as a winner.”

Port Adelaide must beat Essendon convincingly to keep its slim finals chance alive, and it is a fiery challenge the Bombers are looking forward to.

“Regardless of what Port have got at stake, we know they’re a good side,” Worsfold said.

“But we also know that we want to become a very, very good side and this is another step forward for us to practice what we’ve been working on and step it up and take on another very good team.”

FINAL TEAM:

B – Baguley, Hurley, McGrath

HB – Saad, Francis, McKenna

C – Goddard, Z. Merrett, Heppell

HF – Stringer, Brown, Guelfi

F – McDonald-Tipungwuti, Hooker, Colyer
R – Leuenberger, Laverde, Myers

I/C – Parish, Langford, Zaharakis, Smith

Emergencies – Ridley, Green, Stewart, Dea

IN – Laverde, Leuenberger

OUT – Dea, Bellchambers

7 Likes

LAV!

Colyer still in due to his line breaking ability

5 Likes

Does Dea being omitted make it more or less likely he will get another year?

Would have to be less.

3 Likes

Would of preferred another youngster like Ridley to be brought in as well

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Happy with the changes - pumped to see Lav get another go.

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LAV

Go LAV!

I imagine dhbomber will be stoked about Lav’s inclusion

There is a young ruckman debuting, just not for us.

So Ryder mainly a forward again, but with more back up this time.

Leuenie should still have a good night out.

Wouldn’t think it would make ny difference at all.
Why would it?
People go in and out all the time.

2 Likes

Realy? He’s played 1 game back after missing a game in the VFL, and had about 4 touches the week before he missed.

He’s either carrying a knock or in patchy form. There’s no rush.

I was thinking that if he was going to be let go he might have got a farewell game. But if they haven’t announced it you’re probably right that it doesn’t mean anything.

…except…
Lol. Nah.
Not worth it.

2 Likes

Starting Lav in the middle to try and convince him to stay. “Play well and we will hit pre-season preparing you to be a starting mid”.

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I’m trying to go all Mark Harvey coaching freo to be honest

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Hahahahahahaha…

That was a deliberate pun yeah?

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LAV

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The Mark Harvey method would be to drag Tom Bellchambers straight out of the operating theatre and chuck him on the plane.

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