Three new faces to make their senior debut against North Melbourne on Friday night.
Three debutants will line up in Essendon’s season opener with Zach Merrett, Marty Gleeson and Patrick Ambrose named to take on North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium on Friday night.
The trio will join new recruit Paul Chapman in donning the sash for the first time in a premiership season match for the Club.
Coach Mark Thompson said all the players selected for their first match had earned their place in the side.
“I am sure that all Essendon supporters and football people think he has great talent and we think so too. At some stage you have to play these young guys if you are going to be a good side and that is what our intentions are. We have seen his ability during the pre-season and deserves his call up,” Thompson said of Gleeson.
‘Bomber’ also looked forward to seeing what Merret, as the side’s highest draft pick and Ambrose are capable of in their AFL starts.
“Zach Merrett is a terrific little player and was our first pick in the draft recently. He kicks the ball well, reads the ball well, is tough and really just has all the qualities you need as an AFL footballer,” he said.
“Patty has played in our VFL team as a top up player and he is just a workhorse. He keeps doing what the coaches want him to do, he pleases us and therefore deserves his chance. He has fantastic athletic ability, his tall, competitive and hopefully he has a good career.”
B: Heppell, Fletcher, Baguley
HB: Hooker, Hurley, Hibberd
C: Myers, Stanton, Hocking
HF: Howlett, Carlisle, Chapman
F: Hardingham, Daniher, Zaharakis
R: Ryder, Watson, Goddard
Int: Z. Merrett, Ambrose, Gleeson, J. Merrett.