But the Bombers will rely on ‘top-up’ players to face St Kilda on March 7.
Essendon will play in the NAB Challenge, however players from the Bombers’ 2012 list will not take part in the pre-season competition.
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The Bombers’ participation in the competition was in doubt due to 18 players on its current list being provisionally suspended due to the supplements scandal.
However, an agreement was reached on Friday after Essendon met with the AFL Players’ Association.
“We respect the importance of player anonymity and support the AFL’s proposal to exclude all 2012 listed players from the NAB Challenge to protect the identity of our players with provisional suspensions,” Essendon chairman Paul Little said in a club statement.
“The unavailability of our 2012 listed players, our injured players and the physical conditioning and preparation of some of our younger and older players, added to the complexity and time required to find the best solution for us to play in the NAB Challenge competition.
“The solution involving the confidentiality issues being respected and the use of non-Essendon listed top-up players is appropriate under the circumstances.”
Essendon are now expected to fill gaps in their squad by using state league players.
The Bombers being its pre-season campaign against St Kilda on March 7.