Game Day Elimination Final 1 - West Coast v Essendon, 5/9/19, Optus Stadium, 8.10PM AEST

Remove this Banner Ad

Not open for further replies.


Resident Photoshopper
May 24, 2007
Round the Fields of Anfield Road
AFL Club
Other Teams
Liverpool FC




BEST: McKenna, McGrath, McKernan, Parish, McDonald-Tipungwuti
GOALS: Ham, Laverde, McDonald-Tipungwuti, McKernan 2, Brown, Langford



BEST: Gaff, Yeo, Shuey, Masten, Rioli
GOALS: Rioli 3, Darling, Kennedy, Ryan 2



Tom Jok, Dylan Clarke, Michael Hartley, Jordan Ridley

Liam Duggan, Nathan Vardy, Jarrod Cameron, Brendon Ah Chee


ESSENDON INS: Cale Hooker, Jake Stringer, Orazio Fantasia, Dyson Heppell, Will Snelling
ESSENDON OUTS: Dylan Clarke, Michael Hartley, Josh Begley, Tom Jok (All Omit), Martin Gleeson (Injured)

WEST COAST INS: Will Schofield, Nic Naitanui, Mark Hutchings
WEST COAST OUTS: Liam Duggan, Jack Petruccelle (Omitted), Oscar Allen (Injured)


Luke Shuey, #13

2011 Rising Star Runner Up
Premiership Player 2018
Norm Smith Medallist 2018


Save for the big names of Daniher and Devon Smith, this looks like it may well be our strongest team of the year. Strength and power on every line, talent to burn, and save for a few question marks over just how fit some players are, this is a seriously good side, coming up against another seriously good side. The week off prior to the first week of finals has certainly helped Essendon here.

Coming into the line up is the super experienced swingman Cale Hooker at the expense of VFL swingman Michael Hartley, who has made the flight to Perth as an emergency. The insanely talented forward duo of Orazio Fantasia and Jake Stringer make their return to the team at the expense of Josh Begley and Tom Jok, which will be a huge boost to the Essendon attack. Inspiration captain Dyson Heppell returns whilst managing a foot complaint, who takes Dylan Clarke's spot in the team. The mid-season draft selection of Will Snelling continues to be a success, with the small midfielder dominating the first half against Richmond in the VFL last week before being taken off at half time in preparation for a big trip to Perth. Unfortunately, Martin Gleeson was injured during the week and won't be able to play tonight. If we make it through, however, he should be fine for next week.

The Eagles welcome back a trio of experience, with Will Schofield returning to the side alongside Mark Hutchings, who has overcome a hamstring issue. They are accompanied by the ultimate enigma in Nic Naitanui, one of the freakiest athletes in the game. Having overcome injury problems this year, he takes his spot in an Eagles side that will be disappointed that they've missed the double chance. They return at the expense of Liam Duggan and Jack Petruccelle, who have been dropped, whilst young gun Oscar Allen is injured.


If ever there was a man built for finals football, it would be Jake Stringer. A man mountain, Stringer has the strength, skill, and freakish ability to impact the game all over the ground. Be it through the middle with his booming clearances and immense power through the hips, or up forward slotting goals from all over the 50, Stringer is practically engineered for September footy. His efforts in the Western Bulldogs premiership side of 2016 showed glimpses of the supreme talent that he is, and while he's able to dominate games with little possession during the season, finals footy is the ultimate test.


If there was a concern for Essendon fans this past fortnight, it was the fitness of this man. Hurley is, at his best, the best one on one defender in the league, and his possession and decision making under pressure is a premium asset at this time of the year. Having just returned from an AC joint surgery, Hurley was ripped around by his other shoulder against Collingwood a couple of weeks ago, and we all held our collective breaths until yesterday, when Hayden Skipworth revealed that he will line up, and he's okay to play. Prepare for Hurls to be a talisman to any success we can have tonight. He is a power athlete who can dominate games; we just have to hope that his body is up to it.


The flying Fijian returns this week from a long lay-off with injury. With allegations that Optus Stadium's new, hard pitch was to be blamed for Naitanui's injury concerns, bringing him back now seems a little confusing, but you'd have to assume that the West Coast fitness staff know their stuff better than us. Naitanui at his best is a key drawcard to this Eagles lineup, with his insane vertical leap and mind-boggling athleticism standing up under all manners of pressure. Naitanui's last game against Essendon saw his colours lowered dramatically against Tom Bellchambers, and the Bombers would be hoping for a repeat of that effort tonight. Two ruckmen, both returning off injury, on the hardest pitch in the league.

What could possibly go wrong?


The worst part about our match against the Eagles earlier this year was our incessant habit of just bombing the ball into our 50, even when this bloke was just standing there guarding space. One of the best readers of the play and arguably one of the best contested marks in the league, McGovern is a proper roadblock within our game plan. Perhaps a clamping forward could limit his influence, such as Patrick Ambrose, or maybe we will even take a more direct approach and actually take time to kick to targets within the 50. Regardless, McGovern needs to be a part of any game plan tonight, as we can't have him routinely plucking our inside 50s every single entry.

More of a "Story of the Season", with this one.

Another strange year for the boys from Tullamarine. We were encouraged with the huge coup of recruiting Dylan Shiel from the Giants, who, for a lot of us, looked to have completed the picture. Another year into our youngsters who are looking more and more like they can tear games apart. The impending return of Joe Daniher. How we were wrong.

The season began with a disgraceful Round 1 showing in Western Sydney, resulting in a catastrophic 72 point loss. Languishing right down the bottom of the ladder, with a disgusting percentage after 1 week of the season isn’t where we thought we would be. The following week was no better, with the Bombers being beaten by St Kilda, who were widely tipped to win the wooden spoon this year. It was embarrassing, and two losses at the start of the season was tipped by no-one.

A response was needed, and thankfully, it came the week after against the reigning preliminary finalists in Melbourne, who had also started the year with 2 losses. A high-scoring affair saw the Bombers kick 20 goals, with Stringer, McKernan, and Walla all slotting four each. This was when we started to see Dylan Shiel come into his own within our side. The following week was a rare game at the MCG against Brisbane, and considering how brilliant they have been this year, our win against them is now even more impressive. Walla continued his streak with a career-high 7 goals, while Zach Merrett gathered 35 touches. The Dons won by a solid 8 goals, and a blockbuster Good Friday game versus Norf was on the cards next.

It was a massacre. A listless Norf barely offered a whimper against an Essendon side that was simply too hungry, and was bouyed by the unexpected (and expensive) return of Joe Daniher outside of the emergencies. Joe kicked two on return from OP, while Fantasia scored 4 in a brilliant showing. Zach Merrett and Dylan Shiel got the pill 39 and 36 times respectively, and the outrage on this website afterwards was incredible. Next up, the annual ANZAC Day game, which was shaping up as a genuine barnstormer. Both teams were 3 wins and two losses, and the game for the most part was a ripper. The final quarter was marred by horrific one-sided umpiring in the favour of Collingwood, and we ended up going down by 4 points in what was one of the most disgustingly officiated matches in history.

And then, Daniher and Dev Smith were both ruled out for the season. How good.

The week after was a third blockbuster in a row, with the Country Game against Geelong being seriously underwhelming. We ended up going down by 32 points to the eventual minor premiers. The week after was another umpiring farce which quite literally cost Essendon the win, even if we didn’t deserve it. The ailing Swans were up by 5 points as the siren went, with David Myers lining up for a shot outside 50. Swans captain Dane Rampe jumped onto the point post, shaking it, and, if we follow the letter of the law to the umpteenth degree, gave away a free kick to Essendon right at the goal line, giving Essendon a shot from directly in front, 10m out. This was pointed out by Essendon players to the umpire, and the umpire came on over... To tell Rampe to get down, and not pay the free kick. Which is in the rule book. Not up to interpretation. The AFL then further spat in our face by saying that it was all okay, and nothing to see here. Against their own rulebook.

After a week of media scrutiny and three straight losses, Essendon earned a hard-fought 7 point win against the travelling Dockers, which was a largely forgettable match. Following that was the annual Dreamtime loss against Richmond, who we now haven’t beaten in 486 attempts. Moving swiftly on.

The following week, we had a much better time, demolishing Carlton to the tune of 41 points. At this stage of the season, Carlton were still winless, and that was great. When it came to Round 12, we hit the bye, and we all got to take a breath.

Round 13, and a refreshed Essendon outfit beat Hawthorn (which is always nice), with Adam Saad slotting his first goal in red and black. The awesome Essendon effort was vastly outweighed by the despicable behaviour of the Hawthorn captain Ben Stratton, who spent the whole match pinching Orazio Fantasia. Yes, pinching. Deadshit.

The Bombers then made the same trip they’ve made today, with a match against the Eagles in Perth. This wasn’t much of a contest, with Essendon simply refusing to change their gameplan after bombing long balls into the 50 every single time. Jeremy McGovern just filled the hole every single time and marked everything that got close to him. Now, we just need to hope that we’ve researched this weakness and are able to counter it.

The week after began a run of 5 come from behind, skin of the teeth victories. A 6 point win against GWS, a 10 point vengeance on the Swans, a Walla special 5 point win against Norf again, a colossal 21 point win against Adelaide after finding ourselves 30 points down, and then a more-or-less embarrassing performance against a plucky Gold Coast Suns. These 5 wins almost guaranteed us a finals berth, though we needed one more just to make sure we were locked in. We had three games coming up which were winnable – an inconsistent Port Adelaide, an inconsistent Bulldogs, an even more inconsistent Fremantle, and a Collingwood side decimated by injuries. At this point, our injury list was about 16 players long, an equal worst in the league.

You’d think we’d rock up against the Power, who we’ve had the jump on for the past few years, but we didn’t. A disgraceful performance saw Essendon get thumped to the tune of 59 points. We needed a response the week after against a plucky Dogs outfit, and we served up the absolute worst performance we’ve had in years. We kicked the first goal within 20 seconds, and didn’t kick another one until the mid-way point of the fourth quarter. It was disgusting.

The next week was an intimidating trip to Perth against a Freo side farewelling two of their favourite sons in Aaron Sandilands and Hayden Ballantyne. The Bombers needed a win to lock in finals, and their past fortnight of form wasn’t filling most fans with a lot of hope. Nonetheless, a much improved coaching performance and a huge injection of effort saw the Bombers win by a solid 32 points, thus locking in finals for 2019. A routine loss to Collingwood last week was entirely expected with 4 players out resting, but it didn’t make a difference until West Coast decided to lose in Round 23, dropping them out of the Top 4, down to 5th. Now, there’s no double chance, and they have to face an Essendon side which is completely capable of upsetting any side on their day.

Season 2019 has been a roller coaster, but we’ve still made it into September action. Finals haven’t been a happy hunting ground for Essendon, as is well documented, but we are more of a chance than people think. Bring it on.

ROUND 14, 2019
Optus Stadium



ESSENDON BEST: Hooker, Merrett, Heppell, Shiel, Bellchambers
ESSENDON GOALS: Begley 3, Laverde 2, Bellchambers, Brown, Shiel, Parish, McDonald-Tipungwuti, McGrath

WEST COAST BEST: Sheed, Yeo, Shuey, Redden
WEST COAST GOALS: Kennedy 3, Cripps, Sheed, Petruccelle, Cameron 2, Darling, Yeo, Ryan



Begley, Zaharakis, Clarke, Guelfi
ESSENDON INS: Stringer, Francis, Snelling, Ham

WEST COAST OUTS: Petruccelle, Cameron, Duggan, Allen
WEST COAST INS: Naitanui, Waterman, Rioli, Barrass

TV: Channel 7 (LIVE at 8.00PM AEST), FOX Footy (LIVE at 8.00pm AEST), Kayo Sports (LIVE at 8.00pm AEST)
RADIO: Triple M, 3AW, SEN, ABC
MOBILE: AFL Live Official App with LIVE Pass (Unmetered on Telstra Mobile Network)

7mate (LIVE at 8.00PM AEST), FOX Footy (LIVE at 8.00pm AEST), Kayo Sports (LIVE at 8.00pm AEST)
RADIO: NIRS, Macquarie Sports Radio, ABC
MOBILE: AFL Live Official App with LIVE Pass (Unmetered on Telstra Mobile Network)

Channel 7 (LIVE at 7.30PM ACST), FOX Footy (LIVE at 7.30pm ACST), Kayo Sports (LIVE at 7.30pm ACST)
RADIO: Triple M, ABC, FIVEaa
MOBILE: AFL Live Official App with LIVE Pass (Unmetered on Telstra Mobile Network)

7mate (LIVE at 6.00PM AEST), FOX Footy (LIVE at 6.00pm AEST), Kayo Sports (LIVE at 6.00pm AEST)
RADIO: NIRS, ABC, 6PR, Mix 94.5, Triple M DAB+
MOBILE: AFL Live Official App with LIVE Pass (Unmetered on Telstra Mobile Network)

7mate (LIVE at 8.00PM AEST), FOX Footy (LIVE at 8.00pm AEST), Kayo Sports (LIVE at 8.00pm AEST)
RADIO: NIRS, Macquarie Sports Radio, ABC
MOBILE: AFL Live Official App with LIVE Pass (Unmetered on Telstra Mobile Network)

Channel 7 (LIVE at 8.00PM AEST), FOX Footy (LIVE at 8.00pm AEST), Kayo Sports (LIVE at 8.00pm AEST)
RADIO: Triple M, AFL Nation, ABC
MOBILE: AFL Live Official App with LIVE Pass (Unmetered on Telstra Mobile Network)

Channel 7 (LIVE at 7.30PM ACST), FOX Footy (LIVE at 7.30pm ACST), Kayo Sports (LIVE at 7.30pm ACST)
MOBILE: AFL Live Official App with LIVE Pass (Unmetered on Telstra Mobile Network


It's been over 5400 days since we last won a final.
We've had 6 Prime Ministers in that time, and YouTube has been invented.

That's far too long for a club like ours. A proud club, steeped in tradition, having stepped out of the ashes of a horrendous time in our history - Now willing to put it all behind us and walk forward into the future of Essendon, laden with success and silverware.

There's no better time than now, and a true underdog win against the reigning premier, in a hostile Perth environment, would go down as a win for the ages.

Does my head see is happening? No.

But my heart?


Essendon by 5.


Club Legend
Feb 12, 2013
AFL Club
My dream is for us to harness emotion tonight and come out with a unique plan to beat these blokes. One thing is for certain, our tried and tested slingshot football will fall over under pressure which is exactly what finals footy is.

The reality will be that EFC will huff and puff in the first quarter to break even, then will drop our heads the moment something falls against us (usual Margetts umpiring etc). From there, there will be a momentum shift to west coast and we’ll never recover from it and lose without giving a whimper. Same story for the last 10 years.

Can only hope i suppose..

Log in to remove this ad.

(Log in to remove this ad.)


Brownlow Medallist
Mar 23, 2002
AFL Club
Fox Footy lineup is:

Hosted by Eddie McGuire with Garry Lyon, Jonathan Brown, David King, Matthew Pavlich and Jon Ralph with the news.

Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk
Not open for further replies.

Remove this Banner Ad

Top Bottom