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Big-name Bombers to tune up in the VFL

David Zaharakis is among 17 Essendon players who will play in the VFL on Friday  - ${keywords}
David Zaharakis is among 17 Essendon players who will play in the VFL on Friday

DAVID Zaharakis headlines a group of 17 senior-listed Essendon players set to play in the club's VFL hit-out on Friday.

The Bombers sought permission from the AFL to play a number of big names in their final game before their round-one clash with Adelaide at AAMI Stadium next week.

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Other senior Bombers set to take on Bendigo Gold in the VFL practice game at Windy Hill include Alwyn Davey, Ben Howlett, Scott Gumbleton, Kyle Hardingham, David Hille, Jake Melksham and Tayte Pears.

It will be Zaharakis' first game of the pre-season after the midfielder strained his quad at the end of January, but the club is confident he will be fit and ready for the Crows' clash.

The Crows, too, applied for many players to increase their game time this weekend ahead of the Bombers' meeting.

Sam Kerridge, Brodie Martin, Shaun McKernan, Sam Shaw and Richard Tambling will all be out to impress at state level.

West Coast and Fremantle are the only other sides to play in the first half of round one next week, but the West Australian clubs did not apply for as many players to play this weekend.

Lachie Neale and Tom Sheridan are the only Fremantle-listed players set to take the field.

Eagles Mitch Brown, Sam Butler and Ashton Hams have also been given permission to play.

Playing this week (while their clubs have a bye)
Rory Atkins, Cameron Ellis-Yolmen, Mitchell Grigg, Lewis Johnston, Nick Joyce, Sam Kerridge, Tom Lynch, Jarryd Lyons, Brodie Martin, Shaun McKernan, Sam Shaw, Sam Siggins, Richard Tambling, Luke Thompson.

Essendon: Jason Ashby, Alex Browne, Travis Colyer, Lauchlan Dalgleish, Joe Daniher, Alwyn Davey, Luke Davis, Cory Dell'Olio, Martin Gleeson, Sean Gregory, Scott Gumbleton, Will Hams, Kyle Hardingham, David Hille, Ben Howlett, Hal Hunter, Jake Melksham, Nick O’Brien, Tayte Pears, Ariel Steinberg, David Zaharakis.

Fremantle: Lachie Neale, Thomas Sheridan.

West Coast: Jacob Brennan, Mitch Brown, Sam Butler, Brant Colledge, Bradd Dalziell, Ashton Hams, Fraser McInnes, Cale Morton, Murray Newman, Blayne Wilson.

Follow AFL website reporter Callum Twomey on Twitter at @AFL_CalTwomey.