FORMER Brisbane Lions big man Sam Michael has staked his claim for the final Essendon top-up spot with a fiercely competitive effort in the Bombers' intraclub hit-out on Friday.
In a spirited contest against defender Mitch Brown, Michael booted two goals in the opening three quarters and attacked the ball hard in the air, crashing packs and following up with impressive agility for a 199cm forward.
Michael played like his career depended on it at Tullamarine, with a highlight being when he crashed through two defenders and snapped a goal on his non-preferred left boot.
The former rookie, 22, played three games for the Lions in 2013 and spent three years on the Queensland club's list.
The Dons have signed nine top-up players, with several standing out in match practice as coach John Worsfold and recruiting manager Adrian Dodoro looked on.
Ex-Dockers tagger Ryan Crowley (two goals) and former Hawks tall forward Sam Grimley (three) ran riot alongside Joe Daniher (two) in attack for the black team.
James Kelly gets to work at Tullamarine on Friday. Picture: Getty Images
Geelong premiership player Mathew Stokes also slotted two classy majors in a composed display across half-forward.
Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti was in everything through midfield and attack, with the rookie's delivery into the forward line first class.
Shaun Edwards roamed freely between the arcs and had a hand in numerous attacking thrusts, while recruit Craig Bird also stood out with his class and top draftee Darcy Parish showcased impressive awareness in traffic
Joe Daniher looked in good form as the Dons tested their gameplan. Picture: Getty Images
However, the Dons did have injury concerns from the match, with ruckman Gach Nyuon needing to be helped from the ground with a right knee injury after landing awkwardly in a marking contest.
Promising half-forward Jayden Laverde sent a scare through the small group of fans at the ground when he also limped from the field, although the 19-year-old remained on the boundary line completing strengthening exercises.
The Bombers’ intraclub wasn’t only a chance for players to impress, with ex-Carlton midfielder Andrew Carrazzo and rookie Eleni Glouftsis – who could become the AFL’s first female field umpire this season if an injury occurs – going through their paces.
Gach Nyuon has just gone down grabbing his right knee from a marking contest. pic.twitter.com/4QOfzCV2C2— Travis King (@TravisKing) February 19, 2016