Main content

Essendon to unveil two new baby Bombers

Tribunal drama, Tiger in doubt, Shanghai Suns Footy Feed with Matt Thompson, Nick Bowen, Nat Edwards and Jen Phelan

ESSENDON will have two new faces in Saturday's clash with Geelong, with Jordan Ridley and Dylan Clarke confirmed to make their debuts.

The pair have been in impressive form at VFL level, with Clarke leading the league for disposals so far this season (164 from five games at an average of 33).

Like his brother, hard-running Roos midfielder Ryan, Clarke has a strong engine and is confident around the ball. Ridley is an attacking, taller half-back with excellent foot skills.

Both joined Essendon via the 2016 NAB AFL Draft – Ridley at pick 22 and Clarke at 63 – and they will share their debut at the MCG against the Cats.

HAVE YOUR SAY Re-rate your team's trade period

"I think we both went our own way a bit in terms of just putting our heads down and getting the work done, so I think we should both be pretty proud of how we’ve been playing," Clarke said.

"To get rewarded on me and Rids' form in the VFL is really positive, so we both feel pretty good at the moment and we’re hoping to have a good impact on Saturday."

Ridley has had to come back from some injury setbacks in his first season-and-a-half at the club and says he enters the game with confidence. 

"It's been a little bit frustrating the last few weeks being an emergency a few times, but it’s finally good to break through," he said.

The Bombers are expected to make a several changes after a run of four straight losses, which included last week's poor performance against the previously winless Carlton.

Key defender Michael Hurley is already a confirmed out after straining his hamstring.

Road to the Draft podcast

Injured top draft pick Max King joins Cal Twomey and Mitch Cleary to discuss his season-ending knee surgery. Also, who are the best Tasmanian draft hopefuls? And who could Essendon get with its first pick?