FORGOTTEN Bombers defender Martin Gleeson will play his first AFL game in 656 days after being recalled for Essendon's clash with Greater Western Sydney. 

The half-back will replace Matt Guelfi, who has not recovered in time for Thursday night's clash with the Giants after last week's heavy collision with the fence at Optus Stadium

FULL TEAMS Check 'em out here

The Giants have made three changes, dropping Matt Buntine and Jake Stein and losing injured tagger Matt de Boer.

Important defender Nick Haynes, as well as Zac Langdon and Jackson Hately, will return for the Giants as they look to clinch their fifth win from their past six games. 

FULL FIXTURE Every round, every game

Gleeson has been in the football wilderness for nearly two years, having last played at AFL level in the Bombers' 2017 elimination final loss to Sydney, when he was one of their best players. 

He suffered a serious foot injury in the JLT Community Series at the start of last season, and although the club originally predicted a 12-week layoff, he missed the entire season.

His return this season has also been injury-affected, with a fractured cheekbone sidelining him earlier in the year, but he has built up strong form at VFL level to break back into the line-up. 

Small forward Orazio Fantasia, who Essendon coach John Worsfold said last week has been battling soreness, has been named.

Thursday, June 27

Essendon v Greater Western Sydney at Marvel Stadium, 7.20pm AEST


In: M.Gleeson
Out: M.Guelfi (ribs)


In: N.Haynes, Z.Langdon, J.Hately
Out: J.Stein, Boer (shoulder), M.Buntine

Find AFL Exchange on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify.