Caleb Daniel celebrates a goal during the match between North Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium in round 14, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Footscray and Essendon have both included veterans with more than 150 AFL games experience for tomorrow's Smithy's VFL clash at Marvel Stadium to kickstart Round 3.

The Bulldogs are set to have Caleb Daniel running out in the State league for the first time since round two, 2017, when he played the last of his nine VFL games in blue, white and red following 11 SANFL games at South Adelaide before he was drafted.

He will be joined in the early game by Dylan Shiel as the Essendon midfielder plays his first game of the year after an oblique strain.

It is set to be Shiel’s VFL debut and his first State league game since a NEAFL appearance for GWS in 2014, where he played 10 other matches in 2011.

Footscray (2-0) has named 16 AFL-listed players, with Caleb Poulter losing his spot in the AFL team to James O’Donnell and Ryan Gardner returning from a foot injury, with Ballarat youngster Tristan Maple forcing his way in for his third VFL game.

The Bombers (0-2) have picked 11, with Tex Wanganeen also back from a foot injury to replace the recalled Alwyn Davey, while young tall Luca Alessio, the son of Bombers premiership player Stephen, slides back into the emergencies.

The Bulldogs are one of seven undefeated teams after beating the GWS Giants and Casey Demons before last week’s bye for the AAMI State Game, while the Bombers have suffered six-goal losses to Brisbane Lions and Sandringham.

All matches in the 2024 Smithy’s VFL and VFLW seasons will be live streamed free via the AFL website, AFL Live Official App and VFL App.

Smithy’s VFL broadcast partner, the Seven Network, will broadcast select matches live and free on the Seven Network in Victoria and on 7plus nationally. This week’s game will be Carlton vs Collingwood.


Friday 12 April, 4:05pm, Marvel Stadium
Head-to-head: Essendon 14-10; At Marvel Stadium: Never Met; Streak: Footscray 2
Last time: Footscray 13.12 90 def Essendon 11.11 77 (May 1, 2022, Mission Whitten Oval)

A. Keath (42), J. Busslinger (5), L. Cleary (36)
HB: C. Poulter (25), C. Daniel (35), R. Gardner (43)
C: A. Jones (32), T. Bianco (58), J. Harmes (22)
HF: A. Scott (28), L. McNeil (30), J. Freijah (27)
F: J. Croft (16), D. Bedendo (26), C. Clarke (8)
R: R. Lobb (7), R. Garcia (38), D. Orgill (50)
INT: E. Hunt (56), S. Willoughby (53), C. Craig-Peters (61), P. Spicer (63), T. Maple (65)*
EMG: R. Montgomerie (51), J. Gilbee (69), K. Stretton (66), J. Kellett (57)

IN: C. Daniel, R. Gardner, C. Poulter, T. Maple
OUT: J. O'Donnell (AFL), J. Chatfield (knee), L. Smith (knee), C. Smith

M. Foley (73), W. Hoare (51), L. Hayes (18)
HB: L. Lual (34), C. Gray (81), S. McKay (80)
C: J. Hately (50), E. Tsatas (5), A. Roberts (38)
HF: T. Wanganeen (40), N. Caddy (30), J. Peris (53)
F: V. Visentini (39), S. Weideman (10), J. Davey (36)
R: N. Bryan (24), D. Shiel (9), X. O'Neill (55)
INT: T. Toma (61), B. Scott (77), R. Monti (52), J. Eckersley (58) O. Smartt (83)*
R. Brodie (60), R. Eyre (59), A. Molan (82), L. Alessio (63)

IN: D. Shiel, T. Wanganeen
OUT: A. Davey (AFL), L. Alessio

*Denotes 23rd Player

FIELD: 13.Shamus Dundon, 14.Luke Porter, 44.Sam Hurford
BOUNDARY: Benjamin Rofe, Lewis Spiker, Lachlan Wright
GOAL: Joshua Hickman, Emma Young