ESSENDON forward Josh Begley will make his AFL debut for the Bombers on Saturday night against the Gold Coast.
The 19-year-old was the club's third pick and No.31 in the 2016 NAB AFL Draft and has been in good form in the VFL.
He has kicked 18 goals in 15 games and averages three marks and four tackles a game.
Coach John Worsfold said Begley had become a hard worker who deserved his chance.
"He really hunts the footy, puts a lot of tackling pressure on," Worsfold said.
"We know he can kick goals and contribute to a forward line that is going to kick goals as well.
"He has been working extremely hard."
Begley came to prominence last season when he dropped weight and committed himself to football after starring at local level with Upper Ferntree Gully in Melbourne's east.
He then went on to win the Eastern Ranges' goalkicking award and enter draft calculations.
Begley is the third player to make his Essendon debut this year after Andrew McGrath in round one and Ben McNiece in round five.