Zaharakis eyes season opener

David Zaharakis

Key midfielder David Zaharakis will put his hand up for selection this week ahead of the Bombers’ highly-anticipated season opening clash against Adelaide on Friday night.

The 23-year-old had an interrupted pre-season campaign but made sure he was in the selector’s sights following a near best on ground performance for the VFL side’s practice match last week.

Football Operations Manager Steve Alessio said Zaharakis’s inclusion would bolster the Essendon line-up set to take on a full strength Adelaide side in Round 1.

“The VFL side had a great win against Bendigo Gold in their practice match and all of our senior players pulled up really well from the game,” Alessio said.

“We got some strong game time in to David Zaharakis who played really well and he will put his hand up for selection this week.

“It is a great outcome for him after he had an interrupted pre-season but we’re excited to hopefully see David out there on the field.”

Alessio said Scott Gumbleton and Jake Melksham were also in the mix for selection leading in to Friday night’s game at AAMI Stadium.

“Scott kicked five on the weekend, and was in really good form. He is starting to hit his straps as the season is upon us,” he said.

“Jake will also put his hand up after a really solid game through the midfield in the VFL. He racked up a lot of possessions so both he and Scott will be in line for selection too.”

“The only minor concern we had last week was with Michael Hurley and his ankle injury. He is progressing really well and we’re pleased to report that he will also put his hand up for selection this week.

“The list is looking good for the Adelaide game with Jason Winderlich the only player who is unable to play this weekend.

“All in all there were a lot of positives to come out of the practice match and we got some much needed game time in to a number of our players in our approach to Round 1.

Alessio said both the coaching and playing list were eager for Friday night’s season opening clash against Adelaide following a long pre-season campaign.

“The coaches and players are really positive leading in to this week’s game. We’re looking forward to tackling Adelaide this week – it promises to be an exciting season.”

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