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VFL: Preview - Round 3, 2019

North Melbourne’s VFL side will look to secure its first win of the season proper against Essendon on Saturday morning.

On the back of North’s Good Friday blockbuster against Essendon at AFL level, the two VFL sides will meet as part of a doubleheader at Avalon Airport Oval.

The stakes will be high as the youthful Roos look to grab premiership points for the first time in 2019.

Meanwhile, Essendon will have plans of scoring back-to-back wins after last week’s bye.

The doubleheader kicks off in the morning, before Werribee take on Geelong in an afternoon fixture at 2.00pm.

North Melbourne v Essendon
Saturday, April 20 - 11am
Avalon Airport Oval

Squads 

North Melbourne
B: 62. F. Cameron, 23. B. McKay, 64. L. Cunningham
HB: 36. J. Crocker, 72. D. Robinson, 53. T. Leonardis
C: 59. N.  Holmes, 37. K.  Hayden, 21. D.  Tyson
HF: 6. T. Garner, 42. T. Campbell, 20. N. Larkey
F: 57. A. Morgan, 56. B. Whitecross, 45. R. Murphy
R: 38. T. Xerri, 61. C. Jansen, 8. N. Hrovat
Int: 58. J. Harper, 66. L. McVeigh, 68. Q. Montanaro, 71. M. Northe, 63. S. Parsons, 31. C. Taylor, 35. D. Watson, 41. T. Wilkinson
23P: 75. C. Hodges

In: S. Parsons, F. Cameron, L. McVeigh, J. Harper, R. Murphy, T. Xerri, Northe, A. Morgan
Out: S. Wright,  M. Rodd,  N. Rippon,  T. Murphy

Essendon
B: 10. A. Francis, 36. M. Hartley, 41. B. McNiece
HB: 33. B. Ham, 49. M. Dea, 30. B. Zerk-Thatcher
C: 8. M.  Gleeson, 15. J.  Laverde, 46. T.  Jok
HF: 4. K. Langford, 32. N. Gown, 34. J. Long
F: 16. J. Begley, 6. J. Daniher, 22. I. Mosquito
R: 38. S. Draper, 37. D. Clarke, 39. T. Mynott
Int: 61. W. Berry, 64. R. Connellan, 59. A. Heppell, 77. H. Hocking, 24. J. Houlahan, 62. N. Lazzaro, 70. L. Mckenna, 55. D. Younan
23P: 51. J. Brown

The key players

North Melbourne

Dom Tyson
Despite being tagged for the bulk of the afternoon against Casey, Tyson was a shining light in the royal blue and white stripes, boasting 22 disposals and eight tackles.

Tyson’s leadership and marshalling of his younger teammates was clear to see, making his case for a return to AFL level all the more compelling. 

Nick Larkey
On the back of a breakout 2018 campaign, the Frosty Miller medallist hasn’t missed a beat since returning to the state competition.

The addition of ruck duties has allowed Larkey to show an extra dimension of his game, also pathing the way for rotating tall Tom Campbell to make an impact.

Essendon

Mitch Brown
The 28-year-old grabbed headlines in Essendon’s season-opener against Frankston, booting five majors in a dominant 121-point win.

Given his accuracy in the Bombers' forward six, including five from seven goal-bound efforts, Brown could play a key role on Saturday morning.

Dylan Clarke
There were a handful of memorable performances in the middle of the ground for Essendon, but a tireless performance from Clarke was arguably the best.

The energetic 20-year-old was everywhere against the Dolphins, tallying 30 possessions to complement his five tackles.

What the coaches say

North Melbourne - David Loader
“All we can talk about now is the positive way that we finished (against Casey) and using that as a springboard for next week.

“Our focus will be on what we did really well late, like we were really good early last week. We’ve just got to do it for longer periods of time.

“We were a lot cleaner with the ball, so we didn’t fumble or turn it over. We’re learning, we want to get better and work towards four quarter performances.”

Essendon - Dan Jordan
“There’s probably 15 to 16 players who were impressive - it was an even spread and contribution across the board, and as a coach that’s always pleasing.” - Essendon VFL website

Fans are invited to attend North’s VFL game against Essendon, with the first bounce at 11.00am.

Entry is free for all NMFC members.