Round 6 of the 2020 season will be like no other when all matches this weekend are played across just four venues in two states.
The Essendon Bombers snuck into the top eight in the 2019 season.
They will be in the mix for a top-eight finish again in season 2020. They have a reasonable list of players, which means it was a tricky exercise to select the ten players they could least afford to lose.
10. Jacob Townsend
Townsend showed that he will be an important part of the Bombers forward line in 2020 by kicking three goals in the opening round of the season against the Fremantle Dockers. Townsend may prove to be one of the bargain recruits of 2020 – the Bombers got him for effectively nothing as he was delisted by the Richmond Tigers at the end of 2019 after being a 2017 premiership player.
9. Jake Stringer
Stringer averaged the most goals per game for Essendon in 2019, averaging 1.74 goals a match. He’s a good player but should be higher on this list based on his talent, as he has plenty of ability and needs to show that for the Bombers to be a threat in season 2020.
8. Kyle Langford
Langford is a good player who should be a pivotal part of the Bombers team if Round 1 is any indication. He’ll prove his performance in that first match was the start of a trend and not an aberration.
7. Dyson Heppell
Heppell is the sole captain of the footy club. More than the fact he’s a good player, he’s part of a midfield that has plenty of depth. He finished fifth in the 2019 Essendon best and fairest count, which shows his importance to the team.
6. Adam Saad
Saad finished third in the 2019 Bombers best and fairest, creating plenty of run out of the backline. Saad was instrumental in Essendon claiming a win over the Dockers in Round 1.
5. Andrew McGrath
McGrath finished sixth in the Essendon 2019 best and fairest count. He displayed what a quality player he is in Round 1 this year, when he was named among the best Bombers players on the AFL website.
4. Michael Hurley
Hurley is a key part of the Essendon defence. He averaged 19.32 disposals per game, providing run out of defence, and has the capability to play on the opposition’s key forward.
3. Joe Daniher
Daniher has been a massive loss for the Bombers from a structural perspective. He also averages 1.81 goals per game and has played over 100 games for the Bombers. According to reports, he is progressing well in his recovery from injury.
2. Dylan Shiel
Shiel finished second in the 2019 Essendon best and fairest count. In Round 1 this year against Fremantle Shiel was the best player in the game, amassing an impressive 35 disposals, which clearly shows how important he is.
1. Zach Merrett
Merrett won the 2019 Essendon best and fairest and put in a reasonable performance in Round 1 this year. He averaged 28.3 disposals in 2019, which is a key indicator of how well he performed last season.