Both Adelaide and Essendon will be looking to put their respectively tumultuous off-seasons behind them, as they square off in the opening fixture of the 2013 AFL Home and Away Season at AAMI Stadium tonight.
The Bombers are set to play two debutants; Brendon Goddard and 22-year-old mature age recruit from West Perth, Nick Kommer.
Essendon coach James Hird acknowledged the luxury of having an almost full list available, something he wasn’t afforded during the latter stages of 2012.
“It’s unusual for us to have 43 out of 44 players to pick from. There’s probably five or six guys who are very unlucky not to get a game this week, but that’s the situation we’d love to be in for a large part of the year,” he said.
While the Crows have named a side not dissimilar to that which saw them into last year’s Preliminary Final.
Lively newcomer Brad Crouch narrowly missing out on a Round one debut, named as first emergency.
Kurt Tippett is a noteworthy absence at half-forward, having rather messily moved on from Adelaide to Sydney via the pre-season draft
Leaving Taylor Walker an imposing solitary figure at full-forward for the Crows.
James Hird expressed Walker’s ability as a game-changer.
‘They’ve [Adelaide] got a very good forward who takes a lot of marks, kicks a lot of goals and has a very good presence in [Taylor] Walker. But they’ve also got a lot of small players up forward who play well.’ He said.
Earlier this week Adelaide coach Brenton Sanderson urged Crows fans to refrain from taunting or sledging the Bombers in regards their impending Australian Sport Anti-Doping Authority investigation.
A nice sentiment that is unlikely to followed once the ball is bounced.
However, for the Bombers any sledging will be of little concern, in comparison to nullifying Adelaide’s potent midfield of: Dangerfield, Thompson, Van Berlo and Sloane.
‘They’re a very good football team,” Hird said.
All the action can be seen on Seven from 8.30pm AEST.