Sport

Essendon puts scandal aside to play in NAB Cup triple header

Dyson Heppell marks the ball during an Essendon Bombers AFL training session at Windy Hill on February 14, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia.
Dyson Heppell marks the ball during an Essendon Bombers AFL training session at Windy Hill on February 14, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. Michael Dodge / Getty Images

THE NAB Cup gets under way tonight with the competition's most in-the-spotlight team hoping to put all the off-field dramas of the past week behind it.

Essendon takes on Collingwood and the Western Bulldogs in a triple header at Etihad Stadium and coach James Hird will be glad to be able to concentrate on tactics and interchange rather than ask questions about performance enhancing drugs and Stephen Dank.

The Bombers will go into tonight's games with a number of new men with star recruit Brendon Goddard hoping for a top performance following his move as a free agent from St Kilda last October.

Goddard will be joined by four of the Bombers' six 2012 draftees - Jason Ashby (No. 34), Dylan van Unen (No. 51), Martin Gleeson (No. 53) and Nick Kommer (No. 73).

Joe Daniher, the son of champion Essendon full-back Anthony, will have to wait to make his Bombers' debut, while captain and Brownlow Medallist Jobe Watson will also miss as he recovers from a minor knee injury.

The Bombers will come up against a Collingwood team showing a number of changes from last season but most will be familiar faces to Hird and Co.

The Magpies are set to unveil seasoned recruits Quinten Lynch, Clinton Young, Jordan Russell and Ben Hudson.

Ruckman Hudson has his 34th birthday at the end of this month and will play for his fourth AFL club will don his fourth set of AFL club, after stints at Adelaide, the Western Bulldogs and Brisbane Lions.

Lynch and Young crossed to the Pies from West Coast and Hawthorn respectively as free agents, while Russell was traded by Carlton.

Rookie Sam Dwyer, who has been playing under coach Gary Ayres at Port Melbourne in the VFL, is also in line for a debut.

Dale Thomas (ankle) and Luke Ball (knee) will not play as they continue their rehabilitations from injury.

Defender Dale Morris, who missed all last season with a leg injury, will be joined by five debutants as the Bulldogs begin their NAB Cup campaign.

The new boys include former Port Adelaide and Fremantle defender Nick Lower, ex-Magpie Tom Young, and state-league veteran Brett Goodes, the brother of Sydney Swans co-captain Adam.

Midfielder Jackson Macrae, the No.6 pick in last year's national draft, will also play his first game, along with rookie-listed key forward Jack Redpath, 22.

Brownlow medallist Adam Cooney has reportedly had his best pre-season in four years after seemingly putting his knee problems behind him.

Tom Liberatore returns for his first game after a club-imposed four-match ban for off-field issues.
 

Topics:  afl aussie rules collingwood magpies essendon bombers nab cup western bulldogs



Man arrested in front of daughters to do weekend time

Man held in custody as he was refused bail in court.

Man to spend weekend in cell for weapons and drugs charges

NSW selects Tweed as Origin training base

NSW State of Origin coach Laurie Daley announces the new training location at Mantra on the Tweed Shire Coast for next years NRL State of Origin Series .

The NSW Origin squad will train on the Tweed in 2017.

NSW lightly loosens liquor, lockout laws

Critics say the relaxed lockout laws are still too stringent to promote a thriving night life.

Bottle shops will be allowed to stay open until 11pm

Local Partners

Chris Pratt fell asleep while babysitting

Chris Pratt revealed he fell asleep during babysitting duties

Kylie Minogue: I want to get married soon

Pop star Kylie Minogue has revealed she hopes to get married soon

Amanda Seyfried lets slip the sex of her baby

Amanda Seyfried has suggested the sex of her baby

How predictable are your Netflix habits?

Stranger Things is taking the world by storm as a new-age nostalgic Sci-Fi Thriller

The new entertainment binging pattern

Kanye West is on the mend now he's back from hospital

Kanye West is more relaxed since returning home from hospital

WATCH: The young Aussie actor playing Barack Obama

A screenshot of the trailer for Barry, a new film from Netflix.

Aussie teen nails Obama's early university years

Horse haven on big acreage in Murwillumbah

55 Glencoe Road, Murwillumbah

Check out this week's feature property.

INSIDE STORY: The highlights of your $150 million CBD

GRAND PLAN: The highlights of the Ipswich CBD redevelopment and where they will be located.

Work on city heart's radical transformation to begin next year

VOTE IN OUR POLL: Sand mine opponents face serious dilemma

Public meeting for the proposed sand mine at Maroochydore last week.

Coast MP calls on Minister to stop KRA proposal with stroke of a pen

Developer's grand new multi-million dollar estate

NEW ESTATE: This is the only plan revealed by the property developer's new Billabongs Estate in Agnes Water.

DEVELOPER given the go ahead for a massive estate with 149 homes.

Banks reclaim Gladstone homes as job losses bite

LONG FALL: Property experts Heron Todd say, based on key market indicators, Gladstone is still travelling to the bottom of the market, with property prices set to get cheaper.

Property valuers say Gladstone housing market hasn't hit the bottom

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!