Bombers expected back for Anzac clash - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bombers expected back for Anzac clash

By Roger Vaughan 21/04/2003 08:35:23 PM Comments (0)

Essendon is confident of regaining at least three experienced players for Friday's Anzac Day AFL clash against Collingwood.

The annual match will be the first of four big games in round five, with Adelaide and Perth holding their local derbies.

The Kangaroos-Carlton match on Saturday night will also be the first time Blues mentor Denis Pagan has coached against his old side, adding plenty of interest to the contest.

The Bombers will welcome back Paul Barnard from suspension, while full-back Dustin Fletcher (knee) and Joe Misiti (buttock) are expected to be available.

Key defender Sean Wellman (finger) is also rated a chance for Essendon, which was undermanned on Saturday night when it beat the Western Bulldogs by 19 points, 20.9 (129) to 16.14 (110).

Essendon will have two days less rest than Collingwood, but fitness coach John Quinn was confident on the Bombers' website that would not be a factor.

"I think the fact that Collingwood has had to travel and play in Brisbane probably evens things up a bit," Quinn said.

"We did recovery immediately after the game and the players have pulled up pretty well - they will be in good shape come next Friday."

The news was nowhere near as good for the Bulldogs, who lost Mark Alvey with the league's fourth season-ending knee injury in as many weeks.

Magpies coach Mick Malthouse was furious with his team after losing Thursday night's grand final rematch against the Lions by 14 points, 14.11 (95) to 11.15 (81).

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