THE Bendigo Gold will face a star-studded Essendon side in their Good Friday clash at the QEO.
Star ruckman Tom Bellchambers and key defender Tayte Pears are set to make their return to football in Bendigo.
With Paul Chapman, Dustin Fletcher and David Myers all to be recalled to Essendon’s AFL side, the Bombers’ VFL team will be further strengthened by three players dropping back in grade.
“Final selection won’t be for a couple of days, but Bellchambers looks a good chance to play,’’ Essendon’s VFL general manager Matt Little said.
“Pears is also a chance to play. With three or four changes to be made to the AFL side we’re expecting to have a strong side coming up to Bendigo.
“Last week when we beat North Ballarat we had 14-VFL listed players which is pretty rare.
“It was a good sign for the club to get a win like that without many AFL-listed players on the park.”
Essendon will be led by former Bendigo Pioneers and Bendigo Bombers star Ben Duscher.
“He’s a fantastic player,’’ Little said of Duscher.
“In terms of his ferocity at the ball and desire to win the contest… there’s not too many better than him.”
Little said the Bombers are expecting a tough encounter against the winless Gold.
“Everyone I’ve spoken to in the past couple of weeks have said how much the Gold has improved this year,’’ Little said.
“They certainly have more depth through the midfield this year. They look to be on the right track.”
The Good Friday clash starts at 2.30pm.