Bombers welcome back Wright, ponder Anzac Day reshuffle

Anna Harrington |

Peter Wright is set to return well prepared for Essendon against Collingwood.
Peter Wright is set to return well prepared for Essendon against Collingwood.

Fresh off a month-long suspension, Essendon spearhead Peter Wright is primed to hit the ground running on return against Collingwood, says coach Brad Scott.

Scott is welcoming the selection headache facing him ahead of the Anzac Day blockbuster.

Wright missed four games through a rough-conduct suspension for his mid-air bump that knocked out Sydney’s Harry Cunningham.

But Scott is confident there is a silver lining to come from his time on the sidelines.

“He’s done a power of work,” Scott said.

“He’s always impressed me with his professionalism, but he’s approached this block as almost like a mini pre-season block.

“I doubt there’s a better-prepared player going into this round of football than Peter Wright.

“He’s just worked extremely hard, been able to work on all elements of his game and he’s obviously in peak condition going in.

“So that doesn’t guarantee performance, but in terms of his prep, he’s ready to go.”

In Wright’s absence, young key forward Harry Jones has stood up, booting seven goals while averaging seven marks across the past four games to solidify his spot.

“Because (Jones) has got huge capability, people have probably looked for him to play at that high level,” Scott said.

“But since I arrived at the club, he’s just had injury issues, he’s had an inability through injury to have any continuity of training.

“In my first preseason, he did 11 per cent of our preseason training load, and no-one can perform on that preparation.

“Whereas this preseason, he’s done everything. He hasn’t missed a beat. His professionalism has gone (up). He’s worked really closely with Peter Wright, the way he prepares for games, the way he’s prepared in the preseason.

“There’s no secrets as to why he’s performing well, it’s all based on his prep.”

The Bombers could well go in with two key forwards in Wright and Jones, plus two ruckmen in Todd Goldstein and Sam Draper – who Scott confirmed would retain his place.

Sam Draper
Sam Draper (r) is to retain his place. (Matt Turner/AAP PHOTOS)

When asked whether adding an extra tall was on the table for Thursday’s match, Scott said: “Yeah, definitely.”

“I should know better than to look at the weather forecast in Melbourne a week out. It just keeps changing all the time.

“So that’ll come into play as well in terms of what we do there.

“But I can tell you, I’m extremely pleased to have that option available.”

The Bombers will assess Dylan Shiel’s training form before deciding whether to turn to the fit-again veteran for his first AFL appearance of the season after strong VFL form.

Dylan Shiel’s readiness to return will be considered. (Matt Turner/AAP PHOTOS)

“He’s obviously a high-level player,” Scott said.

“He’s done a fair bit of work. Has he done enough? That’s what we have to get to the bottom of.”