John Worsfold admits Essendon are still looking to fill the void left by retired star Jobe Watson.Coach John Worsfold expects another busy AFL trade period for Essendon amid a growing likelihood they will fall short of finals this season.
The Bombers were among the most active clubs during the 2017 trade window, bringing in former Western Bulldogs premiership player Jake Stringer as well as Devon Smith and Adam Saad.
But the Dons’ dreadful performance in the first half of the season means they are unlikely to secure the top-eight finish most pundits had been anticipating.
With three rounds remaining the 11th-placed Bombers are two games outside the finals and need everything to go right to be part of September action.
Worsfold says the Bombers are likely to again be aggressive at the trade table with list manager Adrian Dodoro having already identified a number of potential recruits.
“We’ll be very active in terms of discussions within the trade period … whether anything happens, I’m not sure,” Worsfold told reporters.
“Adrian Dodoro’s doing a huge amount of work on presenting to list management committee around potential availability of players that would fit the need we might look for in a trade specifically.”
The Bombers have struggled to fill the void in their engine room left by the retirement of former skipper Jobe Watson.
Worsfold said Kyle Langford, Andrew McGrath and Matt Guelfi had all shown good signs running through the midfield this season but the Bombers remained open to recruiting a big-bodied on-baller.
“Our midfield over the last eight or 10 weeks has performed really strongly … we’ve obviously (also) got some young players in the VFL and a couple of them have had a taste of it this year,” he said.
“In terms of getting in someone who is potentially at an already mature elite level next year, that may be something we look at.”
Worsfold expected Dyson Heppell to face St Kilda on Friday night despite the skipper having struggled with groin soreness in recent weeks.
Stringer (shin) is also a likely starter but it’s unclear whether Joe Daniher (groin) will play again this season.
Assistant coach Mark Harvey had flagged that Daniher was set to participate in match simulation but Worsfold said that was incorrect.
“He’s still a bit off that,” Worsfold said.
“When Harvs talked about match simulation, he was probably talking about Joe on his own on Saturday, trying to run and replicate game stuff.”