Essendon host GWS Thursday night in what looms as a must win game for the Bombers to keep alive their finals aspirations for the 2019 season.
Not that any further motivation should be needed for Essendon. But it does have some extra significance as it marks the 200 game milestone for David Zaharakis.
The midfielder has been a very good contributor for the Bombers for the best part of a decade. He has been a solid performer again in 2019 averaging 23 disposals per match.
The consistency of performance over his career backed up by the statistics with the 29-year old averaging over 20 disposals per match in every season from 2011 onwards.
David Zaharakis: A loyal Bomber
In 2017, Zaharakis had the opportunity to explore free agency but instead put pen to paper on a four year deal tying him to the club until the end of the 2021 season.
“Essendon has been such a significant part of my life for a long time. I grew up barracking for the Bombers. And over the past nine years I’ve been able to live my childhood dream.”
The classy midfielder has certainly enjoyed individual accolades winning the 2011 best & fairest award and the 2013 Anzac Day medal. The main thing missing from the CV is finals and premiership success.
The last Essendon Premiership was in 2000. And the Dons have not enjoyed a finals victory since defeating Melbourne in the 2004 Elimination Final.
Based on form and contract length there is no reason why Zaharakis cannot play a meaningful role at AFL level up to 2021 and beyond.
Time will tell if Essendon can get the finals monkey off the back in September. But playing 200 games of AFL football is an individual milestone to be acknowledged and celebrated.
Of course it wouldn’t be right to finish without reliving the greatest moment in the 199 games to date “Zaharakis, Zaharakis has kicked a goal.”