After a long commercial saga that spanned two off-seasons, Fantasia finally got a comeback in South Australia, join power during the trade period of last year after 80 games with Essendon in seven seasons.
As Fantasia played down any rivalry between himself and his former teammates heading into the game, Lloyd urged the Dons stars not to give him heat.
“Essendon lacked a ruthless edge for a long, long time,” he told Nine’s. Footy Ranked.
“Orazio Fantasia, his personality, he would love nothing more than his opponent to give him a hug. I think he would take a deep breath and say, ‘Geez, this is the reaction I wanted.’
“I think they shouldn’t give him heat. The entire six defenders fall and Orazio would like nothing more than to shake their hand, he’s that confident type of player. I would do the opposite.
“I know the defenders, they zone out, but they put an arm through and put a heavy blow on Fantasia kindly and early and I think you could shake it up.”
Lloyd said he “would love” to see Essendon captain Dyson Heppell play on Fantasia, but admitted the 28-year-old lacked the foot speed to keep up with the forward, instead nominating Mason Redman or the defending Crichton medalist Jordan Ridley. Try the challenge.
The great Essendon’s comments came after Fantasia admitted he was looking forward to meeting his former teammates.
“I’m excited. I’m sure I’ll be nervous as the game approaches, but nothing but love for these guys and it’ll probably be weird to come up against a few of them. them.
“I’ll probably be a little cheeky and call for the ball when they get it and try to get into a few of their heads, but that should be fun.”
Fantasia and Port Adelaide will host Essendon at the Adelaide Oval at 4:35 PM Saturday afternoon.