Round 3 of the VFL premiership season has been ticked off over the weekend, with a return to play following the 'Big V' versus SANFL matchup during the AFL's Gather Round.

Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge has a host of experienced players ready to return to the senior side while Callan Ward is in the mix to return for GWS.

St Kilda could hand Arie Schoenmaker a debut after dominating in the reserves while Richmond youngster Samson Ryan did himself no harm to reclaim his spot under Adem Yze.

North Melbourne could swing a list of changes after being downed by Geelong while Carlton will likely look to replace Mitch McGovern and Adam Saad.

Footscray (114) def. Essendon (80)

A host of experienced AFL-listed Western Bulldogs players featured in the reserves grade, led by James Harmes and Riley Garcia.

The duo combined for 71 possessions, two goals, 11 clearances and eight tackles.

Caleb Daniel responded to his axing with 26 disposals and four marks while Rory Lobb was kept to one goal.

For the Bombers, ex-Crow Jackson Hately put together a best-on-ground performance, slotting three majors from his 30 touches.

Nick Bryan did his chances of a recall no harm, producing 39 hit0outs to go with his 15 possessions and four clearances.

Nate Caddy (one goal, 13 disposals) and Elijah Tsatas (14 touches, four tackles and four clearances) aren't too far away either.

GWS (125) def. Sandringham Zebras (79)

Despite the senior side remaining undefeated, the performances from some familiar names in the VFL will give Adam Kingsley plenty to consider.

Callan Ward was immense in his output, gathering 33 possessions and 12 clearances through the midfield.

GWS Giants Callan Ward is warming up at training. (Photo by Joshua Davis)

Josh Fahey was equally impressive, amassing 29 touches and a goal while Conor Stone (three goals) and Max Gruzewski (four goals) hit the scoreboard.

As for the Saints, Arie Schoenmaker (one goal, 32 disposals and eight marks) is nearing an AFL debut after a strong couple of weeks in the reserves.

Zak Jones put his hand up for a senior recall while Dougal Howard returned successfully from a hamstring injury he sustained in the preseason.

Williamstown Seagulls (112) def. Southport Sharks (66)

Two non-AFL affiliate clubs did battle with the Seagulls taking the chocolates.

Ex-Roo Aiden Bonar was impressive for the victors, gathering 24 touches and eight marks while former Tiger Riley Collier-Dawkins performed well through the midfield.

Corey Rich kicked three for Williamstown while six players slotted two goals each in a strong spread of goal kickers.

Southport struggled before the big sticks, reflected by Zac Foot's 1.4 in a best-on-ground effort.

Brayden Crossley kicked straighter with three majors of his own from the ruck while Jesse Joyce was instrumental through the centre of the ground.

Werribee Tigers (73) def. Richmond (52)

After being named captain of the "Big V" team for last week's game Dom Brew backed up his selection with a strong performance.

Collecting 26 touches, 13 tackles and six clearances, Brew was joined by Nick Coughlan (33 possessions and nine marks), and Daly Andrews (one goal, 25 disposals and seven tackles).

Jack Henderson and Kye Declase were good too.

As for Richmond, Samson Ryan could be in line to join the senior line-up after slotting four goals and playing second ruck to Sam Naismith.

The latter was one of the Tigers' best while Sam Banks' performance was just as good.

Judson Clarke unfortunately tore his ACL during the game and will miss the remainder of the season.

Port Melbourne (75) def. by Casey Demons (90)

With the AFL team losing to Brisbane comprehensively, there could be changes in Simon Goodwin's side.

Bailey Laurie was arguably the best on the field, amassing 24 disposals, 20 tackles and 11 clearances in a tough contest.

Tom Fullarton (2.4, 21 touches and five marks) could make his debut for the club soon while Oliver Sestan and Josh Schache kicked three goals each.

For the Borough, captain Harvey Hooper continues to prove to recruiters why he deserves a shot at the big time, gathering 26 possessions, eight tackles and eight clearances.

Former Blue and Bulldog Billy Gowers kicked five goals to keep his side in it while Tom Hird was instrumental through the midfield.

Gold Coast (88) def. Box Hill Hawks (45)

Rory Atkins is pushing his case for a senior recall after a stacked performance that would have SuperCoaches happy.

Atkins collected 37 touches to go with his 20 marks, while Ned Moyle continues to put pressure on the talls in the AFL team.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 08: Ben Long (left) and Noah Anderson of the Suns look dejected after a loss during the 2023 AFL Round 04 match between the St Kilda Saints and the Gold Coast Suns at Marvel Stadium on April 8, 2023, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Ben Long's move to attack was a success on the weekend slotting five goals while veteran Levi Casboult kicked three.

Alex Sexton, Brandon Ellis and Joel Jeffrey are also not far away.

Harry Morrison was one of Box Hill's best, amassing 21 possessions to go with his seven tackles and five clearances.

Ex-Pie Callum Brown continues to give recruiters something to think about after his impressive performance, while Callum Porter laid 15 tackles.

Jack Gunston kicked two goals and could be brought into the senior side to offer some leadership, while Ned Reeves' afternoon was limited due to injury.

North Melbourne (76) def. Brisbane (75)

Bad kicking is bad football and the Lions' VFL side will rue their missed opportunities as they went down by one point to the Kangaroos.

North Melbourne's Jack Watkins was impressive with his 25 disposals, one goal and seven tackle output, while Curtis Taylor (two goals and 17 touches) and Will Phillips (21 possessions, 13 tackles and four clearances) assisted in the victory.

Jaidyn Stephenson responded well to being axed while Brayden George could be handed his AFL debut.

Sam Lawson kicked four goals for the Roos.

Jarryd Lyons couldn't do much more to will his team over the side although he kicked three behinds.

James Tunstill isn't far away from a senior recall while Deven Robertson and Harry Sharp were impressive in the defeat.

Youngster Logan Morris was well held.

Carlton (82) def. by Collingwood (83)

Another game was decided by one solitary point with the Pies claiming the win.

Finlay Macrae continued to prove he's a step above the VFL, gathering 31 touches, 11 tackles and six clearances and was helped by Ned Long's 28 possession, 10-mark performance.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 23: Finlay Macrae of the Magpies in action during the 2021 AFL Round 19 match between the Port Adelaide Power and the Collingwood Magpies at Marvel Stadium on July 23, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Former Pie Ben Crocker slotted three goals as did Josh Carmichael, who proves to be an option for the senior line-up when needed.

Mid-Season Draft prospect Jack Hutchinson has recruiters turning their heads, slotting another two goals while Lachie Sullivan (21 disposals and five marks), Oleg Markov (20 possessions and six marks) and Tew Jiath (18 touches and five marks) impressed.

Young ruckman Oscar Steene suffered another setback, hurting his foot and will require scans.

Carlton could be forced into two changes, with Adam Saad and Mitch McGovern going down during Saturday's loss to Adelaide.

A host of young Blues produced strong performances, led by Lachlan Cowan's 24 possession and eight mark.

Lewis Young is likely to be recalled as a key defender in McGovern's place while Jaxon Binns could be handed an AFL debut as a rebounding halfback.

Northern Bullants (36) def. by Geelong (89)

Despite Geelong's unbeaten streak in the AFL, coach Chris Scott will be keeping a close eye on a host of players.

Mid-season recruit Mitch Hardie dominated, kicking two goals from 30 touches while Mitch Knevitt was just as impressive.

Shaun Mannagh kicked three goals while youngster Toby Conway produced a strong performance as the ruckman.

Veteran Jed Bews is biding his time and is ready to go.

As for the Northern Bullants, Matthew King and Jean-Luc Velissaris were the best.

Patrick Fairlie kicked two goals while Josh Hamilton found plenty of the ball.

BYES: Coburg, Frankston, Sydney