MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 03: Will Snelling (left) and Andrew McGrath of the Bombers celebrate during the 2019 AFL round 20 match between the Essendon Bombers and the Port Adelaide Power at Marvel Stadium on August 03, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Essendon have surprised many this season by staying in the race for an unlikely finals birth.

Currently sitting in 12th, the Bombers have joined a logjam of teams in the middle of the ladder. With only eight points separating 7th and 13th on the ladder, the finals race is still wide open.

Speaking on SEN SA Breakfast, Essendon youngster Will Snelling believes his side are still well in hunt for September action.

“We’re pretty bullish, pretty excited, we’ve got a lot of home games and games in Melbourne,” Snelling said.

“We’ve got a lot left and we can definitely challenge.”

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Despite coming off losses to Melbourne and Geelong, Snelling remains optimistic.

“Our best footy will take any team to the last quarter.

“Our best footy has been great, even last week against Geelong we had full control of the game in the first quarter.

“We ended up with more inside 50s and lots of opportunities, just to be able to capitalise on those is our main focus at the minute.”

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The 23-year-old was drafted by the Bombers in 2019 and has been one of the success stories of the mid-season draft.

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Snelling's steady progression was rewarded last month when he was offered a two-year extension to stay at the Bombers.

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The young Essendon team has had many improvers this season but Snelling singled out Darcy Parish's turnaround as the most impressive.

“It’s pretty unbelievable, his last couple of months. The midfield change has been big for him, and he’s loving every bit of it,” Snelling said.

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“I think he’s probably walked off some game and he’s feeling a little bit surprised as well. I think on ANZAC Day the ball just kept finding him, that’s the way he put it.

“He’s really humble, and one thing we’ve noticed as teammates is the way he’s taken his training to another level, and he’s challenging guys on the field there as well.

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“He’s also grown his leadership off field as well, he wants to be part of the teams’ future and help the young guys come through.”

Essendon's favourable back-half fixture means won't have to leave Marvel Stadium until round 22.

Big games against Adelaide, North Melbourne, GWS and Sydney in the month are likely to decide their fate.