AFL – Former Geelong star Matthew Stokes (pictured) says while he’s nowhere near match fitness, he hopes to be ready to play in Essendons round one AFL match.

Stokes is one of a number of top up recruits to have been signed by the Bombers so far.

Stokes retired at the end of the 2015 season and while he’s remained reasonably fit, he says hes got plenty of work to do before the Bombers season kicks off against the Suns on March 26.