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Brayshaw takes charge as The Footy Show returns Thursday | @Channel9

SportKevin Perry

James Brayshaw and Billy Brownless
image source - NewsCorp

The Footy Show returns for its 23rd season this Thursday at 8.30pm on Channel Nine. 

After a summer of headlines, James Brayshaw will present an action-packed program as they count down to the start of the 2016 AFL Premiership Season in just over two weeks on March 24. He will be joined by Sam Newman, who recently celebrated his 70th birthday.

The program has promised to address recent issues in the opening segment with Newman and Brayshaw to interview Billy Brownless, and deliver an update on their friend, Garry Lyon. 

Hawthorn superstar Jarryd Roughead­ and newly crowned Essendon captain Brendon Goddard head up this week’s panel on the show that holds the record for being Australian television’s longest-running live, prime-time entertainment program.

Roughy, now a four-time premiership player, will talk about his club’s chance of a “four-peat” minus himself after suffering a knee injury, and the boys will no doubt probe the newlywed star for details of his recent nuptials. And Goddard will open up about taking over the Bombers’ captaincy through the most tumultuous time in the club’s history. 

Together with Shane Crawford and award-winning newsbreaker Damian Barrett, they will cover all the latest footy news, present a unique twist on a jam-packed AFL off-season and throw in a few surprises for good measure.

The show will kick off a Best in Footy Show competition where AFL players and their dogs go head-to-head.

Plus, Sam puts his babysitting skills to the test on Crawf’s twins, Harry and Jack. What could possibly go wrong?