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SCRATCH by Paddy Gosch

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The Demons are set to take on the old enemy Collingwood in a good old fashioned Scratch Match on Friday Morning. It is unknown what form the match will take, how many quarters there will be, their length, the amount of rotations or even whether they'll keep score. One thing we do know for sure is that both coaching staffs will be keeping their cards close to their chests to ensure neither will glean too much from their competition.

The Dees will likely be without some of their stars as Tom McDonald and Nathan Jones trained in the rehab group on Wednesday, the former pulling out of the AFLX 2.0 as he will be going under the knife for a "very minor procedure" to ensure he plays in the JLT and is "no chance to miss Round 1".

Other players in the rehab group at the latest training sessions included Jake Lever (knee) and Mitch Hannan (knee). Steven May (hamstring) was attending the AFL's Indigenous Conference will not play as he aims to be fit for Round 1. Neville Jetta,  who was also at the Conference is unlikely to play as he too has been in the rehab group for the past few weeks.

Both Jack Viney (foot) and new recruit Kade Kolodashnij (adductor) were not at Wednesday's skills work session and have already been ruled out of any preseason practice matches. Viney is eyeing a Round 1 return whereas Kolodashnij will return early in the season. New recruit Aaron Nietschke tore his ACL during last Friday's match simulation at Casey Field's and will miss the whole of the 2019 season.

Bayley Fritsch who replaces Tom McDonald as Melbourne's only representative at the AFLX will also likely miss.

Of the rest of the playing group most will be available but I would assume that some of the players who had off-seasons surgeries might have shorter game times. Clayton Oliver and James Harmes both had shoulder surgeries and have only recently returned to the main training group and despite having resumed contact and keeping up their match fitness in rehab might be restricted in their game time if they play at all. Christian Petracca who had a procedure to clean up his knee in the offseason has had a stint in the rehab but has returned the main group as has Angus Brayshaw (back).

I would expect Jake Melksham and Oskar Baker to sit this scratch match out as both have only just returned to the main group.

It will be interesting to see if the Dees will trial their new two ruckman game plan with the inclusion of Braydon Preuss to the list. Both he and Max Gawn have done full preseasons but with Brodie Grundy unlikely to line up due to only just returning to Collingwood's main training group following a toe complaint the Dees might decide to rest Max and let Preuss go solo.

Other Magpies players who will miss the game are Jordan De Goey, who injured his ankle in a match simulation last week, Will Hoskin-Elliot (leg), Jeremy Howe (corked thigh) and Lynden Dunn (knee).

The match which will be played at the Olympic Park Oval on Friday 22nd February @ 10:00am. The game will be LIVE streamed by the club on their website and on the club's app.

https://www.melbournefc.com.au/news/2019-02-20/practice-match-info

Match details

Collingwood v Melbourne
Date: Friday, February 22
Match start time: 10.00am (AEDT)
Live stream begins: 9.45am (AEDT)
Venue: Olympic Park Oval
Entry: Free

Live stream

Thanks to Zurich, the match will be streamed live across the Melbourne website and app, with pre-match coverage beginnning at 9.45am AEDT.

If you can't watch live, the full match will be available via the website and app post-game.

Getting to Olympic Park Oval

Olympic Park Oval is located on the corner of Olympic Boulevard and Batman Avenue.

Public transport

Olympic Park Oval is located a short walk from Richmond train station. Jolimont station is also located a 10 minute walk away.

Tram route 70 also stops near the ground at AAMI Park (stop 7D). Tram route 48 and 75 are also located in the vicinity near Jolimont Station.

Bus 246 (Latrobe Uni - Elsternwick Station) travels down Punt Road, stopping at the corner of Olympic Blvd. From here patrons can walk to Olympic Park.

Read more about public transport here.

Parking info

Non-event car parking is available opposite AAMI Park at the National Tennis Centre. See more info here.

Limited parking may also be available across the river on Alexandra Avenue.

Around the ground

Membership and merchandise tent

Melbourne will have a marquee set up for Membership queries and merchandise purchases on Olympic Boulevard.

Food and beverage

The Glasshouse at the Holden Centre will be open for food and drink purchases.

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