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HOT OUT OF THE CITY by Paddy Gosch

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The Dees travel out of the city for game one of two JLT Community Series practice matches before the season proper. Our first match takes us to the floodplains of the Goldburn River in Northern Victoria to the city of Shepparton. We take on the Tigers for the first of at least 3 encounters with the 2017 Premiers this year. The game will be played in scorching temperatures so expect plenty of rotations, ice vests, fans running overtime and extra water carriers.

The Demons are coming off a win against Collingwood in it’s first practice hit out of the season. We went into that game with a strong lineup despite about a 1/3 of the best 22, including Nathan Jones, Jack Viney, Clayton Oliver, Tom McDonald, Jake Melksham, Jake Lever, Mitch Hannan and new recruits Steven May and Kade Kolodashnij, sitting out the match for various reasons.

In a club presser on Thursday Tom McDonald stated that he should be right to play this week as long as he doesn’t have any soreness from the match simulation at training. He indicated that it was unlikely that Viney, Melksham, May and Kolodjashnij would line up against the Tigers but all would be looking towards JLT 2 to build up match fitness heading into Round 1.

The Demons have rested Max Gawn possibly to gage how well new recruit Braydon Preuss goes solo. They have also decided to rest some of the older brigade with Michael Hibberd and Neville Jetta listed as emergencies along with Aaron vandenBerg. Jordan Lewis will not be making the trip up state. Bayley Fritsch makes his return to the team after missing last week due to AFLX commitments.

After off season surgeries to both shoulders, Clayton Oliver returns to strengthen the midfield.

James Jordon joins Tom Sparrow as the only rookies picked for the hit out. Harrison Petty and Declan Keilty who missed last week have been recalled to the team that will have a larger bench to accommodate the sweltering conditions.

Demonland trackwatchers observed Tim Smith leaving the track early with a leg complaint so he too has been omitted.

Boom Richmond recruit Tom Lynch will not be lining up against the Dees as he races the clock to be ready for Round 1. Other Tigers sidelined through injury include Josh Caddy, Jason Castagna, Shaun Grigg and Jacob Townsend. Despite these injuries Richmond have named a strong line up for the game including Trent Cotchin, Dustin Martin, Jack Riewoldt & Alex Rance.

Players to watch for the Demons include Jayden Hunt, Billy Stretch, Jay Kennedy-Harris, Brayden Preuss and rookie Tom Sparrow.

Jayden Hunt made an impressive return to the half back line at Olympic Park Oval. From all reports he has had a great preseason and I expect he will be working hard to cement his spot over the JLT series after a disappointing 2018. Preuss was also imposing in his first hit out for his new club. He kicked two goals and took some strong marks and played his role as back up to Max perfectly. It will be interesting to see how the Demons' new big man goes rucking alone in the heat but he will no doubt be backed up by Tom McDonald and Sam Weideman.

Billy Stretch returned from injury and got his hands on the ball a lot. Prior to his injury last year his form was picking up so I expect that he will continue to push hard for a spot on the wing. Likewise Jay Kennedy-Harris attacked the ball well and got a fair bit of it. He too showed glimpses in stages last year but wasn’t able to cement a place in the side. No doubt he will take on these JLT games to stake his claim.

New recruit Tom Sparrow had limited game time last week but was thrown in the middle on quality opposition and showed that he can get a couple of touches and also kicked a beautiful goal. I anticipate more game time for him over the JLT series and tip that he will play seniors at some point in 2019.

Expect plenty of rotations and full use of the extended bench.


B: Josh Wagner,  Sam Frost, Jayden Hunt

HB: Marty Hore,  Oscar McDonald, Harrison Petty

C: Bayley Fritsch, James Harmes, Jay Kennedy-Harris

HF: Alex Neal-Bullen, Tom McDonald, Joel Smith

F: Chalrie Spargo, Sam Weideman, Jeff Garlett

R: Braydon Preuss, Angus Brayshaw, Clayton Oliver

IC (from): Christian Salem, Christian Petracca, Billy Stretch, Corey Maynard, Tom Sparrow, James Jordon, Corey Wagner, Declan Keilty

Emergencies: Max Gawn, Michael Hibberd, Aaron Vandenberg, Neville Jetta


B: Alex Rance, David Astbury, Dylan Grimes

HB: Nick Vlastuin, Bachar Houli, Jayden Short

C: Dion Prestia, Shane Edwards, Trent Cotchin

HF: Daniel Rioli, Riley Collier-Dawkins, Jack Higgins

F: Jack Riewoldt, Dustin Martin, Daniel Butler

R: Toby Nankervis, Kane Lambert, Ivan Soldo

IC (from): Oleg Markov, Nathan Broad, Jack Ross, Liam Baker, Jack Graham, Brandon Ellis, Maverick Weller, Noah Balta, Callum Moore, Connor Menadue, Fraser Turner, Callum Coleman-Jones

JLT Community Series
Richmond v Melbourne
Sunday, March 3, 4.40pm AEDT
Deakin Reserve Shepparton
Gates open: 3.10pm

General admission

Tickets can be purchased via Ticketek









Family (2 adults, up to 4 juniors under 15)


Adult Member Upgrade


Concession Member Upgrade


Junior Member Upgrade


All prices are subject to additional ticket agent fees.


Melbourne Members with Premiership Season entry entitlements will have free general admission access by scanning in at the ground (subject to availability, upgrade fees may be applicable).

However, entry is not guaranteed and it is recommended that Members upgrade to a reserved seat or register for a general admission ticket in order to guarantee entry.

Membership upgrades and registrations are subject to availability on a first come, first serve basis and subject to an additional fee. Transaction fees may also apply.

To register, visit Ticketek.


Deakin Reserve is situated on Nixon St in Shepparton. Off-street parking may be available in surrounding streets.

Public transport

Deakin Reserve is located a 10 minute walk from Shepparton Train station.


The match will be televised live nationally on Fox Footy live from 4.30pm AEDT.

Mobile app

Live scores, stats and match highlights are available at the tap of a finger in the club's mobile app.

Download it for iOS or Android.

Social media

Match hashtag: #JLTTigersDees

Follow the club on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for live match coverage and a behind-the-scenes insight into match day.



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