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PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT by Paddy Gosch

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The Demons have named a star studded line up in it’s final practice match before the season proper. They take on the emerging Brisbane Lions out at Casey which is the second of three matches at the ground on Saturday. Many of the Dees best 22 have been recalled including Vice Captains Max Gawn and Neville Jetta whilst Captains Nathan Jones and Jack Viney will play restricted minutes in the VFL curtain raiser.

Former Gold Coast co-captain Steven May will play his first official game for Melbourne after recovering from a hamstring injury and will help shore up the Demons defence.

Others who make their returns to the line up are Michael Hibberd, Aaron vandenBerg and Jordan Lewis whilst Jake Melksham will also be on restricted minutes in the reserves.

Small forward Jeff Garlett has been ruled out of the clash with the Lions after suffering a shoulder injury in a clash with Alex Rance last Sunday. Surgery was not required but Jeff will still miss between 4 to 6 weeks whilst he recovers.

Other players still sidelined with injuries are Kade Kolodjashnij (adductor), Mitch Hannan (knee), Jake Lever (knee) and Aaron Nietschke (knee). Demonland track watchers observed that Tim Smith was not present at training on Wednesday fuelling speculation that the calf injury that he appeared to sustain at training the prior week which forced him to miss JLT 01 will keep him out of JLT 02 as well.

AFL reporter Ben Guthrie confirmed this on Twitter further stating that Smith will miss at least 3 weeks further adding that it’s “bad luck for a player who was pushing for a berth in round one.”

Guthrie also revealed that Braydon Preuss was set for a stint in the VFL as “part of his development”. Preuss was underwhelming in his first up solo rucking game for the Demons after a strong start the week earlier as partner to Max Gawn against the Magpies. With Preuss set to miss it gives Declan Keilty another chance after he impressed many onlookers with his leap and tap work.

The Dees main midfielders Angus Brayshaw, Clayton Oliver & James Harmes have another week to continue to grow the synergy they’ve been building. They racked up an astonishing 90 possessions between them. When you add Salem and Petracca to the mix with 27 and 22 possessions respectively and ample supply from a returning Max Gawn it’s not hard to see why this midfield is fast becoming the envy of many teams.

Bayley Fritsch continued where he left off after an impressive first year in 2018. He amassed 26 touches on the wing where his forward 50 delivery shined.

Harrison Petty showed a lot to like with some of his intercept marking in defence. Petty's only game in 2018 was a disappointing match against St. Kilda after which he was relegated back to the twos for the remainder of the year. He demonstrated that he can fill a position in defence for the Dees and is good depth for the team and an exciting prospect given that Jake Lever will not return until midway through the season.

With Steven May making his debut in the line up this week it will be interesting to see who of Marty Hore, Petty  & Sam Frost makes the cut as they have all been named on an extended bench which is likely to be whittled down by Saturday.

Brisbane were impressive in JLT 01 albeit against an undermanned Hawthorn. The Lions were busy in the offseason and 3 of their new recruits in Lachie Neale, Jarryd Lyons and Lincoln McCarthy all starred in their 42 point win.  Former number one draft pick Cam Rayner was lively in the forward half booting 3 goals and ruckman Archie Smith had a strong outing.

On the injury front Charlie Cameron left the field during the 3rd quarter of last week’s match but Brisbane claimed that it was just a cramp. Marcus Adams (Knee), Tom Fullarton (Hamstring), Darcy Gardiner (Knee), Nick Robertson (Hamstring), Connor McFayden (Foot) and Jack Payne (Tibia) are all unavailable. Stefan Martin played for the Lions NEAFL team last week after returning from a series of niggling injuries and has been recalled to the senior team to face his former club.

The Demons go into this game with a strong line up and coach Simon Goodwin has stated that he will play 23 players in order to simulate the regular season game day. Which 3 on the extended bench won't make the cut?

Melbourne v Brisbane at Casey Fields, 4.10pm AEDT

MELBOURNE

B: S.May 1 M.Hibberd 14 J.Hunt 29
HB: J.Lewis 6 O.McDonald 28 N.Jetta 39
C : C.Salem 3 J.Harmes 4 B.Stretch 15
HF: A.Brayshaw 10 S.Weideman 26 B.Fritsch 31
F: C.Petracca 5 T.McDonald - C 25 J.Kennedy Harris 24
Foll: M.Gawn 11 A.Neal-Bullen 30 C.Oliver 13
I/C: C.Spargo 9 S.Frost 17 A.vandenBerg 22 M.Hore 34 H.Petty 35 C.Wagner 40 J.Smith 44 D.Keilty 45

In: S.May, M.Hibberd, J.Lewis, N.Jetta, M.Gawn, A.vandenBerg
Out: J.Garlett (injured), J.Jordon, J.Wagner, B.Preuss, C.Maynard, T.Sparrow

Emerg: C.Maynard 20 B.Preuss 21 T.Sparrow 32 J.Wagner 42

Notable absentees: Jack Viney, Nathan Jones, Jake Lever, Jake Melksham

BRISBANE

B: L.Hodge 2 J.Walker 14 D.Rich 10
HB: Z.Bailey 33 H.Andrews - C 31 A.Witherden 29
C :
M.Robinson 5 L.Neale 9 H.McCluggage 6
HF: C.Rayner 16 E.Hipwood 30 L.McCarthy 11
F: C.Cameron 23 D.McStay 25 O.McInerney 46
Foll: A.Smith 44 J.Berry 7 J.Lyons 17
I/C: B.Keays 1 A.Christensen 3 R.Bastinac 4 S.Martin 12 T.Berry 13 L.Taylor 28 R.Lester 35 R.Mathieson 36  

In: B.Keays, A.Christensen, S.Martin, T.Berry
Out: D.Zorko (injured), E.Smith, C.Ballenden, B.Starcevich

Emerg: E.Smith 8 M.Hinge 22 B.Starcevich 37 C.Ballenden 38         

Notable absentees: Marcus Adams

JLT Community Series Match Details

Melbourne v Brisbane
Saturday, March 9, 4.10pm AEDT
Casey Fields

Key timings

12.00pm: Gates open

12.30pm: Curtain Raiser - Casey v Brisbane Lions Reserves (Practice Match)

4.10pm: JLT Community Series - Melbourne v Brisbane Lions

7.30pm: Melbourne U15s Academy Match

Ticketing

General admission

Tickets can be purchased via Ticketmaster.

TICKET TYPE GENERAL ADMISSION
Adult $20.00
Concession $15.00
Junior $5.00
Family (2 adults, up to 4 juniors under 15) $40.00
Adult Member Upgrade $5.00
Concession Member Upgrade $5.00
Junior Member Upgrade $3.00

All prices are subject to additional ticket agent fees.

Members

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 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 Ticketmaster.

Getting to Casey Fields

Car

Casey Fields is located approximately 50km from Melbourne CBD in Cranbourne East.

Plenty of parking is available around Casey Fields. with parking signs and attendants to assist you to find a spot.

If you're driving, it is recommended that you arrive as early as possible to secure a park and avoid long queues entering the ground. 

And if you're not in a rush to get home, stick around and catch our Academy U15s take the field from 7.30pm.

Public Transport

Catch a a train to Cranbourne Station, which is located 5km from Casey Fields. From the station, catch the 897 bus to Casey Fields. 

Plan your trip to Casey Fields using the PTV Journey Planner.

Around the ground

Daisy Demon

Our mascot Daisy Demon will be doing the rounds pre-game, available for high-fives and photo opportunities!

Food and beverage

Multiple food trucks will be set up around Casey Fields, with jaffles, Mexican food and plenty of other options up for grabs!

The canteen will also be open at the main stand, serviving food and drinks.

Broadcast

TV

The match will be televised live nationally on Fox Footy from 4.00pm AEDT on Saturday.

View the full broadcast guide here

Radio

TBC

Online coverage

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: #JLTSeries

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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