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MATCH SIM: Saturday 6th June 2020



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📄 LEVER08's Match Sim Report

MELBOURNE defender Jake Lever didn't play in the club's final match simulation at Casey Fields on Saturday ahead of next week's clash with Carlton but will face the Blues.

Lever emerged from the shutdown period as one of the Demons' fittest players but they opted to manage his loads and he instead trained on an adjacent oval with injured teammate Aaron Nietschke.

The 24-year-old intercept specialist dominated Melbourne's 1km time trials when everyone returned to training in May and he looks primed to deliver on the Dees' big investment in him.

Lever and another key defensive recruit from recent years, Steven May, played together only four times last season because of respective injuries.

May was a strong performer in the four quarters of game practice, including taking a series of intercept marks, firstly playing in the royal blue side before swapping to the navy blue team.

Most of the Demons' first-choice players started in navy blue, except for defenders such as May, Neville Jetta, James Harmes and Christian Salem – but they all switched during the half-time break.

The player to watch could be athletic backman Joel Smith, who's always been a source of intrigue for the Melbourne coaching staff despite injuries restricting him to only 11 matches.

The Demons think so highly of Smith they promoted him for their 2018 preliminary final at Bayley Fritsch's expense but he missed all of last season with a groin problem.

The son of ex-Demon Shaun played in the same defensive set-up with May, Jetta, Harmes and Salem throughout the solid hitout.

Melbourne looks to have a mostly healthy list, with Aaron vandenBerg (foot) – who also last played in that 2018 preliminary final – among those to play.

Salem (glandular fever) and ex-skipper Nathan Jones (Achilles) are the likeliest additions to Melbourne's team for the contest with Carlton at Marvel Stadium next Saturday.

Harley Bennell (calf) also looks in good nick and has given his new club something to think about with his track efforts in recent weeks.

Bennell joined young midfielders Tom Sparrow and James Jordon as the royal blue side's most common centre-bounce combination, with either Sam Weideman or Category B rookie Austin Bradtke rucking.

The former Docker and Sun also spent time up forward after switching into navy blue in the second half.

Weideman has fallen out of favour for the time being but worked hard and presented well.

He could yet be in calculations, given Mitch Brown, who played in round one, spent all of simulation in royal blue, while No.3 draft pick Luke Jackson and Weideman swapped teams at half-time.

Back-up big man Braydon Preuss, who's been sidelined with a knee injury, did not play.

The Demons rotated the likes of Clayton Oliver, Christian Petracca, Angus Brayshaw and Jack Viney through the middle in the navy blue squad, with All-Australian ruckman Max Gawn.

Recruits Ed Langdon and Adam Tomlinson won plenty of possession on opposite wings, while Fritsch, Tom McDonald and Kysaiah 'Kozzy' Pickett were all lively in attack.

Small forwards Alex Neal-Bullen, Toby Bedford and Charlie Spargo appear to be locked in a battle for potentially one spot after all played in the season-opening loss to West Coast.

The trio played for the royal blue team for the match's duration.

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I was there. Watched behind the perimeter fence on far wing. So good to see live action! observations: - 4x 25 min quarters no time on played -Lots of swapping of players between the tw

First time on here in a long time, and good to see things haven’t changed. judging some of the comments, we have already lost the next 4 games, sacked Goodwin and are a rubbish club, While t

I would have Harmes tag Cripps.    IMO Harmes plays his best footy when tagging. 

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Anybody there that can fill us in?

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Smith to replace Oscar?

 

B: JETTA, MAY, LEVER

HB: SALEM, SMITH, HIBBERD

C : LANGDON, PETRACCA, TOMLINSON

HF: PICKETT, JACKSON, JONES

F: MELKSHAM, T.MCDONALD, FRITSCH

FOLL: GAWN, OLIVER, VINEY

IC: LOCKHART(BACK), HARMES(MID), BRAYSHAW(MID), HANNAN(FORWARD)

EMRG: BENNELL, O.MCDONALD, RIVERS, WEIDEMAN

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Pretty poor that the Melbourne website hasn't got a write up on the match sim.

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Obviously Joel Smith is a defender again but I thought he looked good as a forward. No doubt will be thrown there ASAP if we're kicking 6.12.48 every week.

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I take it from the article that Lever is still being managed after being also managed during the week. Apparently back to his best running wise. Is this a worry that he’s missed last two contact sessions? Anyone know more?

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Just now, Hunt29 said:

I take it from the article that Lever is still being managed after being also managed during the week. Apparently back to his best running wise. Is this a worry that he’s missed last two contact sessions? Anyone know more?

Article says he will play against Carlton but I won't be surprised if he misses given what we also read in the article. 

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Would love to know if there were any interesting/surprising players lining up in the royal blue "seconds".

Defenders aside, sounds like Bennell and Brown were royal blue and Weideman and Jackson played half-and-half.

Edit: looks like lots of players spent time in both colours: from the TMac interview video, I can see Jones, AVB, Bennell and J Wagner all spent time in both royal and navy blue. I can also see ANB and Hunt in royal and Lockhart in navy.

Edited by titan_uranus
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Very excited that AVB and Bennell are in full training. We play much better with AVB and no doubt a fit Bennell makes us much better. 
 

Smith intrigues me though. Has the agility and speed not many have. Thought we’d keep him forward as well. Could be a handful with Fritsch floating around as well. 

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From the footage on the MFC website and Twitter, I get the sense that we were keeping more players forward of the ball. Seemed to be more options forward of the ball carrier in each clip than what we saw in Round 1 and for most of 2019.

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6 minutes ago, Lever08 said:

I was there. Watched behind the perimeter fence on far wing. So good to see live action!

 

Thanks, Lever08.  Nice debut!

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8 minutes ago, Lever08 said:

I was there. Watched behind the perimeter fence on far wing. So good to see live action!

observations:

- 4x 25 min quarters no time on played

-Lots of swapping of players between the two teams

-Lever Pruess Petty KK and Nietscke only 5 who didn’t play

- May starred, BOG easily 

-Bennell played all 4 quarters, 1st half on ball 2nd half on HFF

-Spargo did some great things, I’m not always a fan but he looked at the level today

-Fritsch was the best forward

-J Smith will be close to selection, either if Lever doesn’t come up or instead of O Mac.

- I rate Sparrow. HIGHLY!! Head to head with Viney all game and not a backward step taken.

- No injuries during the game to anyone. Relief!

- Rivers and Hibberd were in a showdown for the final HBF spot. Both played well today

- Dont expect to see any of the two Wagners, or Baker early in season. They look like the last in line depth players to me

- Actually think Bradtke showed he can play. 20% better than his Casey 2019 form

- Goalkicking am issue, but expect it will be for all 18 clubs next weekend till the season gets into its rhythm 

- Hunt looks out of favour

- My biggest take - get on Brayshaw for a return to form. Played with no helmet, and moved and hunted the ball like it was 2018 again.

Happy to answer questions 

 

Great write up!

How did Chandler, Hannan and Bedford go?

Who gets the spot? Hibberd or Rivers?

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