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Davis to debut against Suns

Matt Burgan  August 8, 2013 6:02 PM

MELBOURNE has made two changes for Saturday night’s clash against the Gold Coast Suns at Metricon Stadium, including defender Troy Davis for his first AFL match.

The Demons have also included leader Jordie McKenzie, who will play his first game since round 11, after an elbow injury interrupted his second half of the season.

Ruckman Max Gawn and first-year Demon Jimmy Toumpas have been left out of the side.

Speedster Sam Blease, rebounder James Strauss and dasher Daniel Nicholson have been named emergencies. 

Coach Neil Craig said Davis had earned his position in the 22 with consistent form for Casey in the VFL. 

“He’s played a lot of VFL footy at both ends of the ground, so he’s got a lot of flexibility. Troy’s been very good,” he said.

Davis’ elevation is a reward for perseverance, after he was selected at No.50 in the 2010 NAB AFL Draft.

He was an emergency twice last year and has been on three occasions in 2013, including last round against Greater Western Sydney.

The 21-year-old will also help the club achieve a milestone when he becomes the 1300th player to feature in a senior VFL/AFL match for Melbourne. 

Craig said key forward Chris Dawes, who missed last round with a calf injury, is now more likely to play in round 21. Key defender James Frawley is still up to three more weeks away from resuming.

“He (Dawes) won’t be available this week, but we’ve got our fingers crossed for the game against Fremantle [in round 21], because he’s an important player for us, just as James Frawley [is],” Craig said.  

“You’ve got two relatively experienced guys – senior players for our group [sidelined] – so in terms of on field leadership, they become crucial players for us.”

Round 20 Melbourne team
B: Lynden Dunn, Cameron Pedersen, Dean Terlich
HB: Colin Garland, Tom McDonald, Mitch Clisby
C: Jack Grimes, Jack Viney, Jordie McKenzie
HF: Matt Jones, Jack Watts, Jack Trengove
F: Dean Kent, Jack Fitzpatrick, Jeremy Howe
FOLL: Jake Spencer, Colin Sylvia, Nathan Jones
I/C: Shannon Byrnes, Luke Tapscott, Aaron Davey, Troy Davis
EMG: Sam Blease, James Strauss, Daniel Nicholson
IN: Jordie McKenzie, Troy Davis
OUT: Max Gawn, Jimmy Toumpas