MELBOURNE young gun Angus Brayshaw has bounced back from injury in impressive fashion and looks set to face Greater Western Sydney in round one after an encouraging hit-out in a VFL practice match on Saturday.
Heritier Lumumba also pushed his claims with a hard-working effort on a wing and fellow veteran Lynden Dunn stood tall in defence, but it was Brayshaw who most came to watch at Casey Fields.
The 20-year-old showed no lingering effects from the medial ligament he damaged in the opening seconds of Melbourne's NAB Challenge opener against Port Adelaide three weeks ago.
Brayshaw had the opening kick – a hurried centre clearance – for Casey and rumbled around the ground picking up 17 disposals in a solid blowout.
The powerful onballer snapped the game's first goal on his left boot and burrowed under packs with trademark aggression, setting his teammates into space with his bullocking stoppage work.
Brayshaw looked exhausted after playing the entire match in midfield, except for a short breather on the bench each term, but seems almost certain to be available to take on the Giants at the MCG next Saturday.
Lumumba covered the ground with ease in his second game back from surgery on both ankles in the off-season and spent time in defence after half-time, with the 29-year-old making a strong case for the Demons' season-opener.
Speedster Billy Stretch dazzled breaking away from stoppages, Dean Terlich (21 touches) was tireless, while Viv Michie bobbed up with two majors.
Young key forward Sam Weideman marked strongly on the lead and was unlucky not to finish with a better return than his solitary goal in the one-point win over Port Melbourne.
Dunn took some important intercept marks and set up several attacking rebounds from defence after missing last week's win over St Kilda due to a groin issue.
There was more good news for the Demons on Friday with luckless midfielder Jack Trengove getting through match simulation ahead of a likely first game in nearly two years in Casey's forthcoming clash against Box Hill on April 2.
No.2 draft pick Christian Petracca is also back in full training and building towards his first game since a knee reconstruction.