Main content
Melbourne Football Club

Melbourne makes five changes

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 11: Chris Dawes of the Demons in action during the Melbourne Demons training session at Gosch's Paddock in Melbourne on May 11, 2016. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 11: Chris Dawes of the Demons in action during the Melbourne Demons training session at Gosch's Paddock in Melbourne on May 11, 2016. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)
We’ve got to cover the injuries of Jack Viney and Col Garland, as they’re two experienced players. We’ve tried to pick the best team, but this week, we’re just trying to go for a bit of size and experience and really give the team a chance against a high quality, mature side
Paul Roos

MELBOURNE has made five changes for Saturday’s clash against Hawthorn at the MCG, which includes two forced changes and three omissions.

As announced earlier on Thursday, former co-captain Jack Trengove will make his long-awaited comeback, after being absent from the Melbourne side for more than two years, due to a career-threatening foot injury.

Key forward Chris Dawes has also been included for his first match of the season, after being sidelined for most of the year with a calf injury.

Tough-nut Aaron vandenBerg will play his first match since round three, after he was out for five weeks with an ankle injury.

Versatile tall Sam Frost returns for his sixth match of 2016, and his first since round six, after playing for Casey.

And first-year player Clayton Oliver, who has played seven games this year, is back in the side after missing last round with a quadriceps injury.

As known since earlier in the week, Melbourne has lost ball-winner Jack Viney (hand) and defender Colin Garland (cheekbone).

And it has left out former Magpie Ben Kennedy, ex-Port Adelaide player Ben Newton and second-year Demon Alex Neal-Bullen.

It will be the first match Kennedy has missed for the season, while Newton and Neal-Bullen have played two games each this year, both in the past two rounds.

Tall utilty Cameron Pedersen, ex-Docker Viv Michie and former co-captain Jack Grimes are the emergencies. 

Coach Paul Roos said it was a tough week at the selection table, after Melbourne’s 45-point loss to Port Adelaide at TIO Traeger Park Oval last Saturday.

“We always try and pick our best team clearly, but we need a big team and they’re a really good side, Hawthorn, but they’re a physical side and it’s also the middle of the year too. So you’re trying to give some guys a bit of a break and a bit of a breather,” he said on Melbourne TV’s Roos’ Views.

“It’s the experienced players that tend to weather this period.

“We’ve got to cover the injuries of Jack Viney and Col Garland, as they’re two experienced players. We’ve tried to pick the best team, but this week, we’re just trying to go for a bit of size and experience and really give the team a chance against a high quality, mature side.”

Roos said the inclusions had all deserved their opportunity.

“Dawesy comes in and he hasn’t played footy [in the AFL this year]. He comes in, in good form and he’s healthy,” he said.

“vandenBerg is a big body and really important to us forward of centre, making tackles. Trenners we’ve talked about [his great comeback].

“Clayton Oliver, even though he’s a young kid, had the weekend off last weekend and comes in. We know what he’s like around the stoppages.

“Sam Frost is a good size and has good speed, and we’re just conscious of the decision to play a more experienced, more mature team.”

Ruckman Max Gawn will play his 50th AFL match this round.

Melbourne team: round 11

B: Jayden Hunt, Tom McDonald, Neville Jetta

HB: Tom Bugg, Oscar McDonald, Josh Wagner

C: Dean Kent, Jack Trengove, Bernie Vince

HF: Billy Stretch, Jack Watts, Jeff Garlett

F: Christian Petracca, Jesse Hogan, Chris Dawes

Foll: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Dom Tyson

I/C: Clayton Oliver, Sam Frost, Aaron vandenBerg, James Harmes

Emg: Cameron Pedersen, Viv Michie, Jack Grimes

In: Chris Dawes, Jack Trengove, Sam Frost, Aaron vandenBerg, Clayton Oliver

Out: Colin Garland (cheekbone), Jack Viney (hand), Ben Kennedy, Ben Newton, Alex Neal-Bullen