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Melbourne Football Club

VB replaces ANB in the final side

DARWIN, AUSTRALIA - JULY 09: Aaron vandenBerg of the Demons celebrates a goal during the 2016 AFL Round 16 match between the Melbourne Demons and the Fremantle Dockers at TIO Stadium on July 9, 2016 in Darwin, Australia. (Photo by Justine Walker/AFL Media)
DARWIN, AUSTRALIA - JULY 09: Aaron vandenBerg of the Demons celebrates a goal during the 2016 AFL Round 16 match between the Melbourne Demons and the Fremantle Dockers at TIO Stadium on July 9, 2016 in Darwin, Australia. (Photo by Justine Walker/AFL Media)

MELBOURNE has finalised its side for Sunday’s clash against the Gold Coast Suns at the MCG. 

Forward Aaron vandenBerg has come back into the side after missing last round with a hip injury. 

He has replaced utility Alex Neal-Bullen, who has been relegated to an emergency. 

Defender Colin Garland and hard-nut Tomas Bugg, who were initially added to the 25-man squad, have been named emergencies. 

vandenBerg, second-year player Angus Brayshaw, speedster Billy Stretch, and James Harmes, who received a NAB AFL Rising Star when Melbourne played the Suns in round seven, have been named on the bench. 

Coach Paul Roos said selection had been another tough one this round. 

“It is a balancing act this week because we demanded a better effort from all of our teams last week and we got it,” he told Melbourne TV.  

“We got a really good effort from the VFL boys and there were some really good performances from some of the guys who went back [to the VFL] in recent times – [Jack] Grimes, Bugg, [Ben] Kennedy and [Clayton] Oliver.

“We felt the majority of them played their roles [against West Coast Eagles] and played well.

“vandenBerg was out injured last week [but is back in the side] … so it was a challenge this week to pick a team.

“They all deserve to play, but it’s [harder] to leave guys out rather than the other way around."

vandenBerg has had an interrupted season with injury, playing nine matches, but missing five games from rounds four to eight.

Key defender Tom McDonald will play his 100th AFL match this round, having also debuted against the Suns in round 23, 2011, when Todd Viney was coach.

Tall forward Chris Dawes will notch up his 50th club game, after playing 71 matches with Collingwood, including the 2010 premiership.

The match starts at 1.10pm.

Melbourne team: round 19

B: Josh Wagner, Tom McDonald, Neville Jetta

HB: Jayden Hunt, Oscar McDonald, Matt Jones

C: Christian Petracca, Bernie Vince, Dom Tyson

HF: Jeff Garlett, Jack Watts, Sam Frost

F: Chris Dawes, Jesse Hogan, Dean Kent

Foll: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney

I/C (from): Angus Brayshaw, Billy Stretch, Aaron vandenBerg, James Harmes

In: vandenBerg

Out: Alex Neal-Bullen

EMG: Garland, Neal-Bullen, Bugg