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Three changes for Hawthorn clash

Matt Burgan  August 4, 2016 6:25 PM

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 22: Clayton Oliver of the Demons in action during the 2016 AFL Round 09 match between the Melbourne Demons and the Brisbane Lions at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on May 22, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 22: Clayton Oliver of the Demons in action during the 2016 AFL Round 09 match between the Melbourne Demons and the Brisbane Lions at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on May 22, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)

Buggy (Tomas Bugg) had last weekend off and he’s been in really good form in the last couple of weeks. The commitment this week – and the next four weeks – is to really try and play a fit and healthy team

MELBOURNE has made three changes for Saturday’s clash against Hawthorn at the MCG.

As announced earlier on Thursday, key forward Sam Weideman has been selected for his first AFL game for Melbourne, after playing 11 games and booting 20 goals with Casey this season.

The No.9 pick in last year’s NAB AFL Draft – who is the grandson of Collingwood great Murray and son of former Magpie Mark – will become Melbourne’s fifth debutant this season, behind Clayton Oliver, Josh Wagner, Jayden Hunt and Christian Petracca. Tomas Bugg and Ben Kennedy also played their first match for Melbourne this year, after joining from GWS Giants and Collingwood respectively.

Melbourne has also welcomed back Bugg and Oliver.

Bugg, who played in the opening 14 rounds of the season, has been an emergency for the past three rounds. Oliver has made 10 appearances in his first year, with round 13 his most recent game.

Going out of the side are key forward Chris Dawes, rookie Josh Wagner and utility Matt Jones.

Jones has been named an emergency, along with defender Colin Garland and versatile tall Cameron Pedersen.

Roos said Bugg and Oliver had forced their way back into the side.

“Buggy had last weekend off and he’s been in really good form in the last couple of weeks. The commitment this week – and the next four weeks – is to really try and play a fit and healthy team,” he said.

“That’s the commitment the coaches are trying to make. Buggy not playing last week really helped and we’ve had some real success with guys who have come [back] from a weekend off, so he deserves to get back in.”

“Oliver played a terrific game last weekend and has been out of the side for six weeks, so he’s really realigned his game. He comes in, in really good form as well.”

Roos said Dawes and Wagner were being rested this round.

“That’s part of it. We’re looking at form as well, but Dawesy definitely [needs a rest] with a six-day break, with his body the way it is at the moment,” he told Melbourne TV.

“He came in, after having a weekend off and played really well the first game, but we’ve got to be mindful of that. There are some tough games coming up and we’re going to need all of our players playing well.

“We decided that Wags looked really tired last week and his form dropped a bit, so those two guys we’re going to give the weekend off completely.”

Roos added that Matt Jones was unlucky to be omitted.

“Matty’s probably a little bit stiff, from the point of view that we had a lot of players turning the ball over [last week], but it’s an indication of the pressure that the seconds are putting on the senior team.”

“The standards have lifted significantly, but we need to get players into the team that is really in absolute red-hot form.

“There are some guys in the seconds that are in really good form that aren’t going to play this week in the seniors – [Colin] Garland, [Viv] Michie, [Jack] Grimes and [Ben] Kennedy. So there are some guys in pretty good form, so there is pressure on the senior team.”

Powerful small forward Dean Kent will notch up his 50th AFL match this round.

Melbourne team: round 20

B: Sam Frost, Tom McDonald, Neville Jetta

HB: Jayden Hunt, Oscar McDonald, Billy Stretch

C: Christian Petracca, Bernie Vince, Dom Tyson

HF: Jeff Garlett, Jack Watts, Clayton Oliver

F: Sam Weideman, Jesse Hogan, Dean Kent

Foll: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney

I/C: Angus Brayshaw, Aaron vandenBerg, Tomas Bugg, James Harmes

Emg: Colin Garland, Cameron Pedersen, Matt Jones

In: Bugg, Weideman, Oliver

Out: Chris Dawes, Josh Wagner, Matt Jones