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Salem returns for season closer

Georgina Lewis  August 25, 2016 6:25 PM

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 19: Christian Salem of the Demons in action during the Melbourne Demons training session at Gosch's Paddock in Melbourne, Australia on August 19, 2016. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 19: Christian Salem of the Demons in action during the Melbourne Demons training session at Gosch's Paddock in Melbourne, Australia on August 19, 2016. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)

MELBOURNE has made three changes to its side to face Geelong at Simonds Stadium on Saturday.

Half-back Christian Salem returns to the senior team for the first time since round eight after being sidelined with a thyroid problem earlier in the year.

Coach Paul Roos said Salem had earned his selection after strong form in the VFL over recent weeks.

“We believe Christian is an important player going forward and he’s worked his way back in through good form and gets a chance to play in the last game of the year after missing a lot of footy this season,” he said.

Small forward Jeff Garlett also returns after missing round 22 through illness, while youngster James Harmes is back after being named as an emergency last week.

“Jeffy [Garlett] missed last week due to injury. It’s good to have him back with his ability to kick goals and his speed,” said Roos.

“We think Harmesy’s body of work this year has been really strong and having the weekend off last week will really help him.”

First year player Clayton Oliver has been omitted, along with Alex Neal-Bullen and Viv Michie.

Melbourne team vs Geelong Cats
B: Sam Frost, Tom McDonald, Neville Jetta
HB: Jayden Hunt, Oscar McDonald, Tomas Bugg
C: Billy Stretch, Bernie Vince, Dom Tyson
HF:  Sam Weideman, Jack Watts, Aaron vandenBerg
F: Christian Petracca, Jesse Hogan, Jeff Garlett
Foll:  Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney
I/C: Christian Salem, Angus Brayshaw, Dean Kent, James Harmes
Emergencies: Jack Trengove, Cameron Pedersen, Matt Jones

In: Jeff Garlett, Christian Salem, James Harmes
Out: Viv Michie (Omitted), Alex Neal-Bullen (Omitted), Clayton Oliver (Omitted)