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Brayshaw bounces back to add to the mix

Ben Guthrie  February 10, 2017 8:02 PM

MELBOURNE will be hoping a fit again Angus Brayshaw can add another dimension to what is already a star-studded midfield.

Brayshaw was extremely impressive in the club's intraclub practice match at Olympic Park Oval on Friday night, while marquee recruit Jordan Lewis' ball use was another highlight out of the session.

After sitting out the first half, as part of his program in a comeback from a calf complaint sustained during pre-season training, Brayshaw was quick to assert himself up forward and through the midfield.

The 21-year-old's ability to find space and become involved in the Demons' link up play through the middle of the ground was a feature of the session.

Brayshaw was restricted to just 10 games in 2016 after battling the effects of repeat concussion symptoms, having been knocked out twice in the period of three weeks.

The tough midfielder had two shots at goal in the space of five minutes, and although he missed both, his propensity to find the ball inside and outside the contest underlined his class.

Rising defender Jayden Hunt looks like taking his game to a new level in 2017.

Hunt's competitiveness, raw speed and ability to break the game open were on full display, as he was best afield in the match practice.

Hunt, judged Melbourne's best young player by the club's coaching staff last year – despite not being nominated for the NAB AFL Rising Star award – has bulked up considerably and has been one of Melbourne's best trainers this pre-season.

Playing in a white cap under Melbourne's hot sun, Lewis – who was elevated to the club's leadership group on Friday afternoon – stamped his authority on the contest with his pinpoint kicking through the middle of the ground.

At least three times during the game, Lewis' corridor kicking out of defensive 50 led to scoring shots for his teammates at the opposite end of the ground.

Jay Kennedy-Harris was a beneficiary of one of Lewis' kicks and his zip up forward was noticeable particularly in the first half.

Kennedy-Harris is building himself up for a big season after injuring his hamstring three times during 2016 which saw him fail to play a senior game.

Returning Demon Jake Melksham was heavily involved in the play in the first half, while ex-Bombers teammate Michael Hibberd was nursed through and was in modified training.

Others to shine included Christian Petracca, whose athleticism in chopping off errant defensive kicks was noticeable, while co-captains Nathan Jones and Jack Viney won plenty of the footy in the midfield.

The Demons played two 20-minute halves of match practice, before launching into a series of craft drills – with the forwards and backs working on their positioning – and the midfielders on their stoppage work – to wind up training.

Star forward Jesse Hogan finished the session by working on his set-shot goal kicking under the watchful eye of defensive coordinator Jade Rawlings.

There were no major injuries to report, although Declan Keilty received treatment for a nasty graze on his knee and Brayshaw had his thumb strapped.

Star midfielder Dom Tyson (knee) and forwards Dean Kent (back) and Ben Kennedy (back) did not participate in training.

Neville Jetta (quad) and Mitch Hannan (shoulder) joined Hibberd in modified training as they aim to join the main group ahead of the Demons' JLT Community Series clash with the Western Bulldogs next Saturday evening.