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Melbourne Football Club

Skipper, debutant among four inclusions

MELBOURNE has made four changes for Saturday’s clash against GWS Giants at UNSW Canberra Oval.

The Demons have welcomed back co-captain Nathan Jones, after six weeks out with a quadriceps injury, and rookie Corey Maynard, the son of former Dee Peter and older brother of Collingwood’s Brayden, has been named to make his AFL debut.

Melbourne has also rushed back 2015 best and fairest winner Bernie Vince, after he was rubbed out for two matches by the match review panel.

And versatile tall Cameron Pedersen has come back into the side after being an emergency for the past two rounds.

As expected, Melbourne has lost key forward Jesse Hogan (shoulder), while first-year Demon Mitch Hannan has been rested.

Former co-captain Jack Trengove and small Jay Kennedy-Harris have been omitted.

Youngster Billy Stretch, emerging tall Sam Weideman and rebounder Josh Wagner have been named emergency.

Coach Simon Goodwin said there was some important and well-earned inclusions this round.

“We’ve got two leaders back in Nathan Jones and Bernie Vince, so it’s always great to get some of our leadership and experience back in the team,” he told Melbourne TV.

“Cam Pedersen comes into the team, with Jesse Hogan injured, after some really strong VFL form. And I think it’s fantastic at this stage of the year that we’ve got a debutant in Corey Maynard. He’s got a basketball background and is a category B rookie and he’s been on our list for 12 months.

“His form in the VFL has been outstanding, especially in the midfield, so he comes into the team.”

On Tuesday evening, Corey Maynard was pulled aside to have a chat with coach Simon Goodwin and elite performance manager Dave Misson and spoke of his delight about his selection minutes later.  

“I didn’t expect it to happen this quick. I’ve been working hard to make it a reality, but you try not to focus on the outcome of things – you focus on the things the coaches tell you to improve and get better at it,” he told melbournefc.com.au.  

“But I’m just shaking now – you can’t put into words, because it doesn’t feel real.

“I was told 10 minutes ago, so it hasn’t sunk in.”

Maynard said he “couldn’t have imagined it to turn out this way”.

“I took a big leap of faith leaving basketball, but I was comfortable in that decision – whether footy worked out or didn’t,” he said.

“It’s testament to all of the people I’ve worked with at the footy club – the coaches, support staff, teammates and everyone at Melbourne that have contributed, as I was pretty raw when I arrived, as you can imagine.

“Eleven months ago, I was running around like a headless chook, but for everyone who has helped me get to this position – it speaks volumes about where the Melbourne footy club is at right now.”

The match starts at 1.45pm.

Melbourne team: round 20

B: Jayden Hunt, Oscar McDonald, Neville Jetta

HB: Jordan Lewis, Sam Frost, Michael Hibberd

C: Dom Tyson, Bernie Vince, Christian Salem

HF: Clayton Oliver, Cam Pedersen, Alex Neal-Bullen

F: Jeff Garlett, Tom McDonald, James Harmes

Foll: Max Gawn, Jack Viney, Nathan Jones

I/C: Jack Watts, Christian Petracca, Jake Melksham, Corey Maynard

Emg: Billy Stretch, Sam Weideman, Josh Wagner

In: Jones, Pedersen, Vince, Maynard

Out: Jesse Hogan (shoulder), Mitch Hannan (rested), Jack Trengove, Jay Kennedy-Harris

New: Maynard