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Mifsud returns for round two

Matt Burgan  February 8, 2018 5:58 PM

We’re looking forward to having her (Mifsud) back out there on the weekend

MELBOURNE has made one change for Saturday’s clash against Adelaide Crows at Casey Fields, starting at 5.05pm.

The Demons have included forward Alyssa Mifsud after she copped a heavy knock at training in the lead-up to the AFLW season.

First-year player Maddy Guerin, who made her AFLW debut against GWS Giants at Casey last round, has been left out of the side.

Second-year Demons, Brooke Patterson and Harriet Cordner, have been named emergencies.  

Coach Mick Stinear said Mifsud was a welcome return to the side.

“Miffo’s been great on the track. She’s worked really hard and has put herself back into a position to be able to play,” he told melbournefc.com.au.

“It was an unfortunate incident at training a couple of weeks back, but she’s one of our best competitors and gives us a really good target up forward, and I think it’s going to be a physical game on the weekend.

“We’re looking forward to having her back out there on the weekend.”

Stinear said star Demon Karen Paxman was set to play, after hurting her back in the opening quarter of Melbourne’s round one win.

He said Paxman had pulled up “really well”.

“She was a little bit sore straight after the game, but she’s done a power of work with our medical team to get herself right and ready to go,” he said.

“She’s determined to be out there with her teammates, so we won’t complain with that.”

Stinear said his side’s opening clash was a hard-fought encounter – and an entertaining AFLW game – against the Giants.  

“Twelve months ago, it was a little different feeling after round one [when we lost]. The girls were fantastic. I think there were a few nervous players out there, because they were so keen to get under way,” he said.

“I think they deserve the victory in the end, because they just worked hard from start to finish. GWS is going to be a really quality team, so we wish them the best of luck and we’re looking forward to round two.

“Both are really strong around the ball – we’ve got a lot of competitors and they had a lot of fire power up forward and thankfully, once we got going in the second half, we were able to score in a hurry and it was pleasing to see the girls enjoy their footy and make the most of it.”

Stinear said his team “got a few nerves out of the way” in round one and the players were eager to test themselves against last year’s premiers.  

“Now they’ve experienced a taste of AFLW, season two, they can settle in and play our game style,” he said.

“That, counted with a determined Adelaide team, should make for a really good clash.

“We’re expecting it to be physical and hot early, and then hopefully our team settles down, and we’re on the winners’ list at the end of the game.”

Melbourne AFLW team: round two

B: Meg Downie, Laura Duryea, Bianca Jakobsson

HB: Jasmine Grierson, Katherine Smith, Elise O’Dea

C: Melissa Hickey

HF: Shelley Scott, Kate Hore, Catherine Phillips

F: Aliesha Newman, Tegan Cunningham, Lily Mithen

Foll: Erin Hoare, Karen Paxman, Daisy Pearce

I/C: Richelle Cranston, Emma Humphries, Ashleigh Guest, Alyssa Mifsud, Lauren Pearce

Emg: Brooke Patterson, Harriet Cordner

In: Mifsud

Out: Maddy Guerin

Not playing: Ainslie Kemp (knee), Sarah Lampard (hamstring), Guerin Patterson, Maddie Shevlin, Anna Teague, Claudia Whitfort, Eden Zanker