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Rd 18: Simon's Selection

6:20pm  Jul 19, 2018

Inside Melbourne: Episode 18

1:34pm  Jul 19, 2018

Media Conference: Nathan Jones

12:06pm  Jul 19, 2018

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12:04pm  Jul 19, 2018

Vince certainly in the mix: Goodwin

Ben Guthrie  July 11, 2018 11:36 AM

Media Conference: Simon Goodwin The media chat to Simon Goodwin ahead of Melbourne's game against the Western Bulldogs this Saturday at the MCG

MELBOURNE veteran Bernie Vince has proved he is ready for a recall, but coach Simon Goodwin cannot yet guarantee his place in the side for Saturday's game against the Western Bulldogs at the MCG.

Working in Vince's favour is that young defender Joel Smith (hip) must still pass a fitness test before he is declared fit to play against the Dogs.

Vince was the carryover emergency for the Demons' trip to Darwin and subsequent 54-point win over Fremantle, while the 32-year-old gathered 25 touches a fortnight ago in his first match after being demoted to Casey.

"Bernie's done enough. I can't sit here and say that he's going to play but he's certainly performed well at VFL level," Goodwin said.

"He didn't play at the weekend but if a spot becomes available then he'll certainly be in the selection mix."

Smith was cleared of any significant damage to his hip in an injury he sustained against the Dockers, but still faces a fight to prove his fitness.

The 22-year-old started with the rehab group but then progressed into doing more contact and marking drills.

"He's still got some hurdles to get through. In terms of the scan, he's all clear in regard to his hip," Goodwin said.

"He's still got a few little things going on but he'll have to do a bit of training later today (Wednesday) to really prove to us that he's ready to go.

"We certainly won't take a risk with him at the moment so we'll just have to wait and see how that plays out today."

Goodwin dismissed suggestions only one of Vince or fellow veteran Jordan Lewis could play in the same team.

"I think they certainly can (play in the same side). We haven't come to the conclusion that it's one of them in the team at once," Goodwin said.

"Without question we've had some success throughout the year when both of them have played together.

"We're really confident that in the right form they can both play in the same side."

The Demons kicked 24 behinds against the Dockers in Darwin on Saturday night and had 50 more inside 50s than their opponents but managed just 13 goals.

Goodwin said goal kicking had been a priority at training this week, as it was every week, and the club had been working on navigating around the opposition numbers that were dropping back into the attacking zone.

"It's something that probably hasn't been an issue for us throughout the year – we've been ranked No.1 for (scoring) most of the year," Goodwin said.

"The weekend wasn't what we'd really like, but at the same time it doesn't change how we train, and we try to implement the type of goals we get in a game, which is generally high density."

Defender Jayden Hunt (ankle) ran laps at training on Wednesday, although he is still 2-3 weeks away from returning to the field, Goodwin said.