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Melbourne Football Club

Vince to go again in VFL: Goodwin

Vince returned for Casey last weekend after a number of weeks on the sidelines (Photo: Scott Barbour)
He's certainly pushing his case. I thought his game on the weekend was outstanding, so he's certainly keeping his dream alive
Simon Goodwin on Bernie Vince

MELBOURNE veteran Bernie Vince has not earned a fairytale recall for Saturday's preliminary final clash against West Coast at Optus Stadium, but coach Simon Goodwin says the defender is "keeping his dream alive".       

Vince will instead play in Sunday's VFL Grand Final for Casey against Box Hill at Etihad Stadium in a bid to push his case for selection for next week's AFL decider, should the Demons progress through.

Goodwin said Vince's, who returned through the VFL from an AC joint injury in his shoulder last Saturday, lack of preparation had counted against him.

"Bernie's had one game back so he'll play in the VFL this week," Goodwin said on Wednesday.

"He's certainly pushing his case. I thought his game on the weekend was outstanding, so he's certainly keeping his dream alive.

"The most important thing for Bernie is that he wants to see the club do well both at VFL level and AFL level. He just wants to be part of something unique at our club.

"He'll continue to do what he can to play the best footy for our footy club."

Vince had 22 disposals and kicked an impressive first-quarter goal in Casey's eight-point, come-from-behind win over Essendon with the experienced Dee revealing after the game that he had fast-tracked his recovery to ensure he was available to play.

Vince announced late last month that he will retire at the end of the season, with the 32-year-old sitting on 229 career games for Adelaide and Melbourne.

With no fresh injuries – Oscar McDonald is fine despite experiencing some soreness in his lower back at training on Wednesday – it appears unlikely the Demons will make a change to a winning formula.

However, Goodwin said Joel Smith, Jayden Hunt, Jay Kennedy Harris, Cam Pedersen, Tim Smith and Jeff Garlett were all pressing their cases to be included in the side.

"Clearly they're playing some good footy and it makes it difficult to make changes, but we'll discuss that at match committee tonight and have a really clear picture tomorrow about what the team looks like," Goodwin said.

Goodwin also remained coy on which Eagle in-form tagger James Harmes will confront.

When asked if it would be Luke Shuey, Harmes' opponent when the team's played in round 22, Goodwin responded, "He'll get someone, yep."

There is a growing feeling star Eagles playmaker Elliot Yeo is the one to stop after he was best afield with 36 disposals against Collingwood in the teams' qualifying final.

Goodwin said travelling to Perth to face West Coast in front of a boisterous home crowd held no fears for the Demons, with Melbourne beating West Coast by 17 points to secure its finals berth in that round 22 contest.

"Our groups really thrive in those environments – we've had great success in Perth, we've had great success in Adelaide, so it doesn't faze us one bit," Goodwin said.

"It's going to be great to get onto a plane together, get interstate and really look forward to that atmosphere and that hostility of that crowd and relish in that situation."