MELBOURNE is preparing for one of the league’s famous challenges - travelling up to Brisbane to face the Lions at the Gabba.

Brisbane’s home ground of the Gabba has become somewhat of a fortress for the side but the Dees are ready to embrace this test in Round 16.

Simon Goodwin joined media on Tuesday morning to preview Brisbane’s strengths and discuss his side’s selection opportunities.


Jake Lever availability

“He just needs to get through training,” Goodwin said.  

“He's done all his match loads the last few weeks and he's done all the training possible. So, it's just getting through today's session, and then he'll be on the plane up to play Brisbane.

“So, it's going to be great to get one of our leaders back. [He’s] a really important player to us and obviously helps the back half of the ground.

“We know the type of team that we're coming up against and so he is an important player for us.”

Brisbane footy

"They're an incredibly high scoring team at the moment. They're very dynamic ahead of the ball and their tall forwards are in form," Goodwin said. 

"Clearly they're a very experienced side and they're a very mature side.

"They've found their ability to score really heavily and they're a side that's clearly playing some of the best footy in the competition at the moment.

"We certainly know what we're up against. We're looking for the opportunity to go out there and put ourself on show, but we're going to have to play our best footy to really put ourselves in the game." 

Trent Rivers in the midfield

"He embraced the role that was only given to him obviously when Christian went out of the team," Goodwin said. 

"So for him to come in there, we've sort of played him in there for little bits and pieces in the last couple of seasons, but to embrace that role full time last week, I thought he was outstanding for us.

"This is what this game gives you when you lose players or you give opportunity to certain players, you find something in your team. And we think we've found something with Trent. 

"From last week's performance, he looks like a high-class midfielder in the making.

"So, we'll continue to press on with that and give him another look at it this week against a really formidable team in the midfield."


Clayton Oliver’s form

"Obviously, we've spent some time on how we can help Clayton, he's an important player to us," Goodwin said. 

“He certainly wasn't happy with the way he played on the weekend, not only from an impact perspective, but obviously giving away so many free kicks.

"There's been a lot of talk around Clayton and where he's at, and the contract and all sorts of things, certainly things that we're going to have to work with for a long period of time.

"He's had some challenges leading into the season, we all know that, but he's put in a hell of a lot of work into getting himself ready for AFL footy and to be honest, he's still having an impact for this team, you can only tell that by opposition teams tagging him. He must be doing something right if they're prepared to tag him.

"So, you know, he wants to play better, clearly, but he's working incredibly hard to do that, and we feel like it's not too far away."

Kynan Brown’s debut

“Obviously he only played the ten minutes," Goodwin said. 

"He brings a lot of speed, a lot of energy, he's still developing his game for AFL footy.

"He's one of those young players in our team that has come in and got that experience at AFL level.

"So, we'll have a look at that once we get through full training today to work out where that sits for his selection."

Matt Jefferson’s progress

"He's getting closer [to selection] all the time. He's obviously kicked a few bags in the last few weeks and he's progressing his game," Goodwin said.

"He's come a long way in probably the last five or six weeks and he certainly spent a lot of time building his body, building his craft and his mastery around the key forward position.

"He's still got a little bit of work to do, but he's someone that we're really excited about."