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Melbourne Football Club

Kent to debut, but Jamar out injured

His (Kent) work rate and defensive pressure at Casey has been a highlight and he deserves his opportunity to play against Carlton on Sunday.
Dean Kent

PROMISING half-forward Dean Kent will make his AFL debut against Carlton at the MCG on Sunday, after Melbourne added six players to its squad for round six.

The Dees have also included ruckman Jake Spencer for his first match of the season, after being an emergency for the opening five rounds.

Young-gun Jack Viney returns after being rested last weekend and defender Lynden Dunn has also been recalled after starring for Casey last round, following three matches on the sidelines with a hamstring injury. 

Rebounder James Strauss and the pacy Daniel Nicholson have also been added to the initial line-up, having been named on the extended interchange, along with Sam Blease, Cameron Pedersen, Michael Evans, Luke Tapscott and Aaron Davey.

As announced by coach Mark Neeld on Thursday morning, the Demons have lost versatile tall Jack Watts with a hamstring injury for the next one to two weeks.

Ruckman Mark Jamar is also out of the side with a groin injury.

Midfielder/forward David Rodan has been omitted, after playing three matches so far this season.

Football manager Josh Mahoney said Kent had earned his debut with some impressive form.  

“Dean’s shown during the NAB Cup series that he didn’t look out of place at AFL level and he’s carried on with some strong performances at Casey,” he said.

“His work rate and defensive pressure at Casey has been a highlight and he deserves his opportunity to play against Carlton on Sunday.”

Mahoney said Viney was also ready to go this weekend.  

“Jack was rested last week, due to the load he carried in the first four rounds,” he said.

“He’s had a light week and he’s fresh and we expect him to be ready to go again.”

Mahoney said Spencer was ready for his opportunity and Dunn had overcome his injury well.

“Jake’s played at Casey in the past two weeks and an opportunity presented itself through an injury to Mark Jamar,” he said.

“He’ll enter the game with confidence, knowing he’s in good form.

“Lynden performed extremely well for Casey last week and played the full game, so he’s ready to go at AFL level this week.”

But Mahoney added that Jamar and Watts were likely to miss the next two matches each.

“Unfortunately, Jack sustained a minor hamstring during the game last week against Brisbane and will miss the next couple of weeks,” he said.

“Mark hurt his groin in the Brisbane game and he was unable to train this week.”

Kent, who was drafted from Perth at No.48 last year, has impressed for Casey in the VFL so far this year. He played two matches in the NAB Cup against North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium and Port Adelaide in Renmark, but also battled a calf injury after playing in a win over the Power.

A powerful left-foot kick, Kent hails from Clackline, 80km north-east of Perth. He won the Jack Clarke Medal for the best WAFL Colts player in 2012.

Spencer had 42 hit outs for Casey last week and has been on the cusp of selection all season.

Viney was given a breather against the Brisbane Lions, as the club ensures his training and playing loads are managed carefully in his debut season.

Dunn played what forward line development coach Paul Satterley described as the near perfect game in the VFL last weekend. He amassed 35 disposals, took 11 marks and kicked two goals.

Strauss also impressed with his confidence and speed for Casey last round and Nicholson was an emergency and traveled to Brisbane.

Round six Melbourne team

B: Lynden Dunn, James Frawley, Dean Terlich

HB: Jack Grimes, Tom McDonald, Colin Garland

C: Jack Trengove, Jack Viney, Matt Jones

HF: Jeremy Howe, Colin Sylvia, Dean Kent

F: Rohan Bail, Max Gawn, Shannon Byrnes

FOLL: Jake Spencer, Jordie McKenzie, Nathan Jones

I/C (from): Sam Blease, James Strauss, Cameron Pedersen, Daniel Nicholson, Michael Evans, Luke Tapscott, Aaron Davey

IN: Lynden Dunn, James Strauss, Jake Spencer, Jack Viney, Dean Kent, Daniel Nicholson

OUT: Mark Jamar (groin), Jack Watts (hamstring), David Rodan

New: Dean Kent (Perth)