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Melbourne Football Club

Several Dees in form for Casey

CASEY Scorpions coach Justin Plapp says plenty of Melbourne-listed players will enter the VFL season proper with strong form, after impressing in the recent practice matches.

Casey will open its home and away season on Sunday, hosting Frankston at Casey Fields.

The Scorpions enter the premiership season having played five practice matches and having fielded two strong squads in the past couple of weeks. Casey won three pre-season matches.

Melbourne had 17 listed-players play for Casey in the round one AFL equivalent, plus another 14 Demons play for the Scorpions last weekend. Three Melbourne-listed players – Oscar McDonald, Max King and Mitch White – also played for Casey in the AFL Victoria Development League last weekend.

Plapp said it was a great opportunity for several Melbourne players to build strong form and claims for the senior team.

He said former co-captain Jack Grimes was one who had been doing everything right since being overlooked for the first two AFL rounds.

“He’s probably a bit stiff, Grimesy,” Plapp told

“He’s been a victim of our depth and availability of our players.

“He’s a role model for our younger players and he just needs to wait for his opportunity.”

Plapp said utility Rohan Bail and midfielder Matt Jones were others waiting in the wings.

“Ro plays his role really strongly and adds some flexibility and I’ve been really impressed by his performances as well,” he said.

“Matt did some really good things we were pleased with as a coaching group.”

Midfielder Aidan Riley played his third match back from an interrupted preparation last weekend and Plapp said the former Crow was progressing well.

“He’s really building his game time and match fitness, but his improvement over the past two weeks has been terrific. We’re really happy he played on ball and we’ve been happy with him,” he said.

Ball-winner Viv Michie also continued his good early season form.

“He’s been stiff from a selection point of view. He’s probably been one of our better two or three players. He does some really clever things and he’s really just got to wait for his opportunity to come,” Plapp said.

Plapp said Melbourne’s ruckmen – Jake Spencer and Max Gawn – had been impressive for Casey.

“Jake’s been in good form. He’s put three or four really strong performances together, playing ruck/forward … and Max has been a real handful for opposition teams,” he said.

Versatile tall Cam Pedersen has been strong in attack.  

“He’s took 11 marks and kicked a couple of goals last week, as one of our main forwards,” Plapp said.

Youngster Billy Stretch has been doing everything asked by the coaches.

“He’s very coachable and is a super young man. He’s a pleasure to coach, but there aren’t high expectations on him [at the moment],” Plapp said.

Plapp said Dean Terlich was building his game time and was “probably our best player” in his second game back from a limited pre-season.

Plapp said Jimmy Toumpas played “probably his best game for the club” last weekend and Jordie McKenzie had done everything asked of him.

Jack Fitzpatrick had also showed encouraging form in a new role at centre half-back and rookie James Harmes “was really coming on his development, according to Plapp.

Oscar McDonald, Max King and Mitch White played in the AFL Victoria Development League last weekend.