WITH 40 fit players on Melbourne’s list, spots in the senior side are hard to come by.
And after a competitive hit-out on Sunday afternoon, Jake Melksham says the club’s depth is looking better than ever.
“To pick the team at the minute, it’s really tough,” he said on ABC radio.
“There are guys that are playing really well that would’ve got games with this current form last year.
“At the moment, with a clean bill of health throughout the footy team, it’s good for the club to have such an array of people to select from and it’s tough for spots.”
On the back of the Dees’ Round 3 clash being postponed, they decided to make the most of a vacant MCG, with a high-quality intra-club game taking place.
“[Sunday’s] practice match was actually as good a replication of an AFL standard game as we’ve had as a footy club,” Melksham said.
“The VFL boys really wanted to take it up to us in the main group and show why they should be selected and play a good brand of footy.
“I think we only beat them by a goal.
“I think we’re prepared as best as possible for this week.”
One unlucky omission from the Demons' outfit in Round 2 was Michael Hibberd, who is putting in the work to earn his spot back in the side.
“He’s obviously had a pretty tough time the last few months through coronavirus and the passing of his brother Geoff,” Melksham said.
“There’s obviously a bit of an emotional layer there for him, but he’s training really well.
“He’s had his hand up for a good few weeks now to be selected, and he was really good again [on Sunday].
“I expect him to break into the team really soon.
“He’s got good form and he’s coping with everything as well as possible, I guess.”
Another senior figure to fall out of Melbourne’s best 22 since returning from lockdown is Nathan Jones, although the former co-captain is still a key figure in the Demons’ plans when fit.
“Jonesy has been battling a little bit of soreness these last few weeks and his body probably hasn’t quite been at 100 percent,” Melksham said.
“I think it was a good opportunity for him to get himself right and get some good form this weekend in whatever practice match we played.
“He was pretty good out there and back to what it looked like for him when he’s at his best.”
Listen to Melksham’s full interview below.