Houston problem, Close call for Cats, Dockers debutant confirmed

Another big day with the Gold Coast-Carlton teams dropping, Geelong offering a glimpse into their Sunday team, two Port Adelaide players getting banned and Fremantle naming a debutant.

Ins: David Swallow, Sean Lemmens, Jarrod Harbrow, Jack Martin, Marc Pittonet
Outs: Brayden Fiorini, Alex Sexton, Nick Holman, Josh Honey, Matthew Kennedy (quad)

David Swallow (AF $655k SC $400k MID returns for the Suns on Friday night, while Sam Flanders (AF $266k SC $172k MID/FWD) holds his spot.

For Carlton, Matthew Cottrell (AF $211k SC $142k DEF) and Tom De Koning (AF $217k SC $148k RUCK) both hold but Josh Honey (AF $171k SC $124k MID/FWD) drops out after only one game.

Brad Close
(AF $296k SC $197k MID/FWD) looks like he’s a strong chance to return after being managed last round, despite the availability of Luke Dahlhaus (AF $504k SC $379k FWD), against Adelaide on Sunday.

Cats coach Chris Scott said: “We have a couple of guys who we’ve managed out from previous weeks who will be right back in the frame as well. Brad Close is one of them.”

Scott confirmed that Jack Steven (AF $604k SC $369k MID/FWD) will play against the leaky Crows.

He said: “Jack will play. We haven’t picked the team yet but it’s been a strong part of our plan that it’s almost a given at the moment.”

Joel Selwood (AF $501k SC $375k MID) looks set to miss with a niggle, while Scott revealed Nakia Cockatoo (AF $255k SC $148k MID/FWD) won’t get his chance this round either.

Fremantle confirmed last year’s pick nine in the AFL Draft Liam Henry (AF $254k SC $171k MID/FWD) will make his debut against Sydney this Saturday.

Freo coach Justin Longmuir said: ” He’s got some elite skills…It’s exciting and he’s a highly talented young player.

“He’s a really composed young kid who has wanted this for a long time. His professionalism to get over his injuries has been first class. He’s earnt his spot in the side and we feel he is ready

“He’s going to take a little bit of time but we feel like he’s earnt his spot and his ready and will contribute to our forward line. Naturally with his talent he will have an impact on the game.”

Well-owned defender Dan Houston (AF $579k SC $437k DEF/MID) and emerging big man Peter Ladhams (AF $575k SC $459k RUCK/FWD) have copped suspensions for breaching the AFL’s COVID-19 protocols.

The AFL statement read: “Ladhams and Houston breached the protocols after Houston and a group of friends attended Ladhams’ home which is against AFL protocols.

“The AFL, in conjunction with the club, investigated the matter and has determined Ladhams will be suspended for the next three matches, while Houston will be unavailable for the next two matches.”

Houston is owned by 38% of AFL Fantasy and 18% of SuperCoach coaches, so they’ll be scrambling for a trade.

Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge wasn’t keen to give too much away this week ahead of his side’s match against Melbourne on Saturday.

Beveridge was especially coy on the ankle injury troubling Tim English (AF $653k SC $506k RUCK).

The Dogs coach said: “We won’t take any risks with anyone. Tim trained with the group this morning… I will say Tim was out on the track and if he pulls up well he’s a chance to play.”

Toby Greene
(AF $652k SC $498k FWD) looks set to return from a hamstring injury. GWS coach Leon Cameron: “We expect Toby Greene to be right and to play, he’s had the full two weeks for a 1-2 week hamstring.”

Matt de Boer (AF $409k SC $339k MID) is also close to a return which is flag-worthy for his impact as a tagger on upcoming opponents. Cameron said: “Matt de Boer is on track to resume next week against the Dockers, he had a really good session today.”

Bachar Houli (AF $779k SC $528k DEF) will return for Richmond, with Tigers coach Damien Hardwick confirming: “Bachar will play. It was a conservative call last week, we thought to give him the best chance for the remainder of the year to take that longer term approach.”

Simon Goodwin, Ken Hinkley, John Worsfold and Alastair Clarkson all will front the media on Friday, while we’ll get eight teams ahead of the first lockout for the four Saturday matches.

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