Four debutants confirmed, Clark locked in, Dimma flags shock Houli replacement
It was a bumper Tuesday ahead of Round 1, with four more debutants confirmed, along with popular pick Jordan Clark, while Bachar Houli was ruled out opening the door for another rookie.
Sydney confirmed debuts for 2020 Draft top five picks Logan McDonald (AF $264k SC $193k FWD) and Braeden Campbell (AF $262k SC $189k M/F) along with pick 32 Errol Gulden (AF $208k SC $117k MID) in their Round 1 game against Brisbane.
Collingwood also confirmed Oliver Henry (AF $238k SC $135k FWD) will make his debut against the Western Bulldogs on Friday night. Henry was pick 17 in the 2020 Draft. This means it looks like Trent Bianco (AF $170k SC $123k DEF/MID) has missed out.
GWS already confirmed on Monday that Matthew Flynn (AF $170k SC $123k RUCK) and Tanner Bruhn (AF $248k SC $157k MID) will debut in Round 1 against St Kilda.
Geelong coach Chris Scott confirmed Jordan Clark (AF $422k SC $241k D/M) is playing Round 1.
Scott told the Geelong Advertiser: “Jordan will play this week and we are excited to him in. He has just done everything he could to force his way into our team.”
Lachie Neale (AF $935k SC $721k FWD) offered an ominous warning for the league that he’s only getting better after his Brownlow year, despite a calf issue in pre-season.
Neale said: “I feel probably the fittest I’ve been leading into a season. I’ve done a lot of running. Physically I feel really good. I’ve put on a kilo or 2 which will help me.”
Fremantle confirmed it will appeal the suspension of Josh Treacy (AF $170k SC $102k RUCK/FWD) at the WAFL Tribunal. The hearing will occur at 6pm WST Wednesday, although Freo’s likely ‘careless’ argument would only see the ban reduced in length, so don’t expect him for Round 1.
Bachar Houli (AF $764k SC $465k DEF) won’t play on Thursday due to a calf injury but he may play Round 2.
Tigers coach Damien Hardwick said: “Yet to really join in skills at this stage but he’s a seasoned campaigner, he’s done 14 or 15 pre-seasons so we probably think he’d be a chance for Round 2.”
Hardwick voluntarily highlighted Hugo Ralphsmith (AF $170k SC $123k M/F) as a potential replacement when he said: “A young player by the name of Hugo Ralphsmith has been really impressive over the course of summer.” He also flagged Marlion Pickett and Derek Eggmolesse-Smith as other options.
Port are still giving nothing away about potential Round 1 debutants Miles Bergman (AF $170k SC $123k FWD), Lachlan Jones (AF $240k SC $139k DEF) and Jackson Mead (AF $170k SC $123k MID) despite praise from assistant coach Nathan Bassett.
Bassett said: “Jackson Mead and Miles Bergman have made strides in their second pre-season. Miles’ last month in particular was great. We all saw what Lachie Jones did in the SANFL last year. But I’ve got no early insight into selection or debuts. We have our selection meeting in 15 minutes. We’ll wait and see how the team shapes up.”
Jordan De Goey (AF $605k SC $435k FWD) looks set for more mid time in 2021, after coach Nathan Buckley said: “There are very few midfielders who can run out the whole game. He’ll play mid and forward.”
GWS have lost another of their troops, which might open the door for more debutants, with Daniel Lloyd (AF $450k SC $330k FWD) ruled out for two months with a quad tendon tear.
Geelong coach Chris Scott and Suns coach Stuart Dew will speak to the press, while we’ll get the first 22s (or possible 23s with a concussion sub) of the year, for Richmond-Carlton.