AFL News This Week: Coniglio, Lipinski & Sinn hyped, Witts ‘on track’, Darcy update, Dean injured

At this time of the year it’s tough to keep an eye on everything happening in pre-season with AFL Fantasy and SuperCoach relevance, so we’ve bundled it all into one place. But from Monday, we’ll revert to our daily news.

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Western Bulldogs

Bailey Smith (AF $733k SC $472k MID) was named to return for the Dogs in Friday’s AAMI Community Series game with the Brisbane Lions.

West Coast

The Eagles added 197cm forward Hugh Dixon on an SSP deal as they look for depth given the Jack Darling situation.

There was some OK news on Elliot Yeo’s (AF $696k SC $470k MID) injury amid fears of a long lay-off. Eagles football manager Gavin Bell said: “Elliot strained his calf and we expect him to progress back from that to return to play in about a month.”

Sadly Campbell Chesser (AF $264k SC $148k D/M) will miss the first half of the season. Bell said: “He has some ligament and cartilage damage to his ankle that we are continuing to assess but he is likely to miss at least the first half of the season.”

Sydney

Isaac Heeney (AF $639k SC $454k FWD) signed a bumper six-year deal and teammate Luke Parker confirmed his midfield switch. Parker told afl.com.au: “Coming into the midfield he has the big body to play on stronger guys, he’s one of the best runners at our club and has a great aerobic capacity, and he’s also powerful outside the contest.”

St Kilda

The Saints added Jack Hayes as an SSP signing. On the club website, they said: “Hayes’ most recent SANFL campaign included SA captaincy honours, an equal-3rd finish in the Magarey Medal, as well as the prestigious Jack Oatey Medal for his best-on-ground Grand Final performance.”

Richmond

Nothing of note to report.

Port Adelaide

Port coach Ken Hinkley spoke positively about an early debut for Josh Sinn (AF $268k SC $157k D/M) on afl.com.au. He said: “We don’t mind putting our inexperienced players out there early. He has to earn that and in pre-season he has been playing well. If he doesn’t play Round 1 he’ll be playing early. He’ll be right in the mix.”

North Melbourne

Nothing from North.

Melbourne

Christian Salem (AF $779k SC $514k DEF) missed Thursday’s AAMI Community Series game with a knee knock but the Dees said he’ll be right for Round 1.

Hawthorn

Hawthorn coach Sam Mitchell confirmed on AFL.com.au that Will Day (AF $531k SC $345k DEF) will miss games early in the season. Mitchell said: “I don’t have a solid answer for you (when he will be available). He’s not doing match play yet but he is starting to do the other training drills so he’s getting fitter.”

GWS Giants

Stephen Coniglio (AF $695k SC $261k M/F) seems like he’s ready for a big year. GWS assistant coach Steve Johnson said: “It’s noticeable in pre-season that Cogs’ body is the best it’s been in a long time. Injuries meant he hasn’t been able to get the load into his legs (in recent years) but he’s hungry for a big year.”

Gold Coast Suns

Jarrod Witts (AF $572k SC $380k RUCK) was absent for the Suns’ practice game but coach Stuart Dew assured that he was on track in his recovery from an ACL inury. Dew said: “The decision won’t be around his knee, it’ll just be whether he’s ready for the rigours of the game. He’d want to play some minutes in those games before Round 1… He’s on track.”

Elijah Hollands (AF $190k SC $123k M/F) played in the Suns’ VFL practice game. Suns VFL coach Jackson Kornberg said: “He was adjusting to a couple of different roles. His patterns up and down, and his ability to defend and accumulate a bit of the ball around the stoppage impressed me.”

Geelong

Cooper Stephens (AF $190k SC $123k MID) seemed to pick up an ankle problem in the Cats’ practice game. Geelong assistant coach James Kelly said: “I don’t have an enormous amount of detail on that but sad if he’s done anything. He’s a talented player who hasn’t played much footy for the last couple of years.”

Fremantle

Dockers Executive Football GM Peter Bell offered some reassurance about the fitness of Sean Darcy (AF $786k SC $642k RUCK). Bell said: β€œSean just jarred his thumb a couple of weeks ago. He could have played, it’s not an injury that’s going to require surgery. It was a little bit sore but he’ll play this Sunday.”

Essendon

There were some hopes that SSP signing Tex Wanganeen (AF TBC SC $102k FWD) might get an early game with Anthony McDonald-Tipunwuti absent but Dons assistant coach Daniel Giansiracusa played that down. He said: “He hasn’t played much footy in the last couple of years. He’s come a long way but there’s a big step-up from playing pre-season into the real stuff. He’s a talented kid.”

Collingwood

Well-owned cheap defensive rookie Charlie Dean (AF $190k SC $102k DEF) will not play Round 1 due to a foot injury. Pies GM of Football Graham Wright said: β€œWe will know more once Charlie has seen the specialist but we are expecting that his recovery will keep him out of the selection frame for a number of weeks.”

Jordan De Goey (AF $707k SC $463k M/F) looks set to play in Round 1 as he recovers from a rib injury. Pies assistant coach Brendon Bolton said: “He trained well today and that’s really pleasing and promising, so hopefully gets through the week and is a chance to play (against GWS)… He has to be cleared by the medicos.”

There’s been a bit of hype for new recruit Pat Lipinski (AF $606k SC $359k MID) lately. Pies coach Craig McRae told afl.com.au: “He’s an elite runner. His hands around the contest really stand out. He is one of those guys who just really fits in quickly. He is a really good human. He may be one the Bulldogs may rue.”

Bolton added: “He can hold his own on the inside and he’s a good strong runner on the outside so having that variety on the midfield is a good thing.”

Carlton

Sam Docherty (AF $827k SC $533k DEF) returned to action with the Carlton Reserves on Thursday and did well by all reports.

Charlie Curnow (AF $347k SC $224k FWD) missed their Thursday AAMI Community Series game with Melbourne but the club insisted it was a rest only after a knee knock in their practice game. Blues coach Michael Voss told 7News Melbourne: “Minor. Haven’t even bothered to get scans. We’re hoping that’s minor. That’s the risk that comes with playing games, the boys get banged up.”

Brisbane Lions

Keidean Coleman (AF $343k SC $262k D/F) was named to play in the Lions’ Friday AAMI Community Series game after missing their practice game after being a Covid close contact. He appears set for an improved half-back role, having had a good finals series.

Darcy Wilmot (AF $260k SC $139k DEF) was suspended for one game for rough conduct.

Adelaide

Mitch Hinge (AF $383k SC $180k DEF) spoke to the media this week and looms for a best 22 spot. Hinge said: “For me half-back is my number one position. That suits my game style and athletic ability. I’ll be trying to play on smalls and talls but even up on the wing. The more versatile I am, the more likely I am to get picked.”

Jordan Dawson (AF $745k SC $550k DEF) was ruled out of the Crows’ AAMI Community Series game with a calf issue. Adelaide HP Manager Darren Burgess said: “Our eye is on Round 1 and making sure he is right to go. He has done the work over pre-season and has put himself in a good position so we don’t expect this setback to be significant.”

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