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Demons confirm Jesse Hogan will debut against Gold Coast

Pies test positive, Demons' great hope and more Nat Edwards and Matt Thompson with all the latest football news.
Jesse Hogan will finally make his senior debut for Melbourne against Gold Coast on Saturday - ${keywords}
Jesse Hogan will finally make his senior debut for Melbourne against Gold Coast on Saturday

MELBOURNE forward Jesse Hogan will finally make his AFL debut against Gold Coast at the MCG on Saturday. 

His first senior game will come a year later than expected after a pre-season back injury ruined his 2014 season, and more than two years after he tantalised fans with his first outings as an 18-year-old in the 2013 NAB Challenge.  

Hogan joined the club at the end of 2012 as a 17-year-old acquired via the GWS mini-draft that also sent Jack Martin to Gold Coast. 

"I can confirm that [Hogan will debut], provided he gets through training this week," Roos said on Monday.

"Jesse's done enough this pre-season and he played pretty consistently throughout the three (NAB Challenge) games so we'd expect him to play this week. 

Hogan, now 20, showed through the NAB Challenge that he is fit and raring to go. With fellow key forward Chris Dawes suspended for round one, the 20-year-old looms as the major focal point for the Demons this week.

Roos also said Jeremy Howe, Bernie Vince, rookie Aaron vandenBerg and No.3 draft pick Angus Brayshaw were all in the selection mix for Saturday.

Vince, vandenBerg and Brayshaw all performed strongly for the Casey Scorpions in a VFL practice match on Saturday, while Howe got through a solid training session last Friday.

Vince and Howe, who battled hamstring complaints through the pre-season, trained without inhibition at Gosch's Paddock on Monday morning.

Before training, Roos hinted that both, despite their lack of preparation, would likely feature against the Suns.

"I think it was important for Bernie to play (in the VFL). He's at a different stage. Howie's been training for pretty much 10 weeks now," Roos said.

"They both got through. Certainly, given their age and experience, they've given us food for thought going into this week."

 

The Demons have been working hard on improving the offensive side of their game this pre-season, with senior assistant Simon Goodwin taking charge in that area.

Melbourne scored the fewest points of any team in the competition last season, with the game style heavily slanted toward defending.

Roos said he was looking for the offensive side of the game to pick up against the Suns this Saturday.

"I think the balance (between attack and defence) is something we're really looking for … putting pressure on opposition teams when we have the ball, which we didn't do enough of last year," he said.

"We've got to continue the theme of good teams. Punish teams when you've got it and hopefully stop them from scoring.

"That's the big thing for us on the weekend. We want to score a lot more than we did last year and keep teams to manageable scores."