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In the mix: Who's pushing for selection in round 22?

Bomber Darcy Parish, Freo veteran Hayden Ballantyne, and GWS star mid Josh Kelly are all in the mix - AFL,Adelaide Crows,Brisbane Lions,Carlton Blues,Collingwood Magpies,Essendon Bombers,Fremantle Dockers,Geelong Cats,Gold Coast Suns,GWS Giants,Hawthorn Hawks,Melbourne Demons,North Melbourne Kangaroos,Port Adelaide Power,Richmond Tigers,St Kilda Saints,Sydney Swans,West Coast Eagles,Western Bulldogs,News,In the Mix
Bomber Darcy Parish, Freo veteran Hayden Ballantyne, and GWS star mid Josh Kelly are all in the mix

WHO IS a chance to play in round 22?

In this week's In the Mix, brought to you by the Toyota WorkHorse Range, we find the players who are giving their selectors plenty of food for thought.

Who's going out, who's sore, who is under the pump? Our reporters attempt to pick all the R22 ins. Check it out.

Get them in: The Crows were gallant in their 10-point loss to West Coast, so don't expect massive changes for Saturday's clash with Collingwood. Defender Alex Keath remains a week-to-week proposition with a stress response in his leg, while midfielders Myles Poholke (28 disposals, two goals), Patrick Wilson (26) and Paul Seedsman (25) were the best in the SANFL. Hugh Greenwood had 19 touches and 10 tackles.

Under the pump: Andy Otten would likely make way if Keath returns, while Poholke is putting pressure on Richard Douglas.

Medical room: Rory Sloane is in doubt with blurred vision and Keath will be assessed.

Toyota WorkHorse Verdict: Crows will be unchanged. Greenwood narrowly ahead of Poholke, if Sloane is ruled out. – Lee Gaskin

Get them in: With a 16th straight victory in the NEAFL on Saturday, a number of players kept the pressure on the seniors, led by Rhys Mathieson with 31 touches and two goals and prolific midfielder Corey Lyons with 22, nine tackles and two goals.

Under the pump: It was arguably the Lions' most even performance of the season against Gold Coast with everyone doing their part. No-one should be sweating this week.

Medical room: No new problems. In fact, Tom Cutler (foot) is expected to come back to the NEAFL, leaving just first-year player Tom Joyce on the injury list.

Toyota WorkHorse Verdict: No changes this week. - Michael Whiting

Rhys Mathieson is putting his hand up but there's unlikely to be room in the ones. Picture: AFL Photos

Get them in: Midfield duo Matt Kennedy and Paddy Dow were among the biggest ball-winners in the VFL, as they attempted to earn back their places in the Carlton side. Angus Schumacher was clean across half-back for the Northern Blues, while Liam Stocker kicked two goals.

Under the pump: It was another quiet day for Darcy Lang, who had just four touches during Sunday's loss to Richmond. Josh Deluca struggled in front of goal, but is impressing Carlton officials with his forward pressure.

Medical room: The Blues were forced to rule  Liam Jones out for the remainder of the season after the in-form defender suffered a nasty throat injury against the Tigers. They're unlikely to welcome anyone back from injury this week.

Toyota WorkHorse Verdict: They'll be forced into at least one change, with Hugh Goddard expected to replace Jones. Kennedy might push for a recall in place of Lang, while Stocker is another option following a good run of form in the VFL. – Riley Beveridge

Reliable defender Liam Jones will miss the remainder of the season. Picture: AFL Photos

Get them in: Mid-season draftee John Noble (23 possessions) was solid again in the VFL and will again be in the frame for a call-up for the twilight clash with Adelaide at Adelaide Oval on Saturday, as could fellow runners Tyler Brown and Ben Crocker.

Under the pump: In the absence of brilliant goalkickers Jordan De Goey and Jaidyn Stephenson, the challenge for Jamie Elliott is to step up. Injuries have continued to dog the small forward but he needs to get involved more and make more of his opportunities. Has kicked just three goals in his past six games.

Medical room: Young wingman Josh Daicos (concussion) will be monitored, but stars De Goey and Darcy Moore have already been ruled out.

Toyota WorkHorse Verdict: If Daicos isn't passed fit, the pacy Noble would be a handy replacement. - Ben Collins

Jamie Elliott is under the pump after just three goals in his past six games. Picture: AFL Photos

Get them in: The Bombers will be expecting Darcy Parish (concussion) and Aaron Francis (neck) to return from injury, while Adam Saad (hamstring) is a slight chance but more unlikely. Essendon's injury list has it stretched for options, with Brayden Ham, Michael Hartley and Jordan Ridley possible inclusions from the VFL.

Under the pump: Where do you start after a shambolic loss like last week's to the Western Bulldogs? Ben McNiece was outclassed across half-back, David Myers only managed 11 disposals and Mark Baguley's two goals came late. Dylan Clarke battled against the Western Bulldogs' midfield, as did David Zaharakis. 

Medical room: Orazio Fantasia is playing sore and battling to have an impact, so whether the Bombers act on that now or at the end of the season remains unclear. Shaun McKernan had his hamstring assessed in Saturday night's beating to the Dogs. Tom Bellchambers (calf) and Michael Hurley (shoulder) are not yet available. Jake Stringer is also in doubt this week with hamstring tightness.

Toyota WorkHorse Verdict: The only thing really saving the Bombers from a host of unforced changes is the lack of options to come in. Parish, Francis and Jayden Laverde could all come in, with a number of players at risk of being cut for the side to face Fremantle. - Callum Twomey

Darcy Parish is a chance to return from concussion against the Dockers. Picture: AFL Photos

Get them in: All eyes are on Hayden Ballantyne ahead of a potential farewell game against Essendon, while the Dockers could also consider tall forwards Brennan Cox and Cam McCarthy, or more pace via ex-Bomber Travis Colyer. Possible debutants Hugh Dixon and Sam Sturt could remain around the mark despite reasonably quiet WAFL performances.

Under the pump: Poor ball use killed the Dockers against St Kilda, and small forward Lachie Schultz and second-game backman Jason Carter might make way. Mitch Crowden and Bailey Banfield might be anxious.

Medical room: If Cox overcomes his hip trouble could he play his first game since round 15 straight back in the seniors?

Toyota WorkHorse Verdict: Ballantyne and Sturt for Schultz and Carter. – Travis King

Could this be the last time Hayden Ballantyne pulls on the purple jumper? Picture: AFL Photos

Get them in: Charlie Constable (41 disposals, two goals) burnt up the stat sheet in the VFL, prompting Chris Scott to concede how unlucky the youngster had been at selection. James Parsons (34) and Sam Simpson (28) were also busy, while Scott Selwood was the carryover emergency. Rhys Stanley (29 hitouts in the VFL) and Zac Smith (late out) will be pushing for a recall after Mark Blicavs was preferred as No.1 ruck.

Under the pump: Lachie Henderson could be sacrificed if Blicavs returns to defence and a No.1 ruckman is recalled. If another change is made in defence, Jed Bews' date with Charlie Cameron could see Jake Kolodjashnij rested, the Tasmanian playing just 64 per cent of game time last week.

Medical room: Defender Mark O'Connor will need to prove his fitness after missing the past fortnight with a turf toe.

Verdict: Smith for Henderson and, if fit, O'Connor for Kolodjashnij. – Mitch Cleary

Zac Smith is set to return to bolster the ruck department. Picture: AFL Photos

Get them in: Jack Martin responded the best way possible to being dropped last week, racking up 32 disposals, 12 tackles and two goals against undefeated Brisbane in the NEAFL. Brad Scheer and Jesse Joyce also got plenty of the ball.

Under the pump: He was given a hard task last week, but Jacob Dawson battled mightily against Charlie Cameron. It's possibly unfair to single guys out from a poor team performance, but Chris Burgess and Michael Rischitelli also struggled to impact (among many others).

Medical room: He got through, but Anthony Miles battled for most of the night with an ankle problem and will need to pass a test to play on Sunday.

Toyota WorkHorse VerdictAfter losing by 91 points, Stuart Dew will have to make some changes. Martin is automatically back in, most likely for Miles if the hard-nut midfielder doesn't overcome his ankle problem. Scheer in for Rischitelli as a pressuring forward and Joyce for Dawson in defence. - Michael Whiting

It looks like a short NEAFL visit for Jack Martin. Picture: AFL Photos

Get them in: Josh Kelly (calf), Matt de Boer (shoulder) and Harry Himmelberg (calf) will train Thursday and could be massive inclusions for Sunday's clash with the Western Bulldogs. Atheltic defender Connor Idun could come in, while Aidan Corr (calf) could also be a left-field inclusion, despite not playing for a number of weeks.

Under the pump: Ruckman Dawson Simpson, defenders Jake Stein and Lachie Keeffe, and young midfielders Aiden Bonar and Jackson Hately might make way if some of those stars are recalled.

Medical room: Star forward Jeremy Cameron (corked hamstring) remains a chance to face the Dogs but Brett Deledio (calf) will miss 3-4 weeks after injuring himself on Friday night. Jacob Hopper (hamstring) and Jeremy Finlayson (hamstring) are looking at not returning until the first final.

Toyota WorkHorse VerdictKelly, de Boer, Himmelberg and Idun in for Simpson, Bonar, Hateley, and Stein. – Adam Curley

Josh Kelly is screaming out to play. Picture: AFL Photos

Get them in: We know four-time premiership star Jarryd Roughead will return for a farewell game against Gold Coast on Sunday. Harry Morrison (24 disposals) and Jack Scrimshaw, who played his second match back from a long stint out with a knee injury, are among the contenders for a senior promotion.

Under the pump: As usual, Jon Ceglar's spot in the team may depend on fellow ruckman Ben McEvoy's availability. Conor Nash performed well as a late inclusion but could also be vulnerable depending on who comes in.

Medical room: Late withdrawal Jack Gunston (hamstring) and McEvoy (abductor) went out of the side for the clash with Greater Western Sydney. Hip and shoulder issues may cause Mitch Lewis to miss this week. Will Golds (ankle) faces multiple weeks on the sidelines, while Ned Reeves didn't play in the VFL.

Toyota WorkHorse Verdict: Much depends on Gunston's, McEvoy's and Lewis' fitness. Roughead comes in but don't expect many, if any, other unforced changes. – Marc McGowan

All eyes will be on Jarryd Roughead in his farewell game for the Hawks. Picture: AFL Photos

Get them in: Defender Marty Hore looks a logical inclusion after another strong VFL performance, picking up a team-high 26 disposals, while Josh Wagner collected 22 himself and booted a couple of goals. In the ruck, Braydon Preuss racked up 75 hitouts and 21 disposals.

Under the pump: Thrown into the forward line, Oscar McDonald could be on the outer, unless the Demons want to persist with the young tall to see what he has to offer in attack.

Medical room: A left hamstring strain will see key backman Steven May miss the rest of the year.

Toyota WorkHorse Verdict: Hore for May. - Dinny Navaratnam

Marty Hore looks likely to earn a recall in place of the injured Steven May. Picture: AFL Photos

Get them in: Defenders Sam Durdin and Ben McKay will be on standby if Scott Thompson isn't available to face Port Adelaide on Saturday. Nathan Hrovat is out of contract at season's end and fighting for his career, but he's had 73 possessions in the VFL in the past fortnight. Back-up ruckman Tom Campbell also turned in another strong state league effort.

Under the pump: Almost every Roo would be feeling nervous this week after the dreadful performance against the Cats. Could Rhyce Shaw make a statement on Jared PolecJy Simpkin's form has also dipped in the past five rounds.

Medical room: Retirement-bound Thompson (concussion) exited the loss to Geelong early and he will be monitored this week. He had a significant 'egg' on his head after Sam Menegola brought him to ground following his seventh intercept mark. Meanwhile, Dom Tyson won 16 disposals in his return game in the VFL on Saturday, after a frustrating run of calf problems that had sidelined him since early May. In other positive news, Tom McKenzie (back) could make his VFL debut if he passes a fitness test. First-year forward Curtis Taylor was rested at the weekend, while Declan Watson's (knee) season is over.

Toyota WorkHorse Verdict: Durdin for Thompson, if the veteran backman isn't declared fit. Hrovat might get another look if an unforced change is made. – Marc McGowan

Scott Thompson will be monitored after a nasty concussion against the Cats. Picture: AFL Photos

Get them in: Hard side to get into after the Power's 47-point win against Sydney last weekend. Willem Drew (38 disposals), Scott Lycett (30 disposals, 33 hitouts) and Steven Motlop (five goals) pushed their cases in the SANFL. Ryan Burton (hamstring) and Zak Butters (bruised sternum) should also be available.

Under the pump: The goals have dried up for Sam Gray, the small forward kicking four goals in his past four games. Cam SutcliffeMatthew Broadbent and Paddy Ryder could also be under pressure.

Medical room: Burton and Butters will be assessed. Burton hasn't played for a month.

Toyota WorkHorse Verdict: Two changes – Butters and Motlop for Sam Gray and Sutcliffe. – Lee Gaskin

Young gun Zak Butters is in the frame for selection this week. Picture: AFL Photos

Get them in: Damien Hardwick has the pleasant task of trying to fit Brownlow medallists Dustin Martin (soreness) and Trent Cotchin (hamstring) into a side that's won seven straight games. From the twos, small forward Jake Aarts starred with 24 and three goals, while Callum Coleman-Jones (19 disposals, six marks) is steadily building a case for the second ruck/forward role.

Under the pump: It may be time for Mabior Chol to have a break in the VFL. The run of wet conditions hasn't helped, but the big man managed just 53 per cent game time and four disposals. Shai Bolton (11 disposals) didn't have a huge impact, while Daniel Rioli (10) was also quiet.

Medical room: The only casualty from the weekend was rookie Derek Eggmolesse-Smith (corked buttock) in the VFL.

Toyota WorkHorse Verdict: Jack Ross and Jack Graham did enough to hold their own, meaning Bolton and Rioli could be in trouble for Cotchin and Martin. The option of swapping Chol for Coleman-Jones or Noah Balta is also on the table. – Sarah Black

Dustin Martin running laps at Punt Rd. Picture: AFL Photos

Get them in: Sandringham had a bye in the VFL, so none of the potential inclusions had a chance to impress. Contending with Carlton's trio of tall forwards will likely require Nathan Brown. Could Sam Rowe get the opportunity to play his 100th game and debut for the Saints, against his former side? Jimmy Webster has lined up in a couple of matches for the Zebras since overcoming a back issue.

Under the pump: The side is going reasonably well, but Ben Paton might be squeezed out so Brown can be included.

Medical room: A spot has opened up after Nick Coffield dislocated his right shoulder last Sunday in the win over Fremantle. Jade Gresham is probably unlikely to have recovered sufficiently from his fractured eye socket to feature on Saturday afternoon at the MCG.

Toyota WorkHorse Verdict: Webster for Coffield and Brown for Paton. - Dinny Navaratnam

The Saints could call on Nathan Brown to take on Carlton's big forwards. Picture: AFL Photos

Get them in: Rookie ruckman Joel Amartey had 26 possessions, eight marks, six tackles and kicked two goals in the NEAFL, while fellow big man Michael Knoll had his best game at the lower level with 25 disposals, 15 of those contested, 28 hit outs, seven tackles and six clearances. Kieren Jack and James Rose will also be considered.

Under the pump: Debutant James Bell was quiet against Port Adelaide, while Robbie Fox also struggled to have an impact.

Medical room: Lance Franklin (hamstring) has his eyes on a return against St Kilda next week, with retiring veteran Jarrad McVeigh (calf) on track to join him for a farewell game.

Toyota WorkHorse VerdictKnoll in for a baptism of fire on debut to help out Hayden McLean against Melbourne star Max Gawn. – Adam Curley

It looks like another week of waiting (and strange treatment from teammates) for Buddy. Picture: AFL Photos

Get them in: There won't be many changes to a winning team ahead of a huge challenge against Richmond. Young backmen Tom Cole and Josh Rotham are nipping at the incumbents' heels but spots are at a premium. Axed veteran Chris Masten and goalsneak Jarrod Cameron are next in line when opportunities arise up the ground.

Under the pump: Few, if any, this week.

Medical room: Premiership backmen Liam Duggan and Nic Naitanui are still weeks away and the only players who would come into the best 22 from the injury list.

Toyota WorkHorse Verdict: Unchanged from the Adelaide victory. – Travis King

The Eagles are likely to be unchanged, meaning Jarrod Cameron must bide his time. Picture: AFL Photos

Get them in: Just like in the AFL, the VFL Dogs smashed the Bombers to the tune of 94 points. Inside midfielders Cal Porter (31 disposals, two tackles) and Rhylee West (29 disposals, four goals) were huge, with West's efficiency up forward particularly impressive. Lewis Young was named in the best for the third week running with a strong display from defence and Ben Cavarra kicked three goals, his second-best haul of the season. 

Under the pump: Unlikely to see any unforced changes this week following what was the side's best performance of the season.

Medical room: The Dogs got through with a clean bill of health from the weekend. Tom Liberatore will miss at least one more week with knee soreness and Caleb Daniel's season is effectively over with a six-week timeframe put on his injured hamstring.

Toyota WorkHorse Verdict: No changes. – Josh Schonafinger

Rhylee West dominated in the VFL but is unlikely to force his way into a winning side. Picture: AFL Photos

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs