Adelaide Crows

Game 1: v Melbourne at Casey Fields (4.40pm AEDT, Saturday, February 22)
Game 2: v Gold Coast at Flinders University Stadium, Noarlunga Downs (4.20pm ACDT, Friday, March 6)

Players to watch
Chayce Jones: The Tasmanian speedster has been one of the stars on the track over the summer. Has added size and should get more time through the midfield in his second season.
Fischer McAsey: The sixth overall pick in last year's NAB AFL Draft has been turning heads during pre-season training with his intercept marking. The key defender could play in the early rounds.
Tyson Stengle: Kicked five goals in the club's intraclub game last weekend to put himself in the box seat for a small forward role. Only played two senior games last season, but the frontrunner to take the spot vacated by Eddie Betts.

00:53 Mins
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Sidestepping Stengle dribbles it home

Tyson Stengle kicks a brilliant early goal for the Crows

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What's new
First-year senior coach Matthew Nicks has implemented a new gameplan with a big focus on team defence. Where veteran Bryce Gibbs fits into the side, playing predominantly across half-back, is worth noting. Defender Tom Doedee is back after missing most of last season with a torn ACL, while recruits Billy Frampton (Port Adelaide), Ben Crocker (Collingwood) and Ben Keays (Brisbane), the latter two picked up through the rookie draft, will be keen to make a mark at their new club. 

The Crows should have almost a full list to choose from. Doedee might be held out of the first game as he ticks the final boxes in his return from a torn ACL. Kyle Hartigan had minor ankle surgery in January, but should play at least one game. - Lee Gaskin

FULL FIXTURE Every round, every game

Brisbane Lions

Game 1: v Port Adelaide, Moreton Bay Central Sports Complex (3.10pm AEST, Sunday, February 23)
Game 2: v Carlton, Ikon Park (6.40pm AEDT, Sunday, March 8)

Players to watch
Grant Birchall: After an injury-riddled past three seasons, the four-time premiership Hawk has had an excellent first pre-season in Brisbane. Birchall has looked solid in intraclub matches and will be vying for round one selection in a cluttered half-back line.
Cam Ellis-Yolmen: Like Birchall, has been super impressive since switching from Adelaide. The broad-bodied midfielder could add a different element to the Lions' onball brigade.
Cam Rayner: About to enter his third season, the former No.1 draft pick is noticeably fitter and leaner while losing none of his trademark power or physicality.

Grant Birchall has played only eight games in the past three seasons. Picture: AFL Photos

What's new
One thing to keep an eye on will be the back-up ruck position. Brisbane has flirted – and it's just a pre-season idea – with playing a more recognised marking forward alongside Eric Hipwood and Dan McStay. Sam Skinner and Connor Ballenden have impressed as options who can kick goals and also pinch-hit in the ruck. However, Oscar McInerney has the runs on the board, shown he can take contested marks and is excellent at forward 50 stoppages.

Like previous years the Lions have excellent health with their list, so no one in the frame for round one will be missing matches through injury at this stage. – Michael Whiting


Game 1: v Fremantle, David Grays Arena (4.10pm AWDT, Saturday, February 29)
Game 2: v Brisbane, Ikon Park (6.40pm AEDT, Sunday, March 8)

Players to watch
Jack Martin: The new recruit has lifted training standards since arriving at the club, with his physicality, pressure and class forward of centre proving influential. Expect him to split his time relatively evenly between midfield and attack.
David Cuningham: After a torrid injury run, Cuningham has been a standout this summer and has been tipped by the Blues to move into the midfield this season. Can add breakaway speed and evasiveness from stoppages.
Paddy Dow: The youngster has worked hard on his endurance this summer, ensuring he will be able to spend more time in the midfield this season. Has shown glimpses of his quality, but wants and needs to add consistency to his game.

00:35 Mins
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Paddy Dow's dream dribble

Paddy Dow soccers in a nice goal to bring the margin to 21 points

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What's new
Expect the Blues to persist with the positional changes it made late last season when David Teague took the reins as caretaker coach. Matthew Kennedy and Jack Silvagni are still training forward, while Sam Petrevski-Seton and Liam Stocker have remained with the backline group. Levi Casboult, who spent time at both ends of the field last season, has gone back to his familiar role as a key forward with Charlie Curnow and Harry McKay sidelined.

The Blues will be without key forwards Charlie Curnow (knee) and McKay (groin), with neither yet to train with the main group after Christmas. The club's first pick in last year's draft, Brodie Kemp, won't be available as he continues to recover from an ACL injury. – Riley Beveridge 


Game 1: v Richmond, Wangaratta (4.10pm AEDT, Sunday, March 1)
Game 2: v St Kilda, Morwell (3.50pm AEDT, Sunday, March 8)

Players to watch
Brayden Sier: The inside midfielder faces the challenge of re-establishing himself in a powerful onball brigade and has laid a strong platform with a solid pre-season. Could be in a head-to-head battle with Rupert Wills for one spot.
Nathan Murphy: After putting an injury-plagued 2019 behind him, the classy defender has built himself back into a similar position to where he was 12 months ago: primed to take the next step.
Tyler Brown: The talented son of a gun is developing both physically and in his midfield craft and at his current rate of progress should finally make his AFL debut in his third season.

Tyler Brown looks set to finally make his AFL debut this season. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

What's new
New backline coach Matthew Boyd has made a strong impression since filling the void left by Justin Longmuir (now Fremantle coach) and has overseen the trialling of speedy ball carriers off half-back in match simulation. Veteran Travis Varcoe was tried back there before suffering a shoulder injury, as has the equally flexible Will Hoskin-Elliott. And as the Pies look for more clearance value from Brodie Grundy's hitout dominance, the likes of explosive small forward Jamie Elliott have enjoyed the odd burst in the midfield.

In addition to the Magpies who earn selection in the bushfire relief game, which will take place just two days before their opening clash with Richmond, those certain to be sidelined include Dayne Beams (mental health), Varcoe (shoulder) and long-term knee victims Levi Greenwood and Tom Langdon. Stars forwards Jordan De Goey (back) and Jaidyn Stephenson (glandular fever) are also building their conditioning. – Ben Collins

HELPING HAND How your club is aiding the bushfire relief efforts


Game 1: v West Coast, Mineral Resources Park (4.40pm AWST, Thursday, February 27)
Game 2: v Geelong, Central Reserve (4.40pm AEDT, Saturday, March 9)

Players to watch
Harrison Jones: Pick No.30 in last year's draft, Jones could play his way into a round one spot as a key forward with a strong showing against two of the League's best backlines.
Brandon Zerk-Thatcher: He looms as a key defender of the future for the Bombers, which would allow for more flexibility for Cale Hooker. 
Andrew Phillips: The former Blue will be Essendon's main ruck option with Tom Bellchambers and Sam Draper injured. One for Fantasy coaches to keep an eye on.

What's new
Dylan Clarke might be freed up more in the midfield and used as a ball-winner rather than a tagger. He's worked on his repeat sprints in an effort to have more of an impact after the clearance is won. Devon Smith is returning and will likely play heavy midfield minutes, while the club is interested in throwing forwards like Orazio Fantasia off half-back and putting Conor McKenna (if he plays) up forward.

00:30 Mins
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Hat-trick for Fantasia

After a clever tap from Tipungwuti, Fantasia gets boot to ball and kicks a great goal

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Dyson Heppell (foot), Cale Hooker (hip), David Zaharakis (knee), Tom Bellchambers (knee) and Michael Hurley (shoulder) are close to re-joining the main group, but unlikely to be ready for the Marsh Community Series. Noah Gown (foot), Joe Daniher (groin), Lachie Johnson (knee), Mitch Hibberd (knee), James Stewart (groin) and Sam Draper (knee) are set for longer stints on the sidelines. Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti (calf) looks like he'll play at least one pre-season game. – Jourdan Canil


Game 1: v Carlton, David Grays Arena (4.10pm AWST, Saturday, February 29)
Game 2: v West Coast, HBF Arena (4.10pm AWST, Saturday, March 7)

Players to watch
Adam Cerra: The third-year midfielder will graduate to the centre square in 2020 after a summer with the midfield group. Should thrive in the role he was drafted to play, with coach Justin Longmuir keen to utilise his players' strengths.
Blake Acres: Flagged as one of the wing replacements for Bradley Hill and Ed Langdon, Acres could find himself playing inside midfield after an impressive pre-season. The former Saint is shaping as a savvy pick-up for the Dockers. 
Hayden Young: Elite kicking is in demand at Freo, and Young has the opportunity to push for a round one debut with strong pre-season performances. Look for Freo's defenders to find Young on the rebound, potentially filling Nathan Wilson's half-back role.

Blake Acres looks set for a big role at the Dockers after an impressive pre-season. Picture: AFL Photos

What's new
All eyes will be on a new-look defence. Accountable midfielder Reece Conca has been shifted into a small defender role to add experience, and tall forward Brennan Cox will fill a key back post. There is an expectation that captain Nat Fyfe and star Michael Walters will each spend more time in attack than they did in 2019.

Joel Hamling
and Alex Pearce will miss both matches with serious ankle injuries, forcing the defensive shuffle. Nathan Wilson (toe) will also be sidelined. David Mundy suffered a fibula fracture in December and is running at a slow pace, ruling him out for an extended period. – Nathan Schmook

Geelong Cats

Game 1: v Gold Coast, Metricon Stadium (6.40pm AEST, Saturday, February 22)
Game 2: v Essendon, Colac (4.40pm AEDT, Monday, March 9)

Players to watch
Jordan Clark: Has been training with compression on his left elbow after surgery in September but is ready to go. Started his career briefly at half-back before moving to the wing. Is he ready to explode this year? 
Quinton Narkle: After spending the bulk of last summer just getting up to speed with his fitness, the West Australian has learnt his lesson this time around. Will be interesting to see his split between time as a forward and midfielder. 
Ben Jarvis: Entering his second season, the mid-sized swingman played forward in Geelong's match simulation against Collingwood last week. His body looks ready for the top level, but can he squeeze in? 

01:41 Mins
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Remarkable Narkle sparks North's debacle

Quinton Narkle plays a huge role in the defeat over North Melbourne, racking up 21 disposals and kicking two sensational goals

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What's new
The Cats' No.1 priority will be to determine whether Josh Jenkins can squeeze into a forward line that already houses Tom Hawkins and Esava Ratugolea. Narkle and Charlie Constable will be fighting for the extra midfield time vacated by the departing Tim Kelly. Watch for small forward Tom Atkins to receive more bursts at centre bounces, while Zach Guthrie could push onto a wing in the absence of Mitch Duncan.

Duncan (hip) remains in doubt for round one and is expected to miss both pre-season matches. Joel Selwood (hamstring) and Tom Stewart (groin) are now expected to take some part after modified summers, while Jack Steven (calf) and Nathan Kreuger (knee) will be touch and go. Jake Kolodjashnij (hip), Nakia Cockatoo (hamstring) and Lachie Fogarty (ankle) won't feature. – Mitch Cleary

Gold Coast Suns

Game 1: v Geelong, Metricon Stadium (6.40pm AEST, Saturday, February 22)
Game 2: v Adelaide, Flinders University Stadium (4.20pm ACDT, Friday, March 6)

Players to watch
Brandon Ellis: The two-time premiership Tiger will not only add experience, but some much-needed outside run to the midfield. Ellis will play on a wing and building synergy with his new teammates will be crucial.
Izak Rankine: After missing almost the entire 2019 season with hamstring problems, the exciting South Australian has put together a strong pre-season. He'll be itching to play and show everyone why he's so highly regarded.
Matt Rowell: The No.1 draft pick has not put a foot wrong since arriving at the Suns. Rowell excelled in a practice match against Brisbane and is almost assured of round one selection.

What's new
With so many new faces, the Suns have to settle on their midfield mix before round one. David Swallow, Touk Miller, Jack Bowes and Brayden Fiorini are staples from last year, but Rowell and former Crow Hugh Greenwood add to the 'inside' mix, while Ellis and Lachie Weller – who has spent more time on the ball than at half-back – add some much-needed pace. Just how it meshes together will be interesting.

The biggest absence – by stature and influence - is co-captain Jarrod Witts, who is still recovering from foot surgery. Rory Thompson (ACL), Wil Powell (knee) and Charlie Ballard (shoulder) will also miss and it wouldn't be a surprise to see veterans Jarrod Harbrow and Pearce Hanley rested or playing very limited minutes. – Michael Whiting

GWS Giants

Game 1: v Sydney, Blacktown International Sportspark (4.10pm AEDT, Saturday, February 29)
Game 2: v Richmond, Wagga Wagga (12.40pm AEDT, Sunday, March 8)

Players to watch
Lachlan Ash: Coach Leon Cameron has declared the No.4 pick, who is "built like a man", ready for round one action. Has pace to burn off half-back and will form a dangerous combination with Zac Williams. 
Harry Perryman: His maturity grew with every match in the second half of 2019 and the Giants have high hopes for his development this season. Slated for a wing role.
Jackson Hately: Drafted as an inside midfielder, the South Australian has been working on his outside game this summer in order to add to his seven games from his debut year and offer more flexibility at the selection table. 

00:33 Mins
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Perryman's clever kick around the corner

The Giants get the reward after a great string of play down the line, to give Harry Perryman a great goal

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What's new
The search for a back-up ruckman is on after Adam Tomlinson's departure for Melbourne. With Sam Jacobs to assume the No.1 mantle and ruck for 25 minutes a quarter, the Giant will explore a midfielder pinch-hitting for the remaining handful of minutes. Expect to see Stephen Coniglio, Tim Taranto and Matt de Boer spend time forward in order to fit in the host of young midfielders.

Former co-captain Callan Ward won't take part as he puts together a training block that has him on track to return from his ACL in round five or six. Tommy Sheridan (calf) may miss both matches. – Mitch Cleary


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Game 1: v St Kilda, RSEA Park (7.10pm AEDT, Thursday, February 20)
Game 2: v Melbourne, UTAS Stadium (7.40pm AEDT, Friday, March 6)

Players to watch
Tom Mitchell: The Brownlow medallist has been in matchplay for a few weeks but Friday night's intraclub hitout – he played three quarters – was the best evidence so far that he's ready to go again.
Tom Scully: Scully's trademark zip and hard running were on show in the intraclub contest, even though he was on ice by three-quarter time. Could be set for a return to his best this year, his second at Waverley Park.
Finn Maginness: The Hawks' father-son selection blitzed everyone in their time trial, which may not mean much, but he hasn't put a foot wrong. It's a tough wing depth chart to climb but he'll get an opportunity in the practice games.

Finn Maginness after winning the time trial. Picture:

What's new
It's not new, since Ben McEvoy played the last two matches of last year down back, but Hawthorn looks committed to the experiment becoming the norm in 2020. Of big interest, too, is how the Hawks will structure their forward line. Will they play Mitch Lewis, Tim O'Brien and recruit Jon Patton in the same attack, or is there room for only two talls? And who will be Jon Ceglar's main ruck support?

Jack Gunston
(pre-Christmas ankle surgery) is the biggest-name Hawk in doubt and is aiming to play in round one, but he's probably unlikely to appear in the Marsh Community Series. Jarman Impey will miss at least half a season as he recovers from a knee reconstruction but Jaeger O'Meara (managed) should play on Thursday. Jacob Koschitzke underwent surgery on his left AC joint this week after hurting it during Friday’s intraclub hitout. He’s expected to be sidelined for up to six weeks. – Marc McGowan

02:09 Mins
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Bigger than the 'Big V': Heartfelt Crow on bushfire relief match

Adelaide captain Rory Sloane provides a moving outlook on the devastation of the Australian bushfires and ongoing support

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Game 1: v Adelaide, Casey Fields (4.40pm AEDT, Saturday, February 22)
Game 2: v Hawthorn, University of Tasmania Stadium (7.40pm AEDT, Friday, March 6)

Players to watch
Luke Jackson: With Max Gawn and Braydon Preuss sidelined with knee injuries, last year's No.3 overall draftee, who has been likened to Brodie Grundy, will get a chance to show his wares on a bigger scale than initially planned. 
Mitch Brown: Just how the ex-Bomber fits in as a third forward-line tall will be interesting, or if he'll be considered to take his 196cm frame into the ruck given the Gawn and Preuss situation.
Kysaiah Pickett: Described as physical, exciting and fast, the small forward is a walking highlights reel. Is capable of providing the spark in the forward line the Dees need.

What's new
Acclaimed fitness expert Darren Burgess has been cracking the whip in his first pre-season with the club with the players running for longer; their recent documentary To Hell And Back revealing they covered up to 37km one week in November, which is more than they did in any weeks the previous pre-season. With Simon Goodwin admitting in the same documentary "we got our whole summer wrong" last year, there's been big changes to the way they've approached the fitness side of things this time around.

12:01 Mins
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To Hell and Back: Desperate Harley's pledge to Demons

Melbourne puts Harley Bennell through a searching interview before offering a the former No.2 draft pick a lifeline, plus the latest from a gruelling pre-season

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Gawn and Angus Brayshaw (elbow) remain hopeful of playing in the second game but Preuss is out for 8-10 weeks. Steven May had a follow-up operation on his knee earlier this month and is still on light duties with his progress to determine whether he features against Hawks. Harley Bennell (calf) is ramping things up but is still a while away from playing, as is Aaron vandenBerg (foot). - Jennifer Phelan

North Melbourne

Game 1: v Western Bulldogs, Marvel Stadium (7.10pm AEDT, Friday, February 21)
Game 2: v Sydney, Kingston Twins Oval, Hobart (1.40pm AEDT, Monday, March 9)

Players to watch
Majak Daw: Daw's intraclub performance on Friday as good as confirmed him as a certain round one starter but he'll want to tick more boxes before then. Last played in the AFL in round 23, 2018, and his hip and pelvic injuries are a thing of the past.
Luke Davies-Uniacke: A groin injury has sidelined him in recent times but he should be ready to play by at least the Roos' practice game between their Marsh Community Series matches. It's a big season for the third-year midfielder, who will look to replicate Jy Simpkin's breakout campaign from 2019.
Jack Mahony: Has quietly put together a good pre-season and has shown impressive glimpses in match simulation and last week's intraclub game. He's clever and creative and might be a round one bolter.

Midfielder Luke Davies-Uniacke could be set for a big season. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

What's new
Usual forward Mason Wood will line up in defence in a bid to pump life into his AFL career, after being dangled as trade bait last year. Aiden Bonar arrived from the Giants and is trying to establish himself as a big-bodied inside midfielder, while fellow recruit Josh Walker will try to ink his name in a new-look Roos defence.

Captain Jack Ziebell (calf) has already ruled himself out of North's Marsh Community Series opener on Friday night but plans to play in the second of them a fortnight later. Robbie Tarrant (foot), Ben Brown (calf), Jared Polec (foot) and Davies-Uniacke (groin) are among the other key Roos likely to be sidelined for the clash with the Dogs. – Marc McGowan

LIST RATINGS Roos' shock rise, Dogs tipped to shine

Game 1: v Brisbane at Moreton Bay Central Sports Complex, Burpengary (3.10pm AEST, Sunday, February 23)
Game 2: v Western Bulldogs at Bennett Oval, Whyalla (3.40pm ACDT, Saturday, March 7) 

Players to watch
Jack Watts: On the comeback trail after a serious leg injury in round two last year. The experienced utility showed promise in defence before his season was cruelly ended.
Mitch Georgiades: The West Australian key forward – who was a surprise first-round draft pick last year – has been turning heads during pre-season. A round one bolter after a strong performance in last week's intraclub game. Takes a strong grab and is physically ready for senior footy.
Dylan Williams: Creative medium forward who booted three goals in the Power's intraclub game. Dangerous on the ground but also willing to fly at everything and take big marks.

What's new
The Power are throwing a couple of youngsters through the midfield. Expect Connor Rozee and Zak Butters to get some time on the ball this season. The return of Jack Watts from a serious leg injury adds more competition and depth to the Power's defence. A shoulder injury to Ollie Wines might also result in Brad Ebert being deployed back into the midfield, especially early in the season.

00:37 Mins
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Have you seen a better Butters goal?

Exciting Power prospect Zak Butters gives the crowd something to cheer about with a superb shot

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Vice-captain Wines is expected to miss the first month of the season after having shoulder surgery. Apart from that, it's pretty much a clean bill of health for the Power. Jackson Mead might be held out of the opening Marsh Series game with a minor hamstring strain. - Lee Gaskin


Game 1: v Collingwood, Norm Minns Oval Wangaratta (4.10pm AEDT, Sunday, March 1)
Game 2: v Greater Western Sydney, Robertson Oval Wagga Wagga (12.40pm AEDT, Sunday, March 8)

Players to watch
Marlion Pickett: Wangaratta and Wagga Wagga will be quite an adjustment from playing in front of 100,000 at the MCG, but all eyes will be on mid-season recruit Pickett in his second game for the club. 
Sydney Stack: After a stunning start to his career, Stack was held back by injury and missed selection for the Grand Final as a consequence. His versatility is appealing, and it remains to be seen what end of the ground he lines up at in 2020.
Riley Collier-Dawkins: The club's first selection from the 2018 NAB AFL Draft returned to Punt Road with a new-found confidence for the start of pre-season after starring in the VFL Grand Final. The midfielder will be pressing for an AFL debut this year.

00:45 Mins
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Stack's stunning Goal of the Year contender

Sydney Stack wows the 'G with some dazzling moves on route to an amazing goal

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What's new
There's no Alex Rance after the champion defender retired suddenly in late December, but the backline will be business as usual after covering for him for all of 2019 as he recuperated from a torn ACL. There is, however, a wing position up for grabs since Brandon Ellis moved to Gold Coast. While Kamdyn McIntosh and Jack Graham will be in the mix, is it time for father-son recruit Patrick Naish to stake his claim?

With Richmond's first game still a week-and-a-half away, the club has said, at the moment, all players are expected to be available at some point. Toby Nankervis (groin) and Jack Graham (shoulder) were among the Tigers to have off-season surgery, while Jack Higgins has returned to contact training after undergoing two bouts of surgery in 2019 to repair bleeding on his brain. – Sarah Black

02:52 Mins
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How to set up your Fantasy Draft league

Warnie from The Traders runs you through how to set up your Fantasy Draft league

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St Kilda

Game 1: v Hawthorn, RSEA Park (7.10pm AEDT, Thursday, February 20)
Game 2: v Collingwood, Morwell Football Ground (3.50pm AEDT, Sunday, March 8)

Players to watch
Bradley Hill: Didn't play in the intraclub because of a corked thigh, so the unveiling of the speedy wingman playing at the feet of his cousin, Paddy Ryder, is highly anticipated.
Dan Hannebery: Needs a big year after his first season as a Saint was wrecked by injury. Looked strong in the intraclub despite an October broken foot hampering his pre-season.  
Dylan Roberton: Has progressed without interruption after missing last year with the heart issue that flared in a pre-season game. Looks set to push for a spot in the back half or on the wing.

What's new
There's a bunch of new and experienced faces – Ryder, Hill, Dan Butler, Dougal Howard, Zak Jones and Ryan Abbott – which are set to predominantly shake up their midfield with the Ryder and Rowan Marshall partnership to benefit from Jones and a fit Hannebery at their feet and Hill streaking down the outside. Their early match practice indicates Ben Long will give them zip off half-back and Max King will be given the chance to shine as the big target up forward.

All of their senior players are expected to play at least two of three scheduled matches with Matt Parker the exception after an ankle reconstruction. Luke Dunstan may miss the first game after corking his hip last week while Jarryn Geary is at the tail end of a calf complaint and might be slow to start. - Jennifer Phelan

FIRST LOOK Roy's Fantasy team and five simple steps to making yours 

Sydney Swans

Game 1: v Greater Western Sydney, Blacktown International Sportspark (4.10pm AEDT, Saturday, February 29)
Game 2: v North Melbourne, Kingston Twins Ovals (1.40pm AEDT, Monday, March 9)

Players to watch
Dylan Stephens:
Sydney's first pick in the NAB AFL National Draft is highly rated within the AFL industry and has Swans insiders salivating. His outside run and damaging left foot will be critical off a wing or even in the guts.
Oliver Florent: The emerging onballer could be key to Sydney's midfield woes. Has class, speed, and had a 31-possession game last year - just needs to do it consistently. 
Sam Naismith: The luckless ruckman's knee is finally right after missing the past two seasons. Naismith was 'the chosen one' when Sydney discarded Toby Nankervis; time for him to repay the faith.

What's new
It's a midfield makeover! It appears Sydney is turning to youth to fix its issues at stoppages. You will see Stephens in the mid during the Marsh, and he could possibly line up with Naismith, Nick Blakey, James Rowbottom, Tom Papley, Florent and the bull-at-a-gate Chad Warner (pick 39 in last year's draft). Also expect to see ex-Lion Lewis Taylor on a wing and former Port small forward Sam Gray roaming the Swans' front half.
Lance Franklin
(knee) and Lewis Melican (hamstring) won't be seen. Isaac Heeney (thumb) and Sam Reid (calf) are unlikely. Dane Rampe (calf) is a chance for week one but more likely week two. Second-round draft pick Elijah Taylor won't play but it is unclear if he is injured. There are whispers that Tom McCartin and Matthew Ling are also carrying niggles but the club says both are available. - Cameron Noakes 

West Coast Eagles

Game 1: v Essendon, Mineral Resources Park (4.40pm AWST, Thursday, February 27)
Game 2: v Fremantle, HBF Arena (4.10pm AWST, Saturday, March 7)

Players to watch
Tim Kelly: The Eagles plan to unleash their star recruit in the opening Marsh Community Series game after a brilliant pre-season that has seen him star in stoppage drills. Emerging quickly as a leader with young players, with no signs that a change of club will change his output. 
Josh Kennedy: It's been a much-hyped summer for the champion forward, who started his 15th pre-season on day one. Coach Adam Simpson has tempered expectations for Kennedy, but the pre-season games will give an indication of what he's capable of after a full summer.
Jarrod Cameron: With Willie Rioli sidelined, the Eagles could look to Cameron to step up in his second season. The small forward has excited teammates on the track and looks well-placed to build on his seven games from 2019.

What's new
The addition of Kelly has seen Grand Final hero Dom Sheed train forward more and the changing midfield mix will be fascinating. Jarrod Brander has also impressed over the summer and the 196cm mobile tall looks set to be used as a big-bodied wingman.

Star defender Jeremy McGovern (heel) will not play either match, but the Eagles are hopeful he will be available for round one as he elevates his training loads. Oscar Allen (hernia) had been earmarked to play some pre-season minutes, either at AFL or WAFL level, before hurting an ankle at training on Tuesday. It is not yet clear if that will change his pre-season plan. Jack Darling (cheek) has been ruled out for week one, while defender Tom Barrass (foot) and ruckman Tom Hickey (calf) will both feature. Luke Foley has backed off after suffering a stress injury in his pubic bone. – Nathan Schmook

Western Bulldogs

Game 1: v North Melbourne, Marvel Stadium (7.10pm AEDT, Friday, February 21)
Game 2: v Port Adelaide, Bennett Oval (3.40pm ACDT, Saturday, March 7)

Players to watch
Lewis Young: The Dogs youngster will have to earn his spot, with Alex Keath and Zaine Cordy ahead of him and Jackson Trengove right behind. A huge chance for him to lock down a key role.
Tim English: The beanpole ruckman has been working on his long-range goalkicking and might start to have more of an influence when he's resting up forward. 
Cody Weightman: The Dogs' top pick in last year's draft is the x-factor most fans want to see. He's looked in strong shape on the track and been working on body positioning. 

What's new
The three-tall forward line has been done to death, but whether or not the Dogs play three tall defenders will be something to keep an eye on. Pat Lipinski will be looking to play more of an inside midfield role, which could give Ed Richards more minutes on the wing. Toby McLean looks set for more of a permanent forward role. 

Easton Wood (hamstring tightness) and Aaron Naughton (knee) will be touch and go, but likely to play at least one Marsh Community Series game. Laitham Vandermeer (hamstring tightness) and Fergus Greene (calf) have been training away from the main group but should be available for selection for both games. Tom Liberatore (knee) is getting closer, but Lin Jong (hamstring), Riley Garcia (knee) and Taylor Duryea (groin) are all longer-term injuries. – Jourdan Canil