Adelaide Crows

Can highly touted key defender Fischer McAsey cement his spot in Adelaide's round one side? McAsey – taken with the sixth overall selection in last year's draft - didn't play in the Crows' opening Marsh Community Series game, a 33-point loss to Melbourne, but showed some positive signs in last weekend's under-23s encounter against Port Adelaide. McAsey will get his chance to impress against a Gold Coast side featuring young tall Ben King and Peter Wright. Tom Doedee's minor injury setback leaves the door ajar for McAsey to slide straight into the Crows team. - Lee Gaskin

Fischer McAsey in action for the Crows in an under-23 game against Port Adelaide. Picture: AFL Photos
12:25 Mins
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Toe to Toe with Damo: Tex on tough times, Lever, regrets

Taylor Walker sits down with Damian Barrett to discuss his struggles as captain, how he handled Jake Lever's departure, and more

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Brisbane Lions

After a rusty first-up showing against Port Adelaide, the Lions need to address their ball movement against the Blues on Sunday. Last year they were the highest-scoring team in the AFL, but against Port they were slow and predictable. Part of the problem came because of a lack of turnovers in attacking positions, meaning Brisbane had to start a lot of possession chains from deep in defence. However, as opposed to last year when they were prepared to look inboard and attack through the 'corridor', the ball movement against Ken Hinkley's men was slow, down the line and minimised their chances to score freely. The Lions will be out to find the attacking mojo against Carlton that took them to a semi-final berth in 2019. - Michael Whiting

Brisbane players walk off the ground after losing to Port Adelaide in Marsh W1. Picture: AFL Photos

PRE-SEASON FIXTURE Check out your team's Marsh Community Series games


It will all be about finding the right mix as the Blues gear up for their second Marsh Community Series outing against the Lions on Sunday afternoon. Expected to welcome back up to eight members of the side's likely round one team, experienced talent such as Patrick Cripps and Marc Murphy will bolster an undermanned midfield that competed admirably against the Dockers. The Blues looked light on key-position talent in Mandurah, but are set to welcome back Mitch McGovern in the forward line and important duo Lachie Plowman and Caleb Marchbank in defence. Eddie Betts will add a new dynamic to the team's attack, while Sam Petrevski-Seton is expected to recover from a quad injury to take his place down back. With that should come added bodies around the ball, increased potency in the forward line and more assuredness in defence. - Riley Beveridge

All-Stars Eddie Betts and Patrick Cripps ahead of the State of Origin game. Picture: AFL Photos


Following Adam Treloar's hamstring injury, which will sideline the line-breaker for at least the season opener against the Western Bulldogs, the Magpies will hold an audition for onball replacements. The return of team leaders Scott Pendlebury and Steele Sidebottom from State of Origin duties will help the Pies, who will be keen to continue to build their running brigade by giving midfield minutes to explosive forwards Jordan De Goey, Jamie Elliott and Callum Brown, and perhaps even some wing time to the returning Jaidyn Stephenson. Other options include dashing defender Jack Crisp, who thrived there through the middle of last season, along with Brayden Sier and impressive draftee Jay Rantall. - Ben Collins

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Marsh: Elliott's classy crumb and finish

Jamie Elliott does what he does best, reading the spillage to perfection and finishing with ease

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MARSH W1 SNAPSHOT Who's attending the most centre bounces?


The Bombers will be keeping an eye on the form of potential new recruits Nigel Lockyer and Brynn Teakle as the race for the last SSP spot heats up. Lockyer wasn't overly clean with his 15 disposals against the Eagles, but he did enough to catch the eye. The high-leaping defender took a courageous intercept mark going back with the flight, which was easily the highlight of his night. Teakle fills more of an immediate need with injuries to Tom Bellchambers and Sam Draper in the ruck, but he looked a little bit off the pace against West Coast. - Jourdan Canil

Brynn Teakle competes with Nic Naitanui in the ruck. Picture: AFL Photos
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Toe to toe with Damo: Hurley on his banged-up body, retirement date

Michael Hurley sits down with Damian Barrett to discuss how much longer his body can hold up, returning to the leadership group, and more

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Rory Lobb wants to play forward and the Dockers want to give him that opportunity. It can only happen, however, if Sean Darcy stands up in the ruck and stays fit. Darcy was rested after half-time against Carlton and coach Justin Longmuir said the plan was for his No.1 big man to play more minutes against the Eagles. Seeing Darcy extending his game time and building form would be a big tick on Saturday. The Dockers don't have great ruck depth, with Lloyd Meek coming off a foot injury, and Lobb can be a weapon in attack if he is able to stay there. Darcy's fitness and form is the key to making that happen. – Nathan Schmook 

Sean Darcy battles Tom De Koning in the ruck. Picture: AFL Photos
08:37 Mins
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Toe to toe with Damo: When Sonny thought he was done

Michael Walters sits down with Damian Barrett to discuss the lightbulb moment that turned his career around, thriving in big moments, and more

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Geelong Cats

What to do with Jordan Clark? Entering only his second year, the West Australian has quickly come become one of the Cats' most important players. The Cats are torn on his best output being at half-back or on a wing. Outside of Zach Tuohy and Tom Stewart, Geelong lacks decisive users coming out of defence and Clark has already established himself as one of the club's best by foot with a willingness to take the game on. However, with Mitch Duncan (hip) expected to miss at least the season opener, there's a void to be filled on a wing. Round one opponents Greater Western Sydney will be watching the Colac clash closely. - Mitch Cleary

Jordan Clark in action against the Suns. Picture: AFL Photos

Gold Coast Suns

The standout feature of thumping Geelong was the Suns' plethora of onballers and half-forwards that could run with power and in numbers. However, against Adelaide on Friday, they'll be looking to lock down the key posts at either end of the ground. Ben King is a round one lock, but Stuart Dew must decide whether he wants Peter Wright (pictured below) or Sam Day to support him and play as a back-up ruckman - Gold Coast will almost certainly go with just two tall forwards in round one. At the other end of the ground, Sam Collins is guaranteed to play, but with Rory Thompson (knee) and Jack Hombsch (rib) unlikely to be rushed in to start the season, Caleb Graham and Chris Burgess are battling to be Collins' offsider. Watching those battles within a battle should be intriguing from a Gold Coast viewpoint. - Michael Whiting

MARSH W2 SNAPSHOT Who's attending the most centre bounces?

GWS Giants

The loss of Tim Taranto (shoulder) for most of the season means the Giants need to find a replacement for the 2019 club champion. Coach Leon Cameron has plenty of options and Sunday's clash with Richmond could tell the footy world which one he's going to take. Young midfielders Jackson Hately and Tom Green might get a chance, or Lachie Whitfield or Zac Williams could shuffle into the middle from half-back. Captain Stephen Coniglio could also spend less time forward with Zac Langdon, Brent Daniels and Bobby Hill all in form and pushing to play inside 50 at ground level alongside Toby Greene, with Greene himself another strong candidate to go onball. - Adam Curley

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Marsh: Bobby says catch me if you can

Ian 'Bobby' Hill receives the ball inside 50, puts the jets on and sends it home

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Toe to toe with Damo: Davis on his GF injury, emotional toll, criticism

Phil Davis sits down with Damian Barrett to discuss the fallout from the Grand Final loss, relinquishing the captaincy, and more

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Blake Hardwick's ruptured pectoral muscle has created an opening in the Hawks' defence. Hawthorn's brains trust might already have a name in mind but a strong performance from one of the contenders in the club's second Marsh Community Series clash with Melbourne won't hurt. Jack Scrimshaw, Changkuoth Jiath, Harry Morrison, first-round draft pick Will Day and rookie Damon Greaves all have a varyingly strong case. The decision likely depends on what best suits the defensive structure as a whole, so the Demons game presents an opportunity to bed that down. The Hawks should also get another look at how well a forward line with Jon Patton, Mitch Lewis and Tim O'Brien functions. - Marc McGowan

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Marsh: New Hawk kicks his second

Jonathon Patton kicks his second goal for his new team

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SECRETS TO SUCCESS How best to use the new utility position


A fit Max Gawn and Steven May would be the best result for Melbourne fans. There's a bit of a gap behind Gawn with Braydon Preuss still over a month away from returning from a knee injury, and unless they want to throw first-year ruckman Luke Jackson to the wolves in round one against West Coast's tall timber, they'll be keen for Gawn to get some minutes of match practice after a January knee scare. Same goes for May; he's had knee issues all summer and will want to get back on the park and into some good form after struggling in his first year in the red and blue. - Jennifer Phelan

New Melbourne skipper Max Gawn. Picture: AFL Photos

North Melbourne

Coach Rhyce Shaw still must decide who and how many of his key defensive talls will play in round one against St Kilda. Robbie Tarrant (foot) came through unscathed in his return in a practice match last week but Majak Daw, Josh Walker and Sam Durdin are probably jockeying for two spots. Walker's been the best of that trio in the past two games and neither Daw nor Durdin, who played the last nine games of last year, has demanded a spot yet. At the other end of the ground, Lachie Hosie, Curtis Taylor and draftee Jack Mahony are potentially all playing for the injured Kayne Turner's spot. Only two-gamer Taylor has played at senior level. - Marc McGowan

Josh Walker impressed in his first outing in Kangaroos colours. Picture: AFL Photos

LIST RATINGS Roos' shock rise, Dogs tipped to shine

Backing up their outstanding performance against Brisbane will be the main priority for the Power, but integrating ruckman Scott Lycett into the side alongside fellow big man Peter Ladhams will be intriguing. The Power deployed two rucks for the majority of last season with Lycett and Paddy Ryder. However, that was when the Power didn't have key forward Charlie Dixon for most of the year. With Dixon back, along with young talls Todd Marshall and Mitch Georgiades, there's suddenly a lot of height up forward. Can the Power have Ladhams resting up forward alongside that trio, or are they better served with Lycett as a solo ruck with Dixon and Justin Westhoff pinch-hitting in the middle? - Lee Gaskin

Peter Ladhams and Scott Lycett during a Port Adelaide intraclub game. Picture: AFL Photos


The band back together. For a bunch of reasons, the Tigers' best 22 has been absent from summer programming with Toby Nankervis and Jack Graham in the rehab group, along with Kamdyn McIntosh, and then on the weekend, Trent Cotchin, Dustin Martin, Shane Edwards, Tom Lynch, Bachar Houli and Jack Riewoldt missed Sunday's game after playing in the State of Origin for Bushfire Relief match two days earlier. With Jack Higgins making a successful return from brain surgery and the above-mentioned trio slated to play this week, the Tigers will likely treat Sunday's clash with GWS as a dress rehearsal for round one. - Jennifer Phelan

Tigers ruckman Toby Nankervis. Picture: AFL Photos

St Kilda

They'll be looking to get Dan Hannebery on the park after the former Swan missed the first two pre-season hitouts. He was solid when he played a full intraclub in early February, but despite being slated to play two of the Saints' remaining three games against actual opposition, he was absent from both clashes with Hawthorn. Minor groin soreness is believed to have kept him from the second game, but only narrowly, and he's expected to play this week against Collingwood. But, he was on light duties again at training on Tuesday and will have to step things up later in the week if he's to kick-start his campaign in the final game after a disappointing first year as a Saint. - Jennifer Phelan

Saints star Dan Hannebery. Picture: AFL Photos

FULL FIXTURE Every round, every game

Sydney Swans

Pre-season results don't mean much but after they gave up 15 consecutive goals to the Giants in a 94-point loss last week, the Swans need a response against the Kangaroos. The biggest area of concern was the forward line that managed just three goals, and one after the first break. With Lance Franklin, Isaac Heeney and Sam Reid injured, and Tom Papley on Origin duty, Sydney's attack looked second-rate. Papley will return this week, while Heeney is a chance, but the team needs more from Will Hayward, Nick Blakey, Tom McCartin, Callum Sinclair and Ben Ronke. Franklin will miss games early in the season, so the Swans need to find their most dangerous combination inside 50 and get it right against North. - Adam Curley

Sydney players look dejected after losing to GWS. Picture: AFL Photos
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Toe to toe with Damo: Rampe on climbing THAT post, OCD tendencies

Dane Rampe sits down with Damian Barrett to discuss his incredible path into the AFL, climbing that goalpost, and more

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West Coast Eagles

Second-year ruckman/forward Bailey Williams (pictured below) could end the discussion about who supports Nic Naitanui in round one with a strong performance against Fremantle. The Eagles used Nathan Vardy as their second ruckman against Essendon, and also have Tom Hickey building after an interrupted pre-season. Oscar Allen (ankle) has played the forward/ruck role in the past. But Williams could be the most dynamic and versatile of the group and the Eagles will want to see him perform against Freo after exciting flashes against the Bombers. The second ruck spot is open right now and the ball looks to be in Williams' court. – Nathan Schmook

Western Bulldogs

Tim English (pictured below) was outstanding in an intraclub game last Saturday, taking massive contested grabs with ease. The West Australian has worked hard on his long-range goal kicking in an effort to have more of an impact in other areas of the game. Now, the Bulldogs will be keen to see whether English's new-look stronger frame can handle the challenge against Scott Lycett. The Port Adelaide ruckman has become one of the more consistent big men in the league, and English has typically struggled to win his own hitouts against the League's best. The Dogs' hopes for a deep finals push will benefit greatly if English can deliver a breakout year. - Jourdan Canil