GREATER Western Sydney has received a huge boost as it aims to keep its finals hopes alive with a host of quality AFL players named to make their returns from injury in the Giants’ crucial clash with Aspley at Blacktown International Sports Park on Saturday.
GWS has named inaugural co-captain Phil Davis and experienced midfielder Matt De Boer on the VFL extended bench after missing nine weeks with calf and hamstring injuries respectively, although De Boer is also on the AFL extended bench and could instead go straight into that line-up.
Key forward Jake Riccardi and defender Matt Buntine will also line up against Aspley after losing their spots in the AFL squad, while Academy graduate Josh Green is another inclusion as the Giants left at least seven players out of the team that defeated Port Melbourne back on May 22.
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Aspley has named Broadbeach speedster Lucas Jellyman-Turner, 24, for his VFL debut after adding him to the list this week, while Will O’Dwyer returns in place of key defender Brad Dale and Tom Jeffrey.
Gold Coast has also been boosted by AFL cavalry for its must-win clash with Sydney at Tramway Oval on Saturday morning, with Sam Day back after 10 weeks out with a knee injury to help its key position stocks, alongside Rory Atkins, Darcy MacPherson and Luke Towey among six changes from the team thrashed by Southport on May 21.
Sydney has lost three players for the game, including reigning NEAFL MVP Jake Bartholomaeus (ankle), former Casey Demon Will Collis (finger) and tall forward Harry Maguire (concussion), while also being rocked by the news luckless big man Sam Naismith has reinjured his knee.
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SYDNEY v GOLD COAST
Saturday, June 12, 11.05am @ Tramway Oval (Kayo Freebies)
B: 19. M. Ling, 17. W. Gould, 35. B. O'Connor
HB: 40. M. Carruthers, 2. K. Brand, 38. C. O'Riordan
C: 3. D. Stephens, 15. S. Gray, 28. L. Taylor
HF: 50. A. Gulden, 55. H. Morrison, 59. S. Thorne
F: 25. B. Ronke, 41. H. McLean, 33. M. Sheather
R: 18. C. Sinclair, 4. R. Clarke, 22. N. Blakey
Inter: 56. D. Cordell, 52. R. Hebron, 60. L. McAndrew, 54. R. van Huisstede
Emerg: 57. N. Brewer, 61. M. Geddes, J. Laidler
In: Cordell, Thorne, van Huisstede
Out: H. Maguire (concussion), W. Collis (finger), J. Bartholomaeus (ankle)
B: 5. J. Harbrow, 20. J. Hombsch, 43. J. McLennan
HB: 8. B. Fiorini, 33. A. Fyfe, 45. L. Towey
C: 2. R. Atkins, 7. W. Brodie, 37. J. Sharp
HF: 12. S. Day, 40. J. Jeffrey, 51. M. Pescud
F: 44. D. MacPherson, 31. J. Murdoch, 21. J. Townsend
R: 42. P. Murtagh, 9. B. Ainsworth, 30. A. Davies
Inter: 58. J. Johnston, 60. R. Pickering, 52. B. Reeves, 57. B. Uwland
Emerg: 56. J. Foggo, 53. A. Harris, 59. T. Hofert, 55. J. Smith
In: Atkins, Day, Johnston, MacPherson, Towey, Uwland
Out: Rhys Nicholls, Alex Rayner, Mackenzie Riddle, James Smith, Jack Willis, Riley Winter
Prediction: Sydney by 21
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY v ASPLEY
Saturday, June 12, 12.05pm @ Blacktown International Sports Park (Kayo Freebies)
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY
B: 52. A. Baker, 76. L. Chisholm, 56. A. Smout
HB: 45. J. Peatling, 21. M. Buntine, 10. J. Wehr
C: 9. R. Angwin, 34. N. Shipley, 57. W. Clark
HF: 61. T. Garvey, 35. W. Shaw, 58. R. Pollock
F: 20. T. Hutchesson, 26. J. Riccardi, 72. Z. Youlten
R: 32. K. Briggs, 51. X. Barry-Murphy, 63. J. Green
Inter: 46. C. Brown, 5. T. Bruhn, 1. P. Davis, 24. M. De Boer, 29. C. Fleeton, 30. M. Flynn, 40. A. Kennedy, 33. X. O'Halloran, 28. Z. Sproule, 42. J. Stein
** Underlined players have been named on extended AFL interchange
In: Baker, Buntine, Davis, De Boer, Flynn, J. Green, Kennedy, O’Halloran, Riccardi, Sproule, Stein
Out: Josh Boag (ankle), Scott Brown, Jack Field, Matt McGrory, Liam Ross (hip), Tom Stapleton, Conor Stone
B: 18. J. Arnold, 24. L. Dawson, 6. E. Wasley-Black
HB: 39. L. Jellyman-Turner, 34. I. Corvo, 8. M. Payne
C: 21. J. Fitzpatrick, 9. J. Allison, 7. C. Lyons
HF: 15. W. O'Dwyer, 17. J. Freeman, 10. C. Stackelberg
F: 2. J. Hayden, 11. M. Hammelmann, 30. J. Warren
R: 35. J. Ivers, 4. R. Bastinac, 3. J. Ives
Inter: 1. W. Gowers, 14. J. Rolls, 19. D. Smith, 22. T. Templeton
Emerg: 28. J. Lipscombe
In: L. Jellyman-Turner, O'Dwyer
Out: T. Jeffrey, B. Dale
Prediction: GWS by 16
Brendan Rhodes’ winners: Last Week: 1. Season: 42.
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