TEN PAST four on a Friday afternoon is an unusual time to be running out for a game of football, but we are in strange times – and this is a clash that would not look out of place on the AFL stage.
Premiership fancies Geelong and Footscray will lock horns at GMHBA Stadium, with both teams naming powerful line-ups as the month of lockdown allows a bevy of stars to recover from injuries.
The undefeated Bulldogs trounced Frankston by 81 points on May 21 and have had the luxury of recalling AFL captain Easton Wood (hamstring), while Toby McLean makes his return from an ACL injury and Ed Richards (ankle) also plays his first game of the season among 10 changes.
YOUR CLUB'S B & F LEADER Who's looking good so far this season?
No.1 draft pick Jamarra Ugle-Hagan (concussion), midfielder Patrick Lipinski, ruckman Jordan Sweet, defender Lewis Young, skipper Lachie Sullivan and backman Reuben William have also been included, with Louis Butler and Ryan Gardner the only AFL-listed players out along with Jordan Boyd, who moved to Carlton in the mid-season draft, and unlucky forward Bailey Van de Heuvel.
For their part, the Cats have named 18 AFL listers in their 22, plus Jackson Thurlow, Darcy Lang and Aaron Black, with only dangerous small forward Jackson McLachlan having not been on a list at the top level.
They have included Gryan Miers (broken leg), the unlucky Quinton Narkle, rested veteran Shaun Higgins, youngsters Max Holmes and Shannon Neale and backman Zach Guthrie in their six changes, and the strength of their team is highlighted by the fact 100-plus gamer Oliver Tate has been forced into the emergencies.
Frankston has received a mixed bag at the selection table, making 10 changes for its clash under lights with the Northern Bullants at Skybus Stadium.
Ball magnet Nathan Freeman, classy forward Bailey Lambert, ruckman James Rendell and in-form defender Connor Riley all return after missing the club’s 1000th game against the Bulldogs, while former Werribee big man Jack Berry returns for just his second appearance of the season and St Kevin’s midfielder Al Richards will make his VFL debut.
But the Dolphins will be without Freeman’s right-hand men in the midfield Will Fordham, Anthony Brolic and Sam Fletcher, while small forward Jack Mentha also goes out and Billy McCormack is unlucky to lose his spot after playing well on debut against Footscray.
The Bullants are the only stable team for the day, having made three changes to the team blitzed by Werribee on May 23, with Sunny Brazier in for his first game of the year, ex-Borough man Matt Gundry earning a club debut and Nathan Honey getting a VFL debut in place of Tim Jones, William Mitchell and Liam Podhajski.
GEELONG v FOOTSCRAY
Friday, June 18, 4.10pm @ GMHBA Stadium (Kayo Freebies)
B: 15. N. Kreuger, 48. A. Black, 43. S. Okunbor
HB: 39. Z. Guthrie, 16. S. De Koning, 66. J. Thurlow
C: 20. O. Brownless, 6. J. Clark, 4. S. Higgins
HF: 31. F. Evans, 28. D. Fort, 19. Q. Narkle
F: 9. M. Holmes, 11. J. Jenkins, 32. G. Miers
R: 1. R. Stanley, 18. C. Constable, 58. D. Lang
Inter: 10. B. Jarvis, 52. J. McLachlan, 33. S. Neale, 21. N. Stevens
Emerg: 57. J. Chalcraft, 74. J. Gow, 55. L. Smith, 54. O. Tate
In: Z. Guthrie, Higgins, Holmes, Miers, Narkle, Neale
Out: Gow, Harris, Johnston, Smith, Tate, Wareham
B: 32. W. Hayes, 2. L. Young, 24. B. Khamis
HB: 53. L. Sullivan, 54. C. Cormack, 10. E. Wood
C: 25. B. Cavarra, 16. T. McLean, 20. E. Richards
HF: 30. L. McNeil, 26. D. Bedendo, 22. J. Ugle-Hagan
F: 3. M. Wallis, 13. J. Schache, 14. R. West
R: 41. J. Sweet, 27. P. Lipinski, 38. R. Garcia
Inter: 65. N. Hamad, 66. R. McComb, 63. T. Short, 55. R. William
Emerg: 52. J. Glass-McCasker, 62. A. Hodge, 56. C. Preston, 70. B. Van de Heuvel
In: Lipinski, McLean, McNeil, Richards, Sullivan, Sweet, Ugle-Hagan, William, Wood, Young
Out: Boyd (Carlton), Butler, Gardner, Gilbee, Glass-McCasker, MacPherson, Nicholls, Orgill, Preston, Van de Heuvel
Prediction: Geelong by 1
FRANKSTON v NORTHERN BULLANTS
Friday, June 18, 7.30pm @ Skybus Stadium (RPPFM 98.7FM, rppfm.com.au)
B: 33. T. Barlow, 4. M. Williams, 36. C. Jones
HB: 22. C. Riley, 14. L. Hiscock, 13. A. Styles
C: 26. W. Arthurson, 9. N. Freeman, 31. W. Mackay
HF: 21. M. Cox, 1. J. Begley, 12. A. Krakauer
F: 35. R. D'Arcy, 3. J. Berry, 5. K. Owens
R: 16. J. Rendell, 37. A. Richards, 2. J. Newman
Inter: 17. B. Lambert, 6. T. Small, 42. J. Stern, 43. J. Voss
Emerg: 44. J. Crocker, 30. B. McCormack, 28. B. McLaughlin
In: Berry, Freeman, Lambert, Mackay, Rendell, Richards, Riley, Stern, Voss, M. Williams
Out: Brolic, Fletcher, Fordham, Lloyd, Loughnan, McCormack, McLaughlin, Mentha, O’Leary, Young
B: 10. M. King, 23. D. Lawrence, 27. B. Silvagni
HB: 4. L. Mackie, 20. M. El Nour, 7. D. Stone
C: 2. Z. Hart, 6. G. Strachan, 36. K. Quirk
HF: 12. F. O'Dwyer, 16. T. Smith, 3. J. Velissaris
F: 30. H. Kennedy, 26. J. Boyd, 5. W. Murphy
R: 40. D. Hughes, 15. P. Ahern, 1. T. Wilson
Inter: 9. S. Brazier, 32. M. Gundry, 24. N. Honey, 41. J. Murphy
Emerg: 14. H. Kerbatieh, 31. A. Richter-Salter, 35. L. Wilson
In: Brazier, Gundry, Honey
Out: Jones, Mitchell, Podhajski
Prediction: Frankston by 30
Brendan Rhodes’ winners: Last Week: 1. Season: 43.
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