Tom Hird handballs during the VFL practice match between Port Melbourne and Coburg at Highgate Reserve on March 4, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Coburg has recalled its most experienced player as it attempts to break through for its first win of the season under the Friday night lights against Port Melbourne at ETU Stadium.

Ryan Exon, 29, has played 113 VFL matches but only seven this season and none since Round 11.

He forces his way back into the Lions’ team alongside last week’s late withdrawal Josh Kemp (corked calf) for a clash against a team they have a recent winning record against, with Charlie Beasley and Daniel Johnston left out.

Coburg has won the past two matches against the Borough, by two points last year and 36 points in 2021 and hasn’t lowered its colours to them since 2019, given the cancellation of the 2020 season.

The Lions have been playing some good football in recent weeks but haven’t been able to string four quarters together – something they will need to rectify to break the drought.

Port Melbourne has suffered a major injury blow with dual leading goal kicker Matt Signorello likely to miss the rest of the season with a hamstring injury, while Jeremy O’Sullivan is out with concussion.

They have been replaced by Bryce Milford and the experienced Campbell Walker as the Borough tries to break a three-match slide – although those defeats were competitive losses to top four teams Box Hill Hawks and Werribee, plus eighth-placed Carlton.

Selected teams for all remaining games in Round 19 of the Smithy's VFL will be announced from 5:00pm Friday.

All matches in the 2023 Smithy’s VFL and rebel VFLW seasons will be live streamed free via the AFL website and AFL Live Official App.


Friday 28 July, 7:35pm, ETU Stadium
Head-to-head: Port Melbourne 97-69-4. At ETU Stadium: Port Melbourne 52-27-2. Streak: Coburg 2

B: S. Collins (9), E. Phillips (30), T. Cameron (24)
HB: A. Fyfe (1), F. Rosman (3), Z. Adams (33)
C: H. Stubbings (12), T. Hird (4), N. Stuhldreier (31)
HF: K. Viccars (25), A. Manton (16), J. Gasper (26)
F: A. Anastasio (19), J. Green (14), A. Curry (36)
R: S. Naismith (10), D. Clarke (2), H. Hooper (37)
INT: N. Holmes (5), C. Walker (29), B. Milford (42), J. Cucinotta (15), T. Hofert (21)
EMG: C. Stackelberg (22), N. Burke (11), F. Flockart (27), O. Manton (41), J. Johnston (20), O. Roberts (50)

IN: B. Milford, C. Walker
OUT: J. O'Sullivan (concussion), M. Signorello (hamstring)

H. Nolan (6), L. Walker (25), I. Dammersmith (43)
HB: B. Jepson (21), L. Nelson (1), R. Exon (5)
M. Kennedy (24), F. Gentile (4), S. Mason (22)
HF: K. Weightman (26), R. Sturgess (9), N. Boucher (17)
F: M. Podhajski (10), M. Simpson (27), A. Clarke (12)
R: L. Podhajski (14), B. Gillard (11), L. Bailey (47)
INT: H. McGlashan (15), J. Corigliano (2), B. Rigoni (32), T. McKenzie (3), J. Kemp (38)
EMG: C. Beasley (8), B. Cameron (40), A. Carafa (35), W. Bella (31), D. Johnston (41)

IN: R. Exon, J. Kemp
OUT: C. Beasley, D. Johnston


Port Melbourne vs Coburg
FIELD: 29.Andrew Heffernan, 31.Paul Rebeschini, 40.Harry Birch, 42.Nick McGinness (all AFL). BOUNDARY: Jake D’Angelo, Kyle Fisher, Greta Miller. GOAL: Tom Gath, Adam Steger.