Max Gawn’s knee harm has opened the door for Melbourne handy “thrilling prospect” Jacob van Rooyen his long-awaited AFL debut.
Low season recruit Brodie Grundy will take over lead ruck duties towards Sydney on Sunday because the Demons look to bounce again from a troublesome loss to Brisbane.
Serving to their trigger, Key defender Steven Could will return from a calf harm to face Swans champion Lance Franklin, who’s again after a one-match suspension.
The flow-on impact of Gawn’s harm means additional changes are required in assault for Melbourne.
Van Rooyen, a 193cm and 96kg key ahead, was the membership’s first choose on the 2021 draft – No.19 general – and has needed to bide his time at VFL degree.
“He is labored extremely laborious to develop his recreation during the last two years and we have been fairly laborious on him about getting his recreation to the fitting degree,” Demons coach Simon Goodwin stated.
“He is continued to execute that by pre-season and the primary few weeks, so he’ll debut for us and that is thrilling.
“He is a younger energy ahead coming into the sport.”
Van Rooyen, 19, will line up in assault alongside main goal-kicker Ben Brown and fellow tall Tom McDonald in a bid to check the Swans’ key defenders.
“He is skilled with these guys for a number of years now, so he is bought fairly good cohesion with this group already, and one factor you will see from huge Rooey is his capability to compete aerially,” Goodwin stated.
“He goes on the ball laborious, he creates a contest and his follow-up at floor degree is phenomenal.
“We can’t be asking him to do an excessive amount of aside from that for us.”
Goodwin backed former Collingwood star Grundy to step up in Gawn’s absence, with the skipper sidelined for at the very least the subsequent 4 weeks.
“This is not irregular for Brodie,” Goodwin stated.
“He is performed as a sole ruckman for an enormous a part of his profession and he is executed it extremely nicely.
“We’re excited to have Brodie have this chance.
“It isn’t what we had been planning but it surely’s definitely a chance that we predict we will really attempt to exploit.”
Could missed the opening two rounds of the season with a calf harm and might be welcomed again in defence.
“We have been cautious with Steve to ensure he is 100 per cent able to go however we’d like his management and his capability to win one-on-one contests,” Goodwin stated.
“He is a very vital participant to us.”
Could restricted 1000-goal champion Franklin to simply seven disposals – and held him goalless – when the groups met in final 12 months’s qualifying ultimate.
However Sydney gained the sport and Goodwin conceded John Longmire’s aspect has had the wooden on the Demons lately.
“They’ve had some success towards us and we’re beneath no illusions that we have to make some modifications to essentially take the sport to them on each side of the ball,” Goodwin stated.