Boost for Demons defence
MELBOURNE is set to add some steel to their defence, with Jordan Lewis and Neville Jetta cleared to play against St Kilda.
The availability of the influential AFL defenders continues the brightening outlook for the Demons, who looked terribly out of sorts in three losses to start the season but took a step in the right direction with a breakthrough win over Sydney last week.
Lewis is poised to play his first game of the season against the Saints at the MCG on Saturday after overcoming a hamstring injury suffered just days before round one.
Jetta was a late withdrawal from the team that defeated the Swans at the SCG with knee soreness, but coach Simon Goodwin told reporters on Wednesday that both have proved their fitness.
At their worst, the Demons have looked disorganised in the back half and been easy to score against in a shaky start to the season, but Lewis’s return will help stabilise a young back six.
“We saw in the first three weeks that we missed his leadership,” Goodwin said.
“He understands the game so well. He’s got that voice and communication behind the ball.
“I thought our back six started to get back to the way they know they can last week even with some inexperience back there, but it’s going to be great to have Jordy available.
“… He had a really solid pre-season and he was ready to go then was a late withdrawal into round one.
“But he’s done a really strong rehab and got some good loads back in.”
Small forward Jay Lockhart (back) is also available after he was a late withdrawal against Sydney.
Goodwin is keen to continue his experiment with two ruckmen but Braydon Preuss must shake off a sore shoulder suffered in his first AFL game for the club, to be able to team up with Max Gawn again.
“He was a good inclusion for us, he performed really strongly,” the coach said of Preuss.
“So he’s someone who’s got to get through training but we’re pretty confident he will.
“It worked well for us so we’ll keep having a look at it.”
© AAP 2019