Trent Cotchin and Dustin Martin at Tigers training. Pic: Getty Images
Trent Cotchin and Dustin Martin at Tigers training. Pic: Getty Images

Heartbreak for first-year Demon

MELBOURNE has dropped Bayley Fritsch for Saturday's preliminary final against West Coast in heartbreaking news for the first-year Demon.

Fritsch, pick No.31 in last year's draft, had missed just one game this season but was replaced by defender Joel Smith.

The 21-year-old averaged 16 disposals and kicked 17 goals but has spent the latter part of the season in defence.

Smith returns after dislocating his collarbone against Gold Coast in Round 20.

The Eagles also made one change, recalling defender Will Schofield for the injured Brad Sheppard.

Richmond and Collingwood both selected an unchanged line-up for Friday night's blockbuster.

 

The Demons have dropped Bayley Fritsch. Picture: Michael Klein
The Demons have dropped Bayley Fritsch. Picture: Michael Klein

 

Earlier, Richmond forward Shane Edwards said there was "no doubt" that Dustin Martin will be at full capacity for tomorrow night's blockbuster preliminary final, according to his premiership teammate.

The Brownlow medallist took part in all of Richmond's final session at a packed Punt Road after suffering what coach Damien Hardwick this week described as a "significant corkie".

But Edwards said he has no worries about Martin's ability to impact against Collingwood on Friday night night.

"He's all right," Edwards said.

 

Tigers captain Trent Cotchin jostles with teammate Dustin Martin at training at Punt Road this morning. Pic: Getty Images
Tigers captain Trent Cotchin jostles with teammate Dustin Martin at training at Punt Road this morning. Pic: Getty Images

 

"He just had a corkie. He trained fine today, so he's raring to go.

"No doubt (about him)."

Martin was the only player to train in compression tights, fuelling speculation that he might have been hiding some strapping on his thigh or knee.

But Edwards laughed that he had never taken much notice of the superstar's training attire.

"I haven't had a mental check on whether he's trained in (them) much, but I think he's done it every now and then," he said.

"I'll make sure I'll look from now on."

 

 

Very confident Richmond fans.
Very confident Richmond fans.

 

Brandon Ellis and Dan Butler both trained as they push their case for selection, while Edwards said the team would draw on its experience of winning last year's premiership in an effort to find an edge.

 

Dustin Martin with assistant coach Andrew McQualter at Richmond training. Picture: Michael Klein
Dustin Martin with assistant coach Andrew McQualter at Richmond training. Picture: Michael Klein

 

 

Friday, September 21

Richmond v Collingwood at the MCG, 7.50pm AEST

 

TIGERS

B: Astbury, Rance, Grimes

HB: Houli, Vlastuin, Broad

C: Grigg, Cotchin, McIntosh

HF: RiolI, Edwards, Castagna

F: Riewoldt, Martin, Caddy

FOLL: Nankervis, Lambert, Prestia

INT: Short, Higgins, Graham, Conca

EMER: Garthwaite, Soldo, Ellis, Lloyd

No change

 

MAGPIES

B: Maynard, Langdon, Crisp

HB: Howe, Goldsack, Varcoe

C: Treloar, Pendlebury, Phillips

HF: Hoskin-Elliott, Mihocek, De Goey

F: Thomas, Cox, Stephenson

FOLL: Grundy, Adams, Sidebottom

INT: Sier, Aish, Mayne, Greenwood

EMER: Blair, Brown, Madgen, Reid

No change

 

 

Saturday, September 22

West Coast v Melbourne at Optus Stadium, 1.20pm AWST

EAGLES

B: Hurn, Barrass, Schofield

HB: Cole, McGovern, Jetta

C: Sheed, Shuey, Masten

HF: LeCras, Darling, Hutchings

F: Rioli, Kennedy, Cripps

FOLL: Lycett, Yeo, Redden

INT: Ryan, Duggan, Venables, Vardy

EMER: Allen, Nelson, Ainsworth, Ah Chee

In: W.Schofield

Out: B.Sheppard (hamstring)

 

DEMONS

B: Jetta, O McDonald, Lewis

HB: Salem, Frost, Hibberd

C: Hannan, Jones, Brayshaw

HF: Melksham, T McDonald, Harmes

F: vandenBerg, Weideman, Neal-Bullen

FOLL: Gawn, Oliver, Viney

INT: Petracca, Spargo, Tyson, J Smith

EMER: Kennedy-Harris, Hunt, Fritsch, T Smith

In: J.Smith

Out: B.Fritsch

 


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