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AFL Cats opt for youthful approach

Roar Guru
29th June, 2012
0

AFL premiers Geelong have promoted debutant Jordan Murdoch, dubbed the next Peter Riccardi, among four changes for Sunday’s game against Port Adelaide.

The Cats dropped ruckman Dawson Simpson and triple-premiership player David Wojcinski on Friday following last week’s six-point loss to the Swans at the SCG.

Geelong have made four changes in total, ruling out forward/midfielder Paul Chapman (groin) and defender Josh Hunt (toe) because of injury.

Teenagers Cam Guthrie, Billie Smedts and George Horlin-Smith come into the side with 20-year-old debutant Murdoch.

The Glenelg recruit, a 189cm utility with loads of pace, was plucked from the VFL after just one game back from a broken finger.

The Cats said on their website on Friday that Murdoch had been likened to 1998 club champion and 288-game veteran Riccardi because of his booming left foot and speed.

Murdoch recorded the quickest time at last year’s Draft Combine of 2.76 seconds for the 20-metre sprint.

All four youngsters have been named on the bench for the Cats (7-5 win-loss) who host the injury-depleted Port Adelaide (4-8) at Simonds Stadium.

Skipper Dom Cassisi (hip), key forward Jay Schulz (abdomen), Hamish Hartlett (hamstring) and Jackson Trengove (finger) are all out of the Port side along with Matt Thomas (suspension) and Jarrad Redden (dropped).

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Onballer David Rodan, full-forward John Butcher and fullback Alipate Carlile, who had been dropped for poor fitness levels, are among the six inclusions.

North Melbourne (6-6) have dropped midfielder Ben Cunnington for small forward Matt Campbell ahead of their crucial game against St Kilda (6-6) at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

The Saints have regained forward Rhys Stanley and dropped Terry Milera.

Brisbane will be without defender Matt Maguire (elbow) for Sunday’s clash with the Demons at the Gabba, with 19-year-old Jared Polec returning to the side.

Melbourne have recalled Rohan Bail, Luke Tapscott and ruckman Stefan Martin for Aaron Davey, gun forward Mitch Clark (foot) and Sam Blease (omitted).