Tradition should be celebrated, but not when it prevents the growth and integrity of the game.
The Western Bulldogs have made two brutal calls at the selection table ahead of the 2021 grand final clash with Melbourne.
Key defender Ryan Gardner has been omitted for the returning Alex Keath, having played in all three lead-up finals and helping keep Port Adelaide to just six goals in their preliminary final win. Young goalsneak Cody Weightman also returns from a concussion, with Laitham Vandermeer and last week’s medical sub Anthony Scott relegated to emergencies.
Vandermeer is expected to be the Bulldogs’ medical sub for Saturday night’s game despite suffering a hamstring strain in the preliminary final win. Ed Richards and Gardner are the other two emergencies.
The Demons are unchanged, with James Jordon expected to reprise his role as medical sub for the third straight final. Jayden Hunt, Jake Melksham and Kade Chandler are the other emergencies, with Hunt returning to the squad after recovering from an ankle injury which has seen him sidelined since Round 21.
AFL grand final Teams
FB:  Michael Hibberd,  Steven May,  Jake Lever
HB:  Christian Salem,  Harrison Petty,  Trent Rivers
C:  Angus Brayshaw,  Christian Petracca,  Ed Langdon
HF:  Alex Neal-Bullen,  Tom McDonald,  Tom Sparrow
FF:  Bayley Fritsch,  Ben Brown,  Charlie Spargo
FOL  Max Gawn (c),  Clayton Oliver,  Jack Viney
I/C:  James Harmes,  Luke Jackson,  Jake Bowey,  Kysaiah Pickett
EMERG:  Jake Melksham,  James Jordon,  Jayden Hunt,  Kade Chandler
FB:  Easton Wood,  Alex Keath,  Bailey Williams
HB:  Caleb Daniel,  Zaine Cordy,  Bailey Dale
C:  Bailey Smith,  Tom Liberatore,  Lachie Hunter
HF:  Cody Weightman,  Aaron Naughton,  Adam Treloar
FF:  Josh Schache,  Tim English,  Mitch Hannan
FOL:  Stefan Martin,  Jack Macrae,  Marcus Bontempelli (c)
I/C:  Josh Dunkley,  Taylor Duryea,  Roarke Smith,  Jason Johannisen
EMERG:  Ed Richards,  Laitham Vandermeer,  Anthony Scott,  Ryan Gardner
IN: Cody Weightman, Alex Keath
OUT: Ryan Gardner, Laitham Vandermeer