An injection of youth has been added to the Western Bulldogs side ahead of Sunday’s clash against Melbourne, with six players promoted to the extended squad.
With teams to be finalised on Friday afternoon, Senior Coach Brendan McCartney has confirmed that draftee Mitch Honeychurch and Sam Darley will play their first game in Bulldogs colours.
Jack Redpath was elevated from the rookie list Thursday afternoon and is in the mix to make his debut, while Lachie Hunter, Tom Campbell and Jake Stringer round out the inclusions to the 25-man squad.
Honeychurch has been on the verge of selection for weeks on end and will make his long awaited debut against the Demons, set to compliment the Bulldogs growing mosquito fleet up forward.
“He’s thoroughly deserved his opportunity, he’s been great in the VFL for pretty much the whole year,” Assistant Coach Shannon Grant said.
“He gets his opportunity – he’s been knocking on the door probably for the last six or seven weeks.
“He’s a terrific kid, he does everything right and he does everything you ask for him and it’s great to see a young kid put in the work that he has and be able to get that opportunity.”
Half-back Sam Darley will also play his first game in the red, white and blue after playing 13 senior games for the GWS Giants as a foundation squad member at the AFL expansion franchise.
The 21-year-old has played a role rebounding from defence for Footscray in the VFL and will bring some added dash to the Bulldogs senior side.
“He’s continued to grow Sammy, he’s really improved as one of those players that we use down back and also through the midfield as well,” Grant said.
“He’s defined his role and over the past four or five weeks he’s continued to get better at it every week he’s gone out and played in the VFL.
“He’s another young kid who’s coming through who has continued to put pressure on players in the senior side and once again, thoroughly deserves his opportunity.”
Footscray’s leading goal kicker Redpath has also entered the selection frame after consistent form at VFL level in recent.
“Jack Redpath has been really solid kicking a lot of goals but also continuing to improve and learn about his forward craft,” Grant said.
Hunter, Campbell and Stringer have also been named on an extended bench, and could also be recalled to face the Demons after all featuring amongst the VFL side’s best in recent weeks.
Ryan Griffen (back), Jordan Roughead (shoulder) and Daniel Giansiracusa (suspension) will not line up in Sunday’s game against Melbourne.
Round 15 - Western Bulldogs vs Melbourne
Sunday 26 June 2014, 1:10pm
Venue: Etihad Stadium
|Full back||L Picken||M Austin||R Murphy|
|Half back||S Higgins||D Morris||E Wood|
|Centreline||M Bontempelli||M Boyd||J Macrae|
|Half forward||K Stevens||S Crameri||S Darley|
|Full forward||L Dahlhaus||L Jones||M Honeychurch|
|Followers||W Minson||M Wallis||T Liberatore|
|Interchange (from):||J Grant||J Stringer||J Tutt|
|N Hrovat||L Hunter||J Redpath|