Experienced defenders Easton Wood and Jason Johannisen are in the frame to return for the Western Bulldogs, when they face North Melbourne at Marvel Stadium on Friday afternoon.
Wood has spent the past two weeks in the VFL as he’s worked back from a hamstring injury, while Johannisen was the unused medical sub last week, having missed selection in the starting 22 for the opening two rounds.
Despite a 2-0 start to the season and some good signs from a developing back line, senior coach Luke Beveridge believes the Bulldogs have a way to go before they settle on their best mix.
“We’re fortunate enough to have won games, but there’s competition for spots as well and the complexion of our team will continue to evolve,” he told media on Wednesday.
Beveridge said Wood was a likely inclusion to face the Kangaroos in the Kick for the Kids game.
“His name’s definitely on the table and it’s more than likely it will probably go on the board as well,” he said.
“We wanted Easton to play another VFL game last week – with 30-minute quarters and the 75 interchange these days, if players are coming off soft tissue and there’s a little bit of doubt, we’ll make sure we’re really confident with them going in.
“That might mean spending another game at state league level, which Easton went and did and he played really well.”
Johannisen didn’t play any footy last week, after not being called upon as the medical sub.
Beveridge said the Bulldogs would steer away from using the same player in that role in consecutive weeks – but said it was a guide as to who is close to being selected.
“He’ll definitely play a full game, at AFL level or VFL level – he won’t be the sub again,” Beveridge said on Johannisen.
“If you’re the 23rd man – there’s probably a particular type that suits, and it suits the team from a versatility point of view.
“But it’s also probably a pecking order and a selection order as well. Last week because we didn’t make any changes, Westy was the sub and played state league (the following week).
“This week if we make changes, JJ’s a chance to come in.”