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NAB Cup week 1


Brent Diamond

Dale Morris.

Dale Morris. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo

Friday, Etihad Stadium, from 6.45 pm

Western Bulldogs

Jackson Macrae's last competitive hit-out was as the match-winner with a behind for the Oakleigh Chargers in their TAC Cup grand final win last year.

On Friday night, the youngster, who so often has been compared to a young Scott Pendlebury, will make his debut for the Bulldogs and is expecting to swing through a variety of roles. "Throughout my junior footy … I played the midfield and half-forward role and [the] Bulldogs are really trying to play me in a wing role and have the versatility to also play as a half-back,'' Macrae said.

He is likely to be joined in the back half by mature-age VFL star Brett Goodes. Bulldogs development coach Peter German is expecting he will have to do without Goodes at Williamstown this season. Jack Redpath will also make his debut, along with Nick Lower (ex-Fremantle) and Tom Young (ex-Collingwood). German also said a fit and firing Adam Cooney, who has had a stellar pre-season, may also help turn around the club's on-field fortunes.

Watch out for: Dale Morris - the reliable defender will play his first AFL match since round 21, 2011, after a further injury setback.



Dylan Van Unen is expected to be another ex-Frankston player who slots straight into the senior team pretty quickly.

The 22-year-old is a strong-willed defender, who had played just 10 matches in three seasons at Box Hill, before crossing to Frankston last season in his meteoric rise under coach Simon Goosey.

Goosey, who has played an unheralded role in the Bombers' recent recruiting with the likes of Michael Hibberd and Mark Baguley, maintains that the Bombers were the only club ever genuinely interested in all three ex-Dolphins - and all have the potential to be quick fixes.

''I suppose you can go back to Michael Hibberd. I promoted Michael to five clubs and had meetings with them to try and get him drafted. Essendon were the ones that I suppose had that trust,'' Goosey said.

''They liked the look of him [Van Unen] during the year. It wasn't as though I hid him, he was there for everyone to see.''

Others joining Van Unen for their debuts on Friday night include Jason Ashby, Nick Kommer, Martin Gleeson, Hal Hunter and Lachlan Dalgleish.

Watch out for: Brendon Goddard - The former Saint is expected to slot straight into the midfield for Friday night's clash to add more grunt.



The Pies will field several mature-age recruits on Friday night, including former Hawk Clinton Young, former Eagle Quinten Lynch and former Blue Jordan Russell.

But it is perhaps the lesser names who were plucked from the VFL - Kyle Martin and Sam Dwyer - who will be thrust into the action in their debuts for the Pies.

For Martin, a two-time premiership player at Noble Park, a move to Frankston last season was the best career choice he's made.

"It was just purely to try and get the best out of my footy,'' Martin said. "It just shows that the VFL is not just another competition, it's another chance to get to the next level.''

Dwyer, 26, knows he doesn't have time to waste on the Pies' list. The Port Melbourne premiership player last season played a VFL grand final while still recovering from a fractured leg. At the time, he was unaware he was going to become a Pie, but his efforts were admirable.

" I think I'll play forward and midfield, a bit of both. They haven't really given much away, but from what I can take, they're the couple of roles I might play,'' Dwyer said.

Watch out for: Brent Macaffer - Pies football manager Geoff Walsh said Macaffer, who suffered a serious knee injury last season, was returning to top form after a ''diligent'' pre-season. He was prominent in the recent intra-club hit-out.


Saturday, Patersons Stadium, from 7.40 pm

West Coast

The return of Mark LeCras from last year's knee injury could throw a spanner in the works, given the success of the forward line without him last season.

Ex-Bulldog Josh Hill filled LeCras' role to perfection last season with 36 goals. If you add mature-age rookie Callum Sinclair to the attacking mix, the Eagles may cause some early headaches for opposition defences.

Forwards coach Justin Longmuir said Hill was still in the Eagles' best 22 despite LeCras' return.

Sinclair and Scott Lycett have been identified as key players to fill the void left by Quinten Lynch, who went to Collingwood over the summer.

Sinclair, who played with Port Melbourne before going to Subiaco, is a roaming ruckman who can play as a goalkicking forward, while Lycett has reportedly had a top pre-season and is geared to provide some back-up on the forward line. Jack Darling has reportedly had a super pre-season; he and Josh Kennedy will provide the main focal points.

The Eagles will have to wait as long as the early rounds of the season proper for Nic Naitanui to begin his 2013 campaign.

Watch out for: Scott Lycett - into his third season at the Eagles, Lycett is expected to add forward power on a more consistent basis.



While Josh Caddy and Jared Rivers will grab plenty of attention in their debuts for Geelong during the series, the return of Nathan Vardy, Josh Cowan and Travis Varcoe from long-term injuries will provide extra strength for the Cats heading into the season.

Varcoe made a comeback before last year's finals from a foot fracture but has finally returned to full fitness. Vardy, who has struggled with hip complaints, and Cowan, who had an Achilles injury, have also returned.

''We effectively brought in seven to eight players from the squad that were available last year … that's a big percentage of the team that wasn't available to us last year. Although these guys aren't all certainties to be in our best 22, they're pretty close,'' coach Chris Scott said.

Tasmanian draftee Jackson Thurlow is expected to make his debut in the NAB Cup. George Burbury and Jed Bews, however, have both suffered stress reactions in their feet and are likely to miss the next two months.

Watch out for: Jackson Sheringham. The mature-age midfielder is primed to take his midfield role to a new level this season after being on the fringe in his debut year.



With Matthew Pavlich sidelined for week one, the veteran skipper predicts a draftee will take his place on the forward line on Saturday night.

It is likely one of Jack Hannath, Tanner Smith, Alex Howson and Matt Taberner will be trialled throughout the NAB Cup.

''There might be a young guy who has been drafted recently pop up and play that [key forward] position,'' Pavlich said in a press conference this week.

''I think our small forwards have been training the house down, really.

''Hayden [Ballantyne], 'Son-son' [Michael Walters] and Josh Mellington have all been training quite well, so I assume they may get an opportunity come this Saturday night.''

Pavlich, who had a back operation late last year, said he was nearing full fitness.

There is optimism surrounding midfielder Cam Sutcliffe, who starred in an intra-club match last week.

The 20-year-old South Australian, who has exceptional endurance, could press for a regular spot in the midfield alongside Michael Barlow, Nat Fyfe, Stephen Hill and David Mundy.

Watch out for: Jayden Pitt - The club's first selection in the 2010 draft has added 10 kilograms to his slender frame over summer and will be looking to impress after only two games last season.


Sunday, Aami Stadium, from 4.40 pm

St Kilda

It appears likely that Saints veterans Nick Riewoldt, Stephen Milne, Lenny Hayes and Adam Schneider will all be on limited game-time during the NAB Cup as the club looks to nurse its stars through to round one.

Coach Scott Watters said the ageing stars didn't need to play too many games in the lead-up to the season-proper. ''It's a pretty normal sort of preparation,'' Watters said. ''Lenny Hayes doesn't need to be playing five or six games leading into round one, and nor does Nick. So it's just a modified preparation for them. They'll join in the NAB Cup at an appropriate phase and they'll be ready to go for round one.''

Ruckman Ben McEvoy is another the club will monitor through the pre-season competition.

Youngsters Josh Saunders and Nathan Wright could be exposed in the NAB Cup early, along with Jack Newnes, Beau Maister (formerly Wilkes) and David Armitage, who have had a solid start to the year.

Milne, Terry Milera and Ahmed Saad provided the excitement up forward in a recent intra-club match.

Watch out for: Tom Hickey - the former Gold Coast ruckman has already proved to be a valuable cog in the Saints ruck division and will add some versatility to the mix this season.


Port Adelaide

Jasper Pittard says Port has focused on its defensive structures over the pre-season, and this will be evident during the series. He said the Power would be much tougher to score against. ''That [defence] has been a massive focus from [coach] Kenny [Hinkley] coming in,'' Pittard told the Power club website. ''He always preaches that a good defensive team will win lots of games of footy. The better your defence the more offensive opportunities you'll have.''

The Power's new game plan will be one of the talking points during the NAB Cup, with Hinkley set to stamp his authority on the young group.

Pittard was one of the best in a recent intra-club match and the defender is primed after a horror injury run last year. Angus Monfries has had a top start at the Power since crossing from Essendon, while Hamish Hartlett, Brad Ebert and Jay Schulz have also reportedly had impressive pre-seasons. Sandover medallist Kane Mitchell, Mason Shaw, Jake Neade and Jack Hombsch are also likely to excite in the NAB Cup.

Watch out for: Ollie Wines - the Power's top draft pick and inside midfielder made a lasting impression in an intra-club match and appears headed for not only a NAB Cup debut but a round-one debut.



The reigning NAB Cup champion has seemingly gotten over the Kurt Tippett saga and is instead focusing on the player who will fill the hole.

That experiment will begin over the next month when Josh Jenkins teams up with Taylor Walker in the forward line.

Jenkins, who was on the fringe of selection during last year's finals series, now appears to be one of the most wanted men at the Crows, given his strong basketball background.

Jenkins knows this year could be his biggest opportunity to break through the ranks.

''I'm lucky that I've got some athletic traits that not many guys my size have, and I want to take advantage of those,'' Jenkins told the Crows' website last month.

''I've been able to score PBs in pretty much all my running, so hopefully that will stand me in good stead and help get me through the whole year instead of only two-thirds, which was what happened last year.''

The other candidate may well be Shaun McKernan, but he could also be used in a roaming ruck role with Sam Jacobs.

Watch out for: Brad Crouch - the clubs' prized mini-draft selection in 2011 is now eligible to play. The on-baller collected 31 disposals in a SANFL final last season for a glimpse of what to expect.


Next week - North Melbourne v Melbourne v Richmond at Etihad Stadium, Gold Coast v Hawthorn v Brisbane Lions at Metricon Stadium and GWS v Carlton v Sydney at Blacktown ISP.

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AFL 2015

Round 1
Thu, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
CAR 78vs RIC 105 Report Stats
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
MEL 115vs GCF 89 Stats
SYD 72vs ESS 60 Stats
BRI 74vs COL 86 Stats
WBU 97vs WCE 87 Stats
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
STK 78vs GWS 87 Stats
ADE 140vs NTH 63 Stats
FRE 75vs PTA 68 Stats
Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
HAW 123vs GEE 61 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
WCE 131vs CAR 62 Stats
Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
RIC 66vs WBU 85 Report Stats
GWS 101vs MEL 56 Stats
COL 63vs ADE 90 Report Stats
GCF 76vs STK 104 Stats
PTA 44vs SYD 92 Stats
Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
GEE 60vs FRE 104 Stats
ESS 78vs HAW 76 Stats
NTH 133vs BRI 51 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
COL 140vs STK 66 Stats
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
CAR 84vs ESS 105 Stats
ADE 80vs MEL 55 Stats
SYD 111vs GWS 90 Report Stats
NTH 105vs PTA 113 Stats
BRI 58vs RIC 137 Stats
Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
HAW 127vs WBU 57 Stats
GEE 105vs GCF 96 Stats
WCE 81vs FRE 111 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
RIC 51vs MEL 83 Stats
Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
STK 81vs CAR 121 Report Report Stats
ESS 49vs COL 69 Report Stats
GWS 119vs GCF 53 Stats
PTA 99vs HAW 91 Stats
FRE 74vs SYD 60 Stats
Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI 65vs WCE 118 Stats
GEE 67vs NTH 83 Stats
WBU 125vs ADE 68 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR 45vs COL 120 Stats
Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
RIC 76vs GEE 85 Stats
SYD 73vs WBU 77 Stats
GCF 118vs BRI 54 Stats
NTH 70vs HAW 130 Stats
WCE 120vs GWS 33 Stats
Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
MEL 50vs FRE 118 Stats
STK 80vs ESS 82 Stats
ADE 91vs PTA 115 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
COL 59vs GEE 100 Stats
Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
NTH 109vs RIC 74 Stats
WBU 87vs STK 94 Stats
GWS 108vs HAW 98 Stats
GCF 78vs ADE 119 Stats
MEL 50vs SYD 88 Stats
FRE 80vs ESS 52 Stats
Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR 75vs BRI 84 Report Stats
PTA 68vs WCE 78 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
ESS 82vs NTH 93 Stats
Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
ADE 119vs STK 73 Stats
HAW 155vs MEL 50 Stats
CAR 57vs GWS 135 Stats
SYD 120vs GEE 77 Stats
WCE 135vs GCF 43 Stats
Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
WBU 88vs FRE 101 Stats
RIC 105vs COL 100 Report Stats
BRI 102vs PTA 65 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
GEE 140vs CAR 63 Report Stats
Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
STK 78vs WCE 131 Report Stats
GWS 108vs ADE 84 Report Stats
GCF 63vs COL 132 Report Stats
HAW 69vs SYD 73 Report Stats
FRE 115vs NTH 42 Report Stats
Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
ESS 136vs BRI 78 Report Stats
MEL 103vs WBU 64 Report Stats
PTA 43vs RIC 76 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
SYD 122vs CAR 62 Report Stats
Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
HAW 93vs GCF 40 Report Stats
MEL 54vs PTA 115 Report Stats
WBU 113vs GWS 68 Report Stats
RIC 72vs ESS 59 Report Stats
ADE 57vs FRE 68 Report Stats
Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI 86vs STK 108 Report Stats
COL 112vs NTH 95 Report Stats
WCE 120vs GEE 64 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 10
Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
FRE 70vs RIC 97 Report Stats
Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
CAR 90vs ADE 99 Report Stats
GCF 41vs SYD 93 Report Stats
ESS 53vs GEE 122 Report Stats
PTA 100vs WBU 62 Report Stats
Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
GWS 97vs BRI 67 Report Stats
NTH 85vs WCE 75 Report Stats
STK 69vs HAW 132 Report Stats
Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
MEL 85vs COL 110 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 11
Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
PTA 69vs GEE 92 Report Stats
Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
GCF 46vs FRE 53 Report Stats
WCE 96vs ESS 46 Report Stats
NTH 75vs SYD 91 Report Report Stats
Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
COL 119vs GWS 77 Report Stats
STK 85vs MEL 83 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 12
Thu, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
ADE 85vs HAW 114 Report Stats
Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
RIC 70vs WCE 90 Report Stats
Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
CAR 110vs PTA 106 Report Stats
GWS 61vs NTH 117 Report Stats
WBU 146vs BRI 74 Report Stats
Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
GEE 89vs MEL 113 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 13
Thu, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
FRE 80vs COL 73 Report Stats
Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD 77vs RIC 95 Report Stats
Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
HAW 114vs ESS 76 Report Stats
BRI 69vs ADE 82 Report Stats
STK 56vs WBU 62 Report Stats
Sun, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
CAR 103vs GCF 69 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 14
Thu, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD 94vs PTA 84 Report Stats
Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
COL 91vs HAW 101 Report Stats
Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
RIC 78vs GWS 69 Report Stats
GCF 125vs NTH 70 Report Stats
WBU 64vs CAR 53 Report Stats
MEL 60vs WCE 114 Report Stats
Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
ESS 52vs STK 162 Stats
ADE vs GEE 15:20Adelaide Oval
FRE 84vs BRI 48 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 15
Thu, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
PTA 66vs COL 63 Report Stats
Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
RIC 71vs CAR 41 Report Stats
Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
ESS 69vs MEL 60 Report Stats
WBU 95vs GCF 73 Report Stats
NTH 120vs GEE 79 Report Stats
WCE 147vs ADE 91 Report Stats
Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS 84vs STK 49 Report Stats
HAW 115vs FRE 43 Report Stats
BRI 49vs SYD 70 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 16
Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
NTH 93vs ESS 68 Report Stats
Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
GEE 72vs WBU 64 Report Stats
GCF 79vs GWS 94 Report Stats
COL 56vs WCE 87 Report Stats
SYD 57vs HAW 146 Report Stats
FRE 95vs CAR 53 Report Stats
Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
MEL 60vs BRI 36 Report Stats
PTA 113vs ADE 116 Report Stats
STK 73vs RIC 89 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 17
Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
CAR 35vs HAW 173 Report Stats
Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS 42vs GEE 69 Stats
ADE 125vs GCF 80 Stats
RIC 78vs FRE 82 Stats
ESS 116vs PTA 129 Stats
BRI 38vs NTH 110 Report Stats
Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
WBU 104vs COL 86 Report Stats
MEL 46vs STK 83 Report Stats
WCE 103vs SYD 51 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 18
Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
HAW 53vs RIC 71 Report Stats
Sat, 01 AugTimes shown AEST
GEE 113vs BRI 57 Stats
COL 54vs MEL 91 Report Stats
SYD 117vs ADE 65 Report Stats
CAR 54vs NTH 118 Report Stats
GCF 83vs WCE 83 Report Stats
Sun, 02 AugTimes shown AEST
PTA 112vs STK 49 Report Stats
ESS 40vs WBU 127 Report Stats
FRE 84vs GWS 63 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 19
Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
ADE 88vs RIC 52 Report Stats
Sat, 08 AugTimes shown AEST
COL 105vs CAR 87 Report Stats
WBU 128vs PTA 64 Report Stats
BRI 100vs GCF 114 Report Stats
GEE 95vs SYD 63 Report Stats
WCE 74vs HAW 88 Report Stats
Sun, 09 AugTimes shown AEST
MEL 92vs NTH 127 Report Stats
GWS 93vs ESS 61 Report Stats
STK 59vs FRE 96 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 20
Fri, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
SYD 87vs COL 76 Report Stats
Sat, 15 AugTimes shown AEST
ESS 59vs ADE 171 Report Stats
NTH 120vs STK 83 Report Stats
PTA 111vs GWS 90 Report Stats
GEE 85vs HAW 121 Report Stats
BRI 131vs CAR 67 Report Stats
Sun, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
RIC 138vs GCF 55 Report Stats
WBU 153vs MEL 55 Report Stats
FRE 80vs WCE 104 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 21
Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
HAW 86vs PTA 108 Report Stats
Sat, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
COL 56vs RIC 147 Report Stats
GWS 44vs SYD 133 Report Stats
GCF 97vs ESS 95 Report Stats
STK 97vs GEE 97 Report Stats
ADE 131vs BRI 44 Report Stats
Sun, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
NTH 94vs FRE 83 Report Stats
CAR 78vs MEL 55 Report Stats
WCE 162vs WBU 85 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 22
Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
GEE 62vs COL 110 Report Stats
Sat, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
GWS 132vs CAR 51 Report Stats
HAW 134vs BRI 62 Report Stats
NTH 73vs WBU 96 Report Stats
ESS 47vs RIC 74 Report Stats
GCF 51vs PTA 88 Report Stats
Sun, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
ADE 126vs WCE 69 Report Stats
STK 38vs SYD 135 Report Stats
FRE 108vs MEL 54 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 23
Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
RIC 108vs NTH 67 Report Stats
Sat, 05 SepTimes shown AEST
GEE 119vs ADE 80 Report Stats
BRI 130vs WBU 122 Report Stats
PTA 122vs FRE 53 Report Stats
HAW 113vs CAR 56 Report Stats
SYD 127vs GCF 64 Report Stats
WCE 125vs STK 30 Report Stats
Sun, 06 SepTimes shown AEST
MEL 103vs GWS 77 Report Stats
COL 92vs ESS 95 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 24
Fri, 11 SepTimes shown AEST
WCE 96vs HAW 64 Report Stats
Sat, 12 SepTimes shown AEST
FRE 69vs SYD 60 Report Stats
WBU 102vs ADE 109 Report Stats
Sun, 13 SepTimes shown AEST
RIC 88vs NTH 105 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 25
Fri, 18 SepTimes shown AEST
HAW 135vs ADE 61 Report Stats
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
SYD 51vs NTH 77 Report Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 26
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
FRE 67vs HAW 94 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
WCE 80vs NTH 55 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 27
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
HAW 107vs WCE 61 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
AFL 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D % Pts
Fremantle 22 17 5 0 118.73 68
West Coast Eagles 22 16 5 1 148.22 66
Hawthorn 22 16 6 0 158.40 64
Sydney Swans 22 16 6 0 127.12 64
Richmond 22 15 7 0 123.09 60
Western Bulldogs 22 14 8 0 115.12 56
Adelaide Crows 21 13 8 0 115.71 54
North Melbourne 22 13 9 0 106.45 52
View all

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