Date: May 02 2012
Todd Goldstein’s recall to North Melbourne’s team for Sunday’s interstate challenge against undefeated West Coast is far from automatic.
Whether the Roos bring back Goldstein to partner Hamish McIntosh against Eagles ruck duo Dean Cox and Nic Naitanui became the "64 hit-out question" this week after the 23-year-old ruckman dominated at VFL level last Sunday.
Goldstein had a staggering 64 hit-outs playing for North Ballarat in the state league, and also moved forward to kick two goals to go with 22 disposals, a performance that will have him "strongly considered" for the trip to Perth.
But Roos coach Brad Scott made it clear that Goldstein’s spot was not guaranteed, particularly if it turns out to be a wet track at Patersons Stadium.
"That’s a really good question and one that is probably going to take the whole week to answer, because it’s not only the ruck duel that it affects, it’s also the forward structure we go with as well," Scott said today.
"Whether we try to go a little bit taller, the weather has been pretty wet over in Perth, so all those things we’ve got to take into account.
"What I can say is that Todd did everything that was asked of him back in the VFL - 64 hitouts... and played with the intensity that he did last year.
"So that’s what we asked him to go back and do and he held up his end of the bargain. So he will be strongly considered."
Goldstein flourished during a break-out season in 2011, earning his first All-Australian nomination, but has struggled to have the same impact fitting into a new role alongside McIntosh, who missed last year through injury.
Scott said the Roos would make their final call on Goldstein later in the week, but would not bother taking him to Perth as an emergency if he was not selected in the 22.
"We think we’ve got ruck coverage. With Drew Petrie being a genuine ruck size, we can cover that," he said.
"The only reason Todd will come with us is because we’re going to pick him in our team."
Scott said the health of the Roos’ list and reserve players constantly performing at VFL level was causing the coaching staff selection headaches.
He said Cam Delanely was "outstanding" last week in the VFL, while Cam Pedersen has featured in Werribee’s best players in three out of five games and Lachlan Hansen kicked three goals last week to back-up a bag of four two weeks earlier.
Nathan Grima has fully recovered from a knee injury and has also played two games in the VFL to build fitness.
"We’ve got some players that we probably considered at the start of the year to be in our best 22 that we just can’t squeeze in at the moment," Scott said.
"With all those players, it purely comes down to form in the VFL. If they are playing well, they need to make sure they are playing better than his counterpart who is in the AFL side."
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