Sports

Dominant Dee Sam Weideman serves up a selection dilemna for Melbourne


MELBOURNE key ahead Ben Brown is predicted to be obtainable for subsequent Thursday night time’s conflict in opposition to Port Adelaide after lacking the win over Essendon as a consequence of well being and security protocols, creating choice complications for the reigning premiers.

The Demons turned to Sam Weideman for the primary time since spherical 13 final 12 months and the 2015 No.9 choose delivered one of the best efficiency of his profession after being included within the 22 as a late inclusion on Friday.

The 24-year-old booted a career-high 4.3 from seven marks and 11 possessions, calmly slotting set pictures from the deep within the pocket and from level clean vary in a sport that breathes life into Weideman’s profession.

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After watching on from afar as Melbourne ended a 57-year premiership drought at Optus Stadium final September, Weideman selected to not discover larger alternative elsewhere, signing a two-year extension days out from the Grand Remaining, regardless of enjoying solely 5 video games in 2021.

Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin praised Weideman’s angle throughout a tough interval in his profession and mentioned Friday night time’s effort was simply reward for his perseverance.

“He has handled it incredibly well and ‘Weed’ has been incredibly open and honest with himself on what he needs to improve in his game. He just went to work at training through the summer. He’s been ready to go for a while and the opportunity presented tonight,” Goodwin mentioned after the 29-point win.

“I believe you noticed Sam at his finest. He had seven pictures at objective; he appeared actually dominant within the air and gave us an incredible focus with out Browny.

“I’m really proud of him. He’s worked incredibly hard to get this opportunity and he came out and delivered tonight.”

Now the main focus will shift as to whether Melbourne can match Weideman in the identical ahead line as premiership stars Tom McDonald and Brown for the journey to South Australia.

When the Demons introduced Brown would miss the sport in opposition to Essendon on Friday, it was thought the previous North Melbourne spearhead would additionally miss the conflict in opposition to the winless Energy, given the six-day turnaround.

However the membership has revealed Brown entered well being and security protocols as a detailed contact on Thursday – not on Friday – which means he will likely be obtainable for choice in spherical 4.

“That’s the discussion for match committee,” Goodwin mentioned.

“Clearly Sam’s placing monumental stress by way of choice which is wholesome. We have got a spread of fellows whether or not it’s Sam Weideman who is basically creating, whether or not it’s Jake Melksham, Luke Dunstan, Toby Bedford, there’s a whole lot of guys which are pushing onerous for choice.

“You can develop at VFL footy and you can come back a better player. I think we saw that tonight.”

Goodwin dismissed any considerations relating to the health of celebrity midfielder Christian Petracca, who didn’t seem to cowl the bottom as freely as he has throughout the primary fortnight of 2022.

After amassing 38 disposals in opposition to the Western Bulldogs in spherical one and a career-high 40 in opposition to Gold Coast final weekend, the Norm Smith Medallist completed with 21 disposals and a objective on a uncommon off night time by his extraordinary requirements.

“No issues with ‘Trac’. He might have a bit of a quieter night with possession, but he certainty had a big impact for the team,” he mentioned.

“We were able to manipulate a few things with him and get an advantage in certain areas of the ground. His selfless role for the team was outstanding. He’s fully fit and he’ll be back to his best.”

Melbourne has now gained its previous 10 video games.

Regardless of beginning the season with three straight losses for under the second time in membership historical past, Essendon coach Ben Rutten stays upbeat given the standard of opposition the Bombers have confronted, with the loss to Melbourne following defeats by the hands of Brisbane and Geelong.

“The last three weeks haven’t been great, blistering performances but I think it’s given us a really nice template for the rest of the season,” Rutten mentioned.

“To be able to play three top-four teams from last year at the start of the season is a good test and now we’ve got time to work on it.”

Essendon faces Adelaide and Fremantle over the subsequent two rounds, each clashes to be performed at Marvel Stadium.



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