New faces aplenty in round one teams - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

New faces aplenty in round one teams

By Adam Cooper 24/03/2005 08:48:41 PM Comments (0)

Bert Newton did not get a game, but it was New Faces for the round one AFL games, as a possible 11 youngsters will make their debut while up to 19 other players will don new guernseys.

Last year's strugglers Richmond and Hawthorn led the way by each naming four new faces, although the Hawks' decision to blood four teenagers was a stark contrast to the Tigers, who named No.1 draft pick Brett Deledio and three recycled big men.

Deledio was named on a forward flank to play Geelong on Sunday, while ex-Docker Troy Simmonds was named at full-forward, former Saint Trent Knobel picked to carry the ruck and former Hawk defender Mark Graham named on an expanded bench.

Graham was included as insurance as a possible opponent for Geelong's Brad Ottens, who will line up against his old club and get a torrid welcome from Tiger fans behind the goals.

Hawthorn confirmed youngsters Lance Franklin, Josh Thurgood and Harry Miller would all play against Sydney on Sunday, while a fourth teenager - midfielder Jordan Lewis - was named on an expanded bench, which will be finalised on Friday night.

The Hawks will also have a new face in charge, as Alastair Clarkson will make his coaching debut.

The Western Bulldogs pulled a surprise by naming half-forward Brad Johnson despite an ankle injury, although given he was named as part of a seven-man interchange for Monday's game against Collingwood, Rodney Eade is unlikely to have one of his most inspiring players for his first game coaching the Dogs.

The Bulldogs named Chris Grant at full-forward and Jade Rawlings at centre half-back, in a straight swap from last season, while No.3 draft pick Ryan Griffen was included in the squad.

Collingwood gave captain Nathan Buckley the all-clear after hamstring troubles and named him in the centre, while ex-Eagle Chad Morrison and ex-Lion Blake Caracella were selected on back and forward flanks respectively.

In a further sign of the rapid turnover from the off-season, Port Adelaide could only name 16 of its premiership team for its season opener against Fremantle at Subiaco.

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