Laidley pledges his support for Hay - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Laidley pledges his support for Hay

By John Salvado 01/06/2006 07:42:59 PM Comments (0)

Kangaroos coach Dean Laidley has pledged the AFL club's long-term backing for struggling fullback Jonathan Hay despite his axing for Sunday's game against Sydney.

Hay was dumped from the side to play at Canberra's Manuka Oval after a string of poor games and not even included in a squad of 25.

The former Hawthorn key defender has been under the spotlight since his high-profile move to Arden St last summer, and his poor kicking skills have come in for particular criticism.

"We'll take into account his form both with and without the football and we'll make a decision on that," Laidley said.

"He's been doing some good stuff and there's some stuff to work on.

"He's been working on it at training and he'll continue to do so.

"But he also needs to get it right during the games."

But Laidley said Hay had not lost his support.

"We've got him here for the long term, we're investing a lot of time into him," he said.

"We've got his body to a point where he actually trains every session, which hasn't been the case over the last three years.

"And we'll continue to work on that because at 26 years of age we think he's got a lot to offer going forward."

Forgotten man Jade Rawlings is on the verge of playing his first senior match for the Kangaroos after two forgettable seasons with the Western Bulldogs.

Rawlings was named as one of seven interchange players in the squad, and the Roos will finalise their side on Friday.

"Jade will be in the mix, there's no question about that," said Laidley.

"He's continued to kick goals (in the VFL) but again we'll have a look at what best suits our forward line going forward.

"Whether that's bringing in another tall player, whether that's bringing in another crumbing player, whether we need another midfielder.

"But his name has certainly been mentioned during the week."

Jade Rawlings' brother Brady was named in the centre.

The Kangaroos have only won two matches in 2006 and face a tough task taking on the resurgent Swans in Canberra, where Sydney has always enjoyed strong support.

"We just want to win another game and I think we're getting closer to doing that with the results we've had for the last few weeks," said Laidley.

"(The Swans) are playing great footy - they're premiership favourites again, perhaps."

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