Squads named for AFL Hall of Fame match - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Squads named for AFL Hall of Fame match

By Sam Lienert 04/05/2008 09:38:41 PM Comments (0)

Victorian captain Jonathan Brown remains hopeful of playing in Saturday night's AFL Hall of Fame game, but a host of big names have been ruled out of the match through injury.

Victoria and the Dream Team have both named 30-man squads, to be reduced to 25 for the MCG match, with Brown and Geelong star Gary Ablett both named in the Victorian squad despite injury concerns.

The Victorians will definitely be without Luke Hodge, who damaged a hamstring playing for Hawthorn against Collingwood at the MCG on Saturday, while Essendon defender Dustin Fletcher was also forced out by injury.

But the Dream Team was harder hit, with St Kilda captain Nick Riewoldt forced out after injuring his knee against Richmond on Saturday night and gun Brisbane midfielder Simon Black ruled out with osteitis pubis.

Port Adelaide's Chad Cornes (broken finger), West Coast's Adam Hunter (knee), Hawthorn's Chance Bateman (hand) and Essendon's Alwyn Davey (knee) were other players that had to be cut from the initial 40-man squad.

The Dream Team are also set to lose Fremantle defender Luke McPharlin, who sustained a corked hip in his side's loss to Melbourne at the MCG.

Despite being named in the Victorian squad, Ablett appears to be in serious doubt for the showcase game, after withdrawing from the Cats' match against Brisbane on Saturday with a calf injury.

But Lions star Brown, who also withdrew from Saturday's game, rated himself a good chance to return for Saturday night's match against the Dream Team, despite some misgivings from Brisbane coach Leigh Matthews.

"I had a tight quad, I didn't quite get through the fitness test yesterday morning, I probably pulled up short by a day or two," Brown told the Nine Network.

"So I'm still pretty confident of making the game next week and I'll do everything I can to get up for it.

"I've spoken to Leigh about it and I've said to him that I'll approach it like a normal game.

"He just said to make sure I go through the tests thoroughly and make sure I'm fit and healthy to play."

West Coast ruckman Dean Cox, believed to have been playing with a foot fracture in recent weeks, was also considered an uncertain starter, but Dream Team coach Mark Williams was adamant he would play.

"There are some players who've got niggly this and niggly that," Williams said.

"Dean Cox, for instance - everyone knows he's got a little bit of a sore foot, he is just adamant he wants to play.

"You have to understand, that's the sort of commitment, this is one in 150 years.

"In the future, you'll be one of those names on the wall, somewhere, wherever it is."

Dream Team selectors included three players who were not in their initial squad - Adelaide defender Nathan Basett, Western Bulldogs midfielder Daniel Cross and Power forward Daniel Motlop, who starred with seven goals in Port's win over Essendon.

Victoria added seven new names - Hawthorn key forward Jarryd Roughead, key defender Trent Croad and midfielder Brad Sewell, Collingwood midfielder Scott Pendlebury, Geelong youngster Joel Selwood, Richmond ruckman Troy Simmonds and Carlton defender Jarred Waite.

Reigning premiers Geelong retained a strong representation in both sides, with eight members of the Victorian squad, who will be coached by the Cats' Mark Thompson, and four members of the Dream Team squad.

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