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Melbourne out to end Subi hoodoo

By Chris Pike 10/05/2009 06:15:06 AM Comments (0)

Melbourne will be hoping they don't catch the backlash of a West Coast team on the rebound in Sunday's AFL clash at Subiaco Oval.

The Demons, stung by the loss of ruckman John Meeson, have not won at Subiaco Oval in seven years and face an Eagles team keen to make up for their disappointing loss to rivals Fremantle last week.

The Demons could not have lost Meeson at a worse time, with 50th gamer Paul Johnson and Stefan Martin left to battle Eagles' top-class ruckman Dean Cox.

Melbourne have not beaten West Coast at Subiaco since round 19 in 2002, and their last win in Perth came in round 11, 2004.

The Dees haven't even won on a trip outside Victoria since round 14, 2006.

Despite that, Melbourne youngster Cale Morton returns to his home track and is confident of a good performance after being solid in defeats to Geelong and Adelaide.

"We are preparing for West Coast playing their best footy and while we have things in place to counter that, we are just looking to play our own game style and hopefully come away with a win," Morton said.

"We played some good footy last week against Geelong and our tackling and pressure was great, so we have taken a bit out of it and feel that if we can implement it on the weekend we are in with a chance."

The Eagles have recorded good wins over Port Adelaide and the Western Bulldogs, but last week's 13-point western derby loss to Fremantle, kicking 9.20, was disappointing.

The axe has been swung by Eagles coach John Worsfold with underperforming centre half-forward Ashley Hansen and premiership teammates Chad Fletcher and Tyson Stenglein all sent to the WAFL.

Josh Kennedy returns after kicking seven goals in nine quarters in the WAFL for East Fremantle before injuring an eye to take Hansen's spot up forward.

Defender Matthew Spangher replaces Mitch Brown who has a tight hamstring and midfielder Jamie McNamara comes in for Brent Staker who has a hand injury.

Assistant coach Daniel Metropolis likes the energy the new faces have brought to the Eagles group this week.

"Our guys are really excited to get another crack after losing last week and that's the most important thing," Metropolis said.

"Our players are looking forward to getting a game, some young players have had great WAFL form have come in and that creates the energy you want."

Metropolis is confident that not only can Kennedy do a good job, but that Hansen can make his way back by kicking goals for Swan Districts.

"Unfortunately, Josh has had a bit of a knee, shoulder and copped a poke in the eye a couple of weeks ago, but we feel he's ready to go," Metropolis said.

"He will play a lead up role and we'll try to get him deep at times to see what Melbourne do.

"We know Ash gives 100 per cent, but we need him kicking goals. If he does with Swan Districts, he will be back in the team sooner or later."

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