Maguire likely to return for St Kilda - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Maguire likely to return for St Kilda

22/07/2009 07:08:36 PM Comments (0)

St Kilda captain Nick Riewoldt says Saints players would love to see key position player Matt Maguire play his long-awaited 100th AFL match against the Western Bulldogs on Saturday night.

Maguire has been held back by a series of injuries in recent seasons, foot stress fractures keeping him to just four games last year, the last of those 14 months ago.

He has been unable to break into the unbeaten Saints side at all so far this season, leaving him stranded in the VFL on 99 AFL matches.

But Riewoldt says suspensions to tall defender Zac Dawson and full-forward Justin Koschitzke have Maguire in the frame for a recall.

"We'll have training and look at the way we want to structure the team and how the Bulldogs are going to structure up and make a decision from there, but he's definitely a chance for this week," Riewoldt said.

Riewoldt said it would be welcome news for his teammates if Maguire was named, given his tough battle with injury.

"He's been through a really tumultuous few years and he's got the full respect of the playing group," Riewoldt said.

"The way he's gone about his footy and his rehab and recovery has been really admirable so I know he'd be a popular inclusion if he was in this week."

While Maguire has mostly played in defence in the past, he has spent time up forward with VFL side Sandringham this season, making him a potential replacement for either Dawson or Koschitzke.

With defender Max Hudghton having missed the past three rounds with an ankle injury, it further boosts Maguire's selection chances, although Riewoldt said Hudghton was likely to be available to play the Bulldogs.

Ruckman Michael Gardiner (calf) could also return, although Riewoldt said no risks would be taken.

Meanwhile, he said the chance for his club to become the first team in 80 years to go through a home and away season undefeated was not a focus.

He said the main aim was to keep improving each week in the lead-up to the finals.

"When you become a little bit older and more experienced and mature as a player you realise that these chances you need to make the most of," he said.

"So we're hell-bent on improving and making the most out of ourselves as a playing group."

But he scoffed at the theory that a loss could help the side mentally.

"It's rubbish, to be honest, it's a gambler's fallacy really," he said.

"Every week we go into the game wanting to win."

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