Still time for Maguire: Saints - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Still time for Maguire: Saints

By Adam Cooper 24/07/2009 04:17:56 PM Comments (0)

St Kilda insist luckless defender Matt Maguire can play a part in the Saints' campaign this AFL season despite being again overlooked for selection.

Maguire was considered a good chance to crack his 100th game this weekend with key-position players Justin Koschitzke and Zac Dawson both suspended, but was again passed over for Saturday night's game against the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium.

With the ladder-leading Saints unbeaten and carrying few injury worries, Maguire's latest snub leaves the 25-year-old perched on 99 career games - where he has been since round seven, 2008 - and no guarantee to earn a spot in the Saints' strong line-up.

But Saints football manager Greg Hutchison said Maguire still had the opportunity to press for a senior recall provided he continued his good form at VFL level.

"We'd like to think the majority of our 40 players on the list have got a chance to play AFL football," Hutchison said on Friday.

"Unfortunately the positions that Matt's been playing in the VFL haven't been available at AFL level.

"He needs to keep playing as well as he's been playing in the VFL and when the opportunity presents itself and he's fortunate enough to be selected, then it's going to be up to him."

Maguire's time on the outer this season follows three years ruined by injury, as he played only four games in 2008 because of stress fractures in his foot, broke a foot in 2007 and broke a leg in 2006.

The Saints recalled veteran defender Max Hudghton to replace Dawson and flanker James Gwilt to take Koschitzke's place in attack.

Maguire was named an emergency against the Bulldogs, but Hutchison would not say how close he was to winning a recall.

St Kilda coach Ross Lyon said last weekend the Saints would be at a disadvantage entering the clash against the third-placed Bulldogs, because Rodney Eade's side had had two extra days to prepare.

But Hutchison said the club's preparation in pursuit of a 17th successive win had not been affected by the disparity in recovery time between the clubs.

"Our players have prepared really well," he said.

"Have we been compromised? You're only compromised because you have two days (fewer) than the opposition, but we've been able to prepare and plan and do what we've needed to do this week as we've done previously."

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