Bailey challenges Demons to step up - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bailey challenges Demons to step up

By Melissa Woods 12/03/2010 04:59:37 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne coach Dean Bailey has challenged his players to step up to fill the vacancies left by injuries which have rocked the battling club.

The Demons will play West Coast on Saturday afternoon at Casey Fields, which Bailey will use as an audition for their opening premiership match against Hawthorn later this month.

Exciting forward Liam Jurrah underwent a shoulder shoulder reconstruction this week while Cale Morton (knee) and Daniel Bell (shoulder) are expected to miss 12 weeks and eight weeks respectively.

Youngster Max Gawn (knee), John Meesen (ankle) and Luke Tapscott (hip) are others out long-term.

"Round one is a couple of weeks away so they know that last week and this week are going to be really good indicators for our round one team and there's pressure on spots," Bailey said.

"Opportunities have come through injury, which is disappointing, but we've got to be worried about the 22 that we'll roll out against the Hawks."

Bailey said the injuries would not cause the Demons to alter their playing style much.

"The thing that we'll miss is the x-factor that those blokes bring, that genuine opportunity to create goals and kick goals, in Jurrah's situation, even Cale Morton.

"We don't have another Liam Jurrah, but what we do have is an opportunity for another player to get into that role and provide something different."

Bailey named key defender Stefan Martin as a player who needed to step up, while he felt returning Matthew Bate and fellow forward Ricky Petterd would make an impact against the Eagles.

Experienced utility Cameron Bruce will run out after recovering from his hamstring injury.

Promising forward Austin Wonaeamirri has been named after playing more than half a match for Casey last week but after an injury-ruined season last year, Bailey said he wouldn't be rushed.

"We'll probably be pretty cautious with Aus, he's had a very good couple of weeks of training but we want to build him and just get him ready for round one.

"He's an important player and we missed him last year."

Bailey rated Melbourne's NAB Cup match against Fremantle as poor but said performances since had been promising.

"The big test this week is with some senior players coming back we need to make sure the intensity of the last two weeks remains and we get the right result, which is winning the game."

Bailey said top 2009 draft picks, midfielders Tom Scully and Jack Trengove, had handled the pre-season impressively.

"They've been very good, they've played very well and their maturity over handling the pressure in games has been fantastic.

"If they get through the game, a couple of weeks of training and I'm sure they'll be right in the mix (for round one).

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