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Demons surprised by McLean's omission

By Melissa Woods 04/06/2010 02:27:09 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne AFL coach Dean Bailey says he's surprised former Demon Brock McLean has been left out of the Carlton line-up for their MCG clash on Saturday.

McLean was set to face his former club for the first time since walking out in acrimonious circumstances last year.

But the expected grudge match failed to eventuate with Blues coach Brett Ratten denying the 24-year-old, who only returned last week after three weeks sidelined with a hip injury.

"A little bit, yeah, a little bit," said Bailey, when asked if he was surprised by McLean's omission.

Carlton said there was no mystery to the team selection and it was about picking the best line-up to face the Demons, however Bailey thought the midfielder might be injured.

"In last week's game ... he came off with an ankle," he said.

"I know that Brock's pretty tough, I know that he's played through these type of injuries before, so it must be a little bit more serious than perhaps they're letting on.

"I'm sure Brock would be keen to go and keen to play this week but I think they've got their legitimate reasons why he's not ... we'll have to wait for next year."

With a 4-6 record and 12th on the competition ladder, Bailey said this match, and next round against Collingwood, were key for his club and a good test for how far the young group had come.

"I think it is," he said.

"Our focus is on Carlton but the next two weeks are going to be a really good test for our playing group ... it's going to be a challenging fortnight for us."

Melbourne have regained two of their young stars, Tom Scully and Jack Trengove, who were rested for last round's 54-point loss to Geelong.

He said the pair would get a measure of their progress against "arguably one of the best midfield combinations in AFL".

"They're jumping out of their skin," Bailey said.

"They've trained particularly well, both of them, so we're expecting good things from them."

Bailey said while any loss was disappointing, the club was focused on winning quarters, which they failed to do against the Cats.

"I think that's more the telling sign at the moment about where we're at as a football club.

"Winning quarters is very important ... and against the teams that are above you, you want to be competitive and at least win a quarter or two against them.

"It's an important game for us ... particularly with how we respond to last week."

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