Bailey hopes Jamar can spark Demons - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bailey hopes Jamar can spark Demons

Greg Buckle 14/06/2011 04:46:57 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne will give All-Australian ruckman Mark Jamar every chance to prove his fitness for Sunday's AFL clash with Fremantle.

Jamar had missed five matches with a knee injury, but was training well and a 50-50 chance to play, coach Dean Bailey said on Tuesday.

However with back-up ruckman Stefan Martin holding his own, Bailey said he'd like to use the 198cm Jamar as a marking target in a key-forward role.

The Demons are 10th on the AFL ladder after being thrashed by 88 points by Collingwood on Monday at the MCG.

Melbourne have been crying out for a tall marking target, with Brad Green held goalless against Collingwood and 186cm utility Colin Sylvia their only multiple goalkicker with four majors.

Using Jamar and Martin as a ruck combination could give the Demons an edge against seventh-placed Fremantle, who are without injured giant Aaron Sandilands (toe).

"I think 'Russian' (Jamar) might be 50-50 for this week," Bailey said.

"He's been doing some running the past couple of weeks, so he's probably a little bit ahead of schedule.

"We'd like to think he'd be in consideration for this week.

"Having an All-Australian ruckman hopefully come back and play is a big fillip for us - that bigger player in the goal square as a long target for us which we are missing at the moment.

"He gives us a long target. He's a very good mark."

Bailey said skipper Green was one of about 19 players who were below par against the Magpies.

"We had three or four players who played okay," Bailey said.

Ricky Petterd, Lynden Dunn, Matthew Warnock and Colin Garland were all possible inclusions from the VFL, Bailey said.

He said the Demons had to break the cycle of roller-coaster performances.

"We can't continue to rely on last week's motivation," he said.

"We need to keep working at it and make sure that we change that direction."

The Demons rebounded from a 47-point loss to Carlton in round 10 with an emotion-charged 33-point win over Essendon the following week, before crashing to defeat against Collingwood.

Bailey, who is under pressure to retain his job beyond 2011, has led Melbourne to 16th, 16th and 12th in the past three seasons.

The Demons' mentor defended Jared Rivers for his performance on Collingwood's six-goal forward Travis Cloke.

"We put our backline under enormous pressure because of the types of turnovers we created through the middle of the ground," Bailey said.

"It's got more to do with effort and intensity. We allowed them too many uncontested possessions and they made us pay."

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