Tough pre-season continues for the Dees

NAB Challenge: Melbourne V West Coast

I ventured out to Casey Fields alone on this glorious Saturday afternoon, to witness the Dees play their final practice game against the up and coming West Coast. When I heard my Mum and Dad (and two younger sisters) were going to visit my Granny, I thought they could drop me off at Casey Fields and pick me up on the way back, which they luckily agreed to do. I walked across the grass, eager to get inside the ground and witness the action.

The first quarter I am in deliberation of where to stand. The wing was more crowded, behind the goals was more sunny, but less crowded. So I decided to move around a bit, and it seemed like I was in conjunction with what the ball was doing on the surface, end to end sort of stuff. I looked around me. The fans were flocked all around the ground, which really set the scene on a perfect day.  The Demons opened the game with a couple of behinds, as they did two weeks ago, before Embley kicked a goal on the run from 45. Bate replied, before Naitanui snapped a remarkable one out of the pack, right over my head. With the absence of Jurrah on the field, I was glad there was Naitanui; you need an excitement machine, even if he is in the wrong colours. I watched excitedly as Bruce took a brilliant grab, gave it off to Green who combined with Miller to put to the Dees in front. After a 33-minute quarter, the Dees trail 4.6 30 to 5.2 32, but should probably have been in front. An “injured” Jack Grimes and his girlfriend walked past me in the crowd.

I moved on to the wing to view the second quarter, but the quarter began with a goal through Kennedy. Miller replied, but the game turned the Eagles way. A couple of consecutive goals from the visitors dampened the spirits of the camp, but it was short lived, Bate and Bruce kicked goals, before the Eagles kicked one just before the siren to register an eight  point lead on the board, 7.9 51 to 9.5 59. Scully, McDonald, Trengove, Jones, Green and Moloney all impressed in the first half. I was still confident of a Dees victory. I noticed that Sylvia was off the ground, but I didn’t learn about his broken jaw until I got home.

I got a seat in the stand just as the third quarter began. Jones put one through for the Dees, and I felt so relieved as LeCras and Hansen both hit the post on successive occasions. Green lined them up from 55…BANG! Dees in front. Brown replied for the Eagles, Koby Stevens was making an impact for the Eagles, which was good to see. LeCras, who played a brilliant game, took a screamer and ran around and curled it through. Brown kicked another, and the Dees were falling away. A barrage of West Coast behinds comforted the struggling Demons before the break, but the game still well could have been out of reach with the score line at 9.10 64 to 12.13 85 at three quarter time.

Hansen snuck one through to my right, to get the margin out to 27 at the start of the last. Priddis kicked another, LeCras did as well, and this was all in the first five or six minutes. Jones snapped a goal in reply, who was just about the Demons best. Hansen kicked his third; Miller, who again put in an impressive performance, lined up and put through his third, before showed elite tap work to Embley to put home a brilliant goal. The Dees fans flocked out of the gates when LeCras put more assault on the scoreboard, and the siren blasted with LeCras (Best on ground) missing after the siren, the Dees 12.14 86 to the Eagles 18.16 124, a fourth pre-season loss.

It was a game I thought we would easily win, with the home ground advantage and good form coming off last week. But footy confuses you sometimes. And obviously Jurrah wasn’t playing, nor was Grimes on this occasion. After going on the ground and getting up close to a few West Coast players (The Demons left the ground too quickly), I spotted our family car in the distance. We drove home, and I explained the game to my parents. And to top it all off, I got home and learnt that Wonaeamirri was injured as well.

Melbourne 4.6 7.9 9.10 12.14 (86)

West Coast 5.2 9.5 12.13 18.16 (124)


Melbourne: Miller 3, Bruce 2, Jones 2, Bate 2, Jamar, Green Petterd.

West Coast: Hansen 3, LeCras 3, Brown 2, Naitanui 2, Embley 2, Cox, Nicoski, Kennedy, A.Selwood, Stevens, Priddis.


Melbourne: McDonald, Moloney, Jones, Scully, Bennell, Green, Bruce.

West Coast: LeCras, Embley, Naitanui, Hansen, Brown, Priddis, A.Selwood.

Umpires: Vozzo, H Ryan, Armstrong.    Crowd: 11,500 at Casey Fields.

My Votes: 3. Mark LeCras (WCE), 2. Andrew Embley (WCE), 1. Nick Naitanui (WCE).

About Steve Healy

Steve Healy is an entity of a Melbourne supporter.


  1. Good article Steve, top work as always. Still can’t believe HS journo’s couldn’t find a spot for Nathan Jones in the Demons’ best 22.

  2. Steve Healy says

    I know! and Ricky Petterd too! I’d put them both ahead of Wonaeamirri thats for sure

  3. great job Stevey ;)
    Must have been a downer not seeing ur man Jurrah.
    did u wave at Mitch for me?

  4. Steve Healy says

    I didnt wave at him, but he ran right past me wen I was on the field

  5. Steve, no complaints about pre season, get use to it….. it’s gunna be like this all year

  6. Steve Healy says

    Thanks for the comment mate, just wait till the season starts…

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