Big man in mix for Dees’ debut

Big man in mix for Dees’ debut

MELBOURNE could unleash ruck giant Braydon Preuss in Thursday’s AFL clash with Sydney as they bid to revive their faltering season.

Preuss looms as a possible replacement for the winless Demons at the SCG should key forward Tom McDonald fail to overcome an ankle injury.

Both were part of an extended 25-man squad that departed Melbourne on Wednesday, along with additions Charlie Spargo, Marty Hore and Billy Stretch.

McDonald hurt his left ankle during last week’s loss to Essendon, which consigned last season’s preliminary finalists to a 0-3 start.

The 206cm Preuss is yet to play for the Demons since being traded at the end of last season from North Melbourne, where he made eight appearances.

“Obviously we’ve got a short week. We’ll train up there today,” coach Simon Goodwin told reporters at Melbourne Airport.

“We’ve got 25 coming up so we’ll get through our training, see what’s available and then pick our final team from there.”

Key defenders Oscar McDonald and Sam Frost had been expected to come under selection pressure after the woeful Demons leaked 20 goals in consecutive weeks.

But Goodwin said the entire team had to take responsibility, including a star- studded midfield that has come under fire for its lack of two-way running.

“If we defend better as a team, that’s obviously going to aid them,” Goodwin said.

“There’s been a lot spoken about our defence and a lot of theories about why we’re not defending. We’re really clear as a club and a coaching group about what we need to improve, and that’s going to take everyone to buy into that.

“It takes a total team approach, a total club approach to work on something like that … we’re all in this together and we’re all going to get our way out of it.”

© AAP 2019