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Son of a Gun, Kangas Debut, Oliver Suffers Setback, Lions Defend Their Honor

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The son of AFL game record holder Brent Harvey has been chosen to make his North Melbourne debut on Sunday when they face Geelong.

Cooper Harvey, 18, will feature for the Kangaroos after impressive form at VFL level which included five goals against Williamstown last time out.

Brent, who played a record 432 games for North before retiring in 2016 and remains at the club as a development coach, broke the news to his son in training on Thursday morning.

North Melbourne posted a vision of the ad, a moving Brent praising Cooper’s hard work to win an opportunity that had been “a long time coming”.

He will join a Kangaroos side that were well beaten last time out, beaten by 11 goals at the hands of Adelaide in their 13th successive loss.

Cooper is one of four father-son players on North’s list, along with Jackson Archer (son of Glenn), Bailey Scott (son of Robert) and Luke McDonald (son of Donald).

He is the second confirmed father-son debutant this week, with Melbourne set to release Taj Woewodin, son of 2000 Brownlow Medal winner Shane.

Brent Harvey hands the ball to his son Cooper after playing his 300th game in 2010. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Hawthorn will lose veteran Luke Breust’s goal for Saturday’s trip to GWS after injury in their loss to Carlton.

“He had a pretty uncomfortable blow to his throat over the weekend and he had a few scans (Thursday) and he still lost his voice,” coach Sam Mitchell said.

“Apparently he won’t get his voice back for 10-14 days…it’s just a little too bruised to risk playing.”

There is some positive injury news for the Hawks, however, with defenseman Jarman Impey (fullback) and youngster Tyler Brockman (ill) fit for the Giants shock.

The struggling West Coast will be looking to snap their 13-game losing streak without veteran duo Luke Shuey and Shannon Hurn.

The two will not face Brisbane on Saturday after recovering from last week’s loss to St Kilda and failing to train this week, coach Adam Simpson has announced.

Star midfielder Tim Kelly will play after illness while Jeremy McGovern is also set to return for his first game since the third round after hamstring surgery.

Oliver suffers a setback

Melbourne have suffered a blow with AFL star Clayton Oliver sidelined for a further month through injury.

The star player failed to complete a practice session on Wednesday and was seen in a long and heated argument with a Demons staff member at the Casey Fields oval.

The Demons issued a press release on Thursday, saying he suffered more hamstring discomfort.

“What we have experienced so far is that Clayton can comfortably reach 90% of his running capacity, but as we saw yesterday he is unable to reach full speed to pass his run markers. ‘minimum training,’ said Melbourne football boss Alan Richardson.

“This suggests that due to the discomfort Clayton felt during his runs, additional recovery time is required. At this point, we expect it to take three to four weeks.

Clayton Oliver of the Demons and Darcy Cameron of the Magpies in action.

(Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Oliver was sidelined for six weeks with hamstring problems and a nasty infected blister, and the midfield maestro had been pushing for a return in Saturday night’s game against St Kilda.

“Clayton has a complex hamstring injury, due to the fact that the injury is located where the muscle attaches to the tendon, and to further complicate this, there is an injury to two separate hamstring muscles,” said Richardson.

“There is no doubt that Clayton’s recovery was complicated by the week he had to lie motionless in hospital.

“The club will continue to explore all treatment options for Clayton, but as with all players, we will not take any chances with his return to play delays.”

Melbourne is coming off an upset loss to GWS and have won just two of their last six games.

Saints hope Ross and Hill ready for Clash of Demons

St Kilda are likely to delay Seb Ross’ last call on Brad Hill as they nurse knee injuries ahead of the AFL clash with Melbourne.

Ross and Hill were injured in last weekend’s narrow win at the West Coast and although scans have cleared them of structural damage, coach Ross Lyon isn’t 100 per cent certain they will play at the Marvel Stadium.

“We think they’ll probably play – the scans are basically free of structural damage, so it’s probably a twist and a bit of trauma, potentially,” Lyon said.

“We’re quite optimistic, but we won’t know until the end of today how they will fare.”

Luckless Hunter Clark is also closing in on a comeback after his round 11 knee injury against Hawthorn.

The Saints and Demons will head into Saturday night in search of some urgent form as they handle the scorching days of June and July.

Sebastian Ross of Saints handball

(Photo by Darrian Traynor/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

Melbourne are coming off an upset defeat to GWS, while St Kilda had a huge scare against the Eagles, who were last before rallying in the second half.

Having won their first four games, St Kilda have not won back to back since this season.

“We’ve been inconsistent, more likely in games,” Lyon said.

“Were we blown away? Against Adelaide we were… other than that it’s 20 points, 15.

“We took part in most of the matches. But in these games, from the point of view of the coaches, there have been fluctuations.

Lyon cannot blame St Kilda’s effort but demand better team defending and better use of the ball.

“There was some frustration,” he said.

“Our use of the ball and our team defense have been inconsistent, so we’re really trying to stick together over the next eight weeks – otherwise we’re wasting time.

“But we won the right. I often laugh to myself – if we’re fifth on the ladder, we’ve had our trials and tribulations, I’d hate to think of some of the other coaches and clubs, their trials and tribulations have been.

Lyon also noted that when the whips cracked against the West Coast, their players reacted.

“In a real sense, when the season was up for grabs, we delivered what we needed against really good opposition,” he said.

“We take a lot of comfort from that, but we have to find that form.”

Coleman defends Brisbane

Keidean Coleman wants to turn the Brisbane Lions defense into attack.

The 23-year-old has carved out a place for himself in the team’s new six which now includes speedy pair Conor McKenna and Darcy Wilmot.

Their slingshot method was in full swing in a win over Richmond last week, which Coleman said “proved a point.”

Their impressive third win in a row came after a moment of soul-searching that could be the turning point of the Lions season (11-4, third).

“We didn’t want this game to happen, but it did,” the Katherine product told AAP of their shock loss to Hawthorn a month ago.

“We’ve had a pretty good, tough review on that…especially our defensive side.

“It was poor; I remember on Monday we discussed what needs to happen from now on.

“We had to start playing if we want to go far in September.”

Veteran backman Daniel Rich hasn’t played since then, slotted into a training block with out-of-form striker Jack Gunston after a one-on-one with coach Chris Fagan.

Coleman, who began his Lions career as a forward, has been one of the club’s most exciting prospects in defense over the past two seasons.

But he has felt the pressure since Rich’s demotion and says his half-back clique plays with the former All-Australian in mind.

“He’s a wonderful player and it’s quite selfless to raise your hand,” Coleman said of Rich.

“Me personally, I know I have to start playing because I’m not a beginner (beginning); me, Darcy, Conor, I want to keep playing well.

“As soon as we return the ball, it’s just about being able to go.

“We want to challenge them.

Known as “Kiddy”, Coleman said he never saw himself as a defender.

“At the juniors I played in midfield and realized I didn’t have the tank, and at the Under-17s I played a bit in defense but I didn’t really take it seriously until a few years ago,” he said.

Academy product Coleman topped an unbeaten NEAFL season with Brisbane to earn his AFL debut as a hard-hitting small forward.

“I was quite good in attack, but I wanted to work in defense and last year I looked at myself well,” he said.

“And I ended up having a pretty good year, but I’m trying to be more consistent now.

“We (him, Wilmot and McKenna) all bring great strengths to the side and if we do, everything takes care of itself.”

© AAP



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