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Selection heats up

Ricky Mangidis  March 18, 2017 8:08 PM

Jed Anderson played in the midfield for his first game of 2017.

Jed Anderson played in the midfield for his first game of 2017.

On an afternoon where plenty of Kangaroos made their return to action, several stood out for Werribee at Trevor Barker Oval.

After spending the majority of his first season at North Melbourne as a forward, Jed Anderson spent almost all of his time in the midfield on Saturday.

Impressing with his ball-winning ability in tight spaces, Anderson is looking forward to spending more time through the middle.

“At the end of last year my focus was to play a little bit more in there and get in and help the other guys get it forward,” Anderson explained.

“You’re more around the ball in the midfield and that really suits me before I go forward and put the pressure on in stints like that.

“I had a good summer before I unfortunately got injured. The next couple of weeks I’ll get a good run in the legs and get a bit of confidence going into whenever the coaches give me the call.”

Taylor Garner kicked two goals in his first appearance after a long lay-off.

Several impressive marks, combined with some quality forward pressure, had Development Manager Ben Dyer pleased.

“I thought he (Garner) brought his usual high level of energy, which was great off an interrupted pre-season,” Dyer said.

“From early on he was involved and looking to pressure the opposition which is what we’ve come to expect from him.

“Then he was able to get on the end of a couple as well, so from a balance point of view it was a pretty good effort.

“When you miss a chunk of pre-season, you’ll take a little while to regain your touch, but he certainly indicated he was tracking in the right direction today which was positive."

While Ben Brown was the focus in the forward line with his three goals, he worked well in tandem with Majak Daw.

Daw, perhaps appreciating the chance to not be the number one focus by opposition defenders while in a Werribee jumper, was able to put forward his case to play against West Coast next Sunday.

“It’s important those key-forwards work together to get those opportunities,” Dyer explained.

“I thought the two of them (Daw and Brown) were on the same page, which is really important.

“Maj is going to get some of those looks when he plays with those big key-forwards, so for him to be able to jump for a couple and hang on to them was really good for his confidence.”

Down the other end of the ground, it was a strong looking backline.

Scott Thompson, Lachlan Hansen and Sam Durdin occupied the key defensive slots, while Sam Wright played for the second consecutive week after an interrupted pre-season.

Hansen had plenty of opportunities to use his marking ability and reading of the play across half-back and used those skills to good effect.

“Lachie does that really well, and particularly at this level he’ll do it well,” Senior Development Coach Gavin Brown said.

“His marking was quite impressive and his ball use was pretty good. They were only 23-minute quarters, but he did exactly what we asked of him and got a game under his belt.”

Meanwhile, Wright used a strong second half to build on his JLT Series appearance against the Giants a week ago.

“He moved particularly well after half time and he got involved," Brown added. 

“He got a lot of the footy and used it well. The main thing for him was to get the game under his belt and he got through really well in pretty good form.”