Josh Goater headlines a raft of inclusions for North Melbourne's VFL clash with Casey on Sunday, with the defender proving his fitness after suffering a concussion against Carlton two weeks ago.

The first-year player returns to the side alongside fellow defender Kyron Hayden, who missed last week's Geelong clash due to his role as a travelling emergency for the senior side as they took on Fremantle in Perth.

It's a case of two listed players in and two out for the side though, as Charlie Comben and Jacob Edwards both miss the clash.

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Comben has been managing a knee issue for several weeks and was unable to prove his fitness ahead of this weekend's game, while young ruck/forward option Edwards is being managed.

Edwards' and Comben's absences, coupled with the use of Callum Coleman-Jones in the senior side means Zach Monkhorst looks set to shoulder a heavy ruck load against the Demons.

Mat Walker will be hoping to continue his strong form after seven goals in his last two games, including three majors in the first quarter of last week's wet-weather clash with Geelong.

High-flying Demons

The 2016 Bulldogs were the last team to win the AFL and VFL premiership double, and at this early stage of the season the Demons are well-placed to repeat the achievement.

Both the Melbourne and Casey Demons' men's programs currently sit undefeated on top of their respective ladders. Both sides contain players who are among their competition's best.

Casey forward Mitch Brown marked his 150th VFL appearance with a best-on-ground performance last week, kicking six goals in his side's 30-point win over Southport.

If you factor in the Demons talent pushing for a place in the reigning AFL premiership side like Adam Tomlinson, Sam Weideman, Oskar Baker, Jake Melksham and impressive first-year player Jacob van Rooyen, they are a scary prospect at any level right now.

While the Demons' rebuild from their struggles in the 2010s may provide motivation for the rebuilding Roos, North's immediate task is to deliver their very best against the VFL's most confident side.

>> Full VFL fixture and results

Stepping up in midfield

For much of this VFL campaign North Melbourne's midfield has been supplemented with high-quality AFL-listed talent. In each of the last four games a combination of Will Phillips, Tom Powell and Jed Anderson have been included in the side, and they've been strong performers in their respective matches.

However Powell and Anderson have earned senior call-ups this week and illness has sidelined Phillips, meaning none of the trio will be running out in the VFL.

While it will be interesting to see how North's VFL-listed players cope in the midfield without the trio, the Roos' midfield remains their strongest line.

Co-captains Harry Jones and Kade Answerth have proven they are high-quality VFL talents and Dom Tyson's talents are well documented.

Jones, who played one senior game for Hawthorn in 2020, is coming off a best-and-fairest winning season for the side and has only improved this season, while Answerth has developed a reputation for being one of the most consistent performers at VFL-level over several years.

While senior listed players Charlie Lazzaro and Josh Goater can also run through the middle of the ground, seeing Jones, Answerth and Tyson at the coalface is an exciting prospect for Kangaroos fans.

12:05 Mins
Published on

VFL R7 mini-match: North Melbourne v Geelong

Extended highlights of the Kangaroos and Cats VFL clash in round seven

Published on

Sunday, May 15

North Melbourne v Casey Demons, Arden Street Oval at 12pm AEST

B: 37. Kyron Hayden, 41. M McGuinness, 53. M Hore
HB: 34. J Archer, 31. J Goater, 64. S Collins
C: 31. P Walker, 46. D Tyson, 59. J Lipscombe
HF: 35. C Lazzaro, 48. H Murphy, 56. Y Dib
F: 47. M Walker, 70. J Watkins, 60. J Guthrie
R: 66. Z Monkhorst, 49. H Jones, 54. K Answerth

I/C: 50. H Dick, 57. C Smith, 58. B Stevens, 61. M Mitchell-Russell, 74. J Boyd
23rd player: 57. C Smith

Emg: 55. C Hinkley, 64. D Stone, 71. T Howard, 75. C Weightman

Ins: 31. J Goater, 37. K Hayden, 50. H Dick, 57. B Stevens, 68. D Stone, 71. T Howard, 74. J Boyd
Outs: 24. T Powell, 30. C Comben, 32. J Edwards, 78. A Wright

>> The game will be streamed live on AFL.com.au and the AFL Live Official App

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