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VFL: Preview - Round 4, 2019

North Melbourne’s VFL side will be boosted by the inclusion of several AFL-listed players for its Round 4 clash against Port Melbourne.

Last year’s meeting against the 2017 VFL Premiers proved to be memorable, with the Roos ousting Port in one of the best performances of their inaugural season.

After breaking their winless run against Box Hill last weekend, the Borough will have plans of replicating that effort on Saturday afternoon.

The likes of Paul Ahern, Jy Simpkin and Bailey Scott are among the key inclusions for North, with the trio slated for their first VFL games in 2019.

Reigning Frosty Miller Medallist Nick Larkey has been rewarded for his consistency, earning a senior recall at AFL level.

North Melbourne v Port Melbourne
Saturday, April 27 - 2pm
Avalon Airport Oval

Squads

North Melbourne
B: 64. L. Cunningham, 79. R. Morrison, 57. A. Morgan
HB: 36. J. Crocker, 80. M. Tang, 8. N. Hrovat
C: 15. P. Ahern, 59. N. Holmes, 45. R. Murphy
HF: 21. D. Tyson, 6. T. Garner, 56. B. Whitecross
F: 12. J. Simpkin, 42. T. Campbell, 31. C. Taylor
R: 38. T. Xerri, 30. B. Scott, 37. K. Hayden
Int: 58. J. Harper, 51. T. Hotchin, 53. T. Leonardis, 66. L. McVeigh, 73. L. Mirams, 71. M. Northe, 63. S. Parsons, 72. D. Robinson
23P: 69. R. Mutch

Port Melbourne

B: 15. D. Beddison, 23. R. Pendlebury, 11. B. Lloyd
HB: 5. S. Lange, 16. C. Searle, 3. E. Templeton
C: 9. A. Krakauer, 21. B. Jolley, 24. P. Veszpremi
HF: 13. J. Blair, 7. D. Conway, 22. D. Johnstone
F: 43. T. O’Sullivan, 6. J. Lisle, 29. C. Walker
R: 2. K. Haretuku, 4. T. O’Sullivan, 18. M. Wooffindin
Int: 28. T. Goodwin, 33. M. Gundry, 25. T. Hobbs, 37. H. Hooper, 12. P. Lewis-Smith, 32. B. Pearson, 30. E. Phillips, 36. L. Waddell
23P: 31. M. King

The key players

North Melbourne

Nathan Hrovat
The crafty 24-year-old continues to win plenty of the footy, impressing on both sides of the ground for the Roos.

Starting in a defensive role, Hrovat earned every touch in traffic against the Bombers last weekend, finishing with an impressive 28 disposals and seven marks.

Bailey Scott
The NAB AFL Rising Star nominee will line up for his game in the state competition. 

After impressing with a stand-out performance in his AFL debut, which included 21 disposals and two goals, Scott will be eager to earn back some momentum at Avalon Airport Oval.

Port Melbourne

Tom O’Sullivan
O’Sullivan was a shining light for the Borough, asserting his presence on the game as Port defeated reigning VFL premiers Box Hill by 24 points.

Port Melbourne’s co-captain was the highest possession-winner at the revamped North Port Oval, tallying 28 touches, earning selection in the VFL Team of the Week.

Callum Searle
The emerging defender followed the lead of Port co-captain O’Sullivan, playing his role for the 2017 VFL premiers as they secured their biggest scalp of 2019.

Searle took seven marks in defence, winning contests against a variety of AFL-listed players.

What the coaches say

North Melbourne - David Loader
“Our acquisition stuff was really poor. They (the Bombers) scored a lot their goals off our turnovers. We’ve got to get better with our ball use.

“We’ll keep working with our younger players so that they can get better and play AFL footy.

“I’d rather see the boys trying to do what they’re here for and make mistakes, playing with an intensity that allows us to bring our best.”

Port Melbourne - Trent McMicking (Development coach)
(After coach Gary Ayres withdrew ill last week)

“The assistant coaches were amazing.

“They did a heap of work to make sure we had everything ticked off in terms of the way we wanted to play, and we were able to put that in place.’’

Fans are invited to attend North’s VFL game against Port Melbourne, with the first bounce at 2.00pm.