Carlton is considering selecting Mitch McGovern for the season opener against Richmond, after he played an impressive VFL practice match with fellow key Blues Marc Pittonet and Jack Martin.
McGovern has completed consecutive VFL pre-season games since overcoming a back complaint, and would be a valuable addition for round one given the need to quell Richmond’s twin towers. No.1 ruckman Pittonet is also recovering well from post-season PCL surgery, and Jack Martin played a full game, while young forward Josh Honey kicked two goals.
North Melbourne’s Tarryn Thomas will play in the VFL for the first time on Saturday since police charged him in January with threatening to distribute an intimate image, among other allegations of inappropriate behaviour.
He has since undergone an education program at the Kangaroos’ behest. Aidan Corr (calf), Dan Howe and Curtis Taylor will also play for North Melbourne against Footscray.
Steph Chiocci and Jamie Lambert of Collingwood are headed to St Kilda in a three-club, five-player mega trade. In return, the Pies secured Tarni White from the Saints and Grace Campbell from North Melbourne, while the Kangaroos received St Kilda’s last season’s club best and fairest and leading goalkicker Kate Shierlaw.
Chiocci said she believed she still had a lot to give the game and considered St Kilda the best place to do that. In other news, Fremantle forward Amy Franklin requested a trade after one year with the Dockers. It’s understood she wants to head to West Coast.
Essendon cult hero Sam Draper said his team has added motivation to finish in the top eight after being left out of the annual AFL captains’ survey this week.
The Bombers last made the finals in 2021, and have been somewhat of a yo-yo club having finished in the top eight six times in the last 13 years. But they are still searching for their first finals win since 2004. During the week, Essendon legend Matthew Lloyd told 3AW that the Bombers had to be “tougher” and “nastier” in 2023, and Draper agreed.