Key Demons tune up for Cats clash

After suffering minor hiccups in recent weeks, four Melbourne players put themselves in line to play against Geelong in round one with solid performances on Saturday for the Casey Demons.

Midfielders Dom Tyson and James Harmes played four quarters on the ball while Neville Jetta was among the best players on the ground in defence.

Small forward Jeff Garlett created opportunities with his speed and is also set to play in round one.

VFL coach Jade Rawlings told Fairfax Media the quartet contributed to the 55-point win over the Box Hill Hawks.

“The primary reason why they played was to get game time and they all got 85-90 per cent,” Rawlings said.

“All four gave themselves every possible chance [of playing round one] with the way they went today.”

Rawlings said Sam Frost also put his hand up for selection with an excellent display while Dean Kent worked his way back into contention in his second game back following a shoulder injury.

The Demons also welcomed back exciting young defender Joel Smith, who played his first game since he suffered a knee injury in August last season.

Melbourne has high hopes for Smith, who suffered two long-term injuries in 2017, but they will be patient with his return.

“His re-introduction to playing was positive,” Rawlings said.

“He was a good player for us today.”

Melbourne will be without Jack Viney against Geelong while Tom McDonald remains in doubt.

The Demons expect Clayton Oliver to be fine after he copped a knock to his knee last week while veterans Nathan Jones and Jordan Lewis are on track to play.

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