Demons are looking forward to what dynamic duo can do

Roger Vaughan |

Former Adelaide forward Shane McAdam (right) will finally make his debut for Melbourne.
Former Adelaide forward Shane McAdam (right) will finally make his debut for Melbourne.

Melbourne will unveil their Indigenous small forward double-act at last during the AFL’s Sir Doug Nicholls Round.

High-profile recruit Shane McAdam will make his Melbourne debut on Sunday against West Coast in Perth, having been sidelined until now with leg injuries.

Demons coach Simon Goodwin confirmed the selection before Thursday training, also noting that they hope he can combine with Kysaiah “Kozzy” Pickett to form a lethal combination around the goals.

“He’s put in a power of work, in terms of his preparation for his body. He had to really go back to base camp in terms of his ability to get his body right,” Goodwin said of McAdam.

“He spent the last 10 to 12 weeks doing that. We’re really excited with what he can bring to our club … he’s a proven AFL footballer and he came to our footy club to have an impact.

“He’s incredibly excited to be in the team, to play alongside his great mate Kozzy Pickett – to get those guys working well together will be really important for us.”

Melbourne forward Kysaiah Pickett.
Melbourne forward Kysaiah Pickett can’t wait to team up with his good mate Shane McAdam. (James Ross/AAP PHOTOS)

Melbourne will be without forwards Jacob van Rooyen (concussion) and Daniel Turner (calf).

Ben Brown was one of six additions to Melbourne’s extended squad.

The Demons will be without wingman Ed Langdon (personal reasons) but Christian Salem has been named on the bench to return from a hamstring injury.

Melbourne are also working on their starts, after conceding a six-goal start to Carlton last week before going down by one point. 

“They probably haven’t been to the level that we would have liked, especially last week,” Goodwin said.

“It was not only the intensity of how we started, but our method and our role execution.

“But we also looked at the positives of what we were able to adjust, our ability to stay in the fight and work our way back into the game – we’ve looked at both sides of the game from last week.” 

While the Eagles are still a work in progress, they have looked solid at home this season and regain Jake Waterman from concussion.

Their young gun Harley Reid has been a focus of Melbourne preparations.

“He’s a star, he’s someone obviously when you watch him coming through the U18s, heading into the draft, you see the vision, see the hype,” Goodwin said.

“You want to see how that translates, and as a footy supporter and lover of the game he’s someone that you watch … as you do with a Christian Petracca or Kozzy Pickett.

“He’s certainly someone who you have to plan for and certainly have some plans in place if he gets out of control, because he is such a talent, as are Elliot Yeo and Tim Kelly.”

The Perth trip comes as the Demons enjoy some clear air, with an absence of the off-field dramas that plagued them earlier this season.

“We’ve taken a really clear approach that we’re not really in the process of talking about it any more,” Goodwin said.

“We just want to show people what we’re about, and I’d hope people are starting to see the footy club that we are, and a footy club that we go about our footy in the right way.”