Melbourne’s Brown uncertain of AFL recall

Melbourne spearhead Ben Brown is no certainty to earn an instant recall to AFL ranks, his coach Simon Goodwin says.

Brown is available for selection for Sunday night’s MCG fixture against Richmond, having served a one-match ban for striking in the VFL.

That suspension followed the key forward being a late withdrawal for Melbourne’s round-four win against Port Adelaide because of COVID-19 protocols.

But Goodwin says Brown’s return to his ladder-leading side isn’t locked in.

“We have got some selection headaches in that space inside our forward 50,” Goodwin told reporters on Thursday.

“It’s a great problem to have.

“They’re all playing some really good footy, as we have seen with Sam Weidemann coming into the team, he has reminded everyone that he is a high quality player.

“We have got a really important training session today to get through … we have some decisions to make after.”

Weidemann was among Melbourne’s 12 goalkickers in a 67-point thrashing of GWS last Saturday – a victory featuring a 10-goal third quarter.

But Goodwin warned there was still much improvement to come from his reigning premiers.

“There’s still lots that we can get better at as a footy team, we’re continuing to evolve our game,” he said.

“We have been really strong defensively … (and) on the weekend we were able to have a quarter where we really punished the opposition on the scoreboard.

“We’re continuing to work on our connection in all phases of the game but our connection forward of centre once we really reward ourselves defensively, that is the main part we’re looking at.”

And Goodwin remained wary of the Tigers, who he described as a “formidable” side despite sitting in 11th spot with two wins.

“Their good is very, very good still,” he said.

“They challenge you in a whole range of different areas.

“They have got a lot of experienced players that are premiership players and when they game they way they want, they’re a very hard side to play against.

“They’re the type of footy club that do rise to the big occasion as well.

“When you play in these types of games it feels like finals footy, the atmosphere is enormous and the intensity of the game goes to another level.

“We’re expecting a huge battle.”

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