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Season 2018

Swallow return gives Fantasy fans food for thought

North Melbourne captain Andrew Swallow has given AFL Fantasy Team fans something to think about after coming through his comeback game in the VFL unscathed.


North Melbourne captain Andrew Swallow has given AFL Fantasy Team fans something to think about after coming through his comeback game in the VFL unscathed. In his first outing since rupturing his Achilles tendon in round 18 of last season, Swallow caught the eye with 23 possessions during a 70 minute appearance for Kangaroos affiliate North Ballarat against Geelong.

North Melbourne fans will now be hoping the influential midfielder returns to the side for their massive clash against playoff rivals Gold Coast on Sunday, although it remains to be seen whether head coach Brad Scott feels 70 minutes of playing time with which to throw his captain back into action with under his belt.

Kangaroos development manager Ben Dyer insisted Swallow had come through the game without any problems and that the midfielder could be back in contention for a recall to the seniors in time for this weekend’s clash against the Suns, in a match that has betting fans hugely excited.

“Spitter’ ticked all the boxes we wanted to tick today. He played the number of minutes we were looking to get into him, and he had a run around and had no problems, and he got enough of the ball. I think he’d be able to handle it if that’s the decision that’s made,” said Dyer.

“He’ll obviously sit down with (coach) Brad (Scott), and the medical and conditioning staff. He’s the kind of bloke who needs to know everything’s been ticked off. I’d say there will be a fair bit of consulting this week before a decision is made.”

Swallow wasn’t the only North Melbourne player to impress for North Ballarat against a strong Geelong side. Midfielders Liam Anthony and Ben Jacobs each accounted for 33 disposals, with Anthony snaring 24 to half-time. American basketball convert Eric Wallace continued to show his promise, making a sensational grab in the second quarter and then scoring a well taken goal on the 20-minute mark of the final term of the game with a giant leap in the goal-square.

It wasn’t just North Melbourne who were using this game as a chance to give some returning players time back on the pitch following injuries, and Geelong will have been pleased with Steven Motlop’s performance as he works his way back from knee surgery that ended 2013 prematurely for the exciting speedster.

In his second match since recovering from his injury, the youngster finished with 20 disposals to help Geelong to the victory over North Ballarat, and Geelong assistant coach Paul Hood believes the midfielder could make his AFL return next Sunday against Richmond should he show no ill-effects from the run-out.

“We’ll just reassess with what he (Motlop) gets out of the game from a conditioning point of view and see how he pulls up. The VFL game is just an extended part of his training. The different thing for Motty (Motlop) is obviously VFL footy is not quite as clean as AFL footy so sometimes if the ball’s a metre off, he’s just got to adjust to that,” Hood said.





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