THE GOLD COAST SUNS have named an extended 25 man squad for Sunday’s clash against Melbourne, including Brandon Matera who returns from suspension.
The clever goal-sneak accepted a one-match sanction for engaging in rough conduct against Brisbane’s Jed Adcock in round 2, with his withdrawal marking Guy McKenna’s only forced selection change last week.
While the match committee still have some tough decisions to make ahead of the MCG showdown against the Demons, General Manager of Football Operations, Marcus Ashcroft, told goldcoastfc.com.au Matera would be a walk-up start for the travelling team.
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“At this stage there are four changes to our team, and while we will need to trim that back to three tomorrow night, we can confirm Brandon will take his spot in the 22 after serving his one-week suspension,” Ashcroft said.
Matera will reclaim his spot on the forward pocket alongside Sam Day and Luke Russell.
Given the team’s disappointing round 4 performance against Hawthorn, Ashcroft is hopeful the 21-year-old livewire can provide the playing group a much-needed spark in attack.
“He comes back into a side that will need to show real improvement from last week.”
In-form NEAFL performers Timmy Sumner, Jeremy Taylor and Tom Murphy have also been named on an extended interchange, and are all a chance of forcing their way in to the senior team.
Karmichael Hunt was pushing hard for a return to the top tier but a concussion suffered against NT Thunder last week in the NEAFL scuppered almost any chance he had of selection this week.