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Grigg to debut against Geelong

Katrina Gill  July 19, 2013 4:30 PM

Crows in SANFL: R15 A selection of highlights from Crows playing in the SANFL
Mitch Grigg poses for a photograph during the Adelaide Crows 2013 team photo day at AAMI Stadium, Adelaide. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)

Mitch Grigg poses for a photograph during the Adelaide Crows 2013 team photo day at AAMI Stadium, Adelaide. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)

Griggy is an inside midfielder. He’s a contested-ball winner and you’ll see him at the bottom of packs on Sunday.

Young midfielder Mitch Grigg will make his AFL debut against Geelong at AAMI Stadium on Sunday.

Grigg, 20, is one of two changes to the Crows team for the clash with the Cats, with in-form defender Richard Tambling also receiving an opportunity. Grigg and Tambling replace injured star Patrick Dangerfield and utility Matthew Jaensch (omitted).

Recruited with pick No.41 in the 2011 AFL National Draft, Grigg will be the third Crow to debut in 2013, following in the footsteps of Brad Crouch and Rory Laird. Coach Brenton Sanderson said Grigg would play a role in the midfield in Dangerfield’s absence.

“Griggy is an inside midfielder. He’s a contested-ball winner and you’ll see him at the bottom of packs on Sunday,” Sanderson said.

“He’s another Matthew Wright-type player. He’s a high-possession winner, a good decision-maker, very clean by hand and a nice left-foot kick.

“We think he’ll slot in nicely because he’s been playing in an AFL-style system at Norwood.”

Tambling, who has been limited to only one AFL appearance this season, will play his first game for Adelaide since Round Six. Like Grigg, Tambling has been in excellent form in the SANFL. Sanderson said the 26-year-old would slot into the Crows defence.

Click the play button above to watch Tambling in action in the SANFL highlights

“Tambling is playing really well. He’s getting plenty of the footy and he’s tackling and chasing,” Sanderson said.

“Luke Brown, Rory Laird and Brodie Smith have been playing really well, which has probably kept Tambling out of the side a bit, but we think there’s a spot for him this week.

“Geelong has some really high-energy, quick half-forwards and ‘Blinga’ can play on those guys.”

Sanderson said Jaensch would line up for Sturt against Norwood on Saturday.

“We’ve played Jaenschy in a different position up forward,” he said.

“He’s been the sub the past couple of weeks. He came into the game early against West Coast, but he just hasn’t got enough of the ball. Richard Tambling has been in very good form for Sturt and deserves his shot.”

Forward Jared Petrenko, who was concussed playing for Woodville-West Torrens last weekend, will also feature in the SANFL provided he receives medical clearance. Another Crows goalkicker, Lewis Johnston, will be hoping to keep his name in front of selectors with another strong performance for North Adelaide.

“It was a bit hard to gauge Pup’s (Petrenko’s) form with the concussion early last week,” Sanderson said.

“Lewis Johnston was very good for North. He just needs some continuity now. He’s had two games back after two months out with injury and we just want to see a bit more.

“Callinan’s form has been okay, so there are a few guys still in good form who are out of the side.”

Adelaide’s clash with Geelong will be reigning Club Champion Scott Thompson’s 200th club game. Ticketing and match day information is available here. The game also marks ‘Crows Kids Round’.

The team is:

B: Luke Brown, Ben Rutten, Andy Otten

HB: Rory Laird, Daniel Talia, Brodie Smith

C: David Mackay, Scott Thompson, Rory Sloane

HF: Brad Crouch, Josh Jenkins, Bernie Vince

F: Matthew Wright, Tom Lynch, Jason Porplyzia

RUCKS: Sam Jacobs, Nathan van Berlo, Richard Douglas

INTERCHANGE: Richard Tambling, Jarryd Lyons, Mitch Grigg, Ricky Henderson

EMERG: Luke Thompson, Ian Callinan, Sam Kerridge

IN: Richard Tambling, Mitch Grigg
OUT: Patrick Dangerfield (AC joint sprain), Matthew Jaensch (omitted)