Clark, Grimes lead AFL inclusions

Forgotten forces Mitch Clark and Jack Grimes return to senior football this weekend as AFL coaches ring the changes at the selection table.

Clark leads the inclusions for Geelong and will line up for the Cats on Friday night against Sydney for the first time since round nine last year.

A leg injury and mental health issues have denied Clark, 28, a proper run at his third AFL home after Brisbane and Melbourne.

Veteran teammate Jimmy Bartel said there was a buzz at the Cattery ahead of his return to the team after a solid four-week block in the reserves.

“He’s been playing some really good footy in our VFL team … he’s fit and ready to go,” Bartel told SEN radio.

He joins Darcy Lang and Nakia Cockatoo in the Geelong 22 with Rhys Stanley, Shane Kersten and Cory Gregson making way.

Sydney coach John Longmire has made four unforced changes for the crunch clash.

Isaac Heeney is being managed, with Jeremy Laidler, Toby Nankervis and Ben McGlynn dropped for the match.

Veteran defender Ted Richards will play his first match since a concussion in round nine, with young guns Aliir Aliir, Tom Papley and Sam Naismith joining him in the side.

Darwin will host Grimes’ long-awaited return to the Melbourne line-up.

The former Demons’ captain has been named emergency 11 times this year but will snap that run against Fremantle.

“Grimesy’s been knocking on the door for a while and he played a really good game last week,” Melbourne coach Paul Roos said on Thursday.

“He had 20-odd possessions and had a couple of goals, and he played the way we want him to play.”

Mitch White will also play his first match of the season for the Dees, with opponents Fremantle making three changes.

Jon Griffin, Garrick Ibbotson and Ed Langdon return to the side in place of Michael Barlow (finger) and dropped pair Jack Hannath and Zac Clarke.

Richmond will hand a debut to Oleg Markov among five changes to face the Western Bulldogs.

Shaun Hampson comes into the team for Ivan Maric, with Ty Vickery also making way.

The Bulldogs have yet to relent on their internal bans on Tom Boyd and Zaine Cordy but have flipped two for the Saturday night match.

In his first match since round six, Koby Stevens takes Will Minson’s place while Marcus Adams’ (foot) absence will be covered by Fletcher Roberts.

The Q-Clash will have a new face when Reuben Williams laces up for Brisbane at Metricon Stadium.

The Sudanese-born defender has timed his run to the seniors nicely in the multicultural-themed round.

He joins Dayne Zorko in the side, with the Suns adding Jarrod Garlett for Matt Rosa (hamstring).

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
Stay up to date with the latest sports news
Follow our social accounts to get exclusive content and all the latest sporting news!