Demons coach Simon Goodwin admits Jay Kennedy Harris was unlucky to miss out playing Geelong.Dumped Melbourne speedster Jay Kennedy Harris is the hard-luck story of his club’s return to the AFL finals after a dozen years, coach Simon Goodwin says.
Goodwin dropped Kennedy Harris for Friday night’s elimination final against Geelong at the MCG while Dean Kent didn’t recover in time from his shoulder injury.
The Dees recalled co-captain Jack Viney and Mitch Hannan for the clash against a Geelong side unchanged from its last game.
But Goodwin says he’s feeling for Kennedy Harris as the Demons prepare for their first final in 12 years.
“It’s really unfortunate for Jay,” Goodwin told his club’s website.
“He has been in some really good form and played his role incredibly well but we’ve got some players coming back as well.”
Viney’s inclusion comes after the rugged midfielder missed the past two months because of a toe injury which has restricted him to just seven games this season.
“It’s great to get our skipper back in,” Goodwin said.
“He has done a lot of work and Mitch Hannan has had some really strong footy behind him in the past month.
“He (Hannan) missed with a bit of a sore knee but his form in the VFL last week was very strong.”
Hannan has played just two AFL matches since round 15 – in rounds 17 and 22.
Goodwin believed his side, the league’s highest-scoring outfit this season, was primed to ride a wave of support from finals-starved fans in the fixture against the Cats, the best defensive team in the competition in terms of points conceded.
“I know it has been a long time for our supporters … (they) have got a great opportunity to really inspire their team,” he said.