Geraldton’s Judd McVee starting to build as other Mid West AFL stars remain on the sidelines

Jake Santa MariaGeraldton Guardian
Judd McVee of the Demons kicks the ball during the 2023 AFL round 12 match between the Melbourne Demons and the Carlton Blues at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on June 2.
Camera IconJudd McVee of the Demons kicks the ball during the 2023 AFL round 12 match between the Melbourne Demons and the Carlton Blues at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on June 2. Credit: Michael Willson/AFL Photos/AFL Photos via Getty Images

Judd McVee continues to impress while Jack Martin will return for the first time since round one as other AFL Mid West players have succumbed to injury.

McVee, who had to wait a full season before he could break into the Demons side after being picked up by Melbourne in the 2021 rookie draft, has not looked out of place, playing all 12 games so far this season. The Geraldton rising star’s best outing arguably came against Carlton last Friday night, when he regularly rebounded out of defence.

Against the struggling Blues, McVee picked up 68 ranking points for his 17 disposals, six marks and one tackle — the most of his fledgling career.

Speaking with Channel 7 after the game, McVee said there’s still plenty of improvement to come.

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“I think I’m going pretty good, still building, but I’ll take the compliments and keep going forward,” he said.

Commentator James Brayshaw is a fan of the emerging player, making these comments about McVee during the match against Carlton.

“A really nice, balanced player . . . a good decision-maker . . . (he is) turning into a very good player,” he said.

While McVee is enjoying his debut season, the prognosis for other Mid West stars is not so good with several players set for the sidelines.

Port Adelaide ruckman Brynn Teakle will be out for at least a month after picking up a foot injury in his SANFL game against North Adelaide.

The 23-year-old reported pain in his foot with the club identifying stress to the navicular bone. The diagnosis will force Teakle out of action for the time being, with a moon boot required in the short term to help heal the ailment.

It continues a frustrating start to life at Alberton for Teakle with a broken collarbone suffered in his debut wiping out most of his 2022 season though he did manage his first goal against North Melbourne in his last game in round nine.

At the Blues, Jack Carroll is facing up to a month on the sidelines after suffering a hamstring strain in Carlton VFL’s practice match against the AFL Academy last Saturday.

Carroll has only managed one appearance, as a tactical sub, under Michael Voss this year but has been a shining light in the Blues’ VFL side this season averaging 24.6 disposals, five marks and two tackles in his five games.

The same match saw Jack Martin return from his calf injury to the Carlton reserves before impressing in the VFL against Frankston with 18 disposals and six tackles which earned him a spot back in the senior side a t half forward against Essendon on Sunday.

At Sydney, Logan McDonald is still a month away from returning from a significant medial ankle sprain suffered against the Dockers in round nine.

At the Eagles, Liam Ryan was spotted at training though he spent no more than about 10-15 minutes outside, mainly kicking goals from the pocket, but is still a fair way off returning, with the premiership star listed as seven to nine weeks away.

Down the road at Fremantle, midfielder Jaeger O’Meara failed in his attempt to overturn a one-match ban last week for a dangerous tackle and will miss this weekend’s clash against Richmond.

“Although I am disappointed I will do everything I can to help my team prepare for the game against Richmond and be ready to go for the game against the Giants,” he said following the trial.

With Jamie Cripps’ season over, it leaves only McVee and reigning Brownlow medallist and Carlton captain Patrick Cripps as the only Mid West players to feature this weekend.

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