Marley Williams has shown he is capable of standing up to any physical or verbal targeting he may receive from opposition teams, and could be ready to resume his AFL career as early as Friday night’s Collingwood-Carlton blockbuster.
Pies coach Nathan Buckley revealed that, in his opinion, Williams was physically targeted in his return match in the VFL on Saturday, just days after receiving a one-year suspended sentence for causing grievous bodily harm.
Buckley said Williams, who also suffered a minor injury in the VFL game, would be available to play and had put his hand up as one possible replacement for rebounding defender Alex Fasolo, who did not train with the main group on Wednesday and is in serious doubt.
”He was impressive on the weekend,” Buckley said of Williams. ”He was targeted by the Essendon VFL side as well, and handled it really well. Physically, the Essendon side came after him … that’s the game. He is more than capable of standing up for himself and had great support from his teammates.”
Buckley admitted he was not close enough to hear whether Williams had also been targeted verbally by Essendon players, but said he was confident the 20-year-old would be strong enough to handle that type of attention should he cop it in the AFL.
”It’s early days, he has got to expect that,” Buckley said of the attention Williams received from Essendon. ”He is a physical player, so he maintained his physicality without taking a backward step, but maintained his focus on the game,” he said. ”So that was really encouraging for us. Physically he is up and about.”
Buckley said Fasolo, battling toe and foot soreness, was unlikely to play against the Blues in an MCG showdown significant for being Dale Thomas’ first game against his former club.
Fellow runner Clinton Young, though, remains on track to recover from a corked shin he suffered in the Anzac Day match.
Williams is not the only defender in line to replace Fasolo, with Buckley hinting that key defender Nathan Brown, on the comeback trail from a dislocated shoulder, was also in the frame, with the Pies looking at their best mix to stop Carlton’s tall forward trio of Jarrad Waite, Lachie Henderson and Levi Casboult.
”How we replace Fas is probably a primary issue for us,” Buckley said. ”Carlton have got three tall forwards who took 28 marks between them last week.
”Nathan Brown has missed a couple of games, obviously, through injury, but he has come back through the VFL for two games and we’ll weigh up whether we need him in that role as well. There’s two or three options available to us for that back-six role and it will be made on best fit against the opposition.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.