Melbourne Demons star Steven May looking likely to play in AFL Grand Final against Western Bulldogs







Melbourne star Steven May is set to be given ‘every chance’ to line up in next Saturday’s AFL Grand Final against the Western Bulldogs.

Melbourne says Steven May’s tight hamstring is causing him “no problems” at training and that the star defender will be given “every chance” to play in the AFL Grand Final next Saturday.

May pulled up sore after a marking contest early in the preliminary final win over Geelong and was taken from the ground in the third quarter.

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The Demons say subbing May out was a precautionary measure and that they have been pleased with the 29-year-old’s progress in the week since.

“In terms of training the other day, he looked (to have) no problems at all,” Demons assistant coach Troy Chaplin said of May, who trained with the group on Friday and will do so again on Saturday.

“He’ll do what’s needed to get himself right for next week. We’re confident in our strength and conditioning guys.

“(They’ll) give him every chance for next week.”

Chaplin said the Demons would also work with May as he looks to overcome the mental challenges of his injury.

“There’s going to be a little bit of doubt there but we’ll alleviate that for him where possible and he’ll just get on with the show,” Chaplin said.

“He’s looking forward to what’s possible for next week and we’re looking forward to that as well.”

Chaplin said the Demons would continue to monitor defenders Jayden Hunt and Joel Smith as they recover from injuries of their own.

A hamstring injury suffered at training kept Smith out of the grand final qualifier, while Hunt has been missing since round 21, when he injured his ankle against West Coast.

Chaplin said the pair was in a “similar boat” to May and still a chance for selection.

“We trust the (strength and conditioning coaches); they’ve done a fantastic job all year in getting those guys right for game day,” he said.

“If that means they do half the session or the full session, we’ll work that out.”

Coach Simon Goodwin will have to weigh up whether to keep Michael Hibberd and Jake Bowey in the 22 if Hunt and Smith both recover.

Chaplin said the Demons, who have been on the road since last month, have been blown away by the support of the Perth community.

The side arrived in Western Australia ahead of its preliminary final, where it was cheered on by a mostly red and blue crowd at Optus Stadium.

Chaplin hopes the Melbourne faithful will turn out on Saturday week.

“You drive around the city and you see a lot red and blue,” he said.

“From all reports (the grand final) could have sold out three or four times over, so we’re expecting the Perth people and our Perth supporters to come out. The other night in that prelim was just extraordinary.

“I haven’t heard a crowd like that for a long time. Being able to play in front of supporters again is just fantastic for everyone involved.

“We’re looking forward to playing in front of another good crowd next week and having the Perth people on board.

“It does feel like a home away from home for us. The WA community have opened their arms to us and we’ve just been so grateful.”

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