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Dees to go ‘full on’ in match simulation in grand final build-up

Melbourne defender Christian Salem is adamant he and his teammates will be going “full on” during match simulation this week to stay fit and conditioned for Saturday week’s grand final.

The Demons will be playing just their second game in four weeks at Optus Stadium on September 25, which is in stark contrast to the Western Bulldogs, who have had to move around the country while playing every week.

Melbourne defender Christian Salem speaking to the media at training on Wednesday in Perth.

Melbourne defender Christian Salem speaking to the media at training on Wednesday in Perth.Credit:AFL Photos

Legendary football figure Leigh Matthews told 3AW on Tuesday that he would be preparing his team for a competitive scratch match on the weekend off, for fears they may lose momentum.

As it stands, Melbourne players will be put through match simulation on Saturday at Lathlain Park; the home of the West Coast Eagles.

Salem said it’s a balancing act between making the match practice highly-competitive, and avoiding injury.
“We’re still getting our match simulation in, but it’s just a bit more controlled, which helps us a bit and allows us to freshen up,” he told reporters before training on Wednesday.

“There is a fine balance … we’re going to go pretty hard. But it’s more; don’t jump into people’s backs when you’re going in for marks, sling tackles and what not.

“But when we are playing, we’ll be going full on.”

Steven May moved well during Wednesday morning’s session, with no strapping on his injured right hamstring, and is a certain starter for the grand final, barring another mishap.

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