AFL teams: Melbourne names Koltyn Tholstrup for debut

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Kysaiah Pickett’s suspension has opened the door for another Melbourne debutant, with Koltyn Tholstrup receiving the nod to face Brisbane on Thursday night.

Tholstrup will join fellow first-round draft pick Caleb Windsor in the side after a series of strong performances over the pre-season and in two VFL games.

The long-kicking No.13 pick has played through the midfield for Casey and averaged 21 disposals, seven tackles and four clearances but is expected to play up forward against an unchanged Lions side at the MCG.

Brisbane stars Lachie Neale and Zac Bailey have both overcome ankle complaints to play, with Neale set to celebrate his 250th game.

The dual Brownlow medallist was subbed out of the Lions’ win over North Melbourne due to ankle soreness from an incident during the previous match against Collingwood, while Bailey hobbled off in the dying stages of the game but was selected after training lightly this week.

Tholstrup was told he would be picked for his first game during the Demons’ team meeting on Wednesday morning.

Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin had earlier said the West Australian teenager was among three options to replace Pickett, who failed to have his one-week ban overturned at the tribunal.

“Yeah look, he’s been impressive in the last few weeks,” Goodwin said.

“Koltyn, Bailey Laurie, (Taj) Woewodin, there’s a few guys really pressing hard for selection.”

The Demons named their debutant on the field, with Taj Woewodin likely to reprise his role as the sub.

Jimmy Tunstill, who was Brisbane’s sub against North Melbourne, retained his spot in the 23.

Melbourne v Brisbane, Thursday 7.30pm, MCG

MELBOURNE

B T. Rivers, S. May, T. McDonald

HB B. Howes, J. Lever, J. McVee

C E. Langdon, C. Petracca, A. Neal-Bullen

HF J. Billings, H. Petty, K. Tholstrup

F J. van Rooyen, B. Fritsch, T. Sparrow

FOL M. Gawn (c), J. Viney, C. Oliver

I/C C. Salem, C. Windsor, K. Chandler, T. Woewodin. B. Brown

EMG B. Laurie, J. Schache, A. Tomlinson

IN Tholstrup

OUT Pickett (suspended)

BRISBANE LIONS

B B. Starcevich, J. Payne, R. Lester

HB D. Wilmot, H. Andrews (c), D. Gardiner

C J. Fletcher, Z. Bailey, J. Berry

HF C. Cameron, E. Hipwood, H. McCluggage

F C. Rayner, J. Daniher, D. Zorko

FOL O. McInerney, J. Dunkley, L. Neale (c)

I/C K. Lohmann, C. Ah Chee, L. McCarthy, J. Tunstill, N. Answerth

EMG L. Morris, J. Lyons, D. Fort

NO CHANGES

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