Former NBL player to debut for Demons

Melbourne Category B rookie Corey Maynard is preparing for a baptism of fire on Saturday after coach Simon Goodwin confirmed he would be making his AFL debut against premiership fancies Greater Western Sydney at Manuka Oval.

Maynard, the 25-year-old brother of Collingwood defender Brayden Maynard, has spent most of his sporting career playing basketball and played for NBL sides Cairns Taipans and Townsville Crocodiles between 2014 and 2016.

Last August, Maynard signed with the Demons, some nine years after last playing footy competitively, and after some impressive form in the VFL he has the chance to cement his spot in the senior line-up a month before a potential finals campaign.

"It's really exciting for the footy club," Goodwin said at AAMI Park on Thursday.

"He's really developed nicely throughout the year and played some strong VFL footy so that's exciting for a footy club at this stage of the year to have a debutant who's worked his way into the team for a number of weeks now is great for our supporters to have a look at."

Goodwin doesn't see why Maynard can't have an immediate impact like fellow former basketballer Hugh Greenwood has had at Adelaide.

"He's a really contested player around the stoppages and through the midfield so he's got some great attributes, he's got a mature body and he's doing some really exciting things at VFL level so we're looking to see that translate as quickly as possible," Goodwin said.

Joining Maynard in the Demons' line-up this week are star midfielders Nathan Jones and Bernie Vince. Jack Trengove, however, has been dropped.

Jones has missed six matches due to a quad injury and Vince has completed a two-game suspension.

It was Vince's third suspension in the past two seasons, but Goodwin said he didn't need to reinforce the message to the former Crow to play within the rules ahead of his return to the side.

"He has served his time, he's continually learning about what's right and wrong and getting on with the job now of playing some really good footy," Goodwin said.

"He's learned his lesson, he knew straight away on the Monday that he'd done the wrong thing and he was really disappointed in his own actions."

Goodwin said the addition of two experienced players like Jones and Vince would help Melbourne if their clash with the Giants went down to the wire like their match with North Melbourne in Hobart did last week.

"Having your leaders play really good footy is really important to any team," he said.

"They play critical roles in the team's performance week in week out so to have them both out there is really important to us.

"We're looking forward to our midfield coming back together, we've probably lacked a bit of continuity in that area of the ground for a number of weeks now."

Goodwin nominated Sam Weideman and Cam Pedersen as potential replacements for Jesse Hogan, who broke his collarbone against the Kangaroos.

Melbourne find themselves in unfamiliar territory inside the top eight with four rounds to go and, having not made the finals since 2006, Goodwin said the club had an opportunity for "growth" in the next month.

"This club has never been in this position ... It's a great position to be in," Goodwin said.

"We can't look too far ahead, we've got to look at this week. I've said this a lot, it's where you're at at the end of round 23 that matters."

This story Former NBL player to debut for Demons first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.