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Grand Final Doubts


Melbourne or Richmond? That is the question all football sup- porters are asking themselves on the eve oí the grand final match of the Victorian Football League More than 60 000 peor'e are expected to attend the Melbourne ground to-morrow to see how the question will be answered

Melbourne with several players doubt- ful could not complete Its team last night Richmond with every plajer fit and well replaced Pricstlej by Crane

While most enthusiasts feel that Rich- mond is certain to win the 1940 premier- ship Melbourne supporters are confident that Uic match has >ct to be won Rich- mond looked impressive at training but those who visited the Melbourne ground found the players bright nnd active and exuding an air of confidence The Mel

bourne story is that Richmond with its best possible team played as well as it could possiblj play in winning the semi- final Melbourne although short of a gallop in that game lost by only six points That match and the one against Essendon last week have toned up its plajers to such an extent that they arc now with the exception of several who are still nursing injuries back to their

best form

Thus a great and keen game should be seen and It should be one that will long be remembered Incidents of a «ortnight ago are adding zest to the game but they ha\e been forgotten by the plajers and all the indications point to a sporting contest with nothing given away and with the 36 men playing foot- ball all the time


After a long discussion last night Rich- mond decided to replace Priestly by Crane It was thought that Scott would be chosen but the selectors felt that he had had in- sufficient work Ho lins not plajed for

six weeks

A change in position was also made Bawden who played centre half-forward last match will begin in a forward pocket and will partner Sjmons in the second ruck Crane will be centre half-forward Richmond lins reserved the right to change the team if the weather changes

Titus who had an injured heel reap pearcd at training and was greeted with applause from more than 300 onlookers who Included many country visitors and three fathers of players Titus trained for three-quarters of an hour and left officials in no doubt about his ability to gl\e his best performance to morrow With a record total of 97 goals for the season Titus hopes to make his century agnlnst


Dyer and Smith appeared late but they trained until darkness forced them back to the pavilion Both players were fit Symons did not appear Officials said that he had been advised to relax

Old supporters recalled last night that Richmond defeated Melbourne in the first League match c\cr held and were again successful when tile rit al teams met hi the first semi final in which they were opponents last Saturday week They con- sider these wins a happy augury for to-



Because of a doubt about seveial players Melbourne did not complete its team last night The selection will de- pend on the result of a trial of the doubtfuls to morrow morning A list of 23 players from whom the l8 will be chosen was announced

Of those who played last week Lock and Furniss were pronounced unfit and Roberts and Truscott have been Included There are three doubtful players all of whom are still suffering from injuries suffered last Saturday They are Baggott Fischer and Baxter To a less extent Truscott is also not perfectly fit but he trained well and is expected to be avail-


Baggott said after training that he felt well and he had no doubt about his ability to play Whether the medical offi- cer is of the same opinion will be known to-morrow Fischer who earlier in the week was considered certain to bo an onlooker trained fairly well and ple-vsed officials After all the players had left the field Fischer and Checker Hughes coach remained and Fischer tested his ankle injury at kicking He suHcred no ill-effects on a fnlrly hard ground and should know to day if the work proved too much for the Injury

In the Inner circles it is felt that Fischer will play that Bnxtei will at least open as full back-although a sui prisc move is mentioned - mid that O Keefe or Fanning will fill Furniss s place Truscott may be preferred to Dow- sing because of his greater physique

Several trophies have been olfeied by supporters if Melbourne is successful against Richmond A dinner has been arranged for Saturday night by the MCC Mr J C Blali chairman and P Page secretary were preparing yes- terday for the continuation of festivities next week if the team is victorious



Backs Sjmons Smeaton O Neill Hall bocks Steele Hull, Cotter

Centres McDonald VValdroi Edward' Halt forwards Marti! Crni e L Smith * rorwards Bnwden ntns Harris

rollowers Bent lev Djcr Rover J Quinn

En ergenclcs Prlesllev Merrett Scott In Crane Out Priestley


1-rom Anderson Batreott Ball Beames Barassl Baxter Dowslne D lilard Emsille Fisher Fan nlnir Gibb Hingston a Jones La Fontaine Mueller McLean O Keele Roberts Rodda Smith rtuscott Wartman