Trending topics

Select your station

We'll remember your choice for next time

Demons lock in three debuts and confirm Oliver’s inspirational return


Melbourne has revealed players who will feature in its Opening Round side, with three club debutants among them.

Top-10 draftee Caleb Windsor, 20-year-old Blake Howes and former Saint Jack Billings will all pull on the red and blue to run out under Simon Goodwin for the first time on Thursday night, when the Demons open the 2024 season against Sydney at the SCG.

Melbourne fans will also be buoyed by the news of Clayton Oliver’s return to the senior side, with the three-time All-Australian locked in to play Opening Round.

Oliver only returned to full training in January and for much of the pre-season, had looked unlikely to play Melbourne’s first home and away game.

AFLsurvivor24 728x90

The 26-year-old didn’t feature in either of Melbourne’s pre-season practice games, but did run out with the VFL side on two occasions and impressed.

He’s now done enough to convince Demons officials he’s ready to go.

Since he last took to the field, Oliver has faced a week of intense trade scrutiny, been publicly challenged by his coach to improve standards, suffered a seizure and had his licence suspended as a result and also been in court for driving without a valid licence.

Captain Max Gawn recently admitted to being inspired by Oliver’s push to return to the senior side despite missing much of Melbourne’s pre-season, with the process almost complete.

The first bounce of the new AFL season takes place at the SCG at 7:30pm AEDT this Thursday night.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope;


More in AFL