Silvagni still sidelined: Blues’ fan favourite to be overlooked for semi against Dees

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Jack Silvagni will not play for Carlton’s in the semi-final against Melbourne on Friday, as the Blues lean towards a forgotten midfield bull to fill the void in their forward line.

Silvagni is not injured, but his lack of match fitness has counted against him, leaving the door open for Matt Kennedy to come into the Blues’ team.

Jack Silvagni’s lack of match fitness will count against him at selection.Credit: AFL Photos

Silvagni would have played in the VFL this week if the Blues had a game, but the Blues decided he was not ready to play in a senior semi-final, and he was not among the 26 players who took part in Thursday’s “captain’s run” training session at IKON Park.

The Blues fan favourite hurt his knee against West Coast in round 19, and again in his comeback game against Gold Coast in the VFL four weeks ago, raising doubts he’d be able to get through a game. He has not featured in any internal match practice.

“He’s certainly available to play, I guess the question that we have to ask is if he’s ready,” Blues coach Michael Voss said. “He’s coming in without having played a game (in the VFL) first, so we’ll have to weigh that up as a match committee.”

Matt Kennedy is in the box seat to claim the suspended Jack Martin’s place in attack despite not playing at AFL level since hurting his knee in round 17 against Fremantle. Unlike Silvagni, he played in a reserves scratch match last week to build his match fitness.

Kennedy’s best position is in the midfield, but he is a strong mark for his size.

“Matty’s played a fair bit of forward as well, and obviously with his sizes there’s an advantage there as well,” Voss said. “And he’s managed to get a fair bit of work under his belt over the last month, not just from a training perspective, but lucky enough to get a game last week. That certainly puts him in a good position to come in.”

The Blues are unlikely to get funky on the whiteboard with left-field positional moves, such as swinging Mitch McGovern forward, preferring instead to stick to the formula that has worked in the second half of the season.

Goal sneak Jesse Motlop, the sub last week, is expected to come into the starting 22, while Ollie Hollands and Paddy Dow are in the frame to be the 23rd man.

“We’re fortunate that we’ve got a lot of players that are in-form right now,” Voss said. “We’ve been able to have players come in and do really important roles for us, and they’ve been fit and healthy and, and as a result of that they’ve been able to execute really well.

“Certainly, our back six, seven, have been pretty settled for a few weeks now. We’d certainly favour that. Having the midfield group well and truly settled over the last few weeks has been important for us and will continue to be important for us, and we’ve obviously got a couple of things in the front half that we just need to have a bit of a think about and just what does that mix look like.”

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