Cameron Ellis-Yolmen has returned from a significant stint on the sidelines with injury and put on a near best-on-ground performance for the Lions against a combined North Melbourne and Essendon side in their VFL practice match on Sunday.
Despite the Lions’ going down to the combined Victorian side 104 to 58, Ellis-Yolmen gave a strong performance across the ground in his first game in several months, as he looks to regain match fitness and break back into the Lions’ best 22.
The big-bodied midfielder featured among the side’s best on the day, with the returning Jarrod Berry, brother Tom Berry and defender Callum Ah Chee all putting together strong performances in the Lions’ defeat.
The young Lions side got off to a strong start on Sunday, working well through the midfield and forward 50 to keep in touch with the Victorians through the first quarter.
Their consistent efforts throughout the first half were rewarded with a tied score at the main break.
However, it wasn’t enough to secure the win, with the Victorians dominating game play in the second half to run away with the 46-point victory.
Speaking on the practice match, VFL Head Coach Mitch Hahn said that the hit-out against the Victorian sides provided some great opportunity for the young team.
“It was great to be able to have a game up here with the Victorian teams,” Hahn said.
“For us to get that continuity and consistency of game play, as well as for guys like Ellis-Yolmen and [Jarrod] Berry to get those minutes without having to wait is really crucial.”
“Our first half was really competitive and it showed in the scoreboard. We played some really strong footy and moved the ball into our forward half really nicely. Our listed players contributed well too, with both the Berry boys, Ellis-Yolmen and Callum Ah Chee all contributing strongly.”
“Unfortunately we just lacked the consistency across the four quarters, but we’re a young side and we’ll keep working on it and developing those skills as we move through the remainder of the season.”