Is this the year for Melbourne Demons youngster Jesse Hogan?

BOOM Melbourne Demons youngster Jesse Hogan (pictured) no doubt hopes his third NAB Challenge campaign, which starts tonight against Fremantle in Perth will lead to the 20-year-old finally making his AFL debut.

The highly-rated key forward, selected by Melbourne with pick No.2 in the 2012 AFL mini-draft, lived up to his lofty ranking in a 2013 NAB Challenge match against North Melbourne, but was ineligible to play in the AFL that season because he was only 17 at the start of the year.

Hogan played for Melbourne's VFL-affiliated team, the Casey Scorpions, in 2013, before a knee-injury ended his season in August.

He made it back for the 2014 NAB Challenge, but a lower back injury sustained in the match against Geelong saw him put in cotton wool for the rest of the season.

The West Australian showed he could finally have a chance to live up to the hype by booting three goals in an internal trial last month, a match that also saw recruits Jeff Garlett (Carlton) and Heretier Lumumba (Collingwood) show out.

Melbourne will be without several key players including Bernie Vince (shoulder), Jack Viney (head knock), Jack Watts (groin) and Jeremy Howe (hamstring).

Fremantle coach Ross Lyon has decided to err on the side of caution by leaving out star midfielder Nat Fyfe (hamstring).

Lyon has named an experienced line-up, with captain Matthew Pavlich, defenders Michael Johnson and Luke McPharlin and midfielders David Mundy and Paul Duffield all included.



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