ÄFL Tracker: ups and down at the selection table

ORREN Stephenson continues his see-sawing AFL career.

In his second season with Richmond after being picked up by Geelong as a late bloomer, the North Ballarat Roosters premiership player continues to play the back-up ruck role - having to rely on the Tigers' first option big men to fall over before he gets his opportunity.

With number one ruckman Ivan Maric injured and Shaun Hampson missing, Stephenson played his 15th AFL match against the Western Bulldogs.

He did okay - 12 disposals and 24 hitouts.

However, with Hampson back, Stephenson has again had to make way and return to the VFL.

In other movements for Ballarat's "AFL Tracker" players at the selection table last night, Western Bulldogs key defender Jordan Roughead began his recuperation from a shoulder injury.

At the Sydney Swans, former North Ballarat Rooster Dean Towers is on the cusp of selection for his AFL debut.

He has been named on an extended interchange in the team to face North Melbourne.

Meanwhile, Michael Close's run of three games with the Brisbane Lions came to an end when he was dropped.

STANLEY STRONG AT MILDURA

BALLARAT harness racing trainer Michael Stanley is enjoying the Mildura Cup Carnival.

He lines up Hilltop Hustler in the group 2 $50,000 Mildura Pacing Cup tomorrow night after a second in a heat on Tuesday.

Hilltop Hustler has drawn well in two.

Complementing this, Stanley won with two-year-old Morior Invictus ($3.60) on debut at Mildura on Thursday night.

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