The Western Magpies face another challenge when they host Morningside in a big day of football at McCarthy Homes Oval at Chelmer on Saturday.
Morningside tipped the QAFL season on its head with a huge victory over the previously undefeated Mt Gravatt last week and now sit in sixth place, one win behind the fourth placed Pies. While the win was probably not unexpected by close observers, the margin certainly was.
The Magpies welcome back Brodie Easton after being unavailable last week due to exams, Logan Murray in for his first senior game of 2018 after two solid return games in the Reserves and in exciting news, former Captain - Lachlan Woods returns to the senior side for the first time since 2016 after after a year off in 2017 and excellent reserves form early in 2018 set him up for Senior football before a 5 week injury intervention. Woods will offer a hard edge to the Magpies side and exudes natural leadership.
Out are Billy Johnson back to Lions NEAFL duties, lively forward Kale Reed is unavailable and Lachie Dennis returns to the Reserves after a late call-up last week.
This is an old fashioned "Match of the Day'" with both teams in good form and only 4 points separating the teams on the ladder.
The Panthers have been somewhat of an achilles heel for the Pies over the past few years with veteran key forward Kent Abey proving a handful and his likely opponent is Stephen Mills who did a great job on another big forward last week. Luca Winton and David Lewis have been superb in recent weeks and complement each other to deflect opposition attacks and will provide support for Mills. Brady Allen has also slotted into the key defensive role in recent weeks.
The visitors have had a few key players drift back into the side in the past few weeks and after a slow start to the season hit their straps last week.
The Magpies will need to be on song from the first bounce and play four quarters of football but they are a tough outfit as proved last week.
Jono Macanawai, Ryan Harwood and Drew Mitchell have been the grit in the midfield for the Pies and do a lot of unseen heavy work in the clinches and this has been an area of major improvement for the Pies this season. Aaron Maricic provides classy use of the football from a wing and Luke Mitchell has also been solid across half back.
Jake De Winter was kept goalless last week and he will be itching to make a mark --no pun intended-- on this match and Anthony Corrie will cop plenty of attention which may open up options for other goal scoring avenues.
This shapes as a classic match and with a big day of football deserves to be played in front of a big home crowd at McCarthy Homes Oval.
QAFL Round 10: Western Magpies v Morningside at McCarthy Homes Oval, Chelmer on Saturday June 23rd at 2 pm.
B: Will Fletcher Luca Winton Logan Murray
HB: David Lewis (vc) Stephen Mills Brenton Saunders
C: Luke Mitchell Ben Jaenke-Cain Aaron Maricic
HF: Jake De Winter Aaron Highlands Matthew Davis
F: Brady Allen Anthony Corrie Riley Easton
Foll: Jack Austin Drew Mitchell (Capt) Ryan Harwood
I/C: Liam Dwyer, Jono Macanawai, Lachlan Woods, Brodie Easton
In: Lachlan Woods, Brodie Easton, Logan Murray
Out: Billy Johnson (Brisbane Lions NEAFL), Kale Reed (wedding), Lachie Dennis (Reserves)