The Western Magpies host UQ at Chelmer on Saturday in the final home & away round of the season. The western Derby will be played in front of a big crowd, also celebrating ladies day at the club.
UQ may be propping up the ladder but they are a dangerous opponent as the Red Lions have had a good month of football with strong performances against Morningside, Wilston Grange and Labrador and a big defeat of the in form Broadbeach.
The Magpies will be strengthened with the return of four players for the clash. In comes Matt Davis, who returns after missing 3 matches with injury, and three players who missed last round in Aaron Maricic from unavailability, Sam Copland from illness and co-captain Callum Carseldine with soreness. The Pies brains trust decided to give midfielder Richard Wenham another week off to ensure he is cherry ripe to play his 100th Senior game for the Pies in the first week of the finals.
Out of the side are Jake Heard, who unfortunately re-fractured his fibula in his left leg last week, and Matt Hockley, Matt Mazarolle and Jake Goodall all go back to the Reserves after solid performances in the Pies big win last week.
After a few scratchy performances in recent weeks, the Pies will be looking for a full four quarter display this week and Coach Glenn Humphrey will be keen for his team to start from the first bounce and build momentum throughout as they get ready for finals action.
The return of Carseldine will add some in and under ball winning for the Pies and with Drew Mitchell having a great season and Tim McEvoy playing his best football and peaking perfectly for a finals assault, the Magpie midfield looks very strong.
Up forward Alex Dickfos has booted 51 goals to be fourth in the competition, just 10 behind the leader.
Val Pope has also booted 26 goals which is a good return for a player who spends plenty of time in the midfield.
Sam Copland will benefit from his week off and he will add firepower to the forward line.
Matt Davis was having a superb season until injured and despite missing matches will be one of the favourites to win the Bill Pierce Medal for the club's best and fairest award.
The return of Aaron Maricic this week plus Sunny Aneet coming back the week before gives the Pies midfield plenty of pace to break the lines.
The Pies will start very warm favourites in this match and should win to help the players celebrate their popular Mr Magpie night after the match.
A win will see the Pies finish second on the ladder, a great step forward from 2014 and the boys will know only half the job is done with a strong September campaign to come.
Western Magpies vs UQ Red Lions - Chelmer, Saturday Aug 29 @ 2pm
B: Sean Mewing - Chris Hunt - Luke Mitchell
HB: Matt Davis - Doug Lawrence - Luke Scott
C: Aaron Maricic - Ben Jeanke-Cain - Sunny Aneet
HF: Sam Copland - Tom Michael (R) - Lachlan Woods (c)
F: Matt Thompson - Alex Dickfos - Val Pope
Foll: Dom Beer - Callum Carseldine (c) - Drew Mitchell
Int: Tim McEvoy - Riley Easton - Brady Allen - Hayden Thick
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