The Western Magpies Reserves will be a strong side for their Round 1 clash with Mt Gravatt on Saturday at 11.30 am, with several regular Senior players being pushed back due to an influx of NEAFL listed players into the senior side.
In a big plus for the Pies, regularseniors key defender Chris Hunt returns several weeks earlier than anticipated after off-season surgery and will be part of a very strong half back line.
A number of players who showed good form in the pre-season have been squeezed out of the senior side with the NEAFL inclusions, namely the Easton brothers, Brodie and Riley, half forwards David Lewis and Jake Heard, utility Jadan Morton and defender Luke DeNys.
New recruits in Reece Bridge (Cairns) and Ricky Dudley (Woodsmen), who both looked good in the pre-season, were also forced out of the Senior team.
Other new players to the club are the strong bodied Chris Devlin (Ipswich) in the centre and solid defender Brent Walker (Warwick).
Into the team come three players from the Sherwood U17 Div 1 2015 Premiership side in tall forward Charlie Pershouse, ruckrover Lachie Dennis and utility Jake Farrell. All three have senior football written all over them and will be keen to stake a claim for a senior debut at some stage during the year.
Redlands listed players Liam Dwyer in ruck and Brenton Saunders across half forward are both inclusions with Dwyer showing promise at the end of last year after an injury interrupted season and Saunders a 2012 Pies premiership player who also had stints at Mt Gravatt before settling in the NEAFL at Redlands.
Add the returning Mitch Stallard after missing last year with injury and CHB Todd Billing, who had a year off after a superb 2014 season and Jae Humphrey, who played quite a few Senior matches last year, and it is clear the Pies Reserves are a very strong team.
Add the experience of fullback Sean McEvoy and full-forward Matt Hockley, both with plenty of senior exposure in the past and the Pies have almost a Senior strength line-up.
Coach Quentin Johnson will be keen to start the season with a win after a slow start last year wrecked any chances of a finals appearance.
He is pleased with the depth of his squad with 9 players not selected due to injury or not able to be squeezed into the team. Among the missing are the injured Blake McClennan, Hunter Heath, Jamie Page and Braydon Thomas (ACL Season) with Sean Mewing, Joel Workman, Cory Hopkins and Gabe McKinnon all unavailable.
Reserves vs Mt Gravatt at Dittmer Park, Sat APril 2 @ 11:30am
B: Luke De Nys - Sean McEvoy - Ricky Dudley
HB: Chris Hunt - Todd Billing - Reece Bridge
C: Mitchell Stallard - Chris Devlin - Brodie Easton
HF: David Lewis - Jadan Morton- Jake Heard
F: Brenton Saunders (R) - Matt Hockley - Charlie Pershouse
Foll: Liam Dwyer - Lachie Dennis - Riley Easton
Int: Jake Farrell - Matt Mazerolle - Jesses Pukallus - Brent Walker