PIES TO LIFT FOR VAL POPE'S 200th
The Western Magpies are expected to lift for Val Pope's 200th Senior game when they host old rivals Mt Gravatt at Chelmer on Saturday.
Pope is one of the best ever players to wear theblack and white in the 50 years of Senior Football at Chelmer and no doubt his teammates will be keen to celebrate the occasion with a victory to get the Pies season back on track. There is expected to be a big turnout of Pope’s ex-teammates on the day as the Magpies are hosting the "Feathers Fly" during the day featuring Simon Black as one of the guest speakers.
The fortunes of both sides are a mirror image from the start of the season with the Pies having a brilliant start to the year with a 74 point win over the Vultures in round one of the QAFL, but have slipped down the ladder since while Mt Gravatt have found some form.
Since round one the Pies have won two matches and Mt Gravatt four matches to go a game ahead of the Pies on the ladder.
Once again coach Brydan Morgan and his selectors have had to juggle the side with a further four changes to the side.
There are four quality inclusions led by 2015-16 co-skipper Cal Carseldine returning after injury playing at Aspley and one Reserves match last week. Also in are regular 2016 players Brady Allen, Will Fletcher and Luke Mitchell. Allen incredibly comes back only 8 months after an ACL reconstruction after 2 solid Reserves outings while Mitchell returns after a solitary week in Reserves and 18 year old Fletcher after a Reserves match last week after injury during a stint at the Brisbane Lions Academy.
Out go the in-form David Lewis with a season ending knee injury, Chris Hunt unavailable, Luca Mason back to Aspley and Riley Easton to Reserves to rediscover some form.
Lewis and Hunt are big losses as both have been in good form in defence for the Pies.
The Pies go into the match with 5 changes to the side which easily accounted for the Vultures in round one—missing are David Lewis, Dom Misso, Mitchell Stallard, Rory Johnsonand Joe Murphy and new additions are Cal Carseldine, Will Fletcher, Billy Johnson, Brady Allen and Jack Goodall. So the nucleus of the side is still there and the Pies need to recapture that early season form which included rapid ball movementto the forward line where Jake de Winter was able to run riot in that clash. De Winter returned to form last week with 6 goals and he will be a key player along with tall forward Charlie Pershouseif the Pies are to kick a winning score.
The Magpies have inform players in Tom Ielasi, Gareth Crawford and Drew Mitchell running through the midfield and with Brady Allen another target up forward the Pies forward options have improved.
With Lewis and Hunt missing the brunt of the defensive work falls on Harry Marshall and Matt Davis, and Jack Goodall might also find himself moved into defence at times in the match. The Pies kept Mt Gravatt to 5 goals in the first clash so a similar defensive effort from the Pies back six will go a long way toward a Pies victory.
Well, would you believe it but this is another 8 point match for the Magpies and if they can recapture some of their early season run and carry they can overcome the Vultures, who will be a different proposition than the early season clash.
And with the added incentive of Val Pope’s 200th match the Pies will give it everything they have got to bring home the four points.
Western Magpies V Mt Gravattat Chelmer on Saturday, July 1stat 2.00 pm
B: Tom Ielasi Harry Marshall Logan Murray
HB: Matt Davis (vc) Liam Dwyer Will Fletcher
C: Lachie DennisDrew Mitchell (c) Brodie Easton
HF: Brenton Saunders Charlie Pershouse Val Pope
F: Jake de Winter Jack Goodall Brady Allen
Rucks: Aaron Highlands Gareth Crawford
Rover: Ben Jaenke-Cain
I/c: Billy Johnson, Luke Mitchell, Aaron Maricic, Callum Carseldine