The Western Magpies start finals football a month early when they meet fourth placed Morningside in a classic 8 point match in Round 17 QAFL action on Saturday.
The prize for the winner is a shot at third place on the ladder and for the Pies a loss makes the final 2 rounds non negotiable wins.
The Pies lose Aaron Highlands to a surprising 3 week suspension but in a like-for-like swap gain Jack Goodall back from Redland. Also returning to boost the Pies forward line are key forwards Anthony Corrie and Jake De Winter and midfielder Jono Macanawai returns after a week out due to soreness. Also out are Sam Parker and Brenton Saunders to the Reserves and Matt Davis is omitted.
The Pies forward line looks far stronger with the inclusion of Corrie and De Winter and youngster Jack Austin returned to the team last week with an impressive 3 goals which could easily have been 5 goals.
Goodall adds depth to the Pies and he will bolster the defence against a strong Morningside forward line. The half back line looks strong with David Lewis and Brady Allen joining Goodall, and with Luca Winton and Will Fletcher both in good form the Pies defence looks rock solid.
Dylan Adkins has lifted in recent matches and will have another big challenge in this match and he will need a big game to give the pies in form midfield brigade of skipper Drew Mitchell, Ryan Harwood, Lachlan Woods, Ben Jaenke-Cain and Macanawai a fair crack at the football. Woods plays his 99th Senior match for the Pies and returns to the ground where his 4 last quarter goals a few seasons ago with one arm led to a famous Magpie victory over the Panthers.
This match will be played in a finals like atmosphere and with finals intensity and with so much at stake expect the Pies to be ferocious at the contest. The Magpies recent form has been good and they will need to be at their best to overcome the in form Panthers on their home ground.
There will not be much in it but the Magpies are good enough to win and push for a double chance.
QAFL Round 17: Western Magpies v Morningside at Hawthorne on Saturday, August 11th at 2.00 pm.
B: Will Fletcher Doug Lawrence Luca Winton
HB: David Lewis Jack Goodall Brady Allen
C: Billy Johnson Lachlan Woods Luke Mitchell
HF: Aaron Maricic Jack Austin Jake De Winter
F: Kale Reed Anthony Corrie Riley Easton
Foll: Dylan Adkins Drew Mitchell (Capt) Ryan Harwood
I/C: Tom Ielasi, Ben Jaenke-Cain, Lachie Dennis, Jono Macanawai
In: Jack Goodall, Jake De Winter, Anthony Corrie, Jono Macanawai
Out: Aaron Highlands (suspended), Brenton Saunders, Sam Parker (both Reserves), Matthew Davis (omitted)
Emerg: Gerard Moore, Brenton Saunders, Sam Parker, Matthew Davis