The Western Magpies have again named a strong side to take on Wilston-Grange in a historic Good Friday encounter, despite 5 forced changes to the side due to unavailability and NEAFL Selections.
The Pies bring in 3 debutants in ruckman Monty Vine, forward/mid Zane Lovell and tall utility Jack Briskey who returns from U18 Lions Academy duty. To offset these young debutants, the Pies were in the enviable position to be able to bring in two outstanding veterans both in fantastic form and in peak fitness with 200 gamer, and dual Bill Peirce Medalist - Val Pope returning to the side after a classy 4 goal performance in the Reserves last week and multiple league B&F winner and former Bill Peirce Medalist Gareth Crawford to boost the midfield. Crawford was a class above and hugely influential in the Reserves last week in a vintage display.
Out go Harrison Kerr (injured) and Billy Johnson and Liam Dwyer who have both been called up to Redland. Doug Lawrence and Tom Baulch could also be called up to Aspley and will be covered by Ethan Sivijs and Dan Edwards who are both cherry ripe and ready to play their 2nd senior games.
Talls in Highlands and Lumber are unavailable due to pre-existing commitments, with Highlands a big out after his 10 vote Syd Guildford Medal performance last week, and Lumber settling in nicely as he establishes himself in QLD footy, also a missing link.
Coach Brydan Morgan is confident the inclusions (young and old) will make the step up seamlessly and all have deserved their place. Jack Briskey is a tall 195 cm key position player and is back from Brisbane Lions Under 18 Academy duties where he was in the best players in several games and kicked goals in all matches and can play at both ends of the ground. Riley Greene will also play his 2nd Senior game after looking right at home in his debut last week.
New recruit Claye Beams was starting to exert influence last week and his leadership will be crucial for the Pies with so many changes to the team.
Luca Winton returned to his brilliant 2018 form last week in the last line of defence and David Lewis is getting back to his 2018 form across half back. Brenton Saunders enjoyed his return to the side last week and played well in an unfamiliar half back role.
In midfield Vine has a big job in ruck and he gets support with some grunt at ground level in Logan Murray, Cal Carseldine and Drew Mitchell with Riley Easton providing the run and carry and also the harassment at the coal face.
Up forward Jack Austin continues to grow into his game and Jack Goodall provides fantastic leadership when in that part of the ground.