The Western Magpies renew their long standing rivalry with Mt Gravatt, when for the fifth year in a row, the Pies travel to Dittmer Park in Round 1 of QAFL action.
The Pies will field seven senior Magpie debutants in the match and will put a side on the field that does not resemble any of the teams they had in the practice matches with NEAFL aligned players in Lawrence, Carseldine, Johnson, Dwyer and Kerr joining the side, 3 of whom are club juniors. NEAFL rookies and Magpie listed players Tom Baulch and local junior Will Fletcher also strengthen the 22.
Two more notable inclusions are Claye Beams who joins the club from the Brisbane Lions for his first outing in the black & white (due to cricket commitments) and 2018 R/Up B&F Luca Winton who has been travelling in Europe before blowing off some cobwebs in an outing for the Woodsmen last week where he was best afield.
Interstate recruits will also feature, with key forward Brody Lumber haling from Deniliquin in for Round 1 after strong form in one practice match and Jayden Gallagher and Macauley Longergan also into the side after relocating from Yarrawonga.
Dan Edwards makes his senior debut after winning the joint McNamee Medal for Best & Fairest in the Colts Premiership side in 2018 and has had strong pre-season form.
The Pies also officially welcome Jack Goodall as a fully fledged Pies player and the new vice-captain slots into the key defensive post where his strong marking and reading of the play will be vital for the pies this season.
Next to him will be new captain David Lewis who also reads the play well and is brilliant at the intercept mark across half back. Jayden Gallagher has shown strong form in his two practice matches and has a strong left foot and Aaron Highlands look fit and raring to go as a key defender or pinch hitting in the ruck.
Beams at half forward will offer a forward target and no doubt will have some midfield time and with his AFL experience and the new 6-6-6- rule at centre bounces opening up play his ability to win the ball will be crucial for the Pies. He will also be a foil for new forward Brody Lumber, who has an impressive CV from the southern Riverina of NSW.
Liam Dwyer will shoulder the ruck duties and will have Beams, Will Fletcher and Riley Easton in the engine room and QAFL 2018 Rising Star Easton and Fletcher in particular were impressive in the practice matches.
This is a new look Magpies outfit with only 11 players in the side from the team that lost in the final round last year. Magpies coach Brydan Morgan will be very keen to have an early season win to kick start the season after the Pies slow start last year with 5 narrow losses ended up costing them a finals berth in 2018.
The Magpies are hoping a big contingent of ex-players will travel to Vulture territory to support the Pies against their old rival.