The Western Magpies selectors have again had to make several changes to the make-up of their team to take on the rampaging and undefeated defending QAFL premiers Palm Beach-Currumbin on their home turf in QAFL Round 7 action on Saturday.
Besides a couple of ageing warriors in Gareth Crawford and Drew Mitchell (apologies to Drew!!), the Pies side is very youthful and they will hold no fear of the Lions on Saturday.
AFLQ talks up the rivalries in the QAFL but the Pies v Lions is as good as any of them as they developed a fierce rivalry over a fifteen year period from 2004 onwards when they met in many finals clashes and in three grand finals for a 2-1 result to the Pies. There was never any love lost between the teams and the Pies premiership wins in 2008 and 2012 over the Lions live long in the memories of many a rusted on Pies supporter.
The Pies lose Claye Beams, Ben Jaenke-Cain and Luke Mitchell to unavailability and Riley Easton to injury.
In exciting news in comes classy young ruckman Samson Ryan for his senior debut, whose ruck work harks back to the days of the tap ruck men of yore who directed the ball to the chest of their rovers. Ryan has been on Brisbane Lions Academy duties in the first half of the season.
17 year old Cade Scott also comes in for his senior debut after impressive pre-season form and a solid first 5 rounds of Reserves footy to earn his chance and Jesse Hampel makes it a trio of debutants when he comes in after excellent reserves footy with consecutive bags of 5 goals and he found his feet after 4 years away from the game.
Despite the ageing warrior epitaph, Crawford and Mitchell were instrumental in the Pies comeback against Sandgate a fortnight ago and both are playing with plenty of vim and vigour, with Crawford showing no signs of slowing down, adding plenty of zip to the midfield with his pace and agility at stoppages.
In other good news Brody Lumber returns to the key forward position after missing due to unavailability Rory Johnson comes in after good Reserves form to add pace around the goals.
The young Pies will attack this match with nothing to lose and with the Magpies having a good record at the Salk Oval, coach Brydan Morgan will stress to his charges that this can be a season defining match and to leave nothing in the tank by the match's end.
QAFL Round 7: Western Magpies v Palm Beach-Currumbin at Salk Oval, Currumbin on Saturday, May 18th at 2.00 pm
B: Jayden Gallagher Harry Marshall Riley Greene
HB: Luca Winton Jack Goodall Brenton Saunders
C: Macauley Lonergan Drew Mitchell Dan Edwards
HF: Lachie Dennis Aaron Highlands Kale Reed
F: Brody Lumber Jesse Hampel Jack Austin
Rucks: Liam Dwyer
Rover: Cade Scott
Int: Samson Ryan, Gareth Crawford, Ethan Sivijs, Rory Johnson
Emerg: Bruce Reville, Joel Workman, Zach Collison