The Western Magpies selection committee have rung the changes in a bid to get the Pies season back on track, making 7 changes to the side well beaten a fortnight ago. In welcome news, 6 of the changes are unforced with several key payers returning from injury and only one going out (Aaron Highlands) in what is a change of fortune at McCarthy Homes Oval.
The Magpies, despite a 2-6 record and in 7th position are just 1 match out of the 5 and will be keen to upset the 2nd placed Demons who hold a 6-1 record so far.
Skipper David Lewis returns after 6 weeks out with a hand injury and looks in stunning condition after following a strong running program to rejoin the side in peak condition, ex skipper Drew Mitchell also returns from a 1 week injury with the bye coming at a good time to ensure he missed just the 1 game.
2018 Colts Premiership player and speedster Bruce Reville will make his senior debut to join in Allies U18 teammate Samson Ryan who returns to the Pies for his 2nd senior game after making an impressive debut in the ruck a month ago vs PBC before returning to representative duties.
Three other youngsters also return to the side with impressive 17 year old Riley Greene straight back in after missing with injury, 18 year old Jack Austin returning from a 1 match suspension and 19 year old Tom Baulch returns from Aspley.
With Ryan Harwood returning last round, the Pies will field arguably their strongest team of the season and Harwood will be better for the run as he will look to lift his midfield minutes in the coming weeks.
The Pies midfield looks particularly strong with a mix of hard nuts and some outside speedsters and the Pies will be looking to move the ball into the forward line much quicker than in recent matches to give their forwards a chance.
The Magpies defence has been superb and at times stoic and have kept the team in the contest to late in games but it has been the Magpies inability to consistently hit the scoreboard that has been its achilles heel this year.
The season is just about on the line on Saturday and back at home the Pies are very capable of causing the upset they need to stay in the hunt for a finals berth.
With the Pies getting back close to full strength, they will be raring to go in what should be a quality contest.
QAFL Round 10: Western Magpies v Surfers Paradise at McCarthy Homes Oval, Chelmer on Saturday, June 15th at 2.00 pm
B: Luke Mitchell - Luca Winton - Brenton Saunders
HF: David Lewis (C) - Riley Greene - Claye Beams
C: Bruce Reville - Ryan Harwood - Tom Baulch
HF: Lachie Dennis - Brody Lumber - Dan Edwards
F: Macauley Lonergan - Jack Austin - Drew Mitchell
Foll: Samson Ryan - Jack Goodall - Gareth Crawford
I/C: Ethan Sivijs - Will Fletcher - Riley Easton - Zane Lovell
IN: David Lewis, Riley Greene, Bruce Reville, Samson Ryan, Tom Baulch, Jack Austin, Drew Mitchell
Out: Aaron Highlands (injured), Ben Jaenke-Cain (Omitted), Kale Reed (Omitted), Jayden Gallagher (Omitted), Cade Scott (Omitted), Chris Hunt (Omitted), Liam Dwyer (Omitted)