The Western Magpies have included three class youngsters for their virtual Elimination Final against Mt Gravatt at McCarthy Homes Oval at Chelmer on Saturday in round 18 QAFL action.
Three youngsters in classy ruckman Samson Ryan, speedy winger Bruce Reville and tough on-baller Caleb Franks all return from Redland while at the other end of the spectrum the experienced Val Pope comes in after recent good Reserves form.
The four unlucky players to miss out after such an emphatic victory 2 weeks ago are Harrison Kerr, Macauley Lonergan and Lachie Dennis.
The Pies must win over the Vultures otherwise they cannot make the finals. A win will put the Pies on level points with Mt Gravatt going into the final round next week and it may come down to percentage after the final round is completed.
The Magpies are hitting their straps at the right end of the season with AFL recruits in Ryan Harwood and Claye Beams playing some inspirational football and Gerard Moore in ruck giving the Pies on-ballers a fair crack at first use of the footy. Moore has a big job with Ryan on Saturday against the Vultures highly rated ruck duo.
Brodie Lumbar up forward has really lifted in the past few weeks and with Aaron Highlands provide the tall targets up forward. Pope has a good record against Mt Gravatt and will relish the chance to prove he still has what it takes at the top level.
Down back the Pies will need to keep tabs on the Vultures key forwards with David Lewis and Jack Goodall both in good form and they should be up to the task.
Franks joins Riley Easton in the midfield mix and these hard at it youngsters compliment the experienced Gareth Crawford, who will be lining up for his 350th Senior match on Saturday.
Brenton Saunders is back to his best across half back and Riley Greene has been consistent all year and shows maturity beyond his years--how he has not had a Rising Star nomination is a mystery to this observer while Dan Edwards and Reville on the wings give the Pies leg speed through the middle of the ground.
The Magpies have closed the gap quickly on Mt Gravatt in recent weeks and will need to be at their best to match a fired up Vultures side who know their season is on the line.
The match will be played in a finals like atmosphere with finals like pressure and the crowd will be entertained by a high quality QAFL match.
QAFL Round 18: Western Magpies v Mt Gravatt at McCarthy Homes Oval, Chelmer on Saturday, August 10th at 2.00 pm
B: Luke Mitchell David Lewis Brenton Saunders
HF: Riley Greene, Jack Goodall, Claye Beams
C: Bruce Reville Luca Winton Dan Edwards
HF: Will Fletcher Liam Dwyer Val Pope
F: Kale Reed Brodie Lumber Aaron Highlands
Rucks: Gerard Moore
Rover: Riley Easton
I/C: Caleb Franks, Ethan Sivijs, Samson Ryan, Gareth Crawford,
In: Samson Ryan, Val Pope, Bruce Reville, Caleb Franks
Out: Macauley Lonergan, Jordan Bonney, Lachie Dennis, Harrison Kerr (all Reserves)