Collingwood AFL coach Nathan Buckley says the return of Heath Shaw and Ben Reid will add some star electrical power to the Magpies’ lineup for Friday’s clash with the Western Bulldogs.
Tall defender Reid (quad) and working half-back Shaw (hamstring) have each been out for two matches.
Dale Thomas will miss a third game with a hamstring injury but the midfielder is shut to earning a recall, while tiny forward Alan Didak (groin) and fullback Chris Tarrant (calf) are a handful of weeks away, Buckley mentioned.
“It really is often very good to get quality back into the side,” Buckley said on Thursday.
“We’ve had some great form more than the past two video games and we’ve had some players really stand up and play their roles properly.
“When you do get established good quality back in the side, we hope we can take an additional stage once more.”
Runners-up in 2011, the Magpies locate themselves in 10th spot immediately after three wins and two losses in the first 5 rounds under new coach Buckley.
But consecutive victories above Port Adelaide and Essendon and an improving injury checklist have left Buckley in an optimistic mood.
“We do believe we’re developing,” he said.
Collingwood’s football and coaching strategist Rodney Eade, who coached the Bulldogs final year, has been specifically useful this week according to Buckley.
“Obviously coming up against a side he understands rather nicely and the men and women within it, we have tapped into that as much as we could,” Buckley said.
Buckley stated Dayne Beams, Sharrod Wellingham, Steele Sidebottom and Jarryd Blair had lifted in midfield in the absence of Luke Ball following his season-ending knee injury in round three.
“We feel when Dale Thomas comes back that it makes us better and we’ll be looking at developing the midfield depth once again,” Buckley mentioned.
The 13th-placed Bulldogs also have a two-three record and Buckley says their latest type has been really very good.
“Their final two opponents, beating Melbourne and GWS, they looked like they’ve constructed some confidence and belief in the game type that Brendan (McCartney) is trying to get across,” Buckley mentioned.
Western Bulldogs midfielder Ryan Griffen (37 possessions last week) is a feasible run-with option for Martin Clarke.
Clarke put himself in the frame for far more tagging roles after his overall performance on Essendon’s Brent Stanton on Anzac Day.
“Marty has reduce his teeth as a defender. He showed against Stanton that he’s capable of working via the midfield and can cover a lot of ground,” Buckley said.
The presence of Shaw and Reid will add to the pressure on the Bulldogs’ forward line which is the worst-carrying out assault in the league.
Liam Jones and Jordan Roughead have been named in the crucial-forward posts as the Bulldogs aim to rebuild right after the retirement of Barry Hall.
The Bulldogs will be with out forward Jarrad Grant (hip) and ruck/forward Ayce Cordy (back), but goalsneak Daniel Giansiracusa returns along with defender Ryan Hargrave.