Magpies confirm debutant & Pickett recall looms

It was a relatively quiet Wednesday but Collingwood named a debutant and Geelong and the Brisbane Lions announced their 22s for Thursday’s Round Six opener.

Mason Cox appears in the gun with Collingwood confirming Will Kelly (AF $170k SC $123k FWD) will make his debut on Friday night against Hawthorn.

Kelly is a 194cm key forward, who was a father-son pick 29 in the 2018 AFL Draft. His father is ex-Pies defender Craig Kelly.

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley said: “His pre-season was super. Moving him forward late last year has been a good move. His form has been consistent to warrant an opportunity.

“He’s got good size and moves really well, agile, work-rate through the roof.”

Jack Steven
(AF $587k SC $306k MID/FWD) was a popular pick in pre-season but enthusiasm has definitely waned now, with the new Cat managed for Thursday’s match with Brisbane.

Steven’s absence opens the door for a cheap downgrade midfield option in Sam Simpson (AF $170k SC $123k MID).

Simpson is a 22-year-old wing/half forward, promoted to the senior list after three years on the rookie list. He previously played six AFL games in 2017 and 2018 and also won the Cats’ VFL Best & Fairest in 2019.

Cats assistant coach Shane O’Bree said: “The highlight of his game at the moment is his ability to use the ball. His kicking over the last two (simulation) games has been elite with his decision making.”

Brisbane also confirmed the return of Dayne Zorko (AF $687k SC $501k MID) after a calf injury. With his high breakeven, he’s one to put on the watchlist.

Richmond put out a report of their reserves players from their latest scrimmage match with VFL coach Xavier Clarke offering a glowing review for Marlion Pickett (AF $255k SC $201k MID) who is set to return following a handful of injuries and with two players not travelling to the hub.

Clarke said: “Played half the game in the midfield and half the game down back. He laid eight tackles, his pressure around the ball was his biggest highlight.

“He had some really unbelievable passages of play, finding a teammate by foot either coming out of the back half or coming through the midfield.”

Meanwhile, the Tigers Physical Performance Manager Peter Burge also said it’s “unlikely” Tom Lynch (AF $456k, SC $402k FWD) will play on Sunday with his broken hand despite his mercy dash after surgery.

Thursday teams looms but it’s a busy day with numerous coaches chatting to the media, including Alastair Clarkson, Luke Beveridge, Justin Longmuir and John Worsfold, which will update us on the status of Bailey Smith, Laitham Vandermeer and Nat Fyfe who are under injury clouds.

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