Eagles confirm debutant, Close managed, Simpson returns, Ebert out again

West Coast have announced a forward debutant, Geelong pulled some relevant selection changes, while Brad Ebert remains sidelined with his concussion and Jon Patton is close to a return.

TEAM NEWS
Ins: Mayes, Motlop, Fogarty, Simpson
Outs: Lienert, Sutcliffe, Steven (managed), Close (managed)
Retained: Woodcock

Sam Mayes (AF $445k SC $321k MID) returns after suspension while rookie Boyd Woodcock (AF $211k SC $138k FWD) holds his spot for Port

Jack Steven (AF $604k SC $369k MID/FWD) and popular forward option Brad Close (AF $296k SC $197k MID/FWD) have been managed out but Sam Simpson (AF $421k SC $287k MID) returns.

Brad Ebert (AF $609k SC $421k FWD) remains out following his concussion. Port coach Ken Hinkley said: “Brad was close.

“He’s been fully cleared medically but we’re taking a precautionary approach after another head knock. We’ll let him build some confidence through training before bringing him back.”

There was no sign of Nakia Cockatoo (AF $255k SC $148k MID/FWD) who Scott said may struggle to break in anytime soon.

Scott said: “He’s in the mix but we’re not going to play him this week. Maybe I provided too much room for optimism a week ago. I’m confident he’ll play AFL footy this year but we’re focused on the long term (with him).”

DEBUTANT ALERT
Nic Reid
(AF $170k SC $102k FWD) will debut on Sunday for the Eagles who are struggling for a reliable small forward. He’s from the 2020 pre-season draft and is a 24-year-old 188cm forward.

Eagles coach Adam Simpson: “Nic Reid is going to debut for us. That’s really exciting. He’s a 24-year-old school teacher. He’s come from North Beach Footy Club and has played 100 ‘Amos’ (amateurs) games. We’re really proud that he is going to play for our club.”

West Coast also confirmed Jeremy McGovern (AF $514k SC $456k DEF) will play after a thumb injury, which likely means Harry Edwards (AF $170k SC $123k DEF) won’t return.

OTHERS
Under-priced midfield option Rory Sloane (AF $559k SC $486k MID) is likely to return after being sidelined with injury for the past month, which may impact Rory Laird’s (AF $684k SC $529k DEF) midfield time.

Adelaide Head of Science and Medicine Steve Saunders said: “The good news is the surgeon has cleared Rory to play against the Bulldogs. We’re really looking forward to seeing how his training progresses this week & hopefully seeing him out there on the weekend.”

Jon Patton (AF $301k SC $271k RUCK/FWD) is close to returning for the Hawks. Hawthorn Physical Performance Manager Luke Boyd said: “He was pretty close to playing last week. We held him off an extra week. As long as he gets through the week well, he’ll be available to play.”

Charlie Cameron (AF $524k SC $419k FWD) has been given the green light to play for the Brisbane Lions this round after a knee complaint.

TOMORROW
Big day with Simon Goodwin (Max Gawn update), Justin Longmuir, Nathan Buckley, Rhyce Shaw, Matthew Nicks, David Teague and Luke Beveridge all fronting the media. We’ll also get the final 22s for all three games on Saturday before bounce-down of the Friday game between Port-Geelong.

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