Cats bring back stars for final hit-out

GEELONG and Collingwood have named their strongest sides of the pre-season for tomorrow’s practice match at Simonds Stadium.

The Cats have virtually named their Round 1 team, bringing back stars including Jimmy Bartel, Jared Rivers, Corey Enright, Mitch Duncan, Mathew Stokes, Harry Taylor and James Podsiadly. However, the Cats made a late change to the squad, with Paul Chapman pulling out today. He has been replaced by Jordan Schroder.

James Kelly and Steve Johnson – who will both miss the season-opener against Hawthorn because of suspension – have not been named in the 28-man squad.

Stokes has not played since he injured his ankle against West Coast in Round 1 of the NAB Cup.

Collingwood will also unleash a host of stars, with Dane Swan, Scott Pendlebury, Travis Cloke, Heath Shaw, Harry O’Brien and Alan Toovey all set to return after sitting out last week’s loss to the Brisbane Lions.

It will be Collingwood’s first match in Geelong since Round 15, 1999, when the Cats came from behind in the final quarter to break a nine-match losing streak.

Magpies coach Nathan Buckley said playing a strong Geelong side a fortnight out from Round 1 was the ideal way to lead into the season. “We’ve been really happy with our preparation to date, so the opportunity now is to take on a Geelong side that’s young and full of running at the moment, but obviously got some experience as well,” Buckley said. “They’re not in a dissimilar position to where we are list wise, so that’ll be a good challenge for us.”

He said the match would be the last opportunity for the Pies’ squad to get game time before the club played North Melbourne in Round 1. “The other positive is we’ll play 3-1 (three interchange players with one substitute) with unlimited rotations and we will be able to get a feel for what home-and-away feels like,” Buckley said. “We’ve played under three interchange systems over the last three weeks and we’re looking forward to getting back to what we know.”

The match starts at 4pm EST.

PRACTICE MATCH SQUADS

Collingwood v Geelong, Simonds Stadium, Friday 4pm

Geelong
1 Mitch Brown, 2 Billie Smedts, 3 Jimmy Bartel, 4 Andrew Mackie, 5 Travis Varcoe, 7 Harry Taylor, 11 Joel Corey, 13 Tom Lonergan, 14 Joel Selwood, 15 Jordan Schroder, 19 Taylor Hunt, 21 Jordan Murdoch, 22 Mitch Duncan, 23 Josh Caddy, 25 Jared Rivers, 26 Tom Hawkins, 27 Matthew Stokes, 28 Allen Christensen, 29 Cameron Guthrie, 31 James Podsiadly, 32 Steven Motlop, 33 George Horlin-Smith, 34 Josh Walker, 37 Cameron Eardley, 38 Jackson Sheringham, 41 Jesse Stringer, 44 Corey Enright, 46 Mark Blicavs

Collingwood
2 Jordan Russell, 3 Brent Macaffer, 5 Nick Maxwell, 6 Tyson Goldsack, 8 Harry O’Brien, 9 Marty Clarke, 10 Scott Pendlebury, 11 Jarryd Blair, 14 Clinton Young, 15 Jarrod Witts, 16 Nathan Brown, 17 Dayne Beams, 18 Darren Jolly, 19 Jamie Elliott, 21 Quinten Lynch, 22 Steele Sidebottom, 26 Ben Johnson, 28 Ben Sinclair, 32 Travis Cloke, 34 Alan Toovey, 36 Dane Swan, 39 Heath Shaw, 40 Paul Seedsman, 41 Sam Dwyer, 45 Jack Frost, 48 Caolan Mooney,