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Collingwood name 29-man squad

Sam Gastin  February 24, 2016 12:01 PM

"We won't be resting on our laurels" Watch Nathan Buckley tell the media that he expects a squad mixed with youth and experience to face Geelong at Simonds Stadium on Friday night.
James Aish is likely to play his first game for the Magpies against Geelong on Friday night.

James Aish is likely to play his first game for the Magpies against Geelong on Friday night.

Fresh faces will mix with a host of experienced veterans when Collingwood travels to Geelong to open its NAB Challenge campaign on Friday night.

The Magpies have included four new faces in the 29-man squad for the pre-season clash at Simonds Stadium.

James Aish appears likely to make his Collingwood debut after 32 games for the Brisbane Lions, while ex-GWS Giant Tim Golds, and rookies Tom Phillips and Josh Smith have also been named.

All four have arrived at the club from different locations with vastly different stories.

Aish and Golds are junior football sensations who arrived at the Holden Centre in the off-season after mixed levels of success with interstate clubs.

Phillips is an Oakleigh Chargers premiership player who appears ready to take the next step, while Smith was a childcare worker in Queensland before being recruited by the Magpies.

All will be looking to follow in the footsteps of a number of Collingwood teammates who they will share the field with on Friday night.

2010 Premiership players Dane Swan, Steele Sidebottom, Nathan Brown and Jarryd Blair have been named in the extended squad, in addition to the returning Brent Macaffer.

26-year-old Macaffer hasn’t played a game at AFL level since rupturing his ACL against Greater Western Sydney in August, 2014.

Despite being one of the Magpies’ most consistent trainers throughout the pre-season, coach Nathan Buckley suggested on Tuesday that the forward-turned-tagger could face limited playing time.

“Caff has had a fantastic pre-season,” Buckley told the media.

“In this first round, there are guys that have had huge load throughout pre-season that, we see this as an opportunity to potentially play half games.

"Caff may be one of those.”

Macaffer will not be the only Magpie returning from injury when Buckley’s side travels down the highway for the highly-anticipated practice match.

2015 Rising Star nominee Tim Broomhead is in line to play his first game since round 15, while Jackson Ramsay and Corey Gault will also put stints in recovery behind them with potential returns.

Tall forward Gault was one of the stars of Collingwood’s final intra-club match last Thursday at the Holden Centre.

The 22-year-old led all goal kickers with five majors, with Darcy Moore also kicking four goals.

Moore’s performance, in addition to that of fellow second-year player Jordan De Goey caught the attention of those in attendance at the twilight match simulation.

“The standout players on the ground were Jordan De Goey and Darcy Moore, who both excelled for the 'Black' team,” wrote Ben Guthrie of AFL Media.

Both will once again be closely watched when they take the field on Friday night, as the Magpies look to combine youth with experience in the first official hit out of the year.

Collingwood v Geelong
Friday 26 February, 7.10pm
Simonds Stadium, Geelong

Collingwood’s 29-man squad

1. Alex Fasolo
2. Jordan De Goey
3. Brent Macaffer
4. Brodie Grundy
9. Jesse White
11. Jarryd Blair
13. Taylor Adams
14. James Aish
15. Jarrod Witts
16. Nathan Brown
17. Jonathon Marsh
18. Travis Varcoe
19. Levi Greenwood
21. Tom Phillips
22. Steele Sidebottom
25. Jack Crisp
28. Ben Sinclair
29. Tim Broomhead
30. Darcy Moore
31. Jackson Ramsay
34. Alan Toovey
36. Dane Swan
37. Brayden Maynard
40. Josh Smith
41. Tim Golds
43. Adam Oxley
44. Corey Gault
45. Jack Frost
46. Mason Cox

Geelong's 29-man squad

1. Rhys Stanley
4. Andrew Mackie
5. Nakia Cockatoo
6. Lincoln McCarthy
7. Harry Taylor
8. Jake Kolodjashnij
9. Zac Smith
11. Darcy Lang
18. Josh Cowan
21. Jordan Murdoch
22. Mitch Duncan
23. Josh Caddy
24. Jed Bews
25. Lachie Henderson
26. Tom Hawkins
27. Sam Menegola
28. Cory Gregson
29. Cameron Guthrie
30. Nathan Vardy
32. Steven Motlop
33. George Horlin-Smith
35. Patrick Dangerfield
36. Tom Ruggles
37. Michael Luxford
39. Shane Kersten
40. Jackson Thurlow
44. Corey Enright
46. Mark Blicavs

Both squads will be cut to 26 with NAB Challenge rules allowing an eight-man bench.