Collingwood has formally elevated two rookies onto its senior list ahead of the 2017 season.
Giant ruck prospect Mason Cox and former Gold Coast Sun Henry Schade are the two players who will now be eligible for senior selection in round one against the Western Bulldogs next Friday night.
Why has the pair been elevated?
Cox and Schade have travelled different paths to Collingwood’s senior list for 2017.
Cox has been upgraded in place of Ben Sinclair, who has been moved onto the club’s long-term injury list.
Players can only be moved onto the long-term injury list if it is believed the player will not be participating in a match for eight or more weeks from the date the injury was sustained.
Sinclair originally damaged his hamstring during the third quarter of Collingwood’s JLT Series opener against Essendon on 16 February.
Schade, meanwhile, is the club’s nominated rookie for 2017.
Clubs are eligible to nominate a rookie-listed player as being eligible for senior selection at the conclusion of the pre-season competition, should they have 38 or 39 players on their senior list.
Collingwood entered the year with 39 players on its senior list, leaving the door ajar for a rookie to be promoted under this clause.
Clubs are eligible to nominate another rookie-listed player as being eligible for senior selection mid-season, at their discretion.
Tell me more about Schade
Schade joined Collingwood with its second selection in last December’s rookie draft.
Originally drafted with pick No. 24 in the 2011 National Draft, Schade was discarded from Gold Coast after playing 20 games in five years.
“We took Schadey off because we liked what we had seen,” coach Nathan Buckley told the media following his side’s win over Richmond last Saturday.
“He has had a big pre-season and he has just been fantastic for us.”
A 196cm defender, Schade took nine marks and win 26 disposals across the three JLT Community Series matches, and was among his side’s best against Essendon and Richmond.
What’s Cox’s story so far?
Few could have predicted Cox would kick 17 goals in his first 11 games last season.
Now, his challenge is to back it up.
The signs are encouraging so far: He kicked four goals from eight scoring shots during the pre-season and won 41 hitouts as a relief ruckman.
What’s our rookie situation?
Collingwood currently has four players on its rookie list.
Three of them – Mitchell McCarthy, Liam Mackie and Max Lynch – are just months into their AFL journeys, having joined the club last December.
The fourth, Josh Thomas, has returned to the club after his anti-doping suspension expired on 10 February.
He played 32 of a possible 45 senior games between 2013 and 2014, but played just one match in the JLT Series.