Speed and endurance.
These are the key characteristics of the 14-man Collingwood squad selected for the first AFLX round robin in Adelaide on Thursday.
The Magpies will rotate the side through two games of 20 minutes against Adelaide (6:38pm CDT) and West Coast (8:30pm CDT).
Steele Sidebottom will lead the team on the field, while assistant coach for midfield and transition Robert Harvey will assume a head role in the coach’s box.
Included in the side are three players yet to taste senior action.
Draftees Jaidyn Stephenson and Nathan Murphy will both travel to Adelaide, alongside former basketballer and category B rookie Jack Madgen.
Without even taking the field, Stephenson has already been flagged as one to watch at Hindmarsh Stadium.
“It’s very high-paced with a lot of scoring… it suits him really well,” Collingwood skipper Scott Pendlebury said during a recent training camp on the Gold Coast.
“The ball is constantly moving, so we’ll have to take a really fit, running team,” assistant coach Brenton Sanderson added.
“It’ll suit the hybrid type of players, the guys that can play a variety of midfield, half forward and half back.
Another feature of the Magpies’ side is its running ability. A number of the team’s best-placed finishers in pre-season 2km time trials have been selected.
Tom Phillips added another pair of victories to his time trail resume this off-season, while Sidebottom, Josh Smith, Jack Crisp and Brayden Maynard also impressed on the track.
OUR AFLX PROFILE:
Most experienced player: Steele Sidebottom (185 AFL games)
Youngest player: Nathan Murphy (18 years, 1 month)
Oldest player: Jarryd Blair (27 years, 1 month)
Tallest player: Jack Madgen (192cm)
Shortest player: Jarryd Blair (174cm)
What is AFLX?
AFLX is a new and different version of Australian Football created by the AFL to showcase some of the most thrilling elements of the game to attract new fans. The AFLX version of Australian Football is fast paced and will be played on a rectangular field with seven players on the field and three on the bench.
The 2018 AFLX Tournaments will see three tournaments played across three cities in three days. The first tournament will be at Hindmarsh Stadium on Thursday 15 February 15, at Etihad Stadium on Friday 16 February and at Allianz Stadium on Saturday 17 February. These events will feature six teams at each location with two pools of three playing in a round robin format. A Grand Final will be played at each event.
Off the field, fans will see plenty of action with fireworks, DJs with plenty of music, in-game commentary, roving performers, kids and family zones and giveaways at all events.
Pool A: Port Adelaide, Geelong, Fremantle
Pool B: Adelaide, West Coast, Collingwood
Schedule (times in ACDT)
6.10pm – Port Adelaide v Geelong
6.38pm – Adelaide v Collingwood
7.06pm – Geelong v Fremantle
7.34pm – West Coast v Adelaide
8.02pm – Fremantle v Port Adelaide
8.30pm – Collingwood v West Coast
9.03pm – Grand Final
HOW TO WATCH:
Tickets cost $15 for adults, $10 for concession and $30 for families, while children ages 12 and under enter for free.
Click here to buy your tickets to the opening night of the AFLX tournament now.
Television coverage: TBC
Radio coverage: Melbourne (SEN 18:30-22:15), Adelaide (FIVEaa 18:00-21:45)
Speed and endurance.