Collingwood draftee Finlay Macrae will be unleashed for his AFL debut against West Coast on Friday night.
But coach Nathan Buckley has urged caution on the 'play the kids' narrative building around the Pies as his side prepares to head west with a 1-3 record.
Macrae was told the news by Buckley to rapturous applause from teammates at training on Tuesday morning and will replace injured vice-captain Taylor Adams in the Pies' midfield.
Getting around the debutant ?? pic.twitter.com/EEvLKaILZT— Collingwood FC (@CollingwoodFC) April 13, 2021
The No.19 pick in last year's NAB AFL Draft, Macrae got a taste for what was to come by playing minutes opposed to Geelong superstar Patrick Dangerfield in a VFL practice match last week.
Despite the 19-year-old becoming the Pies' third debutant this season after Ollie Henry and Beau McReery, Buckley insisted he wouldn't throw youngsters in before their time.
"'Play the kids' is a common refrain at the moment," Buckley said.
"If I was sitting watching the footy with my grandpa back in the day, he'd yell 'just kick it’ and 'play the kids' makes about as much sense as that.
"If they're ready they'll play."
Last week's medical substitute Levi Greenwood is in the frame for a spot in the starting 22, while Buckley said Darcy Cameron would be a strong consideration to partner Brodie Grundy against Nic Naitanui.
The Pies will need dispensation from the AFL in order to for Brayden Sier to be available for selection against West Coast after being subbed out with gastro midway through last week's loss to Greater Western Sydney.
Buckley confirmed the Pies were unaware of Sier's illness pre-game with the midfielder instead trying to push through it.
"The queries around that (we ask): how early did you know, could you have pulled out of the game, you put yourself in and were you capable of making that decision a little earlier?" Buckley said.
"In the end, he's over that gastro, it came on really quickly pretty much just before the game and something that he tried to work through and was unable to.
"We'll have to find out whether we can get the dispensation with the medical sub to make him available first and foremost, and then we'll assess his capacity to back-up physically and then whether he's fit for the team we want to take on Friday night."
Questioning his side's intent in the aftermath of Saturday night's loss, Buckley said the next four to six weeks would be crucial in learning more about his players' mindset.
"I would say, have we got that winning intent, that edge that everyone talks about? I would suggest, that no we haven' t displayed that as much as we would've liked to," he said.
Meantime, Buckley refused to pour cold water on the prospect of gun defender Darcy Moore being used in attack in coming weeks.
"Darcy's an elite All-Australian key defender, so we understand the commentary about his aerial possibilities forward, but that's still a maybe," Buckley said.