Howe right to go
Jeremy Howe should make his return to the AFL side after almost 4 months on the sidelines.
- “He’s ticked off training, we’ll see how he pulls up but he’s raring to go. He’s been keen for a number of weeks now to get out there so we’d be rapt to get him back.”
- “We’re looking forward to getting a guy of his calibre back, he’s really important to our group.”
- “In the end there’s a couple of things to it. From his point of view, he really is a great leader so he wants to get back and help this group. I think for his own peace of mind and going forward into next year he just wants to get a few games under his belt for his own confidence and his own body.”
- “He’s been ready to go for three weeks now, he’s been banging the door down so he’s ready and raring to go.”
- “I think it will be good for his preparation for next year.”
Experienced players ready to go
A group of experienced players will put their hand up for senior selection this week, including the likes of Chris Mayne, Josh Thomas and Will Hoskin-Elliott.
- “Those boys get the chance hopefully today.”
- “Thomas with his concussion got through fine, just waiting for Hoskin-Elliott and Mayne to pull up okay after training and see how that fits with selection.”
Sidebottom to step up as captain
With the unfortunate news regarding Scott Pendlebury’s recent injury, Steele Sidebottom will stand up as captain of the team this weekend against the Eagles.
- “We have three vice-captains, so we think we’ll share that role…Sidebottom, Howe and Adams are our vice-captains, Steele Sidebottom will be our captain this week.”
- “Pendlebury’s been as good of a captain as I’ve seen….Adams is ready to go, so is Sidebottom and Jeremy Howe, he’s a real spiritual guy of this group so he also puts his hand up straight away.”
Emphasis on a strong end to the season
The team has four matches remaining in the 2021 season, with a lot on the line as the Pies look to build momentum into what will be an important off-season.
- “We’re trying to win games, there’s no doubt about that. We’ve been playing a lot of young guys…we’ve had some injuries in the last four weeks…I think we’re playing some footy to do that.”
- “We need to tighten up in a few areas, that’s definitely on the agenda. We want to win a few games coming in [to the end of the season], play some really good footy and that hasn’t changed.”
Reef McInnes a chance by the end of the season
Youngster Reef McInnes poses as the next potential debutant. The tough inside midfielder has had a roller coaster of a first year at the club amid injury, however has put together some strong form in the VFL since return.
- “We still feel like we’d love to get him in if we can. He still has to earn that right to get in the team. In the end he’s showing really good signs, we just feel like fitness wise he’s maybe just a little bit to go. If there’s an opportunity to get him in that would be super again.”
- “We’ve got a really good group of young guys coming through, that’s going to be really exciting for the club and he’s another one. He’s got a great attitude to footy, to his team mates and to the club.”
- “If we can get him a chance, and he earns that chance, that would be a win for us.”
Young boys earning their opportunities
Harvey put a strong emphasis on the fact that all debutants in the AFL this year had earned their opportunity at the level.
- “Each one of those boys has earned their opportunities through the work they’ve put together in the VFL and the way they’ve gone about it on the training track and around the place.”
- “There’s been no games gifted to anyone and they’ve really earned those opportunities, as McInnes will if he gets his opportunity.”
- “They will make the place better for a long time, and that’s a good thing. We’ve been lucky enough to have some talented boys come in and we want to make the most of that.”