West Coast will welcome back rebounding defender Alex Witherden and emerging ruck-forward Bailey Williams for Sunday’s significant challenge against reigning premier Melbourne at Optus Stadium.

The Eagles have confirmed at least two changes to the undermanned team which put up a fight against Brisbane, with the services of COVID Contingency List duo Jake Florenca and Declan Mountford (medi-sub) not required in round nine after strong efforts at the Gabba.

Williams returns from a hamstring strain and slots in as first-choice ruck in a midfield featuring 250th-gamer Jack Redden, but exciting 21-year-old tall Callum Jamieson holds his spot for his third career appearance after competing hard against Brisbane.

Witherden has exited the AFL Health and Safety Protocols and trained strongly during Thursday’s session in the wet at Optus to confirm his place.

Greg Clark has been named on the extended bench and is a chance to add to his debut game against Richmond in round seven, when he gathered 24 disposals and laid six tackles before entering the Health and Safety Protocols days later and being unavailable for the Queensland road trip.

Defender Jackson Nelson is also available after a period in isolation, and has been named on the bench alongside tall forward Hugh Dixon.

The eight-player bench – including Jake Waterman, Isiah Winder, Luke Foley, Harry Edwards and Patrick Naish – will be trimmed to four on Friday afternoon ahead of the Demons clash, which will also be recruit Samo Petrevski-Seton’s 100th AFL match.

The Halls Creek product joined the Eagles in the off-season following 94 games at Carlton and has been a handy addition with his classy ball-use and versatility to play a variety of positions.  

Senior coach Adam Simpson will also be back at the helm on Sunday after handing the reins to midfield coach Matthew Knights last round while he was in the Health and Safety Protocols.