Through either choice or necessity the West Coast Eagles will continue to invest games in some its less experienced players when they play Hawthorn at Optus Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
The remarkable football story of 24-year-old North Beach amateur graduate Nic Reid has been well documented over the last few days, but there are two other changes going into the battle with the Hawks.
Developing midfielder Brayden Ainsworth gets another shot at it while, at the other end of the spectrum, four-time all-Australian Jeremy McGovern resumes after three weeks on the sidelines with a thumb fracture.
Making way for those three players are defender Liam Duggan, who has been in career-best form, small forward Jarrod Cameron (who has been omitted) and versatile forward Jake Waterman who has a small fracture on his right hand.
Duggan has a mild hamstring strain and the club has taken a cautious approach with him while Waterman, also in good touch, will require surgery early next week but is expected to miss only three weeks.
Ainsworth has played four of the last five games, losing his place in the team last week when premiership midfielder Jack Redden returned from a minor quad strain.
Reid, an outstanding junior, made his way to the elite level after having played 100 senior games at North Beach.
Last year, when the Eagles were granted a licence in the WAFL competition, he was recruited as a ‘top up’ player, impressed and then earned a place in the club’s supplementary list.
Interestingly both Reid and Jamaine Jones, the other supplementary player on the list, will have played senior football this season. Jones showed good attributes in two games before being sidelined with a hamstring strain.
Reid is a strongly-built medium-sized forward with a keen goal sense.
The club will likely adopt a considered management plan with a compressed fixture in Queensland after the club plays its last qualifying game in Perth next Sunday against Greater Western Sydney.