Ryan Griffen headlines the Western Bulldogs' five inclusions ahead of the Geelong match on Sunday, while rookie power forward Jack Redpath has been named to debut.
Griffen and Jordan Roughead will bring experience back to the Bulldogs lineup after missing last week through injury, while Redpath, Jason Tutt and Tom Campbell complete the inclusions to the 25-man squad.
Assistant Coach Steven King said the captain's inclusion would greatly complement the Bulldogs' young midfield against the hardened, experience of Geelong’s on-ball brigade.
“It will be great to get Griff back – he’s obviously super talented, hard and competitive and a great contested ball player,” King said.
“To get that mix back through our midfield again with a bit of speed it helps the look of us, it will just help everyone… it will help the whole midfield function.”
As for the impending debutant, King said 23-year-old Redpath has been working towards selection all year with his consistency and application for Footscray in the VFL.
Boasting height and strength, Redpath’s contested marking has become a cornerstone of his game and his physicality will add to the Bulldogs attack.
“He’s got elite speed and he’s a big powerful unit, I think he is 96 kilos and 190-odd centimetres,” he said.
“He’s come from a long way back – he’s a rookie who came off a knee reconstruction so he’s just finding his way in the game and he’s learning all the time.
“What’s really impressed us as a coaching group and his teammates is the last ten weeks.
“He’s just been really competitive, flying for balls in the air and I think his workrate’s increased to a level now that we are really confident that he can compete at AFL level.”
The return of Jordan Roughead is also a boost for the Bulldogs defence, with a potential match up on forward powerhouse Tom Hawkins awaiting the 23-year-old.
King said his inclusion would greatly help the Bulldogs structure in the back six and the team is always better off when the courageous defender is on the park.
“You don’t realise how much you miss something until it’s not there and roughie has had a couple of periods out of the game and we have just missed him every time he’s been out,” he said.
“To have a big key back there, especially with a match up maybe with Hawkins this week – it’s crucial that he’s out there.”
After being a late withdrawal last week with concussion, Jason Tutt has been named on an extended bench and will be eager to reclaim his place in the senior side.
Tom Campbell has also worked his way into the selection frame after repeat dominant performances in the VFL playing a versatile role through the ruck and up forward.
Liam Jones and Sam Darley have been omitted from last week’s side that faced Melbourne.
Round 16 - Geelong Cats vs Western Bulldogs
Sunday 6 July 2014, 4:40pm
Venue: Simonds Stadium
|Full back||L Picken||J Roughead||M Austin|
|Half back||R Murphy||D Morris||E Wood|
|Centreline||M Bontempelli||M Boyd||S Higgins|
|Half forward||K Stevens||S Crameri||L Hunter|
|Full forward||L Dahlhaus||J Redpath||N Hrovat|
|Followers||W Minson||R Griffen||T Liberatore|
|Interchange (from)||M Wallis||J Stringer||J Macrae|
|J Tutt||F Roberts||M Honeychurch|