Ben holds out hope

Wangaratta Chronicle - - Front Page - By JUSTIN JEN­VEY

BRIGHT’S Ben Reid will be har­bour­ing hopes of a shock re­turn to Colling­wood’s side for Satur­day’s AFL Grand Fi­nal against West Coast.

The Pies are be­lieved to be putting some thought into mak­ing a change to the side that downed reign­ing pre­miers Rich­mond to qual­ify for their first grand fi­nal since 2011.

Reid was a mem­ber of Colling­wood’s premier­ship side in 2010 but has ap­peared in just six games this sea­son.

The 29 year-old hasn’t played since round 10 af­ter go­ing down with a calf in­jury and then hav­ing two knee arthro­scopes late in the home and away sea­son.

But fit again, he has been an emer­gency for Colling­wood’s past two fi­nals.

Reid and Darcy Moore are the can­di­dates to come in to the side if the Pies opt to add more height to their de­fence to counter Ea­gles for­wards Josh Kennedy and Jack Dar­ling.

If one of the two does come in, it will likely be at the ex­pense of Tyson Gold­sack who only re­turned to the side for Colling­wood’s qual­i­fy­ing fi­nal against West Coast three weeks ago, af­ter re­cov­er­ing from a knee re­con­struc­tion.

How­ever, the Pies would be chang­ing the struc­ture of a side that has given the club five wins in the past six matches.

Fol­low­ing last Fri­day night’s win, Colling­wood coach Nathan Buck­ley said ev­ery player on the club’s list still had a role to play whether or not they are named in the fi­nal 22 for Satur­day.

“I spoke to ev­ery one of the other play­ers who didn’t play tonight and said we’ve got an­other week of train­ing to do, we’ve got some prepa­ra­tion that needs to take place,” he said.

“When we get to the other side of this, we’ll have a cou­ple of re­ally im­por­tant train­ing ses­sions to pre­pare the 22 that play.’’

If Reid was to play he would do so along­side an­other lo­cal prod­uct in Myrtle­ford’s Jack Crisp who has lined up in ev­ery game this sea­son.

Af­ter end­ing Rich­mond’s hopes of back-to back pre­mier­ships, Buck­ley said his team de­served their place in the last game of the sea­son.

“We’ve earned that op­por­tu­nity and we’ve taken ad­van­tage of that op­por­tu­nity by play­ing some good footy, and we’re not done yet,” he said.

“We’ve got an­other game to win, and we’ve been strong on ex­plor­ing our­selves, find­ing out what we’re ca­pa­ble of and we still don’t know, so we want to go and do that.’’

PHOTO: AAP

HOPE: Ben Reid.

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