Collingwood agonise over defenders - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Collingwood agonise over defenders

By Robert Grant 05/09/2008 04:55:07 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood have admitted agonising over the decision to overlook experienced defender Shane Wakelin for Saturday's cut-throat AFL elimination final against Adelaide.

The dual grand final backman, who was overlooked in favour of Simon Prestigiacomo, was unlucky to miss selection, according to Magpies assistant coach Brad Scott.

"(It was) extremely close," Scott said. "It's fair to say there was a lot of debate at match committee about it.

"It's a very tough decision to make because Wakes has been a terrific club man for us and he's played some terrific footy this year.

"It was a really tough call but we've got to take a horses for courses attitude and pick the best side that we believe gives us a chance of winning on Saturday.

"We didn't want to take in the three really tall guys - Presti, Wakes and Nathan Brown - so we had to choose who we felt were the two best match-ups for Adelaide's forwards.

"They've got a variety of players they can play down there and we thought Nathan and Presti gave us the most versatility.

"He's obviously disappointed as he would be, as anyone would be but it's not the end and hopefully we'll have a similar decision to make next week."

Scott agreed Prestigiacomo would go into the game with the barest of match practice after returning from a serious foot injury to play his first game of the year against Fremantle last week.

"That is a factor and it did come into our consideration but the way he played last week, he was one of our better players against Fremantle so on form he's got the form and he's put the runs on the board.

"He was an obvious inclusion for us," he said.

The Magpies could not consider injured skipper Scott Burns but regained livewire forward Dale Thomas, who training impressively on Friday.

Scott also admitted the Magpies breathed a sigh of relief when they saw Adelaide had been forced to leave out star forward Jason Porplyzia who has battled a shoulder injury for most of the season.

"He's been super this year. We've watched him throughout the last three months and apart from a couple of games he's missed with his shoulder injury he's had a terrific year," Scott said.

"Even with the games he's missed he's still their number two goalkicker for the year so not having him there will be a loss for them.

"But I suppose on the flip side not having Scott Burns for us will be a bit of a loss as well.

"We expected him to play - he played last week under duress and that was pretty obvious to see.

"But they've obviously made a very tough decision because it would have been an easy decision in a way to play him because he's had such terrific form and he's such a dangerous player."

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