Presti, Davis in grand final contention - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Presti, Davis in grand final contention

By Sam Lienert 18/09/2010 11:40:39 AM Comments (0)

Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse says a "horses for courses" selection policy may result in form players being dropped for next Saturday's AFL grand final.

The Magpies stormed into the season decider with a stunning 18.12 (120) to 11.13 (79) preliminary final demolition of Geelong on Friday night, leading by as much as 81 points during the third term.

But Malthouse said that did not guarantee the same 22 selection against the winner of Saturday night's clash between St Kilda and the Western Bulldogs, as it was about more than form.

"It's horses for courses, we are picking players on their ability in history, their current form, their fitness and their confidence," Malthouse said.

"So that side won't necessarily run down the race next week, that's a fact that in this system.

"The players are prepared, one or two maybe will be very disappointed, but it's very much a team mentality and that's what you've got to have."

Malthouse said veteran key defender Simon Prestigiacomo was "one of the ones I'm talking about".

The 32-year-old, 233-gamer has not played since round 20 because of a thigh injury, but will be a grand final contender, after the coach said last week he was probably only 24-36 hours from being ready for the preliminary final.

That puts pressure on 21-year-old, 47-gamer Nathan Brown, despite the youngster successfully blanketing Geelong forward James Podsiadly.

Small forward Leon Davis is another potential inclusion, after he was a late withdrawal against the Cats with hamstring soreness, replaced by young defender Tyson Goldsack.

Malthouse said Davis would be available for the grand final.

He was also very confident ex-St Kilda midfielder Luke Ball would play, despite limping off the field with an apparent hamstring injury in the third term against the Cats and not returning.

Malthouse said it was only cramping, but given the Magpies' ascendancy there was no point risking returning to the field.

The Magpies' one concern will be a front-on bump by Dale Thomas on Geelong's Harry Taylor in the second term, which could attract match review panel scrutiny.

Malthouse said his side was good enough to beat any grand final opposition.

"We finished top of the ladder with a very difficult draw, we've got a fairly healthy list, we've got a game structure that the players are very comfortable with, they run it, they've embraced it and they own it," he said.

"When you've got that combination then you come away with confidence that you are playing football that's good enough to finish on top of the ladder, therefore good enough to beat every side.

"And we'll go in next week, regardless of who we play, believing that we can win it."

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