Collingwood will unveil its sixth debutant of 2021, with ex-Australian Boomer Tom Wilson set to play his first AFL game against the Sydney Swans this weekend.
The former basketballer also represented Australia at the Under17 and Under19 FIBA World Championships and spent time playing in the United States and Serbia.
He returned to Australia to play for the Sydney Kings before signing with the Magpies as a Category B Rookie in 2019.
Wilson joins Oliver Henry, Beau McCreery, Finlay Macrae, Jay Rantall and Caleb Poulter as Collingwood's debutants in 2021.
He comes into the side after producing strong form in the VFL recently - averaging 21 disposals and 5.8 marks in 2021 playing on the wing and across half back.
Magpies Nathan Buckley made the exciting announcement to the playing group on Thursday afternoon, saying the 23-year old had very much earned his opportunity.
"The stories I heard about you as a young basketball professional going over to Europe and the confronting situations you found on yourself in then, travelling across on your own, basically being in your own space having to manage yourself in a pretty cut throat environment," Buckley said.
"You played footy early and when the basketball path and have circled back around. It's been hard yards.
"Your pre-season and what you've put together so far have earned this opportunity.
"Your communication is second to none, you're direct and your understanding of the way we play is elite. You know exactly what we're trying to achieve and to communicate it and pull your teammates together and you're in great form.
"It's just reward. It's not just reward for the last month, it's reward for that attitude for the way you've carried throughout your entire sporting life and I hope this is a fair recognition for you firstly but it's a start of the next phase if it, mate."
— Collingwood FC (@CollingwoodFC) May 13, 2021
Collingwood will deploy a smaller backline this weekend against the Sydney Swans, with veteran fullback Jordan Roughead sidelined through concussion.
Neither Roughead or Nathan Murphy will take on the Swans after both players suffered concussions against North Melbourne last week, with the pair set to undertake the mandatory 12-day layoff.
It leaves Darcy Moore and three-gamer Mark Keane as Collingwood's two key pillars in defence for the Round 8 clash at the SCG, with Moore expected to get the big assignment on Buddy Franklin.
Will Kelly - who has played one game this season on Anzac Day - loomed as a potential like-for-like replacement for Roughead. But the 20-year old will instead continue to work on his craft in the VFL.
— Ben Cotton (@Ben_Cotton15) May 13, 2021
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Buckley confirmed that they would tackle the Swans with an undersized backline compared to previous weeks.
"We'll definitely miss Roughy, he's been a really strong key defender for us over the time so we may be a little smaller than we have been in previous weeks," Buckley said.
"It's not something we're too concerned about, we believe we'll have aerial support or aerial cover to get the ball to ground and then that'll be one part of how we plan to defend Sydney."
It was thought that bot Roughead and Murphy had passed their concussion tests on the day, however, Buckley revealed that Murphy actually failed his.
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Roughead did pass his concussion test and subsequent tests, but with his history of head knocks, the club opted not to take any risks with the 30-year old.
"'Murph' was the one that told me he'd passed the concussion test, maybe I shouldn't be listening to the player because he didn't pass the test," Buckley said.
"'Roughy' passed the one on the night and has passed subsequent tests but as we know the club doctor takes the lead in that and it's a medical process."
Meanwhile, Levi Greenwood has just completed his own 12-day concussion protocol period, but the midfielder's symptoms have been ongoing, and as such, he will remain sidelined.
Collingwood will be searching for their third win of the season when they tackle Sydney at the SCG this Saturday at 1.45pm AEST.