Collingwood will unveil its second debutant for the season Friday night’s clash against West Coast at Optus Stadium., with mid-season draftee John Noble set to play his first AFL game.
The 22-year old running defender has played just three VFL games after getting recruited from Adelaide in May.
Pies coach Nathan Buckley said Noble’s strengths would help provide his team with the spark they they have been missing.
“We’re reflecting on a whirlwind couple of months, doing pre-season with a club in South Australia and now finishing up in another state playing your first game of AFL footy to fulfil a dream is something that we’re very happy to provide, but (it’s) well earned,” Buckley told reporters on Wednesday.
“We see an opportunity where John’s strengths are actually what we’re asking for at the moment.
“He’s got a lot of dash, he takes the game on, he uses the ball really well, he’s courageous with his decisions, he’s very forthright in the way that he goes about the game, but he’s actually been defending very well, he’s always in the right spot and competing and contesting really well.”
The 22-year old is coming off disposal counts of 22, 22 and 28 in his last thee VFL appearances after averaging 22 disposals in seven SANFL games this year.
Noble admitted it was hard to believe he was making debut so soon after getting picked up.
“If you told me I’d be making my debut at this time at the start of the year I’d say, ‘You’re kidding’. It’s a childhood dream and I just can’t wait to get out there,” he said.
The pacy youngster follows Isaac Quaynor as the second Magpie debutant of the season, who is coming off an impressive 18-disposal showing against Hawthorn last Friday night.
Collingwood will look to end a two-game losing streak when they travel to Perth, however, have lost their last four games against the Eagles.
“We’re not catastrophising at all about where we’re at. We want to put ourselves in a good position to attack September, if we earn that,” Buckley said.