Setback for Sam Reid. By Peter Blucher
The AFL finals dream of Queenslander Sam Reid has suffered an untimely setback with his omission from the Round 21 GWS Giants side.
The 26-year-old Sunshine Coaster has played six games in a miraculous comeback three years after he had retired, including the last four rounds, but was squeezed out for Saturday’s Sydney clash with the West Coast Eagles.
Coach Leon Cameron promoted Adam Kennedy and Matthew Kennedy from the Reserves as Dylan Shiel was cleared to return from injury.
Reid, who has played a good team role in recent weeks without setting the world on fire, now faces an uphill battle to win back his spot and add a finals appearance to his 30-game AFL career.
So good is the depth of the Giants that playing alongside him in the Reserves this week and also pressing for inclusion are boom youngster Jacob Hopper, who had 32 possessions and won a Rising Star nomination on debut in Round 9 and hasn’t played since Round 13, and Will Hoskin-Elliott, who hasn’t played since Round 3 but has been a regular NEAFL standout.
Conversely, Brendan Whitecross has retained his place in the Hawthorn side the fourth week in a row and now has the inside running for a finals appearance in his heart-warming comeback from injury.
And Aliir Aliir will play his sixth game in a row for Sydney and also looks likely to figure in the finals.
In other Queensland selection news for Round 21:-
Adam Oxley was rewarded for a rich recent vein of VFL form when recalled to the Collingwood side to play Western Bulldogs Friday night. It will be his 11th game of the year and his first since he played 10 in a row from Rounds 2-10.
Alex Sexton was ruled unfit for Gold Coast’s Sunday clash with Essendon in Melbourne with a badly corked thigh. Clay Cameron, who hasn’t played at AFL level since Round 10, was included on the Suns’ extended bench squad but isn’t expected to play.
Courtenay Dempsey was ruled out of the Essendon side with hamstring trouble.
Liam Dawson was omitted from the Brisbane Lions side that will host Carlton at the Gabba Saturday. He was named as an emergency.
Corey Wagner was named as a North Melbourne emergency for the third week in a row ahead of their Saturday clash with Hawthorn.
Joel Tippett too is among the North emergencies after Scott Thompson withdrew from the original side. He’s hoping for a late call-up for his first game of the year.
Josh Wagner, omitted by Melbourne in Round 20 and held out of the VFL due to general fatigue, missed a recall for their clash with Port Adelaide in Adelaide Saturday night.