Eagles set to hand Dick debut
West Coast Eagles rookie Brad Dick. Picture: Michael O'Brien / The West Australian.

Forward Brad Dick has rocketed into contention to make his debut for West Coast when their top-four hopes go on the line against Collingwood at Patersons Stadium on Saturday night.

West Coast will weigh up whether to promote the rookie-listed player, who made 27 appearances for the Magpies, in what would be a high-stakes return against his former club.

Victory would see fifth-placed West Coast leapfrog the Magpies into the top four, leaving destiny in their own hands with just the round-23 clash with Hawthorn remaining.

A top-four finish would give the Eagles a double chance in the finals.

Losses to Collingwood and Hawthorn could see them slip as low as seventh and face the prospect of playing either North Melbourne or Geelong in an away elimination final.

West Coast's prospects were given a significant boost yesterday, with midfielder Daniel Kerr able to accept a reprimand for a striking charge.

The match review panel assessed Kerr's hit on Port Adelaide's Chad Wingard during Sunday's win as reckless conduct, low impact and high contact. Kerr's good record means he can escape suspension with an early guilty plea.

Dick is coming off a season-high six goals for East Fremantle on Sunday, his most impressive performance this year.

The haul against West Perth at East Fremantle Oval came 10 matches into his return from a second knee reconstruction.

West Coast are free to elevate him from the rookie list because both Mark LeCras and Mark Nicoski have been placed on their long-term injury list.

Teammate Chris Masten, who was originally drafted from East Fremantle, said a fairytale AFL return for Dick was possible.

"I think he's definitely ready to go," Masten said. "Dicky's popular around the playing group and had a massive game on the weekend.

"I think he's been in good form. He's got plenty of pace and can kick goals from nowhere."

Ashton Hams and Patrick McGinnity appear the most vulnerable at the selection table.

Forward Josh Kennedy is likely to return against Collingwood after making his comeback from a foot injury alongside Dick.

Jacob Brennan could be dropped to make way for Kennedy.

Masten said Kennedy seemed to have pulled up well from the hit-out.

"He's pretty chirpy as well, so I think he's keen," Masten said.

The West Australian

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