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Door open for Dawes

Sportal September 6, 2012, 12:56 pm
Chris Dawes

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Collingwood assistant coach Robert Harvey said key forward Chris Dawes is a 50/50 chance to be recalled for their qualifying final against Hawthorn at the MCG on Friday night.

The Pies finally lost patience with the misfiring 24-year-old last week, leaving him out of the team that posted a 32-point win over Essendon on Saturday.

Dawes was denied a hit-out on the weekend because Collingwood's VFL side failed to qualify for the finals, but Harvey said the forward had pushed his claims for selection this week, with the final call to be made after training on Thursday.

"Based on the discussions we've had in match committee this week it's a 50/50 call. It's really tight," Harvey said at Gosch's Paddock on Thursday.

"We've obviously had a lot of discussion this week about that selection. We'll continue that this afternoon. It's a really big call in a big game so we want to make sure we get it right.

"We thought Jackson Paine played his role really well last week in what he did.

"In a final like this where we need to win, both boys prepare like they're playing."

Havey said he was 'confident enough' Tyson Goldsack could overcome the ankle problem that saw him subbed out of their clash against Essendon, and he also said small forward Jarryd Blair - who missed the Bombers match with a groin problem - is available for selection.

"We're in a nice situation we haven't been in all year, to be able to choose and have less injuries than we've had," Harvey said.

"He's (Blair) right in the mix - he's obviously been an important player this year for us."

Despite two losses - by 22 and 47 points - to Hawthorn this season, Harvey insisted the playing group has every confidence they can match it with the minor premiers on Friday night.

"Both defeats have been a bit different. Obviously they like move the ball as everyone talks about, but the last time we played them they beat us at the contest," he said.

"We've got great belief in this group that they provide a great contest.

"Going into a big finals series like this, our boys are experienced in that situation.

"Our best footy is hopefully to come."

Harvey would not be drawn on who would get the job on Hawks' spearhead Lance Franklin, but said he was confident in the personnel Collingwood have available down back.

"It's nice to have options and I think we do," he said.

"Our key backs have been in pretty good form - Ben Reid, obviously Nathan Brown and Chris Tarrant has played back there as well. And we've got Nick Maxwell as well who pinch hits on the talls."

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