Tyler Brown to make Magpies AFL debut

Melissa Woods
Tyler Brown (r), seen tackling his brother Callum in training, makes his Magpies debut this weekend

Collingwood expect the debut of youngster Tyler Brown in Friday night's AFL opening round clash with Western Bulldogs to bring some energy to an empty Marvel Stadium.

Magpies coach Nathan Buckley announced on Wednesday the 20-year-old is set to play his first match, joining brother Callum and retired club legend, dad Gavin in the black and white.

Buckley says it will be the "weirdest way" to play a debut AFL match, with crowds kept away due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"No-one gets to choose what happens around them but I'm pretty sure if we're playing on Friday night then Tyler won't mind too much," Buckley said.

The midfielder was told the news at training on Wednesday morning with the coach saying it was exciting for the playing group and believed without the Magpie Army in the stands, it would give them a boost.

"If you're talking about energy ... there's nothing like having a debutant to galvanise the players into understanding how important we are to each other just to provide that energy and to be there for the players around us and I think Tyler helps with that," Buckley said.

The coach said Brown had put his hand up in training in recent weeks.

"He's a great talent; he's had really good form over the last three or four weeks on the track and in the Marsh series games," he said.

"He's adaptable - he can play midfield, he can play on the wing, he can go deep forward so we've seen enough to think that the time's right to bring him in and give him a crack."

Buckley said he hoped Gavin, a three-time club best and fairest and member of their 1990 premiership side, could be part of the 100 people permitted into the ground.