Redden to fire in Eagles debut

Jack Redden will want to make an impact against his old club, the Brisbane Lions will simply want to show him leaving for West Coast was a poor choice.

The round one match-up will pit the young Lions against last year’s grand finalists, it looms as a mismatch.

Brisbane were poor last season, West Coast were anything but, however a slew of injuries to the Eagles midfield might even things, while also ensuring Redden has a large role to play.

West Coast are missing Lewis Jetta, Chris Masten, Dom Sheed and Sharrod Wellingham. Brisbane come to Perth minus stars Dayne Beams and Dayne Zorko.

There are exciting debutants on both sides highlighted by the Lions unveiling No.2 draft pick Josh Schache.

Then there is new Eagle Redden who played 129 games with Brisbane before crossing to West Coast over summer.

He will play despite an injury-interrupted pre-season and Eagles coach Adam Simpson hopes that by the bounce he feels like he made the right decision.

“We might manage his time as best we can with the extra spot on the bench and less rotations so we have to go through that process but I think he’s had enough exposure,” Simpson said.

“I’m assuming he’s pretty nervous. It’s his first game for the club and it’s a big thing.

“Even though he’s played over 100 games there’ll be a sense of nerves still and he’ll be hoping he’s made the right decision.

“We’re sure he has, but to play with his new teammates and get good connection, that’s going to take a bit of time. We’ve got a little bit of patience.”

Having closely watched Thursday’s season opener where Carlton pushed Richmond all the way, Simpson won’t be taking anything lightly on Sunday.

“We are going to prepare as hard as we can for a really competitive Brisbane unit,” Simpson said.

“The contested ball looks like it’s still going to be a focus for us and for teams like Brisbane as well. We aren’t taking anything lightly, no way.”

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