Kiwi connection to debut at Collingwood

Friday, May 25 2012 @ 08:07 am ACST

Contributed by: Troy Thompson

At the selection table yesterday Collingwood selected Marley Williams (pictured) to debut this weekend. He was formally elevated off Collingwood's rookie list to the senior list on Thursday, making the 18-year-old eligible for AFL selection. He replaced veteran Luke Ball, who has been put on the long-term injury list. Williams, who stands 181 centimetres, was drafted by the Magpies from WAFL club Claremont in the 2011 Rookie Draft with the 35th overall pick. He was working as a fencer when told he had been picked up by Collingwood.

From Albany in Western Australia, Williams, whose father is Maori, played his junior football for North Albany, before moving to Perth to play for Claremont Colts. He managed a couple of senior WAFL appearances for Claremont last year, and also represented WA in the under 18 national championships.

Some other names familiar to our readers with overseas connections have also been included in their teams this week. St Kilda have brought back James Gwilt, of PNG/Welsh parentage and named him at centre half back, and North Melbourne have selected Samoan Aaron Edwards at centre half forward.

In other AFL team selections this week, both Canadian Mike Pyke and Irishman Tommy Walsh retained their spots in the Sydney team after solid performances against Melbourne last week. “I thought Pyke and Walsh did a good job last week,” coach John Longmire said when selections were announced last night. “Pykey competed against a top-notch ruckman and Walsh did the same against a top-notch defender, but that was last week and this is this week, so they’ll need to do it again.”

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