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Magpies regain Shaw, Reid in AFL
Greg Buckle
19:04 AEST Thu May 3 2012

Collingwood AFL coach Nathan Buckley says the return of Heath Shaw and Ben Reid will add some star power to the Magpies' lineup for Friday's clash with the Western Bulldogs.

Tall defender Reid (quad) and running half-back Shaw (hamstring) have both been out for two matches.

Dale Thomas will miss a third game with a hamstring injury but the midfielder is close to earning a recall, while small forward Alan Didak (groin) and fullback Chris Tarrant (calf) are a few weeks away, Buckley said.

"It's always good to get quality back into the side," Buckley said on Thursday.

"We've had some good form over the past two games and we've had some players really stand up and play their roles well.

"When you do get established quality back in the side, we hope we can take another step again."

Runners-up in 2011, the Magpies find themselves in 10th spot after three wins and two losses in the first five rounds under new coach Buckley.

But consecutive victories over Port Adelaide and Essendon and an improving injury list have left Buckley in an optimistic mood.

"We do believe we're building," he said.

Collingwood's football and coaching strategist Rodney Eade, who coached the Bulldogs last year, has been particularly helpful this week according to Buckley.

"Clearly coming up against a side he knows pretty well and the individuals within it, we've tapped into that as much as we could," Buckley said.

Buckley said Dayne Beams, Sharrod Wellingham, Steele Sidebottom and Jarryd Blair had lifted in midfield in the absence of Luke Ball following his season-ending knee injury in round three.

"We believe when Dale Thomas comes back that it makes us better and we'll be looking at developing the midfield depth again," Buckley said.

The 13th-placed Bulldogs also have a 2-3 record and Buckley says their recent form has been very good.

"Their last two opponents, beating Melbourne and GWS, they looked like they've built some confidence and belief in the game style that Brendan (McCartney) is trying to get across," Buckley said.

Western Bulldogs midfielder Ryan Griffen (37 possessions last week) is a possible run-with option for Martin Clarke.

Clarke put himself in the frame for more tagging roles after his performance on Essendon's Brent Stanton on Anzac Day.

"Marty has cut his teeth as a defender. He showed against Stanton that he's capable of running through the midfield and can cover a lot of ground," Buckley said.

The presence of Shaw and Reid will add to the pressure on the Bulldogs' forward line which is the worst-performing attack in the league.

Liam Jones and Jordan Roughead have been named in the key-forward posts as the Bulldogs aim to rebuild after the retirement of Barry Hall.

The Bulldogs will be without forward Jarrad Grant (hip) and ruck/forward Ayce Cordy (back), but goalsneak Daniel Giansiracusa returns along with defender Ryan Hargrave.