“I’m just looking forward to playing some consistent footy with him again.”
Beams has just turned 29 and while he may be a different player than the 2014 season, he’s still coming off a season where he averaged 29 disposals and booted 18 goals.
Sidebottom believes his on field presence and the leadership he can offer to the younger Magpies will be invaluable.
“He can have a huge impact,” he said.
“He’s someone that can go forward and hit the scoreboard as well.
“When he left he was in some pretty good form … he’s coming back winning the last couple (of best and fairests) at Brisbane as well so I’m sure he’s probably got better … hopefully he has and he can go out there on Friday night and show all you guys he has improved.”
The Magpies will be looking to improve their recent record against the Cats, having lost their last two encounters in low scoring affairs.
It will be a new look backline for Nathan Buckley’s side, with Darcy Moore back to full fitness and Western Bulldogs recruit Jordan Roughead likely to get first crack at Geelong spearhead Tom Hawkins.
“I think it just gives us a bit more structure down there,” said fellow defender Jeremy Howe.
“Given the size of (Moore), he’s probably going to get the jobs on the number one or number two forwards.
“Towards the end of the season we were probably a bit short down back, myself and (Tom Langdon) played a little taller but with Roughead and Darcy coming in it probably allows us to play a bit more of an intercept role.”
Howe praised Roughead’s leadership qualities and said the transition from the Bulldogs has been “seamless”.
Meantime, with Geelong publicly flagging the likelihood of Gary Ablett playing more of a permanent forward this year, Howe has backed in gritty defender Brayden Maynard to blankett the dual Brownlow medallist.
“Gaz is strong, he’s got a pretty thick set but Bruzzy’ is just a thick.
“He kind of does that lockdown role and we back him in for that position.”
Sam McClure won the Clinton Grybas rising star award at the AFL media association awards in 2015.