One player who looks almost certain to come into the side is Taylor Duryea after an impressive performance in the VFL last week, having been sidelined since round four due to a hip injury.
But veteran defender Dale Morris, who is on the comeback trail from a second ACL injury in as many years, still has a while to go before being considered for senior selection with Beveridge hoping the 36-year-old will return to the VFL next weekend.
“It took him two or three games last time to get his game fitness back up, even though he still looks like he could be in one of the Marvel movies, he’ll just need to get his wits about him at state level and then we’ll see if we can get him into the AFL team after that,” Beveridge said.
“It’s like he’s waiting outside the match committee door isn’t it? [Is it] frustrating? He understands. He went out and trained with the group a couple of weeks ago and he didn’t re-hurt himself but he just felt some awareness and so it probably just set him back another week and he’s feeling good again.”
Beveridge would have no qualms in Morris playing on again in season 2020 if he managed to finish this season strongly.
“Dale and I probably talk every fortnight to three weeks about it and like all his predecessors who’ve finished up like Bob [Murphy] and ‘Boydy’ [Matthew Boyd] and maybe one or two others, my philosophy has always been and my transparency with them has always been if we feel like you can make a difference next year, let’s just go on if you want to,” he said.
“But that’s not solely my decision, it’s a list management decision and we’ll discuss it at that level – there’s six of us on that committee – but there’s every chance.”
Two players who definitely won’t be leaving anytime soon are Morris’ fellow premiership stars Caleb Daniel and Josh Dunkley who both signed new three-year deals during the week.
“Those two in particular are having outstanding seasons and starting to lead the charge on what our next push will look like,” Beveridge said.
Star midfielder Tom Liberatore suffered a knee injury on the weekend, but Beveridge admitted it was a “big relief” to discover it wasn’t another ruptured ACL for the 27-year-old and he was hoping Liberatore would be available again in roughly a month.
The Bulldogs need to maintain their intensity for longer to come away with the win against the Magpies this time around, according to Beveridge, after they led at three-quarter-time last time they met in round four before being overrun by Collingwood in the final term.
“Definitely tactically last time we went in with a bit of a different plan and it seemed to suit us and maybe stifle some of the things they like to do,” he said.
Beveridge conceded that Sunday’s game at Marvel Stadium was critical to the Dogs’ finals hopes considering they sit two games outside the top eight heading into round 14.
“The further and further behind you start to drop then obviously the less chance you are of being there at the end of the year,” he said.
Ronny Lerner is a Sports reporter for The Age.