For all avid footy fans, the wait is almost over. The first match of the 2014 NAB Challenge will be played at Simonds Stadium as the Cats and the Magpies clash on Wednesday night.

Both clubs have announced their 29-player groups who are ready to put their preseason skills to the test. Of these, three players from each squad will need to be omitted and two subs will be confirmed before the game commences. While draft-pick Jarrod Jansen is the only debutant for Geelong, Collingwood introduces six new players to the team – Taylor Adams, Tony Armstrong and Jesse White, along with draft-picks Nathan Freeman, Tom Langdon and Jonathon Marsh.

For the Cats, Tom Hawkins is expected to return after suffering back issues last season, however Allen Christensen will be among those absent due to a hip injury, with Steven Motlop having knee trouble and Joel Selwood who is recovering from a injured foot. Early omissions for the Magpies include Jarryd Blair, Nathan Brown, Ben Reid and Dane Swan.

Here are the teams:

1. Mitch Brown
2. Billie Smedts
3. Jimmy Bartel
4. Andrew Mackie
5. Travis Varcoe
6. Lincoln McCarthy
7. Harry Taylor
9. James Kelly
12. Jesse Stringer
13. Tom Lonergan
15. Jordan Schroder
16. Dawson Simpson
19. Taylor Hunt
20. Steven Johnson
22. Mitch Duncan
23. Josh Caddy
25. Jared Rivers
26. Tom Hawkins
27. Mathew Stokes
29. Cameron Guthrie
30. Nathan Vardy
31. George Burbury
33. George Horlin-Smith
34. Josh Walker
35. Jarrod Jansen
38. Jackson Sheringham
44. Corey Enright
45. Joel Hamling
46. Mark Blicavs
1. Alex Fasolo
3. Brent Macaffer
4. Brodie Grundy
5. Nick Maxwell
7. Ben Kennedy
8. Heritier Lumumba
9. Martin Clarke
10. Scott Pendlebury
12. Luke Ball
13. Taylor Adams
14. Clinton Young
17. Dayne Beams
18. Jesse White
19. Jamie Elliott
21. Quinten Lynch
22. Steele Sidebottom
23. Lachlan Keeffe
25. Ben Hudson
26. Marley Williams
27. Tony Armstrong
29. Tim Broomhead
31. Jackson Ramsay
32. Travis Cloke
38. Peter Yagmoor
39. Nathan Freeman
41. Tom Langdon
45. Jack Frost
46. Jonathon Marsh
48. Caolan Mooney
AFL, ‘Cats, Pies name NAB Challenge squads’,, accessed 10th February 2014
AFL, ‘Magpies pick recruits, draftees to face Cats in NAB Challenge’,, accessed 10th February 2014