As I start to pick up the pieces and get my life back together after the devastation of the Preliminary final loss to the Swans, I’ve decided to reflect on all of the positives Collingwood had in season 2012. There will be no negatives in this article. Therefore no mention of the four knee reconstructions (Krakouer, Macaffer, Ball and Keefe). Nothing about the two shoulder reconstructions (Johnson and Williams). Or the injury interrupted seasons of Pendlebury, Didak, Reid, Brown and Tarrant. I will write nothing about the Travis Cloke contract saga, or his and Dawes’ lack of form. I will give no attention to our lack of ruck talent apart from Jolly, nor the comments from our grumpy ex-coach. You will not find any excuses here, despite the dozens of terrible free kicks paid against us throughout the season. No, it’s all positive here. So, in no particular order, here are the Pies 2012 positives-
The form of Dayne Beams. The moment Luke Ball went down in round 3 saw Dayne Beams go from bit part player to star midfielder. We needed him to stand up and he did. Copeland Trophy favourite.
Steele Sidebottom and Jarryd Blair. Like Beams this duo lifted after Ball was injured and became integral parts of the midfield rotation. Sidebottom is a future captain, probably after Pendles.
Seven debutantes being blooded. Due to the injury crisis, which I am making no mention of, seven new Magpies got their first chance. All showed a bit. Jamie Elliot played 2 finals, tackled and marked strongly and looks like an excellent forward/midfield prospect. Jackson Paine is an exciting tall forward who knows his way around goal. Paul Seedsman is a quick, skilled midfielder who, like Paine, was unlucky to not play a final. Marley Williams showed alot as a running defender and would have played finals if not for his shoulder injury. Caolan Mooney showed serious pace, a needed trait in the Collingwood team, while Peter Yagmoor and Kirk Ugle also showed glimpses of pace and skill in their limited appearances.
Lachlan Keefe. With Taz, Reid and Brown regulary injured in the first part of the season, Keefe almost single handedly held together the defence until his untimely knee injury against Adelaide in round 9. Could be a huge player for us at 204cm, can play defence or forward, maybe a second ruck??
Carlton and Essendon didn’t make the finals. Always happy with that.
Bucks. Despite all the setbacks, and rants from grumpy Mick, Bucks was brilliant and always upbeat at press conferences and in interviews on TV and radio. His year in the media clearly did him good. And he coached us to the top 4. Which is better than 14 other teams.
More games into second year players Fasolo, Keefe, Sinclair and Young. Fasolo and Keefe are a huge part of Collingwoods future. Sinclair and Young could be.
Krakouers comeback. After doing his ACL in the pre-season, that was meant to be it for his season. The fact that he returned at all, let alone kicked 4 goals in a final against Hawthorn, is a great credit to the man.
Carlton and Essendon didn’t add to their premiership total. Always happy with that.
“The Club” Tuesday nights on Fox Footy. Must watch TV. Great insight to what happens behind the scenes.
Interstate wins over Adelaide and Sydney. Dominating the last quarter of the Crows game despite being a man down after Keefe’s knee injury. Never been prouder of the Pies as I lost my voice roaring at the TV.
Tyson Goldsack as a defensive forward. Was fantastic in his new role. Didn’t see it coming. A Buckley masterstroke. But always had my heart in my mouth when he lined up for a set shot.
Beating Essendon twice. Always happy with that.
The semi-final win over West Coast. Amazing atmosphere by a very loud Collingwood crowd. They did it for J-Mac. All his close mates played well.
So this week face my first stress free Grand Final since 2009. As a Pies fan I dislike all other Victorian teams. Well, they all hate us. So I’m on the Swans bandwagon. For Rhyce Shaw, who grumpy Mick got rid of. And for that old bloke who always sings the song with the Swans. I like his passion. And for 774 afternoons presentor Richard Stubbs whose show I regulary text.
2013- the year of the Magpie. (I hope).