AFL 1997 – Twenty Years On: Collingwood Magpies (10th)

How the heck did Collingwood manage ten wins with this lot? Collingwood’s 1997 list was a stark contrast between solid experience and the rest. They had fourteen players that played 18+ games, but their bottom end was largely unproductive as the clean-out below would indicate. Six of their 1990 flag side were still going around. (Only four of this list would play in their 2002 Grand Final team).

They were on top (6-2) mid-May before stringing together half a dozen losses, leaving them with mid-table aspirations only. It only got worse in the next few years.

(Note that Trent Hotton was not listed, even though he was technically on the 1997 list, at least until early in the year.)

The Magpies themselves have described their 90s decade as “From First to Last” so your memories of this 1997 list (thanks to the Football Record), while they may not all be fond ones, would be welcomed below.


List Management

AFL Debuts 1997: Brad Fuller, Luke Godden, Dwayne Griffin, Josh Mahoney, Mal Michael

Players Kept Under Wraps 1997: Marcus Barham, Jason Bevan, Michael Gardiner, Robert Schaefer, Leigh Singline, Brent Tuckey

Never Heard of Him: Dwayne Griffin

Delistings/Retirements end 1997: John Barnett, Brad Cassidy, Dwayne Griffin, Trent Hotton, Jason Taylor, Lee Walker, Marty Warry, Jason Bevan, Leigh Singline, Robert Schaefer


You can review all of the AFL 1997 lists here

About Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt

Saw my first SANFL game in 1967 - Dogs v Peckers. Have only ever seen the Dogs win 1 final in the flesh (1972 1st Semi) Mediocre forward pocket for the AUFC Blacks (1982-89) Life member - Ormond Netball Club -That's me on the right


  1. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    It was a good time to go live in Greece in 1997. Thankfully, I missed most of the dismality.
    First few games were promising. Knocked over Bulldogs, North and Adelaide early.
    Not so fond memories here Swish. Wild, Godden, Crow, Sharkey…make Jarryd Blair look like an A grader.

  2. Luke Reynolds says

    Ah 1997. Went to every game the Pies played in Melbourne that season that didn’t clash with my own footy playing commitments.
    Lee Walker was as talented a player as I’ve seen, knee injuries curtailing what should have been an amazing career.
    Had spotted Mal Michael in the twos the year before, always looked a great talent. I’ll never know what Grumpy Mick was thinking playing him at CHF in 2000. Then trading him for Jarrod Molloy…
    Richard Osborne had two really good years with the Pies. Was fantastic off a back flank in ’98. Thought he still had a bit left in him when he retired.

  3. Michael Gardiner from Subiaco. The Michael Gardiner of West Coast, St Kilda fame?

    Marcus Barham: son of Ricky ?

    Jason Wild from Collingullie. Not much there. We popped into the pub once on the way to Ardlethan races. There’s been a few chaps from Collingullie appear at the highest level. not a bad effort.


  4. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    You picked a good time to leave Phil

    You deserve a medal Luke.

    Not the same MG Glen (not sure about Barham) – Your knowledge of our nation’s hamlets is unparalleled.

  5. Chris Weaver says

    Marty Warry – former Vic Metro captain. He latter served at Her Majesty’s pleasure.

  6. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Very good get Chris – Warry was a mid-season delisting and excluded from the list (similar to Hotton), after coming across from the Roys.

  7. Shane Watson- was he the one who the Sherrin kept hitting just below the knee?

  8. Glen, I think Marcus Barham was his nephew, Ricky’s son Jaxson went onto play about 8 games in 2009-10.

    Swish, I recall a dreadlocked Griffen spending his one senior game running on and off the field and chalking up donuts.

    Jeez, Aaron James (the next Wayne Carey) was a wasted talent.

    A few of the ’90 side lingered too long whilst Collingwood recruited so many try-hard battlers in the mould of the coach – Godden, Crow, Curran, Wild, Patterson. But in S Rocca,, Buckley, Burns, Williams and Brown there was still a bit of talent. And the Pies certainly did start the season on fire, beating reigning premiers North convincingly to top the ladder. Tony Shaw appeared to be a visionary coach with set plays to transport the pill from back to forward. But once the playbook was cracked it was a long cold winter.

    Who’da thunk at the time that Mal Michael, Josh Mahoney & Willo would go on to play in flags for other clubs?

  9. Dave Brown says

    Always liked the Collingwood of this era – probably combination of high Redleg ratio and unthreatening nature

  10. Mark Duffett says

    Not just a high Redleg ratio, Dave (though it is). I was struck by the number originating interstate in general. There can’t be too many Victorian-based club lists to have had fewer Vic born-and-bred players – any other contenders?

  11. Mick Jeffrey says

    Didn’t Presti get towelled up by Jason Heatley early in the season leading to him basically being banished to the twos for a very long time?

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