AFL 1998 – Twenty Years On: Collingwood Magpies (14th)

It’s hard to believe that the combination of this stellar list and Tony Shaw’s coaching could produce a ladder placing of fourteen, but maybe things just clicked for them. The following year saw the Magpies assume their rightful position.


Not even Central District had heard of Scott Whiston when he was drafted at pick 86 in 1997. Jamie Tape and Bradley Smith arrived at The Club club as the price paid by Richmond for the Pies’ offloading of Aaron James and Pick #71.


It would be a magnificent coincidence if the rookied-and-delisted George Bakoulas is the bloke of that name who is involved with the official engagement ring provider to the AFL – the Australian Diamond Company.


Of the debutants, only Tarrant forged any sort of career in black and white.


The Footy Record had already anointed the club’s new President, who proceeded to adopt a low profile for the next twenty years, his blind faith in Nathan Buckley remaining undiminished.


Bumped into any of these at Bundoora Bowl? Shared a slab of UDL with one of them on the Hurstbridge Line? Or perhaps there’s one or two who’ve shunned those lazy overused amusing stereotypes in the ensuing years. Let us know.




AFL Debuts 1998: Michael Gardiner, Ben Kinnear, Stuart Mangin, Andrew Pugsley, Frank Raso, Chris Tarrant, Brent Tuckey, James Wasley

Kept Under Wraps 1998: George Bakoulas, Marcus Barham, Adam Collings, Frank Dimattina, Troy Kirwen, Tarkyn Lockyer, Mark Matthews, Bradley Smith, Scott Whiston

Never Heard of Him: Scott Whiston

Delisted at end of 1998: Chris Curran, Matthew Francis, Tony Francis, Shannon Gibson, Troy Kirwen, Chad Liddell, Stuart Mangin, Andrew Pugsley, Scott Russell, Scott Whiston, George Bakoulas, Marcus Barham

Traded at end of 1998: Josh Mahoney (to Western Bulldogs)

Retirements at end of 1998: Richard Osborne, Graham Wright


Thanks to , , 

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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. george smith says

    Yeah well. Even though we won 7 games to 1999’s 5 and the spoon, 98 was the worst of times. It was obvious that Shaw had to go, but there was a strange inertia in the air, sort of like an abusive relationship. The highlight of the year was round 3 where even the commentators agreed that the umpiring was blatantly one sided in favour of the Showponies. Rather than blithely accepting it the Pies turned into Fitzroy and years of resentment were harnessed in a famous victory.

    As for knocking the list, there was more than a smattering of talent – Flash Richard, Burns, Brown, Tony Francis, Scott Russell, Prestigiacomo, Tarrant, Williams, Rocca and Rocca and of course Nathan Buckley. Those who didn’t retire certainly made their mark in the revival in 2002. Of course the holes in the side that were apparent then came back to bite us in the two grand finals.

  2. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Thanks for that George. As a (clearly) non-Pies person, it seemed that there was a yawning gap between the better bunch and the rest.

    For posterity, the GF appearances from this list were

    Prestigiacomo ’02, ’03 (famously ruled himself out of the 2010 GF and not selected for replay)
    Buckley ’02, ’03
    A Rocca ’02 (suspended for ’03)
    Tarrant ’02, ’03, (at Freo in ’10), ’11
    Burns ’02, ’03
    Lockyer ’02, (ACL injury in ’03), (emerg in both 2010 GFs)
    Kinnear ’03

    Paul Williams (at Sydney) ’05

    Mal Michael (at Bris) ’01, ’02, ’03, ’04 (plus a flag at Ormond I think)

    Josh Mahoney (at Port) ’04

  3. One of the four Redlegs in the squad can now be found in a building on North Terrace as the Member for Morphett. Agree with your list assessment – a fair gap between the best and the rest. Wasley was a really quick player wrecked by injury.

  4. I would add that Wright was also a great player for the Pies and Watson, who appeared to be unloved by the coach, went on to have a very solid career at Carlton. George, in ’02 and ’03 the Pies were up against a formidable AFL-enhanced team that already had won the GF in ’01; comprising 3 Brownlow medalists and a spine of Mal Michael, Leppitsch, Voss, Lynch and Brown and we certainly weren’t disgraced in ’02 where we were unexpectedly competitive and lost a very close one. I don’t want to think about it any more, it is too painful.

  5. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Started the year ok, tailed off in the middle and the less said about the end the better. How we let Paul Williams and Mal Michael go is a Malthouse mystery.
    Josh Mahoney was very lightly built and ineffective. Came back strong at Port. No the happiest memories here Swish. Glad I was in Greece for most of the season !

  6. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Thanks Dave, the Norwood/Pies connection is always a bit unexpected.

    Ta BOD, sorry for the reminder.

    Good calls Phil (Mal M has been restored to his rightful place above)

  7. Luke Reynolds says

    Remember being disappointed that Osborne retired at the end of ’98, played two really good years for us, especially when he transitioned to a half back flank.
    Only got to a few games in 1998 as I was playing football on a Saturday afternoon, probably a good thing, unlike Collingwood we’d have been absolutely thrilled with 7 wins in 1998 at the South Purrumbete FC (we won 3)!!

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