Cam Hooke’s Collingwod life: Round 9 preview

True Believers, all. Greetings to all.


Firstly, a warm welcome to Bob.  Enjoy.


Currently 5:3, with North this week, followed by Melbourne (QB weekend), GWS and our Bye (20 / 21 June).   I hope we are 8:3 by then, though I cannot discount GWS or North.  All three of these games are at the G.


This week?  Sunday, 31 May.  North Melbourne at the G.  Bounce 3.20pm.


Us & Them.  It’s a fair criticism, much used by various pundits, that we haven’t beaten any Top 8 teams either from last year or this year.  It’s not actually true – we beat Essendon who were in the Eight at the end of last year.  But we lost to Geelong and Richmond (last year’s Eight) and lost to Adelaide and Richmond (this year’s).  In a fascinating season there are a bunch of teams  working their way up the Ladder that we need to be extremely wary of – Hawthorn, Geelong, Bulldogs and Port and, maybe Richmond.  I’d add North to that list.  They are better than their performance last week against Freo showed (115 – 42).  In their eight matches they have lost by significant margins to Freo, Hawthorn and Adelaide with a close loss to Port.  But they’ve beaten Essendon, Richmond, Geelong and the Lions.  Getting the picture?  Of concern to them would be that they’ve given the appearance of giving up in some of the losses.  Never a good characteristic.


Them?  As such, North’s achievements don’t differ too much from ours, except they’ve beaten teams that beat us and they’ve faced the Ladder leaders while we’ve faced teams from the bottom of the Ladder.  Coach Scott’s view – go to   Interestingly, from Elborough in The Age, North Melbourne last week won the Centre clearances (15-7), Tackle count (70-53) and Inside 50 count (46-45) but kicked just 1.8 in the Second Half – poor kicking or fantastic Freo pressure, or a bit of both? Their emphasis on the Centre clearances will put pressure on our Mids who, with Steele back last week showed what they could do, even allowing Pendles to go Forward. Their Inside 50’s will put pressure on our Back 6.  Watch for Brent Harvey and Todd Goldstein (available after escaping with a $1000 fine for last week’s ‘little incident’). Nick del Santo is still injured, weeks away. If you tag Brent Harvey, does the Tagger approach him, politely addressing him as “Mr Harvey” – 393 games this week?


Us?  Last week we were back to our best in terms of commitment, application, ferocity.  We lead the AFL in Contested Possessions.  We should continue to pursue this.  Good work from last week, that we should build on, is the avenue to goal – with Trav at CHF and White at FF (note: being nice to Mr White), supported by fantastic work by the smalls crumbing (with the occasional specky).  Back 6 – I thought we learned a valuable lesson against Geelong – be ready to switch defenders if they are outmatched physically (as Frost v Hawkins was – I’d still have loved to see Trav on Hawkins).  Browny has had a great season so far, but was quiet last week (noting that GC did get the ball into our defensive 50 with reasonable frequency (see email earlier this week)). Should we consider a rotation / rest policy in team selections?  I still think we need someone identified for the second-man up role (that Maxy used to perform so well).  We’ve seen a real willingness amongst the Back 6 to leave their man to intercept / defend, which is hugely effective (particularly as demonstrated by Frost against Essendon) but I think we need to be prepared for a more permanent arrangement – means removing one from the Forwards.  I also think having Goldsack amongst the Backs is the better option than him up front.  And if we could get Reid fit and back…(and who would you drop to bring him back?).  Witts and Grundy seem to be working well together.  I think Witts is the better traditional ruck, particularly in the Centre, but Grundy is fantastic around the ground.  Injuries – Frost and Tooves should both be okay to play.  Did I mention ‘ferocity’?


Look at that.  A brief discussion without mentioning player K.  Who’d have believed it?  Your views?


Teams? Tonight at  After 6.00pm.




Weather?  11 to 14 deg; 90% chance of light rain.


My picks?  Pies by 27.  BOG: Sidebottom; Trav – 2; White 4 (again).  Your guesses?


TV?  7mate, from 3.00pm



  • Eddie Watch.  Quiet.  I applaud his comments relating to Malthouse’s sacking.  See more below;
  • Two’s.  Note the Bye last week.  Reid may play this week, maybe Young.  Also watch for Marsh and Armstrong (and maybe Ramsay) in the Backs, Kennedy and Dwyer in the Mids and K, up front;
  • Drug positive tests.  I was pleased to learn that the Club had followed up with these two young players, rather than simply cutting them loose.  Not sure what is happening now.  We should both maintain an interest and demonstrate a bit of continuing care for them;
  • Heater’s 200th.  And his comments about Midfields – Pies (2010) versus GWS (now) at  Well, we’ll find out in a couple of weeks, won’t we?
  • Dustin Fletcher’s 400th.  Unbelievable.  Well done;
  • Sacking coaches.  I’ve had my occasional shot at ‘Uncle Grumps’ but would never want to question his achievements.  I think he made a serious mistake in taking the Carlton job, particularly after agreeing to the Pies transition arrangements.  In retrospect I hope he gets the respect he deserves as a three times, two Club premiership coach who achieved much as the, now, longest serving coach ever of a Club playing our great game.  A really good perspective by Bucks highlights that nine out of every 10 AFL coaches will be sacked – and is worth a read.  Buck’s statement: “I hope that Mick, once it all settles down, is afforded the respect that he deserves for what has been an amazing career in football.”  And, without pointing too many fingers, some Clubs do have a history, don’t they?  Your views?


Want to get your view across to the AFL?  Go to


Ground Reports?  Who’s going to the game?  Look forward to your reports pls?


Go Pies.




  1. David Zampatti says

    It’s an understatement to say North’s fixture so far is tougher than the Pies, Cam.

    Based on the performances of opposition teams last season and this one so far, only Port have done it tougher than Norths (a little acknowledged fact that has yet to play out), while only the Crows and the Jean-Claude Killys of football, West Coast, have had it easier than the Pies. Collingwood have been gifted four of their five wins so far, Norths only one of their four.

    I think you’ve got the margin about right.

  2. J-C.Killy was a descendant of an Irish mercenary soldier named Kelly. In 1966–67 Killy won every downhill race he entered and three gold medals at the 1968 Olympics.Certainly a high and consistent achiever despite his dubious antecedent.Are Fremantle perhaps the Hay List of the league

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