Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life 2016: Wagga, Eddie and barramundi

G ‘day True Believers; and the others (you know who you are).

General:

The NAB Cup / Challenge / Night Series / whatever. Greg Baum’s consideration of it, “whatever it is” – http://www.theage.com.au/afl/afl-news/its-back-whatever-it-is-20160229-gn6oko.html. Check the comments under the article. My favourite: “Any Cup named after a bank is a Poison Chalice”. Love it. Thanks Socrates.

What’s Next? NAB Challenge games against North at Wagga tomorrow and Footscray on Saturday, 12 March at Etihad. AFL Season Round 1 versus Sydney at the SCG on Saturday, 26 March.

The Team:

The List for the Wagga game – see http://www.collingwoodfc.com.au/news/2016-03-03/pendlebury-and-cloke-to-travel-to-wagga. Ins, as you might have expected – Pendles, Trav, Langdon, Darcy. Resting, also no surprise, Swanny, Brown and Sidebottom. Still missing: Reid – what is going on here? Talk is that he will get a run against the Dogs in the final NAB game – 12 March; we need him fit to play on his twin in Sydney. Watch for some of the newbies in Wagga – Sier, Gold, Phillips and Goodyear. And watch Cox / Trav / Darcy / Grundy/ Witts on the same half of the field (and I note White is on the list too). Treloar – going to get a run in a VFL practice match on Sunday (1.00pm, Holden Centre) – cautious return steps.

Question: Do you want to put together a (close to) full strength team for the final NAB game or continue to use it as a practice match? What do you think?

What do we want to see? What do you think? I think the Witts / Grundy ruck-sharing is working. Add a bit of relief from Darcy, and maybe even Cox. A Forward Line with at three over 200cm targets (Witts or Grundy, Cox, Darcy) would allow you keep Trav at CHF with a roving commission? Actually, the danger here is that they might start getting in each other’s way. Worth looking at. Small Forwards – Fas – doing well (I think Bucks more than adequately addressed that other issue – he received a ‘warning’). Other smalls, particularly in Elliott’s absence? Outer-Midfield – Swanny forward; Pendles back. Inner Midfield – a bunch. Do you allocate a tagger / to whom? We need to be prepared on occasion to ‘double-team’ against key opponents – maybe it would have been useful trying tagging / double teaming options against Dangerfield – certainly a worthy opponent. Backs – the criticality of the drive off the Half Back line was clear last week against Geelong. We need to continue to work on our kick-ins and drive out of the Backline.

How to build a footballer: The first four years: http://www.theage.com.au/afl/afl-news/how-to-build-an-afl-footballer-20160229-gn66qg.html. An interesting read.

Bits & Pieces:

Venue change – Round 1. Eddie’s gone ballistic at finding out about the change in a Media Release – http://www.theage.com.au/afl/afl-news/swans-president-andrew-pridham-mockingly-assures-collingwood-that-sydney-has-good-roads-20160229-gn6yiq.html. Bucks – unconcerned (even if the SCG is an itty-bitty little ground – did you know that the Manuka ground playing area is almost identical to the MCG playing area?). Swans President, Pridham, obviously missed the point (how do you teach people, particularly if they are from Sydney, not to be rude?). Gary Pert, not known to be as sensitive a soul as Eddie described the Swans’ behaviour as “disrespectful, unprofessional and inappropriate”. For Canberrans the change adds another 30 minutes to the journey, each way, and worse parking.
Money. Yep, the fundamental. Did you know that the quote: “Money is the root of all evil” is a misquote? The correct quote is: “The love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:10) – a significant difference I’m sure you’ll agree. But Eddie’s on the warpath: http://www.theage.com.au/afl/afl-news/afl-season-2016-magpies-feud-with-league-threatening-to-boil-over-20160301-gn7tfb.html. Some are a bit critical of ‘our Eddie’. Remember what a parlous financial state the Club was in when he took the chair – he has done an outstanding job. Go get em, Eddie.
Flag Betting? http://www.news.com.au/sport/afl/geelong/geelong-third-favourite-for-2016-premiership-sydney-swans-out-of-favour-with-punters/news-story/e27a30497427e87c1d3f5bbfe66b8b45. The $15 return is probably worth considering.
Coach? Looks like Bucks will take a 12-month extension to the end of 2017. Check: http://www.news.com.au/sport/afl/collingwood/nathan-buckley-contract-extension-magpies-chief-to-go-fishing-for-answers/news-story/cbf06e143adbb7b23b2851911519c154. Watch what happens when the team gets into 2016 (my guess would be a further three-year extension before the end of the season if they’re in the Top 4 and pushing upwards). Connecting to the article, I’ve found fishing for barramundi fun, though I’ve never done it with a rod and reel. Many years ago (well beyond the statute of limitations, I hope) we were in what is now Kakadu National Park (before it was established as a Park). Fishing in billabongs with an armoured vehicle (remember I was in the Army) around the edge towing a camouflage net worked a treat; wrap in foil and cook in an open fire. Delicious. If memory serves the principal whinge was the absence of lemons.

C’mon, stand up and be counted. What is your prognosis for the season? Welcome your views. Love to hear others’ views. Where do you think we’ll end up this year? C’mon, after the performance against Geelong you must be starting to have a little optimism?

Everyone, welcome to 2016. Our second NAB Challenge game against North at Wagga tomorrow afternoon – bounce at 4.40pm; 21 days to our Round 1 match against Sydney, noting that this will be at the SCG. Is anyone going to Wagga (or even the VFL practice match)? We’d welcome comments, highlights and low-lights – areas for improvement, etc?

Comments

  1. E.regnans says

    G’day Cam,
    Aside from the worthy Collingwood conversation…

    We lived in Darwin for a while.
    The barramundi fishing was a real highlight.
    Drove down to Daly River township once, in the pre-dawn, for a day’s fishing on the mighty Daly. There’s a fair tidal influence even that far inland and we were battling for time to make it through a particular bend on the outgoing tide. There was not much draught. And the water level was dropping.
    We’d seen jabiru standing, crocs basking, savanna Eucalypts – the woollybutt (E. miniata) and stringybark (E.tetrodonta) double act – the pandanus and heat.
    But we got to this bend
    – Come on, come on…
    And despite the skipper’s urging
    – Come on, come on…
    We ran aground.
    – Damn.

    So he says to me:
    – Mate – just hop out and give us a push.
    – In there?
    – Yeah. We’re nearly through.
    – With the crocs?
    – You’ll be right.

    So with a southerner’s fear and a southerner’s lack of understanding, I did it.
    Heart rate quite high.

    Saw many more crocs that day.
    Caught three big barra between Dad and me.
    Great day’s fishing.
    Fresh barra for dinner back in Fannie Bay.
    Lime & butter.
    Mmm.

  2. Cameron Hooke says

    Totally agree re the mobile handbags and how we as ‘southerners’ can get into trouble pretty easily. By this stage I’d been in Townsville for about 6 months. Spent four years there in all.

    Over that visit I was talking about we also stopped for a swim in the Mary River. Put a couple of guys on the armoured vehicles with rifles as ‘watch’. Then a busload of young lady tourists turned up. “Can we join you”? they asked. “Of course”, I said, “but if gunfire starts get out of the water”. We had fun. Cam

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