Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life: A week off would be nice

True Believers, do you ever have those days when you think being a Pies supporter really isn’t worth it? I thought a bit about skipping this; having a week off.


Then something comes along and you’re back in the groove. A friend of mine grabbed me to discuss the game (he is a feral Hawks supporter; yes, I have some friends who aren’t Pies supporters) so we addressed the competition, highlighted who’d done well and not so well, lamented some (well one, anyway) absences and agreed that it is just the most extraordinary season. Remember my suggestion a week back, that if Hawthorn make the finals, they’ll get to at least the last two weeks. I stand by that prediction. What about us?  Well, I think we have the talent, we have the game plan and have demonstrated we can outplay anyone for periods. Could we win the premiership from 8th? Absolutely (and would it be nice to shut up some of the TV commentators who are just so biased – you know who I am referring to?).




I think we tried really hard on Sunday. In some ways that effort turned into urgency which turned into extraordinarily decision-making; very poor decisions. A competitive game that was not enjoyable at all. See more below.


As always, Go Pies.




Last Weekend?




A Loss to Hawthorn 18.10.118 to 14.10.94.


I did not enjoy it, though freely acknowledge it was a good game of footy.


Match Report at  Buck’s explanations at  I’ve been (and am) a bit critical of the coaching, during the game.  I would like to see decisions and changes and consequences and more changes during the game – to demonstrate the coaches box is actually in charge.


Okay, we fixed the “over-possession” I rabbited on about last week. But our disposal was awful, simply atrocious, even without going to the statistics, it seemed we were intent on giving Hawthorn turnovers (particularly in the 2nd Half – Bucks thought we became ‘colour blind’ during the 2nd Half, it was so bad.  Pretty good metaphor.  We even gave them a goal from a kick-in.  The statistics – look at Disposal Efficiency and Clangers – We had 8 players with DE of 80% or more; they had 12; our Clangers were about equal, notably led on our side by Adams (11), Howe (7), Sidebottom (4) and Grundy (4); theirs – Mitchell (6), Henderson (4), (the other) Howe (4) and Sicily (4).  This is a very clear waste of possession.


Ins / Outs / Maybes. I don’t agree having Cox as FF – he took a couple of nice grabs (and got three goals) but is really out of his depth in the AFL (particularly as a stand-in ruck).  Leaving Reid out because the Backline is working well was a strange decision?  Reid (and Howe) are certified, capable Forwards.  And whoever it was did a pretty good job shutting Howe out of the game, so move him; try him Forward.  This is where I think our Coach’s Box hasn’t got it.  They (he) needs to show a willingness to ‘change things’ during the game.  If Fas isn’t doing much up Front throw him onto Mitchell – just for fun, if you want.  I note that Pendles did get shuffled Forward a bit (to be at least observant, if not totally fair).


Best? I suggested last week Treloar needed to produce for the whole game. He did; well done. And De Goey – outstanding. And Goldsack, until injured, terrific. Do you remember Goldsack used to be an acknowledged ‘swing’ player capable of playing both Forwards or Back – he is, now, a certifiable Back; his application is unbelievable.


I don’t even know if we can make the Finals. It would be a miracle anyway. But I still want to, but I want to be competitive when we get there. In the Finals the game is “not the same”.





Another Win, against a team way up the ladder. Defeated Footscray 13.7.85 to 12.8.80.  Well done. Go to and  Individual performances at Some good – Blair, Wills and Daicos; special mention about Keeffe –


Anticipate interest in changes to the 1sts; see below.



Next week?


AFL.  “One week at a time”.


This Week?  Round 16 – versus Essendon on Saturday, 8 July 2017 at the MCG; bounce 2.10pm.


Them.  Looking at the ladder, the Bombers are marginally more advanced than us – sitting 11th vs 15th, with 6 Wins vs 5, with 101.8% vs 97.1%. Critically Essendon are two Wins, less some percentage, outside the Eight; we are now three wins, plus percentage, outside the Eight – achievable this season, but, hugely optimistic. Last weekend, Essendon Lost to Brisbane (in Melbourne at Etihad); the week before they squandered a substantial lead well into the final quarter and were edged by Sydney by a solitary point.  Since (and including) Round 9 they’ve beaten only WCE and Port, both in Melbourne, both also at Etihad. But they beat us on Anzac Day. We owe them.


People / Things to watch for. Daniher. Anyone else?


Implications. Put Schade on him.


Us. We now have nothing to lose. So, lets be bold; lets try different things; lets try and win. We need to focus on two things – winning the Clearances, and their conversion, and our Disposal Efficiency (and Clangers). Stop wasting our ball.


Ins / Outs / Maybe’s?  I hope both Moore and Goldsack are okay, though I’d seriously consider giving Darcy a rest. Look at bringing back / in – Varcoe, Schade, Keeffe, Kirby, Mayne and, of course, Reid.


Game Plan? I was pretty happy with the idea behind the game plan. The execution was pretty awful, but the ideas were sound and on occasion, when it worked, it was breathtaking – why we go to the footy. Bucks: and


Other ideas or changes? What did I say last week, and the week before?  Oh yes: “Reid Forward, possible swapping with Howe? Also as above, I would love to see some influence from the coach’s box during the game to responds to events as they arise.”  This was key last week, and the week before. What do you think?


We should win this.



Weather?  Melbourne – Possible shower (60%). Check your boots.


Game Previews:

  • Agenda. Michael Christian’s Agenda at the Pies website. There now.  Go to:  Always worth a read.  I swear the God, he is more optimistic even than me; that’s incredible.
  • AFL Match Day Preview –  There now.  Their pick – Essendon by 9.
  • Natoli’s ‘Ultimate Preview’ will be on the Pies Home Page at in the next few days.
  • The Age Preview – Should be at in a few days.
  • Expert Tips – will be at Strong majority got it right last week, thought the margins were light-on.  This week?

My PicksPies by 29 points. BOG: Pendles – 39 touches @ 91.0% DE.  Reid – four Goals; Mayne – three Goals; Kirby – two Goals.  Crowd: 74,000.  Best competition: Schade vs Daniher.


TV?  No Free to Air. Find a friend – For Canberrans, let me know if you are at Eastlake (number below).




This weekend Round 12 – versus Geelong at Simmonds Stadium.  Saturday, 8 July; bounce 1.00pm.


Geelong are sitting 10th on the Ladder with five Wins ahead of our 12th place with four Wins; 94.1% vs our 87.8%.  But our recent history is very positive, and much better than Geelong’s.  Go Pies.  Who to watch for in our side?  Well it depends who gets pulled into the AFL side. Of those remaining look for Keeffe (Back; rotating Ruck), Scharenberg (Back) and Kirby (Forward).  And, of course, Daicos, and Brown.



Other Things:



The Future? 


The next game is critical, as is every one after that; one week at a time. Remember Buck’s statement regarding a failure to make the Finals? Yep, I think he would follow-through on it.  Go to and, the ultimate pessimists’ piece: Therefore?  Welcome your views?


Reporting. C’mon people – your reports?


Footy Almanac.  The Footy Almanac site includes us and others. See: Worth a browse.


Go Pies.



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