Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life: AFL 2023 – Go Pies


Hi True Believers. Soon.


And the media is ‘full of it’; love some of the sites on Facebook. My faves:


  • Collingwood Football Club;
  • Side by Side – Collingwood;
  • Collingwood – No Holds Barred; and
  • Collingwood Game Dayers.


And we’ve had our first hit out against an opposition. Not sure where the name ‘Match Simulation’ came from (I prefer ‘unofficial practice match’). And to those who claim it doesn’t really matter, of course my preference is to always Win. Winning is habit-forming, just as is Losing. And against Carlton, my preference is to always Win.


Did anyone go? Reporting please? And I’m still looking for the photos of people at the Family Day?


Purely by accident, because I didn’t know it was going to be televised, I watched it via Kayo. Good coverage, interesting commentary.



My observations:


  • Crowd. It looked a fairly small crowd. Pretty much what you might expect being programmed on a working day during the usual work period. Some reporting said 6,000. We can usually get more than that at training.


  • Umpires. I’ve tried to avoid criticising the Umps (too much, though I’ll make an exception when they fail to protect players (from having their head taken off – we’ll see how that goes in a few weeks)). There‘s now four Field Umps. The only benefit I saw was the hand-off of 50m penalties – so rather than the umpire measuring the distance, his colleague picks a location. Hmm? My real criticism is, not surprising or new, the decisions relating to ‘caught’. If this decision is based on being caught having had the opportunity to dispose of the ball, there were numerous Frees awarded incorrectly. Being tackled and held immediately on receiving the ball does not provide an opportunity and should be a ‘ball up’. Plus ‘hands in the back’ – too many times not picked up. And my final criticism – their decisions are too slow; they need to be immediate. Your thoughts?


  • Drive. We used the corridor well. The short, close-in hand-balling was frequently breathtaking. Carlton used the wings better. In fact, both sides’ forwards seemed to be in control frequently through passes to their next player – ‘keep’ens off’? The game devolved into big, long kicks to packs as the guys got tired – hopefully they’ll watch the replay and recognise the flaws in this approach. Having said that, both sides showed a willingness to pass the ball inside the 50 – well done. On one occasion Carlton used three passes inside the 50 to get the goal kicker in a better position. And there were some good marks on both sides (De Koning for them; McStay for us), but wasn’t Howe’s goal from well outside the 50 magnificent? But everyone can have a bad day – even if you are a Brownlow medallist and Captain of your side a kick from 35 m straight in front can go OOBOTF. Well done, Cripps. I laughed.


  • Centre. Our perennial problem area. Generally I consider Cox a better ruck solution and Cameron a better forward target. Cox had a poor game in the ruck but was okay up forward. I wasn’t sure where Cameron was playing – he turned up on the wing a couple of times where he provided great drive. Simply put, we didn’t dominate the midfield even when we got the tap. I think the midfield group needs to have a serious discussion about their future. I really like De Goey, both when in the midfield and forward, – stuff just seems to happen around him. Didn’t see much of Daicos (the younger) there and I didn’t notice any domination by Mitchell that I’d been expecting. We have a way to go. I haven’t seen any reporting on how Begg and Steene went in the VFL practice. I don’t have a subscription to the Sun-Herald so miss much of the detail. Do you remember the Truth newspaper – well known for some things but it had the best football coverage of them all. Anyone know?


  • Defence. The speed between the backline and the forward line is just amazing, particularly when the corridor is used; slower but safer via the wings. The word I would use to encourage the players would be ‘compete’; work out who is going to compete in the packs and who is going to crumb. The incident around Hewett in Q2 (I think) when four Pies’ players close to him stood around him as he marked, was not a good example. ‘Hard-ball gets’ were not a highlight.


  • General. Generally good performances on occasion. Our newbies broadly did well, filling some gaps that we had. I think there will be some significant competition for selection this year. We did, however, look a bit slow, particularly as the game progressed. I accept totally that points were not on the line so the final lunge and other aspects were really not to be expected, however the game slowed and the kicks tended towards huge ‘up and unders’ to packs rather than directed progression between players. We must hold our tackles – too many times opposition players were running through our tackles. We Lost 11.8.74 to Carlton’s 12.12.84, but as suggested above, there really wasn’t a lot in it.


  • Would welcome some other comments, avoiding the sort of personal criticism you see on Facebook. General comments are good.





So, who is/was your favourite player and why? Haven’t seen too many responses, people. C’mon let’s get into it?





  • 2 March – Practice Match versus Hawthorn in Tasmania (on Kayo). Do we have any Tasmanian members? Regardless, watch on Kayo and get back to us on your assessment?


  • Friday, 17 March – Round 1. Geelong at the G. Lets see if we can go 7 Points better than our last meeting. And I have tickets in Row A on Level 1. This is important because, as the older participants in this group know the rest of my family are Cat supporters – I am the black (and white) sheep of the family.


  • Saturday, 25 March – Round 2. Port Adelaide. Getting tickets to this one too, hopefully.



Believe always. Go Pies





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