Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life: All over the shop

News.  Farewell Lou.  I can remember watching Lou (and Jack Dyer and Bob Davis) on TV when I was about 13.  I loved the predictions, the name-calling and the prizes that participants on the show were given (pies).  A True Legend of our great game – he contributed hugely as a a player, a Captain and as a commentator.  It is a time to be grateful for a great life.  Go Pie.




True Believers:  What a bitch of a weekend – Losses to our Netball team, the VFL team and the AFL team, each of which we should have expected to Win.  It doesn’t matter much to me that the AFL results are being termed the ‘Round of the Underdog’ in which every Winner was ranked lower on the Ladder than their opponents.  C’mon, this was Carlton, for God’s sake.  Apart from the game in the wet against Essendon, they’d only Won one game this season.  And we hate them (I thought the TV coverage of the Carlton fans expressing their sincere displeasure with the Collingwood players was unfortunate – there is, of course, a difference between supporting a team and seeking to denigrate the opposition (particularly at the point when it is obvious you have it Won)).


Some comments from fellow True Believers:

  • Reported before the game: “Sitting in the pouring rain. That’s dedication.”
  • During the match: “our style of play is (awful). Too much handball in the wet.”
  • Reported a short time after Half Time: “No obvious lessons learned at 1/2 time”.
  • After: “Does anyone know if Buckley has done a new press conference, I just watched him say the same things. “They wanted it more, they were better, I have just stopped caring.”
  • After: “Something has got to change, Coach, playing list, Football Manager ( that shouldn’t be hard we have had 4 in 3 years), President or the players. Maybe the lot….”
  • After: “Make no mistake. Sydney and Hawthorn will recover slightly. This year we are fighting with Brisbane and Gold Coast for another spoon.”
  • After: “Not to worry, team; normal service has been resumed at the seniors.”

I watched the game in public amongst people wearing Carlton shirts.  I was embarrassed, even more than just disappointed.  I was speechless at our effort after our performance the week before.  And I was frustrated that there was absolutely no evidence of any change coming from the Coach’s Box during the game.  I think this is really important and I’ve commented on this the past few weeks – I don’t see the Coach’s responsibility as restricted to training and selections before the game and/or speeches at the game breaks; I see the Coach as responsible to see the game, to decide changes during the game and to implement them during the whole game.  And to make other changes if these don’t work.  More on this below.


But, of course, we never “stop caring”; we’re just hurt and looking to fix things.




Last Weekend?





Magpies Netball:  Round 11 – We lost 49 to 56 to the Sunshine Coast Lightning.  Good try, Ladies.  Match Reports here and here.





Really, awful.  They adapted to the conditions better (regardless of the statistics, below), chased harder, tackled more and, therefore, consistently beat us.  How did this happen?


Match Report and comments –, and; Buck’s comments:


Our Best: A pretty poor effort across the ground – Reid was good, and played well up the ground on occasions, though the Backline did not gel like it has done – I think Wells and Schade are essential.  Mids – the numbers showed that we won; didn’t see it myself.  The Forwards?  Hard to find something good to say.  Elliott worked hard.


Check the statistics: Disposal Efficiency (DE) – Given the conditions and the intensity, probably reasonable, with exceptions – Grundy @ 41.2%, Fas @ 62.5% and Hoskin-Elliott @ 63.6% (plus, just before Half Time, that awful run down of him by Silvagni that effectively moved them to an 18 point lead at the Break).  These figures are not good enough, representing wasting our disposals.  And is it me, or do we regularly allow opponents to score just before game breaks?  This can seriously affect morale going off for a break.  Check the listing of ‘Clangers’ – for both teams.  My understanding of ‘Clangers’ is where a disposal goes directly to an opponent (please correct me if I’m wrong).  We had seven players with at least four ‘Clangers’ (including Grundy’s seven); they had four (worst Curnow with five).  I was surprised to see that we had more Frees (23 to 16).  Very surprising.  What wasn’t surprising was that we won Inside 50s (45 to 41), but lost Marks inside 50 (8 to 11), lost scoring shots (16 to 19) and, most importantly given the conditions, lost Goals scored (8 to 12).  I thought their Mids played the conditions better than us, though note, statistically, we lost the Hit Outs, but won the Clearances (35 to 29).  Across the ground, Carlton out-tackled us (73 to 77) and had greater Contested Possession numbers (129 to 145).  Both reflect their greater effort, and the greater pressure on us, and the resultant DE, Marks Inside 50 and goal kick effectiveness.


Implications for us?  The dominance of the Clearances and Inside 50 indicate broad Midfield success.  Conversion into Marks Inside 50, scoring shots and (most importantly) Goals reflects the need for a review of the Forward Line.  I thought the Backline was generally okay though would suggest we need to ensure not everyone is “going up for the contested mark” and that some defensive crumbers are there, in front and behind the pack.  There were several instances of relatively easy goals scored ‘off the pack’.


What stood out? The lack of effort by Collingwood across the ground, the lack of conversion of Inside 50s and the ordinary crowd – 70,000.  Your thoughts?


VFL.  Round 4 – Loss against the Northern Blues 46 to 59; Match Report and comments – and  People who performed (amongst others) – Blair, Scharenberg, Aish.




Next week?


Magpies Netball


Round 12 – Saturday, 13 May.  Versus NSW Swifts at the Hisense Arena, Melbourne; tip off – 7.00pm.  We are still sitting Fourth; the Swifts are sitting in 6th place on the Ladder separated by a fair bit.  We beat them 55 to 54 in Round 6, so we can expect a close game. Game coverage on 9Gem. Go girls.


To know more about the team and the game go to: and




Our Game?  Round 8 – GWS versus Collingwood in Sydney on  Saturday, 13 May; bounce 4.35pm.  Every game is critical to us, every week.  Not


Teams. Selections on Thursday evening.  Go to




GWS. Five Wins from seven games; beaten only by Adelaide (who would pick against them, regardless of their last Round result) and St Kilda, also starting to do well; sitting 2nd on the Ladder with a percentage of 123.5%.


Things & People to watch for? They have an outstanding Midfield led by Mumford in the ruck and Kelly, Shiel and Ward in the middle supported by Scully further out.  Up Forward are Cameron, Patton, Reid (possibly out injured) and Greene (certainly out, suspended). Down back is Heater, still providing strong control over the Back 6 (he never shuts up), plus Haynes, Williams and Davis.  Their strength is their Midfield, particularly reliant on Mumford (hugely demonstrated at the Manuka games), and drive forward through the corridor  to a range of alternative targets in the Forward Line.


Implications?  We need to man up to avoid ‘easy goals’ by unmanned Forwards.  The battle for Midfield supremacy will be the driver for whoever Wins.  Mumford versus Grundy should be a telling battle.  Consideration might well be given to using Greenwood in another tagging role – On Shiel?  St Kilda demonstrated the application of close pressure on GWS players last week – worth a quick browse of the highlights to see. Your thoughts?




Sitting in 15th place on the Ladder (there are only 18 teams in the competition) with a percentage of 90.4%. But GWS have never beaten the Pies.  So, they may be a motivated; equally they may be a bit wary as we have pulled off Wins against the trend before (last year).  We have two Wins from seven however none could be called thrashings, though last week was close, given the circumstances.


Mids.My understanding is that Pendles may not travel because of family commitments.  But I don’t think the Midfield is a problem area – maybe add Greenwood in place of Pendles, in to shut down Shiel or Kelly.  It would be good to have Varcoe back, of course on one of the Wings.


Backs.It was pretty obvious that Schade’s absence hurt us, even with the pretty positive return of Reid.  Bring him and Wells back; bring in Scharenberg in the ‘third man up’ defensive role – this also adds another defensive ‘Tall’ into the Backline, allowing ease of movement of Reid and Howe (see below).  I note that Carlton had an extra man in defence that I could not see prompted any change by us.  Given GWS’s variety of Forward targets, we need to mark them closely, adding further support to the ‘third man up’ extra role.  I would also like to see a bit of adventurism – start Reid and Howe up Forward; bring Keeffe in as a defensive ‘Tall’ and resting ruck.


Forwards.Our Forward Line is a shambles.  I think it is trying hard; just not producing positive results.  The time has come to make changes to even just see what happens – I don’t think Cox is a competent FF, nor sufficiently good as an alternate ruck to warrant his retention; and I suspect that Darcy might usefully have a rest.  I know it’s not Darcy’s fault – he is attracting the best FBs in the competition, most of whom are hugely more experienced and frequently much heavier and stronger; and he’s being ‘double-teamed’ against which means he is attracting their defenders, but not contributing apart from that. And I reinforce my standard criticism that it as much how the ball is delivered as the receiver – our standard Inside 50 should not be based on a ‘specky’.  I like Fas’ and Elliott’s application, if not some of their decision-making.  Okay, draw up a team with this sort of arrangement Forward and Back – and see what it looks like.  Could we do worse than last week?  Try it and see – the numbers actually work out.  We have the talent that can work Forward or Back to make this work.


Game Plan. Three suggestions:

  1. Flexibility.  Let’s see some Coaching Box influence during the game.
  2. Kick-ins.  The same as last week, and the week before, etc.
  3. Close Marking.  Let’s have close-marking of their Forward Line – Patton and Cameron, in particular; let’s see if we can win the Contested Possession count, Tackles and wreck their Disposal Efficiency. Might be fun to tag Heater for a while just to upset him – Goldsack maybe?


Other ideas or changes?  What do you think?


We should win this.



Weather?  Sydney – Possible shower is forecast, following the same on Friday.  Expect the ball and ground to be slippery – avoid the moulded sole boots; consider long sleeves.



Game Previews:



My PicksPies by 13 points. BOG: Treloar – 31 touches.  Darcy – three Goals; Reid – two goals; Howe – two goals.  Crowd: 23,000 (I don’t remember how many it holds).  Best competition: Grundy vs Mumford.


TV?  Free to Air on 7mate from 4.30pm.


VFL. Round 5 – Saturday, 13 May.  Versus Werribee at Wangaratta Showground (feel like a drive?); bounce – 2.00 pm.  Who to watch in our side – Blair, Keeffe, Brown, Daicos, Crocker; others?




Other Things:


  • ‘Eddie Watch’. Anyone heard anything from Eddie.

The Future? 


Coach & President?  One game at a time; Imagine if we were to start winning, regularly?  Criticism of the Club hierarchy was silenced after the Geelong game; back with a vengeance this week.


ReportingC’mon – your Reports? I know some of you were there. 


Footy Almanac.  Remember our little brief gets lodged on-line at the Footy Almanac site at Worth a quick look-see.  Get involved in the discussion.


Go Pies.



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