Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life: Bucks stays, season over

Apologies to all for my little stuff up last week – the opening sentence of all places.  Thanks Footy Almanac for identifying it, and fixing it.


So, 2017 is over.  How was it?  A disappointing season on top of a pretty ordinary recent history.  Actually, I think it’s been a fantastic season – the equivalence between teams has been extraordinary; nearly last has drawn with, nearly beaten, the Ladder leader; at Round 23 we didn’t know who’s in what position on the Ladder – poor Melbourne – missed out by half of one percent. Look at the eight – we have beaten or been highly competitive with every one of them.  Unfortunately, we have tended to play for periods rather than the whole game. A friend of mine – a Lions supporter – summarises the season:  “Last year we won two games (actually it was three, but the point is the same) and didn’t get the wooden spoon; this year we won five and got it.  As Pies supporters it’s all finished prematurely.   We just know that if we’d got into the Finals it would be a different ball-game.  So it goes.  Oh yes; John, congratulations on the Eagles late Finals berth.


Okay, it’s been announced. Bucks stays. I am pleased, though I acknowledge some of you (frequently the more vociferous amongst us) won’t be.  I think the way the team has played in the second half of this season has been notable – ‘they’re playing for each other’ was one description; not too sure about the “playing for the coach” claims.  Whatever.  The announcement press conference: and

Ladies & gentlemen, I cannot (and won’t) apologise for my continued optimism during the season. And my expectation that we would win was based on my confidence in the team; not some arbitrary pick (of course). I have been disappointed in some performances.  I have lamented the lack of Coaching Box influence on the game on occasion (though acknowledge changes in the last few games). I’ve certainly been critical l of selections (and trading decisions).  I’ve even been critical of some players’ effort at times. But I have never lost faith and I do not blame for too long.  And another season awaits us in the New Year.


Go Pies.


The Weekend?


Collingwood 14.15.99 defeated Melbourne 12.11.83.

Match Reports at and

Buck’s comments at My early question was going to be: “Was this his last game as coach?”  Obviously not. More on that further down.

·         Agenda. Michael Christian’s Agenda with Jay Clark from the Herald Sun at the Pies website. There now. Go to      .

  • Expert Tips – Last week four out of 24 ‘experts’ tipped against us.  In addition to that perennial Pies-supporter, Mr Shorten, the serious expert who picked us was Baum.  Well done.
  • All Australian?  Congratulations to Howe and Treloar in being selected in the initial 40-man All Australian squad.  Good luck to both of them.  Grundy might have grounds for feeling some disappointment; as might Pendles (will this be his first non-selection in many years?).  I remember 2010 – we had six player in the final AA team – says a lot – it’s the team; not the individual.

The Game.  An outstanding 1st Quarter and a pretty solid game throughout.  With nothing to play for I thought the commitment was outstanding. While I am never a huge fan of turning a 7 goal lead into a lead of under two goals, I thought the continued effort by everyone was fantastic – 70 Tackles c/f 51 says it all.  Six DE over 80% (us) c/f seven doesn’t say much; 16 with two Clangers or more (us) c/f 17 for them, also doesn’t say much.  What is remarkable was their statistical dominance in Inside 50s: 56 to 48; but their conversion to Marks Inside 50s to 14 (them) to 16 (us) and scoring shots (29 (us) to 23 (them) and Goals -14 (us) to 12 (them), would be very disappointing for them.  I’d love to see the stats for the first half of Q2 and the 2nd half of Q3, when we were defending. Kirby had a bit of a quiet introduction – but two very good, unrewarded, tackles early on.  Well done.  It’s these sort of things that can turn a game – what would have been the impact of Frees to Kirby, followed by fairly simple Goals (nice start – two Goals in the 1st Quarrter?)?

Best? Elliott, Adams, Hoskin-Elliott, Sidebottom, Treloar, Dunn and Maynard.  Plus?

VFL. A close loss to Port Melbourne, 8.11.59 to 9.11.65, meant the Pies spent much of the weekend ‘wondering’.  As it turned out both Werribee and the Northern Blues Lost their respective games meaning the Pies snuck into the Finals.  Good performances included Ramsay, Hellier, Smith, Kelly, Tardrew and Lynch; Mayne and Keeffe also got a mention.  Match Reports at and 


Next Week?


This weekend Finals Round 1 – Richmond versus Collingwood (5th vs 8th) in the Elimination Final on Saturday, 2 September 2017; bounce at 2.40pm. Fortburn Stadium (aka Port Melbourne).  See (includes a listing of qualified players) and We’ve demonstrated we can beat the top teams in the last few weeks. And we won (just) against them earlier in the season. And we should get a few players back from AFL duties – Brown, Daicos and Kirby for starters. Go Pies.

TV coverage.  I haven’t worked this out yet – Channel 7 may show this game live.  What I’m not sure of is who will see it – probably Melbournians; but check the TV guide.

Next Year?

Contact? I’ll be in touch around the time of our practice matches. For those leaving their jobs where this email is directed, please send me another address?


Other Things:

·         ‘Eddie Watch’.  A very mature, restrained and quite reasonable Eddie fronted the media over the last couple of weeks.  Quite unusual.

·         Other Events.  See including:

–         Friday, 1 September; bounce 7.50pm – Legends Game – Victoria vs All stars –  The clip from last year is worth watching.  TV coverage – 7mate and 7HD (Channel 70) from 7.30pm.

–         Saturday, 2 September; bounce TBA – AFLW State of Origin – Victoria vs Allies – TV coverage – 7mate live from 7.00pm.

–         Other games.


The Future? Bucks is staying; and I’m very pleased it’s for two years not just one. I am aware that some of you strongly blame Bucks (and Eddie) for the downward slide in achievement at the Club since Bucks took over.  I’m not sure of the reasons for that but do suspect we are just round the corner from a major achievement. While the Club President and the Senior Coach KERs (Key Expected Results for the uninitiated) must ultimately relate to team success, I suspect we would not have done any better with other leadership.  Bucks, good luck; prove all those naysayers wrong. Take us to the 2018 GF.  Go for the quadripartite achievement – AFL, VFL, AFLW and Netball Premierships.

Welcome your views?

Footy AlmanacThe Footy Almanac site includes us and others. See:  The Floreat Pica Society, a worthwhile group of ‘experts’, view – always worth a look.

If asked by Footy Almanac I may be convinced to put together a bit of a Season Summary, which I will send out.

Have a great Christmas and New Year.  See you in 2018; the Year of the Pie.


Go Pies.


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