Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life: Round 1 is upon us

True Believers, the wait is over; the ‘bad times’ are done; footy is back.

2017 ‘Expert’ Predictions. Go to:

But from Mr McGuire? “We won the flag in 2010, we won the flag in 1910. We won the flag in 1917 and 100 years later we’re setting ourselves to go after the flag again”.

And me? My 2017 prediction?  Collingwood Premiers in 2017, following Top 4 H&A finish. And won’t there be a bunch of ‘experts’ surprised?

Last weekend?

AFLW. Well done girls; a great effort to finish your first season.

Beaten by Adelaide 10 10 70 to 7 4 46; 20 scoring shots to 11. Somehow we were up seven points at the last change – a sterling effort. Probably the game is more accurately represented by inside 50s: 33 (them) to 18 (us), marks inside 50: 12 to 9 and contested possessions: 104 to 72. Some feedback on the game at http://www.afl.com.au/womens/matches/match-centre?matchid=100640703&competitionid=10064 and http://www.collingwoodfc.com.au/news/2017-03-19/aflw-v-adelaide-ft-2017.

Coach’s comments on the season: http://www.collingwoodfc.com.au/news/2017-03-19/coach-hails-aflw-learning-experience.

And if you thought it wasn’t a tough game go to: http://www.afl.com.au/video/2017-03-19/aflw-cox-punches-perky-pie.

Well done, ladies; a fantastic season’s effort. See you next year.

Magpies Netball. Ladies, another close one. Beaten by the Sunshine Coast Lightning 51 to 50. Match Report at http://supernetball.com.au/2017/03/18/thrilling-finish-sees-lightning-strike/.

Next Weekend?

Magpies NetballRound 6 – 26 March; tip off at 1.00pm, versus NSW Swifts at the Sydney Olympic Park. Of the 14 Round season (plus Finals) we are approaching the half-way mark. We need to start enforcing our presence. Game coverage via Telstra. Go get ‘em ladies.

AFL

Game?  Round 1 – Friday, 24 March 2017; Collingwood versus Western Bulldogs at the MCG; bounce: 7.50pm.

Teams?  Out usually on Thursday night. May be out a little earlier because they’re playing on Friday (even earlier for the Carlton vs Richmond teams playing Thursday night).

Them

WB – reigning Premiers; well- deserved winners of the 2016 GF. But GFs are not H&A matches. They are very, very different beasts. Reporting indicates WB could have 18 members of their GF team playing, plus Trav (and we all know just how effective he can be – and probably will have every intention of making a point) – at CHF. Who else to watch for – Bont (newly placed No 5 (shifting from No 49 last year) of the AFL Players Top 50 (Pendles is No 6), Liam Picken (Billy’s boy) and Boyd in the Ruck. But Roughead and Campbell (latest advice – Campbell may play) are both out injured reducing their Ruck stocks and their talls.  Newby English might be added to Boyd to ease the Ruck role, perhaps rotating through Defence to match Pies talls. Also watch for Crameri, as another CHF option, and Stringer, Forward. And they are a ‘running team’; they won’t give up or stop.

Implications? We need some strong bodies to restrict Trav – maybe Dunn or Goldsack; maybe double-team. Bont needs to be tagged (for the whole game) – remember we shut down Dangerfield in that wonderful Geelong game at the G early in 2016 by tagging him; but then let him loose in the final quarter, when he very nearly beat us on his own. And we need to make use of the advantage we’ll have on talls, both Backs and Forwards so, maybe look at increasing it – additional talls. And countering their endeavour? We can only do one thing – match it.

Us

Pre-season form. Without putting too much emphasis on it, there is some value in looking at player’s performance in the JLT games. Go to http://www.collingwoodfc.com.au/news/2017-03-13/the-ultimate-pre-season-form-guide-2017-v2. I’m a little unsure how they got their order. Taken as ‘Disposals per game’ a different order appears: 1. Reid; 2. Smith; 3. Adams; 4. Aish; 5. Treloar; 6. De Goey; 7. Phillips; 8. Sidebottom; 9. Pendles and 10. Ramsay.

We appear to be in pretty good shape. I have three consistent concerns.

1. Ruck performance. We expect our mids to gain control of the ball. We have matched oppositions in Clearances with our outstanding Mids, rather than achieving “dominance”, both last year and in the practice matches, being beaten in Hit Outs at the Centre bounces. This is a huge lost opportunity. We need to look at solutions – maybe add Keeffe to Grundy?  Measure?  HO and Clearance statistics examined together.

2. Kick-ins. The quickest way to hand over the ball one kick out from their goal is to mismanage kick-ins (check out Heater at GWS/look at replays of Neon Leon).  It should a planned and practiced process leading to our control of the ball as it heads forward.  Measure?  Disposal Efficiency (DE) of Backs doing the kick-ins.

3. Finally, entry to the 50. This requires options from potential recipients as well as the deliverer – not simply from one or the other. Measure? Again, DE of ball deliverers and count the number of unused leads by Forwards – it should be high. You could also add ‘Implementing the Game Plan’ and ‘Endeavour’ under concerns, but both are general and go without saying – Measure? Team statistics comparisons – contested possessions and Tackles. We could also discuss the specific ‘Defensive Strategy’, however that is part of the Game Plan and, I hope, we learnt a strong lesson early last year.

So, who’s in and out? Grundy supported by Keeffe, off the bench/rotating Forward maybe; other Mids with Treloar, Adams, De Goey and Crisp (less Pendles), with Sidebottom and Varcoe on the Wings.  Maybe slot Pendles at CHF (I’m not sure he’s fit – don’t be surprised if he doesn’t run out); Darcy, White and Cox Forward, supported by the smalls (Mayne, Fas, Hoskin-Elliott).  The Back 6, with Reid, Ramsay, Howe and Maynard, with Dunn and Goldsack targeting Trav.  Extra-man into the Back 6 – Schade or Scharenberg.  Plus Aish, Phillips and Smith off the bench.  Okay, that doesn’t add up – Delete four, but keep one Emergency, in case Pendles doesn’t turn up. Your thoughts?

We can win this. Anyone going? Reports pls?

Injuries?  http://www.collingwoodfc.com.au/season/injury-list. Probable (or announced) key players missing – Wells, Elliottand De Goey (injured playing with his dog on the weekend); it seems Grundy and Pendles are okay’ish.

Weather? Storms and deluge in Melbourne today and tomorrow. While not forecast to be raining on Friday, the surface will still be wet and the ball slippery – consider sleeved jumpers and stops (Remember them? Things that help you turn, unlike moulded soles.)  Minimum 9 deg.

Game Previews:

My Picks.  Pies by 13 points. Treloar – BOG – 33 touches at 83.0% Disposal Efficiency (DE); Bontimpelli – 23 Disposals at 71.0% DE (Adams had 19 Disposals, but wore Bont like a glove); Goals to Moore – 4, Cox – 3 and Trav – 6.  Crowd: 73 000. The crowd stood and clapped Trav as he left the field. Dad was present and clearly pleased; as were Cameron and Jason.

TV? Free to Air on 7mate live from 7.30pm.

VFL. Next practice match versus Footscray at the Holden Centre on Friday, 24 March; bounce at 4.15pm. Note – you’ll be able to watch this game then wander over to the MCG in time for the start of the Round 1 AFL game.

Other Things:

  • ‘Eddie Watch’. See quote at the top of the page. Love it.
  • Buck’s coaching future. Yep, Buck’s job is ‘on the line’. He said so: “Into the Finals or out of a job”. And his philosophy: ‘The harder-you-work-the-luckier-you-get’. See http://www.afl.com.au/news/2017-03-15/has-nathan-buckley-changed-enough-to-keep-his-job.
  • Canberra to Sydney Travel. For Canberrans, a trip to Sydney is not too far these days.  Keep an eye on Round 3 vs Sydney (SCG) on Friday, 7 April; bounce at 7.50pm and Round 8 vs GWS (Spotless) on Saturday, 13 May; bounce 4.35pm.
  • Manuka Games.  Don’t forget the GWS Manuka games Round 4 – Port / Saturday, 15 April; Round 6 – WB / Friday, 28 April and Round 20 – Melbourne / Saturday, 5 August. Wear your Pies regalia with pride to encourage the AFL into Canberra.

Reporting. I enjoy putting this together however it would be even more enjoyable with input from others, particularly those who get to the games and can give us a Report from the Ground’ – Nothing gives us a better perspective about what is going on. Actually watching the game on TV equally qualifies you.  C’mon ‘Reply to All’ – give us your views – feel free to be contrary.  We are ‘family’, after all.  Or text me during the game.

Footy Almanac. Remember our little brief gets lodged on-line at the Footy Almanac site at https://www.footyalmanac.com.au/. And if you want to check out what was being said a few years ago (yep, doesn’t time fly) go to https://www.footyalmanac.com.au/?s=hooke

Go Pies.

Cam.

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