Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life: Round 1 Preview


Greetings, True Believers.


And another year starts. Actually, I’m feeling pretty confident. We have a good List, have demonstrated a great Game Plan and the team are optimistic about the future. I like it that we are neither favourite nor potential ‘Wooden Spooners’ amongst ‘the experts’. Go to and, more believably, from the Captains,


Crystal Ball: Our predictions for the 2021 AFL season are in


Richmond, Brisbane Lions top AFL captains’ tips to contest 2021 grand final – ABC News

Richmond has been tipped by rival captains to reach a fourth grand final in five seasons, with Brisbane deemed most capable of dethroning the back-to-back AFL premiers. Seven opposition skippers …


And to feel good about our great game, go to and enjoy. I love it:


FIRST LOOK: Watch the AFL’s brilliant 2021 TV campaign NOW

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We’ve had an interesting time in between that fabulous Win over West Coast last year and now; the Loss to Geelong was covered extensively here late last year. A final comment on that? We weren’t good enough on the day. Now past.


From then, through the ‘bad times’, the draft and into the pre-season, everyone has an opinion; some positive, some negative, some in-between. I’m not sure where I sit – probably mor on the positive side. We have an awareness of those departing, but in the absence of personal knowledge of the players coming in, obviously only time will tell. Wait and see. There are two elephants in the room. I’ll make some brief comments on each – here for the ‘draft fuss’; below under ‘Eddie Watch’ relating to his departure. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me. That is not the purpose. If people feel sufficiently offended and wish to be removed from the List, simply respond to me and I’ll do that but, please, stay a Pies’ True Believer.


The practice match against Geelong and the Community Series game against Richmond were interesting but, fundamentally, were not real games. That starts in a week.


Elephant 1:


  • Treloar? A skilled player? Absolutely. Effective? Well, umpires like him (like all Mids) but some, like me, have been consistently critical of his disposal effectiveness. He achieved the greatest number of ‘touches’ in the competition in 2019; but if you are working off a Disposal Efficiency, even of 75% (high for him), his contribution is significantly lessened. This aspect was routinely challenged in this report. I’d heard some rumblings that he was not fully engaged amongst the team. Regardless of the money side of things, I was not surprised to see him offered up. The outstanding question: How much of his continuing salary will continue to be paid by us?


  • Stephenson? I really cannot understand how such a talented player could so consistently play so badly when he was picked last year. His attitude was also raised in previous reports here.


  • Phillips? A quiet achiever in and out of the team. I wish him well


  • Bosenavulagi? Not seen.


The newbies are impressive. How often have we seen a draft player picked for a senior game at the earliest opportunity? Henry; maybe? Good luck to him. Rantall is also impressing. Let’s see.


Round 1


Collingwood versus Western Bulldogs


Friday, 19 March at the MCG; bounce at 7.50pm.


History. We’ve only met three times in the last couple of years, winning each time:


  • 12 April 2019: Pies 78 defeated Bulldogs 64


  • 23 June 2019: Pies 82 defeated Bulldogs 73; and


  • 20 March 2020: Pies 86 defeated Bulldogs 34.




Looking at last year’s game and their recent Community Series Win over Melbourne (15.16.106 to 10.7.67) there are some lessons (noting this Win is still, essentially, a practice match):


  • Not too much can be usefully raised at their last year’s game because of the margin, however in both games the Bulldogs managed to be competitive for a Quarter (or two) – Q2 and Q3 last year and Q3 and Q4 this year. Essentially, I would suggest that the Bulldogs do not stop playing, even facing a substantial deficit. So? Play hard for four Quarters;


  • The Bont is hugely effective in the Centre or around the ground roving. He is emerging as a Brownlow favourite. So? Maybe tag him;


  • Liberatore has also performed in the Centre. For Sier and/or Adams;


  • The ruck combination between English and Martin was effective against Melbourne – Grundy demolished him last year (HO: 43/15) clearly reflected in Clearance domination (34/21). No biggie – over to Grundy supported by Cameron and/or Cox;


  • Treloar didn’t play for us in this game last year and didn’t play for the Bulldogs in their Community game this year. Not sure he’ll get a run against us;


  • Dale, a newbie, gave drive out of the Backline. Consider;


  • As did another newbie, Scott, forward. Consider;


  • And for our Canberra members, remember Bruce, doing reasonably well up forward; and


  • The Bulldogs should be respected as a team.






I like the Community Series team (mostly) with a couple of changes (go to :


  • Hoskin-Elliott in to replace Kelly (how unlucky can you be?); and


  • A reduced Interchange of Greenwood, Sier, Cameron and Madgen.


This presupposes that both Adams and Sidebottom are okay. Maybe include another newbie if Sidebottom is not.


Specific tasks: As above, under Them.


Game Plan:


  • We need to run hard for four Quarters starting with the domination of the Midfield. Grundy (supported by Cameron) needs to dominate but the critical statistic is the Clearance advantage, not just Hit Outs;


  • Our Forwards must get into the habit of providing multiple concurrent leads to divide the opponents’ defence. And look for better positions to kick at goal from;


  • Back 6. Keep up the good work (welcome back Howe); and


  • Midfield. De Goey had a great day out the last time we met. Right now we have doubts about our Forward line, our access to Goal. Keep De Goey forward; let Sier have a decent period in the Midfield. Alternate De Goey into the Midfield only as necessary late in the game; and


  • Really good to see the individual player Disposal Efficiency from the Community game – 100% – Cox, Hoskin-Elliott, Roughead and Sidebottom. Work on it – we can’t waste our possessions. If you need a comparison between players in the Midfield, look at Pendles – 75%. Others are less.


We can Win this and start the season well. Your thoughts?


My Picks. Collingwood to Win by 39 Points. BOG – Adams, 31 D, 8 Cl and one goal; De Goey and Cox each get three goals. Your thoughts?


Weather – Isolated late storms with light rain forecast on the day. ‘Stops’, not moulded sole, boots.


Experts – Too early. Google it later in the week.


  1. TV. FTA – 7mate from 7.30. Routine for Netflix and Kayo.




  • AFLW. The girls have been magnificent this season. I have been watching and can thoroughly recommend it. I hope our senior AFL team members have been watching – there are lessons for everyone, including them. Coming off six from six, tomorrow they play against Brisbane, in Brisbane, for the top of the Ladder. Good luck, girls. Go to team selection


at and the Match Preview




AFLW: Team Selection: Shevlin to return

Maddie Shevlin is set to run out for her first game of the 2021 season this Sunday when the Pies meet the Lions in round seven. The third-year Magpie has worked her way back into the side after …


AFLW: Round 7 Match Preview –

The Pies will head north for a top of the table clash with Brisbane at Hickey Park on Sunday afternoon. Coming off Round 6: Collingwood brought the Bulldogs’ four-game winning streak to an …

  • Eddie Watch. Okay, this will be the last entry under this heading on this topic. Let me distinguish between occasional poorly selected words and the fact that he was President for such an extended period. These are two entirely different issues, unfortunately to some seemingly with the same solution. While I lament Eddie’s poor choice of words on those various very public occasions, I have great difficulty understanding the huge angst associated with his opening remarks at the press conference launching Collingwood’s response to the racism review. While you can argue his words were poorly chosen, there is no doubt in my mind that everyone knew what he meant, and it was disappointing that some, particularly media, took to him with a vengeance. I freely acknowledge that the Head of any organisation should not extend for such a period – my personal view: 10 years maximum. Eddie has done wonderful things for our club and for AFL football, more generally. I am disappointed that his departure has occurred in such a negative fashion. We all have much to be thankful to him for. He will be missed – his enthusiasm, his love of the Pies and even his antics have all endeared him to us.



Collingwood Football Club congratulates Eddie McGuire

The Collingwood Football Club congratulates Eddie McGuire, by any measure a giant of the club, after almost 23 years of service as president. McGuire, 56, announced his immediate departure today.


Eddie McGuire resignation: Pies president’s demise started with Adam Goodes comment

When an emotional Eddie McGuire took to the podium at an abruptly called media conference to announce the end of his Collingwood presidency on Tuesday, he had already felt the hands in the back …

AFL Injury Update, Official Injury List AFL –

Early prognosis. Sidebottom remains touch and go for the season-opener with the Western Bulldogs after scans revealed a minor strain in his calf following the Richmond hitout. The Pies are adamant he’s a 50-50 proposition to recover from the injury sustained exactly two weeks from round one. Kelly will be sidelined for at least six weeks after undergoing surgery to repair the broken collarbone …


  • Other. Congratulations to Darcy Moore onto the AFLPA Board.




An appeal. Guys, this should be a two-way flow of views and opinions. Pls consider this and contribute. Remember we are all ‘family’.


Go Pies.





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  1. george smith says

    good stuff:
    De Goey and Cox are both fit at the same time for the first time in ages, meaning that our X factor is ready to go.
    Adam Treloar has gone from the harsh goldfish bowl that is Collingwood, to the place where everybody knows your name, where a bloke with mental health problems can slowly recover in the warm supportive blanket that is Footscray.
    We have several contenders for centre half forward, the best of which is, of course, in the sick bay. however Cam’s optimistic approach to his rehab gives me hope that we will see the best of Will Kelly sometime this year.

    bad stuff:
    A tsunami has once again raged through Collingwood, losing our president, various coaches, one of our best players, and two other handy ones for not much reward. How the team copes with this mess is one of life’s mysteries…

    Buckley is still coach after 10 fruitless years. Given that only two Collingwood players have coached premierships since Jock Mchale in 1936, it would seem that history, the old meanie, is not on his side…

    The scribes have written us off. Unlike 1990 I expect them to be right, and the team will have a holding pattern.

    Mr Injuries is once again causing havoc at his favorite hangout. So far he has blighted Kelly Sidebottom and Maynard.

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