Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life – Round 4 Preview

True Believers, I am seriously not enjoying 2016. However, as a True Believer, I will keep plodding on. From Eddie (link below): “That’s the excitement about being Collingwood. When it’s great it’s fantastic; when it’s tough it’s demanding.” We have, of course, all been there before.

Okay, firstly, greetings to all. There are a further 20 home & away matches to go. Then, when we get into the Finals there are a few more games until Saturday, 1 October (put it in your diary now). Following that we have to celebrate through the ‘dark times’ until the 2017 season starts. Hope springs eternal – Go Pies!

The Game:

Sunday, 17 April; Melbourne at the G (where else for these two teams?). Bounce: 3.20pm. This is 10th versus 14th on the Ladder; 94.6% vs 68.05% percentages. Did you know our percentage is 68.05%? I didn’t.

Weather? Possible shower; 12 – 17 deg. Light southerly winds.

TV? Apologies, again, for my error last week. This week: Free to Air on 7mate with a one hour time delay – from 4.00pm; live on Fox. And thanks for your kind offer last week, Neil.

The Teams:

Us? Should be published tonight on the AFL website – www.afl.com.au.

Our legacy from last week: “This was a loss without excuse” – http://www.theage.com.au/afl/afl-news/afl-recovery-session-saints-loss-wounds-buckley-20160411-go3l8v.html.

Bucks, after last week’s performance, forecast a willingness to consider personnel and Game Plan changes. Lets see what happens – we’ve heard that before. Injury outs include: Williams and Marsh. Potential ins could include Sidebottom, Varcoe, Caff and Broomhead and with Backline options Tooves, Frost and Jesse White (note, I’m being very supportive of Mr White after several years of criticism of his performance as a Forward). While I’d like to see Witts back, my understanding is that he’s still a week away – Grundy did better last week than previously but will be tested against an in-form Gawn. And what about Cox up Forward – I think we’ve reached the point where we need to look at ‘alternative’ solutions – there are a few who deserve ‘a rest’ – Blair, Brown, Sinclair, Darcy? In terms of the Game Plan, I’m not convinced there is anything wrong with it (apart from the kick-ins, which I think are appalling); it just needs the players to apply themselves. And the big question – whether to play Pendles at HB or as a Mid? Unfortunately, from a timing perspective, Pendles’ shift back to the Centre last week coincided with stopping of St Kilda’s run. More generally I think the placement of Pendles into the Backs (and Swanny into the Forward Line) is a good idea – it provides greater stability to each area and potentially prolongs their individual playing life. We have sufficient depth amongst our Mids – they just need to produce. The time to try something different is now.

Players. Want to check where ‘the experts’ see our players standing: http://www.afl.com.au/stats/player-ratings/overall-standings#club/CD_T40. There seem to be a lot of our players sitting in the bottom half.

Do you have some ideas?

Them? Melbourne lost to North by 5 points last week after establishing a 50 point lead at the end of Q1. In Round 2 they lost to Essendon – an up and down game where the margin exceeded 12 points in both directions on a number of occasions. In Round 1 they snuck past GWS after being 24 points down at the start of the Final Quarter – quite an achievement in my view having watched GWS live against Geelong and on TV against Sydney. Team out tonight. Watch for Gawn in the ruck – made the Team of the Week last week, Kennedy (remember him?) – amongst the Best each game, Viney – roving, Watts – overdue for a good performance (do you remember his ‘welcome’ to AFL footy against the Pies a few years back?), Trengrove (unlikely; was coming back via the VFL side last week but only had 2 minutes (awake) on the ground). And, in addition to Kennedy, some others from ‘the family’ – Harry, Dawsey (probably still another week away), Weideman and Frost (nobody answered me last week – is this Jack’s brother?). Note that another of Melbourne’s Best, Bernie Vince, will be absent, suspended for one match.

Impact on us? Not sure. Your views?

Game Previews?

AFL Match Day Preview – http://www.afl.com.au/match-centre/2016/4/coll-v-melb – there now;
The Age Preview – Should be at http://www.theage.com.au/afl eventually somewhere; and
Expert Tips – Look at the Round 4 Expert Tips at http://www.theage.com.au/afl/expert-tipsters. Round 3 total picks – 5 for St Kilda against 20 for the Pies. Note that both Baum and Connolly picked us to win, by 11 and 22 points respectively (I wish they’d stop picking us). And, just to maintain our ‘political view’ (most of us are from Canberra after all) – PM and the LOTO – both wrong, again, picking the Pies by 10 and 18 points respectively.

My Picks? My Picks last week were pathetic, but then again so were everyone else’s. This week – Pies by 37 (positive enough?); BOG: Treloar; 34 touches @ 88% Disposal Efficiency; 8 Tackles – the Mid successor to Pendles. Goals: Cox – 4, Fas – 4; Goal Assists – Trav – 7. Crowd: 70,000? Your picks?

Other:
The VFL competition. Started last weekend. Great win against Port Melbourne to start the season. http://www.collingwoodfc.com.au/news/2016-04-10/report-vfl-season-begins-on-a-high. Player performance – http://www.collingwoodfc.com.au/news/2016-04-13/vfl-player-review-stats-and-comments. Check the Best from last week – how many of those do you think might get a run in the Seniors’ side? This week’s game: Collingwood vs Casey Scorpions; Sunday, 17 April; Bounce: 11.45am. Holden Centre.
Eddie Watch. From http://www.theage.com.au/afl/afl-news/eddie-mcguire-wouldnt-hesitate-to-sack-nathan-buckley-20160412-go4tan.html to Eddie on the Pies – this is really worth watching (and is the source of my starting quote, above) -http://www.collingwoodfc.com.au/video/2016-04-13/mcguire-speaks-on-360 (and is a pretty good demonstration of selective journalism, if you ever needed an example);
Umpiring Decisions, involving Luke Ball. This week: “deliberate”. Explained at http://www.afl.com.au/video/2016-04-12/deliberate-rule-explained; and
Pies. http://www.collingwoodfc.com.au/. Natoli’s ‘Ultimate Preview’ for last week is at http://www.collingwoodfc.com.au/news/2016-04-07/ultimate-preview-pies-v-saints. Again, no pick or margin. Expect this week’s at the Pies Home Page in the next day or so;
For the Canberra residents, particularly those supporting ‘AFL into Canberra, remember the GWS / Port game at Manuka on Sunday; bounce at 1.00pm. You’ve probably got enough time to watch it, get home and watch the delayed Pies game telecast (or wear a radio earphone).

Reporting? Anyone going to the game? Ground Reports pls? Thanks to those who provided comment this week; very much appreciated.

Remember to keep an eye on the Footy Almanac – https://www.footyalmanac.com.au/.

Go Pies.

Cam

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