Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life; Season 2015 Preview: Defence and Midfield

True Believers, greetings to all.

Are we getting excited yet?  I can hardly wait for the season to start – the ‘bad times’ are nearly over – having got past Christmas and the New Year periods, past the soccer and Big Bash final, we now have to get past the ICC World Cup Cricket to get to pre-season and the real deal.  Hold your breath.


Luke Ball has joined the Match Review Panel.  Ball, former president of the AFL Players Association, is well regarded by all.

Bally and Mark (Choco) Williams (yes, the former Port Adelaide coach as well) have both received well-deserved Life Memberships to the Club. Congrats to both.

The club is super-confident that Ben Reid is on track to play in Round one.  Is this possible, really?


Thursday, 26 February things kick-off (pun intended) – less than two weeks to go.  Hawks versus Pies at Aurora Stadium (yes, I had to look it up) – Launceston. My view of the NAB Cup is a bit tainted by our performance after winning it in 2011, after winning the big one a few months before that (and our real season in 2011).  I see it pretty much as ‘practice matches’ so am more interested in the team (and individual) performances without much attention to the opposition.


Know your team: The Herald Sun recently ran the rule over the 18 teams and their lists for 2015 (read the full article HERE). Here’s what they had to say about Collingwood:

Leadership Group: The Club has unveiled a downsized leadership group for the new season, which now contains five players after featuring eight in 2014.  Tyson Goldsack is the only new face in the group as retired duo Nick Maxwell and Luke Ball both make way, along with Clinton Young and Lachie Keeffe.  Scott Pendlebury will captain the club again with his four vice-captains being Travis Cloke, Steele Sidebottom, Nathan Brown and Goldsack.  Pendles also rates as ‘our’ indispensible.


Midfield Assessment:

Top Shelf: Scott Pendlebury, Steele Sidebottom and Dane Swan.
Relievers: Levi Greenwood, Brent Macaffer, Taylor Adams, Travis Varcoe, Jarryd Blair and Sam Dwyer.
The Nursery:  Josh Thomas.

Verdict: The exit of Beams leaves the Magpies one short of rivalling the best midfields, however Taylor Adams has the potential to step up and fill the breach. The relief group is quality and will be a dangerous mix if Nathan Freeman can inject his electric speed.


Defenders Assessment:

Top shelf: Nil.
Support crew: Alan Toovey, Nathan Brown, Marley Williams, Travis Varcoe, Jack Frost, Lachlan Keeffe, Paul Seedsman and Tom Langdon.
Verdict: Expect Toovey to be back in the “Top shelf” in 2016 after playing 17 games in his first year back from a knee reconstruction. Brown is another who would dearly appreciate continuity in his footy, while Frost was stiff not to get upgraded after 22 games in which he led the Magpies for 1% and ranked Top10 for tackles and rebound 50s. Varcoe, classified a general defender by Champion Data, is expected to spend more time in the midfield while Langdon, Keeffe and Williams have bright futures. Tyson Goldsack is set to continue his defensive forward duties

What do you think of this assessment of the Pies? Feel free to comment below.


More on the other parts of the team as we progress.

Go Pies.


  1. Great stuff Cam. We can win this.

    Greenwood will be a v.good addition to the midfield. Just wait and see.

    I believe Bucks has stated that Reid, if and when he is right, will play behind the ball this year.

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