Cam Hookes’ Collingwood Life; Season 2015 Preview

Dear True Believers, all.

The 2015 season is upon us, and it is only appropriate to share a bit of a lead-in to the season with you:


The Start.
Can we win this year?  Of course we can.  Pretty silly question, actually.  Of course we are on the path to Premiership victory.  There’s an alternative?  My prediction – Pies versus Essendon in GF (which, importantly, is in October this year) with the Pies winning 123 to 71.  BOG: Grundy; Trav & Karnezis get 6 each; Chapman is carried off in Q1 after a Varcoe tackle (they never liked each other at Geelong) and Watson tests positive to a drug test after the game (He claims it was his father who gave him the cough medicine).


The Good.
The youngsters, particularly the draft picks from 2013 (Broomhead and Freeman) who didn’t get much of a go last year.  Plus Karnezis; plus Grundy – both of whom I look to have a big influence this year.  I like the aggression Grundy brings to the game, and like the end result that Karnezis produced with a fairly limited number of games in the Two’s.  I like what the Pies have done to the list, particularly the addition of Varcoe.  While there is/was no stronger supporter of Maxy and Bally, their departure was due.  Thanks to both of them, hugely. Harry was becoming a bit of a pain and shouldn’t be missed too much. I wish him well, of course, with the Demons; and wish them well with him. There are a bunch of other positives – Swanny acknowledging his 2014 performance “sucked” is a good start to 2015; Langdon coming from nowhere was fantastic; plus Dwyer, Witts and Caff and Pendles (as always) of course.


The Bad.
Reid’s injuries, even including his trip to Germany.  He would be a major positive addition to the team but I’m unsure whether he can be relied upon.  Similarly, I’m unsure whether Beam’s departure is actually a huge negative.  He spent most of last year injured.  While there is no doubting his skills, there will from now on, remain questions as to his ongoing fitness.  I’m not a huge White fan so am less concerned by his recent injury.  Darcy’s injury – not good.  I grew up watching his Dad – he comes with the pedigree and skills at the more junior level.  Good luck for a full recovery.


The Ugly.
Umpires sponsored by OPSM might fit in here? Having sat watching some of the Asian Cup soccer, the way soccer players mob their referees is ‘ugly’. What do you get if you ‘touch’ an Ump in the AFL? 4 weeks?


What are your predictions?


Who are you looking to for a big 2015????


Canberra-based Magpie Activities:  Check out the list of activities at the Collingwood football club website –  particularly as this may be an opportunity for you to meet others of the faith.  A large percentage of our number are from Canberra which means Sydney is reasonably accessible; even Bendigo is a pretty easy day-trip (NAB Challenge – 15 March; Pies versus Carlton).  Stuff elsewhere is worthy of your consideration, particularly for some of us who live away from Canberra or are a Grandma visiting kids at the time.


A story. And it is actually true….


My wife grew up in Broken Hill. Not that I’ve got anything against Broken Hill; I’ve actually never been there, though I have flown over it,  around it, and hanging over the rear door a couple of times courtesy of the Air Force (another story).

But it doesn’t seem to know whether it’s Arthur or Martha.

Clearly part of NSW, its geography predisposes it to most contact through Adelaide (or even Mildura, on occasion). So it seems to be a little confused as to its football allegiance – Rugby League as a consequence of the strong Union control of the town (at least in the old days), Union (not to be confused with my previous use of the term) or League, again, because of its NSW base, or Aussie Rules as a consequence of kids’ schooling in Adelaide, closest holiday locations, or even further afield in Victoria.

So my wife grew up in a very happy home, active in other pursuits like swimming and waterskiing and Saturday bush picnics, but largely unaffected by the focus that living in some other areas can lead to. She certainly didn’t follow the religious pursuit and piety that your standard Victorian (or other) family brings to their winter pursuits.

So some years ago when we were in Melbourne, I took her to the G, for her first visit.

It was a wet, cold and windy Saturday night. The Pies were playing Adelaide. And we (she) had our youngest son (only a few months old) in a chest harness carrier thingy. We were all appropriately dressed, including the baby, with scarves, beanies, etc. Our dedication in heading to the footy on such an awful night with such a young baby was evident to all. We were, obviously, dedicated.

We sat upstairs, not too far around from the goals. It was a pretty poor crowd, but OK given the weather and circumstances. The Pies weren’t expected to win.

And then a trio of Pies supporters sat in front of us. The three ladies were, like many Pies supporters, of some indeterminate age between about 40 and 70. It’s hard to tell sometimes. And like women of all ages, they love babies and were quick to acknowledge his good looks and our dedication in coming to the game, not that they saw anything odd about this as they went to every game regardless of weather, etc, etc. And they cooed at the baby with comments like “Isn’t he a beautiful baby?” and “How great it is to get involved with footy at such a young age?”

And then they rounded on the game: “Modra, you f….. girl, you couldn’t get a kick in a real team” and “Modra, you are f….. useless”.

And then their attention swung back to cooing at the baby. Before then returning their attention to the unfortunate Modra (who, if memory serves, still claims two out of the top 10 ‘Best marks of all time’?).

We won, fortunately. The ‘ladies’ adjourned in the full knowledge that we’d probably be there next week, and every week thereafter, and we laughed all the way home about their delightful turn of phrase and alternating focus.

And the baby? He grew into a strong Eagles supporter – his decision based on being born in WA – with my support that I didn’t mind who he barracked for, so long as he took it seriously (no changing if things were going badly), plus I would prefer that he didn’t barrack for another Victorian team.

And so we laughed at ourselves as Pies supporters.

Our fellow supporters are leaders of industry and shop floor sweepers. They are working single-mums and non-working politicians. They have multiple higher degrees and they left school at 12.

And they glory in the pursuits and endeavour of the Collingwood football team.

They are us.


If you’re interested in joining the Canberra Magpies, contact [email protected] 



  1. Does this early start from Pie-man Dr Hooke mean that the whole Pie season is a month ahead of everyone – and will finish at the end of August?

  2. No; just getting excited (as usual).

    Dr Hooke is my broether – a feral Geelong supporter.

  3. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Modra line was very funny. The moods of those old girls can turn on a three-penny bit. Glad they don’t allow umbrellas at the footy anymore.
    If we make the 8 it will be a decent result. Expectations on Buck’s and Eddie will heighten this year. Could be a wild ride. Cheers

Leave a Comment