Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life: Standing up when needed

True Believers, a weekend to remember. Two wins from two outings against favourites in each game – AFL and VFL sides.


As per last week, a win’s a win is a win. But it was our performance that was notable (and different from last week). With the loss of our captain, the loss of two key players to injury, and being four goals down 2 minutes into the Final Quarter, we saw some dynamic coaching decisions and ‘the boys’ stood up. Well done to all (including Bucks).


Okay, Breaking News – Gary Pert’s resignation as CEO. Go to:  See also attachment.


The Weekend?


A win, over the eighth placed Eagles, 13.15.93 to 13.7.85.

Match Reports at  and

Buck’s explanations at

An interesting, at times frustrating, game; the first I’d seen for a while. After a stellar start, to progressively lose the Q1, particularly with that last kick was pretty soul-destroying. Getting even with them late in Q3 only to then have the Eagles pile on three unanswered goals was nearly ‘heart-breaking’. And then they scored the first goal of the Final Quarter (Darling) within two minutes (actually at the 1 minute 11 seconds mark) was totally ‘heart-breaking’. What did I expect? Honestly, I really expected us to roll over and WCE to pile on a collection of Goals. But that didn’t happen. Why? A couple of changes were huge.  Dunn went onto Kennedy (Goldsack was outworked by Kennedy in the First Half) and De Goey went Forward establishing a pretty small Forward Line (plus Reid), which worked.  And Grundy worked as (nearly) the sole Ruck for most of the game but particularly the last Quarter (helped by Reid on a couple of occasions). So, good to see the Coach’s box making changes.


Other suggestions?  While Dunn was a good decision (if late), consideration needs to be given to including Schade in the side. He has demonstrated his ability against the best and biggest. Goldsack’s inability to cope should have been actioned earlier. Grundy’s performance was outstanding – a very big load without support. Consider bringing Keeffe in as an additional Forward (or Back) tall rotating Ruck.


The Numbers Game. As usual, we didn’t exploit our domination, particularly early in the First Quarter; got better in the Final Quarter. Quite simply, when our ball movement worked it was magnificent, as good as I’ve ever seen, but there were occasions when ‘decision-making’ let us down.  I think we didn’t use the ‘corridor’ as much as we should have, particularly when being cautious in the bulk of Q1 (after our good start) and Q2.  Our comeback for much of Q3 was terrific apart from what you might call a defensive lapse towards the end of Q3.

Best? De Goey – simply outstanding, particularly that chase down and tackle – ‘game-changing’? Yep, sure was; Treloar – I’ll even forgive some ‘sideways-movement’ decision making; Grundy – a fabulous effort; Howe – love the floating interceptions and lack of urgency in his ‘decision-making’; and I think Pendles absence from the Mids showed what some of them can do – a useful observation. Plus others. In fact, I’d have difficulty identifying anyone that didn’t contribute at some point.  Well done to all.

As before, regardless of whether we can or can’t make the Finals, there is absolutely no point in ‘playing it safe’. See suggestions below.

VFL.  Another Win against the odds over 5th placed Richmond 14.20.104 to 16.6.102.  And imagine if we’d kicked straighter or they hadn’t. Match reporting at and  Some good individual performances – Kirby, Ramsay.

Next week?


This Week?  Round 19 – versus Adelaide at the G on Sunday, 30 July 2017; bounce 3.20pm.

Them. They are sitting at the top of the ladder a game and a half clear of 2nd place. We are still sitting 13th, two games plus percentage outside the Eight. They have 13 wins, compared to our 7, and a 139.9% percentage compared with our 96.7%. They are coming in after four solid Wins, including their last week’s solid win against Geelong. But they are travelling – a key disadvantage. But Adelaide have had some surprises – Round 14 a Loss to Hawthorn by 14 points, Round 11, a Loss to Geelong by 22.  So they are beatable. Haven’t we beaten both of those sides?

People / Things to watch for?  Their Midfield is outstanding – M. Crouch and B. Crouch; their very strong HB Line – Sloane, Lever, Douglas and their Forward Line – Lynch and Jenkins.  And, always, watch for Eddie Betts (actually – latest – out with appendicitis). Interestingly, their Pocket players, both FP and BP, are listed routinely amongst their Best.  Adelaide also move their people around more than most teams, so Sloane has performed on the HB Line and as Ruck Rover. Their usual FF , Walker, has mostly been quiet’ish.  Anyone else?

Implications. Maybe consider tagging M. Crouch? Goodwood? Pay attention to ‘crumbing’ around packs both Forward and Back to minimise their advantage from the Pockets. We also need to give greater thought to the passage of the ball over each Half Line – over each is best.  If Pendles is back, put him into the HF Line? Consider Keeffe into either Line.  Schade onto Walker?

Us.  As above, we’ve nothing to lose – so go for it.

Ins / Outs / Maybe’s? Outs are easy – Darcy and Varcoe; not sure about Pendles (still out?).  Ins – As per the above – let’s try some different things – Keeffe, Schade, and Kirby (plus maybe Ramsay, if there is a spot).

Game Plan? Okay’ish. Almost too late in the season to make a difference, but keep trying. Use the ‘corridor’ as much as we can.  Tie up our kick-in planning.  A win here, against Adelaide, will explode the experts; not sure what else it will do.  It will, sure as Hell, make me happy.

What do you think?

We should win this.

Weather? Melbourne is going to have occasional showers this whole week (now, there’s a surprise), including both Saturday and Sunday.  Accordingly, it will be a slippery ball on a slippery surface. Check the ‘stops’ on your boots; chuck the moulded sole boots away.  Maybe sleeved jumpers.

Game Previews:

  • AFL Match Day Preview –  There in the next few days.  Their prediction is not there yet, but the betting is: $3.50 to $1.30.
  • Natoli’s ‘Ultimate Preview’ will be on the Pies Home Page at in the next few days.
  • The Age Preview – Should be at also in a few days.
  • Expert Tips – will be at  The majority of experts got it wrong (20 to 4 picked WCE) again.  This week?  I expect ‘the experts’ will pick 23 to 1 for an Adelaide Win – thank you Mr Shorten for your unstilted support (remind you of anyone?).


My Picks.  Pies by 11 points. BOG: Treloar – 29 touches @ 87.6% DE.  Reid – four Goals; Kirby – four Goals; Elliott and Fasolo – four Goal Assists each. Crowd: 63,000 (did you know that last week’s crowd was the lowest Collingwood home game crowd in however many years?) – encourage your friends to attend! Best competition: Goodwood v M. Crouch.

TV?  7mate from 3.00pm.  At last.


This weekend Round 15 – versus Essendon at Victoria Park on Sunday, 30 July; bounce 11.45am. Enough time to watch the Two’s and then head over to the G?

Essendon are sitting 6th against our (still) 11th place on the Ladder. But then, Richmond were sitting 5th last week. Probably, we should be seen to be out of our depth. But, apart from two-weeks ago week, we’ve shown a bit of ‘killer-instinct’, so an upset is achievable.

 Go Pies.

Who to watch for in our side? Well it depends who gets pulled into the AFL side. Of those remaining look for those suggested above plus, of course, Daicos, and Brown.


Other Things:

‘Eddie Watch’. Did anyone else see who Eddie was sitting with at the game? Yep, Mr Grumps, himself. I did like Eddie’s message to the world – Does Pert’s departure have any implications?

The Future?  Of course, it’s never over till it’s over. Anyone want to suggest anything?  Maybe after a positive result next weekend, I’ll go public.

Welcome your views?

Reporting. C’mon people – your Reports?  Is anyone getting to the games?

Footy Almanac. The Footy Almanac site includes us and others. See: Worth a browse.

Go Pies.


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