Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life: What Are You Looking Forward To This Season?

True believers, G’day to all.

A week to go – opening NAB Cup game – Thursday next week. Anyone going to be in Launceston? And if you thought time dragged over the ‘bad times’ consider inventing a new game. Mitchell Brown from The Canberra Times wrote THIS excellent think-piece. Thank you Mitch.

What is going to be interesting as we head towards the season is who gets a run.  I suspect from Bucks’ messages regarding “the best 22 as a fluid concept” and avoiding a repeat of last year’s injuries ‘woes’ (both of which I really applaud), we should expect significant player use and turnover over the next few weeks and maybe a little demonstration of ‘team direction’?


Who are you looking forward to seeing on the paddock?

For me, a couple:

Freeman (“elite endurance and speed”) and Scharenberg (“best schoolboy talent since Wayne Carey” – Choco).  Not seen last year. Pre-season looking good.

Karnezis – Can he provide that critical second major delivery path to goal?  We saw what he did in the ‘Twos’, until an injury prevented his promotion. What will we see this year regarding tackling, aggression and the hard stuff?

Swanny – where is he at?

Goldie – Forward or Back?  Good at both ends, where is he best?


What are you looking for?

For me, a few:

Approach to goal – targeting Forwards’ leading alternatives?

Drive out of the Backline?  Brown’s stated desire to “take over the Backline” is important.  Previously you had Maxy there, plus Heater, who never shut up.  Now there is a bunch of kids who have done really well so far.  Need talk, talk talk from Browny.

The Midfield – Greenwood for Beams, Varcoe for Ball, Caff and Pendles, of course?  And the links with the big guys – Witts and Grundy?  Who else?  Maybe Darcy Moore?  And how do we look around the ground, away from the middle?


What else?

This is, I think, a big year for Bucks.  He (the team) needs “to produce”, particularly after last year.  Otherwise?  And what constitutes “success” – Top four? Grand Final, Premiership?  I expect ‘Top Four’ plus routinely beating Carlton, Essendon and Geelong constitutes a good year.  A great year is the Premiership.  What makes up your view of success?

I’ve heard people be critical of Eddie.  I disagree strongly with this.  My recommendation to anyone saying that is to invite them to compare the state of the Club Before Eddie (BE) and now.  Get real: Eddie has been (is being) good for Footy and great for the Pies (with occasional indiscretions – see below, showing he is just a Broadie Boy at heart).

Four Field Umpires this pre-season (and then for real(?)) ?  I have to admit the Umps actually do an OK job keeping out of the players’ and each other’s way.  I didn’t know (but shouldn’t be surprised at the defining of ‘key performance indicators’) that the Umps averaged 9.1 errors per game last year and that target is 8.5 errors per game this year.  I’d like to see our games’ statistics compared with the average and some ‘soft-free’ clubs.  What is your major concern re umpiring?  Who do you think gets a ‘free ride’?  How about the interpretation and ‘pinging’ of  “prior opportunity”?  “Tweaking” of the rules of the game?  Go to for a look at this season’s changes.



Will someone tell me what is going on with Essendon and their NAB Cup team?  Why the fuss?  And is the Essendon coach ever going to be held accountable for things that his players and Club did during his tenure?  I mean, it isn’t a secret that everyone at Essendon at that time was inevitably involved in the Club-sanctioned ‘supplements saga’.

Not great news about Jolly’s health.  I credit him as being ‘the difference’ that led us to our 2010 win (not the only factor, but a significant one).  Good luck to him (but please no more TV shows).

And, talking about TV shows, I note Channel 9 is unlikely to bid against Channel 7 for the 2017-21 seasons, hence probably limiting the TV revenue to only a vaguely obscene amount.  And will “free to air” be looked after?  Yeah, right.


Eddie, Eddie, Eddie.  Rested for the season from Fox Footy (along with Dermie), it’s hard to keep a “walking, talking, media event” down (specifically the last major para re Mason Cox).  “Boom-boom” is right!!!


And did you know our Club turned 123 years old on 12 February?  Happy Birthday from all of us!!


C’mon, lets hear from you.  Thoughts, ideas, hopes, gossip, etc, etc?


Go Pies.


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