In a way coaches are sort of like teachers.

They mentor the players and take charge of the ‘classroom.’

They ‘use their outside voice’ and punish players who misbehave and they reward and motivate players who are doing well.

Through supporting Collingwood for the many years, I have noticed something about Mick Malthouse.

Now I’m no big shot journo, so I can pretty much preach what I think, knowing I won’t get fired or attacked and that is what I love about the Almanac!

Mick as a coach is a teacher and just as students have favourite teachers, (and trust me, we all do) teachers have favourite students.

What caused me to realise this was the dropping of certain players and the patience he gives to others.

Why is it fair that Jack Anthony gets one game to prove his ability, and is given the boot right away if he doesn’t kick atleast three goals?

Meanwhile sometimes spearhead Fevola only gets two goals and keeps his spot.

Collingwood’s game has changed, we don’t have one target that we always go to and this means that it’s possible that Jack won’t get any goals in a game but Mick doesn’t seem to understand this.

Then the staff blames the omission of Jack on his lack of defensive pressure, that’s fine and he was reported to have shone defensively in the VFL that next week.

I’m not saying Jack is perfect, his form has dropped but playing him in the reserves cannot be helping his confidence, he could work harder to get back to his good form, all he needs to do is work on stronger leads and that’s not a reason to drop him week after week.

What sort of pay back is that for a player who won the semi-final off his own boot!

I’m praying Jack will survive under Mick’s reign because I know Bucks will have more patience for him. I have downloaded one of Jack’s first ever interviews (2005)on the Black and White Show, about being drafted by Collingwood, not once does the youngster mention Mick, all he says is-

“It’s unreal, when I see Buckley and he taps me on the shoulder and you think, you know, unreal, you have legends around you…”

And then he repeats-

“I was actually over there, at the drinks and Buckley came past me and tapped me on the shoulder, and I said that’s unreal that I got a legend like him tapping me on the shoulder, it’s a fantastic feeling…”

Well, after reading that anyone who thought Jack was a snob can go and eat cake!

He knows how to acknowledge a champ when he sees one.

So let’s see the differences shall we?

Jack gets taps on the shoulder from a “legend’ and future coach that he watched play when he was growing up, but gets sprays from Mick if he, the most deadly shot at goal has a bad game.

This same treatment is happening to Chris Dawes, as soon as he doesn’t kick more than two goals he gets the drop.

How is this fair when Collingwood are a team that have over five different goal kickers each match, some of them coming from defenders such as Harry O’s big bombs, most of them not set shots, but play-ons?

Then there is the issue of Sean Rusling.

I have no idea what Mick is doing there.

Sean is injury prone, infact he can’t go 2 weeks without suffering a calf injury, an ankle or even worse the soft spot, his shoulder.

What really gets to me is that if Mick is not satisfied with Anthony and Dawes’ efforts down forward, then why won’t he let Rusling have his day in the sun?

Injury prone Rusling has only managed eighteen senior games in his five years at Collingwood and in those kicked a total of nineteen goals.

After a serious shoulder reconstruction, according to the Collingwood Football Club website:

Rusling looks to have fully recovered from his shoulder problems.

So WHY are they not playing the poor guy?

He’s twenty-four years old, stands at 190 cm, has a big strong bod ( Trust me, I was in awe when I met him and he wasn’t even standing up!) and thanks to his injuries he has had years of experience playing footy in the reserves.

For goodness sake Mick, play the poor guy or trade him to someone who will, he deserves to shine!

And did anyone know we have another Pendlebury?

Scott’s older brother Kris, why can’t we use him instead of O’Bree? Bloody hell, so many favourite students getting in the way of changes for the better!

Now to the coach’s favourite students-

Shane O’Bree-

The bond between these too is like father and son.

Mick himself indicated that dropping O’Bree was one of the toughest things he has ever faced. How come he didn’t say the same thing when he dropped Lockyer!

It took what? One to two weeks and O’Bree was back into the seniors, where I’m sure Mick could have substituted in some young blood but no.

Mick, as much as you love him, his time has past, he’s too slow, and too tired, he should have left with Lica!

Alan Toovey-

I could write a whole essay on this love-affair but I won’t.

Mick has persisted and persisted with Toovs to the point that I think he should just adopt him into his own family.

Yes, I will admit Toovey has started to improve but he’s hardly been dropped after a poor game like many of the other players and it’s not like the beginning of his first few years were crash hot or anything. He’s still clumsy, at times unbalanced and his feet move faster than the rest of his body. These small flaws Mick might think he can fix, still plays him and probably gives him a bag of chocolates for his efforts.

I however would love to see Mick try and teach Toovs to ‘bend it like Jack Attack’ in the dying seconds of a semi.

Josh Fraser-

Can’t say he didn’t have his good days, but now he’s finished.

He’s like that corset top I bought a few years ago which still has the price tag hanging off it in the back of my closet.

It was a good investment at the time, still there if I need it but I’d rather wear the new singlet top.

His efforts are lazy AND he left JAMAR alone, unguarded!

Was he possibly thinking?

“Oh yeah…I’ll just stand over here and…oh wait is that JAMAR running forward? Maybe I should go over, nah can’t be bothered someone else will cover him…Ohhhh NO he’s got it…oh well Mick still loves me, I’ll get a game next week.”

You, get a game after THAT? I HOPE NOT!

Yep, Mick has his favourites and you can bet that no matter how bad they play, he’ll stick with them.

About Danielle Eid

Im 23, cute and most importantly im the Collingwood Football Club's very own PRINCESS!! :) A Latrobe Uni graduate from Bachelor of Journalism. Admirer of Samantha Lane and Jon Ralph. Not your typical 'Robot Journalist' Loves Alex Fasolo


  1. Good read Danni

    I agree with you about Anthony and Dawes, they should be given at least a few more weeks at Full Forward. On the Collingwood injury list, Sean Rusling is listed as having a calf injury and needs a test. I hope we can see him out there, as he has played quite a few good games in his short career.

  2. Danni

    Realistically everyone has favourites, everyone thinks that they could do a better job if they were on the selection committee. I understand your annoyance – I used to cringe every time I saw Tom Hislop and Jordan McMahon in the side – but it’s a normal thing to feel. I’m sure Mick has his reasons for all the decisions he makes.

    The only thing I got from those two Jack Anthony quotes that he has a poor vocabulary and uses the word “unreal” in excess. I already know from my driving instructor that he isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed mentally.

    I agree with you on Josh Fraser, but Collingwood have only got Cameron Wood as a potential 2nd ruck to replace him.

  3. Danielle says

    2- lol oh come on Adan the kid was young, he had just been drafted to feeling ‘unreal’about everything is exactly what i would expect.
    i wish Mick would email me his reasons, i would LOVE to seen them it would be ‘unreal’ lol

    Wood, Jolly, Dawes, Cloke and Brown acn all be used in the ruck.

    Josh- i hope to see him out there to, good player who has just been unlucky :(

    thanks for the comments guys

  4. Danielle says

    lol and yes i know, *ADAM*
    Although Adan is a nice name too.

  5. Jolly is your first ruckman. I was talking about the position for your second ruckman.
    Wood looks gormless and confused.
    Brown is a jack of all trades, master of none.
    Dawes and Cloke simply aren’t ruckmen (they’re forwards)

    And for the Pies to play Kris Pendlebury, they’d need to actually draft him and sign him up to their list.

  6. Danielle says

    i like having Brown in the ruck.
    i think people are too harsh on Leigh.
    As for Pendles, they bloody should sign him up to the list, if he’s anything like his bro, HELL YES! :)

Leave a Comment