Round 20 – Cam Hooke’s Collingwood life: Sydney v Collingwood preview


True Believers.

Round 20 – the ‘business end of the season’.  Four to go to the Finals.  I’ve noted a slight air of despondency sneaking into your thoughts.  This should be resisted – hard.  We have been there before and the ‘off-season’ is a difficult time, long and depressing (especially with a poorly performing national cricket team).  To address the issue simply, “it aint over till it’s over“. Some have written us off already – see  and    Me?  I have less empathy with the pessimists – I am “quietly confident” in us continuing to Win.  When we make the Finals there are going to be a lot of frightened teams watching for us.

We have matches against Sydney (in Sydney this Friday) followed by Richmond, Geelong and Essendon (all at the MCG).  We can, and should, Win each of these.  I would suggest that Richmond and Geelong will be the most difficult, followed by the Sydney game in Sydney.


This week:  Round 20.  Versus Sydney at the SCG on Friday, 14 August; bounce 7.50pm.


Us and Them:  We all know what we’ve done in the last six weeks. Not a lot more to be said – we have the talent, the individual skills, even the Game Plan (I think) and the endeavour, but have lacked a bit of luck for the first four of those.  A poor performance against Melbourne two weeks ago and arguably poor against Carlton, though I have argued that Carlton did lift their game against us (and we performed (albeit “ugly”)).  It is 5th versus 11th – betting makes them Favourites $1.33 to $3.35 (by a country mile). But check the percentages – they are 112.4% compared with our 111.8% – not a lot in it.  The Ladder will be a bit funny over the next few weeks – if we Win and GWS lose to Port we could move to 10th; If Geelong Lose to Hawthorn and Adelaide Lose to Essendon, we could end up half a game outside the Eight. Essentially we need to win and keep winning and not worry about other results.  Wait and see.

Them:  Sydney play well at the SCG – it is a much smaller ground than the MCG, even smaller than the ANZ Stadium (I think).  They know it well.  Sydney have managed three Losses out of their last five games, beaten by Hawthorn, West Coast and Geelong (none of which are a real surprise); they’ve beaten Brisbane and Adelaide.  Currently they have Buddy Franklin and Pyke (ruck) both out injured.  If Buddy returns (like he did earlier in the season) it is likely he will not be fully fit and, therefore, of less influence.  Pyke is key to their control of the Centre; if injured and not available Tippett has filled the role. Over the last few weeks a number have stood out – watch for Kennedy in the Centre, Hannebery and Parker (and Jetta) on the HF Line and their ‘smalls’ – the Jack brothers.  And of course, talking about ‘family-connections’, watch for Rhyce Shaw, Reid and Grundy (are they brothers?).  Oh yes, watch Mr Goodes.

Us:  I do have a fair bit of sympathy for some of the criticisms following last week’s performance, particularly relating to selections.  I thought we suffered significantly from the absence of Witts – bring him back.  Trav?  If fit, of course, into CHF.  Karnezis – into the FF position (want to see what our boy can do (apart from the awful haircut)?), Reid to CHB (maybe he’ll get to play on his brother (again).  I was underwhelmed by Elliott’s performances both last week and before his injury.  Suggest – a sojourn in the Twos.  Get some speed into the Back 6 – due for a rest – Brownie, Langdon and Frost?  Scharenberg – into the run on side in the Backs. De Goey – back in.  What else?  Yep, as always, ‘ferocity’, the attack on the ball, for the whole game.


Teams:  Tomorrow, after 6.00pm.

TV: Free to Air.  Check local guides.

Weather:  8 – 14 deg, partly cloudy, possible showers, light winds.

My predictions:  Pies by 17; BOG – Trav; Goals: Trav – 6, Karnezis – 4.  Your predictions?



‘Eddie Watch’: Our boy’s been busy upsetting lots of folks – and;

Thomas/Keeffe:  A decision (at last): See you in 2017; to be recruited by the Pies as Rookies at the end of next year (if still available);

Twos:  A great performance.  VFL – 3 weeks to the Finals. This week vs North Ballarat on Saturday, 15 August at Victoria Park; bounce at 1.00pm.  Caff back this week (probably).  Anyone going?

Umpires:  Remember the fuss when Chelsea Roffey ‘hit the scene’?

Umpires (Part 2): As a follow on to the ‘four Field Umpires’ trial have a read of this.


I hope a few of you are going to the game. Anyone doing ‘grandmother duties’ in Sydney?  And remember if you are in Sydney, consider heading to the ‘open training session’ at the SCG on Thursday at 5.00pm (I note that the Pies website has the next training session incorrectly identified as being on Friday).


Maintain the Faith.  Believe.  Go Pies.


  1. You need a reality check:
    1) Swans are 5th of 48 if they lose North and Richmond win Swans just hold on to 8th by 2 points! They know this hence they must and will win;
    2) Swans are at home at the SCG – birthplace for them, regardless of win/loss record this year, they loooove it, the members love it, the supporters love it…. its a 3 goal advantage already;
    3) Buddy and Pyke out will mean they will try harder and play better, not just for spots but to show they can win without them, psychologically this is huge on opponents going into the finals;
    4) Friday night game – evvvvveryone is watching. Swans love to be watched, pressure on they play well.
    5) Collingwood beat Carlton by 18; it should have been 40 plus, good teams on a practice session win by 60…if anything that performance last week will be a reminder that its not Collingwood’s year.
    Good luck making the finals but Geelong, Richmond, well they want 7th and 8th spot so the finals train is all full this year…

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