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Jen2310

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 21, 2018
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Subscription needed. Can someone please copy and paste this story to here.

The Collingwood Football Club has always been one of the most stable clubs in the AFL.
Craig McRae’s appointment makes him just the 18th Magpies coach in 125 seasons (including Robert Harvey).

In the same time Carlton has had 31 coaches, Essendon 28 and Melbourne 31.


Collingwood generally sticks by its coach and supports him, giving him every opportunity to produce the coveted premiership. Leigh Matthews coached for nine years from 1986 and won a premiership in 1990. Tony Shaw led for four years, myself for 12 years with a premiership, and Nathan Buckley for more than nine years.


Presidents too have lasted the journey. Since 1980 the Pies have had six club bosses including current day, Mark Korda.

Even general managers have been few and far between.

And club captains have been backed in, providing on-field stability with a lengthy term of leadership. Scott Pendlebury is just the sixth club captain since Matthews anointed Tony Shaw more than 30 years ago.

It’s a remarkably stable organisation given the topsy turvy nature and pressure that exists in professional sport.


So, it’s no surprise that the process the club went through to secure McRae was in-depth, intense, and left no stone unturned. Nothing was left to chance.

What is a surprise, is the shambles of a year Collingwood has just endured.


Given the calibre of administrators at the club I am puzzled how the salary cap and retention of players got so off track. Graham Wright has indicated there is still mess to sort through and further player movement is likely.

And just as harmful to the club is the ongoing board feud.

Collingwood must decide on its president asap. If Korda, as indicated by him, is to step down at the end of next season, I don’t get why he is in the chair now.

I confess to not knowing a lot about the current board and its members, but I will say, either one of Paul Licuria or Perter Murphy would each make an outstanding president if given the opportunity. Or it may well be Jeff Browne.

Whoever wins the vote at the December board election must be in it for the long haul.

For a club that just had its worst ever finish to a season, 17th on the ladder, uncertainty at the top level is a killer.



McRae needs the clearest and cleanest run into his first season, and following years, as coach, by having stability at the helm. His assistants need it, and the playing list needs it. Then Collingwood has a chance, because it is by no means a bottom-of-the-ladder team.

When I went to Collingwood in 2000, it had finished the previous season 16th out of 16.

But it also had a president who had been in the position for one year and was a certainty to be there for the long run. It boasted a new CEO straight out of the corporate world in Greg Swann, who remained in the role for seven years.

And it had a playing list that needed a dramatic overhaul. Given the freshness and focus of the new club leaders, I knew as coach that I had full support to make some very tough decisions.

Premiership player Damian Monkhorst had to go. Gavin Brown and Gavin Crosisca were nearing the end of their careers. And too many fringe players, playing for a bottom club, weren’t going to make us better.

At the end of my term Nathan Buckley took over a team that had won a premiership and just competed in a grand final.



The Magpies in 2000 had low membership numbers, an ageing and derelict ground to train on, and they were in debt with nowhere near the sponsorship dollars required to run a successful football club. Now, it has money in the bank, great membership numbers, and an outstanding training facility.

Collingwood today is far too big to fail.

That is why, at the most unstable time in the club’s history, unnecessary disruptions must be dealt with.

The Pies need a president in place who can stay in the role for years to come.

Mark Anderson is still fairly new to the CEO’s role, so he needs to commit to at least five more years. Graham Wright is an excellent appointment as general manager of football and hopefully stays on for a good length of time.

A strong football administration can clear the way for McRae to have an impact on the list and get his fingerprints on what he needs to go forward.



You don’t get honeymoons at Collingwood. The coaching job comes with immediate high expectations. But Collingwood people have an in-built patience while demanding a lot.

McRae is a winner.

He played in three premierships with the Brisbane Lions, coached a VFL title in 2019, and assisted at Richmond in its premiership years. Knowing how to win is as important a quality as any for a coach, and McRae has it.

In 2011 he displayed a football intelligence at Collingwood that I liked. As well as football smarts, his calm disposition made him easy to get along with. He didn’t try to dominate any discussions but had good strong ideas to contribute.

As such a likeable person he will win over the Magpie Army, without seeking the limelight, which is hard to do at Collingwood.

And most importantly, he’ll have a big impact on the playing group very early on because he understands players.



There’s no doubt he’ll win over the likes of Brodie Grundy, Taylor Adams and Darcy Moore immediately. And once you have your core player group understanding what you want, they become your disciples and preach the word with a great flow-on effect through the list.

Because of this, I predict a very quick reversal in form and ladder position.

Collingwood has the backbone of a very good side. Grundy as ruck, Moore the key back, and Brody Mihocek the key forward. Throw in Jordan De Goey, Adams, Josh Daicos, Jack Crisp and Brayden Maynard and it is a team of infinite potential.

I do believe that it is time for Scott Pendlebury to reconsider his position as captain.

Not because he’s not a great captain, he is, but as a player he struggled at the end of this season. There were worrying signs with his delivery and his capacity to win the 25-plus disposals needed to play in the midfield. If he’s going to play on he will need to fully focus on his form.

Similarly, Steele Sidebottom is playing well below par and also needs to focus in on a big pre-season.


The standout for captaincy is Adams. At 28 he has three or four very good seasons in front of him.

The years ahead for Collingwood rest on a stable foundation being formed. And that all depends on what the club does right now
 

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Markfs

Brownlow Medallist
Nov 13, 2008
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One of the more balanced articles from Michael. He usually finds an opportunity to promote himself. He would know more about the patience of the Pie fans, although I'm still not convinced. The evidence would indicate that the club doesn't change coaches or administrators a lot, so he makes a good case.

I noted the players who didnt make the team with Melbourne's win. We are a long way from that, although we do have some good players. Let's hope he's right about Mcrae and our future.
 

Vicky Park

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Sep 11, 2012
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One of the more balanced articles from Michael. He usually finds an opportunity to promote himself. He would know more about the patience of the Pie fans, although I'm still not convinced. The evidence would indicate that the club doesn't change coaches or administrators a lot, so he makes a good case.

I noted the players who didnt make the team with Melbourne's win. We are a long way from that, although we do have some good players. Let's hope he's right about Mcrae and our future.
It was balanced. For Mick. Although he did find a way to promote himself, a little, and to hardly mention Bucks. But overall a reasonable assessment, and some encouraging words for us.

He might be feeling sentimental…
 

MyManLynch

Premium Platinum
Oct 4, 2012
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It was balanced. For Mick. Although he did find a way to promote himself, a little, and to hardly mention Bucks. But overall a reasonable assessment, and some encouraging words for us.

He might be feeling sentimental…
He forgot to mention that Bucks was a kick away from being a Premiership coach & that he himself was a kick away from not being a Premiership coach (at Collingwood).
 

johncitizen

Cancelled
May 22, 2006
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What about the Whole AFL and not just pick on Collingwood
True mate. I remember Robbie Muir saying he used to get urinated on in the showers after games. By his own teammates when he first arrived.
Hardly newsworthy but when it's Collingwood it is news.

I remember the sh*t directed towards Dipper by his teammates back in the day.
None man enough to challenge him in a boxing ring though. Things changed quickly abd we are almost at a point where this sh*t doesn't exist.
Taylor Walkers comments are inexcusable.
Adelaide should delist him.
 

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Anzacday

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Jul 3, 2014
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He usually finds an opportunity to promote himself.
Miss this?
"At the end of my term Nathan Buckley took over a team that had won a premiership and just competed in a grand final."
And his standard clip of Bucks?
"And most importantly, he’ll have a big impact on the playing group very early on because he understands players."
 

Doc1763

Premiership Player
Mar 29, 2019
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Miss this?
"At the end of my term Nathan Buckley took over a team that had won a premiership and just competed in a grand final."
And his standard clip of Bucks?
"And most importantly, he’ll have a big impact on the playing group very early on because he understands players."
Is any of it factually incorrect?
 

Countrypie

Premiership Player
Apr 10, 2012
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Miss this?
"At the end of my term Nathan Buckley took over a team that had won a premiership and just competed in a grand final."
And his standard clip of Bucks?
"And most importantly, he’ll have a big impact on the playing group very early on because he understands players."
Stood out like the proverbial to me.
 

soreplums

Norm Smith Medallist
Sep 29, 2009
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One of the more balanced articles from Michael. He usually finds an opportunity to promote himself. He would know more about the patience of the Pie fans, although I'm still not convinced. The evidence would indicate that the club doesn't change coaches or administrators a lot, so he makes a good case.

I noted the players who didnt make the team with Melbourne's win. We are a long way from that, although we do have some good players. Let's hope he's right about Mcrae and our future.
He did mention that he coached Collingwood to a premiership twice.
 

Markfs

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He did mention that he coached Collingwood to a premiership twice.
You gotta accept that with Mick. Actually I made a trip to bunnings this morning to discuss my current life problems with the guy on the painting desk, and I heard Mick on sportstalk on the ABC and it's been a while since I've heard him on radio.....and he was a lot less bullish. Maybe senility has crept in.
 

soreplums

Norm Smith Medallist
Sep 29, 2009
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You gotta accept that with Mick. Actually I made a trip to bunnings this morning to discuss my current life problems with the guy on the painting desk, and I heard Mick on sportstalk on the ABC and it's been a while since I've heard him on radio.....and he was a lot less bullish. Maybe senility has crept in.
I do agree though that if Korda plans to step down at the end of 2022 he shouldn’t be President- unless he has to oversee a big Collingwood project
 

Markfs

Brownlow Medallist
Nov 13, 2008
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I do agree though that if Korda plans to step down at the end of 2022 he shouldn’t be President- unless he has to oversee a big Collingwood project
He said he would stand down as a director at the end of 2022. He has consistently said that he is president by way of support from the board. The presidency can change to someone else after the AGM and he can continue as a director for the remainder of the year.

Of course, the media experts glossed over that view because they lack intelligence and have an agenda. I watched Footy classified and the three monkeys (I dont include lloyd who seems to be unattached) said that Korda had to go and ran a board that was dysfunctional - even though the club had just systematically placed a new coach.
 

Jen2310

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 21, 2018
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" Players at teams who missed finals or lost an elimination final are due back on November 22 (1-4 year players) or December 6 (five-plus year players), while the rest of the finalists are due back on November 9 (1-4 year players) or December 6 (five-plus year players) "

I'm confused, so the players that played finals start pre-season EARLIER than those that didn't?

 

manicmagpie

A slice of fried gold
Jul 2, 2003
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" Players at teams who missed finals or lost an elimination final are due back on November 22 (1-4 year players) or December 6 (five-plus year players), while the rest of the finalists are due back on November 9 (1-4 year players) or December 6 (five-plus year players) "

I'm confused, so the players that played finals start pre-season EARLIER than those that didn't?

Probably meant to be 29 November for finallists.
 

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