Colling­wood Mag­pies

Inside Sport - - Team Previews -

The ’Pies are damned hard to pick. They have good per­son­nel, but last year con­tin­ued to make bad de­ci­sions with ball in hand and miss-goal op­por­tu­ni­ties, putting score­board pres­sure on them­selves. They’re still ex­per­i­ment­ing with ways to link their mids and for­wards. A lot will fall to Daniel Wells in that re­gard. Darcy Moore (right), they say, will camp in de­fence. Ben Reid will be a tar­get up front, and he’s due for a year of dom­i­nance. Bray­den May­nard will strengthen the mid­field.

The Mag­pies have a very classy mid­field, but they’ll be re­ly­ing en­tirely on ex­ist­ing re­sources af­ter re­frain­ing from trad­ing. This will be Buck­ley’s most set­tled sea­son for a while now. Hard­wick has proved, as Thomp­son did be­fore him, that a coach who has put in the hard yards de­serves to be per­se­vered with. The fact that cer­tain sides like Freo and West Coast – maybe Hawthorn – seem to be on the slide works in their favour in their quest for a top-eight spot.

Im­prob­a­ble sce­nario: The Pies will floun­der at the bot­tom end of the eight, and still look more likely to miss the fi­nals than make them. Coach Nathan Buck­ley will con­tinue to walk the ra­zor’s edge.

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