What went right?
More than we dared dream.
With the last few years ending with the Pies around 12th and 13th on the ladder, there was every chance the 2018 Pies would see similar results. Some thought as much. Some thought a small improvement where finishing 8th was an acceptable feat and might help avoid an angry mob type set-up. There are always those unrealistic fans who believe a flag is within reach no matter how it looks. Turns out that these ‘unrealistic’ fans were more correct than was given credit.
What a year! An almost fairytale finish. A few short minutes (Or long minutes as they felt at the time) from a premiership cup amid an injury laden season. Goes to show that achievement is there for the taking and, somehow, the Pies nearly took it. After a rocky start, the Pies built a season from a TEAM of players. While there are those who stood up this year, Grundy and Langdon for example, the Pies showed what it means to use an entire list. Well. And what can become of a little belief in yourself and your team mates.
Falling agonisingly short of greatness will serve only to push harder next season. It also tested out and made stronger a very handy list of names all willing to work for and with each other. I can only see improvement for the future. (Welcome back Beamsy.)
What went wrong?
Far too many injuries! Every week seemed to hurt in new and inventive ways.
Also, the last couple of minutes of the year were most probably unsuited to the Pies’ game plan. Other than that, not much overall. Get a few injuries sorted out and look out 2019!
Brodie Grundy for me. With so many blokes falling down around him the Pies could not have achieved what they did without their big man dominating the middle. Not just tap outs, Brodie was collecting clearances and tackles with the best of ‘em. A consistent year in all so it’s hard to criticise his grand final performance which was down on the norm. He’ll be better for it next season. He added All Australian and a Copeland Trophy to his mantle. Well deserved.
First Preliminary Final
Richmond 8.10. (58) def by
Collingwood 15. 7. (97)
A preliminary final where you knock out the flag favourites is definitely a highlight no matter what. This was the case when the Pies took on Richmond and made them look like spoon winners for half a game. The Pies shocked Richmond (and most of the AFL fanbase) with ferocious tackling and a burning desire. Keeping the pressure up to the Tigers was a taste of their own medicine and they didn’t respond well enough. After losing two players early in their round 19 meeting and fading in the last quarter, nobody knew just what the Pies could do but they did it perfectly. Teams will need to take them seriously going forward.
Room for improvement
Collingwood have taken steps toward bolstering a few areas in the trade period. Picking up handy midfielder Beams for a return and versatile Jordan Roughhead who can play back or in the ruck and sneak forward if needed. Beams is still a fantastic and dynamic player and it’s good to see him back.
As far as improvement goes, another goal would’ve done it. Go Pies! Do it all again and this time… take it that extra step.
Thanks for taking the time to read our take on Collingwood’s 2018 season. If you like what you read could you do us a favour and like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and let us know what you think we got right. (Or wrong!). If you don’t have enough poetry in your life be sure to check out Jai’s website PicklePoetry.