Pies prepare for late changes - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Pies prepare for late changes

By Chris Lines 26/09/2003 07:33:01 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood players have been told to anticipate late changes for Saturday's AFL grand final against the Brisbane Lions.

As the Magpies juggle personnel and tactical changes to compensate for the absence of suspended Anthony Rocca, coach Mick Malthouse said there was every chance of a player being brought in from outside the named 22.

"The players are fully aware that that side doesn't necessarily have to be the side, and may not be the side," Malthouse said.

"Anthony's out and we're going to keep the same balance."

Should the balance be maintained, and a tall player be brought in to replace Rocca, the focus would shift to emergencies Steve McKee or Jarrod Molloy.

However forecasts of rain, strong wind, thunder and potential hail could make such an inclusion unwise while alleviating the sting of Rocca's absence.

Rocca did not take part in today's grand final parade as Malthouse weighed up whether to maintain his side's familiar tactical structure with a straight swap or whether to alter it for the last game due to Rocca's absence.

"We've got a player there who played every game and ... centre half-forward is the hardest position to play," Malthouse said.

"It's a very interesting question - we looked at it both ways and it will be a combination of both.

"Quite often it takes a role player to play it, sometimes it takes a pinch-hitter, other times it takes a combination."

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