Malthouse rules out Shaw, Didak return - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Malthouse rules out Shaw, Didak return

By Justin Chadwick 30/08/2008 10:17:14 AM Comments (0)

Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse has ruled out overturning the club-imposed AFL bans on Alan Didak and Heath Shaw despite the Pies' limp performance against Fremantle on Friday night.

The Pies were woeful in their 24-point loss to the Dockers, a defeat that cost Collingwood any chance of snaring fourth spot and an all-important double finals chance.

Malthouse said despite Collingwood's poor showing against Fremantle and a lengthy injury list, Shaw and Didak would not be sighted again this season.

The pair were suspended for the rest of the season by the club after lying about Didak's involvement in a drunken car crash, in which Shaw was a passenger in the car.

"Let me say this, are we going to go there again? Why are we going there again? It's been a month," Malthouse said.

"Why would we change it (the suspension)? It's until 2009. Unless we have 3000 draws I'm pretty confident that that is the start of next year (before they will play again)."

Malthouse attributed the poor showing against the Dockers, during which the Pies continually butchered possession, to a young squad struggling to cope after an exhausting month of football.

"I've got to say we've had a massive, big month and sometimes you need a gentle reminder every now and again about what has transformed the club in the last 12 months in regards to young players coming in," Malthouse said.

"I really do think, unfortunately, given our vulnerability now of where we are gong to sit on the ladder, we were extremely tired after a very, very solid, emotional, gut-busting month.

"I think we'll rebound. A lot of these players simply haven't been in finals football and I have no doubt some of them were subconsciously thinking 'the last thing I want to do is be injured'."

Collingwood will finish anywhere from fifth to eighth but Malthouse was confident his team would be able to thrive in the do-or-die environment of September action.

"I believe we can rebound from this, I don't think our players have been that flat for a number of weeks," he said.

"Finals football, in our case, is going to be cutthroat. One loss and you're out, one win and you get another chance."

Malthouse refused to delve into who he expected back from injury next week, although he conceded Alan Toovey (foot) was no chance.

Veteran defender Shane Wakelin (groin) and star forward Dale Thomas (calf) are a chance to return for the Pies' elimination final, but doubts still surround the severity of skipper Scott Burns' calf injury.

Spearhead Anthony Rocca, who has not played since suffering an ankle injury in round 13, is only an outside chance to return for Collingwood's finals campaign.

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