Malthouse sees good signs for Magpies - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Malthouse sees good signs for Magpies

By Roger Vaughan 14/09/2008 06:23:17 PM Comments (0)

Minutes after Collingwood's AFL season ended with a dismal semi-final loss to St Kilda on Saturday night, coach Mick Malthouse had started on 2009.

Malthouse gathered players, officials and other football staff in their MCG changerooms for a de-brief that lasted several minutes.

The Magpies ran out of steam, going down to the Saints by 34 points.

Early last month, they suffered a damaging self-inflicted wound when Heath Shaw and Alan Didak lied to the club about an off-field incident, giving Collingwood no choice but to suspend them.

Didak and Shaw were on the sidelines on Saturday night along with captain Scott Burns, key forward Anthony Rocca and defender Simon Prestigiacomo, all injured.

Normally, they are all in Collingwood's first 22, with Burns and Prestigiacomo going out on Saturday as last withdrawals.

Key forward Travis Cloke, so strong for much of this year, was also clearly unwell and had minimal influence on the game.

But Malthouse was far from dejected about the season and what lies ahead.

While they did not repeat last year's preliminary final appearance, the development of many young players left the coach confident about the future.

"I'd hate to think now I can't give you any positives, there were a lot of positives," Malthouse said of the season.

"The negatives were probably few and far between, as much as we finished sixth.

"There's a lot of upside to the fact that they played and won some big games and the ones we lost, we were able to learn a lot from."

Shane Wakelin came in for Prestigiacomo, but he had a tough night, and it is unclear whether Wakelin, 32, will keep playing.

"One should go on," Malthouse said cryptically.

"I will ask the players and see how they feel about it - both might say we want to go on, both might say we want to give it away."

Midfielder Tarkyn Lockyer said the Magpies had registered some big wins this year, none more so than Geelong's only loss, but had failed to build on those successes.

He would not go into detail when asked about Malthouse's post-game address, but indicated the coach had gone over the good, the bad and the ugly.

"The disappointment I guess is we've had a lot of opportunities this year to cement ourselves in the eight, the top four," Lockyer said.

"We had opportunities, we've had our ups and downs on and off the field - it (Malthouse's speech) was probably just a reflection on the club."

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