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Burns' future not settled yet

17/09/2008 07:13:21 PM Comments (0)

The AFL future of Collingwood captain Scott Burns will remain uncertain until later this week at least, as he is yet to discuss his intentions with coach Mick Malthouse.

Burns, 33, is weighing up between playing one more season or bowing out on his own terms, having played 264 games since 1995.

The midfielder has reportedly been pursued by at least two rival clubs who want his services as an assistant coach.

All Collingwood players will meet with Malthouse and football chief Geoff Walsh this week or next, but Burns has been given the right to make the final call on his future.

Burns took over the captaincy this year following the retirements of Nathan Buckley and James Clement in 2007, but missed the Magpies' two finals because of a calf injury.

Collingwood confirmed the retirements of veteran defender Shane Wakelin and winger Ryan Lonie.

Aside from Burns, the futures of several other Magpies remain unclear.

Midfielder Brodie Holland and fullback Simon Prestigiacomo will weigh up their futures when they meet with Malthouse, while Alan Didak and Heath and Rhyce Shaw are sweating on decisions following their part in last month's drink-drive fiasco.

Holland, 28, played only eight games in the past two seasons because of injury, while Prestigiacomo, 30, played only two games in 2008 because of foot and shoulder problems.

However, Malthouse said after last Saturday night's defeat to St Kilda in the semi-final, he wanted one of Wakelin or Prestigiacomo to continue given the club's lack of key defenders.

Utility Ben Johnson, who fell out of favour over the last third of the season, is another whose future is not guaranteed.

The Magpies must also decide whether to retain or trade Didak and the Shaw brothers, who were all suspended after a drinking session in early August.

Heath Shaw and Didak did not play again after it was revealed they had lied to the club over Shaw's drink-driving, while Rhyce Shaw was suspended for two games for drinking with the pair beforehand.

Wakelin and Lonie both played their first games for Collingwood in 2001.

Wakelin, 34, joined the Magpies after 94 games for St Kilda, and played a further 158 games in the black and white, for a career tally of 252.

"I'll miss being around the change rooms and the week-to-week routine more than anything," he said on the club's website.

"But I think that hour before the game, the excitement before the game, I will probably miss that the most.

"The build-up, the mental preparation, the excitement and the train trip into the game. I used to really enjoy that."

Lonie, 25, was drafted in 2000 and played 21 games in his debut season, but only five in 2007-08 when he struggled with osteitis pubis, for a career total of 123.

"I've been thinking about it for a little while," he said on the club's website.

"I dislocated my shoulder in the middle of the year, and obviously had a bit of time to think about it from there, and just decided that I've had enough of playing."

Development coach Alan Richardson is also leaving, to take up an assistant coaching role at Essendon.

Richardson worked with the Magpies' young players for three years, but will now have a greater match-day role under Matthew Knights for the Bombers.

Richardson is the second member of Malthouse's coaching staff to leave this year, after Guy McKenna signed as the inaugural coach of the Gold Coast franchise, which will debut in the AFL in 2011.

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