Jolly the AFL's in-form ruckman: Fraser - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Jolly the AFL's in-form ruckman: Fraser

By Melissa Woods 19/06/2009 01:48:33 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood's Josh Fraser says he'll have his work cut out against Sydney's Darren Jolly, who he rates as the form ruckman of the AFL.

The Magpies face the Swans on Saturday night at ANZ Stadium, boasting a six-game winning streak against Sydney, including the last three at the Olympic venue.

They also have the opportunity to snatch a top-four spot with a win.

The Magpies' top ruckman, Fraser said he and Jolly had "shared the honours" during previous meetings and was excited by the match-up.

"I've been pretty happy with my form in the last month so it's going to be a good contest and a great challenge for me," Fraser said on Friday.

"He's regarded as probably the in-form ruckman in the competition so it will be good to see where I sit at the moment.

"He's been a big part of the Swans make-up this year with obviously his strength for getting down on the ball and being able to push forward and kick goals."

While agreeing his side matched up well against Sydney, Fraser said new blood meant recent history counted for little.

"We have had some good success but they're a vastly different side this time around so history doesn't count for much and we're pretty keen to keep our winning form going."

Collingwood won its last three matches before the split round, which gave the players a chance to get over any niggling injuries.

"We had a good month of footy going into the break and we had a good training session just prior to the weekend off and the boys have come back in good nick," Fraser said.

"The spirit's been good on the track and we've done some good homework on the Swans this week so the boys are as hungry as ever to play well."

The match marks Mick Malthouse's 600th AFL game as a senior coach, although Fraser said the achievement wouldn't be used as motivation.

"Not specifically, no," he said.

"Obviously the motivation is there to win a game of footy and it's a fantastic achievement from Mick.

"There wouldn't be too many players that have come through the doors at Collingwood who couldn't say they've left as better players and better people under Mick's tutelage."

Fraser was also positive about the prospects of former teammate and skipper Nathan Buckley, who is a target for the vacant coaching posts at Richmond and North Melbourne.

Buckley would also be the red-hot favourite to coach Collingwood in 2010 if they club decided not to renew Malthouse's contract.

"He could do anything he wants, 'Bucks'," Fraser said.

"He's as driven and determined a person as I've met and in the two years he's been out of the game he's probably been preparing himself differently to what other players have who want to go into senior coaching.

"I've got no doubt that when his time comes, he'll be an outstanding senior coach."

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