Magpies move forward with flag plan - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Magpies move forward with flag plan

15/03/2010 08:39:18 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood are cautiously confident as they move into the second year of their self-proclaimed AFL premiership window.

Off the field, the Magpies have reaffirmed their status as one of the league's top clubs with a five-year, multi-million dollar sponsorship renewal.

On-field, they are desperate to break a 20-year premiership drought and will be one of the sides to beat this season after making the last four finals series.

Eventual premiers Geelong thrashed them in last year's preliminary final and Collingwood have recruited well, picking up ruckman Darren Jolly from Sydney and midfielder Luke Ball from St Kilda.

Jolly has been so impressive that he is already in the leadership group.

In late 2008, president Eddie McGuire told the Magpies annual general meeting that the club aimed to win the flag within three years.

On Monday, McGuire would only say about this year's prospects that they had enjoyed a strong pre-season.

"The best way ... for teams to progress is to get used to playing finals football, get some wins up along the way," McGuire said.

"The Bulldogs are in that position at the moment, they're preliminary finalists.

"We're in a good position to start the season and it's a long season, a season of attrition these days.

"You need a bit of luck going your way, but you also need to do everything right - touch wood, so far we're very happy with the way everything has gone."

Captain Nick Maxwell said there was strong resolve among the players to improve on last year's fourth placing, the second time in three years they have reached a preliminary final.

"You put it all together and you think, on paper, yes, we'd be looking to move forward," Maxwell said.

"But having said that, `on paper' doesn't always add up.

"It's something we've worked really hard at over the pre-season and we have a real drive among us to make 2010 our year."

McGuire and Maxwell were speaking at Monday's announcement of the five-year extension of the sponsorship from Emirates airline.

Emirates have backed the club financially since 1999 and the new five-year deal is understood to be worth more than $5 million.

"It goes without saying that it is an enormous filip at the start of the 2010 season to have the mighty Emirates aboard with the mighty Magpies.

"If ever there was a time for an airline to justify pulling the pin after 10 or 11 years together, that was it," McGuire said, in reference to the global economy.

Collingwood are trying to sign a new naming-rights sponsor for their club headquarters after car company Lexus reduced their sponsorship late last year.

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