Magpies have the artillery: Malthouse - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Magpies have the artillery: Malthouse

By Adam Cooper 22/03/2010 07:09:38 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse says the Magpies of 2010 are vastly improved and can surpass the efforts of one of the greatest sides he led during his long AFL career.

Among the few football mementos at Malthouse's home is a framed photograph of Collingwood's 2002 side, which nearly beat the Brisbane Lions in that year's grand final and in his mind epitomised team-driven, selfless football.

The Magpies arguably boast greater star power than they did eight years ago, but Malthouse challenged this year's group to dedicate themselves to going a step better than their predecessors.

"This side we've got at the moment, if it has the same give to the football club, give to one another, (is) selfless, totally selfless, it will be better than the side that ran down the race in 2002," Malthouse said on Monday.

"But that side stands alone in my mind because there were a lot of players in there who perhaps would not have got games with a lot of other clubs.

"But what they did, they made sure that side became exactly what you expect - a team within a team within a team that thought nothing else but about their teammates.

"Is this team as good as that? This team potentially is better than that."

Collingwood start their season against the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

While the Bulldogs are flying high and rated a strong premiership fancy given their win in the pre-season cup and the influx of Barry Hall, Malthouse was pleased his side had "flown under the radar" in comparison.

The veteran coach insisted Collingwood were better than the side that reached the preliminary finals last year, but was ultimately thrashed by Geelong on the penultimate weekend.

"I'm not about to say we are one or two or three positions short because quite frankly I am very, very happy - in fact I'm delighted - with the group we've got," he said.

"There's a massive amount of pressure coming from underneath.

"We played four games in the pre-season competition and yeah we got beaten in the first one (by St Kilda by one point), but in the other three ... we managed to play probably 34, 35 players and none of them let us down.

"I say that all over, our depth has improved, our maturity has improved and we've been able to draft three players from other clubs that we think very highly of."

Ex-Sydney ruckman Darren Jolly and former St Kilda midfielder Luke Ball are likely to play the Bulldogs, and Malthouse said the pair, along with former Melbourne onballer Simon Buckley, had been urged not to use redemption as a motivating force.

"That's one of the things that I am dead against, them trying to prove people wrong," he said.

"What we're after is for them to prove they are right themselves, a massive mindset difference, and the good thing about the three boys is they want to be good footballers and they want to be part of a successful club."

Magpies skipper Nick Maxwell also said the side had improved, but had to back it up with effort.

"We'll be judged at the end of the season and hopefully, as Mick said, if we play to our potential then we will go past teams he has coached before," Maxwell said.

Collingwood announced on Monday it had signed a five-year sponsorship deal with Westpac, and the bank will take over naming rights of the Magpies' training centre.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news