Magpies haunted by finals losses - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Magpies haunted by finals losses

10/09/2010 03:40:05 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood captain Nick Maxwell admits he is haunted by the two failed preliminary finals he has played in, and is desperate not to squander his latest chance at an AFL flag.

Maxwell was in beaten Collingwood sides in both the 2007 and 2009 preliminary finals - Geelong winning both encounters before going on to grand final glory.

As Collingwood await their preliminary final next weekend, Maxwell admits the chance for redemption, as well as playing in his first grand final, are driving forces.

And he said there was also the bonus of reward for a long 10-month campaign - including a gruelling pre-season camp at altitude - as the Pies sense their best chance to win the club's first flag since 1990.

"For me, I suppose just to try to get rid of the ghosts of the past," Maxwell said on Friday of his excitement at making another preliminary final.

"I've been a part of two losing preliminary finals. I just can't wait to have another crack in it.

"You can't just roll up every year and expect to be in another preliminary final. A lot of hard work goes into it.

"We've been training since November, we've spent time overseas training.

"We've spent time on top of mountains - our drink bottles frozen over so we couldn't drink out of them because it was so cold. There's a lot we've gone through as a group this year.

"It's good to get some reward out of it (the hard work)."

Maxwell said having no match this weekend and a 13-day break between finals had been ideal to give Collingwood a chance to have a full complement of their best players to choose from.

Injured pair Simon Prestigiacomo and Sharrod Wellingham are likely to press for selection - both enjoying the added recovery time.

Fullback Prestigiacomo hasn't played for a month following complications with a badly corked thigh.

Midfielder Wellingham injured his ankle in the Pies' qualifying final win over the Western Bulldogs last weekend which gave them an express route to the preliminary final.

"I'm told nine of the last 12 premiers have had the week off, so the stats say it's a good thing," Maxwell said.

"It gives us a chance to get guys right and with Presti and Sharrod, if we'd have played this week they probably wouldn't have.

"It's good to have that extra week for them. Presti trained on Wednesday which was great, and Sharrod's coming along really well so it's really a good thing for us in this situation."

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