We beat Cats or season a failure: Magpie - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

We beat Cats or season a failure: Magpie

By Sam Lienert 12/09/2010 02:51:55 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood defender Heath Shaw says the Magpies will consider this AFL season a failure if they fall to Geelong in Friday night's preliminary final.

The statement reflects both the weight of expectation to capitalise on their minor premiership Collingwood are feeling, and their confidence they can do so.

After falling to the Cats at the preliminary final stage last year and in 2007, Shaw said the Magpies had made no secret of their ambition to go at least one step further this year.

"I think we've got the group that can go all the way," he told the Nine Network.

"At the start of the year obviously we came out and said that we want to win the premiership.

"Last year's disappointment in the prelim was just that, it was disappointing to finish that way.

"We want to go a step further and I think anything less than a grand final appearance will be a failure for the club."

Shaw said the major difference between this season's Magpies and previous versions was their ruthlessness and the belief they had both the talent and gameplan to beat anyone.

"We've built that winning culture, we expect to win every week no matter who we're playing against and we believe we can if we stick to our structures and work together as a unit," he said.

"This year's been really exciting, to see that come to unfold.

"In the pre-season you practice it but you don't know how it's going to go.

"I think this season has really showed that it does work and as a group we're pretty close and we're going in the right direction."

Shaw rated reigning best and fairest Dane Swan and classy midfielder-forward Alan Didak as the club's two best players, but he said key forward Travis Cloke was possibly the most valuable.

"I'd probably throw in Dids (Didak) again along with Trav as well," he said.

"I think Trav for our set-ups he's very valuable and when he's on he's amazing.

"He really gives a lot of confidence for the rest of the forward line and that goes down to the midfield and the backline as well."

Cloke has taken more marks (155) than any other Magpie this season and is second on goals, with 33, behind Didak's 37, despite having had 67 scoring shots to Didak's 54.

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