Cloke's dream could be fans' nightmare - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cloke's dream could be fans' nightmare

By Sam Lienert 13/09/2010 05:16:53 PM Comments (0)

Erratic kicker Travis Cloke says if Collingwood's AFL preliminary final against Geelong is to be decided by a late shot for goal, he wants the ball.

But he is perceptive enough to realise many Magpies fans might wish otherwise.

"I know a lot of people say `I wouldn't want it in his hands,' but I actually would," key forward Cloke told AAP on Monday ahead of Friday night's blockbuster MCG clash.

"It's always a dream of a young kid to come through the ranks, take a mark after the siren and kick a goal to make a grand final or win a game for you.

"So it's also something I'd like to do. Let's hope it doesn't come down to that, but I'd like to be in that situation."

Asked what he would be thinking, Cloke quipped "you wouldn't want to know", before saying he would simply focus on the technique he has frequently rehearsed.

But it has often served him poorly this year.

Cloke said both he and the team knew it was an area of concern, but hoped hard work was starting to pay off.

Statistics suggest otherwise.

Cloke kicked 17.13 in the first half of the season, but 16.21 since, with the entire team's conversion rate also notably worse in the second half of the season than the first.

The big-marking forward said as well as reviewing video and revising his own technique, he had studied the actions of numerous other left-footers with more reliable kicks.

But he said there was no sure fire solution.

"I'm not a Matthew Lloyd or a Lance Franklin, I'm Travis Cloke, I kick the way I kick and I've just got to find what works for me."

The value of straight kicking has been underlined in this finals series, with the loser in all three matches decided by less than a goal having at least as many scoring shots as their opposition.

Worryingly for the Magpies, some of their worst conversion rates have come in their biggest games, including a total of 23.45 in two matches against the Cats.

"Obviously goal-kicking's a massive part of the game and it hasn't been great for us this year," Cloke said.

"But we hope we do the right thing, we've done a lot of kicking (practice) this year, probably the most we've ever done on goals.

"So it's really a let-down it hasn't been culminating in games.

"Let's hope that we don't get in that position where it needs to be decided after the siren.

"But I'm sure whoever does have the ball in their hands is going to look forward to the opportunity."

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