Magpies high on grand final confidence - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Magpies high on grand final confidence

By Guy Hand 22/09/2010 07:45:25 PM Comments (0)

Former Collingwood hero Nathan Buckley believes there is more confidence among the current Magpies as they gun for their first grand final win in 20 years than their two previous unsuccessful tilts at AFL's biggest prize.

Buckley played in the both the 2002 and 2003 grand final defeats by Brisbane - then the competition's benchmark and behemoth as they powered to three successive premierships.

The former Pies skipper admitted the current Magpies outfit was far more sure of itself in terms of the right to be called genuine premiership contenders than the 2002 and 2003 sides.

Collingwood were 2002 surprise packets, coming from fourth place to push the Lions hard and falling just short in a nine-point defeat.

Then after beating the Lions in the 2003 qualifying final, the Magpies were steamrolled on the big day as the Lions cemented their place as one of the AFL's all-time great teams.

"We probably felt we were reaching in `02 and `03," Buckley said.

"We were playing pretty well at our very best to get to where we got to.

"In `03 coming into the grand final when we got Brisbane again, it was like `we're going to have to beat them again and we thought we'd seen the back of them'.

"Last week speaking to a few of the boys, we were quite relaxed going into the Geelong game, had a great belief in our structures, in our preparation, and that's been vindicated through the second half of the year.

"The players are very confident in that structure, in that routine, in that timetable. Comfort gives them confidence."

Now an assistant coach at the Pies, Buckley believes the players just need to convert that confidence into on-field success when they tackle St Kilda at the MCG on Saturday.

"You don't often get to this point ... it's been seven years since then," Buckley said.

"I think the team's as well placed as it's ever been at any time since I've been at the club.

"But it doesn't count for anything unless you go out and get the job done."

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