Davis move to extend his career: Malthouse - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Davis move to extend his career: Malthouse

By Sam Lienert 25/03/2011 07:18:24 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood veteran Leon Davis' move to defence is a shot at AFL career extension, not redemption, says coach Mick Malthouse.

But illness has cast doubt over whether the former small forward will play against Port Adelaide at Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

Davis missed the Magpies' final training session of the week on Friday.

"He's got a heavy cold. I suspect that he should be okay, but if he's not, he's not," Malthouse said.

He was more forthright on the 204-gamer's future, which took a hit when he was dropped for last year's grand final replay.

It followed a poor showing in attack in the initial drawn grand final, the third poor performance in an AFL decider of Davis' career.

But Malthouse said Davis' new role as a creative defender, which has worked well in the pre-season, was not about removing the 29-year-old from attack because of a grand final flop.

"You're all barking up the wrong tree there," the coach told reporters.

"This is not an extension of (his career for) 2011, this is an extension for 2012, 2013, 2014. He's got the capabilities.

"Personally I reckon a small forward in today's football can become quite stale.

"This is hopefully an extension of his career, not an extension of whether he's going to get a game or not."

Along with Davis, the Magpies have picked recruits Andrew Krakouer, Chris Tarrant and Simon Buckley from outside their premiership team for round one.

Out are defenders Nick Maxwell, Nathan Brown and Tyson Goldsack - all unavailable - and forward Brent Macaffer.

Malthouse said the Power posed a major danger under new coach Matthew Primus, who led them to five wins from seven games in charge at the end of last season.

"They're clearly playing for him," Malthouse said.

He said Port's recent practice match form, with an 84-point win over an under-strength Geelong and a 95-point victory over Greater Western Sydney, demanded respect.

Malthouse said the Power boasted a top-class ruckman in Dean Brogan and mature-bodied midfielders, such as Domenic Cassisi, David Rodan, Steven Salopek, Matt Thomas and Robbie Gray.

"There's no kids going through there that may be exposed to the bigger bodies of Collingwood."

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