Malthouse pays tribute to ex-soccer player - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Malthouse pays tribute to ex-soccer player

By Robert Grant 07/07/2011 03:43:29 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse says the Magpies recruitment of former soccer player Lachlan Keeffe is an even better story than the famous AFL Irish experiment.

Keeffe, a tall defender, was steered towards the AFL after being spotted in Queensland playing soccer four years ago.

After honing his skills in the VFL he is now on the brink of breaking into the seniors.

According to Malthouse, it was harder for Keeffe to make the transition to Australian Rules than it was for players recruited from Irish Gaelic football over the years.

"In many respects, it's probably a better story than an Irish story because with the Irishmen, they've got the football in their hands," Malthouse said.

"With soccer, unless you're a goalie, there's not much chance of having it in your hands.

"In Lachlan's case, he wasn't playing for a football side, he was playing soccer, in the midfield.

"I think he'd played two games of footy with someone up there, that's all. It's outstanding."

Meanwhile, Malthouse said Collingwood would be playing against a certain top-eight side on Sunday when they faced North Melbourne at the MCG.

The Kangaroos had won four games in succession before being stopped by St Kilda last week and are currently 10th on the ladder.

But Malthouse said that, irrespective of the positions on the table, the Magpies were gearing up for a tough battle.

"I've had them in the eight before the season started and I still think they've got a wonderful chance to be in the eight," Malthouse said.

"I think they're a terrific side. I look at that side and think, they're young and aggressive, with a fantastic game structure.

"I admire the coach (former Magpies assistant Brad Scott) and I admire their club spirit - we're in for a fight."

Malthouse said that were it not for a few unlucky decisions this year, the Kangaroos would probably already be in the top eight.

"The win-loss ratio - I think they've been very, very stiff in a couple of decisions that may well have gone either way for them," he said.

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