Malthouse praises Suns after Pies' win - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Malthouse praises Suns after Pies' win

Laine Clark 24/07/2011 02:44:50 PM Comments (0)

Suddenly Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse has a lot to talk about with his former assistant Guy McKenna.

Not that they were ever short of conversation topics.

Malthouse has revealed he speaks with the now Gold Coast coach every week - but just as friends, not to help McKenna nurture his budding AFL side.

However, talking about McKenna's young team may now be unavoidable in their regular chats after Malthouse walked away from Collingwood's 54-point win over the Suns clearly impressed.

Saturday night's sold-out Carrara clash was billed as master versus apprentice, with McKenna hoping to upstage the man he played under at West Coast for 10 years and assisted in the Magpies coach's box for another five.

But it resembled a love-in after Malthouse revealed how closely he kept in touch with McKenna.

"We rarely talk about football quite frankly - if he wants me to I will give him an appraisal of his side but it is not for me to teach him," Malthouse said.

"Now he is a coach in his own right.

"We will talk football but as far as game structures go I wouldn't dare think I know more than anybody else.

"We will just talk as friends."

Malthouse gushed over the Suns' prospects after Gold Coast tied the scoring with the defending premiers (6.7) in the second half and even won the final term.

"They are going to be a very, very good football side," he said.

"I think they are on an exciting path.

"They are coached very well, they have a very good structure, sound game plan - they are something to look forward to.

"Standby - that's all I have to say."

Not one to make bold calls, Malthouse predicted the Suns would be a premiership force in just three years.

"Historically players like (ruckman Zac) Smith will fluctuate in form for two or three years, blokes like (midfielder David) Swallow will mature more quickly," he said.

"You will see a vast improvement next year but year three and four ... that's the time you will see the best.

"There won't be a lot of pain (for Suns fans) - they are going to see a lot of success coming up."

Malthouse also claimed the young Suns - led again by Gary Ablett (36 touches) - did not allow the all conquering Collingwood to kick clear in the second half.

McKenna's face lit up when Malthouse's name was mentioned at the post-match press conference but he tried to keep a lid on his praise.

"Looking at the second half you think maybe as a team we are moving forward - but to have the same effort next week is the challenge," he said.

Malthouse played down injuries to Dale Thomas (corked thigh) and Ben Johnson (shoulder).

But McKenna talked up Suns defender Nathan Bock, saying he was in All-Australian form after keeping Travis Cloke quiet (2.1), despite Collingwood having a remarkable 78 inside 50s to the Suns' 41.

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