Didak ready for special game: Malthouse - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Didak ready for special game: Malthouse

Sam Lienert 22/09/2011 09:38:52 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse has predicted Magpies star Alan Didak is ready to produce "something special" in Friday night's AFL preliminary final against Hawthorn.

There had been speculation the 200-gamer was at risk of the axe this week, having gone seven games without a goal and having a quiet match in the qualifying final win over West Coast.

But Malthouse said while the silky-skilled left-footer had not been hitting the scoreboard recently,a lot of other areas of his game were working well.

"Alan Didak hasn't kicked a lot of goals of recent date, but his possession rate has lifted, his assists for goals have lifted, his intensity has lifted and I think Alan is ready for something special," Malthouse told OneHD's AFL Game Plan on Thursday night.

The veteran coach said Didak's big-game experience was another factor in his favour.

The Magpies dropped young players Tyson Goldsack and Alex Fasolo, to make room for returning All Australians Ben Reid and Dale Thomas.

"We also looked at the experience factor," Malthouse said.

"You go in against a side like Hawthorn in a preliminary final. I think if it had have been round 15 perhaps there would have been a couple more changes, who knows.

"But going into a preliminary final, there's no next day, you play to win and I think that kids are good, but sometimes they can get found out in games like this.

"This is the big stage, it's one game off the biggest and there's no room for error, so we've elected to go with our experienced players, who we have great faith in."

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