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Why Collingwood are going to win the flag this year

July 27, 2009

Okay, I’m well aware of the fact that every footy supporter thinks it’s their team for the premiership, especially if said team is currently in the top 8. I mean, I’m still convinced Collingwood should have won the Grand Final in 2007, and would have, if it wasn’t for a charity free against Clement that handed Geelong a goal. Yeah, yeah, it was Geelong’s year and all that crap. Except it really wasn’t. 2008 was Geelong’s year, but somehow Hawthorn managed to steal it off them on the last Saturday in September. Hawthorn were lucky last year, we weren’t so lucky the year before that. But that was 2 years ago, and if we do win this year 2007 won’t sting so badly. So, why are the pies going to win? Other than the fact that Geelong is riddled with injuries and St Kilda aren’t as good as everyone seems to think, they just havent had an injury all year, well…

Simon Prestigiacomo: this guy is the best full-back in the buisness. He will beat anyone and everyone he plays on. He is always there. Okay, so maybe he’s doesn’t have the ability to make plays the way some defenders (say, Brian Lake of the Bulldogs) have, but we have Heath Shaw and Harry O’Brien for that. Presti always gets his man. Whatever forward he plays on, they are effectively taken out of the game. Guys don’t kick a bag of goals of Presti. They struggle to take a mark that’s inside 50 and not on the boundary line. Presti destroys a team’s full-forward. Enough said.

Danye/Dane with the sleeve tattoo: okay, so I put Dayne Beams in because I’m pretty much in love with him as a footballer and one of my greatest fears is him going to the Gold Coast. But truth is, Dane Swan is a gun. I know this because I have him as my supercoach captain week in week out and he regularly beats blokes like Ablett and Judd. Without the free kicks. Swan is a star midfielder, and everyone underestimates his chances at winning this year’s brownlow. He is pretty much a ball magnet and usually does something useful with it (rather than the thousands of handballs where Geelong players get their possessions) even if he can’t kick for goal. Oh, and Pendlebury’s not that bad either.

The gun forward line: even without Rocca, we have arguably the best forward line in the competition. Anthony, Cloke, Medhurst, Thomas, Lockyer, Davis, Didak…each of them champions in their own right, together become practically unstopable. Sure, a good defence can stop one, maybe even a few, but they can’t stop them all. All of these blokes are capable of taking great marks and kicking goals of the year. And some of them, like Leon Davis and Alan Didak, are also capable of playing, and starring, in the midfield.

Nick Maxwell: I admit, I was skeptical when Maxwell was named captain at the beginning of the season. But then, after Bucks and Burns it was always going to be hard to name a captain. However, since I started paying actual attention to Maxwell’s playing ability I realsise he’s better than I ever gave him credit for. He owns the loose man in defence role. The amount of opposition marks he takes is incredible. He can cover someone else’s man. And he speaks well. Okay, he’s no Nathan Buckley but Maxwell is a hard-working and deserving captain.

Josh Fraser: he’s one of the few rucks that doesn’t suffer from dodo ruckman syndrome. He might not be the best ruck, but Josh is another man around the ground. He can run, he can take a mark, he can kick, he can kick goals. He can think and make good footballing decisions. True he isn’t the only ruckman that can do this, but there isn’t many. This guy is probably the most underestimate player in the team.

The kids: from Beams and Sidebottom to Dick to Pendlebury and Thomas. These guys are still kids, and yet they kick arse as well as a football. There is depth in this side. There is youth, and there is excitment. St Kilda and Geelong can’t claim that.

Everyone else I haven’t mentioned: because those blokes, for example Shane O’Bree, are pretty damn important too.

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