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Depth key for VFL Pies

Billy Higgins  March 31, 2018 10:30 PM

Collingwood VFL coach Jared Rivers - Collingwood,VFL,Collingwood Magpies

Collingwood VFL coach Jared Rivers

Collingwood VFL coach Jared Rivers says the club’s strong off-season of recruiting will hold it in good stead come the start of the VFL season.

The Magpies fell to North Melbourne by 37-points at the Holden Centre in their final pre-season match of 2018. The Pies injury woes from earlier in the afternoon at the MCG compounded when Kayle Kirby was taken to Epworth hospital after collapsing in the second quarter with an irregular heartbeat.

Rivers says despite these challenges, he is confident his side’s strength in depth will show in the early rounds of the season.

“It’s going to test our depth a bit, but I reckon with the VFL players we brought in this year, we have a lot more depth than we’ve had in previous years,” Rivers said post-match.

“It’s going to be tested early in round one. We’ll get some players back from AFL level this week as well, so we should have a good crack next week.”

After a strong start, Collingwood’s energy seemed to be sapped once popular forward Kirby went down. Half-time was called early as an ambulance was brought onto the field.

While not offering this as an excuse for the result, Rivers says that the emotional toll was visible in his players.

“It wasn’t ideal. It was a fairly big break in play,” Rivers said of the incident.

“It probably shocked a few boys, and Broomy before the game as well, a lot of boys saw that.”

“You can’t say that was the reason (for the result), but definitely the boys were feeling for both, so it was tough for them.”

A shining light for the Pies was the form of forward Michael Chippendale. He was the side’s only multiple goal scorer and was a constant threat up forward.

“I thought Chippendale, in his first practice game, was really good for us."

“He presented well, had five or six shots on goal. His ability to provide a contest for us up there was great.”

“He was one who stood out for me.”

The Magpies begin their VFL campaign next Saturday afternoon against Northern Blues at Preston City Oval.

Collingwood v North Melbourne
Saturday 31 March
Holden Centre


Collingwood            3.5          4.7          5.10         9.12  (66)
North Melbourne     5.2          8.4         13.5         16.7   (103)

BEST: Chippendale, McLarty, Sier, Appleby, Borthwick, Madgen
GOALS: Chippendale 2, Fasolo, Jarryd Blair, Daicos, Sier, Lynch, Hetherington, Stanford