Every Premiership team has its quiet achievers. But the 19th Player has been the exact opposite in 2023.
They say you can judge the true quality of a player by the contributions made during a Premiership season. If that’s true, then Collingwood’s 19th Player – aka the Magpie Army – must rank among the very best the game has seen.
This year the 19th Player produced a career-best season when it mattered most, inspiring the Pies throughout a stellar home-and-away campaign and across a trio of nail-biting finals victories, all the way to the flag.
The Army was an ever-present throughout 2023, never missing a game and regularly being a standout at training. The biggest games of the year saw some of the most stunning performances, and the end result was a season of truly remarkable stats. Just take a look at some of the headline figures:
- Total membership number 106,470
- Total Average TV Audience 10.86m
- Total at-match attendance 1,676,152 (including finals)
- Average home crowd: 63,723
- Average away crowd: 56,378
- Average finals crowd: 96,775
- Total average crowd: 64,429
- Total social media community: 1,300,000
Coach Craig McRae and captain Darcy Moore both paid tribute to the Army’s impact, which has gone to a whole new level in 2023.
“The Magpie Army is fierce,” said Moore, “and was significant in getting us over the line in so many games. When there are moments in games we need to take advantage of, there’s no doubt that the Army inspires us. It’s been a great ride the last couple of years, and all those close games we’ve had – so many of them – we don’t get over the line without the Magpie Army.”
McRae agreed, saying: “We just want to say a massive thank you to our 19th Player, the Magpie Army, for everything this season. All the support, all the loyalty, the Army is there for us through the wins, the losses, the hard times and the good times.”
The 19th Player has apparently been celebrating the Premiership hard, but has already committed to going around again next season and is planning on being even bigger and better then.