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Lockyer and Johnson speak after the VFL win

Three premiership players returning from injury proved the catalyst for Collingwood’s first VFL win of the season against the Northern Blues on Saturday.

Trailing by 12 points at three quarter time, the Magpies stormed home courtesy of a five goal final term to sew up a seven point victory.

Click here to recap the live coverage of Saturday's win.

Bolstered by the form of Alan Didak (22 disposals), Ben Johnson (17) and Nathan Brown (16), Collingwood was able to blend youth with experience as well as the reliability of its VFL listed players.

Johnson told that the win was the appropriate response to the senior side’s loss to Carlton the previous night.

“After last night I think it was pretty important that we came out today and had a good win for the jumper if not for anything else,” said Johnson.

“We spoke about it a bit and the boys responded really well. It was a good win.”

Now with three VFL games under his belt since injuring his hamstring in the pre-season, Johnson feels confident that he’s quickly returning to his best form.

“It’s my third game back and I’m getting a little bit fitter. I’m right to go now. I’m pretty confident about next week.”

VFL coach Tarkyn Lockyer was proud of the commitment shown by his players, each of whom were willing to sacrifice for each other in order to achieve their first win of the year.

“Reward for effort, that’s what it is,” Lockyer explained.

“We spoke about really playing as a team and going out of our way to try and help your teammates to help them to be the best they can be and I thought that at every stage throughout the game, every player stood up and did something for their teammates and that’s all we can ask for, really.”

The group’s focus was tightened by the loss to Carlton hours prior.

“I just made the point that everyone’s on show, and there will be critics coming at the players, at the program, at the coaches, and everyone’s on show and it’s about us declaring ourselves and I thought the boys did that really well.”

Lockyer was quick to praise forward Matt Boland who bagged six goals in his debut for the club after crossing from Sandringham, and spoke similarly of Brown in his second game since returning from a knee reconstruction.

“All (of the returning players) came through pretty well. Browny, in particular, looked really comfortable and certainly played a huge part in the win. I’m wrapped for the guy to come back and he’s been through a lot so it’s terrific.”

“He (Didak) looked a little bit rusty but once again it’s about finding your feet and it always takes a couple of games so hopefully we’ll get to keep him (at VFL level).

The VFL Magpies take on the Box Hill Hawks at Box Hill City Oval next Saturday.

Collingwood 4.0, 7.2, 10.4, 15.8 (98)
Northern Blues 4.3, 5.4, 11.10, 13.13 (91)

GOALS - Collingwood:
Boland 6, Gault 2, Mooney 2, Ferraro 2, Ugle, Didak, Cathcart

BEST - Collingwood:
Brown, K.Pendlebury, Boland, Hellier, Ferraro, Buckley

DISPOSALS - Collingwood:
Young 24, Buckley 23, Didak 22, K.Pendlebury 21, Johnson 19, Ferraro 17, Brown 16, Wallace 15.