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VFL Report: Aish does the double

Bucks praises 'first-class' Darce Watch coach Nathan Buckley reflect on Collingwood's narrow win over the Western Bulldogs in the third and final match of the 2016 NAB Challenge.
James Aish played for both Collingwood's AFL and VFL teams on Saturday afternoon.

Olympic Park hosted the first of several doubleheaders for 2016 when Collingwood’s VFL team met Footscray in the second practice match of the new season.

A healthy crowd, many of whom made the trip to the club’s Holden Centre headquarters after the senior side’s thrilling win over the same opponent at Etihad Stadium, was on hand to watch the VFL Magpies fall to a forty-point loss.

Led by stand-in coach Jared Rivers, the Magpies closed the gap to twenty-one points at half time but were powerless to stop the 2014 premiers from running away with the match in the second half.

Recruit James Aish played his first game in a VFL jumper, after he played only the final quarter of the senior side's narrow win over the Western Bulldogs.

Collingwood   8.5      (54)
Footscray       14.10  (94)

Goals – Collingwood: Cox 2, Wyatt 2, Alessi, Goodyear, Gray

AFL-listed players: James Aish, Ben Crocker, Mason Cox, Tim Golds, Matthew Goodyear, Adam Oxley, Brayden Sier, Alan Toovey, Jesse White, Darrean Wyatt

VFL-listed players: Marcus Alessi, Gus Borthwick, Ash Close, Nick Gray, Dale Hinkley, Marty Hore, Lachlan Howe, Adrian Indovino, Jordan Kelly, Will Knight, Cal Matheson, Ben Moloney, Jackson Viola, Jesse Wallin

Stand-in coach Jared Rivers spoke with Collingwood Media shortly after to provide the following synopsis of the day’s key talking points.

What was the story of the match?
We weren’t switched on right from the start. Against a good team like the Bulldogs, it’s hard to fight back. Our skill level wasn’t great today, but like I said, against a good team it’s hard to fight back from a slow start. It was just a matter of our attention to detail on a few things. There were a few good elements throughout the game but in the next few weeks we will look to learn from it and build on it from there.

How did the personnel of both sides impact the match?
They had a few good boys in. Mitch Honeychurch was in and played really well. They had a few key midfielders who were in, and there was Jordan Roughead as well, who did pretty well. Our AFL-listed guys did well at different stages. I think Adam Oxley played pretty well across half back and gave us a bit of grunt. Jesse White played down back, which was a new role for him. Alan Toovey was solid, and James Aish played the second half. It was a good effort for him to come in and work pretty hard in the middle, so we’ll learn from that and continue to get better.

Why did James Aish play in both the AFL and the VFL?
Nathan Buckley came into the box and said ‘You’ve got Aishy for a half’, and we were quite happy with that. He came in and played his role. No doubt there’s a few challenges in that for a player, when you’ve warmed up and then cooled down for a bit, but he handled it well and was pretty good for that half.”

What’s next?
“We’ve got next week off, so it will be good to work on a few things. We’ve got practice matches against Coburg and Geelong after that, so we’ve got a while before round one. There’s a lot to work on but no doubt we’ll be ready to go before then.

Describe your first experience as senior coach
“It was great for ‘Tapps’ (Dale Tapping) to give me the opportunity. There’s a lot that goes into it, with planning of meetings and watching the ‘whole’ game. It makes it pretty full on but I had great support from all the coaches, such as Tarkyn Lockyer and Anthony Rocca, so it was a real learning curve for me. I really appreciate Dale giving me the opportunity. I will learn from it and hopefully get better for it.”