Excited for the 2022 season?

After that performance on Saturday evening, the prospects for 2022 should get all Pies fans excited. With the experienced core of this side showing they’ve still got it, supported beautifully by 10 players all under 50 games, this Collingwood side will be a serious side in 2022. Let’s not forget, Saturday’s team was also missing the likes of Darcy Moore, Scott Pendlebury and Josh Daicos.

Once you factor in improvement from players like Beau McCreery, Caleb Poulter, Jay Rantall and Nathan Murphy, all who weren’t part of Saturday’s team, it becomes an even more exciting prospect.

When you consider an additional influx of youth and talent in the offseason, 2022 is going to be fun.

Jordan De Goey: An elite midfielder

The narrative from the first half of the season was the question as to whether Jordan De Goey was a midfielder, a forward, or both. Well the question has been answered, and if the last month of football is anything to go off, Jordan De Goey is one of the elite midfielders in the competition right now.

Known for his dynamic play in the forward half, it was the defensive work that was most impressive against the Eagles. De Goey didn’t have a disposal inside forward 50 on Saturday afternoon, rather plied his trade fighting to win the ball back for the Pies in the defensive half. His effort, determination and skill with ball in hand is exactly what makes him a great player.

Marking masterclass

The Pies put on an absolute marking masterclass against the Eagles on Saturday afternoon, beating them at their own game. Notching up a lazy 167 for the match, the Pies now hold the 9th most marks in an AFL game ever.

What’s most notable about this, is the way in which it allowed the Pies to dominate possession of the ball, and keep the ball out of the hands of the Eagles’ damaging midfield. Known for their ability to kick and mark the ball at a high rate, the Eagles simply weren’t able to play their normal game style, and it showed on the scoreboard.

The Pies had nine players with nine or more marks:

Hoskin-Elliott 12, Maynard 11, Mayne 11, Mihocek 11, Grundy 10, Howe 10, Noble 10, Bianco 9, Ruscoe 9

Key players finding the footy

For the first time in 2021, the Pies had five players have 30 or more disposals. Despite this statistic being largely arbitrary, it is an indicator to just how well the Pies played on Saturday afternoon.

The midfield was well on top. Brodie Grundy played one of his best games of the year, Jack Crisp brought his own ball to the MCG, De Goey was everywhere, Adams industrious as always, Sidebottom at his best, and the Eagles couldn’t get past Maynard.

If these key experienced players can find consistency in their game, it will make for a very strong Collingwood side in 2022.

Jeremy Howe is crucial

How great was it to have Jeremy Howe back in the side on Saturday evening?

Despite him not being at his high flying best just yet, Howe’s presence in the Collingwood defence has been sorely missed. His composure, leadership and skill with ball in hand was elite against the Eagles. In a very inexperienced and young backline, Howe plays a crucial role setting the team up behind the ball. The Pies were rock solid in defence against the Eagles, conceding just two goals to three quarter time, with Howe a huge part of that.