Mick’s last trick: Magpies pre-draft

In the third of a club-by-club series, we look at the list for Mick Malthouse’s finale as Collingwood senior coach.

Collingwood Magpies Training Session

COLLINGWOOD
Live selections: 30, 62, 75, 85

The lateness of Collingwood’s draft selections this year, caused by the trade of Darren Jolly, means that the Magpies won’t be a big story out of draft day, but their depth charts are pretty settled from last year anyway, with most of their list turnover at the bottom end. The Pies are arguably better with Anthony Rocca gone, allowing them to concentrate their structure around the under-rated John Anthony. Their forward line is still an issue, though, with everyone at the club wishing Sean Rusling could get on the park for more than a minute before breaking something.

Of course, much pre-draft speculation surrounds the fate of Luke Ball, who is determined to go to the Pies by hook or by crook. Collingwood has historically been a team that gives up a lot of fantasy points to inside midfielders. The addition of Jolly may turn that trend the other way, but Ball would certainly reverse it all the way, providing he stays fit. With Shane O’Bree most definitely on the wane, Ball is exactly what the Pies need at the foot of packs getting the contested footy, taking pressure off Dane Swan, Scott Pendlebury and Dayne Beams. Whether Ball will last until pick #30 is currently the subject of much conjecture.

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