Round Nine is done. Almost half way through the 2023 AFL season. We know who the bottom teams are. Who the strugglers in the middle are and who will probably make finals. If you are just a fan of the game itself, you are probably watching a lot of Collingwood.
There is a slight sting to say this, but, watching Collingwood play this year has been a lot of fun. Always good football. You never think the game is over, even if Collingwood is behind. If either Nick or Josh Daicos fail there is De Goey, Pendlebury, Sidebottom and Noble.
Great games keep being played by players you do not expect to pop up. Quaynor played a great game against Sydney. Mason Cox had his best game in a long time this weekend against the Giants. Who will pop up next week? Could be Taylor Adams, Jason Crisp, Tom Mitchell or Ash Johnson.
Small Pies Up Forward
Talking about Ash Johnson, lets talk forwards at Collingwood. The top five goalscorers at Collingwood are Brody Mihocek (21), Bobby Hill (12) and Beau McCreery (9) with De Goey (9), Jaime Elliot (9) and Ash Johnson (8).
Oh and Brody Mihocek is definitely in contention for goal of the year. The Collingwood forwards are all 6’3 and under and averaging thirteen goals a game. The AFL scoring average is 12 goals a game. It should not work. But it just keeps working.
Yes the Pies lost to a rampaging Brisbane Lions up at the ‘Gabba. The difference then was accuracy, hit outs and clearances. The game was won in front of goal and in the contested ball. Perhaps the high dew point at the ‘Gabba gave the Lions an advantage? It is the only blemish for Collingwood and they appear to have not looked back.
You Wish You Had Craig McRae At Your Club
But let me just add one more thing that I know more than half the fans are thinking every week. When your team is struggling or you follow West Coast, Hawthorn, or North Melbourne. You have had this thought. I wish my team could play like Collingwood. Admit it, its true.
My Team, Fremantle had a good win against Sydney this Saturday and I still want them to play more like Craig McRae’s Pies. It is a wonderful way to play football and I wish more teams could play with such abandon and skill. No fear of loosing, just keep running the ball forward. Keep finding the next pass, keep running to make the next connection. It is a beautiful game when played this way.
Phillip Hall has been too long in Melbourne to see AFL in the same light as those back in Fremantle. East Fremantle born and bred, he would love to see the Dockers back in the eight. But would settle for just beating West Coast twice a year.