Tough start but Collingwood favourite for AFL Premiership
March 29, 2012
Nathan Buckley has had a challenging start with Collingwood as pre-season injuries and patchy form in the NAB Cup have
hampered preparations for the Round 1 game against Hawthorn on March 30.
The Magpies mentor has had the chance
to run the rule over a number of his squad after Andrew Krakouer and Brent Macaffer were hit by serious knee injuries and a
number of key players have been suffering from minor ailments.
The depth of the squad has been said to be one
of Collingwood’s strengths in the last two seasons but Buckley admitted his team got a harsh reality check in the 77-
point NAB Cup defeat against Adelaide.
“It just shows at this early stage of the season how much we rely on
our best 22 compared to other sides,” he said after the loss to the Crows on Friday night.
coaching strategist Rodney Eade is also in his first season at Collingwood and believes there is plenty of improvement in
the Magpies. The bookmakers agree, making Collingwood favourite to go one better than last season when they lost in the
Grand Final to Geelong.
Eade points to the youth in the squad: “The age demographic for most of the club
‘s best players is they are 26 or younger,” he said. “Just take a look at the likes of (Ben) Reid, (Travis) Cloke,
(Scott) Pendlebury, (Dale) Thomas, (Harry) O’Brien, and (Heath) Shaw.
“They are all 26 and under, so there is
still a lot of improvement in them.”
UK-based online bookmaker
bet365 go 3.75 for Collingwood to repeat its 2010 Grand Final victory ahead of Round 1 opponents Hawthorne and reigning
champions Geelong in the outright betting market.
Bet365 accepts Australian customers
who can get $400 free bets when signing up for a new account.
AFL Grand Final odds:
13.00 West Coast
21.00 St Kilda
51.00 and more the others
Prices correct at 04:45 AEDT, March 14