25/04/2024
Will Darcy Moore add another premiership to the Collingwood cabinet in 2024? Picture: Michael Willson/AFL Photos (Supplied by AFL)

Will Darcy Moore add another premiership to the Collingwood cabinet in 2024? Picture: Michael Willson/AFL Photos (Supplied by AFL)

All eyes will be on Collingwood to go back-to-back. Coach Craig McRae says the hunger remains, but can the Magpies avoid the dreaded premiership hangover which hit Geelong?

2023 Overview

Collingwood won a record equalling 16th VFL/AFL premiership under the helm of McRae in just his second season. The Magpies played scintillating football, which continued after a remarkable rise in 2022.

An eight-game winning streak got the Magpies on a roll and their resilience got them just over the line on multiple occasions. They won five games by less than five points last season, including both the Preliminary Final and Grand Final.

The Magpies’ defence was nothing but superb across the whole season, highlighted by premiership captain Darcy Moore and an unbeatable Isaac Quaynor making the All-Australian team and squad of 44 respectively.

In the midfield, the addition of Tom Mitchell was a master stroke, while both Josh and Nick Daicos continued to improve.

The younger Daicos would’ve taken home a Brownlow Medal had injury not hit him deep in the home and away season, while Josh claimed the Copeland Trophy as the best and fairest.

Role players were also of key importance, none more than Billy Frampton, who was tasked with halting Harris Andrews’ influence in the Grand Final.

Oleg Markov joined in the SSP and kept mainstay John Noble out the side. Challenging for spots is never a problem.

Off-Season Changes

Ins:

Harry DeMattia (No. 25 draft pick), Tew Jiath (No. 37 draft pick), Lachie Schultz (trade, Fremantle)

Outs:

Taylor Adams (trade, Sydney), Trent Bianco (delisted), Arlo Draper (delisted), Jack Ginnivan (trade, Hawthorn), Will Kelly (delisted), Cooper Murley (delisted), Trey Ruscoe (delisted), Tom Wilson (delisted)

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Fixture

Opening round: v GWS, Saturday 9 March, 7:30pm GIANTS Stadium

Round 1: v Sydney, Friday 15 March, 7:40pm MCG

Round 2: v St Kilda, Thursday 21 March, 7:30pm MCG

Round 3: v Brisbane, Thursday 28 March, 7:30pm Gabba

Round 4: v Hawthorn, Sunday 7 April, 5:10pm Adelaide Oval (Gather Round)

Round 5: BYE

Round 6: v Port Adelaide, Saturday 20 April, 2:45pm MCG

Round 7: v Essendon, Thursday 25 April, 4:20pm MCG (ANZAC Day)

Round 8: v Carlton, Friday 3 May, 8:40pm MCG

Round 9: v West Coast, Sunday 12 May, 2:00pm Marvel Stadium

Round 10: v Adelaide, Saturday 18 May, 2:45pm MCG

Round 11: v Fremantle, Friday 24 May, 9:10pm Optus Stadium

Round 12: v Western Bulldogs, Friday 31 May, 8:40pm Marvel Stadium

Round 13: v Melbourne, Monday 10 June, 4:20pm MCG (King’s birthday)

Round 14: v North Melbourne, Sunday 22 June, 2:00pm Marvel Stadium

Round 15: BYE

Round 16: v Gold Coast, TBC, Heritage Bank Stadium

Round 17: v Essendon, TBC, MCG

Round 18: v Geelong, TBC, MCG

Round 19: v Hawthorn, TBC, MCG

Round 20: v Richmond, TBC, MCG

Round 21: v Carlton, TBC, MCG

Round 22: v Sydney, TBC, SCG

Round 23: v Brisbane, TBC, MCG

Round 24: v Melbourne, TBC, MCG

Looking at 2024

Expect new signing Lachie Schultz to slip into the forward line straight away after having success with the Dockers over the last five years.

Collingwood’s rapid movement will be a joy for the former Docker, who will look to feast alongside Norm Smith medallist Bobby Hill, Jamie Elliott and co.

Dan McStay’s run of bad luck from the preliminary final continued, and he’ll miss 2024 with injury. Who replaces him is up in the air, with Ash Johnson likely favoured.

Taylor Adams’ departure to Sydney to re-unite with former teammate Brodie Grundy will leave a void, but there’s options to fill that spot, including Fin Macrae.

Prediction: Premiers

It’s hard to look past a defending premier who has actively improved. The Magpie Army has produced the goods with their unwavering support, and a hostile MCG will be daunting for anyone.

The chance to go one up on rivals Essendon and Carlton in the VFL/AFL premiership standings? Nothing will suit the Magpies more.

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