The Magpies got agonisingly close to a Premiership in 2018, falling just five points short thanks to a Dom Sheed goal from the pocket. But many thought the Pies were lucky to be in the big dance in the first place, and their list was hit hard by injury throughout the season.
With massive improvement from their forward line, both on an individual and strategic level, the backline appeared to be their weak spot. Serious injuries to three tall backmen left them with a makeshift defense come finals time. The midfield stood up once again, with career-best years from ruckman Brodie Grundy and skilled mid Steele Sidebottom.
The addition of Dayne Beams and Jordan Roughead (an incredibly talented goal-kicking mid and key position depth player respectively) in the trade period can only have helped their 2019 prospects.
Here’s what their best 22 looks like pre-draft:
FB: Tom Langdon, Lyndon Dunn, Jeremy Howe
HB: Brayden Maynard, Darcy Moore, Jack Crisp
C: Taylor Adams, Dayne Beams, Scott Pendlebury
HF: Will Hoskin-Elliott, Jordan De Goey, Daniel Wells
FF: Jaidyn Stephenson, Mason Cox, Brody Mihocek
Fol: Brodie Grundy, Adam Treloar, Steele Sidebottom
Int: Matthew Scharenberg, Tom Phillips, Brayden Sier, Josh Thomas
Long term needs
The Magpies are hoping father-son gun Darcy Moore can develop into a strong and reliable key defender, filling arguably Collingwood’s biggest deficiency both in the long and short-term.
Aside from that, their team is mostly young and very talented.
Replacements for veterans Travis Varcoe, Levi Greenwood, Tyson Goldsack, Ben Reid and Daniel Wells will need to be sourced as the running defender, tagger, two key backs and silky winger near the end of their careers.
Short term needs
As we’ve mentioned – the Magpies need a tall defender. They targeted Steven May during the trade period but lost out to Melbourne, who nabbed May in the mega-trade with Fremantle and Gold Coast. Down the other end of the ground, some remain unconvinced that Mason Cox is a true key forward, but the Pies seem to have backed him in.
Aside from a key position defender, the Magpies do not have any glaring short-term deficiencies.
Draft picks: 41, 44, 57, 59, 60, 93
Who could they target?
The Collingwood Football Club appear set to use their picks as draft points for highly-rated Academy prospect Isaac Quaynor and father-son Will Kelly (son of Premiership player Craig Kelly and brother of Crows backman Jake).
Quaynor is a skilled kick, having scored perfectly in the goalkicking test at this year’s Draft Combine – the only player to do so. He models his game on Jason Johannisen and will provide spring and rebound off the halfback line.
Will Kelly is a 193cm defender who has also played some time forward, and filled CHB for the Oakleigh Chargers this year. He is rated more highly than his brother, and may well fill that second key post down back for the Pies in the future (alongside Moore).