COLLINGWOOD has defended its decision to recruit Chris Mayne as it tries to reboot its stuttering forward line.
The Magpies slumped to 1-3 following Sunday’s dispiriting loss to St Kilda, after which defender Jeremy Howe inferred the side had too many passengers.
“We just can’t seem to kick straight at the moment,’’ Howe said. “It’s not just that. Our effort fluctuated. As a team, we’ve got blokes that aren’t performing for four quarters.
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“They might perform for two quarters and then die out of the game. We’ve got too many blokes like that at the moment and it’s costing us.”
The Pies seem certain to include high-priced recruit Daniel Wells for an Anzac Day debut against Essendon next Tuesday.
Midfield coach Scott Burns said on Sunday he would have considered playing Wells first-up in the AFL, impressed by how he ran out Saturday’s VFL game.
Buckley suggested an Anzac Day debut for first-year father-son recruit Josh Daicos might be premature, despite solid VFL form.
But as Darcy Moore battles for form as the No.1 key forward, former Docker Mayne languishes in the VFL.
He could be one player recalled by Buckley, who said after Sunday’s loss none of his forwards had looked dangerous this season.
Before the match chief executive Gary Pert said the decision to recruit Mayne on a $2 million, four-year deal would be vindicated.
Mayne kicked two goals in the VFL after being dropped following two goals in three AFL games.
“We have seen signs from Mayney where he is putting pressure on and putting tackles on,’’ Pert told SEN.
“If he had kicked those three or four goals he was disappointed not to finish off, then that’s exactly why we got him.
“He would be the first to say having moved from Fremantle where they play a very different game, to having to shift to where he positions himself and reads the play at Collingwood, it was a lot different to Fremantle.
“Sometimes it might be half a season players take to understand and read the play compared to the team they came from.
“Mayney had to play a particular role at Fremantle and we want him to play a very different role.”
Pert said Buckley, as a member of the list management group, had ticked off on the recruitment of Mayne despite speculation to the contrary.
“We have a list management group and every single player being viewed who leaves or is brought into the club, that is unanimously decided by that group,” Pert said.
Pert said finals remained the expectation of the Pies after three years out of September action.
“From a Collingwood perspective, we hear the noise in the media,’’ he said. “We do believe we have got a style of footy and a list and program we believe can allow us to achieve our ambitions this year, which is to get back to the finals.
“I haven’t seen anything in the pre-season or first three games that says that’s not realistic.”
The Pies said captain Scott Pendlebury was not injured despite spending 14 minutes on the bench in the third quarter.
Geelong premiership captain Cameron Ling said it was poorly timed.
“I can’t believe he’s sat 14 minutes on the bench in the third quarter in a game that was there to be won,” he said.
“That is unbelievable. The bloke’s a star. Get him on the ground. You’ve got to have your captain and your superstar on the ground … unless he is injured.’’
Originally published as Pies defend Mayne recruitment
SOURCE: newsnow sport