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Buckley happy with Pies' start

Buckley happy

with Pies' start

EMMA QUAYLE

Collingwood will continue into the second round of the NAB Cup after winning both its games on Friday night, the second a last-minute win over Essendon, and coach Nathan Buckley was pleased at how the team was able to induct a handful of new and older recruits, and test its revised game plan.

He wants this year's side to be a more adaptable one, able to use the boundary well when the opportunity arose, and move the ball through the middle of the ground when able to get it there.

Collingwood had some minor logistical issues with the two-match format, with Nathan Brown and Jarryd Blair both withdrawing before their intended hit-outs. Dale Thomas, Alex Fasolo, Tyson Goldsack, Alan Toovey and Luke Ball are among those due back in the team soon.

"The format makes it tough going. It's like the duck on the pond just organising stuff behind the scenes. We had Nathan Brown not get through the first warm up with a tight back, and you don't want to risk him in the first game so you change that up," Buckley said.

"You've got plans on the six players that are going to come out and the six players that are going to come in, and we had 'Blairy' pull out of the second game really late after our team sheet had gone in, but that's the issues of the format. We were able to get through it, but it's a long way from a normal round of footy.

"I think it's OK. I think it works really well for what you're after – and that is to kickstart your season. We had 29 players that were able to see time and seven players hadn't put on a Collingwood guernsey on before tonight, so that was encouraging.

"We've five or six blokes who've played less than 10 games for our club that were in that squad of 29 that played, so half of the guys get their chance to run out and perform.

"We want to see that the work we've done in pre-season is coming off. Some of it was encouraging and there's some work to do out of the rest."

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