Former Magpies Heath Shaw and Darren Jolly.

Former Magpies Heath Shaw and Darren Jolly. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo

Heath Shaw has defended his former team-mate Darren Jolly against the backlash generated from his parting swipe on Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley.

Shaw was given the chance to condemn Jolly for labelling Buckley a "coward" recently, however the new GWS recruit decided to side with his former team-mate instead, insisting: "it's pretty harsh words, but that's the way 'Jolls' feels and he tells it as it is".

"I wouldn't deny him those comments because that's the way he felt and the way he feels at the time," Shaw added.

Jolly and Shaw, both Grand Final heroes at the club, were elevated to Collingwood's leadership group ahead of the club's 2010 premiership season, but left at the end of this season after their relationship with Buckley soured.

The dual premiership ruckman, injury-struck throughout 2013, was left out of the Pies' finals campaign and was then told his time at the Westpac Centre was finished, while Shaw was traded to the Giants after a blow-up on the field that cost Buckley's team during their elimination final loss to Port Adelaide.  

Shaw admitted both himself and Jolly were "fairly opinionated" during their time at the Pies, but claimed both men were motivated by what was best for the team and winning. 

'"If we thought that something was going to improve the club, then we'd obviously (put) our hand up and say it," Shaw said. 

"Whether he (Buckley) took that on board or not, that's up to him. At the end of the day, we're there to win games of footy and we're there to improve,’’ he said.

"So it was never going to be anything that was against the club."