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It's not about Dale Thomas, Mick Malthouse says

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Collingwood clashes with old foe Carlton

Rohan Connolly previews round seven of the AFL season, including the Friday night blockbuster between old foes Collingwood and Carlton.

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Carlton coach Mick Malthouse has blamed the media for turning Dale Thomas' first game against his old club into a "sideshow", saying the focus on the former Magpie will have little bearing on the result of Friday's blockbuster against Collingwood.

Malthouse said Thomas would not let the occasion shift his focus from executing his individual role in the MCG showdown, although the legendary coach admitted the build-up this week had been unusual for the former Pies star.

"Only because you blokes (the media) want to make it a different week," Malthouse said.

Dale 'Blue through and through' Thomas.

Dale 'Blue through and through' Thomas. Photo: Getty Images

"Don't take yourself out of this. You're the blokes who have been stalking the gate," he said.

"He wants normality. He knows it's not going to be normality, but he wants to play football."

Thomas' first game against many of his 2010 premiership team-mates has been a running theme this week since the player himself admitted there was "no doubt" he would be taunted by some Collingwood fans after accepting a lucrative four-year deal to join Carlton.

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley suggested on Wednesday that Thomas would view the game as a "marquee event" from a personal standpoint, and predicted he would be "keen to do well".

Malthouse acknowledged that supporters from both teams were interested in the issue, but he made it clear he wasn't, insisting he "doesn't get caught up in these things".

"The sideshow will be Dale Thomas. Absolute sideshow," the former Collingwood coach added.

"You guys want to make it an issue and that's your job. No one could deny your role - you can make what you like out of it, build it up," he said.

"But how Dale goes, or how he doesn't go, won't have any bearing on the W or the L.

"For Dale, it will be important to play the game for Carlton and not get tied up in the Collingwood stuff.

Thomas said on Thursday he was happy for the media to build occasion up to be "something that it isn't".

The 2011 All-Australian said he still had "fantastic" friendships with some of his former team-mates at Collingwood, although predicted he would be the "enemy" on Friday night.

"I’ve left there... and you know - I am now the enemy this weekend," Thomas said on radio station Nova 100.

"I’m not sure what sort of reception I’ll get from the boys... hopefully they’ve thought a lot about me and not a lot of the game, but they’re a professional outfit," he said.

"I’m sure they won’t be buying too much into this media hype, either.

"They (the media) like to you know - doom and gloom and ‘everyone hates you’ because you’ve left - when really... your friends are your friends, regardless of what workplace you’re in.

"They (supporters) certainly hold a grudge but I don’t know them, I wouldn’t call many of the supporters my friends."

Former team-mate Tyson Goldsack said he expected a "bit of banter" with Thomas on the field, saying the exciting midfielder usually came up with witty sledges. Goldsack said he would not hesitate to respond.

Carlton trio under injury clouds - Chris Yarran, Andrew Carrazzo and David Ellard - were all training on Thursday, but it is unclear whether they will be selected.

6 comments so far

  • My god Mick you need to lighten up mate.
    Everytime your on camera you spit, whinge, and gripe about everything.
    You had the umps firmly in your back pocket on Saturday & still have the angry face.
    You should for once appreciate your luck and have a laugh. Having watched that game you should buy a lottery ticket pal. The Coasters were shafted beyond belief.

    Now stop crackin the shites Mick.... Your getting boring to all of us.

    Bulldog Larry
    Date and time
    May 01, 2014, 12:23PM
    • Its not about Thomas for Collingwood fans, its all about Marc Murphy who insulted all Collingwood fans and who should have been suspended from the game for crowd incitement during 2012 when he stuck his middle finger up at Collingwood fans.
      Marc, we do not forget and we will be cheering than little bit louder if we win tomorrow knowing you will always remain the leagues most disrespectful captain at that proud club, Carltank.

      Date and time
      May 01, 2014, 12:33PM
      • sorry, annoying as it is, it is all about Thomas. 90% of Collingwood fans deep down never wanted to see Daisy go - especially there (insert profanity), he for many years was our toughest and hardest working guy on the list and a great player, still probably is, though unlikely will ever be as nimble due to age and injury.

        But, he knew about the dark side, and could not control his thoughts, Vader Malthouse (who too was lured to dark side) then lured young Skywalker Thomas, it is shameful his mind was weak.

        Fortunately it will never really work out as the Dark side never wins in the end.
        Which also explains why the Dark Side is the 3rd from the bottom.

        Smash em pies

        Date and time
        May 01, 2014, 12:57PM
        • Hope you have a great one Daisy and we can laugh at those Collingwood simpletons once more

          Princes Park
          Date and time
          May 01, 2014, 1:04PM
          • did you think that up all by yourself?

            Date and time
            May 01, 2014, 1:19PM
        • whilst I wish Daisy well and he is a solid footballer, he is no where near as good as what some people make him out to be - certainly isn't worth the money that Carlton are paying him in my opinion. I'm neither a Collingwood or Carlton supporter.

          Date and time
          May 01, 2014, 1:19PM

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