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Leader of the pack content at Magpies as cohorts take flight

Loyal: Dane Swan has farewelled several mates this year but wants to spend the rest of his career at Collingwood.

Loyal: Dane Swan has farewelled several mates this year but wants to spend the rest of his career at Collingwood. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo

Working on the theory you kill a snake by cutting off its head, Dane Swan insists his coach Nathan Buckley had no problem with Collingwood's ''rat pack'' of players this year or else Swan would have been traded or have asked to leave.

With Heath Shaw to be traded, Dale Thomas to take up a free agency offer at Carlton, Alan Didak delisted and Ben Johnson retiring, Swan wondered when he arrived at the best-and-fairest award on Friday if he would be sitting at a table on his own.

The exodus of friends - forced and voluntary - has raised the idea that the new coach had lost patience with, or the respect of, this group of talented but roguish players.

Swan said the impression was inaccurate and if there had been any substance to it he would also be gone.

''Don't you cut the snake off at its head? I am supposed to be the leader and I am still here,'' he said. ''And [Ben] Johnson for all rights would still be here but he retired. The rat pack is just a name for a group of boys who are mates and unfortunately for me they are all gone.

''I certainly don't think he [Buckley] had fallen out with them, it was just time to go. I certainly don't hold any ill feeling towards 'Bucks' and the club and if I did I would have asked to be traded.

''But I didn't and I want to be here. I passionately believe the footy club is going in the right direction and that is with me here and unfortunately it is not with Dale and Heath, Dids and Johnno so it is what it is, we will move on and go into next year and try to go one better than what we did this year because we were certainly disappointed this year.''

Swan said the list changes, while disappointing for him because his friends were not at the club, were a reality of modern professional sport which he was comfortable with.

''I clearly would love them to stay, they are my best mates, I would absolutely love them to stay but I know it was time for them to go, I am not silly enough to expect them to stay nor do I expect the club to keep them around because they are my mates,'' Swan said after coming runner-up in the Copeland Trophy, Collingwood's best-and-fairest award.

''Footy is a business and the boys wanted to leave so [I have] no qualms, the boys who were retiring I think when your time's up your time's up and it is going to be my time soon enough, it is going to happen to every player.

''I would love to play for ever, I would love for Chris Tarrant to still be playing, I would like Ben Johnson to keep going but I am not silly enough to think we can all go through for another three or four years and retire all together.

''I would also love to get three or four of my mates who have never played footy in their life to come and play with me at Collingwood but I certainly don't think Bucks is going to draft them. I would love them to but we probably wouldn't win a game but jeez we would have a good time. So we will move on and I certainly have a good group of friends here, a good group of guys and we will have a crack next year and see how we go.''

Swan said that he wanted to remain at Collingwood for the remainder of his career and nothing that had occurred during the season or with the post-season list changes would alter that.

''I am disappointed they are not here but I am certainly not disappointed or angry at them for leaving, not one bit, I love them and that is the business,'' he said.

''They decided for whatever reason whether it was for money or they got stale here and [went] for better opportunity, they're my mates and always will be so I absolutely do not hold it against them for leaving.

''I am going to miss them, I see them every day and they are the guys I hang around with, they were the guys in my clique if you like, in the rat pack so to speak, so of course I am going to miss not seeing them every day.''

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire said in his speech on Friday night that since the 2010 premiership a ''pervasive selfishness had crept into our club'' which was not uncommon at organisations or with individuals who had achieved success, but he said the club was determined to put a stop to it.

Buckley said he felt Collingwood had the list to be successful this season but they had beaten themselves with some of their behaviours on and off the field.

Swan said he agreed Collingwood had the talent on their list still to be contenders next year.

''Absolutely I think we have got the talent, I think we have got an exceptional list, I just don't think we put it together [in 2013], we did for games but now when it mattered … we have no one to blame but ourselves,'' Swan said.

2 comments so far

  • Dane Swan is a very smart footballer, and in this article shows he understands what goes on beyond the boundary. Sadly Ben Johnson was finished, ditto for Didds, and Jolly. Their bodies gave out. They gave great service and will remain part of the family. Daisy has a questionable ankle which gives him incentive to go to the highest bidder. His big year was 2011, plus a great finals series in 2010. We don't know if the ankle prevents him from playing at that level, or Malthouse brought out the best in him, or his style suits Malthouse's game plan better than Buckleys. Whichever, sadly we lose him. Also sadly, Heath Shaw screwed up against Port. Can the players still trust him? Can the coaches? Derek Hine & Buckley had to make a big decision. Only the future will tell. Only Shaw was a big contributor in 2013, so it is reasonable to hope replacements (a combination of draft picks & trades) will contribute more, and improve the team.
    Fourteen premiership players remain. Hawthorn had only 9 repeat from 2008, but that team averaged one year older than the Pies in 2010. The Premiership window should remain open for a couple of more years.

    Commenter
    gopies
    Location
    Tasmania
    Date and time
    October 07, 2013, 12:29PM
    • The difficulty with all football club supporters today is that our favorites may move to another camp. Today's hero, could quickly become tomorrow's villain. The big challenge for all clubs is going to be list management, and how their list is able to carry out their game plan of the day. After all we expect our chosen tribe to be successful. The days of sentiment and romance is over. I consider HFC, GFC and SFC, to be leaders in their list management. There has been a lot of emotion displayed by fans over Daisy and Buddy in the past week. The management of the clubs have simply continued to go about their business, which is what we expect of them. Us supporters will return with our passion at the first bounce of the new season. I look forward to cheering with friend and foe. GO FOOTBALL!

      Commenter
      Difficult
      Location
      Football Field
      Date and time
      October 07, 2013, 1:24PM

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      AFL 2015

      Round 1
      Thu, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
      CAR 78vs RIC 105 Report Stats
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      MEL 115vs GCF 89 Stats
      SYD 72vs ESS 60 Stats
      BRI 74vs COL 86 Stats
      WBU 97vs WCE 87 Stats
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      STK 78vs GWS 87 Stats
      ADE 140vs NTH 63 Stats
      FRE 75vs PTA 68 Stats
      Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
      HAW 123vs GEE 61 Stats
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      Round 2
      Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
      WCE 131vs CAR 62 Stats
      Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
      RIC 66vs WBU 85 Report Stats
      GWS 101vs MEL 56 Stats
      COL 63vs ADE 90 Report Stats
      GCF 76vs STK 104 Stats
      PTA 44vs SYD 92 Stats
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      GEE 60vs FRE 104 Stats
      ESS 78vs HAW 76 Stats
      NTH 133vs BRI 51 Stats
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      Round 3
      Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
      COL 140vs STK 66 Stats
      Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
      CAR 84vs ESS 105 Stats
      ADE 80vs MEL 55 Stats
      SYD 111vs GWS 90 Report Stats
      NTH 105vs PTA 113 Stats
      BRI 58vs RIC 137 Stats
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      HAW 127vs WBU 57 Stats
      GEE 105vs GCF 96 Stats
      WCE 81vs FRE 111 Stats
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      Round 4
      Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
      RIC 51vs MEL 83 Stats
      Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
      STK 81vs CAR 121 Report Report Stats
      ESS 49vs COL 69 Report Stats
      GWS 119vs GCF 53 Stats
      PTA 99vs HAW 91 Stats
      FRE 74vs SYD 60 Stats
      Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
      BRI 65vs WCE 118 Stats
      GEE 67vs NTH 83 Stats
      WBU 125vs ADE 68 Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 5
      Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
      CAR 45vs COL 120 Stats
      Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
      RIC 76vs GEE 85 Stats
      SYD 73vs WBU 77 Stats
      GCF 118vs BRI 54 Stats
      NTH 70vs HAW 130 Stats
      WCE 120vs GWS 33 Stats
      Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
      MEL 50vs FRE 118 Stats
      STK 80vs ESS 82 Stats
      ADE 91vs PTA 115 Stats
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      Round 6
      Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
      COL 59vs GEE 100 Stats
      Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
      NTH 109vs RIC 74 Stats
      WBU 87vs STK 94 Stats
      GWS 108vs HAW 98 Stats
      GCF 78vs ADE 119 Stats
      MEL 50vs SYD 88 Stats
      FRE 80vs ESS 52 Stats
      Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
      CAR 75vs BRI 84 Report Stats
      PTA 68vs WCE 78 Stats
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      Round 7
      Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
      ESS 82vs NTH 93 Stats
      Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
      ADE 119vs STK 73 Stats
      HAW 155vs MEL 50 Stats
      CAR 57vs GWS 135 Stats
      SYD 120vs GEE 77 Stats
      WCE 135vs GCF 43 Stats
      Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
      WBU 88vs FRE 101 Stats
      RIC 105vs COL 100 Report Stats
      BRI 102vs PTA 65 Report Stats
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      Round 8
      Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
      GEE 140vs CAR 63 Report Stats
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      STK 78vs WCE 131 Report Stats
      GWS 108vs ADE 84 Report Stats
      GCF 63vs COL 132 Report Stats
      HAW 69vs SYD 73 Report Stats
      FRE 115vs NTH 42 Report Stats
      Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
      ESS 136vs BRI 78 Report Stats
      MEL 103vs WBU 64 Report Stats
      PTA 43vs RIC 76 Report Stats
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      Round 9
      Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
      SYD 122vs CAR 62 Report Stats
      Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
      HAW 93vs GCF 40 Report Stats
      MEL 54vs PTA 115 Report Stats
      WBU 113vs GWS 68 Report Stats
      RIC 72vs ESS 59 Report Stats
      ADE 57vs FRE 68 Report Stats
      Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
      BRI 86vs STK 108 Report Stats
      COL 112vs NTH 95 Report Stats
      WCE 120vs GEE 64 Report Stats
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      Round 10
      Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
      FRE 70vs RIC 97 Report Stats
      Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
      CAR 90vs ADE 99 Report Stats
      GCF 41vs SYD 93 Report Stats
      ESS 53vs GEE 122 Report Stats
      PTA 100vs WBU 62 Report Stats
      Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
      GWS 97vs BRI 67 Report Stats
      NTH 85vs WCE 75 Report Stats
      STK 69vs HAW 132 Report Stats
      Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
      MEL 85vs COL 110 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 11
      Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
      PTA 69vs GEE 92 Report Stats
      Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
      GCF 46vs FRE 53 Report Stats
      WCE 96vs ESS 46 Report Stats
      NTH 75vs SYD 91 Report Report Stats
      Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
      COL 119vs GWS 77 Report Stats
      STK 85vs MEL 83 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 12
      Thu, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
      ADE 85vs HAW 114 Report Stats
      Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
      RIC 70vs WCE 90 Report Stats
      Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
      CAR 110vs PTA 106 Report Stats
      GWS 61vs NTH 117 Report Stats
      WBU 146vs BRI 74 Report Stats
      Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
      GEE 89vs MEL 113 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 13
      Thu, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
      FRE 80vs COL 73 Report Stats
      Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
      SYD 77vs RIC 95 Report Stats
      Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
      HAW 114vs ESS 76 Report Stats
      BRI 69vs ADE 82 Report Stats
      STK 56vs WBU 62 Report Stats
      Sun, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
      CAR 103vs GCF 69 Report Stats
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      Round 14
      Thu, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
      SYD 94vs PTA 84 Report Stats
      Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
      COL 91vs HAW 101 Report Stats
      Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
      RIC 78vs GWS 69 Report Stats
      GCF 125vs NTH 70 Report Stats
      WBU 64vs CAR 53 Report Stats
      MEL 60vs WCE 114 Report Stats
      Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
      ESS 52vs STK 162 Stats
      ADE vs GEE 15:20Adelaide Oval
      FRE 84vs BRI 48 Report Stats
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      Round 15
      Thu, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
      PTA 66vs COL 63 Report Stats
      Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
      RIC 71vs CAR 41 Report Stats
      Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
      ESS 69vs MEL 60 Report Stats
      WBU 95vs GCF 73 Report Stats
      NTH 120vs GEE 79 Report Stats
      WCE 147vs ADE 91 Report Stats
      Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
      GWS 84vs STK 49 Report Stats
      HAW 115vs FRE 43 Report Stats
      BRI 49vs SYD 70 Report Stats
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      Round 16
      Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
      NTH 93vs ESS 68 Report Stats
      Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
      GEE 72vs WBU 64 Report Stats
      GCF 79vs GWS 94 Report Stats
      COL 56vs WCE 87 Report Stats
      SYD 57vs HAW 146 Report Stats
      FRE 95vs CAR 53 Report Stats
      Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
      MEL 60vs BRI 36 Report Stats
      PTA 113vs ADE 116 Report Stats
      STK 73vs RIC 89 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 17
      Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
      CAR 35vs HAW 173 Report Stats
      Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
      GWS 42vs GEE 69 Stats
      ADE 125vs GCF 80 Stats
      RIC 78vs FRE 82 Stats
      ESS 116vs PTA 129 Stats
      BRI 38vs NTH 110 Report Stats
      Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
      WBU 104vs COL 86 Report Stats
      MEL 46vs STK 83 Report Stats
      WCE 103vs SYD 51 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 18
      Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
      HAW 53vs RIC 71 Report Stats
      Sat, 01 AugTimes shown AEST
      GEE 113vs BRI 57 Stats
      COL 54vs MEL 91 Report Stats
      SYD 117vs ADE 65 Report Stats
      CAR 54vs NTH 118 Report Stats
      GCF 83vs WCE 83 Report Stats
      Sun, 02 AugTimes shown AEST
      PTA 112vs STK 49 Report Stats
      ESS 40vs WBU 127 Report Stats
      FRE 84vs GWS 63 Report Stats
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      Round 19
      Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
      ADE ($2.15)vs RIC ($1.70) 19:50Adelaide Oval
      Sat, 08 AugTimes shown AEST
      COL ($1.22)vs CAR ($4.35) 13:45MCG
      WBU ($1.73)vs PTA ($2.10) 14:10ES
      BRI ($2.45)vs GCF ($1.55) 16:35G
      GEE ($2.15)vs SYD ($1.70) 19:20SS
      WCE ($2.20)vs HAW ($1.67) 19:40Domain Stadium
      Sun, 09 AugTimes shown AEST
      MEL ($3.80)vs NTH ($1.27) 13:10MCG
      GWS ($1.33)vs ESS ($3.35) 15:20Spotless Stadium
      STK ($3.70)vs FRE ($1.28) 16:40ES
      View All Fixtures
      Round 20
      Fri, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
      SYD ($1.25)vs COL ($3.70) 19:50SCG
      Sat, 15 AugTimes shown AEST
      ESS ($2.50)vs ADE ($1.50) 13:45ES
      NTH ($1.28)vs STK ($3.50) 14:10BA
      PTA ($1.25)vs GWS ($3.70) 16:35Adelaide Oval
      GEE ($4.30)vs HAW ($1.20) 19:20MCG
      BRI ($1.70)vs CAR ($2.10) 19:20G
      Sun, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
      RIC ($1.15)vs GCF ($5.00) 13:10MCG
      WBU ($1.33)vs MEL ($3.15) 15:20ES
      FRE ($1.87)vs WCE ($1.87) 16:40Domain Stadium
      View All Fixtures
      Round 21
      Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
      HAW ($1.18)vs PTA ($4.60) 19:50ES
      Sat, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
      COL ($2.35)vs RIC ($1.55) 13:45MCG
      GWS ($3.50)vs SYD ($1.28) 14:10Spotless Stadium
      GCF ($1.40)vs ESS ($2.95) 16:35MS
      STK ($2.80)vs GEE ($1.40) 19:20ES
      ADE ($1.08)vs BRI ($6.75) 19:40Adelaide Oval
      Sun, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
      NTH ($2.00)vs FRE ($1.75) 13:10ES
      CAR ($2.25)vs MEL ($1.60) 15:20MCG
      WCE ($1.18)vs WBU ($4.60) 16:40Domain Stadium
      View All Fixtures
      Round 22
      Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
      GEE ($1.50)vs COL ($2.50) 19:50MCG
      Sat, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
      GWS ($1.22)vs CAR ($3.70) 13:45Spotless Stadium
      HAW ($1.01)vs BRI ($13.00) 14:10AS
      NTH ($1.70)vs WBU ($2.10) 16:35ES
      ESS ($5.00)vs RIC ($1.15) 19:20MCG
      GCF ($2.50)vs PTA ($1.50) 19:20MS
      Sun, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
      ADE ($2.95)vs WCE ($1.38) 13:10Adelaide Oval
      STK ($3.80)vs SYD ($1.25) 15:20ES
      FRE ($1.07)vs MEL ($7.50) 16:40Domain Stadium
      View All Fixtures
      Round 23
      Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
      COL ($1.50)vs ESS ($2.50) 00:00MCG
      RIC ($1.70)vs NTH ($2.10) 00:00ES
      HAW ($1.01)vs CAR ($13.00) 00:00MCG
      GEE ($1.50)vs ADE ($2.50) 00:00SS
      SYD ($1.05)vs GCF ($8.00) 00:00SCG
      MEL ($1.87)vs GWS ($1.87) 00:00ES
      BRI ($3.05)vs WBU ($1.35) 00:00G
      PTA ($2.15)vs FRE ($1.65) 00:30Adelaide Oval
      WCE ($1.06)vs STK ($8.00) 02:00Domain Stadium
      View All Fixtures
      AFL 2015
      Overall standings
      Team P W L D % Pts
      Fremantle 17 15 2 0 127.06 60
      West Coast Eagles 17 13 3 1 154.43 54
      Hawthorn 17 12 5 0 164.23 48
      Sydney Swans 17 12 5 0 115.86 48
      Western Bulldogs 17 11 6 0 113.12 44
      Richmond 17 11 6 0 112.43 44
      North Melbourne 17 10 7 0 107.19 40
      Geelong Cats 16 9 7 0 102.42 38
      View all
       

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