Collingwood defender Simon Buckley. Photo: Paul Rovere
SIMON Buckley would be an ideal replacement for Ben Johnson on Collingwood's half-back line, according to teammate Tyson Goldsack.
Goldsack said yesterday that while Johnson, whose season could be over after shoulder surgery, would be missed, the Pies could cover his loss.
''It's a huge blow. His run off half-back is pretty crucial to our game plan. He's one of our key players so to have him miss the majority of the year is pretty bad, but we have other boys who can play the role,'' Goldsack said.
''Simon Buckley got 30-odd touches on the weekend, so give him a few weeks and he'll be playing good footy. He's been in the system a while and is starting to get regular games, so the more games he gets under his belt the better he'll play.''
Collingwood hopes to regain Dale Thomas, Darren Jolly and Jarryd Blair for Saturday night's game against Brisbane Lions at the Gabba, but Goldsack said the club's recent injuries had strengthened the players' resolve.
''I reckon as a team we're stronger than we ever have been, as a core group,'' he said. ''We've got momentum. We've won the last couple of games. We can't really rest on our laurels, we want to play every game to its full potential and try and win every game by as much as we can.''