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Scott Pendlebury confirmed as Collingwood's new captain

New Collingwood captain Scott Pendlebury.

New Collingwood captain Scott Pendlebury. Photo: Joe Armao

Newly appointed Collingwood captain Scott Pendlebury has acknowledged that the Magpies had fallen off the pace of the competition leaders in 2013 and had not coped well when put under pressure, such as in the finals loss to Port Adelaide.

Pendlebury will head an enlarged, younger eight-man leadership group that contains the surprising names of Clinton Young, Lachlan Keeffe, Steele Sidebottom and Nathan Brown - newcomers all to the leadership posse - along with the departed skipper Nick Maxwell, Luke Ball and Travis Cloke. There is no nominated vice-captain.

I expect to play finals again but that's a long way away. We've got to make sure we do the right stuff between here and round one to get prepared for Fremantle. 

Dayne Beams and Heritier Lumumba drop out from last year's leadership group.

Collingwood's Scott Pendlebury chases Essendon's Kyle Hardingham last season.

Collingwood's Scott Pendlebury chases Essendon's Kyle Hardingham last season. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo

Pendlebury, whose appointment as the new skipper to replace Maxwell was confirmed to him by president Eddie McGuire, chief executive Gary Pert, coach Nathan Buckley and football chief Rodney Eade on Wednesday morning, said the Magpies had recognised the need to work harder to bridge the gap over summer and that he expected the club to play finals again in 2014, but would not put a cap on what they might achieve.

Pendlebury added that he was sad to see his friend Dale Thomas head to Carlton.

''I sent him a text when the deal went through and just wished him luck at Carlton because he's a mate of mine and I want to see him do well. [You] shouldn't have to go through what he went through with his ankle and operations and I think sometimes people forget there's an actual person behind the name,'' Pendlebury said.

''I just want Daisy to get healthy and do what he loves doing, that's running out on the MCG and playing good football, just not playing good football against us.''

Pendlebury said he remained confident the Magpies would not lose ground and that they could win the flag, but while his predecessor Maxwell once boldly predicted a premiership, the new captain suggested the team would focus only on the opening game and not look too far ahead.

''In terms of moving back, I don't see us moving back. I expect to play finals again but that's a long way away. We've got to make sure we do the right stuff between here and round one to get prepared for Fremantle.

''We haven't spoken about what we want to get out [of] the season yet. We just want to get as fit as possible and we want to play finals, that's where it starts and obviously re-assess as the year goes. Personally, you want to play finals every year, you don't want to be going on holidays in September.

''Also you want to see continued improvement. Do I think we can win? Yeah, every year I've gone into a campaign I'm confident that we can win a premiership, but it's a long way away, if we think about that now you know you're going to lose sight of Fremantle round one.''

Pendlebury said the Pies had been seen to have faltered last year, in part because of their previous dominance, but had not handled pressure well.

Asked whether the Pies were off the pace of the top sides, he added: ''No doubt, because we finished eighth, so we were off the pace of those sides. I think the thing that's a little bit frustrating is we matched it with Sydney, I think we went through a patch there where we played a month of really good footy just out from the finals, matched it with those top sides but those top sides did it for longer than we could sustain and that's something we identified once again in that end-of-season review and we spoke about that to catch them we've got to put in a bit more work than previous.''

Pendlebury said the game plan would be similar, with ''a few small adjustments'', and that the pre-season under new fitness coach Bill Davoren, who eschewed Arizona and altitude training, had placed greater emphasis on endurance.

Pendlebury said of his appointment. ''Eddie told me then … it was awesome. I sort of didn't know what to say when the boys told me.

''Naturally that's where I wanted to get to. Once I got told this morning, it was a nice feeling.

''Maxy [Nick Maxwell] was here as well, he came and shook my hand and said well done and that he'll be here if I need any help and it's great to have him here, you know, because there's going to be things I haven't seen before or be asked to do that a captain does that Maxy knows about. It'd be great for me to able to bounce some stuff off Nick.''

Pendlebury, renowned for his meticulous preparation, said he would not expect teammates to prepare as he did.

''I think I've got a good understanding of what makes different guys tick,'' Pendlebury said.

He said he encouraged younger players to ''find something that you get confident in when you run out on match day … I'm not expecting guys to do what I do just because it works for me.''

Pendlebury, who is headed to the Super Bowl with Gary Ablett on a promotion this weekend, said there was no concern about divisions arising from Collingwood's famous rat pack - the group of which Dane Swan is perhaps the only survivor, given the exits of Alan Didak, Ben Johnson, free agent Thomas and the contentious trading of Heath Shaw.

''The boys themselves that are supposedly in the rat pack, they more just take the mickey out of it, they just ham it up to the media,'' he said.

''Just for some reason you guys are fascinated with them, they know it's just not true. For me, it's not a concern at all.''

40 comments so far

  • It's not the captaincy that is the issue at Collingwood, it is their inability to extricate themselves from the habit of recruiting too many little blokes.
    Maxwell must step aside though, and from now on, earn his spot or be dropped.

    Commenter
    Trashman
    Date and time
    January 29, 2014, 5:42PM
    • The 'Maxwell Myth' is over. Might be good behind the scenes, but a C grade footballer at best who has patently only been getting a game on his position as captain. Slow, woeful disposal and well past it. He'll play reserves this year I'd suggest.

      Commenter
      Pete
      Date and time
      January 29, 2014, 5:54PM
      • As a Pies' supporter who watches them every week, I have to say I agree with you. It's been frustrating watching opposition sides rip us up by playing through Maxwell's opponent week after week for years now... he's not even reserves standard.

        He was terrible in the 2011 Grand Final and should have retired after that game.

        Commenter
        John Wayne
        Location
        Prahran
        Date and time
        January 29, 2014, 6:41PM
      • Maxwell has been a great captain, and you may have forgotten, an All Australian in 2009. He looked close to finished in 2013, as did Didak, Johnson, Jolly, and as will all our premiership players one day. This was the year to hand the captaincy to Pendlebury, and if Maxwell has enough left to make the side, he will. Either way it will not detract from his legacy.

        Commenter
        gopies
        Location
        Tasmania
        Date and time
        January 29, 2014, 10:58PM
      • Yada yada yada. Trouble I your argument is the selection panel at Collingwood has nevere seen fit to drop Maxy ever in his career. I understand you may have a much better understanding of footy than Malthouse, Buckley et al but it doesn't seem likely

        Commenter
        Gone Critical
        Location
        Abbotsford
        Date and time
        January 29, 2014, 11:39PM
      • I hardly claim to, but imagine the uproar, hysteria and distraction in the media if they had of done it last year. Buckley probably figured that it wasn't worth the hassle and endured his incompetence, knowing he could get rid of him this year.

        Commenter
        Pete
        Date and time
        January 30, 2014, 6:55AM
      • Never rated Maxwell. Hard to when he has never had an opponent.

        Cant listen to him state the obvious when he's on Channel Bruce either. I don't have a clue what the guy has that's so supposedly fascinating.

        Commenter
        Wobble
        Date and time
        January 30, 2014, 10:17AM
    • Pete - the only myth is that the best player is the best leader.

      Commenter
      Blackynth
      Date and time
      January 29, 2014, 6:28PM
      • Agree. But you have to have some semblance of skill to warrant your place in the best 22. Put reputations and egos aside, and you couldn't argue that he's in that 22 or even near it.

        Commenter
        Pete
        Date and time
        January 29, 2014, 8:01PM
      • Most people know this mate it's not a myth.
        Can I suggest for you my friend reading a novel.

        Commenter
        DK of The Alice
        Date and time
        January 30, 2014, 6:55PM

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    AFL 2016

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    GCF vs FRE 14:10MS
    WCE vs MEL 16:35Domain Stadium
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    PTA vs GWS 16:40Adelaide Oval
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    COL vs WCE 16:35MCG
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    ADE vs ESS 16:40Adelaide Oval
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    Round 20
    Fri, 05 AugTimes shown AEST
    RIC vs COL 19:50MCG
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    MEL vs HAW 14:10MCG
    GCF vs GWS 16:35MS
    WBU vs NTH 19:25ES
    ADE vs BRI 19:40Adelaide Oval
    Sun, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
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    FRE vs WCE 16:40Domain Stadium
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    Round 21
    Fri, 12 AugTimes shown AEST
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    Sat, 13 AugTimes shown AEST
    BRI vs CAR 13:45G
    HAW vs NTH 14:10MCG
    GWS vs WCE 16:35Spotless Stadium
    STK vs SYD 19:25ES
    PTA vs MEL 19:40Adelaide Oval
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    RIC vs GEE 15:20MCG
    FRE vs ADE 16:40Domain Stadium
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    Round 22
    Fri, 19 AugTimes shown AEST
    WCE vs HAW 20:10Domain Stadium
    Sat, 20 AugTimes shown AEST
    NTH vs SYD 13:45BA
    RIC vs STK 14:10MCG
    GWS vs FRE 16:35Spotless Stadium
    COL vs GCF 19:25ES
    PTA vs ADE 19:40Adelaide Oval
    Sun, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
    CAR vs MEL 13:10MCG
    BRI vs GEE 15:20G
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    Round 23
    Sat, 27 AugTimes shown AEST
    HAW vs COL 12:00MCG
    STK vs BRI 12:00ES
    ESS vs CAR 12:00MCG
    GCF vs PTA 12:00MS
    SYD vs RIC 12:00SCG
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    GEE vs MEL 12:00SS
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    FRE vs WBU 14:00Domain Stadium
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    Brisbane Lions 0 0 0 0 - 0
    Carlton 0 0 0 0 - 0
    Collingwood 0 0 0 0 - 0
    Essendon 0 0 0 0 - 0
    Fremantle 0 0 0 0 - 0
    Geelong Cats 0 0 0 0 - 0
    Gold Coast Suns 0 0 0 0 - 0
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