DT Inside Info: Pie Skipper Nick Maxwell

Last week I got in touch with Dream Team Guru  and Collingwood skipper Nick Maxwell (coach of Maxy’s Machine) to get some inside info from the Pies and some whispers from around the league. Because the guy is a dead set legend, he gave me some gold information and after much deliberation, I thought I had better do the right thing and share with you guys.

The main points of discussion:

First Picked: The first player Maxy is selecting this year will be Gary Ablett, based on the back of information regarding Gaz being fitter and stronger than ever before. He went on to say, “Great for Dream Team, scary for the Pies”. Gary will also be his go to captain.

NAB Pie radar: Here are a few blokes who have earned a likely call up in the NAB, and from there he said it’s up to them to put their hand up for selection for the season proper. Seedsman, Witts, Ceglar, Paine, Elliot and Yagmoor (to name a few). He also said to have a look at Jolly who is in the “best shape of his life”

Buckley’s effect on DT output for individuals? No negative effect on player scoring but expect him to foster the natural development of guys like Blair, Sidebottom, Beams and Fasolo by giving them a run through the middle.

Sidebottom or Beams? Found it too hard to split the young guns and had this to say “Beams had a 6 week period pre finals last year that was as good as anyone’s going around. Steele was consistent throughout. Watch the NAB form!”

Current Midfield? “Gee you have me under the gun! At this point I have Ablett, Rockcliff, Pendlebury, McDonald (GWS), Mitchell (Swans)-hearing good things, Coniglio, Clifton (GWS) – could be a good mature age pick, and Hodge – he’s injury free and flying, and averaged 94 last year despite no pre season and being injured during the year. I’m sure it will change 10 times before lockout though!!!”

Is Didak ‘Max Gawn?’ from DT calculations? “Definitely don’t write him off. He has had an excellent pre-season up until his injury this week. We all know the class he has and I think he still has plenty of footy in front of him. We think he will be back for a few weeks before round one so that’s good news that he won’t go into the season without a run”

Marty Clarke role?  in the mix for round 1? “He is in the mix for sure. I think he can play almost anywhere. He has shown he can play back but over the pre season we have seen him forward and on the wing. With that lethal left foot he is a weapon for us moving forward.”

What about my old mate Heath Shaw? “Yeah I expect him to play Wing / HB. He played a fair bit of wing last year and was very good. I know he’s a favourite of yours… my tip is this will be his best year to date.”

So there you have it, thanks Maxy!!