Bucks urges ‘common sense’ over reserves games
NATHAN Buckley says Collingwood is well-placed for a "survival of the fittest" premiership campaign where resilient, self-sufficient players will come to the fore.
Buckley is also pushing for a series of scratch matches for players not in the senior side against that team's opponent each week.
Collingwood is destined to restart the AFL season against premiers Richmond on June 11 in a blockbuster contest between two AFL heavyweights.
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Buckley wouldn't tip into what a clash with Richmond would mean, but believes Collingwood have already shown themselves to be resilient and battle-hardened.
In Round 1 the season was only given the tick-off in the days before the 52-point win against the Western Bulldogs but the Pies were not distracted by the circus around them.
Now with Adam Treloar fit after a hamstring issue and Travis Varcoe (shoulder surgery) ready for full contact, Buckley believes his men are ready to take any issues in their stride.
"We believe we look after things in our control pretty well and there are going to be a lot of things that are going to be different," he told.
"We are going to stay really adaptable and innovate in different areas to cover for staff that have played really important roles for us in the last couple of years.
"The players will have to take more responsibility and accountability for their prep and performance and they are challenges we believe we are really well placed to handle.
"Probably the closest thing we have got is our Round 1 performance and how we were able to play. Footy isn't just a physical challenge, it's about your mental and emotional preparation and resilience and the circumstances this year will be very different."
Buckley admits he has concerns about the 20-plus players on each list who will not be able to play VFL each week if they miss out on senior selection.
He says wherever practical it would make sense for the AFL to sanction official practice matches against the corresponding AFL team's depth players.
"That would definitely be the best outcome, because footballers love playing footy so you want to give them that as much as we can," he said.
"If that is allowed it would be optimal for us but it's going to be about the AFL's discussions with the government and whether it's allowed. They will be allowed the same protocols their senior counterparts will be so we would hope the common sense would say they can have a run around against the depth of the list of the side we are playing that week."