Magpies staying ahead of pack during shutdown
Collingwood has spoken to its players about how they can gain a competitive edge in its pursuit of the premiership amid the coronavirus shutdown period.
The Magpies got their season off to a perfect start by dismantling the Bulldogs by 52 points in Round 1 before the AFL was forced to postpone the season.
But with players now confined to their homes and forced to train away from the club and their teammates, work ethic and commitment to continuing to train at a high level is up to the individual.
Coach Nathan Buckley believes his team is in a good position to maintain the hunger to train given how close the Magpies have come to winning the premiership the last two years.
"We have done that. We feel like we're in good shape because of the way we've been able to support each other, the way we've been able to look out for one another and handle different circumstances as we've gone along the last couple of years. I think that rolls into circumstances like this but there's no manual," Buckley said.
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"We trust each other, we think we've got a strong enough purpose that our individuals, players and staff, will look after themselves and keep themselves up and about, in a good routine, happy and healthy.
"There comes a point where we will have to sharpen the saw and really narrow our focus into whenever that start time is but if you imagine you're training for something or trying to prepare for something that could be five weeks away or it could be 10 weeks away or there's no guarantee that it's ever going to happen, there is a difficulty with that.
"So we really are trusting the individuals to find a good routine, make sure they're happy and healthy and training well.
"In any given season, the side that actually takes advantage of their opportunities through the year is the side that plays the best footy at the end of the year. This year will be no different if it gets underway."
There is still no certainty around when the AFL season will resume, with the league working through up to 10 scenarios to get the season back up and running.
The league will provide an update on the season at the end of April.
A report has emerged that the AFL could play games every night during the month of July in a bid to get as many games played as possible in a short period of time.
Buckley threw his support behind the concept, declaring it would give families something they can enjoy together but urged the league to consider earlier start times.
"I don't know if it will happen, it may. I think clearly the AFL will be looking to, if we get the green light, get out the next 16 (rounds) as quickly as they possibly can," Buckley said in a live video on Collingwood's Facebook page.
"We understand it might be around four or five-day breaks, there may be shorter games, we may have more people on the bench, all of that is yet to be decided.
"I think that's all part of us working out exactly what that's going to look like.
"Personally, I wouldn't have a problem sitting down on a Monday night or a Tuesday night watching a game of footy and potentially, if we're still homeschooling, it might be something the family can do together that is enjoyable.
"Hopefully if we do do something like that we're a bit more conscious of start times. So the start time might be a little bit earlier so the game finishes a little bit earlier. That's all up for grabs."
Originally published as Pies staying ahead of pack during shutdown