Trending topics

Select your station

We'll remember your choice for next time

What has led to the “beautiful mystique” that surrounds Collingwood?


Former AFL Magpies assistant Brenton Sanderson sees something special about Collingwood this season.

The Magpies are currently sitting second on the ladder, stretching their improbable win streak to 11 games in their latest win over Melbourne.

Collingwood conceded only a single inside-50 to the Demons during the final six minutes of the game, holding on to secure their eighth win of a margin less than 10 points.

It’s this unbelievable close-game prowess that leads Sanderson to be astonished by the club.

“There’s a beautiful mystique with Collingwood at the moment, nobody wants to play them,” he said on SEN’s Crunch Time.

“There was an eerie calmness about that group that was on the field that they were going to win (against Melbourne).”

“There wasn’t panic… it’s almost like their heart rates dropped.”

Pressure has been Collingwood’s trademark all season, leading Sanderson to believe that it is the most important trait in football.

“If you’re going for a senior coaching role now, and you’re going to impress a panel that’s going to make a decision, you have to base your presentation all around pressure, because pressure will win you games of footy,” he said.

“We talk about offence and defence and clearance and contest, we saw the pressure last night, Melbourne had 100 more handballs than what Collingwood did, and that was because every time they had the footy, the pressure was on them, they felt like they had to get rid of the ball quickly.

“Jamie Elliott, all of his goals came from tackles, that’s the modern-day game now, if you’re a forward, you’re there to pressure and tackle and keep the ball in your forward half.

“That ability to sustain four quarters of ruthless pressure is the most important number (in football).”

SEN’s Gerard Whateley agreed with Sanderson, stating that the combination of pressure and proficient tactics is responsible for the Magpies’ inability to lose.

“The game adjustment and time management in that (last quarter against Melbourne) was absolutely masterful, as Collingwood condensed the pressure around the ball and ensured it never moved more than 60 metres for the rest of the game in a frenzied finish,” he said.

“They were cold, instead of giving into the madness of it all, they didn’t try anything expansive, they precisely knew what they were doing.

“Winning close games is a learned skill.”

Serving as an assistant coach during the Magpies’ poor 2021 season, Brenton Sanderson expected the club to bounce back this year, however could not have anticipated such a dramatic leap from the 17th-placed 2021 side.

“(I thought) 15 wins is the absolute ceiling, but they’re already there… I didn’t think they were capable of this.

“You wouldn’t want to play them for the rest of this season or in the finals because you know you’re going to get beat up, you know the pressure is coming and they’re going to tackle you, and they’re never out of the game.

“The sky is the limit.”

Collingwood will now look to extend their win streak to an immense 12 games in next week’s matchup with a formidable Sydney side.


More in AFL