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How have Collingwood traded over the past decade?

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Roar Guru
18th May, 2021

In a Roar article a while back, I commented on the national drafting problems that Collingwood has had, notably in the period around 2013-2016.

In this piece, I look at the players that Collingwood has recruited from other AFL clubs and those that have left Collingwood to go to other clubs since 2012, the start of the Nathan Buckley era. This is regardless of whether they are still playing. It is principally trades and free agency that is the focus here.

I have constructed two teams, the in team and the out team, to give some perspective and sense as to how Collingwood has fared in player movement over the almost decade.

Magpies head coach Nathan Buckley looks on

(Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

I have used the final destination for a player. For example, Dayne Beams left Collingwood, but ultimately returned so he is included as a Collingwood player. I have not included an interchange bench.

Further, the players who have left must have played at least one game for Collingwood. Hence, the likes of Nathan Freeman and Jon Ceglar have not been included as they were on the Collingwood list but did not play a game for the Pies before being traded.

In addition, the players must have played at least one game for their previous club to be considered for the in team. As such, Sam Murray has not been included.

Anyway, here are my teams.

Backs: Jordan Russell, Lynden Dunn, Henry Schade
Half backs: Jeremy Howe, Jordan Roughead, Jack Crisp
Centre: Chris Mayne, Dayne Beams, Travis Varcoe,
Half forwards: Patrick Karnezis, Jesse White, Clinton Young
Forwards: Will Hoskin-Elliott, Quinten Lynch, Daniel Wells
Rucks: Darcy Cameron, Taylor Adams, Levi Greenwood


Backs: Marley Williams, Nathan Brown, Jonathon Marsh
Half backs: Heritier Lumumba, Lachlan Keefe, Heath Shaw
Centre: Tom Phillips, Dale Thomas, Paul Seedsman
Half forwards: Jaidyn Stephenson, Travis Cloke, Alex Fasolo
Forwards: Sharrod Wellingham, Chris Dawes, Ben Kennedy
Rucks: Jarrod Witts, Adam Treloar, James Aish

On paper at least, and on balance, I would suggest that other clubs have fared better in their dealings with Collingwood than the reverse.

Certainly the names to have left the Pies are bigger. Of course, there are caveats.

A number of the ones that left Collingwood were past their prime, notably Travis Cloke, Chris Dawes and Dale Thomas, all premiership players.

There are a few in the departures that had a falling out with the Pies, including Heath Shaw and Heritier Lumumba.

Heritier Lumumba of the Magpies

(Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Interestingly, in both teams, only eight remain today, indicating generally significant attrition.

For the in team, as mentioned, eight remain and these players have given good service. The strongest performers – apart from Taylor Adams – are the half back line of Jeremy Howe, Jordan Roughhead and Jack Crisp, the latter having given service well above the ‘steak knife’ moniker.


What is glaringly obvious, though, is that the key position players in the out team are stronger than in the in team. The absence of strong recruiting by Collingwood in key position players, most notably forwards, is an indictment on the club.

A number of the ins only made fleeting impact for Collingwood, either because of injury, age, wrong fit, or simply not being consistently at the required level. The Moneyball deals have not really delivered the goods.

What is also instructive is that Collingwood has made little to no deals with the power clubs of Richmond, Geelong, West Coast, or Port Adelaide.

It seems that Collingwood is not a destination club for those who have left other teams.

Collingwood has rather tended to make deals with lesser clubs including North Melbourne and Melbourne (before this year).


A number of arrangements have been made with Greater Western Sydney. However, this is the case for a number of other teams as well, and is in measure related to the Giants’ player dump because of salary cap concerns.

In short, Collingwood’s performance this year reflects both drafting failures and lack of good trading of existing players.

The freeing up of salary cap to chase a big fish – assuming that big fish wish to come to Collingwood – and the hoped-for blossoming of the 2020 draftee crop would appear to be the way forward.

However, there are many ifs and buts.