COLLINGWOOD coach Craig McRae says he wants gun midfielder Jordan De Goey to be at the club next year after the free agent had another standout game for the Magpies.
De Goey was instrumental in the Magpies’ come-from-behind seven-point win over reigning premier Melbourne on Friday night, gathering 25 disposals, booting a goal and having nine clearances. McRae described it as De Goey’s “best game of the year”. “I thought he was a star,” he said.
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The restricted free agent has interest from St Kilda as other clubs weigh their decision on the matchwinner, with Collingwood putting off contract talks until the end of the season. But McRae flagged his intention, saying he wanted the 26-year-old in black and white.
“He’s a free agent. That’s his right to explore his options. I speak authentically – I’d love Jordy to stay. I’m aware that’s going to create a headline but we live in the moment and let Jordy keep being himself around our environment and make us better,” McRae said.
“Nights like tonight are a good example of his assets. It makes us better.”
The Pies’ victory was their 11th in a row as their remarkable run of close wins continued against the Demons, with added motivation after Ed Langdon’s comments on radio on Thursday, with the Melbourne wingman saying the Pies were a “one-trick pony” and “all duck, no dinner”.
Jeremy Howe said post-game that the comments were on the whiteboard before the Magpies ran out, but McRae downplayed the extra inspiration as his side climbed to second on the ladder with two rounds to go.
“I actually really like personality in the game. I’d encourage more of it. Speak up. Not because we won, but I think we’re craving it aren’t we? I saw the news flashes light up. Let’s embrace this,” McRae said.
“I was having a bit of fun with myself [on the whiteboard] because I’m a bit of a one-trick pony before the game. I said, ‘Sorry boys, I’m just going to do the same ‘preso’ here’. [It was] nothing about Ed. I really respect him as a player and I’d encourage every club to have more of that.”
Demons counterpart Simon Goodwin defended Langdon, saying he was highlighting the strengths of the Pies but got his wording wrong.
“Ed’s probably one of the more respectful people I know. He by no means [meant] disrespect to Collingwood, at all. I think in the end what he was trying to say is they’ve got an enormous strength in how they play – they play fast, direct footy, they transition from the back half really well, they use the corridor well,” Goodwin said.
“And that was our challenge to try and take that away. Ed got his words wrong, he puts his hand up to that, and it certainly wasn’t disrespectful to Collingwood. They’d won 10 in a row because they’ve been doing that and executing it very well and now they’ve won 11 in a row. Ed will put his hand up and say he got that wrong but I don’t think we should criticise players for making mistakes when they go in the media.”
The Demons led by nearly four goals in the second quarter but were scuttled by the Magpies, who booted four goals to two in the final term.
“If you’re a supporter, if you’re a player, if you’re a coach you’re pretty filthy on that. For large parts of the game we were able to dominate the game and get it on our terms but we let ourselves down and in the end Collingwood walked through the door,” he said.
“We left the door ajar and, like the good team that they are, they walked through.”