Hawthorn great Leigh Matthews has questioned Collingwood’s off-season inclusions and development while still believing the club will be contenders in 2020.
The four-time Premiership coach said he is curious to see how the Magpies will improve on their 2019 campaign and which group of players will take their game to a new level this season.
“I think they are right in the window. I mean, that preliminary final they could have gotten over the line against the Giants,” Matthews told SEN Sportsday.
“They’re in the window. They had 16 wins last year and they haven’t had any significant ins that we know much about.”
Matthews named forward pair Jordan De Goey and Mason Cox as two of the clubs biggest influences on the Pies potential success.
“I kind of think to myself, Jordan de Goey kicked 34 goals, he’s an outstanding player and he’s mainly a forward half goal kicker, 34 is not a whole lot. Can he start kicking two or three a week and get up to 50?
“I guess the other thing is whether Mason Cox, he kicked 19 goals last year, whether he can take two or three contested marks per game and that gets him up to 30 or 40 goals.”
The Collingwood Hall of Famer added that while a host of young players may not have had the impact the club had hoped for so far, they can still finish as a strong premiership contender.
“Where their improvement is going to come is the issue. I don’t think they have any prodigies who are about to get into their second or third or fourth year. (Jaidyn Stephenson) is already doing it, he’s already been a really good player.
“They’re in the premiership window, but their squad is fairly much as is, going forward. I think top four is the aspiration and expectation for me.”
The Pies defeated an under-strength Richmond side by 40 points on the weekend and will now prepare to face the Saints in Morwell on Sunday, March 8.