PERTH, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 08: Brayden Maynard of the Magpies passes the ball during the AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the West Coast Eagles and the Collingwood Magpies at Optus Stadium on September 8, 2018 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Collingwood defender Brayden Maynard has admitted that he has often thought about the 2018 Grand Final, believing that he should have been rewarded a free kick for a block by West Coast’s Willie Rioli, in what proved to be a pivotal moment in the premiership decider.

The moment certainly hasn’t been forgotten by many, judging by Maynard’s perspective.

“It’s funny, sometimes I’ll just be walking down the street and I’ll just hear a ‘you were blocked Maynard!’ I look around and go, ‘oh bloody hell,’” Maynard told The Age.

The incident in question garnered a massive outcry in the following days, with many agreeing with Maynard’s view that the 22-year-old should have been rewarded a free kick, rather than the mark being paid to Eagle Dom Sheed.

Sheed would famously go on to kick the winning goal to land the Eagles their first premiership since 2006.

Maynard has had time to process and relive the experience since then, and has experienced a range of emotions.

“In the moment I didn’t really think much of it. When I rewatched the grand final I did rewatch that part, and feel like I did get blocked but you can’t do anything about it now. Hopefully this year is the year. It was pretty disappointing,” Maynard said.

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“It was pretty crazy. I was only in my fourth year. I was still young. I kind of just let it go, and didn’t think much of it. Months after the grand final was when I started to think about it more, because it kept popping up on vision, in the grand final replay.

“I kept seeing it, and then I kept thinking about it and thought, ‘shit, maybe it was a free kick, and what would’ve happened if this would’ve happened.’ I have replayed that multiple times in my head, if we won what would’ve happened? It was just crazy. Crazy day, crazy night. But I was just so privileged to be able to play in one.”
Despite the heartache the Magpies experienced, Maynard is still confident in the potential this Collingwood group has, and what they are capable of in 2019.
“I feel like if we play the footy we can play, at our best we can beat anyone and we can go all the way. We’ll just have to wait and see, but I feel like we can do it this year.”
Collingwood were unable to redeem themselves in the Grand Final rematch against West Coast in round three, losing to the Eagles by 22 points.
They will be looking to make a statement on Thursday afternoon at the MCG, in the annual Anzac Day blockbuster.