North Melbourne premiership great David King believes Collingwood must bring back midfielder Jordan De Goey from a club-imposed suspension for their must-win ANZAC Day clash with Essendon.
De Goey was suspended by the club for three weeks after lying about how he sustained a broken hand on the eve of Collingwood’s season opener.
The midfielder told the club he injured his hand playing with his dog, but it was later revealed he was involved in a bar fight.
The 21-year-old missed the opening three rounds of the season recovering from the injury, and will now spend the following two weeks in the reserves to round out his sentence.
Although, following a brilliant display for Collingwood’s VFL side in which he collected 26 disposals and kicked three goals in their narrow two-point win over Coburg, King believes the Pies must retract their suspension and play the youngster anyway.
“I just think there’s more at stake on Tuesday,” King told Fox Footy’s AFL 360 on Wednesday night.
“I know they suspended Jordan De Goey for all the right reasons, but sometimes you’ve just got to say ‘who cares what the world thinks? We’ve got to control our own destiny’.
“I would look at the suspension. He paid a heavy price. The public fallout was huge, he’s been embarrassed as an individual and he’s embarrassed the coach.
“But you know what — Eddie McGuire and Nathan Buckley would be saying he played his game in the reserves, absolutely brained them, couldn’t have been better and handled it perfectly.
“Get him in and tell him ‘you’ve got one place you need to pay us back and that’s at 2.30pm on Tuesday afternoon — you give us everything’.
“And you know what? Who cares what the outside world says? Because Buckley’s job, in a lot of ways, is on the line.
“I just think Tuesday is too important to have a player like that — who is a Rolls-Royce, he’s a goalkicker — (you need to) get him in the team.”
Carlton great Mark Maclure sided with King’s views, saying the Pies need to put the incident behind them and do what’s best for the club this season.