Collingwood has been the subject of much scrutiny during the off-season, and they had one of the more interesting years filled with some highs, but definitely some lows, too.

The Pies kicked off their 2020 campaign in blistering form, with two big wins against the Western Bulldogs and St Kilda and a draw against the reigning premiers, Richmond. Then the first of many bad dominos fell, with the Pies losing star defender Jeremy Howe in round 4 for the season with a knee injury.

The Pies had more dominos to fall as the season would progress, with star forward Jordan De Goey injuring a thumb which saw him miss 10 weeks of action. Star midfielder Adam Treloar was only able to manage seven games due to injury, while an off-field incident involving Steele Sidebottom meant the vice-captain also missed some early action before having to end his season on the eve of the finals with the birth of his child.

With a number of issues surrounding the club throughout the year, Collingwood's inconsistency throughout the home and away season showed out in 2020 and they could never really get a decent run at it with a full list. There were some positive wins from the season such as the unexpected elimination final win against the West Coast Eagles in Perth against all the odds and a hard-fought round 7 win against Geelong. But they also had some disappointing losses, including a 66-point loss to the Eagles in round 8 and a 56-point loss at the hands of Melbourne.

The Pies' season ended in a bad way after being dismantled by 68 points at the hands of Geelong in their semi-final, which then started a challenging off-season period for the club that saw them lose Treloar, midfielder Tom Phillips and young guns Jaidyn Stephenson and Atu Bosenavulagi via trade, raising a number of questions surrounding the administration of the club.

The club were able to bounce back though, with a strong draft that should set the platform for a Pies bounce back in 2021.


Elimination Final vs West Coast

After enduring one of the toughest lead ups to a final in AFL history - having to go up against a West Coast Eagles outfit that hadn't lost at Optus Stadium all season which included a 66-point demolition of the Pies earlier in the season. Seemingly no one gave the Pies a chance anyone around the AFL community, with the odds were firmly stacked against them.

With absolutely nothing to lose and all the pressure on the Eagles to perform from the get-go, it was the Pies who came out and started off the game very strongly, leading by 16 points at the first break before the Eagles started to kick into gear a little bit in the second quarter that saw the Pies lead get cut down to just three points.

After half-time, the Pies were able to hold firm through the third quarter and took a 10-point lead heading into the last break, setting up one of the most thrilling final quarters in recent times.

With endless amounts of pressure thrust upon them by the Eagles throughout the last quarter and the home ground advantage starting to play a big part in the game, it was the Pies who stood strong and never let the pressure get to them. With key moments of their own helping them hold on to a famous one-point win that would have left plenty of Pies supporters with tears of joy.

Treloar and Taylor Adams were instrumental out of the middle for the Pies, both collecting 25 disposals each, while Brody Mihocek and Mason Cox were huge up forward, booting three goals each.


Semi Final vs Geelong

Just one week after the Pies' best win of the season, the club would then have to endure their worst loss of the season, going down by 68-points to the Geelong Cats in the semi final.

The Pies were never able to get themselves into the game and were thoroughly outplayed throughout by a hungry Cats line-up that was out to make amends following a disappointing result week before, and they played like a team that were on a mission.

The Cats came out in blistering fashion and led by 22-points at the first break, before extending their lead to 54-points at half time. And after that they never looked back.

In a disappointing display from the Pies, they were only able to conjure up a single goal and a single behind up until three-quarter time before a four-goal last quarter to finish the game, but the damage on the scoreboard was already done before that.

No Pies player was able to gather 20 or more disposals in the game, with Treloar and Adams both having 18 and 17 disposals respectively as the highest for the team. Mihocek was also the only multiple goal kicker for the Pies, kicking 2 of the teams 5 total goals for the game.


Taylor Adams: In a fairly inconsistent year for the Pies as a whole, Adams was the one player who consistently shun the brightest all season long, which saw him earn himself a first Copeland Trophy as Collingwood's best and fairest and a first All-Australian selection in 2020 as a result of his brilliant performances.

Adams was stellar for the Pies, averaging 22.7 disposals a game, including 10.7 contested possessions a game. Adams also averaged 5.2 clearances and 5.5 tackles per game, elevating his game to another level and proving himself as one of the premier midfielders in the game.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 08: Taylor Adams of the Magpies celebrates a goal during the 2018 AFL round 16 match between the Essendon Bombers and the Collingwood Magpies at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on July 08, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)


Josh Daicos: The Daicos name is a famous one around the Collingwood Football Club and not something that is easy to live up to, but in 2020, it was young Josh Daicos that showed out in a big way that firmly placed himself as a regular starter and one of the more promising stars of the future after a challenging season the year before.

He showed some promising form throughout the year and proved that he isn't afraid of the big moments. He also showed he doesn't mind a highlight goal just like his father before him. I mean, who could forget that brilliant check-side goal against the Swans in Round 10 to seal the win, which also saw him take out the goal of the year award as a result.

Daicos announced himself to the competition in a big way in 2020 and played the 18 games for the Pies, mostly off a wing, averaging 17.3 disposals a game and 11.8 uncontested disposals a game.

A star in the making, Daicos will look to further cement his position in the Pies line-up in 2021 and elevate his game to another level.


Mason Cox: We've seen the potential in Cox and just how much of a serious threat he can be down forward. You only have to look at his 2018 preliminary final against Richmond and his 2020 elimination final performance against West Coast to see what the man is capable of when he's on.

But that's the issue with Cox, those performances are few and far between, and being the big full-forward in the Pies line-up and a key part in the structure of the team, his inconsistency has placed him in hot water.

Cox played the 11 games in 2020, averaging the 1.3 goals a game, but has the capability to provide so much more given his height and athletic attributes, which has frustrated Pies supporters.

Cox will be looking to work on his consistency in 2021 with a big pre-season and the Pies and their supporters will be hoping for much better output from him next season.



Oliver Henry (UTILITY, Geelong Falcons, Pick 17, 2020 Draft)

Finlay Macrae (MID, Oakleigh Chargers, Pick 19, 2020 Draft)

Reef McInnes (Next Generation Academy, Pick 23, 2020 Draft)

Caleb Poulter (MID-FWD, Woodville-West Torrens, Pick 30, 2020 Draft)

Liam McMahon (FWD, Northern Knights, Pick 31, 2020 Draft)

Beau McCreery (FWD, South Adelaide, Pick 44, 2020 Draft)

Jack Ginnivan (FWD, Bendigo Pioneers, Pick 13, 2020 Rookie Draft)

Isaac Chugg (DEF-MID, Launceston, Pick 28, 2020 Rookie Draft)


Flynn Appleby (delisted)

Dayne Beams (retired)

Atu Bosenavulagi (traded to North Melbourne)

Tim Broomhead (delisted)

Lynden Dunn (retired)

Tom Langdon (retired)

Tom Phillips (traded to Hawthorn)

Ben Reid (retired)

Matthew Scharenberg (delisted)

Jaidyn Stephenson (traded to North Melbourne)

Adam Treloar (traded to Western Bulldogs)

Travis Varcoe (retired)

Rupert Wills (delisted)


The Pies are one of the more interesting case studies of 2021. Realistically, a top-four berth is not out of the question, while it wouldn't be a surprise to see them tumble outside the eight.

Following a tumultuous trade period, the Pies recovered well at the draft. They still have stars across the board but will be looking to develop their next wave of players. They certainly didn't improve their list but might necessarily suffer too much from the outs.

A finish in the 6-10 range looms as the most likely outcome.