Collingwood defender Jeremy Howe made a successful return from a serious knee injury in the club’s City v Country intra-club match on Friday night.
Howe got through match simulation unscathed in a big boost for the Magpies ahead of the 2021 season.
The 30-year-old ruptured the posterior cruciate ligament and damaged medial ligaments in his right knee against GWS in Round 4 last season that required season-ending surgery.
Pies draftee Oliver Henry pushed his case for a Round 1 debut with an eye-catching performance in the club’s opening practice match.
Henry, selected with pick No.17 in last year’s draft, booted two first-quarter goals and competed well in the air and on the ground.
Josh Daicos (three goals), Brody Mihocek (three goals) and Brodie Grundy also impressed.
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After his initial thread, McNamara tweeted: “I need to clarify something. In my attempt to make a point of their tight bond. I said Nick called his dog Ralph, solely after Heritier’s middle name. Although he did joke that he did it for that reason, HIS WIFE NAMED IT RALPH.”
McNamara had earlier questioned why Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley had denied there was a culture of racism at the club and called on current skipper Scott Pendlebury – who also played in the 2010 premiership team – to take the opportunity the Do Better report provided to lead the club into a new era.
His claims came a fortnight after the report became public and after the club had committed to implementing the 18 recommendations contained in the report.
The Magpies announced they had appointed a 12-person expert panel on anti-racism on Wednesday to advise the board on how to deal better with the issue and to appoint a strategic advisor.
McNamara, who lives in the United States, was one of the first players to go on the record confirming that the nickname ‘Chimp’ was used at the club to refer to Lumumba and he has spoken about his shock that a player would be given that nickname.
McNamara has previously admitted he did not question or challenge the nickname at the time.
He said in his Twitter thread that he could no longer “bite his tongue” at what had occurred at the club.
“There are a few people I need to acknowledge, for not doing the right thing in speaking up back then and now. You need to know how much your silence on the issue has exacerbated the pain of Heritier & those affected by this the community,” McNamara wrote on Twitter.
“This isn’t about destroying the club – this is about making sure this is the last time anyone at CFC experiences what he did + in society,” McNamara added in a lengthy twitter thread.
The Age has contacted Collingwood and the former players accused in the tweet for comment. All have declined to comment.
With regard to Ball, McNamara tweeted: “I know you were very close with Heritier in and outside of the club. You knew what he went through and you chose to stay silent when you could have validated his experience. Your self-preservation is really disappointing.”
Addressing Maxwell, who lived with Lumumba. “Your silence in choosing your self-preservation with the club is really disappointing.
“… Coach Buckley, You tried to publicly deny this for several years … Why are you hiding now?
Are you still being all that you can be?”
“Eddie McGuire, You’ve made yourself and the club what it is – a massive success. With that, takes great pressure and responsibilities. It’s unfortunate that you fumbled a lot of chances to get it right and take the right path.”
“Scott Pendlebury, This is your moment to lead, brother. The last time I saw you, I gave you two leadership books. After your 400+ games, you will be the next CFC coach. In my eyes, your culture starts now – Let’s go!”
It comes as one of the authors of the Do Better report, academic Larissa Behrendt, said Collingwood should be given up to six months to turn the club culture around.
“We in the report did lay out a suggested timeframe for implementation which would allow people to hold the club accountable,” she told NITV news on Thursday.
“I think it’s like anything, you hear the scepticism around whether Collingwood can genuinely do this and I think the best way is to see where they are in three months, six months.”
Peter Ryan is a sports reporter with The Age covering AFL, horse racing and other sports.
Michael Gleeson is an award-winning senior sports writer specialising in AFL and athletics.
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If you’ve seen the movie Storm Boy, The BeastMaster or more recently, Penguin Bloom, then chances are you have seen Paul Mander’s birds at work.
Paul Mander has trained birds for more than two decades
He trained all eight magpies in the Australian drama Penguin Bloom
The movie, based on true events, has earned more than $1m at the box office
The England-born trainer came to Australia 22 years ago for a holiday, but before long he was setting up some of the country’s first authentic bird shows.
“We have birds that will come out of the clouds and soar on thermals,” Mr Mander said.
“We specialise in displaying birds in a natural way, so people appreciate them for what they are.”
Penguin Bloom is a true story about Sydney mother, Sam Bloom, who finds hope through caring for an injured magpie named ‘Penguin’ after a balcony fall left her with paraplegia.
The Australian drama, starring Naomi Watts and Andrew Lincoln, shot to the top spot at the box office in its first week, raking in over $1 million in ticket sales.
Eight magpies — all trained by Mr Mander — play the role of ‘Penguin’ throughout the movie.
“We had to have a baby, which is Swoop. We had to have the juveniles, three of them which were flying and learning to fly, and we had our adult birds as well that played penguin when he was a two-year-old,” he said.
“The movie was a great opportunity to display magpies in a different way and show their funny side.
Mr Mander said magpies were innately curious species and responded well to signals when their behaviour was rewarded with mealworms.
“You can take advantage of that curiosity during training sessions,” he said.
“They tend to be very inquisitive and involved in anything you’re doing, and when you reward them for that, they learn very fast.”
Mr Mander has always had a special affinity with birds — his father and family friends were keen falconers — and he now shares his Gold Coast property with about 65 parrots, macaws, owls, eagles, falcons and a magpie named swoop.
“Swoop is the juvenile bird in the movie, so he plays the baby that they find. The baby in the basket, who is rinsed in the sink with Naomi in one scene,” he said.
“Some of the birds, other than swoop, that we used were rehabilitation birds that had come into captivity and were unable to be released into the wild.”
Mr Mander said Swoop the magpie was the man about town and a little bit mischievous.
“The interaction we have with magpies around here is more because swoop brings them here, brings his friends back,” he said.
“You have to be careful if you leave the door open in the house, he’ll take the opportunity to go in the house and find things to eat or play with.”
Mr Mander said magpies had a bad rap in Australia because of their tendency to swoop during breeding season, but they were very clever and misunderstood.
“They’re very intelligent, but they also have very good memory retention,” he said.
“So when we are teaching them new behaviours, they retain that information, and we can pick up on that in the next training session.
A true depiction
While computer-generated imagery is a common feature of modern filmmaking, Mr Mander said training birds was easier and cheaper.
When he is not training birds for film and television, Mr Mander is working with theme parks and wildlife sanctuaries as well as schools and on marriage proposals.
Mr Mander said his birds required equal amounts of love and attention, but a 22-year-old eagle named Soren was his favourite.
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Adam Treloar has confirmed claims that Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley told him senior Magpies players no longer wanted him at the club before the midfielder’s bombshell AFL trade.
The 27-year-old became a Western Bulldogs player right on the deadline of the AFL trade period.
It followed weeks of rumours leaked out to the media detailing discontent between Collingwood and Treloar, who was contracted at the Magpies until 2025.
Treloar said that, in a meeting with Buckley, the Magpies mentor expressed the concerns some players reportedly had with the 27-year-old and that they believed it was in his best interests to leave.
“That was told to me in no uncertain way,” Treloar told reporters at Whitten Oval on Friday.
“To be told there’s some players who don’t want you there when I know that the majority of players love and care for me.
“They were adamant on moving me on so no matter how they were going to go about it, it was going to happen.
“It was a fight up until the end because that’s where I wanted to be, at Collingwood.
“I guess anything was going to be said to move me on.
Treloar was one of four Magpies to be traded out on Thursday night as the club attempts to rectify challenges with its salary cap.
Collingwood list manager Ned Guy on Thursday night claimed the Magpies would have been unlikely to explore a trade if Treloar’s partner Kim Ravaillion had not signed a Super Netball contract to play with the Queensland Firebirds next year.
But the couple have committed to a long-distance relationship next year and Treloar says he never thought about moving to the Brisbane Lions or the Gold Coast.
Ravaillion attended Treloar’s first press conference as a Bulldogs player with their daughter Georgie.
“That was told to me in no uncertain way and that did hurt, because I know how close I am with the players. To be told that, when I don’t think that’s the truth, and to be told that there’s some players that don’t want you there when I know the majority of the players love me and care for me, that did hurt a bit.
“But they were adamant on moving me on so no matter how they were going to go about it, it was going to happen. It was a fight up until the end, because I wanted to be at Collingwood.
“I think they were up for a fight to move me on and anything was going to be said to move me on.”
Treloar added a move to Queensland with Ravaillion and their child – who will play netball with the Queensland Firebirds – was never on the cards.
“I never considered playing footy in Queensland,” Treloar said. “It was never a reality for me.
“It was more the family side of things [discussed with Buckley as a reason for the trade] and whether or not they could see me playing elite sport being away from my family. I well and truly believe I can.
“They were adamant they had to move me on. Although I disagree, I’m here now.
“I don’t think that [salary cap problems and my big contract] from what I have been told I don’t think that was their main reason.
“They genuinely thought I wasn’t going to manage being away from my family.
“It was funny because when I was chatting to Bevo he was more interested in Kimmy and her netball career than my footy career.”
Treloar said he was not bitter at the club – because some of his best friends remain at there – or Buckley. He also said he wished the club had backed him in more during the split, and that he regretted matters becoming public knowledge.
The former GWS Giant also said he believed he could have returned to the Pies and mended any relationships that were stretched during the trade period.
“That’s where I wanted to finish my footy career. One thing I am going to miss is I love the passion and the love that I have got from the Collingwood supporters.”
By moving Treloar on the Pies have cleared just under $900,000 per year for the next five years off their salary bill, although they will continue to pay a small amount of that salary.
For a club that proudly claims to stand SIDE BY SIDE, Collingwood has done anything but.
They have mistreated a group of star players and treated its fans like fools this past fortnight.
Last week, coach Nathan Buckley tweeted angrily in response to a concerning report out of the Magpies. He denied having a conversation with midfielder Adam Treloar about moving him on.
“The constant rumour and innuendo is disrespectful to Adam, the club and our supporters. We’ll continue to communicate directly and sensitively with Adz and his management,” the statement read.
Well, one week later, Treloar is gone for a bag of chips and Collingwood is paying for him to play for another club for the next five years.
It’s clear now – if you believe the other young star who was shipped out in the garage sale yesterday – Jaidyn Stephenson – that the club didn’t deal with him sensitively.
He was traded to North Melbourne yesterday – also for a bag of chips – and here is how the club communicated with him during this difficult time.
“My manager came to me and then I heard nothing from the club,” the 2018 Rising Star said.
“I gave Bucks a call myself to see what was going on and how it was, and he just pretty much said, ‘mate, look for a trade as aggressively as you want and we’ll try to facilitate it’.
“There wasn’t a very clear reasoning or anything, but I think it’s all worked out for the best.”
Stephenson also admitted that Buckley was the only senior Collingwood figure that he spoke to. And it was him, a 21-year-old, who is entering only his fourth season, being forced to initiate that uncomfortable situation.
In 2018, the Collingwood Football Club celebrated its brightest star and AFL Rising Star winner Jaidyn Stephenson by wheeling him out on all the membership packages.
12 months later, they handed him a lucrative four-year contract.
Yesterday, they gifted him to North Melbourne.
Most of us can understand mistakes in any field, particularly if the person or club that has made them confronts it and acknowledges it.
The most difficult thing out of Collingwood’s garage sale is that they aren’t being up front with the hundreds of thousands of Collingwood members who have supported the club financially in their most difficult year.
Everyone knows it was an exploding salary cap that has forced these decisions upon the club, however the Magpies just won’t admit it.
The architect behind the Collingwood sell-off is list boss Ned Guy. He spoke unconvincingly yesterday when he was quizzed on the health of the salary cap.
In part, he denied that there was any issues with the salary cap and this fire sale, or garage sale, was designed about improving their list.
Not sure most Collingwood fans would stomach that.
“We want to go to the draft and improve our list” is obviously going to be the party line the club agreed to wheel out publicly. They’d be better served by calling it for what it is.
Collingwood got weaker, the opposition got stronger and your members are hurting. They still have enough talent, experience and star power on their list to be highly competitive again next year, however, premierships are so hard to win.
To achieve it, as highlighted by Richmond and the dynasties before them, the culture of the club needs to be rock solid with complete buy-in from the players, coaches and staff.
It remains to be seen the damage that’s been done at the Magpies in the last fortnight but my guess is it will be significant.
It’s the famous Magpie Army, through no fault of its own, that may suffer the most.
It is doubtful if the Bulldogs could pursue Treloar without a player going out of the club to create salary cap space.
Treloar is contracted for another five years at Collingwood in a deal worth about $900,000 a year but the Magpies are open to trading him.
Treloar has reportedly told teammates his relationship with the club has now broken down to the point he will not return. The story was reported by Fox where Treloar has been employed for regular appearances for several years.
Treloar has previously said he was not interested in a trade to the Gold Coast where his partner, netballer Kim Ravaillion, and young baby are moving next season for Ravaillion to play netball.
Treloar wants to remain in Melbourne and play at a club in contention for a flag. St Kilda were interested but the arrival of Brad Crouch as a free agent has almost extinguished that because of salary cap pressure.
The Bulldogs fit the criteria he wants – a Victorian club and one in contention – and so could shape as a potential destination if the Dogs’ attitude on Dunkley shifts.
The Bulldogs have been uninterested in discussing a Dunkley trade with Essendon because they want to keep the player and the Bombers have little of trade value to interest them.
The Bombers have two early draft picks – six and seven – but the Dogs are not interested in early draft picks this year as they know the pick would be absorbed by the points required to secure their next generation academy player and potential number one draft pick Jamarra Ugle-Hagan.
The potential to turn that early pick into a midfielder like Treloar, who is a player with a point of difference in their midfield, might hold appeal to the Bulldogs in salvaging a situation of a player wanting to leave.
The Dogs are also open to trading their first draft pick – 14 – for the same reason of being able to secure the requisite points they need for Ugle-Hagan by bunching together second and third round draft choices.
Essendon, meanwhile, remains in a stalemate with Carlton over the Adam Saad trade. Essendon want pick eight from Carlton for the player but the Blues believe that is too much for him and want something back from Essendon in any exchange.
Consequently, the Blues have been exploring options to trade pick eight into two later first round draft picks and give one of those to Essendon for Saad.
Essendon has said they are happy to take Carlton’s future first round pick instead of pick eight.
The Lions had wanted to keep Martin but with nearly all of their players signed for next season, at a time when the AFL is set to reduce list sizes, they had few options for retaining him.
AFL trade 2020: Never miss a move
Michael Gleeson is an award-winning senior sports writer specialising in AFL and athletics.
In an interview with Fox Footy in August last year, he said: “I remember if it wasn’t for my partner Kimmy, for Nick Maxwell, Bucks, Jacqui [Louder] who is my psych/really, really good friend and my family, I probably wouldn’t be playing footy, to be honest with you.”
While Treloar is adamant that living away from his partner and daughter won’t impact on his football, the Collingwood hierarchy disagrees.
Although the Pies won’t comment publicly, the club believes it has done all it can to support Treloar and be as open and honest with him as it can be.
The decision now rests with the player.
There are three possible scenarios.
One: Treloar can accept Collingwood’s position and request a trade to Gold Coast so that can be with his family.
While the Suns have show interest, they’re also acutely aware that Treloar is yet to express any desire to join the club, so would need to be convinced otherwise.
It is becoming increasingly unlikely that Gold Coast would trade for a man who would be their highest-paid player and who doesn’t want to be there.
Even if Collingwood were to pay some of his wages, the Suns would likely to have to pay more than $750,000 per season.
They have been unable to meet with Treloar because of his insistence that he wants to stay at Collingwood.
Brisbane are definitely out. The Lions don’t have the salary cap space, particularly with Joe Daniher coming in.
Secondly, Treloar can request a trade somewhere else.
He has made it clear that he is happy and settled in Melbourne, so a request to move to another Victorian team isn’t completely out of the question.
Various cashed-up clubs are desperate for a hard-running midfielder. They are Carlton, Essendon and North Melbourne, just to name a few.
Thirdly, he can force Collingwood to honour the contract, which expires at the end of 2025.
This final option seems the least likely of the three possible outcomes, given the difficult conversations that have taken place between player and club.
A cynical view would be that Collingwood never should not have signed up Treloar to such a long-term deal if it was going to be open to trading him.
The club would ask how were it was meant to know that his partner would need to move interstate for work.
All three scenarios remain live options for Treloar, who ultimately has the upper hand in what happens next.
Sam McClure is a sport reporter for The Age and winner of ‘best news reporter’ at the AFL Media Association awards.