Collingwood coach Craig McRae knew his side needed to add depth to their list after their heartbreaking one-point preliminary final loss to Sydney in 2022.
And on Saturday, McRae said he felt vindicated the club made the right choice in going after the likes of now-Norm Smith Medallist Bobby Hill, Tom Mitchell, Billy Frampton and Oleg Markov in the off-season as the quartet became premiership winners on Saturday.
Describing the grand final win over Brisbane as “one of the best games” he’s been involved in, McRae said lessons learnt from 2022 paid off for the club.
Watch Fox Footy’s massive Grand Final Day coverage on Kayo including the Grand Final Breakfast and Longest Kick competition, plus analysis from the best team in the business. New to Kayo? Try 14 days free >
“We knew we had to get better,” he said in his post-match press conference.
“You lose a prelim final by a point and you have to get better. Competition has already improved.
“We had to bring more depth into our list.
Fly’s heart warming mic drop reveal | 00:54
“Games come down to moments … little things win big games – that’s been our story.”
While Hill was named best on ground for his four-goal effort, Frampton worked to keep Lions interceptor Harris Andrews occupied while Markov finished with 12 touches and three score involvements.
GRAND FINAL NEWS
MAGPIES MIRACLE: Lions left shattered as Pies claim premiership in AFL epic
‘ROBBED’: AFL world erupts over ‘disgraceful’, costly last-minute Grand Final call
BABY SHOCK: Pies’ coach celebrates ‘best day of my life’
PIES RATINGS: Star recruit’s GF for the ages as De Goey repays Pies faith with clutch display
LIONS RATINGS: Norm Smith runner-up’s record half; star’s brain fade costly amid five fails
NORM SMITH: Unlikely GF hero’s shock rise from cancer survivor to medal winner
It was Mitchell (24 touches, 13 tackles and seven clearances) who really impressed McRae on Saturday.
“He is just so important to us,” McRae explained.
“You can’t buy experience on this day … he’s won so much tough ball for us and got the ball going with momentum.
“Bobby, Billy and those guys make us better.”
Mason breaks down after Pies win | 01:13
The Pies coach, who shocked the AFL community when he revealed he became a Dad once again earlier on grand final day, also paid tribute to players who missed out on medals – including injured recruit Dan McStay.
“What about Tay (Adams)? What about Dan McStay, Johnny Noble – we’re not here without those guys,” he said.
“These medals and memories is just as much as theirs – the game doesn’t recognise that but we do.”
The Pies were the fairytale story of 2022 as they ran into finals on a remarkable hot streak of winning close matches.
Roar for Moore after classy speech! | 03:32
And that trend of closing games out carried on into 2023 – with 11 wins coming by a margin of 14 points of less.
“I know last year everyone thought it was a bit of a fluke (winning all the close games) … we’re pretty good at these clutch moments,” McRae smiled.
“We’ve got such belief in that last four minutes that no one’s scoring – not us or the opposition.”
The four-point grand final win came off the back of a one-point preliminary final thriller over GWS and a seven-point qualifying final victory over Melbourne – all three finals won by a combined margin of just two goals.
Situs Bandar Togel Online Terpercaya bisa anda akses langsung di Agen Resmi Togel Online, TOTOCC adalah situs Togel Online dengan pasaran togel terlengkap. Anda bisa bermain langsung dan melihat hasil langsung dari togel hari ini hanya di TOTOCC.COM.