Magpies old and new played their part in Collingwood’s Anzac Day triumph, much to the delight of coach Nathan Buckley.
Fourth-year player Paul Seedsman rightfully took home the medal for best afield, but Buckley had plenty of praise for both the oldest Magpie on the MCG and one of his newest recruits.
In just his fourth game for Collingwood, Jack Crisp blanketed Bombers captain Jobe Watson and gave Essendon plenty of headaches.
And while Dane Swan produced far than he is capable of – 21 touches and a goal – Buckley said Anzac Day was his perfect stage.
Buckley said despite the relentless focus on Swan, he played a key part in a memorable Magpies triumph.
“Talking about larrikins … the connection to Swanny is spot on,” he said.
“They’re straight talking and they’ve got a kind heart and they give to people.
“He’s unusual, he’s not the prototype person, let alone the prototype footballer.
“He does it his own way but he does it with a real connection to his team-mates and his footy club.”
In contrast to the 241-gamer Swan, Crisp is just beginning to forge his Collingwood career.
But he was bright and busy all day, quelling Watson’s influence then moving to Dyson Heppell in the last quarter.
Buckley said Crisp’s enthusiasm for the big roles after just four games for the Magpies helped them enormously.
“To have the confidence in a bloke like Jack to do that is a big part of our arsenal,” he said.
“Crispy just keeps backing up … he’s just a young bloke having a crack.”
After the 20-point win in trying circumstances, Buckley couldn’t help but be chuffed with the overall performance.
“We thought that really to a man, we played for the most part who we wanted to play,” he said.
“We’ve still got a lot of growth in areas, in the finish department.
“I’d be missing the point if I focussed on that, the effort was excellent.”