The storm clouds may be gathering over Collingwood and its besieged AFL coach, but Nathan Buckley still sees plenty of reasons to get out of bed.
The most optimistic fan might struggle to see the upside in the club’s 2017 campaign.
At 6-10 in the win-loss, the Magpies are set to miss the finals for the fourth-straight year with a playing list designed to reach September this season.
A warts-and-all football department review will decide on the future of Buckley as senior coach at season’s end.
And a bruising run-in with five of six matches against top eight sides also allows for the potential of an ugly finish to the season.
But Buckley isn’t buying into the gloom, outlining a long list of players or changes that should excite club supporters.
“We’re paying AFL footy. These boys have dreamed about this their whole lives. We don’t take it for granted. I don’t take it for granted,” he said on Thursday.
“Jordan de Goey going through the midfield.
“Josh Thomas coming back in, what an amazing story with a couple years off.
“Ben Reid as a forward, what can he do in the next six weeks?
“Seeing (Daniel) Wells, (Travis) Varcoe and (Jamie) Elliott in the same side which hasn’t happened that often and we’d like to see that as often as we can in the next six games.
“Brayden Maynard … can he finish the year off with what’s been a really strong growth period for him?
“We may see some younger players. Rupert Wills is in the mix this week
“Brodie Grundy – can he finish off what was touted as an All-Australian year?”
Buckley also saluted his leadership group of Scott Pendlebury, Steele Sidebottom, Taylor Adams and Jeremy Howe for their “great integrity in their attitude”.
“It doesn’t feel like we’re under siege. But we are,” he said.
“Every time you get yourself out of bed there’s something to achieve and every time you take to the training track there’s an opportunity to get better.
“It’s just reminding yourself of that and not getting yourself caught up in some of the stuff you can’t influence.”