AFL 2 years ago

Cops pull over Pies assistant coach, but not for what you think

  • Cops pull over Pies assistant coach, but not for what you think

    MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 05: Travis Cloke of the Magpies, relegated to the reserves for the past two weeks, looks thoughtful during a Collingwood Magpies AFL training session on May 5, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

The Melbourne constabulary has its answer - Travis Cloke is back.

As expected, Collingwood named the star forward among six inclusions to their squad for Sunday's must-win AFL match against Port Adelaide at the MCG.

The Magpies will finalise their team on Friday night, but Cloke is likely to play.

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Before Cloke trained well on Thursday, apparently everyone in Melbourne wanted to know about his status.

"(Assistant coach) Tarkyn Lockyer was driving into training today and he was pulled over - I don't know why, I think he was going too slow," Magpies coach Nathan Buckley said.

"The policeman saw him in his Collingwood outfit and he goes 'so is Clokey playing this week?' True story.

"So he's the only bloke who doesn't know. In the world."

Cloke has been out of the senior side since he was dropped for Anzac Day.

After training and before Collingwood's Thursday afternoon match committee meeting, Buckley insisted Cloke's status remained unclear.

"Although everyone in Melbourne thinks they know, no-one knows because I don't yet," Buckley said after Thursday training.

"He trained well today, as did the whole list."

Collingwood's plague of injuries shortened the odds dramatically that Cloke would return for Sunday's game.

Darcy Moore, Alex Fasolo and Taylor Adams were all hurt during last weekend's loss to the Western Bulldogs.

Cloke would probably come in to replace Moore, who has a fractured collarbone.

Collingwood also included Brent Macaffer, Ben Sinclair, Jarrod Witts, Matthew Goodyear and Jonathon Marsh in their squad of 25.

The one caveat for Cloke is that Witts could come in ahead of him as the replacement for Moore.

"We have a big challenge against an opponent that has some specific strengths," Buckley said.

"We've really enjoyed our balance over the last three weeks and we'll want to go with a similar-balanced side.

"So we won't be changing roles too much.

"We're looking for like-for-like replacements for the guys who've been injured."

Buckley would not buy into media talk that Cloke might seek a trade at the end of the season if he struggles to cement a senior berth.

"I've made a point over the last probably eight weeks, not to read the papers as much as I might have otherwise," he said.

"There's a lot of opinion, a lot of speculation and really that takes place outside of our reality.

"It's not something I've spent five seconds (on)."

The one good piece of injury news for the Magpies is that defender Alan Toovey trained on Thursday and should play against the Power.

Toovey suffered concussion in the Bulldogs loss, with Collingwood still unable to work out what caused his injury.

Buckley said they think it was a delayed concussion.

"Toovs is pretty good - he'll get through and he'll be right.

"So we had three injuries and then it's up to whether we think there are any form decisions that we need to make."

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