Collingwood sharpshooter Jamie Elliott says Jeremy Howe could be swung forward again in the Grand Final as the Magpies ponder how to replace injured tall Dan McStay.
The veteran forward says there are a range of choices he is confident can cover for the former Lion, who was influential in the Magpies’ two finals wins before his season reached a heartbreaking end with a medial ligament strain in the third quarter of the preliminary final.
Elliott, who was drafted to Collingwood the year after its most recent triumph in 2010, said he was desperate to taste premiership success before the end of his career.
The 31-year-old thought there were several possible solutions to revamp the Magpies forward line without McStay.
He said Howe could be thrown forward again after his effective cameos at the end of the home and away season, which would likely lead to a recall for Billy Frampton or John Noble to cover for Howe in defence.
Another option for the Magpies would be to replace McStay with Jack Ginnivan or Taylor Adams if fit to adopt a smaller look in attack.
“We’ve got so many different options. We’ve had success with Howie (Jeremy Howe) going forward, we could go small, there’s so many different options that we’ve got,” Adams said.
“I think that’s the good thing about having a healthy list and guys ready to step up, that we could bring anyone in and play a role.”
Jordan De Goey, who was the Magpies’ best with 34 disposals and 13 clearances in a dominant midfield performance, ruled himself out of a shift forward to replace McStay.
The 27-year-old booted a career-best 48 goals in the 2018 season when the Pies last made it to a grand final, kicking 12 of them in an impressive September campaign.
“It’s been a while since then … in terms of evolving and growing, I think I’ve done a fair bit of that as a person, but still plenty more to go,” De Goey said.
“Throughout the year, it’s just been one game at a time … you couldn’t really celebrate the prelim after that, it was just focused straight into the Grand Final. We’ve got that mentality we can go all the way, so I’m really looking forward to that.
“I’ve got a fair bit of freedom in terms of role, but (Elliott) has been doing his job really well … there’s been absolutely no need for me to go forward, and I’m probably a bit slow at the moment … you don’t want to change up the mix too much.”
De Goey said the preliminary final triumph was one of his greatest moments in football to date, despite being moored to the bench with the ball stuck in the middle of the ground during the tense final stages.
“It’s been a while since I’ve felt that good, I think it was just more proud to see what the boys achieved … sitting on the bench, you can’t really do a whole lot, but to be able to run the clock (down) with four minutes to go,” he said.
“It was actually a pretty good situation to be in, I didn’t really have to do much, it was everyone else’s turn to get the job done.”