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Buckley bullish about Magpies strength
Roger Vaughan
19:43 AEST Wed Nov 28 2012

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley is brimming with confidence about the health of his playing list after the AFL club's busy trade period.

The Magpies lost their preliminary final to eventual premiers Sydney this year and Buckley has not tried to temper expectations among their fans that Collingwood remain in the premiership hunt.

Asked if the list was in better shape after several changes in the last few weeks, Buckley readily answered "I do, I do - clearly".

While Collingwood lost Sharrod Wellingham (West Coast), Chris Dawes (Melbourne) and Chris Tarrant to retirement, they have recruited experienced players Quinten Lynch (West Coast), Clinton Young (Hawthorn) and Jordan Russell (Carlton).

They have also taken the unusual step this week of announcing that Ben Hudson will join them as a ruck coach and also possibly come out of retirement through the rookie draft.

"I think that not only are we better in the medium-long term with some of the young additions we've brought in, I really feel that we're in a stronger position to contend this year and next because of the additions to the list," Buckley said.

"We wanted to add to certain areas of our playing list, and clearly these are three guys (Lynch, Young and Russell) with a lot of experience in the game with eight years minimum plus, all of them.

"Each of the three players here, if they play at their best and they'll get the opportunity to do that, will make us a better team, I've got no doubt about it."

Lynch effectively replaces Dawes and will work in tandem with Collingwood's No.1 key forward Travis Cloke.

He will soon head on a pre-season training trip with his new team-mates to Utah, where Lynch said he will see snow for the first time.

In the meantime, Lynch joked he is trying to adapt to Melbourne traffic.

More seriously, Lynch moved to Collingwood because he saw limited opportunities with the Eagles.

"Over there (at West Coast), it was looking more and more likely I was probably going to be a fill in player," he said.

"It's exciting coming over to be working with big Trav.

"Coming from the west, we saw him as probably the key forward in the competition who could dominate a game and take massive contested marks."

While the mood is upbeat at Collingwood, Buckley admits that Andrew Krakouer might again have to miss the Utah trip because of visa issues.

His much-publicised jail term means Krakouer cannot enter the United States.

"It's more unlikely but we're always hopeful," Buckley said.

"I'm not an expert but if he's on the plane I will be happy."

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