Collingwood coach Craig McRae has nailed star Jordan De Goey with a hilarious jab in his speech at the club’s best and fairest count, leaving the audience in stitches.
McRae, who won hearts of footy fans across the country in his first season at the helm of the Magpies, couldn’t resist a cheeky joke at De Goey’s expense at the E.W. Copeland Trophy count on Friday night.
And De Goey wasn’t the only player in McRae’s sights during his 13-minute speech.
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“Trying to build culture, you need strong relationships,” he started.
“For me, it starts with love and support.
“Now our love and support travelled far and wide this year, from New York to Bali (crowd laughter and applause) and all the way up to the Gabba.
“We love you, Jordy!
“I’ve learnt to turn my phone off in off-seasons,” he added.
The camera panned to De Goey’s teammates including Steele Sidebottom and Jeremy Howe, who were left laughing by McRae’s remarks.
De Goey, who has been the subject of scandals in both New York and Bali in the past year, had only hours earlier committed to the club on a new five-year deal.
It’s reported that deal does include behaviour clauses in the first two seasons of the deal – something the star initially baulked at early this week before putting pen to paper.
Howe, Scott Pendlebury and Darcy Cameron were next for McRae’s speech.
“Howie’s 200th game at the Gabba – it was great to love and support him for his achievement this year,” he said.
“If only he kicked a goal outside 50 – that would have been memorable.
“We took our love and support to the Adelaide Oval with Pendles playing his 350th game. I thought half of Sale was there!
“We took our love and support to the MCG for Darcy Cameron’s 40th game (to crowd laughter and applause) – good on you Darcy! (as Cameron stands and acknowledges the crowd, gives thumbs up to the coach).
“I took the piss out of Darcy every single game so I owe him that one – well done. He actually asked: ‘Could I get chaired off in my 40th game?’, I said: ‘Mate, you’ve gone too far’.”
McRae’s not the first coach to roast a player at the end of season presentation night, with John Longmire dishing out a jab at retiring Swans great Josh Kennedy.
“He’s had more farewells than John Farnham with the singing tours,” Longmire laughed.
“He said to me he didn’t want to do that press conference, ‘I just want to fade off into the sunset’ – oh my God. It’s just been absolute carry-on of the highest order Joey!
“Sorry mate (laughs), I’ve been wanting to say that for a couple of days.”
McRae got plenty of hoots and cheers when he described the extra “pep” in the players’ step when “we beat Carlton twice”.
And he officially updated the club’s relationship status to engaged – after his infamous early season quote that they were just “dating” in the first rounds of the season.
“I said we were about eight dates into a relationship, comparing us to Richmond who I thought was married and three kids in reference to three premierships if you didn’t get the take on that,” he explained.
“Well our relationship took off with some memorable dates. Couldn’t help but fall in love after Jamie’s (Elliott) goal after the siren. In love with Jamie I mean.
“And I know I’m not the only one!
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“Current relationship status – I think we are officially engaged as a club and we’re planning an off-season wedding not too far away. No discussions of a prenup.”
McRae used the last of his speech to keep players focused ahead on 2023 and building on their devastating one-point preliminary final loss to Sydney.
“Our past success never guarantees future success. That’s reality,” he said.
“It’s not a grand prix – you don’t start in third position. We start 18th, we start first depending if your glass is half full or half empty.
“But we have to qualify again.
“If lessons we’ve learnt this year are anything, we’ll have to get the wind screen wipers out many times.”