Collingwood coach Craig McRae has boldly declared his side is ready to win a premiership after booking a preliminary final spot, saying “we’re here to win it”.
McRae’s Magpies continued their stunning rise on Saturday night, beating Fremantle in a semi-final clash at the MCG, with the team going from second-last in 2021 to being two wins away from a flag.
The 48-year-old was overjoyed with his side’s performance against the Dockers and did not shy away when asked about his team’s premiership hopes, with the Magpies just two wins away from the unlikeliest of flag wins.
READ MORE: Cherry-Evans grilled as Manly coach cleanout revealed
READ MORE: Bellamy’s words put Storm star on verge of tears
READ MORE: Beautiful moment as world No.1 wins US Open final
“We’re here to win it. One more game and you’re in a grand final,” he told reporters.
“We’re here to win this thing and we’re going to work our butts off to get better every day to give ourselves every chance.
“We’ll set ourselves up and we know what’s coming up in Sydney, but we’ll give it our best shot.”
McRae was backed up by Essendon great Matthew Lloyd and Port Adelaide premiership winner, Kane Cornes, with both saying the Pies remained an outside chance to win it all.
”I think they can win it. I wouldn’t be shocked if they won the premiership now,” Lloyd told Nine’s AFL Sunday Footy Show.
“I don’t think Brisbane can win it, but I think any of the other three would not surprise me if they won the flag.”
Cornes admitted that the Magpies had won him over as they continued to progress throughout the season.
“I’ve been a slow burn,” he told the Sunday Footy Show.
“I haven’t been full embracing their forward line, just with the personnel they’ve got down there. They really don’t have a key target in their forward line (and) not many have won it without a key position player in their forward 50.
“But they’re so even. They don’t rely on any one player, so perhaps that’s been a strength of theirs.
“I think they can win it too, but having said that, I think Sydney will start as the red-hot favourite and rightly so. It’s still Geelong and Sydney out in front and Collingwood in third.”
While the Magpies have already overachieved in a lot of people’s eyes, McRae doesn’t believe they’re done.
”We’re one of the last four teams left in the competition,” he said.
“At the start of the year, if you thought we’d be one of the last four, you would’ve got pretty big odds for that.
“I’m just proud of the growth in us. I said to the playing group that the best is in front of us. I just feel like we’re growing before your eyes, whether that’s individually with guys stepping up or as a group just getting better.
“It’s a bit of a theme for us, but we strongly believe our best is in front of us.”
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!