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McRae hopes de Goey will stay with Magpies

Minutes after Collingwood’s heartbreaking AFL preliminary final loss to Sydney, coach Craig McRae spied Jordan de Goey’s manager.

“I grabbed his manager and said ‘let’s get to work on this’, because I’ve said this openly, I want Jordy at our footy club next year,” McRae said.

“Now I don’t know how that’s progressing, but hopefully it’s progressing in the right direction – not because he’s Jordy de Goey, but I just think this environment is the best place for Jordy de Goey.”

Whether de Goey stays or goes is now a key priority for the Magpies, with the restricted free agent’s future unclear.

His off-season misdemeanours over the past 12 months put his future at Collingwood in doubt, but de Goey has been massive in the second half of the season.

Indeed, Luke Parker’s outstanding job on de Goey was a key reason the Swans won.

McRae was a mix of high emotions post-match and said he had to collect himself before talking to his players.

But the overwhelming feeling for the first-year senior coach was one of pride as the Magpies went so close to the grand final.

After finishing second-bottom last year, they strung together a series of incredible narrow wins to become the league’s cardiac kids.

“As you’d expect, you put a lot on the line, you come down to little moments, but it’s been a long year of trying to better ourselves and push new opportunities and new discovery and new possibility. We fall agonisingly short,” he said.

McRae’s only public criticism of his players after the game was the three 50m penalties they conceded in the first half.

“It wasn’t the fact we gave them away, it’s what we were doing next – like, 50, rightly or wrongly, done,” he said.

“Get back and man the mark, get on with it. You can’t just sit there and wallow in your self-pity and go ‘oh, yeah, but I was hard done by’.

“Get on with it, man the mark, get up and go again. I was disappointed in that part of the game, we rectified that a little bit in the second half.”

Overall, McRae is confident that the Magpies have the basis of something special.

“But the reality of this sport is you don’t start where you finished,” he said.

“We start 18th again, but there’s a lot of stuff that’s been built and starting to become foundations of what we want to be.

“There’s a pattern of behaviour that’s been consistent, that suggests why we’re in this position.

“I already know our game plan doesn’t have to be … reinvented. Most of it’s all there and the growth in the group has been outstanding.”

Beau McCreery played after he and teammate Josh Carmichael were in a car crash on Friday as they headed to Melbourne airport.

McRae says there was never a doubt that McCreery would line up.

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