Collingwood will be a defence-first team in 2020.
Collingwood will be a defence-first team in 2020.

Buckley outlines Pies' plan to avenge prelim heartbreak

NATHAN Buckley says Collingwood will be a "defence-first" team in 2020 as it looks to avenge last season's preliminary final exit.

Speaking at the Pies' annual members forum on Friday night, Buckley was responding to a question around the Pies' offence.

Collingwood ranked third for points scored in the 2018 home-and-away season before slipping to seventh in a 2019 campaign that eventually ended in a low-scoring preliminary final loss to Greater Western Sydney.

"The game plan didn't change significantly, but the game in its entirety does change quite quickly and quite significantly," Buckley told the crowd.

"So if something works one year there's no guarantee it's going to work the next."

Buckley said while his side would seek to counter-attack whenever possible, they would adopt a defence-first mentality.

"We rate ourselves as a defensive team, we want to make it very difficult for the opposition to score, first and foremost," he said.

"For instance, in the (last) six (games) of the year we didn't have any more than 60 points scored against us (Essendon's 65 points the only instance in Round 23) so defensively we were as strong as we've ever been.

"Even the 2018 version of us was about defence-first, as will the 2020 version be.

"We want to be daring and aggressive in our offence at the same time and we primarily see ourselves as a very good stoppage and contested ball side so we will continue to try and develop that.

"We love to run and gun when we get the opportunity."

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