Magpies great reveals more on future

AFL Rd 9 -  Collingwood v West Coast
Collingwood champion Scott Pendlebury says he hasn’t made his mind up yet on whether to play on in 2025. Picture: Quinn Rooney / Getty Images

Collingwood champion Scott Pendlebury has not decided whether he wants to play on next season but remains convinced that his future lies in coaching.

Pendlebury said his form would be crucial to his decision on playing again in 2025 after he had a season-high 28 disposals in the Magpies’ win over West Coast on Sunday.

The 36-year-old is eight games away from becoming the sixth player to reach the 400-game milestone but said his 18 years in football had only grown his passion to stay involved in coaching.

“I haven’t made my mind up (on 2025). Our GM (Magpies football boss Graham Wright) is over in Europe at the moment, so it’s hard to get those contract discussions going,” Pendlebury told SEN on Monday.

“I’ve always said I think if we’re around the mark and chasing and I’ve still got a role that the coaches see that I can fulfil and I’m not holding any youngsters back, then I’ll go on.

Collingwood vs West Coast Eagles
Scott Pendlebury in his 392nd AFL game grapples with No. 1 draft pick Harley Reid in Collingwood’s big win over West Coast on Sunday. Picture: Michael Klein

“But if I feel like I’m slowing down or holding people back, then it’s a pretty easy discussion.

“I think I’ve got a pretty good self-awareness of where I’m at and how my body’s feeling and it’ll be ongoing discussions with the club and we’ll be really honest and we’ll make the right call for the footy club.”

The six-time All-Australian and dual premiership Magpie said he would step away from the game for at least a “gap year” before returning as a coach, adamant that was his next career path.

“Whenever my playing days are over I think I would probably like to step away from the game for a period of time,” he said.

“Whether that’s a year or 18 months, just have a bit of a gap year, go exploring and do some different things – because all I’ve known was school first for 17 years, and I’ve been at Collingwood for 19 years since then.

“So step away, get a bit of a broader view of the game from the outer circle and even travel, go look at soccer, NFL, basketball, other sports around the world and then come back in really fresh … I feel like I’m the sort of guy that once I come back in, I’ll be pretty driven and on a mission to get to where I want to get to.”