Collingwood has recorded its lowest finish on the ladder in VFL-AFL history, and a pick swap on draft night last year makes it hurt even more.
Two results on the last day of the season – the Magpies’ loss to Essendon, and Adelaide’s win over North Melbourne – sees them finish 17th with a 6-16 record, though their percentage of 85.6 was only fifth-worst.
While the Magpies have finished on the bottom of the ladder before, that wasn’t in the 18-team era – there were 16 teams in 1999 and 12 teams in 1976, when they claimed their two wooden spoons.
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Usually the benefit of finishing at the bottom is a high draft pick, and access to one of the most talented kids in the country, but there’s no pick to savour for Collingwood this year; though there’s a good reason for that.