Former Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse has questioned the AFL club’s decision to dump Travis Cloke after one match.
The struggling key forward played in the VFL last weekend after coach Nathan Buckley omitted him on his return to the senior ranks during their match against Port Adelaide.
“I was surprised that he came in and went straight out again, particularly who they were playing in Melbourne the next week,” Malthouse told SEN Breakfast on Wednesday.
Collingwood lost to Melbourne on Monday by 46 points.
Malthouse, who coached Cloke in the 2010 premiership grand final draw, queried whether playing the VFL was beneficial for players struggling to find form.
“I saw players come up (to the seniors) and fail. If they’ve gone back to the seconds they’ve been fantastic,” he said.
“And I’ve seen senior players go back to the seconds with an injury and can’t get a kick then bring them to the seniors and they’re very, very good.
“It’s a no-win situation.”
Cloke has been “terribly out of form”, Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley says, but his performance in the VFL was promising.
“His effort on Saturday was actually the best effort we have got from him all year,” Buckley said on Tuesday.
“And if he continues that, we know that he can redeem himself with us in 2016.”
Malthouse also threw cold water on a return to the coaching ranks, even in a mentor role, as is being suggested to help Brisbane Lions coach Justin Leppitsch.
“Personally I couldn’t stand anyone looking over my shoulder so I wouldn’t want to be doing that to anyone,” he said.