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Cloke's demotion from Pies' leadership group not due to nude photo scandal: Pendlebury

Magpies leading by example Collingwood facing another year of headlines
It's a player-voted thing, and the four guys and myself were the clear-cut group that the players wanted
Scott Pendlebury

TRAVIS Cloke's demotion from Collingwood's leadership group had nothing to do with the nude photo scandal he was implicated in.

The Magpies' 2016 leadership group was officially revealed on Thursday afternoon, with Scott Pendlebury heading a five-man team which includes Steele Sidebottom, Nathan Brown and newcomers Taylor Adams and Brent Macaffer.

Pendlebury said Cloke's involvement in the recent scandal was not the reason for his omission.

The Magpies did not take any action against Cloke and Dane Swan for their part in the matter.

"We voted on this a long time before (that) happened so it had nothing to do with that at all. What the players want, the players got, I suppose," Pendlebury said.

"It's a player-voted thing, and the four guys and myself were the clear-cut group that the players wanted to be led by this year.

"Clokey wasn't a part of that and he's acknowledged himself that he's got a way to go with his leadership.

"Not having the title does not resolve of him of his responsibilities, and he's had a great pre-season. We still expect high standards from Trav even though he's not formally part of the group."

Tyson Goldsack was also relieved of his official duties for 2016.

Ex-Giant Adams has played just 30 games for the Magpies but finished fourth in the club best and fairest in just his second year under coach Nathan Buckley, who coached him in representative football as a junior.

Despite the frustration of two knee reconstructions, the respected Macaffer – who missed 2015 with a knee injury – is a significant figure within the group and one of just 10 Magpies from the 2010 premiership team still at the club. 

"Both guys' pre-seasons to date have been first class and off-field as well they set really good standards," Pendlebury said.

"Taylor's the conduit between the young and old for us - he's 22 and we've got a lot of guys around his age bracket so he hits a lot of that younger group.

"And Brent, coming off two knee recos, I think everyone sees how hard he works in rehab but also in spreading his wings across the group."

Pendlebury was also asked whether Buckley being out of-contract at the end of this season would be a distraction for the club.

"Collingwood lays pretty low-key throughout the season, so we're not used to dealing with things like that, are we?" Pendlebury said with tongue firmly planted in cheek.

"Look, that's for the club, 'Bucks' and his management to work through and as a playing group we'll focus on winning games of football."

As part of the Magpie Nest initiative, the whole leadership team was on hand to deliver five houses to homeless families in Collingwood.