46 CFC Games Played
20 CFC Goals
Every Grand Final team has its unlikely success stories, and when Collingwood met Brisbane in the 2003 decider, Matthew Lokan was its man.
Lokan thought his AFL dream had passed him by when he was running around in the Port Adelaide Magpies’ reserves in the SANFL, but Collingwood recruiter Noel Judkins threw him a lifeline with pick No. 79 late in the 2002 National Draft.
The burly South Australian wasn’t expected to feature in a team that was coming off a season in which it finished just nine-points short of a premiership, but Lokan proved conventional wisdom wrong when he played in all 25 matches and received a Rising Star nomination in the process.
Wearing the No. 39, Lokan’s dash from the backline was a feature of his game, as were his long, left-foot kicks into the forward line.
Although it appeared he was doing it tough at times during the season, coach Mick Malthouse kept the faith, and Lokan rewarded him in kind, claiming the scalps of Andrew McLeod and Brent Harvey.
He was below par in the Grand Final loss to Brisbane but appeared in an exhibition match against Fremantle in London the following month, meaning he had played in each of Collingwood’s 30 games in his debut season (four pre-season, 22 home and away, three finals and one exhibition).
In 2004, Lokan was shifted into was used as a forward to great effect, as he often slipped under oppositions guards for bags of two and three goals at different stages of the season. By mid-season, Lokan was beginning to tread water and was used off the bench, but still managed to play 18 games for the year.
Things went south in 2005, when Lokan struggled to find an opening in the senior line-up after two years as a regular. He featured on just three occasions, bobbing up for two final appearances in August before he was delisted at season’s end.
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