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Magpies' Maynard thrives amid boos and off-field stress

3 minute read

Collingwood defender Brayden Maynard had off-field matters to deal with ahead of the inevitable boos from Melbourne fans on Monday.

BRAYDEN MAYNARD.
BRAYDEN MAYNARD. Picture: Michael Willson/Getty Images

Brayden Maynard has had a lot to deal with, even before Melbourne fans repeatedly reminded the Collingwood defender on Monday what they think of him.

Maynard was high among the Magpies' best in the King's Birthday AFL blockbuster at the MCG as they easily beat the Demons by 38 points.

Every time the hard-nosed backman was involved in play, Melbourne fans booed him.

Collingwood coach Craig McRae also revealed post-match that Maynard had endured unspecified off-field stress in the days before the game.

The last time these teams played, Maynard's collision with Angus Brayshaw in the qualifying final last year led to a controversial tribunal case, where the Collingwood player was cleared and went on to play in their grand final victory.

It was the latest in a succession of concussions for Brayshaw and eventually ended his playing career.

Amid the obvious on-field focus on Maynard for this game, there also had been matters for him to deal with in his private life.

"He's had a lot going on this week - I won't share the details of it - but off the field it's been really hard for him," McRae said of Maynard.

"So I'm sure he wanted to put on a good performance for the stuff that's happened outside of here.

"He's a proud man and he played exceptionally well. We love him.

"It's unfortunate what's happened in his private life, but I will leave it at that."

Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin said they had not discussed Maynard pre-game.

The player himself noted Collingwood fans had given him plenty of support during the game.

"I cop it a little bit, especially when I have the ball," he told Channel Seven. "But to my fans, they come over the top, like they always do."

Asked if he thrived amid the boos, Maynard laughed and replied: "We all do, don't we? We love it when the fans get involved, but I guess it's all part of the game.

"If the fans don't get involved, then what's the game?"

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