2004 Year of the Monkey (Magpie)

Most footy fans would love a crystal ball to tell them who’ll win the next premiership. But AFL Collingwood fans shouldn’t need one – they’ve got two lucky charms. Chris Tarrant and Brodie Holland were both born in 1980 – the Chinese Year of the Monkey – which makes a return from January 22 this year.

Commemorated by a special Australia Post stamp issue, the year is said to be an auspicious one for those born under the monkey sign. Chinese astrologer Liu Dan said just having Tarrant and Holland on the team should be enough to give Collingwood the flag after two bitterly disappointing premiership results.

“The year of the monkey will be a very lucky year and very skillful, very quick movement, a lot of change,” she told reporters. “For people born in the year of the monkey … that year is the best year for them to have the opportunity for them to win the premiership.”

Ms Liu said those born in the year of the monkey were more likely to be clever, quick thinking and fast – all qualities the team will need to break their streak of premiership hoodoo.

Holland welcomed the prospect of good luck this season, after consecutive premiership defeats to Brisbane. “I’m kind of a superstitious person myself,” he told reporters. “So I think every little thing like this is actually a bit of a bonus for me personally. “And you know, if it helps the team, every little bit helps I suppose.” His teammate said he hoped the monkey was now off the team’s back. “I’ve got my stamp, so hopefully if the Collingwood supporters get out and get theirs, you just never know,” Tarrant said.

The commemorative stamps, designed by artist Luis Chiang, feature artwork depicting the 16th Century Chinese myth Journey to the West, known to many Australians from the TV series Monkey Magic.