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Our rookies' progress assessed

Ben Collins - AFL Media  January 19, 2016 11:13 AM

New draftee wins time trial Collingwood recruit Tom Phillips talks about his first day as a Magpie, and how he took out the 2km time trial ahead of perennial past-winner Steele Sidebottom.
Collingwood's second choice in the National Draft Tom Phillips trains at the Holden Centre.

Collingwood's second choice in the National Draft Tom Phillips trains at the Holden Centre.

Our six rookies are now six weeks into their first preseason as professional footballers. 

As the season draws nearer, Ben Collins from AFL Media assesses the development of the new faces at the Magpies. 

DRAFTEES

Brayden Sier: Having played predominantly at school and local level last year, the Pies' shock first pick has a considerable way to go to reach AFL-standard fitness levels. However, the big-bodied midfielder/forward has surprised by completing almost every session and handling the workload well. Has also impressed with his decision-making, kicking and hunger for knowledge.

Tom Phillips: The attacking left-footer immediately made a statement by dethroning the club's endurance king Steele Sidebottom in a 2km time trial in November. His turn of speed and neat disposal have also been noted.

Ben Crocker: The former Vic Metro vice-captain has lived up to his reputation as an aggressive forward/midfielder, being a standout with his hardness and love of the contest in competitive drills. After sliding down the draft order further than expected, he has started his AFL journey with a fiercely determined approach.

Rupert WillsThe powerful, mature-aged midfielder/forward has impressed with his stoppage work – hitting the contest at speed, winning the hard ball, breaking tackles and bursting away. Working on building a stronger fitness base. 

ROOKIES

Josh SmithThe mature-aged rookie midfielder from Queensland isn't yet among the fittest players at Collingwood but has already shown an admirable penchant for punishing himself physically. Trains with genuine intensity, whether it be on the track or in the gym, and attacks everything with gusto.

Darrean WyattThe Melbourne-born former US college basketballer looms as one of the AFL's most impressive athletic prospects, being among the fastest players on the Pies' list despite his 204cms. Needs to develop his overall fitness, but the budding tall forward already reads the game well and has a knack of finding space. - Ben Collins