Scott Pendlebury has been listed as one of the elite players in the competition by official AFL statistician Champion Data.
The Collingwood captain was one of 43 AFL players listed in the ‘elite’ category in Champion Data’s 2016 Prospectus.
The recognition comes as Pendlebury enters his eleventh year as a Magpie. The 27-year-old is a four-time Copeland Trophy winner and five-time All Australian who averaged 28.9 disposals a game in 2015.
As part of their comprehensive list analysis, Champion Data has broken down every club’s playing group into categories of ‘elite’, ‘above average’, ‘average’, ‘below average’, ‘poor’ and ‘unknown’.
Players are categorised based on their ranking in their elected position, with the top 10 per cent of a position being classed as elite.
Pendlebury’s status as an elite midfielder places him among just 13 other onballers who are classed in the same category.
READ: List analysis Part 1 - Youth vs. experience
The Magpies midfield strength continues to be expressed in Champion Data’s ‘above average’ category.
Dane Swan and Steele Sidebottom are listed in the top 35 per cent of their position, while new recruit Adam Treloar also joins them.
In total, Collingwood has the most players listed as ‘above average’ (11) in the competition.
The result means that combined with Pendlebury’s inclusion as an elite player, Nathan Buckley’s side has 12 players in the top two categories.
Only West Coast, Hawthorn (both 15) and Sydney (13) had more high-tier players on their list for the 2016 season.
Champion Data rated Collingwood the fourth best team in the competition in ‘general defence’, while the Magpies were also listed at number four in ‘general forwards’.
Champion Data list breakdown
Scott Pendlebury (Mid)
Dane Swan (Mid)
Steele Sidebottom (Mid)
Tyson Goldsack (Gen Def)
Jarryd Blair (Gen Fwd)
Nathan Brown (Key Def)
Jeremy Howe (Key Def)
Adam Treloar (Mid)
Jamie Elliott (Gen Fwd)
Alex Fasolo (Gen Fwd)
Marley Williams (Gen Def)
Tom Langdon (Gen Def)