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Rookie Draft: Tony Armstrong

Season Highlight: Tony Armstrong Watch Tony Armstrong in action on the day in which he played in both the VFL and the AFL.

With selection No. 42 in the Rookie Draft, Collingwood has re-drafted Tony Armstrong, who played five senior games in 2014.

Key details
Tony Armstrong
Recruited From: Burrumbuttock (NSW)/NSW-ACT U18/Riddells Creek/Calder U18/Adelaide/Sydney
Age: 25
Height: 183cm
Weight: 80kg
Position: Medium defender

Profile: A rebounding defender who provided important run and carry to both Collingwood’s AFL and VFL teams in 2014. Champion Data’s AFL Prospectus describes Armstrong is an outside player who recorded elite kicking efficiency in 2010 and 2011. Prospectus also noted that he ranked first for effective short kicks and rebound 50s in Sydney’s reserves team in 2012. His kicking and tackling pressure makes him a candidate to slot into a spot on the half back flank which was where he played when he picked up the Alex Jesaulenko Medal as best afield in the NEAFL Eastern Conference Grand Final in September 2013.

2014 Review
Tony Armstrong’s first twelve months in a Collingwood jumper were lively to say the least.

He started the season in the senior side, playing in all three of its NAB Challenge matches before slipping out of the selected 22 on the eve of round one, when he was named as an emergency for the loss to Fremantle.

From there, the 24-year-old plied his trade in the VFL, performing consistently at both ends of the ground. Armstrong collected 21 disposals, took 10 marks and had a hand in three scoring shots in the win over North Ballarat, and was shifted into a half forward role mid-season where he twice slotted two goals in wins over Bendigo and Geelong.

A return to half back saw Armstrong find his best form of the season, winning 28 and 32 disposals in consecutive outings against Werribee and Frankston.

His consistency was rewarded with his first senior berth against Port Adelaide in round 19, when he won 17 disposals at 100 per cent efficiency in a gutsy six-point win.

He held his place in the senior side from there on, although not before he controversially played two games in the one day.

Omitted after the loss to West Coast, Armstrong picked up 24 disposals in a morning match against Geelong.

Only hours later, he was summoned to the senior side at the last minute when he replaced Scott Pendlebury who withdrew from the side only moments before the first bounce.

Named as a substitute, Armstrong was thrust into the action only minutes onto the game when Ben Reid sustained a season-ending hamstring injury.

Though he played out the remainder of the year, Armstrong was delisted on 31 October, but with the knowledge that he would be added to the club’s rookie list ahead of the new season.