Inside Sport - - HOT SHOT -

They have an amaz­ing mid­field and have made ju­di­cious ac­qui­si­tions. The ’Pies need to over­come a prob­lem that’s al­most as­sum­ing the sta­tus of a trade­mark: they start ex­tremely well, then fade. With an­other sea­son un­der their belt, and an ex­cel­lent fit­ness coach, they should step up a notch. They have a lot of young­sters like Jor­dan De Goey who seem ca­pa­ble of ac­cel­er­ated de­vel­op­ment.

Re­cruits such as Tay­lor Adams and Jack Crisp showed enough prom­ise. Varcoe had a good sea­son. Pendle­bury and Swan are still greedy ball-getters ca­pa­ble of dam­age, but the ’Pies have been let down again by for­wards who seem un­able to goal. Jamie El­liott (pic­tured above) was their lead­ing goal-kicker in 2015 with 35. How­ever, with this in mind, they’ve in­cluded Jeremy Howe of Mel­bourne and Adam Treloar of the Gi­ants. Darcy Moore, son of the great Peter, ex­ploded onto the scene late in the sea­son, giv­ing fans some­thing else to sali­vate about. They love a good his­tor­i­cal con­nec­tion.

Last sea­son they were 8-3 for the se­cond sea­son in a row be­fore fall­ing away. The dif­fer­ence in 2015 was close losses to top sides. Ul­ti­mately, the only ar­biter is the score­board, and they need to con­vert if they’re go­ing to ex­haust them­selves get­ting it up there.

Their de­fence is co­a­lesc­ing, Frost op­er­at­ing at an ex­tremely high ef­fi­ciency level. But as long as the colossi at both ends, like Cloke, Brown and Reid, fail to per­form, or fall to in­jury, the small for­wards and mid­field must take on stren­u­ous work­loads.

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