Mercury (Hobart)

Prestia predicts Pickett will shine


REIGNING Richmond bestand-fairest Dion Prestia believes “hugely talented” teammate Marlion Pickett only scratched the surface of what he is capable of last year and has grown significan­tly as a player over summer.

Pickett made a stunning debut in last year’s grand final with 22 disposals, three clearances and nine score involvemen­ts in the Tigers’ 89-point crushing of GWS.

A mid-season draftee last year, the 28-year-old produced the performanc­e just more than four months after playing his last WAFL game for South Fremantle.

Prestia said Pickett had learnt plenty across his first AFL pre-season and there had been tangible signs of his improvemen­t on the track.

“He’s been absolutely amazing, really,” Prestia said yesterday of Pickett. “Coming into the team halfway through last year and playing in the VFL and then the AFL premiershi­p is pretty impressive. He hasn’t missed a beat all pre-season.

“He’s done every session and he’s looking pretty good. I can’t wait to see what he’ll produce this year having a full AFL pre-season under his belt.

“It’s pretty awesome for him to come into a midfield with [Trent] Cotchin, [Dustin] Martin, [Shane] Edwards where he doesn’t have to be the best player. He doesn’t have to stand out and make all the decisions. He can just be himself and play his normal game which I think is going to be the best thing for Marlion.”

Prestia, who joined Richmond from Gold Coast at the end of 2016, said he knew from experience that it took time to adjust to a new system.

“So for him to be able to do what he did on Grand Final day after only a couple of games with us was incredible.”

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