ON THE RISE - MARLEY WILLIAMS
Depending on the ramifications of a recent assault charge, Marley Williams will look to build on the six games he played in his debut year
On the rise: Marley Williams
At a glance: The former Claremont midfielder was recruited in last year's NAB AFL Rookie Draft while he was working as a fencer in Western Australia. He was elevated to the senior list ahead of round nine due to Luke Ball's long-term unavailability and made his debut that week against Adelaide, and then held his spot until he hurt his shoulder in round 15. A reconstruction ended his season there but he had done enough to earn elevation to the senior list going into 2013. Proved he could find the goals when he booted two majors against the Western Bulldogs in the 2012 NAB Cup – which got Collingwood supporters very excited about his potential - and showed his versatility across half-back when he came into the senior side in the middle of the season. Was back out on the track with his teammates during the finals but wasn't doing contact work. This pre-season, he went to Utah in December for the altitude camp, which will do him the world of good but also ran into trouble in his home state. Williams was charged with assault after allegedly breaking a man's jaw outside a nightclub and will face court next month. The ramifications from that incident are yet to be revealed and Williams has been asked to explain himself to club officials after his return to Melbourne.
Plays like: Leon Davis. Has the ability to play across the backline but can run through the midfield and also find the goals.
Killer quality: Has an excellent, long, left foot kick and isn't afraid of putting his head over the ball. Is both hard at the man and the contest, and has proven he has the ability to be handy at the stoppages.
Best performance: Probably stood out the most against Gold Coast in round 10 when he racked up 17 disposals. In just his second senior game, Williams had five contested possessions, laid six tackles and picked up three clearances as well as taking four marks.
What they say: "He's a terrific young lad and it's really a bonus for a rookie to play senior footy. He's tough, we think we can develop him to play in a lot of different positions so he was a real plus for us as well. We think he can put his hand up for regular senior games with a good pre-season." – Rodney Eade, football and coaching strategist.
Stats that matter:
Six games for:
An average of 12.2 disposals
An average of 3.8 contested possessions
An average of 3 tackles
An average of 61.6 per cent disposal efficiency
An average of 2.7 marks