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Will Beams' return stifle the development of Sier?

Brayden Sier was a revelation for the Pies this year - AFL,Collingwood Magpies,Brayden Sier,Dayne Beams
Brayden Sier was a revelation for the Pies this year

DAYNE Beams' return to Collingwood's midfield should make this year's grand finalist an even better team.

However, it also has the potential to hinder the progress of promising inside midfielder Brayden Sier – a development that would be unpalatable for most Pies fans.

Sier, set to turn 21 on December 12, was one of the revelations of the Magpies' stirring premiership bid. 

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After failing to play an AFL game in his first two seasons, during which he saved his career in the second half of 2017 by improving his commitment and professionalism, Sier received a call-up for his debut against Gold Coast in round 15 this year after Adam Treloar was sidelined with injury.

The big onballer they call 'Bear' played 12 of the last 13 games, including the entire finals series, and acquitted himself well by averaging 19.5 possessions (including 10.6 contested), four clearances and 4.6 tackles.

The addition of Beams, 29, during the NAB AFL Trade period in October ensured the Pies are blessed with the AFL's most talented midfield, which also boasts skipper Scott Pendlebury (31 in January), Steele Sidebottom (28 in January), Treloar (26 in March), Taylor Adams (25) and, when fit, Daniel Wells (34 in February).

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Possibly complicating matters is the fact that at this stage of his development Sier plays exclusively as a midfielder.

But fear not, Pies fans – Melbourne great Garry Lyon believes the Pies will thrive on their luxury of riches and Sier will continue to grow in stature.

Lyon, who attended primary school with Sier's mother Wendy in Kyabram and has closely followed her son's fortunes, has become a great admirer of the young Magpie, this year declaring Sier reminded him of Sydney captain and clearance star Josh Kennedy in size, shape and style.

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"I hope not," Lyon said when asked whether Sier would struggle for midfield time.

"He's super-competitive and his strength is in winning contested ball – he just finds the footy – and his numbers stack up well against some of the really elite midfielders at the same time (of their careers).

"The upside on this kid is enormous. He's come from nowhere – he was a bolter in his draft year (2016) – and he's still coming to grips with the requirements of AFL footy, but the penny has obviously well and truly dropped because of what he did this year.

"I wouldn't be putting a ceiling on where he can go and what he can do. He's untapped."

The diversity and flexibility of the Pies' midfield group might also work in Sier's favour, Lyon said.

"Good midfields go deep and they're prepared to play other positions, and what you've got with Collingwood is they're multi-dimensional – Pendlebury can go to half-back, Sidebottom and Treloar can legitimately go forward, Adams is a goalkicker, and now Beams can push forward as well into that mobile forward line that Collingwood is going to continue to develop," he said.

"I don't think you can ever have enough quality midfielders.

"To continue the Josh Kennedy analogy, have a look at that Sydney midfield that he stepped into. They found a way to fit him and (Jarrad) McVeigh and (Kieren) Jack and (Luke) Parker and all those quality ball-winners into the same midfield.

"If it's a problem, it's a bloody good one to have."

Sier is due to start pre-season training with Collingwood's second-to-fourth-year players on Monday.