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Midfield mash-up spurs Collingwood's pursuit of Beams

Dayne Beams with Steele Sidebottom at this year's Brownlow Medal function - AFL,Trade,Collingwood Magpies,Dayne Beams,Jordan Roughead
Dayne Beams with Steele Sidebottom at this year's Brownlow Medal function

COLLINGWOOD list manager Ned Guy has provided an insight into why the 2018 runner-up targeted returning Brisbane star Dayne Beams and Bulldogs big man Jordan Roughead during the NAB AFL Trade Period.

The Magpies welcomed back champion midfielder Beams – their 2010 premiership player and 2012 club champion – after four years with Brisbane, along with picks 41 and 44 at this year's NAB AFL Draft, after parting with picks 18 and 56 and their first-round pick next year.

While some insisted injury-hit Collingwood's priority should have been a key defender, Guy explained the value of Beams, 28, citing an example from the five-point Grand Final loss to West Coast.

"A key target was 'Beamsy' – we wanted to bring him home," Guy said at the Pies' annual member forum on Monday night.

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"Through the finals series where the boys did a fantastic job, we just don't think you can have enough elite midfielders.

"At one stage in the Grand Final, Jordy (De Goey) was in the middle because we were trying to wrest the ascendancy Luke Shuey had through the centre clearances. The problem with putting Jordy in the midfield is we don't have Jordy up forward.

"So bringing Beams in is going to allow a few things. We get greater flexibility with Steele (Sidebottom) – he played his best footy on the wing – (and) with 'Pendles' (Scott Pendlebury), Taylor Adams, more depth through the middle that can just allow us to take control of the game earlier."

Meanwhile, without the fanfare, the Pies secured Dogs premiership ruckman Roughead, also 28, for the bargain price of pick 75.

The 200cm utility adds further flexibility and vital support for All Australian ruckman Brodie Grundy, enabling ever-improving American forward/ruckman Mason Cox to be stationed permanently in attack.

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"I think we all appreciate how well Brodie Grundy played this year but to expect him to go out and play the minutes he played each and every week again next year is a huge ask and we just need that back up which allows us to keep Mason up forward if Brodie wasn't rucking," Guy said.

"As a key back we think (Roughead) would have played throughout 2018 had he been on the list with us."

The Pies snared two other versatile talls in Irish teenagers Anton Tohill and Mark Keane, both of whom Guy believed would have ranked in the top bracket in the draft.

"Although we have the 2018 draft in three days' time, we're already looking at the 2019 draft and we don't think that there's great depth in key-position players … (and) we're really confident that the two guys would have been early draft picks," he said.

Guy didn't give much away about the Pies' draft stategy, which he said was still being bedded down, but they are expected to match any bids made for their next generation academy player Isaac Quaynor, a defensive playmaker, and father-son prospect Will Kelly, a key backman.

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"We think can bring in a couple of really good players (who) can have an impact, hopefully sooner rather than later," he said.

Jamie Elliott, Darcy Moore, Daniel Wells and Ben Reid will also be virtual recruits if they can shake their injury woes.

There are also high hopes for rapid development from youngsters already on the Pies' list, including second-year runner Tyler Brown.

"We're really excited. He was looking a million dollars today at training. We think he, like his dad (club great Gavin Brown), is physically going to explode any tick of the clock and we think he's going to add to us really quickly," Guy said.