NATHAN Buckley says it's no accident Scott Pendlebury has played at such a high level for such a long time.
But despite the skipper's brilliance, the Collingwood coach conceded he will have to play Pendlebury away from the centre square if the Magpies' midfield depth is to improve.
In his 200th match against the Suns, Pendlebury was at it again, racking up 35 disposals and three goals in the commanding 69-point win to be arguably best afield.
When asked about Pendlebury's career to date, Buckley said it's what people didn't see that made him special.
"It looks like everything's been plain sailing for Pendles, he's been robust, he backs up every week, but I think what that hides is he's been challenged, he's probably been vulnerable, he's had to reinvent himself," Buckley said.
"He's had to face self doubts, he's had to push the little man off his shoulder that's saying 'maybe not today, maybe I don't have to do these extras, maybe I can give this one per center a miss, the ice-bath or the diet or the sleep', but he's pushed through those.
"We all have them, but he's pushed through them."
Pendlebury started forward during the first quarter and went a large way towards establishing a match-winning lead with his 11 disposals, five score involvement and two goals in the opening term.
Buckley said he will continue to use his skipper away from the centre in order to help develop the next generation of midfielders.
"We need to develop Jordan de Goey, his ability to go through the midfield, Jamie Elliott, his ability to go through the midfield, Alex Fasolo at times, Jarryd Blair, Tim Broomhead … we're looking to develop our youth in the right doses," he said.
"Pendles is damaging wherever he goes. If he's being sat on, we can use him in different places to our advantage."
Another huge plus in the landslide win was the return of Steele Sidebottom from a broken hand.
Buckley said he would be better for the 32-disposal performance and improve as he regained match fitness.
Jack Frost copped a corked hamstring that will be assessed through the week.