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Magpie stands tall during pre-season altitude camp

HALFWAY through Collingwood's week-long trip to Falls Creek for first-to-fourth-year players, ruckman Brodie Grundy is standing out among the best performers.

This is the third consecutive year the Magpies have made the trip to the Victorian ski resort. Being able to train at altitude is a key reason they make the trek. They previously travelled to the US for pre-season training before going there for a final time in 2012.

Grundy had a terrific 2016 season and finished fourth in the best and fairest, but Pies high performance manager Bill Davoren told collingwoodfc.com.au the big man was on track for another excellent year. 

The ruckman ran well in a 7km time trial handicap race, which took place at 750m above sea level. 

"For a number of them, it was their first time running in … altitude-type conditions. It was an off-road run and it made it a pretty challenging afternoon," Davoren said. 

"We had some pretty good performances. Really impressive from Brodie Grundy, Tommy Phillips had a really, really good run. 

"Josh Smith's another one that's going very well at this stage too." 

The icy hills didn't seem to bother some shirtless Magpies. Picture: collingwoodfc.com.au

Former Greater Western Sydney forward Will Hoskin-Elliott has pushed himself after a year marred by soft tissue injuries, restricting the former No.4 pick to just two games with the Giants in 2016. 

"It's been pretty challenging the last three days," Hoskin-Elliott said.

"(You're) ready for bed once you get home each night.

"I had a quick chat with 'Bucks' (senior coach Nathan Buckley) after the run yesterday and we just went over a few things about some fitness and some power strengths and weaknesses to improve." 

Collingwood players brave the cold water. Picture: collingwoodfc.com.au

A Magpies supporter as a child, being coached by the likes of Buckley and Tarkyn Lockyer has been amazing for Hoskin-Elliott.

"Just being around those guys is so surreal to be able to talk to some of your heroes growing up," he said. 

Captain Scott Pendlebury made the trip after returning to training early. Many of his senior teammates will return to the track next week with several new additions to the line-up including free agent pair Daniel Wells and Chris Mayne.

AFL.com.au understands forward Jarryd Blair has agreed to terms with Collingwood and will continue his 143-game career with the club, with the Pies expected to make four selections at next Friday's NAB AFL Draft.