COLLINGWOOD youngster Brayden Sier "saved his career" late last season after finally becoming serious about his footy, Magpies coach Nathan Buckley has revealed on AFL.com.au's new feature, Ask The Coach.
The big-bodied midfielder – the Pies' surprise first pick at No. 32 in the 2015 NAB AFL Draft after just two TAC Cup appearances for the Northern Knights – has played only 18 VFL games in two seasons following a litany of injuries.
He has suffered a broken wrist, a severe bout of concussion and a back problem that ended his 2016 season, as well as hamstring, eye socket and foot ailments last year.
Despite Sier's plagued run, Buckley disclosed that the 20-year-old's cause hadn't been helped by a less than professional attitude in his first season-and-a-half at the Holden Centre.
But the coach said Sier was building on the momentum he gathered late last season – in the final round he had a personal-best 24 possessions, six clearances, seven tackles and a goal against eventual premier Port Melbourne – and Buckley remains hopeful he will develop into a bona fide AFL player.
"Brayden's going really well," Buckley said on Ask The Coach.
"By his own admission, (he) probably didn't have football high enough in his priorities in the first 18 months (of his time at the club).
"The last half of last year Brayden really knuckled down and saved his career at Collingwood in many ways, and showed at the club that he was serious about being an AFL footballer. So he earned another year on his contract.
"His diligence in pre-season has been really strong. He's still building strength in his body but he's starting to show us the signs that he was drafted for – very clean inside, clean ball-handler, great vision.
"When he develops that athleticism that he's worked on really hard over the last eight (or) nine months, we'll get a chance to see what type of player he's going to be."
Buckley also revealed Darcy Moore's new role in defence wasn't necessarily a short-term move, saying the 22-year-old could remain there for "the next two or three years, maybe longer".