He marked that absolute mongrel of a kick from McKenna in the final quarter. that takes a serious fkg talent.
Hope he gets a bag of 6 on ANZAC Day, plus the medal.
Also brought the ball to ground and followed it up with a handball that set up the Begley goal.
He’s a very good player.
And, like Saad and Smith, preferred us to fark Carlton.
Considering Carlton’s dearth of forwards at the time he must have been very impressed with what we offered.
All credit to Stewart for fighting his way into the team and then continuing to improve once he made the side.
He had a tendency last year to start games really well and then fade out. I think with him being the back up ruck and his increased size he is going to be involved a lot more this year and not fade out. He is just so much more confident this year he feels he belongs. I think with that and Stinger as well when Cale rests or drops back at the end of quarters we won’t suffer so much structurally as we did last year. He will be a big improver for us. A very good get.
Healy would have a hard on over those arms!!!
He has put on a lot more size and looks a lot stronger in contested marking situations, took some great marks himself, but more importantly didn’t get out marked when out of position. He is now strong enough to get the ball ground when in these situations.
Starting to look and play like a KPF rather then a tall HFF type.
On face value the Hooker back debate is starting to have even more merret. But with how well the three big fwds worked together last night. Plus Harts and Brown doing a good job down back, its hard to see Hooker going back.
I think it’s a bit of a fallacy that he has put on a lot more size.
Was already big strong lad at GWS
All that’s changed IMO even from last year is he is using his body better in marking contests and probably more aggressively attacking the footy/more intensity. Confidence in his game and position in the side would be helping also.
I was talking to a Collingwood fan as Stewart was cutting them up in a VFL game last year, He said they didn’t take him because they thought he was a bit soft. Bad call!
Lloydy also said he was a bit soft and needed to harden up around the time he was looking for new clubs.
I think Stewart listened.
Wish we could get vision/audio of that.
What I was told through a friend who’s father played a handful of games for the Pies in the 80s and is good friends with Craig Stewart was that when James decided he wanted to go home, they sounded out Collingwood and arranged a meeting, but also Essendon got in touch. At the meeting with the Pies he just spoke to a member of their list management team. When he met with us we had Xavier Campbell, Woosha, Hepps and Disco as the entourage. They did the big sell job on him, took him to The Hangar. Was made to feel wanted so he signed with us.
Those training facilities have put us into such a competitive position to get players to the club.
It has to be a strong selling point.
It was said at the time of the development that it would be a big lure to Free Agent and other prospective recruits from other clubs. Obviously the club had other things on its hands when we first moved in, but now you can see the benefits. I believe they were a big reason why Smith, Stringer and Saad joined us.
Yep, and there are plans for further expansion and to include facilities for our VFLW side and so on. Amazing resources.
The spongy floors
Mate he has clearly put on size.
Most of his marks were impressive on Friday night but the one I enjoyed the most was the one where he started behind a pack close to our goal square and pushed the defender on his shoulder and one grabbed it.
This showed the improvement in his upper body strength that had been lacking up until this point.
It also highlighted the improvement in his marking ability too as previously he had a tendency to double grab at almost every mark that he went for last season.
His confidence in his body strength and marking are just starting to bear fruit now and once he strings together more consistent performances he is going to be an unstoppable force.
Also his relief ruck role was impressive too against one of the premier ruckmen of the competition.