Former St Kilda superstar Nick Dal Santo believes Collingwood needs to spend the pre-season working out how to balance their star-studded midfield.
The Pies added former Brisbane captain Dayne Beams to their already deep group and Dal Santo said it could take them a while to work out how to balance everyone.
“Off the back of last year’s Grand Final loss, I think there’s got to be an open and honest conversation about how many genuine on-ballers can play in the same side to get the best result for that football club,” Dal Santo told SEN Afternoons.
“I’m going to reference an American sport here. Look at the Golden State Warriors. Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.
“They have four All-Stars and have for multiple years. They work together. They’re unselfish and they share the ball most of the time.
“They sacrifice their individual for the greater good.
“Now I look at the Pies’ midfield group. Scott Pendlebury, Taylor Adams, Adam Treloar, Steele Sidebottom, Dayne Beams comes in, Jordan De Goey to have a pinch-hit, Daniel Wells has to come back at some stage.
“You look at the wings and there’s Tom Phillips and James Aish in there.
“At some point, that group of players need to swallow their pride a little bit – and everyone’s got an ego, particularly at AFL level where you want to be the man and get a heap of the ball.
“I just think that spread has got to change. I don’t want to see races back to the centre bounce to see who’ll be the first three in there and get first dibs.
“They have the whole preseason to work through it and the rotation doesn’t have to be right by Round 1 and it just needs to be accepted that they’re going to build and grow.”
Dal Santo compared it to Geelong’s situation last year, adding Gary Ablett to their star group.
“Look at what the Cats did with three superstar on-ballers. I think they eventually worked out that Paddy Dangerfield had to spend more time forward for that to work,” he said.
“It’s not a negative for the Pies at all. They’ve just got to work out the mix and make sure everyone’s on the same page.”