Danny Frawley believes St Kilda youngster Paddy McCartin already has the best marking skills of any player in the competition, and has also stated that no team should take Collingwood lightly this season..
The former Saints defender, who works with his former club as a part-time defensive coach alongside his media commitments, says that while McCartin still need to improve on many aspects of his game, his marking skills are already comparable to the great St. Kilda forward Stewart Loewe.
“I reckon he (McCartin) has the best hands in the game,” Frawley said on SEN’s The Run Home.
“I remember with Stewie Loewe only two things would happen. He’d either mark the ball or the defender would get a massive hit on the ball or his arms and the ball would spill. Paddy is that type of player.
“When he gets access to the football and the defender is behind or comes from the side, his hands are so good that all that will happen is he either marks it or it will dribble down. As a crumbing a player, you love that because you know where the ball is going to land.
“His big improvement is going to come from just reproducing efforts to come at the ball. He has had a really good pre-season.”
The 20-year-old forward was amongst St Kilda's best in a pre-season intra-club match at their Seaford base on Thursday.
Frawley says that McCartin could have been on the path to a breakout game had he not suffered a broken collarbone in the first half of the Saints’ Round 22 win over Richmond.
“I remember watching the game and he was on (Alex) Rance, who we know is probably the best defender in the competition, and he’d kicked two goals in the first 10 minutes,” he said.
“He was well on the way to having a pretty good game against the best fullback in the competition.”
Click here to view Paddy McCartin's SEN Inside Football AFL Player Ratings.
Collingwood will be better this year than people expect
Frawley has also predicted that the Magpies will have a better season than many other experts are predicting.
When asked whether he would rather be at the reins of Essendon or Collingwood in 2017, Frawley chose the latter based on their potential upside despite a disappointing last few seasons under coach Nathan Buckley.
“I think Collingwood are going to be a little bit better than what people make out,” the SEN AFL commentator said.
“I know that Nathan Brown has gone and young (Jack) Frost has gone up to Brisbane and (Jonathon) Marsh has sort of retired, but I just sense there is a little bit of a steely resolve in that group this year.
“They are a bit of an unknown. The have a couple of guys coming back from long suspensions and you have a young budding superstar in Darcy Moore, he’s going to be a ripper.
“(Will) Hoskin-Elliot is going to help (their midfield), you have Taylor Adams and (Adam) Treloar and obviously a gun in (Scott) Pendlebury so you wouldn’t want to take Collingwood for granted.
“They’re going to be in the mix somewhere around 7th to 13th I would have thought…I wouldn’t be taking them too lightly.”