Daniel Wells had a frustrating 2017 campaign.
Daniel Wells had a frustrating 2017 campaign.

The classy mid Pies are ‘all excited about’

COLLINGWOOD veteran Daniel Wells will be raring to show, at 32, that he still has plenty left to give to senior football.

After leaving North Melbourne as a free agent to sign a three-year contract with the Magpies reportedly around $550,000 per season, an injury-ravaged 2017 restricted the classy midfielder to just 10 matches, where he averaged 18.5 disposals.

But Pies assistant coach Brenton Sanderson said everyone at Collingwood is excited about what Wells could bring to the club's midfield in 2018.

"A guy we're all excited about, without getting over the top about it, is Wells who we saw in 10 games last year and he was just silky smooth in the games that he played," Sanderson told AFL Media.

Despite playing limited matches, Wells proved to be influential, with Collingwood winning seven games and drawing another in his 10 appearances.

Daniel Wells played just 10 games in 2017.
Daniel Wells played just 10 games in 2017.

Sanderson said Wells had participated in more pre-season sessions this year than in the previous year and loomed as a focal point for the Pies in 2018.

"If he can get up and running by Round 1 and start the year like how he finished it in that purple patch through the middle part of last year, he's going to be really exciting for us," Sanderson said.

Another to impress Sanderson has been half-back Brayden Maynard, who could spend some time through Collingwood's midfield in 2018.

The 21-year-old, who averaged 17.4 disposals from 22 games last year, could be a crucial part of the Pies' formula in their quest to finish in the top eight.

"You can never have too many big bodies around the footy and we've seen that with a lot of the successful teams over the last few years," Sanderson said.

"They're putting those guys that are 190cm, 192cm, 194cm, bigger bodies around the footy.

"We saw a snapshot of Maynard pinch-hitting on ball and he looked really good."

Collingwood's first game of the AFL season will be against Hawthorn at the MCG in late March.