COLLINGWOOD’S Heath Shaw says the team is impressed with the early form of Paul Medhurst and Travis Cloke after both had a forgettable 2009.
Both Medhurst and Cloke kicked two goals each in Friday night’s last gasp loss to St Kilda in their pre-season opener, but Shaw said it was Medhurt’s defensive pressure that has improved over the pre-season.
Medhurst’s 2009 season was hampered by a chronic ankle injury.
“Medhurst is coming back from his ankle injury and he’s had a really good pre-season,” Shaw said.
“Coming into games, he’s had some really good form.”
“I think his (Medhurst) defensive pressure up forward has really kept him in the contest sometimes,” he said.
“Sometimes if he’s not kicking any goals, he tends to drift out but last night his pressure was up for the whole night and he got rewarded by kicking a couple of goals late and Travis Cloke and a few of the guys up forward as well,” Shaw told SEN radio.
He said a fit Medhurst and Cloke were important figures on the Magpies forward line.
Leigh Brown, too, was impressive up forward with four goals and appears set to be a regular forward line player with the inclusion of ruckman Darren Jolly.
Shaw said it was a disappointing finish to the match after coming back from a 43-point deficit in the third term.
“You don’t want to lose any game,” he said.
“ It was a bit disappointing to finish on that note. We came back from a fair deficit and hit the front and to finish off the way we did and not get our structures right for that split second in the game and a really important part of the game was a little bit disappointing.”
By Brent Diamond