Thomas has a dig at draft critics - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Thomas has a dig at draft critics

By Robert Grant 05/07/2010 02:18:03 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood midfielder Dale Thomas has taken a swipe at his critics on the eve of his 100th AFL game.

Thomas complained that observers were too quick to denigrate players beginning their careers with high expectations.

The athletic blond was the Magpies' top pick - and number two overall - in the 2005 national draft.

He said players developed at different rates and it was unfair to expect all high selections to play major roles in their early years.

"I think it's very individual about how many games it takes people to get to a consistent level," Thomas said.

"Some people can come in and have an impact straight away whereas you see a few of the other people taking a bit longer and at times I think the media's pretty quick to jump on blokes who do take that bit longer," Thomas said.

He said his good form this season had been a combination of the club's patience, his continual learning and the different role he had played.

"I'm getting up the ground a bit more, getting the opportunity to find the footy a bit more rather than playing that deeper defensive forward role where at times you can be a little bit starved of the footy," he said.

"The club's been fantastic since I got here. I've been here five years now so they've given me time to develop, played me in different roles so I've really learnt about football and really tried to figure my game out."

Thomas and teammate Harry O'Brien will both reach their 100-game milestones when Collingwood face Port Adelaide at AAMI Stadium on Friday night.

"It's nice to get to 100 and it's nice to be getting a kick as well," Thomas said.

The Magpies could be lifted by the return this week of skipper Nick Maxwell who will try to prove he has overcome a calf injury.

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