Collingwood has continued to strengthen its midfield, as the Western Bulldogs’ Patrick Lipinski was officially made a Magpie on Monday morning.
The deal saw Collingwood send over pick 43 to the Western Bulldogs in exchange for the 23-year-old midfielder, increasing the number of picks it has ahead of the draft.
Lipinski had expressed his interest in making a move to Collingwood in late September. The Pies have had to complete pick swaps in this year’s trade period to make sure that they could secure Lipinski, Nathan Kreuger and still have enough draft points to match a bid for Nick Daicos on draft night.
The 23-year-old emerging midfielder will find himself among Magpie veteran midfielders, Scott Pendlebury and Steele Sidebottom, along with Jordan De Goey, Taylor Adams, Will Hoskin-Elliott, and Josh Daicos.
With the suspicion that Pendlebury will move into a deeper forward role, space frees up for Lipinski who is itching for more playing opportunities.
Lipinski only managed 11 games this season for the Bulldogs who have a tight midfield list. Only two of those were after the mid-season bye. Over his five years at the club, he has played 56 games for the Western Bulldogs.
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For his little game time acquired, Lipinski averages 16.8 disposals (career). He can confidently find himself in the contest to retrieve the ball.
He is also efficient at disposing the ball by hand and has a career average of 9.3 handballs.
Lipinski’s footwork is where his game slightly lacks and couldn’t compare to former midfield partners including Marcus Bontempelli and Jack Macrae. Lipinski will need to focus on this during pre-season to compare to his new midfield group.
Should Lipinski improve his delivery by foot, he’s set to make himself an integral part of Collingwood’s midfield lineup.
Collingwood slumped to 17th-placed this season, which failed to highlight the work of its emerging stars.
Although ahead of experience to some of Collingwood’s younger talents, Lipinski will have competition for a regular spot.
He will need to prove why he should be selected ahead of duo Caleb Poulter and Finlay Macrae who both debuted for the Pies this year.
Forward combination Oliver Henry and Beau McCreery, also had impressive first-seasons, making it even more difficult to find a permanent position.
Could Lipinski play forward?
Standing at 190cms, Lipinski also has the ability to move up forward and play alongside Brody Mihocek and Darcy Cameron.
Lipinski may just have the ability to adapt into a reliable tall-forward role, which Collingwood has lacked to fill for years.
This would require some work during pre-season if Lipinski does make the move forward. Versatility in a side where midfielders and forwards regularly move around the ground could be crucial in Lipinski’s endeavour for more game time.
This year, he managed two goals and overall has 30 to his name. He proves to be a midfielder who can provide when required in front of goal, needed for a potential position swap.
Lipinski has the ability to become a full-packaged player, but it will come down to the preseason he puts in.
He will need to prove to Craig McRae that he has the ability to makes the Pies’ best 22. In a season where Collingwood will sport a new coach with a new direction, it may just be Lipinski’s time.