AT A GLANCE
Now nearing his 23rd birthday and a newly-contracted senior player, big Levi made significant in-roads as one of seven Carlton first-gamers through 2012. Though his season ended with hospitalisation for kidney damage suffered in the ill-fated Gold Coast contest, Levi had already staked his claim as the key tall up-front.
Levi worked strenuously through the 2011/12pre-season to change his body shape, only to buckle with a hyperextension of his knee in the opening Northern Blues contest of the season. Fourteen weeks later he returned to the fray, bringing with him an increased mobility and agility (who could forget his run-downs of Essendon’s Courtney Dempsey?) which also allowed him to share following duties. Now in his fourth season, big Levi managed six games in 2012 and, providing he can get his kicking right, is well-positioned to become Carlton’s mainstay as the high-marking, big-bodied, pack-crunching forward.
It’s easy to see where Gavin Brown’s coming from when the Carlton Assistant Coach likens Levi to the 321-game former St Kilda forward Stewart “Buckets” Loewe, his club’s third-highest goalkicker in League history.
Levi’s capacity to clunk the contested agate affords him that all-too-rare quality that will surely see his stocks continue to rise providing he improves in his capacity to convert. Carlton’s return on Levi, a third round rookie draft selection of 2010, is potentially significant, particular when you recall what he actually achieved on limited preparation through 2012.
Unquestionably the Round 21 contest with Essendon, where Levi’s teaming with Jarrad Waite netted eight team goals in the emphatic 96-point match-winning scoreline of 24.12. The big fella booted three in that one, including the memorably 50-metre thumper from the boundary which earned him goal-of-the-week nomination.
WHAT WE SAY
“He’s got vice-like hands and a beautiful big jump on him. It’s well documented that he’s just got to work on his goalkicking.” - Carlton Assistant Coach Gavin Brown.
STATS THAT MATTER
- Fourth in club contested marks (despite only six senior appearances); averaged seven hit-outs per match.