Carlton defender Sam Rowe says he’s been working hard to add another dimension to his game.
The 28-year-old was a mainstay in the Blues’ defence in 2015, playing 20 games and finishing eighth in the league for one-percenters.
But with the arrival of three young key defenders in Jacob Weitering, Lachie Plowman and Jesse Glass-McCasker (rookie), Rowe admits he has to build his arsenal to keep his spot.
“There are plenty of parts to my game that I need to work on, and I’ve got to keep doing that to hold my spot and be a useful player for the team,” Rowe told Radio Sport National on Friday.
“I want to improve my decision-making with the ball and play more offensively.
“The way the game’s going, you can’t just be a lock-down defender. I need to find ways to be productive going forward.”
Rowe says there’s plenty to like about No.1 draft pick Weitering, who he could play alongside as early as the NAB Challenge.
“He’s a big boy for an 18-year-old. He’s pretty composed and he reads the play well. He’s got some big hands as well, so his intercept marking will be a strength.
“We’re really happy with him.”
But as for the first-year players impressing Rowe, it doesn’t stop there.
“Dave Cuningham has been really lively on the track,” Rowe said.
“Ed’s (Curnow) little brother Charlie has looked pretty good as well.
“They’re (first-year players) all talented, but they’re having a real crack as well.”
With so many fresh faces and a well-documented reset at the Club, Rowe says Blues supporters should be upbeat about the future.
“We’ve reset pretty much everything at the Club over summer. We’ve made wholesale changes to the game plan and I think you’ll start to see a pretty competitive and hardworking team this year.
“I think it will be really exciting for the Carlton faithful, because they’ll start to see a team that is committed.”