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Wright: Goalkicking a big focus

Dinny Navaratnam, AFL.com.au  January 25, 2017 6:56 PM

Wright talks pre-season and injuries Matthew Wright spoke to the media before open training at Ikon Park today.

After finishing last season as the second-lowest scoring team in the competition, Carlton is focusing on kicking more goals in 2017, forward Matthew Wright says. 

The Blues surprised most pundits with their competitiveness in Brendon Bolton's first year as coach but struggled to hit the scoreboard, finishing ahead of only wooden spooner Essendon for points scored.

Only twice last year did they hit triple figures in a game, and on seven occasions they booted seven goals or less in a match.

Wright, 27, said having more people contributing in attack would help the side improve.

"We'd like to kick a few more goals. The more players we can get bobbing up kicking goals each week makes us harder to defend, and it looks good on the scoreboard as well," Wright said. 

"A lot of work we're doing is towards kicking more goals but we want to get better at defending and through the midfield as well."

Levi Casboult looms as one of the keys to Carlton's attacking prowess. His marking ability isn't in question – he finished seventh in the competition for contested marks per game in 2016 – but he booted 18.18.

The Blues brought back goalkicking great Saverio Rocca as a specialist coach, and he has worked with Casboult to rectify his inaccuracy.

When Rocca was at the club in 2015, Casboult booted 24.12 – the best return of his career.

"(Casboult's) working as hard as anyone to correct that," Wright said.

"If you look at the best goalkickers across the comp and you look at their statistics, I'm sure they'd like to be a lot better as well.

"It's something he's working at and I'm working at and everyone is at the minute. Even the defenders bob up for a bit of goalkicking."

AFL 2016 Training - Carlton 091216
Levi Casboult has been working hard this pre-season to improve his goalkicking. (Photo: AFL Media)

Star midfielder Patrick Cripps was on light duties as he recovers from a stress reaction in his lower back. He was joined by ruckman Matthew Kreuzer as part of a group that spent a short time on the field at Ikon Park on Wednesday.

Cripps is expected to be fit for the Club's season-opening clash against Richmond on Thursday, March 23, at the MCG.