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Marchbank earning respect

Jacqueline Guldon, Carlton Media  February 24, 2017 12:54 PM

One-on-one with Brendon Bolton Carlton Media's Grace Phillips caught up with senior coach Brendon Bolton before the boys' first hit-out of 2017.

New recruit Caleb Marchbank is zealously awaiting his first opportunity to pull on the navy blue.

Since he descended on Ikon Park during last year’s trade period, the young defender has worked hard to prove his worth in Carlton’s squad.

As one of seven new Blues named for Carlton’s first JLT Community Series clash on Saturday, Marchbank may finally sport his No.22.

“I’ve worked extremely hard on the track (during pre-season),” Marchbank told Carlton Media.

“The big thing for me (since arriving at Carlton) was to earn the respect of the boys.”

“Now I just can’t wait to get out there.”

Initially selected with pick No. 6 in the 2014 national draft, Marchbank called Greater Western Sydney home for two seasons and featured in the senior squad on seven occasions.

In his third year in the AFL system, the former Giant will look to establish himself as a mainstay in the Carlton defence.

“I’ve been working closely with the backline group, with the likes of Simpson, Docherty, Plowman and Rowe,” he said.

“We’ve really been focusing on driving one another and keeping up the chat. 

“Now that games are starting to roll around all I can do is continue to give it my all and put my body on the line down back.”

Caleb Marchbank is quickly gaining the respect of his teammates. (Photo: AFL Media)

Originally from Benalla in country Victoria, the 20-year-old said he was delighted to be back in his home state.

“It’s nice to now be able to go home on the weekend and switch my mind off footy and see the family,” he said.

“The boys have been really welcoming so I’m really enjoying it here.”

While Marchbank prepares for his first season at Carlton, senior coach Brendon Bolton enters his second at the helm and has already impressed the youngster with his profound ability to connect with the playing group.

“We really like the way he is able to teach us as players and help us out on the track,” he said.

“He’s an understanding coach and he understands the players and what they’re going through day by day.”

With Round 1 less than one month away, Marchbank said the playing group had worked as a collective to battle through a “gruelling pre-season” with all eyes now on the season ahead.

“We’ve all tried to help each other out and be encouraging on the track,” he said.

“It’s been a tough pre-season but there’s exciting times ahead.”

Carlton is set to make its mark on the JLT Community Series on Saturday when it takes on Melbourne at Casey Fields from 2:05pm.

Catch all the information for the pre-season competition by clicking here.