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Bolton backs Fisher's composure

Roger Vaughan, AAP  April 14, 2017 1:45 PM

Bolton on Fisher, Suns Brendon Bolton spoke to the media today as the boys prepare for the Round 4 clash against Gold Coast.

Carlton coach Brendon Bolton clearly rates Zac Fisher's ability to cope with pressure ahead of the 18-year-old's AFL debut.

Fisher will be the fourth player selected by Carlton in the 2016 AFL National Draft to debut for the Club this season when he plays against Gold Coast on Saturday at Etihad Stadium.

Bolton casually mentioned in his Friday media conference that Fisher wears No.25 and it is 50 years since Carlton legend Alex Jesaulenko - the most famous No.25 in AFL history - made his senior debut.

Another famous Carlton No.25, 2009 Coleman medallist Brendan Fevola, was also at training on Friday to present Fisher's guernsey to him.

"Zac Fisher is an elite kick - he'll learn what the tempo of AFL footy is all about, no doubt, on the weekend," Bolton said.

"But he's a really good decision-maker, a left-footer.

Alex Jesaulenko 1967 Image
Carlton legend Alex Jesaulenko made his debut for the Blues on April 15, 1967, against Fitzroy at Princes Park. (Photo: Supplied)

"We know Fev was also a good kick, so let's hope he has a reputation as being a really good kick for our side in time."

Tom Williamson also made his debut last weekend, while Harrison Macreadie, Jarrod Pickett and Sam Petrevski-Seton are other AFL newcomers so far this season at Carlton.

"'We drafted guys (last year) who we thought had good composure with the ball in hand," Bolton said.

"We don't want to put pressure on kids in their first year - it's all about growth and learning - but we think he (Fisher) has the attributes.

"He still had to build his body up - he's lightly framed - but he does kick the ball pretty well."

Bolton said while the newcomers were picked on merit, he has been keen to give them an early taste of the AFL as the Blues continue their rebuild.

"If they do it early in their career, they know what it takes," he said.

Fisher Training Image
Zac Fisher will make his debut for the Blues on Saturday night against the Suns. (Photo: AFL Photos)

"Sometimes you just have to live it to understand it - what the level is like."

Carlton and Gold Coast are coming off their first wins of the season.

While the Blues out-slogged Essendon in atrocious conditions at the MCG, Gold Coast tore Hawthorn apart.

That came a week after the heat was on the Suns and Gary Ablett, following their poor performances against Greater Western Sydney.

"They'd be determined to back up their performance," Bolton said.

"They were challenged and responded the way a team should.

 "We have to come with a similar mindset to last week and defend hard and put some pressure on the opposition, because they can move the ball quickly."

While Ed Curnow will probably go to Ablett, Bolton said the star midfielder was far from Gold Coast's only threat.

"It's going to be about collective pressure, not just (stopping) Gary Ablett," Bolton said.

"We'll have some plans in place for him if necessary - he's been a good player for a long time, you can't keep a champion down."