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Plowman: We're raring to go

Teague: Bluebaggers 'should be excited' David Teague spoke to the media at Ikon Park today as the boys prepare for their first JLT match against St Kilda.

CARLTON defender Lachie Plowman says he and his teammates are looking forward to facing opposition in the JLT Community Series, after putting in the hard yards this pre-season.

Plowman is one of 26 Blues named to face St Kilda at Ikon Park tonight in Carlton's first pre-season hit-out, with the 23-year-old leader ready to steer the back-line.

“It’ll be good coming up against opposition we haven’t played against in a while,” Plowman said.

“If we can play within the team strategy and continue doing what we’ve focussed on for the pre-season, then hopefully we’ll play some good footy.

“I’m looking forward to it (JLT). Hopefully we take some form out of it and put that into Round 1."

Carlton fans got the chance to see the future on show when draftees Paddy Dow and Lochie O’Brien competed in the inaugural AFLX tournament. The emerging talent at Carlton is reason for Bluebaggers to be excited, according to Plowman.

“Heading towards the season the young talent gives our fans something to look forward to,” he said.

“Our boys played pretty well (in AFLX) and came up against some tough opposition, so hopefully their form translates into the games ahead.

“The group that’s coming through is very energetic and exciting. With the way we have been training over the pre-season, we’re really looking forward to how we will come out and play against the opposition.

“I think a few of the young, quick guys will take the next step forward this year.”

Plowman, who was named in this year’s leadership group at Carlton, said leadership had been a focus for some time now.

“It’s a great honour to be in the leadership group. It was a little bit unexpected,” he said.

“It’s something I’ve been working on and I’ve been trying to integrate into my game for a long time.

“I’ve been feeling really comfortable. My performance on the field has been getting a bit more confident. From there I can show leadership in just being able to give direction and feel that I’m seeing the game really well.

“As well as that, I’ll be building relationships. I’ve been here now for over two years, so the relationships built between me and the other players have grown and are continuing to grow.

“I’ll keep doing what I’ve been doing and keep seeking feedback on how I can improve my leadership.”

Lachie Plowman says it's a "great honour" to be in Carlton's leadership group for the first time. (Photo: AFL Media)

Size doesn’t matter, Plowman said of Carlton’s new eight-man leadership group. The new-look group will be led by captain Marc Murphy and co vice-captains Patrick Cripps and Sam Docherty in an expanded group.

“I think it doesn’t matter how big the group is at the end of the day. I think everybody plays their role on the ground and around the club,” he said.

“The leaders might have the name tag or their name written up a little bit higher than everybody else, but I think importantly everyone can be a leader in their own right.

“On the field you can’t impact everybody in a contest or at a certain time, so more people doing the right things or challenging each other or telling each other what to do is going to be a right step in the right direction.”

Carlton will be without key defender Sam Docherty this season, after the 24-year-old suffered an ACL injury during pre-season training.

Plowman was confident, however, that the void would create opportunities for other defenders to step up.

“But I think it’s (filling the void) going to come across the whole board. Obviousl it’s a big void to fill, so if we can all play a part it will help us go a long way," he said.

“'Doch' (Docherty) is a big loss this year, but I think it opens an opportunity for someone else to come through. It is going to be exciting to see who puts their hand up and steps into the role,” he said.

Cameron Bruce, who began his role as senior assistant coach at Carlton at the start of this pre-season, has worked on the principles of defending with back-line players, Plowman said.

“'Brucey' (Bruce) has been really good coming over from Hawthorn, which has been a successful team for a long time. He’s brought some new ideas that have really helped us as a group,” he said.

“Especially with 'Bolts' (senior coach Brendon Bolton), they’ve both been there before so I think they’ve been working really well together.

“It’s given us as a back-line a bit more freedom. We’ve looked at the principles of defending, so it’s going to be really exciting ahead in JLT.”

Plowman had an impressive season last year, finishing first at Carlton for disposal efficiency. He also finished second and third for one-percenters and intercepts respectively. Despite the impressive statistics, he will continue to work hard on both his strengths and weaknesses.

Lachie Plowman established himself as a consistent, reliable defender in 2017. (Photo: AFL Media)

“I was pretty happy with the season that just went and those areas. I will keep working on those areas. They’ve been a strength in the past, so hopefully I can improve them," he said.

“With the void of Docherty there’s a role to fill. Hopefully I can put my hand up and help the team out in that way a little bit. I’m working on my strengths and weaknesses and from there I will aim to build on that each and every game. I will keep looking for ways to get better.”

Carlton takes on the Saints tonight at Ikon Park from 7.10pm.