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O'Brien lobs into pre-season

O'Brien on pre-season Lochie O'Brien spoke to 'KB and the Doc' about Carlton's return to pre-season.

“TO get the opportunity to put on that jumper and play in front of fans… That’s something that’s going to continue to drive us.”

As he approaches the one-year mark of arriving at Ikon Park, Lochie O’Brien believes the tight-knit nature of Carlton’s group will hold the Blues in good stead.

The 19-year-old spoke to KB and the Doc on SEN yesterday afternoon, after the Blues returned to pre-season training this week.

As one of a number of first to fourth year Blues already being put through the rigours of pre-season, O’Brien said the Club’s commitment to developing its youth and building together had the players raring to go.

“A lot of people asked how team morale was and things like that, after going through a season like we had,” O’Brien said.

“We’re so young and we haven’t had the ‘Simmo’ experience of 16 years… AFL is still fresh to all of us. We love it.”

Taking part in pre-season since Monday’s first training session, O’Brien said that he was keen for a big summer after the off-season period.

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The pre-season grind. It’s well and truly here. #BoundByBlue

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It was an interesting eight weeks for O’Brien, who combined time at home in Mildura and a trip away to Bali with rehabilitation in a moon boot.

“It was a little bit different for me, I was in a moon boot at the end of the year. It was a healing stress fracture which is all cleared up now,” O’Brien said.

“To me, it was primarily about getting the body right and looking after it.”

Things are vastly different for O’Brien now than they were 12 months ago. Back then, he was preparing for the NAB AFL Draft, which ultimately saw him selected by the Blues at pick 10.

Fast forward to now, and O’Brien had a promising opening year in the AFL which he now hopes will springboard him into 2019.

“Individually, to get 18 games in my first season and grow as a player and get a lot more confidence, I’m sure it’ll hold me in good stead,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien highlighted the influence of Ed Curnow in his development throughout his debut year, stressing the benefits of Carlton having an experienced core investing in the emerging group.

 

That was only enhanced with the likes of Sam Docherty, Liam Jones and Kade Simpson all fronting up for training sessions ahead of schedule.

“Ed Curnow took me under his wing… He’s been a really good role model for me,” O’Brien said.

“I base my game off my running ability, and him being the strongest at our club and in the AFL… We’ve got a really good rivalry there.

“The way he really cares about both on the field and off the field - he basically called me once a week even when he was in Europe. He’s been an amazing support.”