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Deluca beginning to impress

Carlton Coaches' Corner | Josh Deluca VFL Coach Josh Fraser speaks to Ash Aidone about the form of Josh Deluca in this week's edition of Carlton Coaches' Corner, presented by On Time Group.

“FIRST and foremost, he’s a competitor.”

CARLTON mid-season rookie recruit Josh Deluca is already impressing in his first month at his new surrounds.

Overcoming a pre-existing hamstring injury to debut for the Northern Blues in the last fortnight, the mature midfielder is beginning to show his credentials as a contested beast.

VFL Senior Coach Josh Fraser praised the new Blue on how he’s taken to his new club in this week’s episode of Carlton Coaches’ Corner.

“It’s been a really smooth transition,” Fraser said.

“He had some injuries he had to get over, but he’s worked really diligently and has been super professional.”

 

Deluca has wasted no time in showing his wares through midfield, averaging 22 disposals and 4.5 tackles over his first two outings.

Taking on a leading role in Northern’s on-ball brigade, Deluca’s first fortnight has been cause for optimism. 

“He’s got a real compete-to-win mindset and he’s a bigger-bodied midfielder, so he’s always around the contest,” he said.

“He’s off to a good start. The first two games he’s played, he’s had to take the responsibility of a fair bit of midfield load as well.”

 

The most impressive aspect of his game so far has been his impact around stoppages, racking up a team-high 10 clearances in Saturday’s loss to Casey.

“His ability to reset at stoppages and get into really good positions is his strength,” he said.

“He protects his space, he’s able to work off his opponent, he’s got really clean hands and he’s got a nice burst of speed away from stoppage and congestion.”

While most of his impact was through the centre, Fraser believes Deluca also has the flexibility and ability to make an impact up forward.

Deluca’s well-taken goal in the dying stages of the first quarter on the weekend was his first goal in his new colours.

“We haven’t been able to expose him too much in the forward line as of yet, but he does get hard forward at different stages in the game,” he said.

“It’s definitely something we’ll be looking to see more of from him as the season unfolds.”