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Silvagni making positive strides

Carlton Coaches' Corner | Ben Silvagni VFL Development Coach Shane Watson speaks to Ash Aidone about the form of Ben Silvagni in this week's edition of Carlton Coaches' Corner, presented by On Time Group.

BEN Silvagni is making “positive strides forward” in the VFL over the course of the last month.

The third-generation Silvagni has played all bar one game for the Northern Blues in 2019, featuring mainly in a key defensive post.

Drafted to Carlton at the end of last year as a father-son recruit, Silvagni has enjoyed a solid four weeks in the VFL and continues to show growth over the course of the season.

Speaking on Carlton Coaches’ Corner, development coach Shane Watson said the 19-year-old had enjoyed positive progression in recent weeks.

“He’s tracking nicely,” Watson said.

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“He’s making small steps as we go throughout the season.

“Getting towards the back-end of the year, we’re really seeing some positive strides forward.”

The first-year Blue enjoyed his best performance of the year on the weekend, collecting 15 disposals and five spoils against experienced Williamstown forwards.

It was his highest disposal tally of the season, and something which can serve as a springboard for the remaining weeks of his debut year.

“He turned the ball over [from the opposition] and used the ball well coming out of defence,” he said.

“He’s hitting targets coming out of defence… he has more confidence in his kicking. It was an area of growth for him.

“His aerial work, playing on bigger bodies [has impressed me]. He’s winning those contests, getting it to ground.”

Stationed predominantly in the defensive half, Silvagni has also pinch-hit in the forward line — a position he played for the Oakleigh Chargers in the NAB League last year.

Watson said Silvagni would continue to gain exposure in multiple areas of the ground, but his primary position would be down back.

“As a first-year player, you try and keep them in one position for a fair bit,” he said.

“But there have been times throughout the year where we have swung him up forward, and he’s actually looked quite dangerous and got shots on goal.

“Predominantly, he’ll play as a key defender, but we’ll give him opportunities in the forward line as well.”