A STIRRING second half of the season will have Carlton full of confidence with 2019 coming to a close.
Familiar faces fired in Navy Blue while the Club’s emerging youngsters owned the future in a campaign which saw the Blues record seven wins for the year.
With the home-and-away season now over, we’re going through every player who featured for Carlton at senior level in 2019.
Here’s the year that was for Carlton’s No. 12, Tom De Koning.
KEY VFL STATISTICS (averages in brackets):
Disposals: 116 (10.5) Marks: 40 (3.6) Contested possessions: 67 (6.1) Hitouts: 136 (12.4) Tackles: 21 (1.9) Clearances: 28 (2.5)
While Tom De Koning did not feature in the AFL line-up in 2019, he certainly made his mark with the Northern Blues.
Returning after injuring his knee early in the season, De Koning proved to be a valuable ruckman and tall forward for Northern, playing all bar one game after Round 10.
De Koning enjoyed success in both areas of the ground, with his huge leap becoming handy not only in the ruck but also for his display of overhead marking in the forward 50.
Contracted until the end of 2021, De Koning will have his sights set on an uninterrupted pre-season as he looks to add to his two senior games from 2018.
De Koning’s best performance this season came in the Blues’ thrilling four-point win over Port Melbourne in Round 15.
With Northern playing away from home and without a win against Port Melbourne for nine years, De Koning’s around-the-ground marking was a highlight as he starred in the ruck.
De Koning gathered 17 disposals and 30 hitouts in the after-the-siren win, polling three J.J. Liston Trophy votes in the win over the Borough.
In a season of many high-flying hangers, De Koning’s highlights are hard to narrow down.
However, it was his goal from the pocket in Round 14 against Casey is the standout of the year.
Competed in the ruck contest, De Koning received his own crumb, picked up the loose ball on the boundary line and produced a snap worthy of the Club’s own goal of the year.
THEY SAID IT
VFL Senior Coach Josh Fraser praised De Koning’s ability to step up in the ruck at a young age in an edition of Carlton Coaches’ Corner.
“The last month has been really encouraging from a consistency point-of-view,” Fraser said.
“He’s got a real athletic ability around the ruck contest.
“He’s a competitor, that’s one of his traits and characteristics.”