THE SECOND season of Lochie O’Brien was a tale of two halves.
If the final three months are anything to go by, there is plenty of excitement to come from the 19-year-old.
On the back of 18 games in his debut year, O’Brien find himself in the VFL to start the 2019 campaign. He would play just six of the first 11 games at senior level.
However, O’Brien was given a new lease on life after being recalled in Round 12, and he didn’t look back.
“My progress and development in 2019 was probably a little bit stagnated at the start,” O’Brien said.
“I was working towards something with the coaches in terms of deficiencies, which is when I went back into the VFL and started to try and build on those things. I started to see a lot more improvement in that area.
“I’ve got a long way to go but I think I’ve got a good base now [to build] into something pretty good.”
The wing role has undergone a resurgence across the AFL this year, with the likes of Hugh McCluggage, Brad Hill and Lachie Hunter all enjoying brilliant campaigns.
Joining Will Setterfield in the position over the season’s final weeks, O’Brien said he was relishing the chance to continue to build in the position.
“The wing role is something I really love,” he said.
“It definitely allows my strengths to come out in the way I play with my running ability and skills.
“Moving forward, the wing is something I want to keep building on… I think there’s a possibility that when I put on some strength and size, I can start playing varying roles.”
Saying that the new attacking elements to his game plan were conducive to his style of play, O’Brien has his sights set on enjoying a big pre-season at Ikon Park.
After interruptions prior to the 2019 season, it’s no surprise he wants to set a strong platform heading into 2020.
“The way I can grow is my ability to win the ball and be able to be better in the contest for myself and the team,” he said.
“I want to build synergy with the players, in terms of a new game plan and style.
“With the more attacking style we’ve been using in the second half of the year, it’s helped us get more involved on the outside.”