A STRONG talent base and the room for growth were central reasons behind Nick Austin’s application for the role of Head of List Management.
At the end of last month, Carlton announced that Austin - who had previously spent time at the Western Bulldogs (twice), Port Adelaide and Richmond - would take on the key role going forward.
Outlining how his position would work in the list management team, Austin said he would work closely with List Manager Michael Agresta, National Recruiting Manager Paul Brodie and the wider team in rounding out the Carlton list.
Venturing to Carlton’s pre-season camp last week, it didn’t take him long to see that there were positive signs brewing everywhere at Ikon Park.
“We’ve got a good little [list management] group with a lot of experience and lots of different skills and opinions, which is great,” Austin told Carlton Media.
"They're very different players with different skills."— Carlton FC (@CarltonFC) February 14, 2020
Four additional players will be training with the AFL side as of this weekend.#BoundByBlue
“[The players] are starting to play a lot of footy together. It’s really exciting to see these guys grow.
“Spending some time up on camp last week, I saw how close the group is. They’re extremely well led.”
Austin’s path in the football world began in opposition analysis: something which he believes holds him in good stead in the talent identification space.
With nearly 15 years of experience, he said his new role was exactly “what [he’s] been working towards”.
So what exactly are the focus areas in 2020 and beyond?
“There’s no doubt that there’s a strong talent base there… we’ll be really specific with the players we look to target and bring in,” he said.
“It’ll be very role-based as well.
“The base is strong, the foundation is set and we’ve got to add some pieces around the edge which we think can take the group forward.”
Last week, it was announced that Brett Munro - a former opposition coach - was returning to Ikon Park in the role of Women’s Football List Manager.
Austin said the Club would integrate its AFLW recruiting processes to that of the AFL program.
“Brett is a fantastic football person, so we’re really lucky to have someone with his expertise and experience join the team,” he said.
“It’s fantastic to have the AFLW program integrated into what we’re doing in the men’s space.
“We’ll go through the list stuff with him, the process formalities. We’re really excited by his addition.”