“HE’S an extrovert.”
For Senior Coach David Teague, the kick that sealed Carlton the four points against Sydney was one he’d seen many times before — even if the mark wasn't.
Speaking to media following the five-point win over the Swans, Teague highlighted the instinctive footy that left the game in the hands of Matthew Cottrell.
“He’s a beautiful kick so to be honest, the mark was probably the impressive bit. He got up and clunked the mark,” Teague said.
“He does have a confidence: he’s got good skills, so I actually have to admit I felt pretty comfortable with him taking the shot.
“He stayed in the moment and it’s a great lesson for all our players that it doesn’t matter what’s happened in the past, it’s what’s in the moment and being present. He took his moment and I thought it was a great mark and a great finish.”
Only five games into his AFL career, Cottrell is already becoming known for his eye-catching goal celebrations — with Tuesday night no different.
“He’s an extrovert. He just played instinctive footy and the ball was there and he flew for it and we wanted to get a contest ahead of the ball,” he said.
“We want our players to back themselves in and be at their best and we wanted them to bring their strengths tonight.
“I’ll be honest, him launching at that mark... I didn’t know if it was one of his strengths, but it might be going forward.”
Tuesday night’s victory at Metricon Stadium is one of many close games for the Blues in 2020, with Cottrell’s goal reminiscent of the four-point victory over Fremantle in Round 12.
While some close finishes have had the better of his Blues a few times in 2020, Teague believes the group has grown in its ability to handle pressure.
Carlton has a 5-3 record in games decided by single digits on the scoreboard this season.
“I think it prepares you to handle pressure,” he said.
“Now having said that, we’ve had opportunities where we haven’t handled it to our best level yet.
“But getting these opportunities, and as frustrating as some of the results have been in not winning other games, I think in the bigger picture and the long track we’re going to learn who steps up, how we handle it and our ability to make the right decisions.”