“I THINK he’s in a great position to be able to have a huge impact moving into next year and feel really confident in his footy.”
Expect to see a more free-flowing Sam Petrevski-Seton across half back in 2021.
After three years of featuring across half forward and in the midfield, it was under David Teague in the back half of 2019 where Petrevski-Seton moved… to the back half.
He played exclusively in defence for the entirety of the 2020 campaign, with his last three games arguably the best of the season.
Assistant coach Dale Amos said he expected Petrevski-Seton to ply his trade in defence once again next year, and he expects the 22-year-old to bring more of his natural flair to the table.
It’s something which Amos conceded that Carlton’s coaching staff had been looking to add to his game since his move down back.
“He played maybe the last six or seven games as a defender: he really just played off instinct. But there were parts of his game - particularly around his ability to defend and win contests against his opponent - that probably needed some work,” Amos said.
“As we started to work on those, we probably didn’t get the balance right. He was probably more focused on those things and trying to get those things right over some of his natural instinct and flair for the game.
“He freed up a little bit in the back half of the year and that enabled him to play his best footy.”
Champion Data stats show that Petrevski-Seton conceded less than a goal a game to his direct opponent this year, including having no goals conceded between Rounds 11 and 17.
His best game for the year came against Sydney, where he ran the show across half back with 21 disposals: it was a sign of the Halls Creek Cowboy being “freed up” as Amos alluded to.
Amos believed that Petrevski-Seton’s commitment off the field and to his team had him so focused on the defensive side of his game that his attacking instincts were restricted.
“The thing that stands out with Samo is that he wants to be a good teammate: he wants to earn the respect of his teammates,” Amos said.
“He was so desperate to do that, that maybe we lost a bit of the balance there. We’re really excited to see what he’s able to do.”
Amos said that Petrevski-Seton had the attributes and the ability to be a Mr. Fix-It for the Blues, depending on what the game dictates.
“Watching Sam and his evolution, he’s now had a full 12 months as a defender. His game has really grown: he was an instinctive, outnumber type player that could use the ball really well, but he’s become much stronger in the contest,” he said.
“We’re comfortable with Samo playing a bit deeper [defensively] at stages, which is the confidence we have in him now.
“In terms of moving forward, you can see him being the type of player who plays that role but if we need a little bit of spark in the midfield, you can just chuck him in there for five or six minutes and he’ll give you something.
“If you get to a stage where you need to kick a goal, he’s that type of player that’s got great natural feel for the game and executes well wherever he plays. I think he’ll grow into that, but his role down back will be really critical for us.”
Amos spoke to Carlton Media as part of a pre-season preview series ahead of next week’s return to training. For the full interview, watch the interview in the player below.