AT THIS time of the year, everyone is looking to see who plays where.
Will there be any positional changes from the season prior? Could somebody be spending more time in the midfield, or making an impact up forward?
For Zac Fisher, it’s the latter, even though it’s not that much of a positional swap.
After all, the zippy West Australian essentially played exclusively as a small forward after returning from injury in the second half of 2020.
However, this will be his first full pre-season training solely in the forward half.
“He’s been spending a fair bit of time in the midfield in recent years. His body is allowing him now to train fully which is really exciting, and he’ll be spending all of his time as a forward,” assistant coach Cameron Bruce said.
“I think we saw [the results] when he invested his time and energy into that small forward craft.
“It is a specific craft: you can’t just expect that because you can win the ball around the midfield, you’re able to come in the forward end and win the ball. You need little tricks and ways to get yourself in a better position.”
The immediate results were positive for Fisher: he kicked four goals on his return to the senior side, while he averaged four score involvements per game in his seven matches.
Bruce is of the belief that Fisher - who recently re-signed until the end of 2023 - can take his game to a whole other level with a dedicated summer in the role, and he expects Fisher to continue his work with Eddie Betts.
As Bruce said, it’d be hard to find anyone better placed to teach the small forward craft than the champion goal sneak.
“We’ve got a guy who’s done it for 300-plus games in Eddie Betts to pick his brain and Zac certainly benefited from that,” Bruce said.
“He’s going to be getting a really good block of work in as a small forward and I think it’s going to be really exciting to see what he’s going to produce going forward.
“Hopefully he can become one of the premier small forwards of the competition.”
Bruce 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 video in the player below.