FORWARD or midfield? Midfield or forward?

For Jack Martin, it may very well be an even split in 2021 — and he thinks he’s got the perfect partner for it.

All things considered, it was largely a positive first season for Martin in Navy Blue, ultimately finishing sixth in the John Nicholls Medal despite effectively missing three games through injury.

However, having combined his skill and toughness across half forward throughout 2020, Martin is desperate to put together an even better and more consistent campaign this season.

Working closely with new teammate Zac Williams this season, Martin is preparing for more midfield minutes this time around, and he’s hoping the two can form a damaging one-two partnership.

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“It’d probably be 50-50, depending on how the game’s going. He’ll go forward, I’ll go midfield,” Martin told The Age’s Daniel Cherny.

“We’re just building that little combination I guess.

“Individually, I thought I started the year pretty well and sort of dropped away. It’s just about that consistency this year for me.”

It’s well-documented that Martin started the season brilliantly at his new club, producing four goals against the reigning premier while also being instrumental in early wins against Geelong and the Western Bulldogs.

A calf injury limited Martin in the second half of the season, but the smooth-moving Blue believes he’s fighting fit ahead of the upcoming season.

“I think my body last year, at times, just wasn’t allowing me to train at a high intensity. Getting out on the track every week, being able to train and back it up… that’s the main focus this year,” he said.

“I’m 100 per cent at the moment. I’ll be good to go once the games come around.”

With 112 games under his belt across two clubs, Carlton’s 11th-placed finish to last season was as close as Martin has gone to September action.

There’s only word he could use to describe his thirst for finals football.

“I’m desperate. And I think everyone is,” he said.

“Obviously the Blues haven’t played finals for a long time. That’s what we play footy for: we know it’s a long season and it’s going to take hard work. We’re willing to do that.”