"THE POISE he's got in traffic, that's the real exciting component of his game. He does it regularly."
Carlton Coaches' Corner is back for 2021, with first-year draftee Jack Carroll the maiden Blue in focus.
With VFL coach Daniel O'Keefe analysing his two practice match performances so far, some key characteristics of Carroll's have stood out as he has combined his time between the midfield and up forward.
Arriving at the Club at the end of last year through the 2020 NAB AFL Draft, O'Keefe said the youngster's midfield craft and work in traffic had been key features of his game, with even more room for growth.
“Jack’s been going really well in regards to where he’s come from to now,” O’Keefe said.
“At times, the [Colts] players take a little bit extra to come along and develop and grow. In Jack’s case, he’s been proving himself going through the midfield and he looks really comfortable at [VFL] level.”
As well as developing his own game, Carroll is bringing others into the game on the back of his good work by hand and foot.
With both practice matches having reduced game time, Carroll has had 17 disposals in both games, while kicking a classy goal against St Kilda three weeks ago.
His stoppage work was on display against Richmond, weaving in and out of traffic in a polished performance alongside the likes of Matthew Kennedy in the middle.
“We love the ability to bring others into the game, like Jack does with his handballing skills,” he said.
"We back his skills in. He hit up Eddie Betts and his ability to bring others into the game by moving the ball forward - with his time and composure - is excellent.
“He’s really composed under pressure, which is another strength that we love about his game."
Taking notes from the midfield trio of Patrick Cripps, Sam Walsh and Will Setterfield, O’Keefe is confident that Carroll will continue adding strings to his bow in his quest for AFL football.
“When we see him with [those teammates], we love that because they’re three boys that have got great standards,” he said.
“We believe Jack is in that same realm.
"The more he learns our system and understanding of our set-ups of how we play at stoppages and things like that, the better he’s going to be.”