CONTINUING his knack of hitting the scoreboard, Matthew Owies had the brightest of first halves in Carlton’s VFL opener on the weekend.
After kicking more goals than anyone in Carlton’s reserves scratch match scrimmages last year, the Category B rookie picked up where he left off against Southport.
In some ways an embodiment of the VFL Blues’ performance on the weekend, Owies’ four goals came in the first half against the Sharks: all of which came in different fashion.
Having earlier described him as a “dynamo” in the opening two quarters, Daniel O’Keefe analysed the performance on Owies in the latest edition of Carlton Coaches’ Corner.
“He’s going really well as primarily a small forward and a pressure forward,” O’Keefe said.
“The beauty of Matty is that he doesn’t just hit the scoreboard himself, but he brings others into the game with his assist work as well.
“It’s something that he does, he’s got different ways to be able to hit the scoreboard.”
All four of Owies’ goals came in a different fashion on the weekend: a quick clearance, a close-range snap, a front-and-centre rove and a long-range set shot.
Noted for his accuracy in front of goal, O’Keefe said that Owies was continuing to work on his foot skills around the ground throughout the week at training.
“He’s one of our hardest workers and most-dedicated trainers, there’s no doubt about that,” he said.
Daniel O'Keefe analyses the performances of the nine AFL-listed players who took to the field in the VFL on Saturday afternoon. ??— Carlton Reserves (@CarltonReserves) April 20, 2021
“He’s beautiful in front of goal, but [field kicking] is the thing that he’s working on at the moment.
“He’ll continue to work on that and there’s no doubt we’ll see growth moving forward.”
With four tackles to go with his four goals on the weekend, the defensive side of the game has become just as important as offensive output for small forwards in recent years.
O’Keefe said it has been a constant work in progress for Owies, who has elevated that area of his game since his arrival back in 2019.
“His manic pressure is certainly the thing that’s going to get him into the side and hopefully keep him in there whenever that happens,” he said.
“He’s working on that all the time.
“His tackle pressure is really good, but even his applied pressure - his ability to corral and force kicks from the opposition - is certainly something that gets him into the game, and gets other into the game too.”