A SEASON-BEST performance for pressure underpinned Lachie Fogarty’s game at VFL level on the weekend.
Playing his first official reserves game for the season, Fogarty responded to his AFL omission with a typically physical showing in the 49-point VFL win on the weekend.
To go with his 27 disposals and five clearances on the weekend, Fogarty contributed a dozen tackles — more than anyone for Carlton in a single game this season.
He also contributed eight ground-ball gets, winning the ball back for his team on a day where the Blues had 80 per cent of the game played in their forward half.
VFL Senior Coach Daniel O’Keefe said it was the exact kind of performance they were looking for from the 22-year-old.
“What we loved from Lachie was his contest work. In a game where the ground was condensed quite small, it really suited someone like him because the ball was in the contest a lot,” O’Keefe said on Carlton Coaches’ Corner.
“A combination of 20 tackles and ground balls was the most of any VFL player this year. A lot of his tackles were pre-clearance, when he was already positioned well in a contest.
“The beauty of his game on the weekend was that he also did get on the outside and nail some nice chasedown tackles as well. He turned the ball over for us and lifted the team’s spirits on the back of his brutal pressure.”
It was an even split for Fogarty at Trevor Barker Beach Oval on Saturday, spending time both in the clinches and inside 50.
When he wasn’t winning the ball back for his side, a key feature of Fogarty’s game in-possession was his ability to bring his teammates into the game.
Eight of his nine handballs on the day found a teammate, often out of congestion. It was the element of his game which O’Keefe said was a key reason why the Blues brought Fogarty to IKON Park over the off-season.
“He always works on this at training. The beauty of this part of his game is we brought him into the Club because of his natural talent to be able to do this via handball,” he said.
“He brings his teammates into the game by doing this and his extraction of the ball from the contest, to allow us to get its out onto the open side, is a real asset.”
Fogarty started the season like a house on fire at AFL level, as arguably the best Blue on the ground against Collingwood in Round 2 before a career-best display against Fremantle the following week.
Having already registered more games this season than any of his previous three at the elite level, continuity and consistency is the key for the young mid-forward.
“He’s working on a number of things. His kicking is one: he’s continuing to work on his technique and length,” O’Keefe said.
“On the back of that, his running game and defensive open transition is something he’s always working on, and us as a collective is working on. It’s just about consistency.
“He’s averaging four tackles a game at AFL level, which is above AFL level. We want him to bring his weapons every game, and if he continues to do that more regularly, he’ll find himself back in the senior side.”