ASSISTANT coach Cameron Bruce believes Blues fans will see continued improvement in the side that will take on the Hawks tonight at UTAS Stadium.
“We’re looking to improve every week, we’ve spent a lot of pre-season improving our game style. We’ve certainly got some strong layers of defense and we’re looking to add layers of offense,” Bruce said.
“I think supporters, and even we as coaches, certainly saw those signs against St Kilda and we’re looking to continue that improvement against a quality side in Hawthorn.”
Bruce said the playing group remains committed to creating stability on field after 42 list changes over three years, and acknowledged the exciting crop of players coming through.
“When we want to build cohesion and chemistry, it’s really important to have stability, so that the players look to be predictable with one another – that will help performance,” he said.
With a similar line-up from JLT 1 set to feature against the Hawks tonight, Bruce believes the pre-season matches provide great opportunity to focus on preparation for the season ahead.
“As often as you can get stability in your group, it definitely helps performance to have little change (in the line-up). We’ll bring in a couple of players that we’re really excited about being able to perform and will look to give us the best preparation going into Round 1.”
One inclusion Bluebaggers will be pleased to see back in the side is defender Jacob Weitering.
“We’re really excited to have ‘Weiters’ back, unfortunately he was a late withdrawal last week. He adds flexibility to our group. He’s worked really hard this pre season – there’s so much improvement coming from him. We think we have a really good defensive mix down there that’d be benefiting from those added personnels.”
As the club enters its third year of the program under Brendon Bolton, Bruce said the team would this season look to add offensive layers to their game, which fans would have seen glimpses of in the JLT 1 match against St Kilda.
“We saw signs with our defensive game, our ability to intercept was really good. We saw those layers of offense we’ve been working on come through. There were some really positive signs there.
“We will continue to build layers of offense to our game, and whenever players get an opportunity, whether it’s defenders, mids or forwards, we’ll look to be a little bit more attacking but hopefully that’ll progress as the year pans out.”
As the Blues prepare for their final hit-out before the 2018 season, Bruce acknowledged the opportunity for the team to test themselves against a quality side in Hawthorn.
“We’re playing a really good club, they’ve had a lot of success and they know this ground really well. ‘Bolts’ obviously also knows this ground really well from growing up here.
“It’s going to be a great test, another stepping stone for us to test ourselves against a team that’s achieved so much in AFL footy and continues our goal of improving and being ready for Round 1.”
With an exciting team on the rise, Bruce believes Blues fans can expect to see a passionate and determined playing group this season.
“I haven’t seen a group of players that are so passionate and determined on improving. I hope the fans see that out on the field tonight.
“Hopefully our members will see improvement – an exciting team, a team that’s looking to get better and be ready to play Richmond in Round 1. JLT is only two games this year so we have to be putting everything in place to give ourselves the best opportunity to perform.”
The Blues face Hawthorn in their final JLT Community Series hit out at UTAS Stadium on Saturday night at7.05pm AEST.
The Blues will don their 2018 clash guernsey for the first time when they take on the Hawks in Tassie this Saturday night. The wolf-grey jumper was unveiled on Thursday night and is available to purchase from The Carlton Shop.
— Carlton FC (@CarltonFC) March 8, 2018
Become #BoundByBlue and sign up as a Carlton member in 2018. The Club’s membership stand will be located outside Gate 7 and open from 5pm.
Source: Carlton Blues website