Zac Fisher and Cameron Polson were two shining lights on a difficult opening day for the Northern Blues. (PHOTO CREDIT: Tim Murdoch)
Northern Blues senior coach Josh Fraser praised the influence of Carlton youngsters Zac Fisher and Cameron Polson in a 29-point loss to Port Melbourne.
On an emotional day for the home side, the debuting Fisher and Polson took the contest to a spirited Borough outfit, despite Port running away with the four points in the season opener.
With both making their VFL debuts, both first-year draftees had a marked influence for Northern despite a familiar result against Port for the club.
Speaking post-match, Fraser said both showed they had bright futures ahead of them, particularly in difficult circumstances.
“Of the younger brigade, Cam Polson played his best game for us including over the pre-season series. Zac Fisher had some really nice moments, he’s going to be an exciting player,” Fraser said.
“There’s some young talent there that keeps emerging… there’s lots of little signs, but we have to put it together for longer.”
Polson collected 28 disposals and 15 handball receives in a consistent performance, while Fisher capped off an exciting display with two final-quarter goals among his 16 disposals.
Fraser said the aim was to continue developing the club’s younger talent but also having to rectify certain things in yesterday’s loss to begin to develop a winning habit.
“I think we’ve got to be careful when talking about how many listed players, it’s not always a reflection of the experience and maturity of the group,” Fraser said.
“We’ve got a lot of younger players who are building bodies, developing good habits and being exposed to senior football for the first time.
“We’re really excited about that process and we think we’re going to have some serious players on our hands… I think they all acquitted themselves well and they’ll just keep getting better.”
The coach also credited the prolific performance of Nick Graham, who finished with 37 disposals and eight clearances, as well as saying David Cuningham and Harry McKay were continuing to show positive signs.
— Northern Blues FC (@NBluesFC) April 8, 2017
However, he said the result and performance to kick off the season overall was a heavily disappointing one.
“We’re really disappointed with the result. We came here expecting a lot more than what we delivered and it was largely an inconsistent performance across the board,” Fraser said.
“We had some patches where we were in the contest, the numbers suggest we were right in the contest all day but there was some detail we didn’t get right.
“The boys are hurting, but we’ve got to learn from this and keep moving forward. We had no efficiency going forward… it was a frustrating day.”
The Northern Blues take on the AIS Academy next weekend at Etihad Stadium as a curtain raiser for Carlton’s home game against the Gold Coast Suns. Their VFL campaign resumes in a fortnight in against Williamstown on Saturday, April 22 at Preston City Oval.