Zach Ballard continued to give his absolute all for the Northern Blues in 2017. (PHOTO CREDIT: Jason Heidrich)
Zach Ballard entered 2017 for his third year at the Northern Blues, and his second year as one of two vice-captains.
Here’s his 2017 Regency Windows player review.
TALE OF THE TAPE
THE YEAR THAT WAS
Ballard opened the 2017 season as he did in 2016: being named vice-captain to Tom Wilson alongside Glenn Strachan.
Spending his first half of the year in the Development side, Ballard led from the front and was a consistent performer for Ian Aikten’s side, averaging 20 disposals at the level.
His strong form brought about a senior recall for the game against Footscray in Round 16, and he would go onto play three of the final four VFL games.
Switching his time between midfield and forward roles, the combative Ballard typically battled manfully no matter what level he played at in 2017.
His pressure was unwavering at Development level, recording the most tackles of any Blue this year.
The 21-year-old proved his worth at Development level by the week in 2017, notching up over 20 disposals in eight of the 11 games he played in.
Arguably, he saved his best Development performance for his final game with the side in Round 18, when he played a big role in the win over Werribee at Preston City Oval.
Ballard collected a season-high 29 disposals and seven clearances in the victory, going onto poll two votes in the A. Todd Medal. He would also poll two votes for his 21-disposal game against Casey in Round 14.
At senior level, his first game of the season was his best. After patiently biding his time, Ballard had 14 disposals, seven tackles and kicked a goal in the narrow Round 16 loss to Footscray.
BY THE NUMBERS
20.2 Development disposals per game (#5 at club)
87 total Development contested possessions (#5 at club)
35 total Development clearances (#4 at club)
62 total Development tackles (#1 at club)